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A lot has been said about the logistical mayhem at this year’s CONQuest Festival, but despite the long and hellish queues, there is one thing that amazed me inside the con. No, I’m not talking about the presence of international streamers (although getting to see iGumDrop in person was breathtaking). I’m talking about all the indie creators and brands that we got to explore and get to know as we mazed our way through the festival.
Compared to last year’s event, there were even more brands selling gaming peripherals, artists offering prints and stickers, indie game developers looking for new players, and social enterprises selling products to support their communities.
There were so many cool items to try and buy, and we listed some so you can support them beyond the ‘quest.
Eri Cruz owned one of the booths that immediately caught our eye while elbowing our way through the crowds at CONQUest’s Quest Market. Known as the artist Ellie MapleFox, he creates amazing posters of original art and fan art. If you think these look cool on a screen, just imagine how they look even better when printed on paper or metal. Give him a follow on Insta, or buy one of their prints to support them!
I have a soft spot for cute watercolor stickers, so seeing works by SabGeid at CONQuest was a treat. Saab makes cute and artsy prints of Genshin Impact characters, but she also makes a lot of original art that feels cozy. If you’re looking for new stickers to put on your tumbler or journals, check her work out on Insta, or buy prints through the link below.
Boy Love (BL) fans and shippers are definitely going to have a hoot appreciating art by Nicko Tumamak, or Nekokonut on Instagram. Yukito and Toya from Cardcaptor Sakura getting together? I blush! But even without the BL theme, Nekokonut’s works are amazingly detailed and warm. It’s Pride Month too! So show this creator some love on Insta, or support him on Kofi.
These pieces of art are made by hand – watercolor in fact! I know, hard to believe right? Arianna Cranz is a watercolor artist who does a lot of…not safe for work (NSFW) content. Some may find her work lewd, but to me, they’re tastefully made. She also streams her work on Twitch! If you want to order, visit her Instagram page.
The pambansang kumot ng Pilipinas is now a mousepad too! We ran into this quirky mousepad and had a good laugh. It’s quirky, it’s fun, and its quality is pretty good too! Zenith Pads also has other designs that are just as creative. Check out their designs on Shopee to see which one will fit your aesthetic.
Dotted is another local mousepad maker, and their designs are both unique and functional. Dotted’s mousepads have hidden patterns that can be used to identify where you place your items. A circular symbol can mean a place for your cup, a large rectangular one for your keyboard, and a smaller one for your phone. They love the Japanese gamer aesthetic and their mousepads also come in very bold colors.
In the market for gaming peripherals? Garuda Gear introduced some new products that we tested during CONQuest that were surprisingly well-made for the price point. I also personally use a Garuda Gear mouse for gaming (their wireless Hawk 1 to be precise), and it’s been an amazing experience so far. For a mouse that costs less than a thousand pesos, it feels great on my hand and has saved me in clutch situations while playing Valorant.
If you want a Filipino brand with a bit more history, Rakk has been in the industry for quite a while now and has garnered a loyal following. They’re known for their gaming mice, mechanical keyboards, and headsets. You can check out Rakk products via EasyPC on Shopee.
Fantech isn’t a Filipino brand but they are quite known in the country. The brand started distribution in the Philippines seven years ago, and they have built quite a reputation for their affordable gaming peripherals. You can get headsets, mousepads, keyboards, and more from Fantech, and they even have bundles that fit even niche aesthetics.
If you like exploring indie games, here’s one by a group of college students. Verenica is a rhythm game with RPG elements, featuring amazing pixel art with touches of cyberpunk. They’re currently working on further developments, but an alpha version can now be downloaded and played online.
Like magical schools, casting spells, fighting monsters, and unraveling dark secrets? Lawmage Academy might be the indie RPG for you. The game has amazing art and expansive maps that you can explore. Plus, it won the best game direction award in CONQuest 2023.
CONQuest may have been a huge disappointment, but if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the creativity of the con community. Did you run into any interesting finds? Comment below! – Rappler.com