5 min read

Job VS Paid Hobby

Have you ever feel wrong at your day job ? Feeling you're not fitting in ? Lack of something... like passion ? I was feeling the same way so I've decided to take the leap of faith. Nop, I'm not an assassin : I've started to become an indie developer

Have you ever feel wrong at your day job ? Feeling you're not fitting in ? Lack of something... like passion ?

Since I've graduated, I've tried a large variety of jobs. I've started as an IT Consultant, I've dabble as a teacher, I've tried to sell mobile phone plan, I've worked in a University... In none of these jobs, I've fitted in.

Each time I've took another job, I was full of hopes, but desillusion come quickly. Each time I've changed, I've told myself "It's not a problem if the paycheck is smaller, the job will be far more interesting" : I was totally wrong.

In the last one, I've started to have darks thoughts : "I'm useless" "Life is boring" "I should throw my car in a wall rather than going to another day of that job".

In fact, I was doing wrong all the way. Life was boring because I've lived in the wrong way : I was performing jobs when I was carving for passions.

Find the sparkle inside

If you're struggle the same way I was, all you need to do is find the sparkle inside you.Just ask yourself this simple question : "What for I'm ready to get up in the morning without any payday, every weeks, every months, every years ?"

When you know the answer : you've found your own sparkle.

In my case, I've remembered a dream I had when I was an early preteen. When my father brought at home our first personnal computer, I discover video games for the very first time. As far as I can remember, the first game I've played was Lemmings. At this age, I found this game very hard but i've always enjoy to make them blow when I feel frustrated :) Old good time. A later one, UFO : Enemy Unknown was the one who drive me into the urge of making game. 

First disappointment, when I've asked to my father about programming and developping game. He gave me a big book about Delphi, with no support and no other explanation... I was like : "What the heck?"

At this time, it was internet beginning and game engine were home made. There were no such thing as Unity, CryEngine, or UDK.

You don't even need to do study for it

Today, it's another time. Internet is a gold mine of informations, Game Engine have a great accessibility and are well documented. Seriously, at this time, if you want to make game, it's easier to find a starting point.

I've never graduated in IT, nor in Graphics. I've graduated in Human Ressources. Basicaly, I should have been the guy who hire/fire and deal day to day with the human workforce in a big company. Why have made such studies ? Because it was easier and because I've lost my sparkle.

All the things I know today about computer sciences : I've learned it by myself, in books, with internet or by digital training.

If I can do it, you can do it ! All you need is passion and grit ! I wish I can go back in time and tell that to the kid version of me.

If it's feel like work, you're doing it all wrong

For the past eight months, I've worked every day with a friend to build Breaking Walls Studio and our first game who will be ready soon : Anacruz - Magical Music School

Eight month without a payday, eight month on my own earning and eating pasta (lucky me I'm a good cook and I can make delicious pasta sausage, don't believe me : ask my wife ;) ).

And you know what ? I've never feel so great and never work so much in my life ! 

And hell ! What a tremendeous experience for both of us ! I've improve my programming skills faster than light, far more than with years of a regular IT day job, and my friend feel the same way. And imagine how great is it to see your game becoming a reality and growing day after day !

Both of us could no more imagine doing something else than being indie game developpers. It's our sparkle !

We hope getting paid in the future, because fews things are free in life. But even with a payday, I think we'll never feel that as a job but living it like a paid hobby, and it's all we are dreaming about :)

The games make me dream when I was a kid, I'm living my dream today and I wish to make other people dream too with our own games !

If you carve for being in the game industry, even if it's hard but you feel an strong passion about it. I've only one advice : Do it ! No excuse, cast out the fear and take your leap of faith !

Ludovic Mahieu
Developper C# @ Breaking Walls Studio

Latest Jobs


Playa Vista, California
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   


Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter


Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more