Craft your life's work.
Exceed7 Experiments's purpose is to make games and creations like a craft, not like a business. You will own them for a lifetime. They are your life's work. Always ask yourself are they at that level? Will you be able to proudly talk about all little aspects of them all day? Make sure they are filled with dreams and wonders.
We are (I am) based in Thailand. The initial 4 team members all came from the same class in the university on my invitation. The prototype serious 2P fighting game on the same device "Factora" existed before we graduated, way back around Angry Birds era. The real operation of Exceed7 began at the same time we started our daily work. It was demolished due to bad prototyping and reborn as "Duel Otters". Took almost a year of continued after-work game dev, I managed to barely finish back in 2014 just before I go for master degree in Japan. At the same time I need to register this Exceed7 thing as a company just so I could use the name with App Store. The initial capital was 10,000 THB (~330 USD), and thus that was the real beginning of Exceed7 Experiments, and also approaching a change right after it begin.
The team could be said to have just me alone at that point due to others had found a more promising way of living, but I didn't make it official. I continued to push more small updates for Duel Otters from Japan while working for my paper. At the end of my master degree I was faced with a forked path of whether to use the degree to work in Japan/Thailand, or use this opportunity to "do something".
I decided to try pure game dev without anything in between for the first time. I have a feeling that I would regret it if it is not now when the age number is still (considerably) low, and that wouldn't be as cool if I could "make it" much later.
I came back to Thailand and decided I will do this until 30, then probably I want to taste some normal office jobs with plenty of socials joining the other three founding members later, traded with a very late start. My parents like to beg me to finally get a life like everyone else and always talk like my life didn't even start yet. It's always "When will you ___?" from them, my current path apparently doesn't count as a life. I do have my limit of patience listening to others, but that's good since it may boost my progress. I have to hurry.
This is the real form of Exceed7 Experiments, officially just me in coffee shop everyday. I couldn't afford more team members as only 3 months of salary payouts will bankrupt me considering all money from scholarship savings back in Japan. Also I have a personal preference of not want to be in debt or being pressured by investors, further slow down the progress that I could have by taking a risk. My mom give me 5000 THB per month for survival. A month of just eating and working averaged 4000 THB in Thailand, excluding house loans. Therefore I was given a chance from my mom to just focus and show what I could without worry about anything else.
My first solo project is "Mel Cadence", a music game which I came up with the idea in those 2 years in Japan, using music and stories from friends I found in Twitter while being there. It is far from finish. However along the way I have found several new career paths, though those delayed Mel Cadence further. Among various side jobs that works and didn't work, I started publishing Unity Plugins for increased survival chance. They are all actively used in my real projects. I am also a music composer/SFX artist for some games now. I started maintaining a game dev/Unity blog Game Torrahod. It act as a lecture note for my Unity study as I am the type that couldn't learn without writing things down. I am interested in the new Data-Oriented Tech Stack (DOTS) technology and there are several articles of it, and there are several side jobs I took and solve with DOTS already so that pays off.
Everything combined and several years after, I finally managed to cross over my mom's 5000 THB threshold in some good months. A sign that I can tell my mom to stop sending money and at least be immortal now if I could keep up with this.
Duel Otters was planned to continue after I finished Mel Cadence but the plan took much longer than expected due to these side jobs, I decided to pause Mel Cadence to "revive" Duel Otters. After 6 months of remaking, Duel Otters 2.0 is live now. It is the final send off to my old self and my founding members as I delete old codes and rewrite them. Good times, and I definitely improved.
We have arrived at the present time. Congratulations for completing the story of Exceed7 Experiments, so far! Maybe if you check back from time to time, more story will appear here as long as I haven't give up yet :)
(Also as a reward for reading this far, I do have a blog that I rather call it scrapyard, just in case you want to waste even more time.)