A Visit to Nintendo

If you also grew up in the 80's, you know how excited I was when I had the chance to go to Nintendo yesterday. 

To say my decision to start Studio Pepwuper was influenced by Nintendo would be a huge understatement. Without Nintendo, we wouldn't have what we know as video games today. And despite many industry changes and technology cycles, Nintendo continues to create some of the purest forms of interactive entertainment today. 

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“How Are You Weird?” The Importance of Being Humble

Wednesday night, I walked downtown to a startup event by IdeaMensch. Many great talks at the event from non-profit all the way to web startups and offline retail (ice cream). My favorite talk was from Rand Fishkin, of SEOmoz's fame, a talk that's highly energetic, educational, and entertaining. (link to slides)


One of the things he talked about that really stuck with me was the topic of humility. The importance of being humble seems to be a lost art in this day of age, when everyone around us is shouting, and media constantly reminds us of rich bastards with huge egos.

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Proposing at Shibuya Crossing – The Time I Almost Spent $10,000 to Impress a Girl


I almost spent $10,000 to impress a girl. Almost.

Three years ago last month in June 2009, I proposed to my wife. From idea generation, coming up with a strategy, drafting a plan of attack, setting priorities, scheduling, budgeting, all the way to the execution and implementation, the entire "operation proposal" took several months and lots of brain juice. I wanted it to be special, I wanted it to be fun, and I wanted it to be something we could talk about for years to come.

I had several ideas for how I could "pop the question":

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How a Simple Technique Helped Me Figure Out What I Want to Do with My Life

The hardest questions to answer are the ones about ourselves.

When I was having my quarter-life crisis at the grand age of twenty-eight, I started looking for an answer to this all-important question: What Do I Really Want to Do with My Life? The answer to this probably changes depending on my age. But I knew if anyone asked me on the spot, I would have no answer. I couldn't live with not having at least one answer to this question. 

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Dealing with Information Overload: Good-to-Know VS Need-to-Know

It's happening.

Six months into your new entrepreneurial life, your time starts to escape you. You have 2 email accounts ready to explode at any minute, and 12 different ToDo lists on 3 different task management tools. You tell yourself that you'll reply to Skype messages later. And you've given up on listening to all your voice messages. But as the head of the company, leader of the pack, captain of the ship, there is one thing you just can't give up no matter how busy you are - reading.

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BUT I am NOT a Programmer, or an Artist, or a Writer, or a Marketer…

People are given titles. Our titles give us an identity, a way to introduce ourselves to the world, a sense of security. If you are in a well-respected position, you feel powerful when stating your title. "I am the CFO of Billshut Financials." See there, instant power shot. It validates your skills and your accomplishments. It confirms your importance professionally.

But what happens when you want a different title? What if this thing you want to build requires people with different hats than the one you currently wear? "I have a great idea but I am not a programmer." "I am a programmer but I can't design for shit!" Many people stop here. These thoughts have prevented some of the most brilliant ideas from being executed.

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Why Having a Crisis is Good for You (My Quarter-life Crisis)

crisis /ˈkrīsis/ Noun:
1. A time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.
2. A time when a difficult or important decision must be made: "a crisis point of history".

I turned Thirty Two a few weeks ago. "Oh &#!+," I thought to myself, "I'm old." Your age becomes no more than a number after it surpasses a certain number. Everyone has a different number. For me, it was 28.

I had a crisis when I turned 28. I freaked out. Why 28? I have no idea. Probably because that's when my dad married my mom. I thought, just like him, I'd have everything when I turned 28 - a house, a wife, know what I was doing with my life, have enough friends close-by to never have to make new friends, know where I'll live for the rest of my live...etc.

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Announcement: Moving Blog Posts

I've started moving game related posts to our developer blog at pepwuper.com to better focus this blog on topics outside of independent game development. Previous Unity3D tips and tutorials are also moved over there. 

I've had this blog for over two years and I think it's time to give it an overhaul. More changes are coming!

The More You Know Who You Are,

I didn't know this would happen, but the journey of starting my own business has taught me more about myself than about business.

"The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you." - Bob. Lost in Translation.

And that was not in the plan. The plan was to outsource development, sell millions of copies, and get acquired by Google/Apple/Facebook/EA/Disney in a year. Fortunately, none of that happened. Instead of hiring out the development, I put my head down and learned to do it myself. Instead of selling millions of games and getting acquired, I assembled a small team and made great like-minded friends.

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The Gap between Core and Casual – the Premium Casual

If you spend enough time observing the game industry, you know there are primarily two markets - the traditional Core market, and the red-hot new Casual market of today. The traditional Core market has been in existence since the days of Atari decades ago. It has evolved from simple games with ASCII art to complex games with close to real-life graphics. Step into any GameStopand most games you see in the shop would fit into this category. They are complex, deep, visually stunning, and often focus on serving the Core gamer market - male from 18 to 35. You see a lot of shooting, fighting, sports, racing, fantasy/sci-fi, military/war, action/adventure games in this market today.

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