My AMA for r/PHGamers

Because I promised.

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14 minutes

Hi, I’m JP, creator of r/PHGamers and r/PHBuildaPC. Things I used to do in gaming: Write for Game! Magazine, run a gaming blog, host a tech review channel, stream a D&D show, and design mobile games. Now I produce livestreams for clients. Ask me and the new mod team anything! #

Hi r/PHGamers,

As promised, here’s the AMA! For those of you new to Reddit in general, an AMA (Ask Me Anything) is an online Q&A session where Reddit’s community asks a guest (or guests) questions. I’ve done one before on r/Philippines, but never in my own subreddit, and it’s been 9 years since the last one so why not.

Some of our new mods have also agreed to participate as part of the panel you can ask questions to, so feel free to direct questions to specific users or all of us as a group if you plan to drop by and ask something.

Because of the time difference (I’m based in LA) and to accommodate users throughout the day, the AMA will take place over the whole weekend. I have no idea how many questions might be asked (lol maybe it’ll just be crickets) but I promise I’ll try to address as many of them as possible. Feel free to stick to the spirit of an AMA and truly ask us anything, but know that I personally will prioritize questions of substance before any memey ones. Though I do love the memes.

I know not everyone is happy with the state of the subreddit and promise to try not shy away from questions no matter how critical, difficult, and/or personal. I only ask that you keep it clean, and keep it classy.

Your online janitor,

How different is writing for a mag vs writing for a blog? Do you feel like having a printed medium allows for more opportunities to, say, get press access to events or conventions?

Hi, thank you for your question. Writing for Game! Magazine was my first freelance writing gig, and it taught me a lot about the publication process. When you write your own blog, you have a lot more freedom to say what you want, how you want to say it, and when to publish. You’re your own editor, after all.

With Game! and I imagine most other publications, the topics, article length, deadline, and to an extent, tone and writing style, are all decided by the publisher. I had the pleasure of working with good editors, so none of those restrictions bothered me; I considered it just a different way of doing the same work.

The perks of working with a bigger publication house did include—as you suggested—opportunities to go to events and conventions, as well as accessing a wider audience, having reliable payouts, and networking within the game and publishing industries. Because of Game! Magazine, I was noticed by someone who would end up becoming my first boss at a mobile game studio. Thanks to that, my career spun off into the wild wild west of indie game development, and eventually to where I am now in livestream production.

Writing for Game! Magazine was also how I’d end up meeting the woman who’d become my wife.

Can we get more details on your D&D show and some games you’ve developed? Kinda got me interested.

Also, just gotta say, love the current moderation. The sub used to be flooded by PC building posts and I’m just glad the sub’s back to actual gaming-related posts now.

Thanks for the feedback. It’s a long-overdue effort; I’ve wanted to steer the sub back towards its roots for a while now, but haven’t really had the time or support to put into taking a shot at it. It became possible now thanks to the help of u/lunassalunes from u/thePhilippinesMods and Global Advocate Program who helped organize the mod recruitment program and vet the applicants, so let’s acknowledge them as well.

The D&D show was called Dicecast, and if you look around you might still find remnants of it in this sub and on the wider web as a whole. It was a concentrated effort at putting together the first real, long-form, actual-play Dungeons & Dragons show made in the Philippines.

Through friends and friends-of-friends, I found like-minded people who were committed and willing enough to put up with my directorship and play weekly adventures in front of a camera for hours on end and no real promise of anything to follow. We managed 21 episodes worth of content, including a one-shot held at GGNetwork.TV’s content creator space in the TV5 studio, several on-location streams at event spaces in partnership with La Salle CSB, Adventurers Anonymous, and Gamers & GMs Philippines.

When it became unfeasible to continue running the game for various reasons—work, school, health, life in general, etc.—I continued running weekly livestreams with Marc, one of the campaign’s players. We played D&D-based or D&D-adjacent games like Baldur’s Gate II, Neverwinter Nights, and Divinity Original Sin 2 on a segment called Vidya Vvednesdays. We also hosted TableTalk, a weekly news show talking about all things tabletop-gaming. Most of these later Dicecast productions are still on the Facebook page.

Due to the experience I gained while learning how to run livestreams, produce shows, negotiate with partners/vendors/talent, etc., I was able to turn to freelancing as a livestream director during the pandemic. Many businesses and event organizers turned to running their events online, and I spun my experience with Dicecast into a service that could help these entities pivot to the new normal. And that experience is what I used to land where I am now, as a livestream production specialist for a marketing company. So even though we didn’t even earn enough from Dicecast to cover the cost of the equipment I paid for out of my own pocket, it ended up providing exactly what I needed to turn the hobby into an enjoyable, fulfilling career.

And it worked out well for my former partners, too; one of them is doing the same thing I am back in Manila, another was able to add it to their already long-list of personal livestreaming accomplishments, and a third found connections through Dicecast that helped propel their own personal interests. A couple of us got to meet and play Overcooked with Maria Ozawa, that was fun.

As for the games I worked on: when I was still a Game Designer, I dipped my fingers into various popular (at the time) IPs. Chain Chronicles by Sega I think was the biggest project, I did some character dialog/localization there. The same for Brave Frontier, and Lord of the Dragons. Some of the original IP and earliest work I did was for an indie studio called One Global Apps Inc., which unfortunately no longer exists and all the games were pulled from the various app stores they were in. There are a few videos still on their YouTube channel of games in beta stages though. This one was my favorite, and it won an award in a Samsung competition.

This sub is almost at 100K users, iirc r/ph seems more active like around that time but maybe bcuz politics. The thing is I feel like we lack enough zoomers posting for popularity and article discussions for substance. This sub is on the right direction with a lot of askers/helpers post just need more engagement for more perspective. Do you feel the same?

My feelings on this might seem controversial but I actually prefer less activity. I’ve said this before: I’m not actually comfortable with being “in charge” of large communities. I don’t like public speaking. Nothing about moderating or community management feels like it comes naturally to me, and it takes a lot of personal motivation for me to keep doing it.

When the userbase started growing, I was getting worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with managing it. But for the most part, y’all have been pretty good at self-managing what you do and don’t want to see. I’ve only had to step in fairly sporadically to remove obvious troll and spam accounts. In recent times though, it’s become more of a problem; hence the new moderator recruitment phase.

I believe in the saying, your vibe attracts your tribe. The kind of atmosphere we encourage in the sub reinforces the kind of environment it will grow to become. So it will take some time, but I think as long as we keep posting, upvoting, commenting on, and curating the content we want to see, it’ll eventually get there.

Good evening. Thank you for doing an AMA.

What kind of skills/experiences from your past works related to gaming carried over to your current one? Also would it be okay to ask for the name of the livestreams that you produce?

I think people generally underestimate the value of soft-skills like time management, interpersonal communication skills, the ability to find answers/solutions when you yourself don’t yet have the knowledge/tools to tackle problems, etc. These kinds of skills are absolutely necessary to function in most areas of the working world, especially when you’re working as part of a team. Communication skills are important even if you’re a solo freelancer; how else would you be able to secure clients, negotiate contracts, and get paid?

My capacity as a game designer and project manager in the studios I’ve worked at was equally divided between working on specific game systems, and working on my teams. Sometimes I’d be writing game design documentation, which is basically technical writing and diagraming of how a game should run. I’d use disciplines from game theory, UX design, sound design, basic word processing/spreadsheeting, and command of the English language to communicate clearly and concisely what exactly the game should look and sound and play like, most of the time even before any pre-alpha builds were made, let alone conceptualized.

Other times I’d be making sure programmers and artists were given everything they needed—instructions, training, tools, time, space, whatever—to finish their deliverables as close to “on time” as possible. If that meant making sure they were kept out of useless meetings (which means I’d attend in their stead, and give them the key points later), I’d do it. If that meant making the call to have people stay an extra hour after work to finish a build, I’d do it and stay with them. This ability to make judgement calls that take into account the needs of all parties involved (the company, the client, and the workers) is also often sadly overlooked.

If I were to pinpoint what kind of technical or knowledge-based skills carry over, it’d definitely be a general knack for problem-solving which I feel like was honed through stumbling through a lot of super basic coding/programming in the past. I am not a programmer; the code I’m most comfortable working with is HTML/CSS, and even then, only barely enough to have made look halfway decent. But learning to code even just a little bit taught me the discipline and mindset needed to be able to take on all kinds of technical dilemmas.

Livestreams I’ve produced include global symposiums for the World Bank Philippines, Climathon Pasig, some book launches, one of Asian Forensic Sciences Network’s week-long annual meetings, all the streams for Dicecast and its partner groups that I mentioned here, and my own personal Twitch channels. I am currently producing livestreams for my company’s clients who I am not sure if I can disclose yet. I will say that one of them is a popular worldwide cosmetics brand.

I envy people that makes money from their passion. More power to you.

Thank you. It took a long time of making ends meet from work I was unpassionate about (I used to be an ad copywriter, SNS handler, BPO agent, and a few other things I’ve already forgotten) before I wound up here. But the goal was always (and still is) to enjoy what I do for a living, so I slowly made that my reality until the right combination of skill, networks, negotiation, and luck made it happen.

Alin sa mga gig na to ang best paying?

My current job pays the most. It’s a full-time, salaried position, so not really a “gig” by the common definition. When I was still freelancing, being a livestream director was my highest-paying gig yet. I paid for my old RTX 3080 with one event alone.

When I contributed to Game! Magazine as a college student, they paid me a flat rate per article. Between PHP 500-1000. My blog & D&D show were not money-making ventures, just passion projects. Hosting review videos for UnboxGuru paid me a talent fee of about 5k per video.

“Best paying” is highly subjective though. Yes, livestream directing paid me the most, but it also has a higher startup cost and time investment cost to keep doing. By comparison, hosting videos and recording voiceovers was easy money for me; I just have to show up, nail the lines, and go. Yes, each recording session paid less than one livestream, but I didn’t have to attend so many meetings, run tech rehearsals for so many panelists, or even need any equipment at all.

You have to factor in what it costs you (both in terms of time and money) to buy equipment, to build a portfolio and network, market yourself, maintain equipment, educate/train yourself, etc. If you’re in your client’s budget (which is another thing to figure out, and knowing how to say no to lowballer clients is something every freelancer will need to learn too), they will pay your asking price. It’s your job to make sure you’re worth that price.

Having been partners in several projects together, what’s the crime you think we’d have a chance of getting away with AND get the biggest possible payout?

You and I could probably very easily have started a rugpull scam of some sort. Crypto, NFT, heck even just starting a crowdfunding campaign to make a boardgame/tabletop RPG campaign setting and just vanish it into thin air.

We’d come up with convincing details of the project, sell the idea to tech-hungry, money-hungry, and/or game-hungry nerds, and do just enough research to come off as knowledgeable in whatever we were scamming people on. I’d have used one of my foreign accounts to collect the cash, laundered it through a bunch of proxies and dummy transactions, and put it all into crypto wallets where they’d sit for a few years until the inevitable controversy over our exploits blew over.

Then, when the coast was clear and things quieted down, I’d cash in the crypto, split it with you, and buy a house.


Can we promote a shop that is into piracy pero when it comes to repairs of consoles eh talaga namang 100% sureball na gawa with warranty?

Nakita ko lang yung drama na to sa PlayStation Philippines and yes, medyo elitista ang dating nila (admins and mods).

The point of keeping piracy-enabling talks out of r/PHGamers is to protect it and its users from what happened to r/Piracy (even r/Piracy has a rule against discussing where to pirate specific titles). What someone or some company does outside of this subreddit is their business. But if referring to whatever shops or vendors you want to recommend to people causes users in r/PHGamers to also share links, information, instruction, or encouragement that can lead to the act of committing piracy, then at that point comments and posts will be removed.

In case you missed it, the subreddit’s rules on piracy discussions were changed a couple months ago. They are more relaxed than before, and we now actually tolerate the intellectual discussion of piracy. If you feel like extolling the virtues of software piracy as an ethical practice, you may. You can go ahead and tell the world you frequently sail the seven seas if you want to. As long as in your discussion, you do not write anything that could suggest to Reddit admins (and more importantly their advertisers) that this subreddit endorses, enables, and/or enacts software piracy. It really is that simple.

Now, I have no say on how other people will react to anyone’s piracy-related claims. Some people are a-okay with it, others vehemently against. They are free to agree, disagree, vote accordingly, report, block, ignore it completely, or even engage in good-faith debate. The sentiment of the individual should not be assumed as one shared by the subreddit as a collective, so at the very least don’t go around accusing r/PHGamers as a whole of hypocrisy if things don’t go your way.

TL;DR yes but remember that actions have consequences.