I was born in Macau, China and attended an all-boys high-school, Ever since I was a teenager, I tinkered with the computer with my cousin. Ever since then, I always had a special interest and affinity to technologies. Like most kids, I enjoyed computer games, When my parents gave my very first computer as a gift for being the top of my class when I was in form 2 at my secondary school. I mastered DOS and Windows within six months. I then went on to teach myself some simple web page design and programming basics through self-help books. I made my first program and simple games in Adobe Flash back in the days.
I was raised by my deaf grandma when I was small kids and my grandpa passed away before I was born. Although there were many sadness and inconvenience in her life, she still tried to bring the best and happiness to me. Therefore I dreamt and decided to work and help sick and defective people with future technologies ever since then.
I came to Australia in 2004 for better education and higher career prospects. By the time I graduated foundation year, I knew I wanted to study computing. And by chance UNSW has a double degree of Computer and Biomedical Engineering, so I determined to put my dream on reality. From that point on, everything fell into place. My life revolved around computing and programming.
I was not an easy time throughout the university. However, I have made it through with satisfying results and awarded Honours Class 2 Division 1. I have also obtained a commendable achievement on publishing two academic journal papers as the second author, thanking my thesis supervisor keep motivating me and pushing my limit.
I have also finished a four months internship as a web developer in Rockable Apps in 2009, developing its second-hand exchange platform on the standalone website and its Facebook app. I have learnt a lot from this position about web development and Facebook graph API, and this motivated me to work as a web developer in my later career.
To be honest, it wasn’t easy to find my first job as an oversea fresh graduate. After some rough time, I finally got into an e-commerce company as a web developer. I worked pretty much individually on a website that having thousand traffics and hundreds of orders every day. I maintained and developed both frontend and backend of the website, as well as creating internal tools for better order management and faster process. We used an old open-source e-commerce platform called osCommerce, and I open-sourced a few of our systems and dedicated back to the community. I also take part in researching and prototyping the newest e-commerce platforms such as Magento. Furthermore, I have also learnt a lot on website knowledge such as search engine optimization (SEO) and Google tag manager and strived to make our website to be the top within our competitors.
Like most of the kids, I played many computer games in childhood. I dreamt to be a game developer one day but didn’t expect this would come true. My university friend, Brian, came to me one day and ask if I want to make a game together for fun. Although I’ve been a web developer for years, I was eager to learn how to make an actual playable game. Without any hesitation, I agreed and started making our first game in our spare time. We came up with many ideas and finally, we settled down with a game combining two most popular gameplays at that time, endless running and card collection, Go2School.
We put all our strange thoughts into the game. The character in the game is a super baby and he goes to school every day at the age of 3 and there is a very pretty girl in school that you like. His father is a very famous mad physicist created a black hole which became a portal between different parallel universe. So on his way to school, his father asks him to save the world by the way.
After a few months, we finally completed our prototype and decided to try our luck to get fund from a Kickstarter campaign. We had a lot of fun filming for an intro video and putting everything together. Unfortunately, we were too optimistic and failed the campaign, but we did get a lot of attraction and people did like the concept of our games. We decided to take the chance, quit our fulltime job and put all our effort onto it, we founded Sweaty Chair Studio in 2013.
It was a stressful decision and I spent almost all my saving and I had to take some freelance jobs along the way. Thank god, we finished the game and somehow gain the angel investment and publishing partnership. Ever since then, everything fell into places. The seconds game we made, No Humanity, still have 5k+ organic downloads a day and acclimated 3 million downloads. Rainmaker – The Beautiful Flood, is featured by Apple multiple times and taken the top 50 paid games. Projection – First Light, is selected to be one of the 100 games in Apple Aracade. I believe creativity is always the key in products which keep Apple coming back to us.
Founding a startup is definitely not easy, we had made a lot of mistakes and learnt a lot from there. Our first game had a lot of bugs which even occasionally stop players from playing and we have been striving hard to make sure our code is robust and stable. I designed and built up the coding architecture for the team, so code dependency and the chance of mistakes can be decreased, as well as reuse the code across projects to provide fast prototyping.
We do not satisfy on just one or a few successful games, we are very also keen to try different gaming technology such as AR/VR and multiplayer, as well as different types of gameplay. I believe keep evolving and being creative is always the way to success.
That’s only half of my journey and I look forward to continuing this in the soon future…