Category Archives: Uncategorized

Kymera Keeper in the Making – Part 1

Since Red Seraphim’s current work in progress, Kymera Keeper, is about to go into beta in a few weeks, I took a little while to reflect on the long journey the company has taken in making this game. My roundabout reflections start with the impetus for joining Red Seraphim to a game in the first place.

Facebook games are notorious for their pull. Whether you’re constructing a farm, a city, or trying to take down your friend’s empire, all Facebook games are constructed in such a way where the player achieves small, incremental goals. But I sincerely believe that games on social networks, while very addictive, are limited in how they define the goals that can be achieved. Yes, a player could complete quests where they plant three flowers and build a house. Through learning the game’s systems, they could eventually build a grand farm, city, empire, garden, set of pets, aquarium, restaurant, and so forth… but there’s not much else to it after a while. There are so many other reasons people play games. Some want to experience a story. Some want to find an activity and master it. Some simply want to win. And yet others (and Facebook has tapped into this very well, I think) want to nurture something and feel rewarded for it. What also makes games more fun is if you can accomplish all these things with your friends, or even a community.

Social games are in an awkward position right now. They’re games – but they still aren’t “legitimate” in the eyes of mainstream gamers because so many of the above aspects are neglected right now. At the same time, they’re a significant part of the gaming life of casual gamers who have shied away from mainstream games because they are approachable and do not require a big time commitment. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t trying to make Kymera Keeper casual enough for people to pick up right away and enjoy, and not hardcore enough to be a deep and competitive game. In a perfect world, I hope Kymera Keeper can be living proof that social games do not need to be insipid and simple, and a game with competition does not need to alienate those who aren’t out to compete.

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No right to cry

On a day such as today, ten years after incredible devastation, it’s hard to compare my own hardships to the sufferings of so many others. 9/11 was not just an attack in New York or at the Pentagon. It was an attack on all Americans. The suffering, however, falls upon a certain group, which I am not a part of. Therefore, in this time of mourning and reflection, all I can do is offer my prayers. I don’t believe I have the right to any tears or to be stirred by the day’s ceremonies. I also don’t believe I have the right to recall where I was or how I reacted to the news. Those are sacred privileges of the ones whose lives were wrecked by the terrorist attacks, and I will not trample on that prerogative out of respect for my fellow Americans.

Therefore today, all I can do is stand in humble silence and remembrance for the victims and heroes on that day ten years ago. God bless you all.

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The Red Seraphim

Red Seraphim started with the lack of opportunity. When you think about it, it’s actually very funny, since endeavors are about opportunities exploited by clever (or lucky) individuals.  Not so with Red Seraphim.

So what’s Red Seraphim? It’s a gaming startup, where I am a co-founder.

Quite a few of my friends and people I met in the MBA program at Santa Clara University were interested in getting into gaming. Every opening we ran into either required us to be a QA tester for years and years, and maybe move up the ladder. If we wanted to make the games themselves, we needed experience with a launched game title. So how the heck do you have experience with a launch when the entry level positions require previous experience?

Fine. If no doors are open, we make one. And Red Seraphim is that door for all of us, founder, manager, or intern.

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