New 3D Printer!

Just got this yesterday.

Took it for a maiden print after coming home from work today and damn am I excited! Right now its printing this cat file that came with the MP Select Mini v2. I bought it last weekend for $240, honestly much cheaper than I had thought for this type of pre-assembled printer. Honestly you can custom build a Reprap one for about $100 but you need to assemble it yourself – which is something I don’t have the time for. Plus, this looks way more professional.

Why do I have a 3d printer? I’m thinking about launching a line of 3D printed jewelry, and this was the last piece in the equation that I needed to finish. website and model design is already done. Ill try to find some time over the weekend to launch the actual site – keep an eye out for OxygenWear.


New job and updates!

Starting out next Tuesday I will be starting as a software engineer at Shearwater! The past 3-4 months has quite the adventure. I’ve left my post as CTO of Wizdy, went on a month-long vacation in Asia (4 days Singapore, 7 days Japan, 14 days Taiwan), retired as a TAP-Boston board member, searched and found a new job, and worked on several small projects here and there.

Honestly, I will miss working with my coworkers at Wizdy. I thought it was time for me to try something new having worked at Wizdy for the last 4 years. I will also be getting back to more web development after being in the game industry for so long. The interviewing experience and dealing with salary expectations have definitely been interesting – let me know if you would like me to write about it. During this period I really had to think about what my career goals were and choose the place that best aligned with them. Overall I’ve spent about 1.5 months from beginning of studying to looking to finding a job, which was much shorter than I had expected the process to go.

There’s a bunch of side projects that I am currently working on: a personal favor ticketing interface for my girlfriend’s birthday, 3D printing custom accessories brand, but really thinking about going into some music production for a while. A tool that I’ve been eyeing is the OP-1 (btw it’s $900 what!!). Here’s a cool demonstration. Music production is something I FEEL like I should grasp quickly but I’ll probably eat my own words soon enough. I’ve played violin for years as a child and taken music theory in college but my fundamentals are still shaky. I’m usually pretty critical of other people’s music, so this is a good chance to live up to my own expectations. Oh, did I mention it is $900? I still want it though. 🙂

Mighty Arrow

Mighty Arrow 3.0 Inbound

A friend told me yesterday that the Mighty Arrow logo sucked, so I went home and redid it. My god, looking at it side by side feels like night and day…

I figured I had some time this winter break so I told myself I’d give the game another update. Here are some things that are going to change:

  • Frenzy Mode will be removed from the game
    • Took a look at analytics and the play time is just not there compared to the main game, plus I feel like this extra mode is detracting from the game’s focus/mechanic. Rather than piling on more modes, I feel improving the core experience with new targets and better feedback would be much more engaging.
  • Achievements will be added
    • This is something I am testing to see if people like. I’m a completionist myself so this is all to help with the retention of the game. I thought it would be cool to whip out your completed achievement board to somebody to see how pro you’ve become (or how much time you’ve wasted in life).
  • Daily Reward will be added
    • I will reward you for coming back to play everyday either with coins or exclusive bows to be unlocked. Who doesn’t love free stuff?
  • New set of art assets
    • There are color value issues all over the game that I would like to sort out, the background colors fight with some of the UI for attention and that’s hard on the eyes. Also the ammo target is not obvious what it does.
  • Huge performance upgrade
    • I recently found out my own tweening library had an issue with Unity 5 where sprites off-screen still resulted in a draw call. Guess I had put too much faith on the engine… at points in the game it was doing 80+ draw calls (RIP iPad mini). Oh well, its fixed now (hovering at 20)!

Planning to have this all done by the new years before 2017. Chances are that isn’t going to happen but I’m definitely going to try. Keep your eyes peeled, this will be a big one!

Got any requests? Let me know in the comments below.

Lessons Learned, Project Management

4 Tips to staying motivated

Keeping pace with a self-driven project is hard, especially when you’re not getting paid for doing them. I always find myself coming up with new projects and starting them without ever finishing. Here are some things I’ve learned working for others (for free) and for myself over the years to help you stay motivated all the way to the end.

1. Develop a support group

Friends are great for hanging out with – why not bring them together to work on something productive? That doesn’t mean they need to be working on the same project – simply setting up a quiet time to do work in their company can really make you feel more accountable for getting things done. Obviously this only works if they have something they need to work on as well. For added effect, I like to play some ambient audio while we work (bossa nova is great, so is rainy mood).

2. Bite-sized tasks while keeping vision

Perhaps one of the best ways to feel progress is to accomplish something every time you sit down to work. When you’re working on something in your spare time that can be as short as 20 minutes of your day. If you aren’t already, use a project management service (I personally use Asana, it’s awesome and it’s free). Something as simple as a tasklist can really help in prioritizing and visualizing the road to the completion of your project. Keep your tasks reasonably small, so that you can hit a checkpoint every time you sit down. One of the feelings I dislike the most going to bed is the regret that I’ve accomplished nothing all day.

The reason that I have the ‘keeping vision’ part is so you don’t get caught up on the minute details when it doesn’t really matter yet. This includes getting feedback, some retrospection, and maybe even taking a little break from the project. Always remember the why, not just the what

3. Set deadlines

Make sure they are achievable! Many software developers under-estimate their project timeline by a factor of 2 to 3. So if you’re not hitting these goals on time early on, it’s a sign that you should re-evaluate your timeline and adjust expectations as early on as possible, especially if you are working in a team.

Deadlines also keep your requirements under check. Feature creep, the ongoing expansion or addition of new features in a product, happens all the time along with changing requirements. I would feel really lucky to go through a one-and-done type of project, but honestly that almost never happens. Be honest to yourself and keep an open mind moving forward. With any experience your peers will too.

4. Finish one thing before you start another

I am a victim of saying yes to everybody. There were times where I had to juggle 4-5 different responsibilities in my life I ended up doing none of them well. What was worse, simultaneously pushing these loads dragged it on for much longer than I would have liked. Over time, I’ve learned to say no to requests when I know I can’t do it justice – and that was perhaps the biggest blessing in disguise I can do for myself and to others.

Hope this helps. Let me know if one particular point has helped in the comments below!

Happy hustling!


Moving Goalposts

I have a pretty unhealthy habit of setting the bar a bit too far out of reach sometimes. I’m saying this from an accomplishment perspective. I already have some friends who are (seemingly) successful in their startups, and actually being in one things feel completely different. I’m not sure of I’ve ever felt that ‘basking in glory’ kind of feeling that publications make entrepreneurs make out to have. Perhaps you can call this the “Facebook effect”, where everyone seems to live ideal happy lives on the surface.

Back in middle school and high school, my mom would always compare me to a friend who, for the most part, get high scores our exams. I remember refuting that had she compared me to the dumber kids in class, I would’ve come out higher every time. Sure enough I got a beating that night… I never really cared much for school or grades even though I did relatively well.

What I do care about is trying my best to become ‘successful’. Now everyone has their own definitions of success, but for me it is a moving goalpost I likely will never reach. An accumulation of these thoughts and how I am going to achieve them is what sometimes keeps me up at night. And almost as a curse, whenever I see a part of other people’s lifestyle that I want to have, I incorporate that into my own goal. I’m a perfectionist at heart – I might get pretty darn close, but I will never get there as nothing is every perfect.

I think one of the challenges that I face is simply to acknowledge where I am instead of dreaming about the future and what could’ve been all the time.

Mighty Arrow

Mighty Arrow update 1.5.0 inbound!

Just started working on an update to Mighty Arrow! What the new update will include:

  • New logo (featured image)
  • New background lighting and recoloring
  • Frenzy Mode – A new game mode where you can shoot as many arrows as you can within a minute and see how many targets you can hit. For the record there will be LOTS of things to hit on the screen. I needed a way for people who have unlocked everything to use their extra coins. Thanks to Cullen for this idea!

Just checked my Unity analytics, and so far I’ve made enough for a lunch! To be honest my expectations were much lower than this, so thank you everybody for this awesome little victory as its the first time I’ve monetized any of my side projects. This is also where my inspiration for the next update began.

Marketing the game has been another project on its own. I’m not too sure how much time I want to be dedicating to marketing as it gets very time-consuming. This all depends on the resulting downloads and growth as I do them. Fingers crossed, and be on the looking for an update in a few weeks!

Lessons Learned, Project Management

Why (and how) should I ask for feedback?

Doing a project on your own is always exciting, you’ve worked out everything in your head and all the pieces fit together nicely. You then spend the next month hard at work making strides on your project. When you finally emerge with a fully functioning product or piece of art, you come to the realization that everybody you’ve showed it to has no idea what they are looking at. One of the worst feelings in the world is creating something that nobody wants or appreciate. Getting target feedback is crucial in the success of a product. But what is the best way to integrate a feedback system into your work flow?

Here’s what I’ve learned from the last 3 years of my entrepreneurship journey:

1. Your ego is your worst enemy.

Thoughts like “It’s not ready yet” or “I don’t want to show it until it is perfect” are extremely dangerous. The more I’ve worked on different things over the years, the more I realized that no product is ever or will be perfect. Nobody likes failure, but unless you’ve achieved full mastery, chances are you are not going to hit the nail on the head the first few times. Jumping to conclusions about how something ought to be can become expensive and time-wasting. So get feedback whenever you can and don’t be afraid to be proven wrong.

The way I see it, rejections are little blessings in disguise. Put your ego aside and embrace them!

2. Integrate constant feedback into your workflow

At Wizdy, the first game (Wizdy Pets) took a team of four 2 years to complete. Our second game took a team of three 1 year to complete. Why did the first one take so long? We kept changing our game design based on the few feedback that we’ve gotten by talking to only a few doctors too late into the game. Every time we decided to change directions, it was months of work down the drain. One thing that helped immensely on the second project was integrating continuous feedback throughout the development of the project and spending a considerable amount of time in the design and prototyping phase. Even before we came up with the final design, we brought devices to kids with very similar games and observed their reactions while playing. Even during the prototyping phase, we went to play-test with kids from after-school programs at least once every two weeks. This made sure we were on the most optimal track in the general direction we had wanted to go and constantly made small design changes that have huge opportunity costs down the road.

3. Talk to strangers

I am guilty of being the problem here. If a friend came to me with a ridiculous idea for a project, chances are I am probably going to be supportive no matter how inane it may be. People tend to become much more considerate of the things they say to their friends as they age (which also makes some adult friendships tricky). The best place to get honest feedback is from people that you don’t know. This doesn’t necessarily mean to go out on the streets to flag people down, but interest group meetups are an excellent place to start. Again, I want to emphasize that if you really want a product to succeed, learn to embrace constructive criticism, even though sometimes they hurt.

Every project is different, and unfortunately there is no silver bullet to solve all problems. I hope that the points above helps to serve as a guideline on avoiding some of the pitfalls that my peers and I have wasted a lot of time trying to remedy.

With that, good luck and happy hustling!

Mighty Arrow

Mighty Arrow live on iOS and Android!

Good news! Mighty Arrow is now live on iOS and Android. Though the iOS version doesn’t have any GameCenter support just yet, that’s one of the next few things that I plan to be working on along with much more arrow skin choices.

In the meantime, I will probably focus more of my energy trying to complete this website.

Want to support my project? Please rate my game, or shoot me an email at if there are any issues with this game that you come across. I’d love to hear from you!

Mighty Arrow

New 1.2.0 Update

Not doing anything this Valentine and it is too cold for me to want to go outside, so decided to spend the weekend doing some patches and improvements to this game. Lots of new artistic changes coming in, made the graphics less variable, so you won’t get distracted by all the changes in the background. Also fixed some physics and collider bugs here. Currently working on getting bow customization going, Im really looking forward to making some cool designs for you to unlock.

One of my friends has already gotten a high score of 59, and I could not, for the life of me, beat his score (currently at 39). Whats yours?

Beta, Mighty Arrow

Mighty Arrow in Beta!

After two years of working on the games on and off, I’ve finally sat down this winter break to finish an initial release! Mighty Arrow is currently in closed beta and will go live soon once some testing is done. I am beginning to work on the website as well as the game rolls out. Check back for more news! 2016 will be a productive year.