Mike018

My Phaser Story

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Over a year and a half ago, I started to learn how to program while using Phaser. Since then I've released a number of mobile apps that have been commercially successful and allowed me to work from home and basically do anything I want with my life. Since I've had a blast working with Phaser, had lots of help from the community, and have anxiously waited for every Phaser newsletter since I started using it, I figured I should share my little story with you guys.

I'm one of the few who uses Phaser solely for mobile apps, but I never actually planned on doing that. 2 years ago my friend and I were developing a language learning app focused on writing the alphabet of non-latin based languages. We were using html5 canvas for our writing recognition using a custom framework my friend made and I wanted to add some cool effects to the writing strokes. But had no idea how to do it and at the time, I couldn't print a "Hello World" from memory! Looking for a solution, I stumbled upon Phaser and slowly learned how to program while making a bunch of little prototypes. I never actually intended to make a commercial game with it though. Fast forward a few months and my friend, the programmer of the writing app, got married and took a month off. I decided to spend that month making a small language learning game with Phaser. I made a very simple game where you learn numbers and colors and I was like... you know what? I'm just gonna release this even though people probably won't like it and there's almost no content. I made one app for Japanese and copied everything over and made one for Korean as well. Within a month both of them were getting ~1,500 downloads a day, which was better than our writing apps. I was pretty surprised because the game was clearly not finished, and you could blow through all the content within 30 minutes, but the vast majority of people only had positive things to say about it. Since Phaser was the only thing I had experience in and I loved working with it, I continued to use Phaser even though I had no plans on doing anything with web. I then spent the next 4 months adding a lot more categories, hired professional voice actors to voice all the words, and added more languages, and the app really took off after that. The rest is history.

From lurking on this forum for quite a while, I've noticed that finances comes up quite a bit. What I did, which will work if you don't have any location-specific responsibilities, would be to move to a very cheap place, go abroad if you are in a developed country. I saved up $10k and moved to China & Taiwan for about 2 years, spending an average $60 - 120 / month for rent. This gave me a 1.5 year runway whereas if I stayed in the states, that money would have barely lasted me 5 months with the same lifestyle I enjoyed in China & Taiwan. This was crucial because I was able to completely focus on learning and developing, ignore every part-time job offer that came up, and still being able to live a full life of traveling, eating out, extracurricular activities, and having fun every weekend, which is crucial for efficiency.

And that's my Phaser story. Thanks to Rich for an excellent product, without it, maybe I wouldn't have learned how to program.

iOS and Android links: https://jernung.com/infinite

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2 hours ago, rich said:

What a great story, I'm sure I remember featuring your apps on the Phaser site a few years ago?! :)

Yep, I think I made it to the newsletter June/July 2017 on my first version and again in November 2017 for my second version. I recently finished remaking the app a few weeks ago for the fourth time (never released the third version) using phaser 2.6.2 (I literally started rewriting it a week before phaser 3 was released!). 

Edit: Wow, it seems I also made a small game prototype in June 2016 and it also got featured (Two Blades)! I think I learned phaser for a few months and did nothing more with it until almost a year later, somehow the timeline in my mind thought a year was just a few months.

Edited by Mike018

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This part was very fun for me: "go abroad if you are in a developed country. I saved up $10k and moved to China & Taiwan for about 2 years,"

It happened something similar to me. I was living in Europe when I did Phaser Chains, I was working in something too boring for me, building a trading platform on top of Eclipse RCP, but Phaser Chains liked a lot to the Phaser community and said, well, this liked the people more than I expected, I was making tools on top of Eclipse for years, I love compilers, I love tools, I love game development, I love Cuba, ok, I am going back to Cuba right now. I developed the first version of the editor in two or three months, the 0.5K euros I had, gone to 0, I had a kid, but the editor started to sell something, and because I am in Cuba, with a few sells I was able to continue working only on the editor. Today, the editor is providing me the needed resources to feed a family and enjoy (not traveling) but a normal life and what is more important, the option of doing what I love: to focus on developing my own ideas. Developed countries, or environments, can boost your product to a level you cannot do in other places, but if you do not have a solid background, it could be very hard to keep alive just doing what you really love.

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22 minutes ago, PhaserEditor2D said:

This part was very fun for me: "go abroad if you are in a developed country. I saved up $10k and moved to China & Taiwan for about 2 years,"

It happened something similar to me. I was living in Europe when I did Phaser Chains, I was working in something too boring for me, building a trading platform on top of Eclipse RCP, but Phaser Chains liked a lot to the Phaser community and said, well, this liked the people more than I expected, I was making tools on top of Eclipse for years, I love compilers, I love tools, I love game development, I love Cuba, ok, I am going back to Cuba right now. I developed the first version of the editor in two or three months, the 0.5K euros I had, gone to 0, I had a kid, but the editor started to sell something, and because I am in Cuba, with a few sells I was able to continue working only on the editor. Today, the editor is providing me the needed resources to feed a family and enjoy (not traveling) but a normal life and what is more important, the option of doing what I love: to focus on developing my own ideas. Developed countries, or environments, can boost your product to a level you cannot do in other places, but if you do not have a solid background, it could be very hard to keep alive just doing what you really love.

Nice! I used phaser chains pretty much every day that I was developing with phaser. It made working with phaser super easy!

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47 minutes ago, B3L7 said:

This story was really inspiring. Thank you for sharing it. Do you have any recommended tutorials on Cordova you found useful?

Glad you liked it! I don't have any recommendations for tuts.

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