Five years of working in different countries and time zones, and now we're all finally here, in the Altai Mountains.
7:00 AM, Novokuznetsk, and we are gathering in DEVGAME's office from different corners of the country. The guys coming from Voronezh and Irkutsk have had two flights and a change in time zone behind them so far, and an 8-hour trip to the mountains ahead.
Why the Altai? It's close to Novokuznetsk where our biggest office is located so it's just easier to gather everyone here. And, of course, the Altai nature played a huge role: the mountains with only the Sun rising above them, the fantastic forest carpeted with fern and full of the tallest trees, along with flowing rocky rivers and fresh air. We got to know one another, had breakfast, and left for the biggest party of the year.
After a long, seemingly endless, trip, we finally reached our destination: a village with wooden huts sprinkled over the forest. On one its side were mountains covered in greenery while on the other there flew the river that drowned conversations with its voice. In the clearing, cows walked on the grass just like those from the alpine meadows.
The first day was left unoccupied so everyone relaxed and got to know one another, becoming best friends right then. There was a feeling that we'd known one another forever. One can think it's true since we work together but video calls can never replace real conversation.
"I'm the only one working from Irkutsk and had never met any of my colleagues. I was so excited to go and thought that I would feel uncomfortable or something. But it turned out to be the opposite! When I entered the office, everybody was so nice sitting there with a pizza, and they were, like, 'Hey, we've been waiting for you!' I had a feeling that we have been friends for a long time now. And at the party itself there wasn't an air of superiority, we were all equal, and that rocked!"
Sasha Atutova, Lead ASO
Next day was the day, the five-year anniversary company party. A surprise awaited us right in the morning, and we found ourselves in the DEVGAME Camp with the first task being rafting down the mountain river Katun. So we divided into teams we actually formed at work and got into rafts.
Just imagine: river drops, icy water refreshing us with its splashes, and steersmen giving us commands and setting the rowing pace. In the middle of our way a new surprise appeared in front of us—a waterfall that goes down straight from the top of the mountain.
The water was, by the way, no warmer than in the river—just about 5°C, but it didn't stop us from jumping into it. After all, does the temperature matter if you're overwhelmed with emotions from the things you've just seen?
After we got back to the village after rafting down the river, we were given team T-shirts and sent to complete a quest. We identified different food by its taste while blindfolded, sang songs, solved puzzles, overcame obstacles, and became even more closely connected to one another. Here's team 2, our winner, congratulations!
It was time for the evening event. A big terrace overlooking the river, tables adorned with forest greenery, a photo zone, a cover band, beautiful outfits, and a joyful vibe in the air. A dozen beautiful speeches were said that evening, hundreds of songs played, and thousands of calories—burnt while dancing. And there were competitions, of course :)
Only one thing saddened us all during the trip: our colleagues from Ukraine couldn't join us because of the pandemic situation in the world. We didn't leave them behind, of course, and arranged for them to have a lot of fun too while staying in touch with us by means of video calls. We're sure that next year we'll have an even bigger celebration, and the closed borders won't stand in the way of a completely united party!
"I was one of those who couldn't make it to Russia. The company arranged a separate corporate party for us, and in the evening we had a video call with the Altai party. We were terribly worried but wanted to talk as long as we could at the same time to feel that we were all together and near one another. That was awesome, clinking our glasses on the lalaptop screen with 36 people doing the same back to you, where else can you see that?"
Polina Yashkina, Business Developer
That day, everyone wanted to slow down the time for a bit and to stay in that moment a bit longer—in the moment when you're utterly happy, free, and grateful. From the first second of our meeting we realised that we became best friends, and towards the end of the trip we grew into one big DEVGAME family. But even so, we're still colleagues who proved that only the sky's the limit, even if it's the Altaian sky.