‘Useless’? The First Review for My First Solo Game

Earlier this year, I lost my job. I pursued my dream to enter the AAA game industry, and maybe, like Icarus, I’d flown a bit too close to the sun. Flying to Salt Lake, to Australia, and back again was a life-changing experience with a painful ending. Despite the rough landing, I was grateful for the experience, including seeing inside four major studios. I was also grateful to learn that even the biggest games in the world are made by ordinary people, like me. So, with Jenilee’s help (love you!) , I dusted myself off and set out on a new dream – to build my own game.

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I worked every spare minute, of every single day to bring my dream to life. After 13 weeks, 2600 lines of stories, and 11,000 lines of code, I’d invented my first Chicken Soup Game – a combination of addicting fun and heart-warming stories from our Make-A-Wish life. Two weeks later, Tap Happy was released to the world!

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Except, of course, the world was not waiting around for Tap Happy. With 100s of new products every day, Tap Happy got lost like a grain of sand on the beach. I needed exposure and reviews, and yet, I hesitated to ask family and friends. As excited as I was, I was also a little afraid. Inside my game were some of the most intimate stories about my marriage, being a father, and my failures. The stories made it unique, and yet, also made me vulnerable. I feared they might think my game was dumb, that my stories made me weak, or worse, that no one would care.

Today, I got my first review:

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Useless? Useless! I cannot imagine a worse review and yet, I am also relieved. I’d traveled around the world to chase my dream job, only to end up back where I started. Now, to chase my dream of building my own game, I’d exposed my vulnerabilities to the world, only to be told my creativity was … ‘useless’. Pretty much as bad as it could possibly get. And that means, there’s nothing else to fear.

Twice this year my biggest fears have come true. Twice this year I have survived. What’s more, I have now worked for a AAA studio on a product connected to Will Wright and I have now designed, built, and released my own game, all by myself! Like Icarus, I got singed chasing my dreams. Unlike him, I didn’t fall to my death. I overcame my fears, unlocked two lifetime achievements, and experienced 15 weeks of joyful work with the love of my life. Which is, after all, the essence of Tap Happy.

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Gigi’s first game – Tap Happy!

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Even after losing my dream job, I still had much to be grateful for: my wife, my kids, and of course, being welcomed back at my former employer. I took some time to consider all that had happened.

I’d literally traveled around the world and along the way, I’d had a chance to see the inner workings of four AAA game studios. I learned that even the biggest games were made by ordinary folks – developers just like me. And that helped me to remember that my real dream job, had been right here, all along at Gigi Games.

Six months and hundreds of hours later, we had finished our first game! A journey of 1000 s’miles that begins with a single Tap.

Tap Happy!

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My Wife’s Idea

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A few weeks back, my wife shared an inspiration. She wanted to build an app from scratch, by herself. “Go for it”, I said, and then she set about writing and recording a meditation entitled, What Went Well.

The simplicity of happiness and gratitude combined beautifully with her personal story. I admit I was blown away. And I definitely did not expect the bomb that came next, “I have another app idea, though maybe it’ll be too risque, …” And I won’t steal her thunder by telling you the title of her next one. I’ll just say it’s never been done and I hope she can find the courage to finish it!

To celebrate, all Gigi apps are free now through Monday, March 31. Show your support by giving her first solo-effort a 5-star review!

What Went Well for iOS

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A Dream Job, A Lay Off, and Gratitude

A month ago, I started a new job in Salt Lake. For my first assignment, they sent me to Australia. It was both wonderful and stressful, and when I returned to the states, things took a turn for the worse. There was a huge round of layoffs, and as the saying goes, last in, first out. I found myself without a job.

Changes came at me too fast and I struggled. Fortunately, my wife was a rock. She reminded me to keep up my Gratitude Habit.  And she’s right of course. Despite losing my dream job, so much went well.

  1. My family is healthy – daughter, son, and wife, sitting at home, together again.
  2. My previous employer (Alion) welcomed me back with open arms! Employed again!
  3. Gigi was featured on CNET in an article about Flappy Bird.

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FREE Cyber Monday and Tuesday

Want to see what you’ve been missing? In honor of the holidays, All Gigi products are free to download for Cyber Monday and Tuesday. Find out why 140,000 invite Gigi into their homes and leave reviews like: “The Best App I’ve Ever Seen” – “Changed my Life!”

The Gratitude Habit – #1 Gratitude App, 12 months running!

Good Sex, Great Marriage – #1 Marriage App – 6 months running!

Beyond Sex and Gratitude – The Compliment Habit – #1 Compliment App

Invite Gigi in to stay, today and tomorrow, for free.

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