Our Passion for Academic Partnerships Flourishes in Q2 2019

Our Passion for Academic Partnerships Flourishes in Q2 2019

Continuing a Robust Tradition

During the second quarter, we bolstered our endeavors to reach out and build partnerships with academic institutions, continuing our mission to empower the academe and help elevate the Philippine game development industry. In just the first month, we participated in our first ever events with the computer science departments of two big universities in the Philippines, University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST). For the rest of the quarter, we continued to share more of our learning and experience to students, scouted out potential future members of our team and cemented our long-standing partnerships with the academe.

Breaking New Ground: Our First Inroads into UP and UST

We started our academic partnership activities strongly in the second quarter by participating in the UP CS 196 Internship Fair last April 1st. This was the first event Secret 6 did with the UP Diliman Department of Computer Science as an official internship partner, although the students have had exposure to us via the UP ACLE event held by UP Cursor last October 2018.

Secret 6 was represented by Internal Operations Manager, Ralph Quiambao, and our Employee Relations Associate, Kreuzz Arceo. Ralph gave a short talk about our company and our internship opportunities. Upon seeing the visuals in the presentation, students immediately recognized the AAA titles from which the game assets were from. They had a lot of inquiries and were very interested in game development, a specialized field that is not currently covered in their curriculum.

We look forward to working with our new interns from UP in the coming months. This a great start to our partnership, one that we hope will give us opportunities to share our passion for and knowledge of game development in the coming months.

Within the month, we continued with our new school collaborations by participating in the Gamer vs Programmer Game Development Workshop for the graduating class of the Institute of Information and Computing Science of the University of Santo Tomas (UST-IICS). The workshop, intended to orient the students about the game development industry, was led by our Secret 6 teammates Ishy Socro and Jem Bernaldez.

Jem Bernaldez, UST Alumnus and Secret 6 3D Art Team Lead, shared about his experience and growth as an artist and an Art Director.

Secret 6 Game Designer Ishy Socro has been recognized and awarded for her work in puzzle design, narrative, and visual direction. Nonetheless, she continues to learn and improve on her craft and shares her learning on her recently launched indie game devlog on Youtube, Ishified. With four years of industry experience under her belt, along with a 7-year Global Game Jam streak, she had a lot to share with the students about the game development industry and its opportunities.

Himself a graduate of UST (BFA Advertising 2010), Jem Bernaldez currently leads the 3D Art Team for Secret 6, credited on titles such as The Last of Us and Uncharted 2 and 3, and is also the Art Director for our very own award-winning competitive first-person shooter, Project Xandata. Outside of his work at Secret 6, he is renowned in the indie art scene through his works on Facebook and Tumblr. His rejected pitch for a morena Darna recently went viral, instigating the social media phenomenon, #SigawDarna. The students were very interested in his journey from being a passionate fan of games, comics, and cartoons to flourishing as an artist and art director.

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know the graduating class of UST-IICS!

While they were still in the middle of considering their job options, the graduating students who attended the workshop on April 27th were given some food for thought on how a career in game development could be in their future.

Empowering Partnerships: APC Career Expo 2019 and IGDA Manila Dev Job Fair

On April 27th, Internal Operations Manager Ralph Quiambao, together with QA-UX Analyst Neil Alcuran, attended a career expo at the latter’s Alma Mater, Asia Pacific College. Secret 6 was happy to participate and meet new student talent at the weekend event.

Internal Operations Manager Ralph Quiambao and Administrative Assitant Juno Dela Cruz were both glad to have met many talented game developers during the IGDA Philippines’ Job Fair: Break Into the Local Game Industry.

A few weeks later, on May 18th, Secret 6 joined up with other members of the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) Philippines community, when they held a job fair called “Break Into the Local Game Industry” for game development companies and job-seekers. Several companies were represented during the event at the iAcademy Buendia Campus, including members of GDAP (Game Developers Association of the Philippines) and other local studios. All in all, participating was a great way
to foster ties with the community and introduce ourselves to future members of the industry.

Championing Game Development: iAcademy Computing Week and Thesis Conference

iAcademy Forge, the school’s organization for aspiring game developers, organized the Game Development Talk last May 6th as part of their Computing Week. Secret 6’s Michelle Gojo and Pat Carlos led their own talks which focused on industry standards and the importance of self-learning.

Thank you to the officers, members, and partners of iAcademy Forge for having us!

For the Game Development Talk, Mich Gojo shared about the exceptional qualities that Secret 6 looks for in its candidates, highlighting their roles as creative partners for AAA games and award-winning studios. As a Project Manager for 3D at Secret 6, she understands client demands and the talent and behaviors needed to fulfill their requirements. Known for her project management and communication skills, she works with teams from some of the biggest companies in the games and is credited for her work in titles such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Just Cause 4, among many others.

Pat Carlos joined Secret 6 at 18 years of age. Now 26, has grown to be one of the company’s most respected members. His impeccable eye for detail in both technical and creative elements of a game is part of what makes him successful as a Technical Development Lead. That day, he shared about what else makes for a flourishing career in game development: polishing his skills and constantly challenging himself with self-learning initiatives. From being inspired by animated films and video games when he was younger, to being the solo developer for Secret 6’s own game Bug `A Bound on the AppStore, to being recognized with awards at the Global Game Jam and eventually being sent to Casual Connect Singapore and Unite Melbourne 2015—Pat’s journey to becoming a successful game creator for multiple platforms highlighted not just the need for talent and skills, but also the thirst for learning as the keys to success in this field.

The talks elicited a lot of questions about the skills needed to qualify as developers and artists for companies that cater to award-winning clients, indicating great interest among the students in joining the game development industry.

Within just a few weeks, another gamedev event was held at the iAcademy Buendia Campus. On May 24th, the Game Development Thesis Conference was organized by Ralph De Vera, an Animator at Secret 6 and part-time faculty at DLSU-CSB and iAcademy. Held along with the Senior students’ presentation of their final thesis, the conference had the objective of deepening the knowledge of the students through the lessons shared by several industry professionals.

In her talk, 2D Creative Lead Hya Lawas shared tips that can help game developers choose their games’ graphical styles!

There were four featured speakers, one of which was our 2D Creative Lead, Hya Lawas, who was also part of the panel for the thesis presentation later that day. She specializes in Character Conceptualization, Game Asset Creation and UI Design. Over the past six years, she has worked with various clients such as Pocket Gems, Social Point, Sega and Cartoon Network. In her talk titled “The Art Of: Making ‘The Art Of’” she discussed the process and factors involved in choosing a game’s overall graphical style. The talk turned out as a big hit with the students, a testament to the preparation and substantial content that she put into it.

We’re happy to have been able to share the stage with fellow game developers who are all amazing in their fields!

Some of the speakers later took on the role of panelists for the senior thesis presentation, sharing insights, advice, and valuable lessons for the students. The event drew more attendees than initially expected, attracting not just college seniors but also juniors and all the way down to senior high school students. It was a great opportunity for them to learn first-hand about the different aspects of game development from industry professionals.

Planting Seeds, Reaping Rewards

As we share our knowledge and passion through our academic partnership activities, Secret 6 continues to plant seeds for game development in the Philippines. The biggest reward for us is having the opportunity to share our experience and learning with the future leaders of our industry. That in itself makes all these endeavors worthwhile. We look forward to stoking the fires of game development and forging new partnerships with other academic institutions in the future.

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