Let’s start with a single but important thing about my job: I’m not coding. It’s sad I know, I feel the same; still, my job is to help the team get things done, improve quality, etc. In short: I’m managing things in the last couple of years. It’s not that boring you would think, but I’m still missing the good feeling I had when I was coding. Currently, my secret “hobby” is debugging, which somewhat fulfills my need for reading code, figure out solutions, etc. I always loved to find that little piece of code that breaks a system/functionality, sometimes I feel them. It’s fun.
At the beginning of the year 2020, I was spending my out-of-work-time on game development. I used those hours to solve problems, investigate various ideas, and of course: to grow my knowledge. Things have changed though…
Usually, with my good friend and partner in game development, we’re trying to push the other to keep up the pace, stay creative, but recently both of us were thrown under the water in our lives. We’re communicating rarely which is not just unfortunate, but also this means we are slowed down in the execution of our game plans as hell.
Some days ago I’ve received a mail asking if we could put an article link to our page(s). The article would include one of our games, Saving Mikey. I was surprised. The game was released in February 2019 for a very little price tag. Since then the game was updated, extended, fixed, etc. At Christmas, we decided to make it available for free forever! I almost forgot about it since then, until this mail.
We decided: hell yeah, why not?! So we added the link to our page (https://uplezz.com/). Also, I was thinking that maybe our presskit (https://uplezz.com/press/) can have that link on it. But while I was there I was thinking: we had a couple of articles about the game when it was released. So I started to look up those in Google. I was skimming through the results (not so many but we were happy about every single one of them) and I’ve found a video. A guy was recording the whole playthrough this year(!!) I stopped, and was trying to understand what I’m seeing. The game is still alive. Mikey is still on his adventure, and players around the world trying to save him. And bang…
We made a game which has many good reviews, some players loved the story so much they even asked for a continuation! The development was painful, I must be honest here. It was painful, hard and sometimes it was so frustrating I wanted to quit. Let me emphasize: we were doing it while also doing our day-jobs. Working 10-12 hours/day/week doesn’t make you smile. But after a long time we’ve finished the game, released it, and felt relief. After that, we felt fulfillment. We had one game released before Mikey, the title was Cubo. Let’s just say it’s not available for download for a reason. Maybe we’ll make it available again in the future after some rework but let’s just say: it wasn’t successful, not like Mikey. Sure: we haven’t exceeded any record, wasn’t earning money; the “income” wasn’t starting to get closer to our costs on translations, graphics, work hours. But still: it was finished, we worked hard for it and we made it!
It was successful because it made people interested in downloading and playing the game. It was successful because of the story (which was done by the way by my partner. Yep, I don’t have a writer mindset, this is why I respect you Dear Reader so much that you’re still trying to survive my posts).
Personally, I forgot how this felt and lost my focus, my willingness in the last couple of weeks/months. But remembering these “dots” in the past is a good way to find new strength, and think about the next step. My goal now is to recharge, kick in the door, and create something awesome!
This week I’ll go on a little vacation with my wife; I’m in need to get away from our apartment for a while, away from the job and away from our everyday stuff. But I know what I will think about constantly: make the next step, make the next discovery on the path for the next game!