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 (

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.

That failed utterly. I thought I could do it, but after 4 months I learned something important. You cannot have 2 programming projects in the head at the same time! It is about flow.

On March, I did nothing but his project. On April I did nothing but my own game. The ideal "switch back and forth" that I imagined does not work. Once you got into the flow, you do not want to stop.

In April, by the time April 15th passed, I started to think that I do not want to stop making the game forever, or maybe until it's done. I am scared just by thinking I have to go back to Mocha/Chai/PostgreSQL/GraphQL that I have left a month ago.

I give up, so I talked with that friend. I am gladly willing to throw away all the ~2 months amount of work without any money received, as I am now able to make games without keep thinking about that project anymore. It feels like being released from a curse, even that you have lose a way of survival.

I am back to square one about finding ways of making money. I did applied/interviewed for a day job at a bank which I can walk to (so maybe I am able to use the travel time gained for making games after work) I don't know I am making the same mistake or not, but I strongly believe there has to be something that can be done together while making games. I just did not discover it yet. (By the way the bank still hasn't contacted me back)

Mel Cadence, it is going quite fine. I got to go to Japan and meet many composers who submitted the music and gave them souvenirs that I made by myself. It is a great life experience. The Twitter account started with a humble 50-90 followers, now reaching 200 followers. I am thankful for all who help retweeting my post.

I am still stubborn about not wanting to be in debt. I tried to do anything I can by myself. The art sucks, but I am definitely getting better when pressured by the game which will be seen by the entire world. I am planning to commission various artists I liked too, but I am definitely not ready to hire someone with salary.

One thing that still holds true is, making the game while 100% owning the game is fun as hell. I don't need a weekend anymore, that's how fun it is! I doubt this will be the same if I have an angel investor's fund, and he become a part of the game's revenue. It comes with a cost, your development is sloooow and the quality is difficult to get it up to par.

While if I decided to do funding and hiring the game would be finished by now, and makes more money in return, who is not going to do that? Yes I am stupid if I think this as a 100% business, but because I have a high percentage of life in this job that I could not do so. I don't want to lose the life opportunity to "do things".

On Songkran day, I have talked with my relative about an interesting topic. "How much life do you have in your job?". Most of my relatives is a government official working for salary. So I asked is there any portion of a life goal that is included in the job itself?

Most of the time I started talking about this they immediately put me in that stereotype "I don't need money, I do want I want for the dream!" kind of man and really want to end a conversation with "You will know soon when you grow up (that money is important)". They don't even listen to me what I am really talking about! Often they thought I am trying to belittle them for being a wage-slave (especially older man).

I did not say anything about that, but the topic is about how many % of life in the job? (any % is fine, as long as your job is not dirty I am fully respect all of them) But still, most of them think low % is bad. (which is not true)

For some of them that are calm enough to hold a further conversation with me, I learned that most of them has 0% of life in their work. One of them is a deputy officer (I believe that is a translation of ปลัดจังหวัด) but he is in this job for purely money. That is, he does not really want to be a more reliable man or a man who helps society. But he got this job because it is aligned with what he studied. (he is good at scoring on those subjects, but they are not his life)

0% is not an insult, because with salary he can exchange for anything that is his life. Like family, cars. I asked what is his life, he said he want to travel to more countries. That money can make his life go forward. This is how most people I know go on in their life. (Work and life is separated, but the bridge is with money)

In my work I realized I have about 40%-60% of life in it, which may sounds cool but can badly affects many business decisions like fundings that I have talked about. But the trade off is that I can go forward in my life without waiting for money. I got to make music, get better at art, talk with Japanese people and befriend them naturally. Soon I want to read all the light novels fluidly like in English and converse while eating yakiniku with more Japanese friends.

The bank job I applied was planned to be a job with 0% life. I think I need a job like that too so I decided to apply. About the job with my friend that I gave up, that have about 30% of life in it since I want to catch up with all the web technologies myself and carry on that skills. (Which is the reason I let go of the job without any money, I already got the life portion from that job.)

One of my friend who worked in Tokyo also have like 0% of life in that work. (Maybe some % if he want to have a Japanese gf) But he can now travel to many places and mountains (especially any place that you can see Mt.Fuji) and advance his life goal. I personally think that is wonderful!

Wage-slave should not be an insult. It is just a term that means 0% life in the work. Any % requires equally full determination. And conversely, you should stop putting high life % worker in that stupid stereotype too! (I have heard "You will know soon when you grow up" more than 20 times after I decided to make games in my own room.)

I have recently changed the motto/core value of Exceed7 Experiments from "Let's make something happen!" to "Craft your life's work." That is the subtle message to this whole idea. You see, games you make under this name is not entirely a job, but actually a part of things that you want in your life. Without this core value, I could as well quickly clone multiple match-3 games, one with a cute animal graphics and one with a sexy anime girls and make some profits. I have got some ideas! But I don't want them to be my work. I might register an another company to make them someday, but they will not belongs to Exceed7 Experiments and I will not proudly present either Sirawat Pitaksarit or even 5argon name in the website like I did for Exceed7.

I am too want to be a wage-slave company worker if by the 30 I could not live with my own creations. And I will (probably) still have a successful life with the salary from it!

edit : I realized that this post has no image. I want a thumbnail to show up so here's a pic from the cafe heaven I always come to work.. (I am writing this blog post here right now) And fyi who thought I am being กระแดะ for writing a blog post in English, I tried but I could not express the same thing in Thai for some reason. That's the magic of language. Please understand.

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