2 Miles Run Is NOT Pretty Pathetic

Yesterday I had a short conversation with one guy who threw a comment that got me thinking about game development. He said (when I asked ‘How’s things?’):

not too bad, just tried going for a morning run for the first time ever…now im knackered! heh about 2 miles. its pretty pathetic hahah

I immediately said: “Hey, that’s much better than most people ever do!”

It’s same with video games development: When somebody makes and finishes a game, you can rest assured that there’s always some people who are saying “But Neverwinter Night is much better and it costs only $20 more, you all should buy that game.” It’s like… it really makes people shy about their achievements. I mean – finishing a game is a big thing. Even if it’s a Pong clone, it’s still finished. I mean – Neverwinter Night is a great game, won’t argue with that – but any indie game that sees a daylight is definitely worth mentioning.

There’s lots of people out there who can point how “somebody did a better game” and “how your game sucks” and basically will mock you.

Let’s take a wider view on this issue: There must be like millions of game developers in the world and if you’ve done any game progress, you have the right to be proud of it. 2 miles run is NOT pretty pathetic. It’s a fine start.

There’s no other way to make the journey of thousand miles than taking one step after another. Sure, sometimes you might get lost and travel in a completely wrong direction, but that’s why they invented compass: so that you could learn from failures, head for the right direction and take steps forward.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. This is true of the music biz too. I was a musician for a while. I wasn’t that bad, but people would always say “have you been on top of the pops?” and if I said no, they’d say “you must be pretty crap then”. Those people never seemed to be able to play a musical instrument though…

  2. microphone received thanks.

    OK so today my total income from games and my BlitzMax Game Framework topped £2000. This has happened over 9 months and is from 450 units sold. Again, this might not seem like a lot, but it’s over £220 a month and this is just the beginning! I even found out that I sold 3 Xmas Bonus games in July haha, talk about out of season.

    My next game is nearly ready for release and I learnt from my other games (and by looking at other top games) so it should do well and ramp up my income. Things can only get better and I’m not giving up. Other games are already in the pipeline.

    I don’t think there is a magic wand you can wave to suddenly make money in this industry but you have to build up your skills and knowledge and keep moving forward. Although I’ve been programming for 23 years (inc. 10 years as a business software/database developer), I only started making demo PC games in Blitz in Nov 2004, and my first commercial game was released at the end of Dec 2005 – so it took over a year of practice to get to that stage before I made any money at all.

  3. Yeh, and it isn’t really matter if your game/product/demo/whatever is poor or good – that’s subjective. In reality it’s in people’s minds. I could almost argue that product has nothing to do with what people say about it: there’s always people who will hate it and like it. You can take any game or product and I’m sure there’s somebody out there who likes it, and somebody who dislikes it. Somebody will say “cool!” while others say something like what you’ve just mentioned. Whether it costs 6 millions to make or 40 hours – there’s always somebody who dislikes or likes it.

    Even when it’s true that you can show the benefits by getting people into your project I seriously want to remind everybody (including me!) that game (or any) products are not done to get acceptance from others and there’s nothing you need to prove to anybody. If – let’s say when somebody mocks my games, projects, ideas, websites, blog or whatever… that’s their opinion. I mean: I’m not here to please everybody. Naturally I read every bit of feedback I get and progress them – but ultimately I’m not doing business just to please somebody who doesn’t like what I’m doing. Of course I’m sorry to hear that some people dislike what I do, but I really cannot ask anything but patience. Maybe I can be a good example about a bad example on how not to do something! If these guys leave, but learnt that lesson – then my work is done. Every negative feedback I get is a sign for me to improve in some way: maybe I need to write in better way or adjust and improve game in some way. I don’t say I’d accept everything, but negative feedback can help you find the quickest way to the place where you are heading.

    It’s easy to see how “others do this”, but if you take a honest look on yourself: can you spot similar behavior in yourself? In the past I’ve seen guys that are successful and had quick feeling of “man that sucks how he is so successful”, but after thinking and progressing these feelings it’s easy to spot that this type of thinking probably means that you are looking at something what you want. I’ve noticed that it does absolutely no good to me to focus on moaning about somebody’s successful even if I don’t like the guy. The thing I’m practising is to learn from those who are some way better than I in doing something. Maybe their business model is awesome – so I could try to copy the model and implement it in my field of business. Or maybe there’s some nice opportunities being done by big corporations: perhaps I could learn from them even when I might dislike how they treat customers or their people.

    This turned out to be a quite long comment – I’ll pass the microphone now to the next one.

  4. I do independent software projects and a lot of times most of the time when I tell people I’m building a program that does whatever it is that it does, they almost always go “there’s already a bunch of software out there like that already” or “who is going to want to use that?”. I’m convinced that people have these responses for two reasons. The first being that they don’t understand your idea and just don’t care about it to begin with and the second reason being that subconsiously they don’t want you to succeed because they feel that they’re better than you and that they should be the one to succeed although they haven’t tried to do anything so they probably wont. I think everyone thinks they’re better than other people in some way. Not every way but in some way everything thinks they’re better at something. The only way I’ve found to get anyone to think my idea is cool is if I offer to have them join my project with me and show them the benifits they could get from it for themselves.

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