Monday, August 21, 2017

The freelancer's advantage of continuity

Something new I learn recently was "continuity". That is when you managed to do something continuously it results in a bonus to your learning.

Currently, I have been working on the game for more than 12+ hours every day without caring about anything. (I totally forgot that Friday to Sunday are supposed to be special, but I go to the cafe to work on the game anyway)

I couldn't stop because I know if I am losing the streak then I would get less done when I resume! That sounds a lot like incentive system in social games nowadays isn't it? It's true! I work through "weekend" not because I am crazy, but it is a mix of it's what I want to do anyway, I want to get more done in less time, and afraid of losing streak.


Monday, May 15, 2017

How much life do you have in your job?

Since new year, I have changed to a new person. I decided to get serious. From October (I graduated and decided to go full-time game dev alone.) to December I realized I am not at my full speed.

From January till now is a different story. The period of no blog post from then till now is the proof that I am very engulfed in "my own" work. The Pokemon Moon I bought day 1, I haven't reached the first gym yet by now. That's because I decided to play it hardcore and select Japanese language... (And now each conversation took 10 minutes!!)

I want to write something as a checkpoint. Most of the thing about my dream game Mel Cadence has been said in Thai in my other blog (5argon.blogspot.com).

I am still job-less. I could not believe about half a year had passed! I have tried finding a way to earn money while making game as a mean of survival. In January, I got a web dev job with my friend, who recently got married! That said a lot about his/her progress in life, and the amount of money he/she have, and how much I am behind even though I am at the same age.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

The butterfly effect of salary system

In my previous post I did praise a lot about salary. However! there is a catch!

I once thought, when I am rich I would make a company that allows flexible time. If you are done with the work early you should be able to go home sooner. If you need to be absent tomorrow then you can work overtime for 2-3 days to make up for one man day that you will be absent. Why can't you work from home and measure work based on your task? Or other thoughts along these line.

Then I talked these with my friends why no such company exists in common. The answer is surprising, it's all because the after effects of a salary system!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Success and scale

I have an interesting idea of how to approach making games for living.

You might have heard that game X is a "commercial failure". That's because the profit could not compensate money spent.

Based on that instance, many pro game creators is going around talking what kind of games can earn money, be it gacha game or match-3 with lives, but in the end your "design" is limited by this kind of situation.

I could not make a simple 2D action game because it would fail commercially. For example.

Then I have an interesting idea, what if I think this way, if I manage to reduce money spent on the game? What if I degraded to working alone so the large cost of salary money for team is going away? What if I does not party every now and then and save money?

Suddenly, I think many possibilities have opened. Many "low money" design is now possible depends on your scale...

Looking at the music game I am working now. To think about it, the game would fail if I did not work alone! The salary cost would heavily outweighs its monetization design. If I want to have teammates I might have to change its IAP model to something other company is doing. But thinking in other way, because I am working alone and cutting cost, a new game design is now possible! Isn't that exciting? A game where a lot of content is free and that is possible because not much money is needed for the devs, the players might be happy and feel refreshing to play, and also sufficient for me alone to live from it..

Someone said, making a game is not a one man show. But that really depends on your game's scale. By reducing the team size, at the same time you can reduce the requirement for your game to become a success. What is a success? Success is when you are happy with your work. That might be you get enough money from it or you are proud of it.

The post does not have conclusive end, just an interesting thought.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The wonders of salary

The more I work alone, the more I thought "salary" is such a very good system.

By having the required skill set, you can register to receive money periodically! It's like from that very moment, you have become invincible already! I learned this by having no income, as of currently. Moreover, it's "waiting for you". The job, that is. Without this system, you have to "get creative" to get money. You just can't "drop in" and get it.

That is not all, I found that now you can subconsciously abuse this system by slacking off at work. The work stops, but your income does not because it depends on time. You are free to slow down or speed things up later in a month to meet your requirement, and you still receive steady income. I found this out after I realized when I work alone, if I stop, I basically became a trash. I yield nothing at all! (absolutely nothing!) Even when I am studying in schools back then, when I slack off and play around I still "going" towards the "goal" (graduation). At day job, slacking off still nets me salary at the end of the road.

Moreover, you are actually more happy with your work with salary system. Everyone is happy when their efforts paid off, and that is what salary ascertain you. Not only that, you are loyal and happy to your work because salary "never betrays you, never lies to you". Almost surely you will get money from salary.

I learned this from doing a game team with no salary but with post-launch income dividends. You got to have a next level of self-push, because you will be "betrayed" when what you do does not paid off. And this shows as my teammates loses motivation real fast without salary system. I understand that the result is not immediate, not worth it even. But not everyone have extreme self-push so I don't blame them. Because looking at myself, I am basically killing myself little by little right now (and no one want to be a part of that?).

Also, I have real respect to "someone" who pays salary now. Before this I have never thought about it, even when I receive month allowing from my parents. Now when I thought how much money I will lose if my 3 other friends were to get salary (and in turn be more happy, more loyal to work, more friendlier to me too) it turns out that in only 2-3 months I would go bankrupt with nothing to eat. (Me alone can survive for 1.5 years minimum) That makes me thought, all those company that pays salary to employers each months are truly awesome. How did they do that! What if the income does not turn out well! In salary system, you can survive together with few great people that will certainly share some money with you.

It's kind of like ads system in games nowadays, even in my game too. I don't know what kind of millionaires paid so much money into ads which in turn goes to my pocket when people watch it. I even feel sad for them because I am leeching money of them while probably someone who watch ads does not care about their content at all. But... it's like salary in the way I get paid by rich people, and this feels really "safe". I respect them too.

Lastly, to those who have salary (and even "bonus") and is complaining about your low numbers, the salary system itself is your valuable asset! It is so common that maybe you haven't thought about it, but it is truly wonderful. Please be proud and protect it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The story continues today

Today I am already in Thailand.

I spent 6 days organizing my luggages, my room, and clean up my computer. Getting rid of academic stuffs! haha! (To the 1TB external HDD) And also finished my tasks for BOFU2016 doujinshi event.

Reading previous blog posts it surely was painful in Japan. (in terms of game development) But in exchange I got several other good experiences especially doujinshi stuffs. That was a good trade!

As planned, I am taking this full-time from today onwards. This post is short, but below is the UR-rare picture of myself in commemoration of this (epic) re-opening!


I am very hungry so after eating something I should fire up Unity, and probably bug my other 3 friends to do something again. Time is limited because my savings from Japan will keep decreasing so I better hurry. See you!

Friday, September 30, 2016

So long, research life.

Finally I have finished my master degree. I got that "certificate" that my mother wanted so bad. Now, my plan is going back to Thailand to try make a game, or make other things.

What I have learned from this is, I am definitely not a researcher. (And I am glad that I have spent 2 years in my life to realize this early, rather than later on.)

There is one time last year that my researcher said "Even a monkey could make game" when he is persuading me to continue my work faster because he thought I was wasting time making games and music. (In fact I have no time to touch the game at all.)

I did not argue because that would be a waste of time, but I think he does not mean literally (but maybe a monkey could make tic-tac-toe, I guess) but he means making games is just following instructions and program on until it is finished, contrary to "researching". Now, the reason I bring this up is because I am going to talk about why I am not a researcher. It is a mindset like this that I don't understand. Maybe he thinks researching is much more interesting and more complex.

First of all, I am not a monk, so I find that harvesting happiness in life is "good".  People like me find happiness from making useful things that make others happy. This is the same as researchers, they invent new methods/knowledge for the better world. But as I will soon explain, I am a "maker",  not researcher. I found researching prohibits many things that could potentially bring me happiness.

Initially, "researching" seemed to be a pinnacle, purest form of inventing, making things. I like making things, so isn't researching ideal for me? I discovered that, in researching, many "interesting" things does not qualify to be a research.

For example, if I make a game, it worked well and 500,000+ people downloaded it. No matter what I say it won't be a research. But in fact, the game does have many "new" things that cannot be put out easily as a research. (In fact, it worked because of those new things) I would like to say that my game worked and resonate with so many people because I combined frame-to-frame animation with Tom and Jerry style screen cut, along with comedic sound effects. Now that's interesting. And definitely makes other people happy. But it is an application so it is not a research. On the contrary, this could not be put out as a paper because all of them works as a whole application.

I have more games design, more arcade design, more music to make, or more food products to try to cook. All of them probably is not a research. But definitely making new things. It requires trial and errors just like researching. To make music I also have to learn about which of millions combination of beats, melody, and synth parameters that will work together. I think this is the bigger side of researching, or making, that I want to be in.

In my master degree, I felt limited even though I am in the place "most suitable for invention". Maybe by the various systems such as attending class, lectures, meetings, strive for publications, getting money for survival and place to stay, and finally getting degrees. All of this for an exchange of being able to stay in good place to create new things, that is also limited to your lab's interest. In the end, I am wondering what I am doing in this system and does that truly contribute to what I really want? I believed what I do is a form of researching, but not in this system.

I feel like, I am in a cycle of trying to please someone or something, that is not directly related to what I want to learn about. Publications, fundings, etc.. And you have to adapt your dream to your supervisor too.

On the other hand, Introloop, one of my work that I am really proud of, I think that IS a research. I managed to find a way to play audio file that loops seamlessly in Unity to any point. I learned a lot, I can make use of it, and no one have ever done it before, and this is definitely what I want to do. But I can imagine this would be funny as a research paper. I can put it in more fancy, research term like "Introloop : A Method to Play Looping Audio File With an Intro in Unity Without Cutting the File.", but again I kind of don't like that you have to complicate things up to get to the paper-level.

Of course you have to follow the system if you are in the research field, because you have to live from fundings, from publications. But I thought, if I take a day job to earn money for living and then using that money as a funding for my own research, that sounds equivalent and even more interesting. Salary, surely is a good system.

I could not put out my research as a paper, but I can as a product. And definitely that can bring happiness to others just like a research paper. And I am definitely learning entirely new things everyday from making things.

So in my opinion, researching does limits something, for me at least. I feel like my research (which I spend very long time on) does absolutely nothing for no one. When I cook food for 2 friends I felt more happiness than this. When I make music for 20 or so listeners I felt more happiness than this. It should be the case that my research sucks, but that is the more reasons that I am not a researcher.

Probably, I will continue enjoying making things and discovers many new things along the way like what researchers do, and enjoy when others benefit from the creation you made just like what researchers enjoy. But maybe the correct term for me is a maker.

I just type on without planning again, so this post might be hard to read. If my professor see this he would say "the worst blog post I have ever read!" (that might be true, haha) but I won't edit this because it represents my random thoughts well.

PS. I just realize what I usually blog has a word coined. lol
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_writing