Journey and Vision
How I Started
I’ve always wanted to development games ever since I beat Ganon in Zelda: Link to the Past. The feeling of overcoming puzzles and challenges felt great! I did a bit of programming in high school and was so excited to learn more in college. Unfortunately, I gave up on being a gamedev because programming was much harder than I original thought. I went through four languages: C+, C++, Java, and Python and still could not understand it. Art was never my strong suit so drawing wasn’t an option. Afterwards, I felt lost, confused, and unmotivated. The game industry in Houston isn’t big either, I would have to go to Austin or San Francisco to have any luck.
I graduated with a degree in organizational management and got a job at data company as a market researcher. After three years in the professional world, I started to feel unhappy and unfulfilled. My dream was to be in the game industry, not working at a data company… I eventually read a book called the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss, and it changed my perspective on life. It also taught me how to outsource work. I immediately hired a programmer and artist to start working on my first game called Finding Leo. I made huge mistakes from the start:
- No scope
- Terrible communication
- Wasted money
- Zero research
- Millions more
But here’s the thing, I am extremely proud that I was able to actually create a game. I lead a team to complete a full game! Even with all the mistakes I made, it was a great learning experience that I can take forward with me on future games. I took action and made something happen. Finding Leo was released in October 2017.
Contributing to the Game Industry
We all heard the stories of how hard the game industry can be. People getting burnout, crunch time, terrible pay, layoffs, etc. Yet I still wanted to join no matter what. I started to go to local communities to network and build relationships. I even spoke in front of the Houston City Councils to ask for funding to grow the industry here in the city. Keep in mind that I’m a huge introvert. Before speaking in front of the councils, I was breathing heavily and sweating. That experience gave me the confidence that I can speak to anyone. I wanted to keep learning and hope, in the end, I will find a way in.
Motivation to Take Action
I started listening to podcast around the time and John Lee Dumas of EOFIRE podcast motivated to start my own. I already knew in my mind that people were in the exact situation as I am. Since I was on the journey of trying to learn more, why not help other people as well. Boom! Game Dev Loadout was created. A podcast was perfect because it’s convenient, you can listen on the go, during work, commute, exercise, etc. I began reaching out and interviewing people which took a lot of effort. I probably sent out over 400 cold emails and only got 80 interviews. Plus I’m a huge introvert and so it was scary talking to the elites.
Since then I’ve been receiving thank you messages from my listeners and have over 6000 listens a month. It’s a great feeling when you are helping and inspiring others. I’ve always given back to the community like feeding the homeless in downtown and volunteering at the dog shelter. And now I get to give back to the video game community that I’m deeply passionate about.
A Bit About Me
TV = Breaking Bad
Superhero = Spider-Man
Game = Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Book = The Four Hour Week by Tim Ferriss
Music = The Beatles
Hobby = Play Video Games
Sport = UFC/Boxing
- Meet Shigeru Miyamoto
- Spar in a MMA match
- Learn to Swim
- Speak at a Game Conference
- Scuba Diving
- Try out America Ninja Warrior
- Run a marathon
- Write an ebook
- Get a GOTY award (dream big!)
- Jim Rohn – We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
- Tim Ferriss – What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.
- Gary Vaynerchuk – When it comes down to it, nothing trumps execution.
- Tony Robbins – Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.
- Napoleon Hill – Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.
What I Learn
After 80 interviews with the top people in the game industry, I learn…
1. Being a game developer is NOT easy and it takes a lot of hard work. It takes time, patience, persistence, money, and more. My goal is to mentally prepare you for what’s to come because there will be failures that will make you want to give up. You are probably in that phase right now. I hope my show can give you the inspiration to keep pressing on.
2. Networking and building relationships are vital. After going to PAX and the Austin Game Conference, my enthusiasm for the game industry skyrocket. Take part in events with like-minded people. Go to local communities, events, and chat on online forums. Listen to positive media like mines to be invigorated and learn valuable knowledge.
3. The game industry is BOOMING with VR, AR, eSports, and more gaming tools on the rise. Don’t be discouraged when people say that the video game market is oversaturated. If you make a great game and market it right, it can find success. Plus even if your game doesn’t succeed, it looks great on the resume because you can show that you completed and published a game. There are no excuses so start making a game today.
By interviewing game industry professionals, we can take inspiration and model after the best. They share techniques, resources, mistakes, action steps, and personal values. We will save so much time and headaches. The best part is when my guests offer YOU to contact them! The game industry is full of amazing people that want to help so I highly encourage you to ASK QUESTIONS.
Game Dev Loadout Podcast
We cover many subjects that include programming, marketing, user experience, art, sound engineer, producer, game design, community, and career building. Each episode details the journey of a game industry professional who shares their WORST moment and lessons learned, key principles for success, and why they love their job. Each episode ends with the Beta Phase where Tony Chan extracts personal values, internet resources, and action steps for you, GAME DEVS!
This podcast is not for people who dislike interviews. I essentially ask the same questions in every episode with a few tweaks depending on my guest background. Rest assured though that the questions I ask are meant to extract as much value as possible. I value your time, and so I do my best to make the most of it. The podcast is not for people who aren’t action taker. Trust me, I know how hard it is to take action. We might get distracted by our hobbies, families, or errands. We must make it a priority for each day to push our progress.
Here is the first episode where I go into more details about the show and my background. Enjoy and subscribe to the podcast!
Let’s build a gamedev community together where we share ideas and support one another. I love hearing stories of my guests on how they got started and what they are currently doing do this day. There are so many great resources out there to utilize. We have to hustle and take action for results. I’ve been doing so much in 2017. I’ve been emailing people in the game industry nonstop to get interviews. I learned how to use WordPress and Wix, edit audio and video, tried out Facebook, Reddit and Google ads, reached out to sponsors, and going to game conferences to network.
My motto is “knowledge is only POTENTIAL power, EXECUTION is the game.” I’m happy to give you valuable content but in the end, it’s up to you to take action and reap the benefits.
I’m here for you as both a guide and as a friend.
I want to hear your stories. I want Game Dev Loadout experience to be our experience, together. That’s how we all learn and grow together, including me.
Feel free to message me anytime and I’ll do my best to respond to emails. I treat everyone equally. And I firmly believe that interviewing the best people and spreading their message will inspire you to take action. Join me on this journey to learn from the best. Cheers to more and better games.