Hatchlings Games

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It’s just a sign of you building a company

Are you an entrepreneur having a tough time selling your idea or building your product, raising money or repaying your debts, dealing with work and family/relationship problems at the same time? I know, all these didn’t seem all that bad at the beginning. Your spoused warned you against the risks and stress of venturing on your own but you couldn’t halt your own enthusiasm at that time to go for your Big Idea. But its been two years and your startup has yet to make a single cent. With all the problems you still cannot “give up” for whatever reason. It might be that you are just an optimist or that you do not want to prove yourself wrong or just because you still truly believe.

There’s no light at the end of the tunnel

Thing is, you are not the only one who suffered to start a company. Every successful entrepreneur that has built great lasting enterprises have given blood, sweat and tears to make it come true. Starting a business is not a picnic. It is incredibly difficult and emotionally draining. I guess you sort of knew that before you started. But still when it hit you, you were still unprepared. Face it, you were not prepared; or else you wouldn’t be feeling so overwhelmed now. It is hard to face those brutal facts.

You probably already know how difficult it was for past entrepreneurs who have succeeded. You know that they all faced the brutal facts of their situation and never gave up. How much longer must you persist? Should you give up now? You can try, but I bet you won’t. And rightly so.

The fact is it will probably get worse before it gets better and you will not see a light at the end of the tunnel. The successful entrepreneurs did not see that when they were down either. But you should have expected this as well. You have to admit that you can’t see it. With Hatchlings Games, I do not know when we will make money. Two years ago I told Jarod and Zie Aun (and many of the others that were with us) that we will get millions within the year. Two years later and thousands of Ringgit (Malaysian currency) invested, we still don’t have any income. Quasr is the only game we managed to get to Alpha ( early stage). It took us a year to get from concept to Alpha. And at early Alpha, we are already having problems with production, especially game design and art. Not to mention, we do not know what business model we are going to adopt when we launch the game.

Investment has been harder than I expected. It is not because you cannot get anyone to listen to you. When investors offered us millions, we decided not to take it. I can’t tell the exact reasons but the main reason for saying no with the deal was the need to give up too much equity for too much money when we do not need it. Let’s just say it is easy to get offers for short-term deals (that could be worth millions) but hard to secure good long term partnerships.

The truth is we all don’t have a clue how to be successful. We don’t but so didn’t any successful entrepreneurs. Everybody took risks. They wouldn’t be called risks if they knew it would work.

You are doing right

So much for the fire and brainstorms talk. With the above paragraphs, I was trying to start a dialogue with you; to see if you are facing or faced what we are now or worse. But here comes the part that is probably more useful.

I think you are doing right. I think we are doing right. The constant stress and self-doubt is natural. And I know one day you will have vacation homes, exotic cars and travel all around the world. One day we will own streets and neighborhoods. But the time is not now. There is no clear cut, and you probably hear that all too often. So why am I still stressing on it? Because in many cases, we are always thinking of ways to get out of our current negative situation but everything we’ve done seem to be wrong decisions in the near long-term. I don’t think that is unusual.

All those wrong decisions and nasty problems gives us doubts. Sometimes we can’t sleep because everything seemed wrong. I know how that feels. But I have a feeling that EVERYONE, whether an entrepreneur or not feels the same. Even Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, even Steve Jobs of Apple, Bill Gates of Microsoft or Mike Morhaine at Blizzard Entertainment. They are facing constant stress as well. They still have to think of sustaining their growth, building a company that will last through this century and what-not. Those problems will come for us as well. Point is, all these negative feelings are a sign of you building a great lasting company!


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June 14, 2007 Posted by | Entrepreneurship | 5 Comments

Life of a game programmer in Hatchlings

After one and a half year working as a part time game programmer in Hatchlings Games. Kuan finally upgraded to be a full time game programmer! It’s been 2 weeks since I started working full for Quasr without distraction from tedious assignments or boring test papers. These 2 weeks are…Awesome!

It just like my dream job. Hatchlings Games…

1, does not have compulsory morning working time. Programmer working time is from 2pm noon until 12am midnight. Some of the game designers even work overnight in the office so that they can use the early morning time for brainstorming and quiet debates.

2, does not have compulsory fixed attire. I can wear my favourite style – t-shirt + short pant + sandal. Personally, I feel bad about wearing formal. For me, it just decrease work efficiency.

3, does not have bad politics, because Hatchlings is a team :). Quasr earn, we earn. Quasr dead, we FIX!

4, has a harmonious and fun environment. Everyone is passionate about game development, close in age, love Quasr, are friendly, playful, have dinner together, and laugh together… I doubt this is common in the working world out there.

5, Is all about game development. Involving in game development had been my dream since young.

Here are some of the pictures I snapped in the office today.

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Most of the hatchers bring their own laptop (limited space? good, everyone can talk!) I like this feeling, all work together, discuss and yell together.

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This is my space, my 2 years old wife and girl friend’s head phone. Why headphone? Because I need music to steam my brain to think ( not because of the noisy office? no…of cause not…)

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This guy with a soft toy in his hand is Nowing aka Quasr’s God (Because he create it). It’s common to see somebody playing with a toy in the office, since there are many of them (Sponsored by John :P)

 

Anyone felt excited or attracted after reading this? Hatchlings Games are still recruiting 😛


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June 14, 2007 Posted by | Game Development, Hatchlings Games, Job, Programming, Working Environment | 5 Comments