When pandemic hit in 2020 I found myself out of work. Until then I used to have a java based pirate gameserver of a MMORPG as a hobby.

When pandemic hit I noticed that online players count increased from like 70 to 200 without much advertising because purely of people being stuck in home. So i decided to scale and spent 2 years with that. What a wild ride it was.

So i invested a bit in ads, managed to reach around 500 online players, opened my own company and launched a couple other successful spinoffs of that gameserver.

First year it was a goldmine but I was doing 10-14 hour days because I had to take care of everything (web, advertising, payment integrations, player support and also developing the server itself, ddos protections and etc.). I made quite a bit of money, saved for a downpayment for mortgage and got an apartment.

Second year I noticed that there was a lot of competition and online players count dropped, but I double downed on this and invested a lot into the product itself and spent most of the time developing a perfect gameserver that would be the big bang while also maintaining existing ones. Clasic overengineering mistake. As you can guess, I crashed and burned on all levels, never even managed to launch my final project because simply the scope was too big and I had trouble finding decent devs to outsource it to, since it was a very niche gameserver.

In the end I learned a lot especially about my own limits and ownership, now Im back to being a dev but working as a contractor.

I believe having actual business owner experience allows me to have different perspective and I can bring more to the table rather than focusing on crunching tasks.

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    Wow! What a ride. You made risks and learned a lot more than others can say. That's for sure.
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    @iSwimInTheC I sacrificed a lot, nearly got separated with my current girlfriend. I was doing all of this alone with a little help from some people who helped out with some decisions and testing along the way. Got overweight, started balding and like 10 percent of my hair is grey now even tho Im in my late 20s. But Im proud of it. On my deathbed I wont regret that I did it. Some could say I can slip into senior roles now because well, I just look more senior.

    Last 6 months with business was basically sunken cost falacy because I had to see it through. It was my 10 year long dream to try out myself in running my own business.

    It was a rollercoaster but I use the lessons from that daily. That experience made me into a more pragmatic dev. I dont dwell on complex "perfect" solutions anymore, now I always focus on producing a working version first and optimize on later iterations.

    Life is too short to overcomplicate things and bind your identity to what you are doing to make a living.
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    @topsecret230 very well said. You could write a book!
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    Reminds me of a friend with who I had launched couple of game servers when we were teens. Made crap load of money at that time.
    Then, friend decided to make a custom game server with a lot of features that people should like we left our current servers to die and started developing.

    After month I said that it looks perfect and we should launch it to test it and see if players has feedback.

    My friend said its not yet good enough.

    Month become, 6 months, then a year - he was still working on it, I was already out as Im finished all my stuff and project now just stands in place (i was doing web and payments).

    Fast forward 8 years - just before Chirstmas on 2022 he launched!

    He said it was total failure, maybe 20 people joined and then left server pretty soon again.
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    @grinry Overengineering is a dangerous thing. Also after those 8 years probably the game wasnt even relevant anymore. Just like in business, u can build the most perfect technical solution but if people dont care about it you will fail hard.
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    @topsecret230 yeah, when he said that he is planning on launching it noe for real, my first question was “does anyone still plays it?” :)
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