As another day in Vietnam comes to an end I am taking some time to write my blog before a casual night out with our UEF friends. We are having a calm relaxing night tonight because tomorrow is an early morning because its a 2 hour bus ride to the beach for our beach day!
Today began like yesterday with a guest lecturer at UEF from 9-10:30 followed by our language class from 11-12. The guest lecturer was from the department of Rural Planning & Development of the Mekong River Delta. She gave a bit of a “longer” presentation but it was filled with a lot of great information. Unfortunately multiple countries are trying to damn up the Mekong Delta to produce hydrolic power, but with Vietnam being the last of the 6 countries that it flows through this poses a huge danger for the economic and environmental benefits of the Delta. After this lecture we continued our progress in the Vietnamese language and according to my UEF partner I am getting “very good”, though she may just be trying to make me feel good!
Like most days the class was followed by a delicious lunch, but I will keep this blog shorter than the last and skip that part of the day for Brian and Moriah (my advisors who have to read these). The focus of the day was our visit to Glass Egg Digital Media, a company focused on the 3D software design components of Video Games. This company specializes in Vehicles, more specifically they design more cars for games then any other company in the world. Glass Egg is a company that is primarily outsourced by other big name developers to produce the software for what they do best. For that reason, Glass Egg flies under the radar or “in the shadows” (as the COO worded it for us) as a company that affects the experience of almost any person who plays video games but nobody knows about them!
Glass Egg is now 17 years old, which may seem young but they are one of the 3 oldest companies of its kind in the world, and they are a pioneer of the digital design outsourcing world. Glass Egg is a company that these days is very prosperous but has certainly faced its challenges over the years. For example, with the real estate issues in 2008 there was a negative affect on the gaming industry which had a result of zero projects to be worked on for over 6 months. Since then, however, they have grown as a company and are looking to increase its work force. When asked if that growth will result in expansion to other cities though, I was interested to learn that the chief officers of the company are very content at remaining here in Ho Chi Minh City. Being located in Vietnam has proven to be a great benefit for Glass Egg as costs of labor, overhead, and rent are much lower than most other countries, including the ones where their competitors do business. One ongoing challenge that Glass Egg continues to face and will have to always overcome if they remain in Ho Chi Minh is that the location is very inconvenient for its clients to visit when doing business. The clients (including Microsoft, Sony, Activision and other big names) see no need to have offices in Vietnam, but the company relations continue to move forward. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
Finally, these days Glass Egg is looking to focus its future progress in constructing more of the environments around the cars as well, rather then just individual objects. This progress will diversify their portfolio and attract new clients. Best of luck to this prosperous company, and thank you for allowing us to visit. It was a very interesting experience to visit a company who has had a direct affect on certain games that I played a lot over the years such as Need for Speed and Call of Duty.
P.S. I’m including a couple group pictures below from yesterday!
Until next time my blog followers..