Philippine GameDev Expo or PGDX concluded its first successful run at SMX Manila last August 19-20, 2023. On this post I am going to tell you why I decided to attend this event as part of the media—plus share the stories behind the photos I captured from my stay there.

Normally you won’t see me dabble my feet into this scene, but given the following reasons below, I felt motivated to share with you this event organized by the Game Developers Association of the Philippines and CBZN Perspective:

  • Game Development is an export industry. BusinessWorld reports that the Department of Trade and Industry is confident that the country can position itself as a major player in the game dev sector globally.
  • Filipinos make great games nowadays. Even a non-player like me would get interested in playing local games nowadays, compared to my observation in the past decade. After looking at the list of games featured in the Indie Game Stars area, I’d say that there are hidden gems that hide their power levels, waiting for someone to review them in full.
    • I’ve seen San Fernando in person and felt impressed by how welcoming the Fernando Amorsolo Art Foundation is when they allowed Amorsolo’s paintings to be used in this game.
    • Buko Studios’ HypurrX has a catchy name and impressive aesthetics
    • Window Garden is perhaps the only game I played among all of them, and after speed-running the tutorial and looking at the contributions the game’s community has done (which by the way was on display), it’s safe to say that it stands to its promise of bringing a cozy vibe.
  • Now is a great time to make games. The way game development has improved, the way games are distributed have also improved (thanks, Steam), and if Malaysia was able to come up with No Straight Roads, and Indonesia with Coffee Talk, I’m sure we can make something great as well. We already have Good Knight, how about a Good Knight 2?
  • Content Creators. As the editor for VTuber NewsDrop, I’ve seen several VTubers play games. Even in the past, there’s always that challenge of playing the same game over and over again. As a variety streamer, you need to serve a different variety of content—games included. Indie Games are a good option for your content plan.
    • You’re not a VTuber from a bigshot agency; you can’t rely on simply playing Minecraft or Apex Legends alone—people get bored, and you have to bring something new to the table. This goes to all content creators out there. This is me speaking from an audience perspective.
    • When Elle and Booster (NecroNews) was with NewsDrop, they showed me that publishers give keys to content creators who want to try their first dibs in a game that’s being developed or is about to be released. Platforms that connect game publishers to content creators exist, and I am just unaware (or ignorant) of it.
    • I am sure that indie game devs have to invest in the marketing mix to spread the word that they exist, so my objective at Philippine GameDev Expo is to showcase the games which I felt can resonate with VTubers—and I did not came back home empty-handed, as I have 10 games listed.
    • I was not alone in the objective I had in mind. You remember Good Knight? One of its developers Alex Valdez is a good friend of mine—he is also a good friend of the country’s VTubing scene, as he was instrumental in marketing the butt-clenching game to VTubers. He’s hands on introducing me to fellow game devs, and I am all happy to meet everyone there.
    • Of course you may want to tap to the popular VTubers in the scene, just like HoloCure. This game (heavily inspired by Vampire Survivors) made by one person who just love VTubers so much. What Asmongold said about this game hit me: “Oh my God, 35,000 people playing this game. Wow. More people than New World. More people than Overwatch 2, actually.”—he had to check on SteamDB if what he said was right—“Oh my God, it actually is.”
      • We are talking about an independent game built by one guy who one guy’ed the ever-funking Blizzard (I checked NecroNews how many funk-ups they have, and it’s at 102).

tl;dr—Here’s my ideal scenario:

  • Indie game devs make games to build their audience.
  • VTubers and content creators in general constantly need new games for their audience.
  • Indie game is seen by VTubers, likes it, and decides they want to play it on stream with chat.
  • The audience gets into the action, backseating the VTuber or just gets stunned.
  • Audience decides that the game is a banger, and wants to play it themselves.
Philippine GameDev Expo Rankun Rumble Royale

Setting aside the bigger games showcased at the Philippine GameDev Expo, I got lucky when I saw Rumble Royale’s new VTuber Ran-kun. I’ve already had my first meet with the mascot VTuber posted on NewsDrop’s socials (the one on X/Twitter is the better version).

pgdx keepsakes post 002

Lastly, I was invited to a media hangout with Wizmax Philippines, While everyone was asking how the products can compete with the existing market players in the PC peripherals and accessories market, I asked the distributor AM4x4 if they already have ambassadors lined up to endorse their brand. AM4x4 head Alfonso Martinez happily answered that, and you can watch his reply on Facebook.

Philippine GameDev Expo in Photos

Capping off the post, have some photos from the scene. Thanks for reading this post about the Philippine GameDev Expo all the way till the end, and I hope you learned a thing or two. Meet you around soon!

Walk-Through Video

Here’s a bonus walk-through video from the event, which you can watch in your widescreen monitor. Enjoy!