gamejournos in itjourno

05/19/05 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

I’ve founded a new org that aims to spur the growth of gaming journalism in the Philippines, and ITJourno Asia, the subscription-only site for Asian tech journalists, came out with a feature on the Asian Gaming Journalists Association (Gamejournos) today.

You’ll be hearing more about AGJA/Gamejournos, and of course we’ll be covering the UGotGame Pro game development competition and expo this Saturday, May 21, at Greenbelt 1 Expo Exchange. The expo will start at 11 a.m. You wouldn’t want to miss the game demos from our Filipino game developers; the open beta copy of the country’s first 3D fighting game for the PC, Away Agila, the preview of Level Up!’s R.O.S.E. Online Philippines, which will launch its free open beta stage on June 2; and of course, the cosplay.

Ranulf Goss, chairperson of the Manila chapter of the International Game Developers Association, also invited us to talk about AGJA/Gamejournos, so you might catch our slot at around 4 p.m.

Here’s the article that came out in ITJourno Asia:

Media News

(Updated) Hacks create first Asian gaming writers league

By Tan Lili
19/05/2005 10:35:00 AM

A slew of Filipino gaming journalists have come together to create the Asian Gaming Journalists Association, aimed at creating recognition for gaming as a legitimate news beat, and at fostering outstanding and original Asian gaming journalism.

The association, otherwise known as Gamejournos, was founded by three Philippines-based gaming writers, said co-founder Joey Alarilla, co-editor of gaming site and Infotech columnist at

“My co-founders are Erwin Oliva and Alex Villafania, our Hackenslash reporters, and we also owe a lot to Leo Magno, my Hackenslash co-editor and the guy who created our Hackenslash gaming news site in the first place,” Alarilla told ITJourno.

The aim of the organisation is, simply, “to devote more coverage to gaming in its own right – as an industry and as an emerging lifestyle,” Alarilla said.

“Gaming has been around for years, but it’s only fairly recently that it has become more mainstream, and I figured we should do all we can to accelerate that process and get more people to understand the different aspects of gaming.”

Gamejournos boasts an impressive startup of twenty-two members, including Jing Garcia of Speed/Manila Standard, Edwin Sallan of Manila Bulletin, Joel Pinaroc of Manila Times, Geoffrey Ramos and Lawrence Casiraya of ComputerWorld Philippines, Emir Samonte of Stuff Philippines, Jason Moll of Speed, Ed Geronia and Vince Coscoluella of GamesMaster, and Caroline Pajaron and Myron Mariano of Men’s Health.

Joel Tan and Badong Reyes of Cebu Daily News, columnist Don Heraña, and freelance journalists Luna Cruz, Titus Abola, Erick Garayblas and Aiza Tancinco are also part of the group.

Gamejournos is so new it has not yet held a meeting – its first is slated for May 31 – but Alarilla already wants to go regional.

“I know convergence is an overused word, but with AGJA/Gamejournos we hope to bring together the different people who cover the gaming industry and write game reviews, whether they normally would have been classified as IT, lifestyle, entertainment or business journalists,” Alarilla said.

“For pragmatic reasons, we’re of course first trying to organise the different gaming journalists in the Philippines, but we hope that gaming journalists all over Asia will also join us in this exciting adventure and help accelerate the growth of gaming journalism across the region.”

Despite the burgeoning growth of gaming in Asia, Alarilla felt that Asian gaming journalists have yet to fully seize the opportunities before them, and go full throttle on the gaming beat.

“I appreciate great content from US and other Western gaming publications, but at the end of the day as an Asian gamer I would like to know what’s happening in Asia, and to read stories tailored to my own experiences,” Alarilla said.

“I know it’s difficult to write original stories specific to our local gaming markets, particularly since many of us are multitasking as IT journalists or covering other beats.

“At some point, however, different Asian publications will get serious about gaming, devoting the necessary manpower and budget to covering this beat.”

The first Gamejournos meeting will be held on May 31 at Extreme Gaming Grounds in Greenhills, San Juan, Metro Manila, the Philippines, from 8pm to 2am. To find out more and join the mailing list, contact Alarilla at

See you at UGotGame Pro.



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  1. Hello Joey!

    I’m interested in Gamejournos, any place I can chat with you about this for more details? :]


  2. I would have wanted to go to UGotGame Pro myself but I had to enroll for grad school that day. Anyway, my bro participated and came home with a demo disc of the entries (as well as a lot of cosplay pics, yay!).

    From what I’ve seen of Away Aguila, its biggest problem is the platform it was developed for. PC fighting games, as a rule, don’t do very well. The money is really in console development when it comes to the genre. Playing fighting games on a keyboard is far from optimal, as anyone who’se ever played FX Fighter or (heaven forbid) used emulators will attest to.

    There are also some other issues, like how the player can see the wire mesh of the character models when the camera zooms in too close, or how the voice acting can use some retouching. Also, on ocassion characters will speak in a voice that’s not their own (we once had a case where the female character had a man’s voice). But these are minor compared to the question of platform.

    That said, this can work if it had a strong online component. From what I’ve seen of it, it seems to play a bit like Destrega from the PS1 (I may be wrong, I still need to play it myself). If that’s the case, imagine having four or more people duking it out in one big online arena. That would be great, if the network code will be nowhere near as laggy as the code for Ragnarok Online. It would also give the game a distinct advantage over Tekken 5 and the upcoming Soul Calibur 3, two good games with no online play.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. If you also know of any place in need on game reviewers, I’d like to try my hand at it. Grad school tuition ain’t cheap.

  3. After observing Away Aguila in play for a bit closer, I think I finally have a good idea of what it’s like. It’s nothing like Destrega as I had thought, but more of a weapon-based fighting game. This puts it in the same category as Soul Calibur and Samurai Shodown.

    From what I’ve seen, combos are out of the question in this game. I’d really love to see this game succeed, I really do because it’s Philippine-made. But it needs some serious debugging. As I said, it’s tough to chain moves together, impossible in fact. There is no concept of priority or combos whatsoever in the game. Moves don’t convey a sense of impact at all.

    The framerate is also choppy, and that is a fighting game no-no because moves are frame-dependent. Moves also don’t convey a sense of impact when they hit. Collisions don’t feel like collisions, it is as if the characters just flinch at the slightest poke of a sword, or for that matter get hurt by the passing wind generated by the sword’s swing.

    According to my source, the creators said in the conference that the beta is apparently already representative of the finished product. If it is, then I certainly hope they don’t plan to make a profit. Not to be mean, but the game still needs a year or two in development. The animations look very choppy. It reminded me of the original Battle Arena Toshinden in places, only with worse collision detection, effects, and animations. That’s not good considering how old that game is. To be honest, I’ve seen DigiPen students come up with better games, and those are just free demos made by students as part of their homework. Away Aguila is supposed to be commercial but student projects play better than it does.

    It’s not that I hate Philippine made games. I hate shoddily made games. Anito for example did not have the best programming in the world as evidenced by the fact that its Diablo 2-level visuals can slow-down a Pentium-4 computer that can run Doom 3 perfectly at the high setting. But you know what? You can tell that they tried, and that if they had more resources and more time, the game would have been a real killer. And for a Philippine-made game, it was great. It was an excellent first effort. It’s not fair to compare it to other games because it was the initial attempt, and later attempts must get better.

    Away Aguila though fails on so many levels it’s inexcusable. It’s slow paced, combo-phobic, poorly animated and poorly voiced (a fact the devlopers apparently admit to). It’s also easily outclassed by free MUGEN-based fighting games available online. This of course begs the question: will I pay my hard-earned money for a game that’s less enjoyable than some free download I can get online? Of course not.

    Again, I am not doing this to diss the game. I am just disappointed over the fact that it can still be much, much better. My personal piece of advice to the developer is to give it more time in development and to iron out the kinks first, because as it is, it will become a footnote in videogame history and nothing more.

  4. hi jaczie, thanks, maybe you could e-mail me at


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