An UnCon-Eventional Story: LEVEL UP KL PLAY 2019

UnCon-Eventional Stories are event recaps more on the event itself than the experience.


Credits to LEVEL UP KL (Sourcefor the featured image, and the various images and posts seen here.

I DO NOT own the rights to any of these photos, if mentioned.

ALL rights belong to LEVEL UP KL, and other respective parties.

Also, credits to the following folks for organizing the event.


Introduction

Level Up KL is-…wait a sec, it’s in all caps?

Well…okay then.


The FAQ is this?

LEVEL UP KL PLAY 2019 is the first iteration of LEVEL UP KL’s attempt at making a public videogame convention, over the weekend of November 9th to 10th.

Some context.

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Credits to LEVEL UP KL for the photo. Source.

LEVEL UP KL had been an ongoing event over the last 5-ish years in the Malaysian scene, backed by a government entity called the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

But, LEVEL UP KL had strictly always kept itself a closed event, in the form of LEVEL UP KL BIZ, which like most private business functions, tends to not involve public access unless one’s willing to fork out 3 digit priced tickets.

LEVEL UP KL PLAY 2019 is their first time venturing into the idea of making the event available to the public, with some help from the Comic Fiesta folks.


First Contact

 

Credits to LEVEL UP KL & Comic Fiesta for the photos.

First announced by LEVEL UP KL on September 9th (Left), Comic Fiesta would tag along with a joint announcement seen on September 25th (Right) to officiate the event’s existence for the weekend of November 9th and 10th.

The partnership, as explained by one of the MDEC organizers from the event, says that they (As LEVEL UP KL) will take care of the attractions, whereas Comic Fiesta takes care of the ground work, ie manpower etc.

IMG_3707

Which explains that billboard from Cosmart, a CF backed event.


Registration Open Season

Credits to Comic Fiesta for the photos. Source.

Because LEVEL UP KL PLAY’s heavily focused on videogames specifically, a small scale cosplay competition is the only activity that looks for registration.

Split between solo pose-offs and a skit show, it’s worth noting that because these contests take place really late into both days, it helps in keeping folks around to check out the event whilst killing time for the contest.


Lineup Starts Here

LEVEL UP KL PLAY’s main focus being on videogames, means having the opportunity to try out ALL the games on the show floor.

Credits to LEVEL UP KL for the photos. 

Starring,

Although these here are just snippets of the event’s overall lineup of games, there’s essentially a LOT more in stored.

Especially plenty of Indie games from various South East Asian developers, but more on this later.

Credits to LEVEL UP KL for the photos. 

Videogame Tournaments aplenty await various pre-invited teams, including, ones under EPULZE, the Axis ESports League, and Predator League that tag along for LEVEL UP KL PLAY’s ride, as part of the event’s spectator action.

Credits to LEVEL UP KL for the photos. 

Also joining LEVEL UP KL PLAY comes guest speakers Mr Danny Koo of Marvel Games, Mr Hideo Mimaba of CyDesignation and Mr Wan Hazmer of Metronomik.

The latter of which, has a Special Guest Signing Event on Day 2,

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Credits to Kinokuniya Malaysia for the photo. Source.

Backed by Kinokuniya along with Comic Fiesta, Mr Hideo Minaba would conduct a signing session for folks who pick up any Granblue Fantasy artbook from the store.

Apart from guests that work in the videogame industry, also comes event guests that tag along for the weekend.

Credits to Comic Fiesta for the photos. Source.

With signing sessions for the event’s various guests dropping by the event to perform and/or mingle with, which includes,

  • Luna Lorrain
  • Ola Aphrodite
  • Sushii
  • Sally Dorasnow
  • Josette
  • Ying Tze
  • Rikka Blurhound

And plenty more other guests found at certain booths if one scouts the event enough at the right time. (☞゚ヮ゚)☞

Credits to LEVEL UP KLComic Fiesta for the photos.

But don’t forget the App for LEVEL UP KL PLAY, which includes some neat stuff to do that comes with absurd rewards, like a Playstation 4 that gets hijacked early because of course it does.

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Credits to Comic Fiesta for the photos. Source.

But most notably of all, as part of a seperate Day 1 event that falls in line with LEVEL UP KL PLAY, comes a Videogame Orchestra, that stars the awesome tunes of videogames that’s definitely worth the listen.


The Field Plans

Credits to Comic Fiesta for the photos. Source.

Scheduled with activities across the event hall, from stage shows/announcements, to workshop segments and those Meet & Greets, the wall of text on the schedule can get rather hectic without some visual aid other than colors.

Credits to Comic Fiesta for the photos. Source.

At least General Floorplan’s got the layout covered, with some minor missing booths that aren’t placed where they’re listed.

It does make full use of KLCC’s famous event hall.


The Good Goods

The Good Goods brings you ALL the best bits an event has to offer!

Please keep in mind this is only for the current iteration of this event, which may or may not repeat for future events.


  • Government’s Back

LEVEL UP KL PLAY having MDEC’s government institution backing helps the ACG in many regards.

For one, it solidifies the idea that the Malaysian videogames industry exists, and isn’t some hopeless lost cause of an industry, in the eyes of certain “Ok boomer” tier people.

LEVEL UP KL PLAY is very reminiscent of many overseas videogame events, like E3 or the Tokyo Game Show for example, and it’s a great stepping stone to see Malaysia being willing to host something like that.

Other than that, MDEC’s government level powers does bring in some benefits that are otherwise inaccessible by regular event organizers.

Permits that don’t get F-ed at the last minute by certain departments come to mind, in this 2019 context. 🤔


  • The Right People

MDEC deserves credit for actually enlisting Comic Fiesta to partner with, rather than jump into running a public event all guns ablazing thinking they know better.

Of all the organizers they could’ve chosen, even ones outside of the ACG scene, them picking Comic Fiesta out of the entire pool of event organizers shows a level of respect and trust towards what they’re capable off.

In an alternate timeline, they could’ve picked an organizer who has never done an event like this before, and god knows how that would’ve turned out.

Some right calls made to find the right people for the job, if you will.


  • Disproved Misconception

Some of you are going to have a field day with this, as am I.

LEVEL UP KL PLAY is a great event that helps disprove various misconceptions towards the idea of videogames in general.

Which, is something that had always been viewed as a bad thing and only a bad thing in a region like South East Asia.

A place filled with so many “Ok Boomer” tier people, that still believe comparing their children’s academic results is a good thing.

Even though…isn’t it just some worthless flex of how pitiful their lives before being a parent must be, if that’s the only thing they can speak highly about.

This is before we bring up the same twats thinking that it’s right to be raising children that are as quality as UKM’s PHD doing pedos and certain thirsty NUS backed F-sticks. (Apologies in advance, Singapore. ;-;)

We can go on, but we’ll be here all day, so…rain check.

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Credits to LEVEL UP KL for the photos. Source.

Anyways, the mini career fair section of LEVEL UP KL PLAY helps showcase various gigs available for various folks to check out, especially in highly sought after positions like artists etc.

Like this Bandai Namco booth that was showcasing its Malaysian office at the event, a thing I never knew they had until I visited the booth, that were looking to recruit new folks to join their company.

…I forgot the specifics, but it’s basically art related.

The workshops held across both days are good stuff too, giving insight into doing certain careers like Streamers or Content Creators on social media etc.

Regardless of whether or not people choose to do it as a side gig or full time, showing how these careers work helps alleviate the idea that only a dead end 9 to 5 job as an office/company slave is a ‘real job’.

In short, LEVEL UP KL PLAY showcases the potential careers that people could do, based on stuff from the videogames industry.

Especially when it comes to reshaping perspectives towards these things, with the truth, and not misguided self proclaimed psychic powers from comment section people.


  • Strong Indy-pendant Scene

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Credits to LEVEL UP KL for the photos. Source.

As part of LEVEL UP KL BIZ’s showcase of 50 candidates that could be receiving awards for their work, the majority of indie games featured would find themselves also boothing at LEVEL UP KL PLAY itself.

And holy crap, there is a lot of good stuff to check out.

Check out the post for a list of names, as we’re gonna just name drop the ones we’d highly recommend people to check out.

Quality is debatable, but we’ll leave that part of the experience for you to decide. 🤔

Jeezus the amount of indie game developers showing their stuff at the event are absurdly good at what they make, especially the local ones that are…good god, no wonder Malaysia has a Videogames Industry.

I won’t talk much about the quality of their games, as that’s highly subjective, but a show floor for indie devs is a great thing to see at an event.

The last event I can think of that had a team of indie devs, was AMG-Chan back in May, for some visual novel game called Karipap Chronicles I recall.

Having a public show floor to showcase their good stuff is excellent, even though they’ve technically shown it during LEVEL UP KL BIZ, having the general public pick up their games to try out publicly gives a much bigger reach than that business event.

Local or foreign indie dev, it doesn’t really matter who made it, as there’s a lot of good stuff to check out.

Heck, we’re going to list out a few for you readers to go check out, they’re worth it.

  • Echoes of You by KDU Glenmarie Games
  • Academia : School Simulator by Squeaky Wheel
  • Necronator: Dead Wrong by Toge Productions
  • Juru Parkir: Indonesia Culture Game by Black Fox Studio
  • Retrograde Arena by Freemergency

…oh dear lord, now someone’s gonna start claiming this place or something, because of the games we recommended.

One thing I would want to see out of LEVEL UP KL’s relationship with indie devs for the future, is to well, promote them more or something.

Mentioning their studio and/or game is great and all, but a public feature post of each individual entry would be neat, kind of like how Comic Fiesta does their 100 Day to Comic Fiesta Countdown thing.

Especially if something you promote winds up being an unintended CRITICAL HIT.

Because it can be a bit hard to find anything about those games, unless one goes out of their way to search it. 🤔


The Bad Blehs

The Bad Blehs brings up some…bad stuff, about events, which need to be talked about since no event is without issues that can’t be fixed for the future.

Future Organizers and/or spies from other event organizers, you can learn a thing or two of what not to do at your event here. (As a guide, so that you’re not too busy repeating history.)

Please keep in mind these are only for the current iteration of this event, which may or may not repeat for future events.


  • Promotionless Pickle

Before LEVEL UP KL PLAY, the name LEVEL UP KL means well, jack shit, until they did their debut public event this year.

Now to be fair, LEVEL UP KL PLAY is sort of organized by the folks over at Comic Fiesta too, but other than that its presence of being an upcoming event is honestly…kind of nil.

To the point that there are people who genuinely asked, if there were any events in November.

One thing I want to suggest here is to well, maybe promote the event more for its future iteration?

Like say, at other ACG Events or something, because that billboard from Cosmart does jack shit without something to demonstrate what LEVEL UP KL is about.

MANY ACG Events gladly have other future events tag along to host their roadshow, so being able to tag along to promote your event is a good thing.

That or have some public news outlet cover it or something. 🤔


  • Languaged Signs

Physical signboards don’t work all the time, as proven by the bunch of nosy normies who apparently want to bargain their way into the event hall, via those entrances that are marked as exits by that sign in the front.

Source

See, this is why you only bargain with Dormamu, and no one else.

I won’t say that they’re blind, considering they’d have some sight range to reach where they’re going with that level of self declared privilege.

Okay public diss aside, perhaps the event, or any future event organizers planning to use signs for signalling attendees, could consider multiple language signs to relay the information better?

By covering ALL the languages the general public’s most likely to use, you can maximize the likelihood of that information being conveyed.

Let’s not pretend that everyone in Malaysia understands English.

A sizable chunk of people do, but an equally sizable chunk still regard it as unimportant, such that information presented in that language will do jack shit.

So I would argue for multiple language signs, as it’s important for the event organizer side to do EVERYTHING they can to ensure that information is relayed effectively, whether it’s to attendees or non-attendees.

You do everything right from your end as an organizer, then you can rest assured knowing you’ve done everything right, and whatever flak that comes can be deflected with in the field proof that you did your job.

If a normie’s still looking for trouble after reading a multiple language sign, just disregard these trouble making scamps, they’re honestly not worth the bother if they’re still looking for trouble even after being catered to.

But point is, do right on your end, so you can ensure you have some higher ground than some trouble making normies.


  • Content Spoiled

Okay, wtf is with the announcements done by that Disney segment that’s basically them announcing things that are already known outside of the event?

It’s like…the “announcements” they’re making at the event are more patronizing than anything new, such that…why do they even have a stage segment other than they paid for this BS?

This is kind of a big problem that LEVEL UP KL needs to consider looking into, because what’s the bloody point of having stage content that’s basically repeated news?

Disney’s Frozen Adventures and Sorcerer’s Arena were reportedly announced in August and February of this year, making their announcement at LEVEL UP KL kind of pointless.

Like what, Malaysia is the place to dump the sloppy seconds announcements at?

Okay, to be fair, some content is needed for these stage segments, and I will concede that not everyone locally would’ve known about these announcements.

But can LEVEL UP KL at least try to fish some content that would be announced exclusively at the event?

You don’t need to pull an E3 flood of announcements, just having at least 1 thing worth sticking around for will do, otherwise the stage segments are just some paid flexing sessions for people to skip by default.

That announcement about Sony’s plans to open an office in Malaysia is good stuff, but other than that…there’s nothing else worth noting really. 🤔


  • A Hall Of Annoyance

We now come to the “rag on Comic Fiesta’s KLCC event segment”, because I didn’t think we’d get to write a feedback piece for a KLCC held event until Comic Fiesta 2019 itself.

But alas, thank LEVEL UP KL PLAY for happening, so we won’t have to wait until next year for Comic Fiesta to address some of these issues.

Quick mention here before we start.

According to KLCC’s staff.

They themselves said that the Organizers of any event at KLCC, are the ones who decide  how much of the event hall, and its external areas (ie the hallway and doors that can be opened), are allowed to be used for their event.

Keep this point in mind as we move on.


Okay, F this shit tier floorplan of having only 1 bloody exit across the entire KLCC Event Hall Comic Fiesta, because you’d think that with at least 4ish years of experience running events at this venue, you’d would have the idea to open multiple exits to ease congestion!

Or alternatively, CREATE CONVENIENCE.

You don’t even need to open ALL THE DOORS as an exit during the event, just 1 extra exit, like the doors before or after Hall 3 will do, is what I’d pick.

Compared to walking all the way to Hall 1 just to exit the event, it’s bloody inconvenient, and kind of F-ing patronizing.

When you consider that ALL ATTENDEES have to enter via the same entrance anyways, can’t we be allowed to exit earlier in case we want to head back to the entrance area?!

Or alternatively, visit other parts of KLCC like the places for FOOD.


“But, people would just exit the event earlier anyways with an early exit!”

Good joke, assuming people who paid to enter events would not explore it fully or come back for it to get their money’s worth.

Regardless of what people’s motives are for attending events, attendees are always willing to explore an event hall fully at least once, and whether or not they repeat it is up to them.

An early exit does not guarantee people would miss out on other things an event has to offer, if it’s in the same event hall.

If it’s on a different floor, that’s a different story.

Also, people always come back into the event hall anyways, tickets exist to be used, so of course attendees would be back for more of the same!

Especially when it comes to attending activities they want to, like meeting guests etc.


“But you’ll miss out all the other things at the back of the hall!”

Yeah no, if people were not interested in stuff at the back hall to begin with, what makes you think they would generate interest by being forced to visit the area of stuff they’re not interested in?

Especially that literal Black Hole of a gaming area during LEVEL UP KL PLAY, other than people who are there to watch those games being played, no one else would be interested in hanging around that area without anywhere to sit around to catch the action.

And being forced to pass by that area of literally nothing to check out, is annoying, when an earlier exit would’ve been preferred.

Since the end result is to exit the bloody event hall anyways!


If the reason as to why there’s only ONE exit for the event, is because there’s only one exit sign under Comic Fiesta’s equipment pool, that is some bullshit.

I kid though, that is likely not the case.

My point is this.

Open earlier and multiple exits exits in the event hall, to make things more convenient for attendees, for exiting, getting back to the entrance faster or exploring other parts of the venue.

You also ease congestion, in the event of a mass flood of people in the event hall, which was not the case for LEVEL UP KL PLAY, but that you could’ve allowed for that Hall 5 exit to be opened for everyone late into Day 1, since there was work on setting up the area for that night’s Videogame Orchestra.

Which makes sense to clear out the event hall ASAP.

It’s nothing but a stubborn dick move, as to why Comic Fiesta has been doing the “One Exit” thing for the actual Comic Fiesta event, for their last 4 iterations at KLCC.

Like what, just because some senior did it before, it means that the present day staff aren’t allowed to adapt?

Or there’s some ancient prophecy where an apocalypse now would happen if Comic Fiesta learns how to be efficient and allows more than one exit for their KLCC events?

And you wonder why Comic Fiesta gets flak all the time, it’s because they keep making flak for people to piss at them with.

Ugh.

Look.

We all just want a better Comic Fiesta, pretty sure even the most cynical of folks would love a better event.

Just do it well, and improve it.

Even MF-ing Furniture Fairs at KLCC have ALL THE DOORS opened to serve as entrances and exits, so not utilizing the multiple exit strategy is just very backwards.

And concerning if change in plans for Comic Fiesta are forbidden, by some unseen management people. 🤔


The Sequel?

50/50.

I can only confidently say that LEVEL UP KL will likely continue its LEVEL UP KL BIZ event, but LEVEL UP KL PLAY may be uncertain.

Best case it happens, since there really isn’t anything to lose other than pissing off the misguided parts of society who still believe the misconceptions about videogames.

Barring some event related floor plans that can be bettered or upgraded, it’s honestly down to what MDEC has planned for 2020 to determine LEVEL UP KL PLAY’s sequel.

Thinking about it again, why don’t they just tag along with Comic Fiesta or something.

Having access to CF’s crowd size would make for some BIG public attention towards what the local videogame industry has to offer.


The Verdict

Overall, seeing LEVEL UP KL PLAY in action does give great hope for the videogames industry to exist and maybe thrive here in Malaysia.

By serving as an event that exclusively covers both the E-Sports and Development scene, it’s great stuff.

Should you come?

Well…10 bucks to a KLCC venue event is kind of great actually, even with the lack of stuff from regular ACG events, it’s a great warm-up appetizer for some other KLCC event if it happens there again.

*END*


Author’s Note:

Thank you so much for reading!

If possible, I’d love to hear your feedback on what can we do better.

Be it the bad writing, horrible pictures, or just the fact I need more water, I’d love to hear about it.


Also,

Wonder what the event is like in the field? Check out A Con-Eventional Story: LEVEL UP KL PLAY 2019

Check out more stories over at S.I.R House, of Content 2019.


That said, siteinrelief has a Facebook page now!

And for some reason, a Tumblr now too! 🤔

Page us anytime, anywhere, Amway offers will be shot on sight, no questions asked.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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