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Gamania in Taiwan: Day 1

Posted on Wednesday, September 7 @ 17:46:58 PST by

Either Gamania loves the slow-burn approach or they just like the idea of stuffing us for the slaughter that is the first ever Gamania Game Show, gathering lambs journalists from US, Europe, Japan, Korea, China, and Hong Kong to wish our stomachs were bigger "witness the unveiling of the company's wide range of digital entertainment products". Quickly, that means a sneak peek at four titles: Core Blaze, Langrisser Schwarz, Dream Drops, and Tiara Concerto. (I still think that the Gamania Game Show should be called "Gamania Mania!". It just works too well.)

But apart from a quick HQ tour of the Gamania offices, which spans about 11 floors in an 18-floor building in the city dubbed "New Taiwan", they decided to wine and dine us until the 14-course celebratory dinner (plus 4-course alcohol sampling) where we all just bowed down to their might and returned to our hotel rooms with the urge to take up a 2-week fasting program for the very first time in our lives. Wait, was that too vague for you? Well, my inner Anthony Bourdain made a list of everything I ate that day (that I remember):

Smoked Salmon, Salty Egg, Orange Juice, Soy Milk, Taiwanese Fritters, Kiwis, Watermelon, Starfruit, Japanese Sushi Egg, Hashbrowns, Miso Soup, Japanese Date, Sliced Seaweed, Pig's Ear, Beef Tendon Soup, Fried Mackerel, Fried Vermicelli, Black Tea with Cream and Sugar,  Congee, Pearl Barley Vinegar Tea with Honey, Thick Coconut Butter Toast, Thick Butter Toast with Sugar, Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Fried Taro Root, Abalone, Lobster with Goose Liver Roulade, Steamed Bass, Baby Fried Oysters, Taiwanese Fried Rice, Japanese Tea, Red Wine, Sliced Roast Pork, Half-Shelled Crabs on Glutinous Rice, Medicinal Herbal Soup, Pork and Bitter Melon Soup, Taiwanese Beer, Something 116-Proof, Some Alcohol That Smelled Like Soy Sauce, and A Whole Lot of Heartburn. (I'm sure I'm forgetting about 15 things...)

Yep, talk about hitting someone over the head with examples? At any rate, I'm sure they were just trying to distract us from the epic tour of their headquarters, which I gather is what Gamania wanted us to talk about really. So well, it's just as you might expect from an uber-successful MMORPG developer based in Taiwan. All in all, it reminded me of a pocket-sized version of Electronic Arts in Redwood Shores. No, seriously, Gamania is really that "big". If the only thing you know about Gamania is that it's a portmanteau of "game" and "mania", and that they developed the free-to-play founding father known as MapleStory, then you don't know the half of it.

In general, Gamania has Nintendo "Have a nice GAME!" attitude about online gaming, but they're serious about their craft. They have a User Interfaces Lab where they explore eye tracking using one-way mirrors to spy on international agents game testers, the Gama Bears e-Sports team that consistently does well at competitions, and the Gamania Cheer Up Foundation where they take teenagers with difficult childhoods and give them a chance to excel and succeed. They also have a Gama Island bar on the base floor, just in case you need more food (which is already incredibly inexpensive in Taiwan).

Of course, we weren't allowed to take pictures of certain projects in development and then some. Anything that way too awesome was off limits: a Tardis, a lifesize statue Silver Surfer, a white PS2, a Silver PS3, scrolls of naked women, and a retro Shell Station gas pump. I mean, what about a server room that was designed like the USS Enterprise, makes you pose questions like "How many temporal anomalies does it take to kill terrorists?", and makes you wonder how to Adam Jensen your way into the room. Sorry, Gamania, that's just my ninja alter-ego talking. It just slipped out. No worries. Uhh..... You hungry? (Josh is.)


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