My 2022 Retrospective

These are the final hours of 2022 and I didn’t want to let the year end without writing a short retrospective about what the year meant to me.

No gaming insights here. This is a piece more personal than the regular ones so feel free to skip it — you’ve been warned!

The Best
  • Joining King has been amazing!
    I can safely say that starting to work at King has been one of the best professional decisions I’ve ever taken — I only regret not doing it sooner!

    It wasn’t an obvious decision, though.
    Because before joining King I was concerned it would mean a step back in my career. In the sense that I would go to work on a much bigger game than anything I had touched before (Candy Crush Saga), but in a role that had less responsibility and possibly less direct impact than in past companies… Fortunately, those were all unfounded fears.

    Especially since early 2022, when I switched roles from Game Design to Product Management, I really feel I’ve been able to put my skills to work and deliver a lot of impact to the game (much more than I was expecting).

    I can’t be thankful enough to my coworkers (Lars, Jesper, Karin, Dasha, Olga, Andrea, Juan, and more) for the confidence they placed in me this year, and how welcome they made me feel. I’m really looking forward to seeing what incredible results we can achieve next year!
  • My indie game was a success!
    Technically this is something that I did in 2020, but it’s just that I reaped the results now so I’m counting it for this year 😀

    In 2022 I released The Song Out of Space, a game that I solo developed during the Covid lockdown was released on Steam, Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch.

    This was a massive challenge because it forced me to push my limits when it comes to coding, art, and managing outsourcing teams. I had done things for game jams and similar, but releasing a full game on so many platforms was a whole different deal.

    Despite the rough presentation and the fact that the story is quite short, the game actually got a decent reception [1][2][3], with many people enjoying the characters and overall story. To craft those, I mastered the story as a roleplaying adventure with friends, which I feel helped a lot to create compelling and realistic decisions, dialogs, and situations.

    Releasing this game taught me how to make things happen with a microbudget. Because it’s easy to promise the sky, the difficult part is to make something happen with limited resources.
    I also learned a lot about how publishing and distribution work on HD platforms, and now I understand much better how the audience dynamics on PC and Console for indie games.

    And while it definitively won’t pay my bills, it’s fair to say it outperformed my expectations: It represented a big boost to my total earnings this year… Thanks to this I could afford, among other things, a superb trip to Disneyland with my girlfriend, scratching a big one from the bucket list.

    Not bad for something that I put together in a couple of months of 2020 while being unemployed! Overall, perhaps it may not be the biggest achievement this year, but it was a greatly satisfying challenge.
  • Being part of the Deconstructor of Fun crew is a reward on its own!
    It’s been just a bit more than a year since I was promoted from a mere fan to a content creator at DoF. I feel it has really pushed my skills to a whole new level.

    Before joining DoF (and starting blogging about game development), my professional network was limited to the people that I directly worked with.
    While I’ve been very lucky to work closely with some of the best in Barcelona, being limited to local and personal contacts also meant that it was all people with a level of seniorship relatively close to mine, and with similar experiences. All great people, but similarly flavored.

    Thanks to DoF, GameMakers, and more groups of experts, my professional network has expanded with seniors with vastly different professional experiences from all around the world, which has greatly accelerated my personal and professional growth.

    Additionally, I also feel this year I’ve been pumping some high-quality content for the blog and newsletter, and I’m really happy to see that people seem to be enjoying it so far.

    Possibly the biggest achievement in this regard was my talk being scored the highest in the first-ever DoF event was a totally unexpected achievement and I’m really thankful to everyone for the praise!
The Worst
  • I am not yet where I wanted in my career.
    All things considered, 2022 has been a good year to me professionally, and I’m grateful and satisfied with what I achieved. But I still feel that I could do much more.

    Deep in my heart I know I could achieve much more with my skills and talent if I was given a chance to create something new and unique. And it’s frustrating that the big opportunity never seems to arrive.
    Frankly, if my career was to end tomorrow, I would be very disappointed. Like there was a promise left unfulfilled.

    Ultimately, I guess it’s OK that I feel like that because it means I have the ambition to keep moving forward, continue improving every single day, and keep trying hard to make things happen. In all things in life, one has to enjoy the journey at least as much as the arrival.

    That big opportunity will appear one day (or I’ll make it happen!), for I know that hard work pays off, and dreams come true, and bad times don’t last — but badasses do.
  • I prioritized work over my loved ones too much — that was a mistake.
    In my quest to improve professionally, I’ve invested an insane amount of time.

    To some degree, that’s OK. I’m a person that works on something that I passionately love, so it’s normal that a big part of my spare time will be dedicated to work-related topics.
    There’s not such a big distinction for me between leisure and non-leisure time.

    But I’m aware my parents aren’t getting any younger, and I’m neither. As much as I love it, I can’t lose myself entirely to my profession, or I will regret later having missed many moments that are precious and will never come back.

    This doesn’t mean that I need to change anything specific, but I need to be aware that it can’t be all work, and I need to prioritize higher my partner, family, and friends.
Looking forward to 2023
  • I want to continue to be unapologetically proud of who I am and what I do.
    But still remain humble and open to learning from everyone.
    • And if that means that I’m not good at “promoting myself“, that’s OK.
  • I want to have more time to improve on skills that I’ve left unattended. In particular, I want to significantly level up when it comes to coding, and I also want to do more sport.
  • I want to spend more time with my family and friends, and be able to give them back more.
  • I want to care less about being “given a chance“, and more about doing what I love — making great games.

Special thanks to everyone that shared my journey this year.
Next year even more, and even better.

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