Shipping the Game


Yeah, it’s that crazy .. When you’ve obsessed over a project for 5+ years, and it finally crosses the finish line .. I mean .. It’s probably like losing your leg for 5 years, then waking up one day and it’s there! Then, even though you’re absolutely delighted at first, you keep getting these episodes of pure delight for overcoming such a stigma …

Wasn’t It Fun?

So, you’re probably asking yourself by now.. “Wait, you were building a freaking game! Which you loved! Wasn’t it fun?!?!” … Yeah, sure when I was writing code and designing solutions it was liberating .. But then, most of my off time during work or burnout period, it was just a depressing feeling to think about it.

Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who was foolish enough to ask me, “So, how is the game going?” or “When are you planning to ship?”. One of my friends who did ask me this question regularly, said to his other friend, and I quote: “Everytime I ask [Maz] about the game, I see the expression on his face shift immediately”.

That wasn’t fun. Feeling pressured to ship after so long, not being able to see the finish line, skill level not matching the challenges at hand … Check the image below, and I need not say more.

Skill level vs Challenge level chart

What Are the Implications?

In 2014, I worked at a startup in Dubai as an iOS developer with a decent team and salary. I’m now working in Dubai as an iOS developer with a decent team and salary. The difference? Before shipping, and after… Perhaps you can’t attribute the difference fully to the shipping of the game, but I sure feel it has lots to do with it.

  • 2014: I brooded over the thought of studying Japanese.
  • 2017: I enrolled before settling in, and already enjoying the classes.

  • 2014: I’ve attempted to buy a car, apartment, and make big decisions, but failed to execute anything.

  • 2017: I’ve got a new job + relocation, car, and apartment in 3 months. Also, I feel prepared to take the biggest step in an adult’s life.

  • 2014: I indulged in mindless refactoring at work with low biz value.

  • 2017: I’m proposing and pushing structural changes from day one.

  • 2014: I lacked the confidence at work, home, and in social gatherings.

  • 2017: I’m much more content with how my relationships turn out.

  • 2014: One small external emotional impact could leave me broken for weeks.

  • 2017: It barely takes more than a few minutes to get over something.. After all, I shipped DAMA! XD

I hope my point became clear with the examples above. I am not really sure if my game was a stigma in the past that pulled me back, but at least I’m certain now that it’s a source of pride and confidence.

So, You’re a Success Now?

Nope. Not yet. And here is where the essence of this whole post comes in:

You must find your contentment within yourself.

Only one of all my friends and family truly came close to understanding what finally shipping my game meant to me. Only one!. It wasn’t like I could share this accomplishment with people, and amplify the outcome, so to speak.

Also, the game itself wasn’t a huge hit. If anything, I’ve only lost sales so far and accumulated running costs from the servers and other services, lol. But that doesn’t matter, either!

This brings us back to the quote above, and that is: I was aware this milestone only meant a tremendous amount to me, and no one else. People didn’t like it? Meh. People thought I wasted 5 years of my life? Meh. What do they know?

Bonus: But You’ve Abandoned the Blog!

Some may point out that the blog was one of my “biggest” accomplishments during my pre-shipping, and it didn’t come back, yet. Actually, this is an excellent point, and it has to do with the actual value this blog had! Try reading the posts, and you’ll realize what a mess 90% of it was.

No proper structure, barely any useful content, and when it was finally there at a good level, it was really just me scraping for any remnants of self-dignity and busywork to make me feel productive so that I could muster some motivation to keep moving forward.


I’m super glad that I’ve seen my game through, and I wouldn’t change anything if I would go back in time. It wasn’t about the actual game; it was about the learnings and the journey.