Thursday, June 05, 2014

Updates so far for May and June

Life truly has its ups and downs.

Just wanted to post a brief summary of things that I've been dealing with, or celebrating so far.

Still loving my job as a Game Designer for Indigo Entertainment.  The work can be tremendously stressful and at times, feel like I'm juggling way too many projects with one hand, but man the idea that I am creating GAMES as a living is truly a dream come true.  The idea that I have started games that have entertained, challenged and been enjoyed by kids all over out there in the world is amazing.  I have James and Dokes to always thank for that.

My dad was recently confined at the hospital and I had to stay with him for a week to make sure he was doing well.  I was happy to be able to be there for him, given all the years that he and mom spent making sure that their second son was happy, healthy and given access to education and safety.  It was a scary time for us, admittedly, but thankfully we were able to get through it and found our bonds as family members even getting stronger in the process.  Dad's home now and on the road to recovery.  Life get's better.

I started cooking and baking again.  And each time I do, I find myself dedicating it to PJ.  I still miss PJ a lot.  I still find myself sometimes wishing he'd suddenly text or call me and ask me to head out with him to Ortigas and enjoy the music, the dancing and the laughs.  I still find myself replaying the scenes in the hospital.  Still find myself at times wishing I could have done more.  But I do push myself to focus on the positive side of things.  To remember the lessons he taught me.  To think of the tips he shared with me.    I tried using a bigger knife when I prepped dinner the other night.  I recall PJ used to always tell me that I should stop using a Pearing knife for everything.  I don't think I'll ever stop missing him.

Yoshi is also doing better.  After a bout of fungal infection, he's feeling much better now and is starting to grow back his wonderful hair.  We are considering trimming him this much once a year to help him deal with the summer heat better.  He kinda looks more like Doby the House Elf right now, which is quite endearing.

Rocky and I have also been spending lots of time celebrating our geeky life together.  He got us a pair of Star Trek communicator/badges which have powerful magnets so we don't ruin the shirts we wear.  We also invested in getting a few more board games including Risk: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Lords of Waterdeep, Pret-A-Porter and Merlin's Company, the expansion to Shadows Over Camelot.  Gaming kinda slowed down given the recent events and summer trips, but now we are working on getting thinks back to stride.  Rocky is also now the proud owner of the Dr. Who novels, both the individual novels for each doctor and the novels dedicated to the different monsters.  It looks tremendously beautiful on our selves and I'm happy to have helped him make up his mind to get them.

Then there's Ben Woerner's A World of Dew which is a spin-off of John Wick's Blood and Honor game.  I was very excited about the book that I messaged Ben ideas on how I'd love to expand the game.  Thankfully he took my pitches seriously and has made my contribution one of the stretch goals for the release of the book! The Kickstarter was incredibly successful, netting over $16,000 even with an initial goal of only $2,000.  This will be another chance for me to contribute to the rpg community and I'm pretty psyched about it.  You can still check out the Kickstarter here:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/381911690/a-world-of-dew-a-samurai-noir-role-playing-game

Finally, we're watching over Misty, Prince's dog, for the meantime while he has his trip to Cebu.  The dog has been a bit demanding for attention but I've been training him to be more calm and orderly.  He still whines every now and then, but I am hoping to teach him to be more patient and calm like how Yoshi is.  Given she's a girl and Yoshi is a boy, I've resorted to keeping them separated with a pen for now, just because I'm worried they might.. you know.. when I'm not looking.

But yeah, overall, life is good.
And tomorrow is going to be better!





Friday, May 16, 2014

A song for PJ

It has been a long time since I last blogged.  Admittedly, I've been busy and in some ways, this blog was the one of the things that suffered for it.  (This is even the first post I have for the year 2014.) But today I post again because I realize I need to mark this moment down so I never forget it happened.

We lost dear sweet PJ earlier this week.    He is a friend and an inspiration and he burned so brightly, cast loving light so widely and sadly was taken so soon.  I'm not quite ready yet to talk about the circumstances that lead to his passing.   And I'm still being selfish about certain other stories.  I still feel the need to keep them inside.  To hold them close to my heart, as I did many other things since Rocky and I got back together.

But Rocky suggested I share this little... oddity.
And I guess in some ways its a tribute to PJ that I can share.

PJ and I met at O bar many years back.  I met him through another good friend of mine, and upon learning he was so far from home, I decided I wanted to make sure he had a great time each time he was at O.  So I sort of "adopted" him and made sure to reach out to him to feel free to have me as company in any time he needed it.  Given the passing, Rocky and I have been talking about PJ a lot.  And among the many topics we find ourselves remembering about him, we realize we never really had a "song" for him.  You know how sometimes, you have this song that just expresses or captures someone you know.

Prior to his death, I rediscovered David Bowie's Space Oddity when it was partly covered in the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  I found I liked the song and its narrative lyrics.  I added it to the list of songs I'd play at work.  Or while driving.   But since the passing, I've found myself more and more latching to the song without knowing why.  I'd be humming it out of the blue.  I'd be playing it in the car.  I'd be listening to it at work, or while at home, and I'd find myself tearing up.  I asked Rocky about this and he felt it was a haunting song that I probably just connected with.

Today, on the drive home, things snapped into place.  The images slid into place and suddenly it made sense why the song has been running in my head.  It seems my brain had, to cope with the loss of PJ, already formed a montage.. a soundtrack of sorts.. of the events to help me try to accept PJ's death.  This probably sounds stupid and foolish, but for me it made sense.

PJ is Major Tom.  He's off on a new mission in a place none of us have dared to go.  We've always been proud of him and his achievements (down to us knowing the shirts he wears has been Mossimo).  Major Tom's experience matches what PJ is probably experiencing as he "leaves," floating in a peculiar way.  How the stars don't look familiar anymore.  He feels very still, and yet he senses his "vessel" knows where to go.  He knows he's far from everyone.  Yet he can see that we, those he left behind, are sad.

We, Ground Control, lose his signal.  We lose contact.   We cannot reach him, or think he cannot hear us.

And the song, just like it did in life, ends abruptly.. fading away... leaving us to make sense of things.  To deal with things.
PJ, this is Ground Control.
Know we already believe even in this journey, you will excel.  You will accomplish things others do not expect.  Someday, we will be on our way to join you there.  And when we meet again, we will praise you like we always have for your courage, your skill, your generosity, your love.
Planet Earth is blue, but only because we're still missing you so much and believing you're gone for good.  But we will soon embrace the fact we will have a chance to meet again.  And that you will always be watching over us, seeing us from past 100,000 miles.
We love you, PJ.
I'd like to end this blogpost for now with the music video of the song from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.



Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills
And put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom (Ten, Nine, Eight...)
Commencing countdown
Engines on (Seven, Six, Five...)
Check ignition
And may God's love be with you (Four, Three, Two, One, Liftoff...)


This is Ground Control
To Major Tom
You've really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it's time to leave the capsule
If you dare

This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I'm stepping through the door
And I'm floating
In a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do

Though I'm past
One hundred thousand miles
I'm feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much
She knows

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit's dead,
There's something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you....

Here am I floating
Round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do


You are a friend.  A brother.
You are someone I will dearly miss.
Soar high, PJ.  Don't look back.
We will be right behind you.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Eye-opening and thought-provoking...



I realize that in the jobs where I have excelled, they were because I didn't care about the money.
It was because I really LOVED what I was doing.  And was given the space to be creative the way I wanted to.

That was tempered with my hitting my deadlines and being responsible.
And that's what I realize I wished some of my co-workers could learn to do.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July Update

So, I've been quite quiet on this blog for some time.   I will admit now that the silence was to a great part a reflection of how some parts of the year affected me.  There were some events in the first quarter and more so on the second quarter which kinda hit me hard.  But thankfully, this third quarter has been generally getting better with every passing week.

But enough.  Time to remind myself of what I have accomplished and celebrated in the last few months.

I now proudly can say I have some stuff in the table top gaming industry.

First, I helped translate/proof read the English release of the Italian Story Game Cartooner, which can be purchased on Drivethrurpg.   Originally I was being asked to review the game for my gaming blog, Tagsessions, but when I got the drafts I realized I wanted to help tighten the text and make the English easier and clearer to grasp.   To my surprise, Giovanni Micolucci - the game's creator - not only agreed to let me help with the English, but even added me to the book's credits!

So this marks my first official participation beyond merely just being a playtester (as I have been for other games such as Eloy Lasanta's Part-Time Gods or the 5th incarnation of Hero, I think it was).

Then, there was the Kickstarter for the game Heroine, which I backed.  The game allows a group to play a session where a Heroine goes through an adventure following staples such as Through the Looking Glass, Wizard of Oz and the like.   Josh Jordan, the creator of the game, messaged me to ask if I wanted to try writing a version of Heroine set in the Philippines and I jumped at the opportunity.

And so, Girls Elsewhere is now available on Drivethrurpg as well.  And I do hope that more and more of you guys check it out and support it.   I know it isn't anything that fancy, me being a contributor now to a book, but for me it is a HUGE step forward in realizing my dreams.

And then there's my job at Indigo Entertainment as a Game Designer.  I tell you, it still boggles the mind how fortunate and fulfilling it is to be in my position.  I design games for a living.  I come up with ideas and work out mechanics, systems, stories and experiences for others to enjoy and get paid to do it.  And I've even worked with greats such as Cartoon Network and the like.  Oh my god.  I tell you, I still am overwhelmed by the fact I have this job.    Even more awesome?  Part of my job is helping the gang experience and get exposed to even more games, so yeah I've been running various table-top games and story games for the last few months to help broaden the horizons of those who are willing to try it at work.    So in a way, you can say I am paid to run games too.  And now, I just might be doing this as a full-time job.

Maybe those are the signs I have to finally see.

I had dreams for film.  For comics.  For television.
Film and television kept getting side-tracked by relationships, by wars on terror, and by financial problems.  The dreams of bringing my parents home an Oscar someday were I guess dreams that were meant to be forgotten.  Wrote a bunch of scripts.  Some even got produced as plays in Los Banos, or were considered for short film treatment.  But naw, I doubt anyone even noticed or heard of them.  

Comics kept getting overwhelmed by cliques.  By lack of support.  I'd come up with cool, or original things to do, and others would barely notice.  Tenth year anniversary plans for my comic, Diliman, fell so flat I really felt crushed.  And mind you, I really had thought my friends would be there to celebrate with me.  And now, I can see so many of my friends moving forwards with their creations.  Touching people's lives.  Inspiring fans.

For some reason, there just wasn't the support or attention that I expected from them.   And to think I'd gone as far as directly asking for some friends before to support it.    I even got featured in a documentary, but surprisingly not a blimp on the social media side.  Not even after I shared the news with friends whom I had hoped would at least spread the word too. Yeah.  I guess its a sign for me to realize that those areas are just not meant for me.   And maybe if I ever try to dip my toes into those waters again, they'll be just for me to go for it and not for me to want to find an audience for it anymore.  

Maybe it was about time that I've seen what has been in front of me all this time.

Gaming is my niche.

And maybe it is about time I've focused my time instead on just making more and more gaming experiences for more to enjoy and celebrate.

So I promise myself to his these goals.  And here's a peek of what I have in the pipeline.
I have to finally finish and release the following:

Muses
A meta-game role-playing game where even the players themselves are characters in the game.  Play Immortals that wear Masks to enjoy the limitations of a mortal life.  In this game, using meta-game knowledge is part of the fun!  But beware, the Enemy lurks and worst of all, is the only person you really trust.

MEM:RE
In a world where you can remix your brain to tap into memories you need, where does identity and loyalty lie?  The Mission must be accomplished before time runs out.  And unlike most role-playing games, in Mem:RE games do unfold in real-time.

And maybe find a way to compile and release my other creations that are currently on Tagsessions.

Kumiho of the Nine: A KoreanDrama RPG
Cat Dreams/Neko Yume : A Ghibli Inspired RPG
Survivor the RPG
Black/White
Adventure Time Advanced
Adventure Time: Simplified RPG

Thankfully, my partner Rocky, has been tremendously supportive through all these moments in my life.  And so many other friends out there have been very encouraging and uplifting in their faith in my talents and abilities.  And even more, gaming idols such as Eloy Lasanta and John Wick have been willing to throw me an encouraging message or two when the going gets tough.

Life has been geekily amazing.
And it can only get better!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

HAPPY PRIDE you all!

Rocky and I are celebrating Pride at O Bar Ortigas this weekend!


See you guys there!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails