It has been a hard year for indies. The first session I attended at Casual Connect Asia 2016 was in fact titled “Is the Indiepocalypse Coming?” And yet, when Casual Connect Asia came around, indies in the region and beyond, even those with little resources to spare, were drawn to her like alates to a flame.
I heard the story of an Indonesian indie who really wanted to go to the conference but couldn’t afford to. His solution — offer to take photographs, apparently with a borrowed camera, of Sentosa Island for a travel agency in exchange for a round-trip ticket to Singapore. It worked.
Where does this urge to join Casual Connect come from? A long-time Casual Connect volunteer, Assaji Tjahjadi, told me simply, “I just have to be here.” For the CEO of Filipino start-up Monstronauts, Allen Tan, “Casual Connect is the place to be to let the world know that you exist.”