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Andrzej Mazur
Andrzej Mazur

Posted on • Originally published at on

Burning out... and shifting focus again

Learning the truth that the only constant is change is the most annoying thing someone with a solid plan can experience. Bonus points if you’re in the autism spectrum and hate any changes to your plan whatsoever.

Remember my Shifting focus blog post from 2020? The one published a few months after the Covid hit, with mostly bad news: no more local Gamedev.js Meetups in Warsaw, the closing of the Mozilla Tech Speakers program along the layoffs of all the dev-facing teams within Mozilla itself, and me pausing traveling and speaking activities.

There were some good news too: we were awarded that year with the grant from the Grant for the Web program run by Coil, so we could play around and experiment with the Web Monetization API - a new way to send micro amounts of money right in the browser between two individuals without any third parties. This sounded like a great opportunity to test within web games and see if it’s a viable option for indie game developers.

Body Guard and Forest Cuties

We had fun releasing two of our latest games, Body Guard and Forest Cuties, in 2021. They both were implementing some specific functions of the Web Monetization API: probabilistic revenue sharing and receipt verifier service respectively. Coil eventually shut down in 2023, but I really enjoyed tinkering with the cutting-edge tech again.

Badlucky prize for js13kGames challenge in Gamedev.js Jam

The js13kGames competition is running since 2012, while the Gamedev.js Jam started in 2020. The pandemic forced many companies to invest into online presence like never before, so sponsorships in both competitions soared. Encouraged by the situation, I decided to pursue the dream of having a sustainable business out of running both events each year, and being able to cover expenses of our whole family.

Whistler sunset

This, unfortunately, didn’t last long when the global economic crisis hit and those same companies were cutting costs and firing entire departments. I was spending more and more time trying to acquire sponsorships, which at times was very tiring. My main job for multiple weeks straight was sending emails and joining calls to talk about the exact same things, and then after a few months of conversations hearing “well, we actually don’t have budget for that anymore”.

Putting more hours into this haven’t given me more financial stability, so I was stressing a lot. I tried to make everything bigger and better to finally reach that goal, but the interest was dropping.


Not to mention something that deserves it’s own book - the legendary “new js13kGames backend” that I tried to have since 2014, because we were running on a temporary solution, and failed with multiple people for multiple reasons at least 6 or 7 times from scratch up until now. The last two or three attempts broke me, because I was trying hard to be optimistic, but it ended up the same every single time. At some point I knew it will never happen, I got depressed and wanted to shut down everything to never look at it again. I realized I’ve burned out years ago and was physically suffering just by thinking about another edition of the js13kGames competition, but I couldn’t let it go.

Fortunately enough, I got help. I’m in a therapy now. I’m working towards a healthier relationship with my job. We’ve diagnosed our daughter with Asperger’s, an autism spectrum, which surprisingly enough my therapy also uncovered in me after being deeply buried under multiple layers of trauma since childhood.

Enclave Monthly

Feeling I need to sort things out I was wrapping up all unfinished tasks, big and small, patiently completing them or throwing out off the enormous TODO list I had for Enclave Games, which was taking at least a few screens of text. After a few months I got that down to about 20–30 items, and was slowly thinking about my passion again - coding games, since the last opportunity was three years ago, and only because we got that Web Monetization grant.

Building hyper casual web games themselves don’t earn you a lot if you don’t invest your time and efforts into licensing them to publishers, so this felt more like for fun than profit, at least in the short term. I didn’t worry much, as I was focusing on clearing the TODO list first…

Dev Spotlight

…and then conversations with Paul and Chase from OP Games started to revolve around this cool new idea…

…of me actually jumping into the Developer Relations role for them, since it looks like I kind of run communities. So I would fit perfectly into leading the newly formed OP Guild, which would focus on helping indie web game developers dive into web3. Something I actually wanted to do myself since 2020, but was too busy trying to earn enough off of online competitions. Something that resembles the grant from Coil - playing with cool new technology and not needing to worry about paying the bills.

Into the future with OP Guild

So, that’s exactly what is happening: I’m joining OP Games to lead OP Guild, and I’m gonna have fun building cool demos and releasing small games trying to utilize web3, blockchain, NFTs, AI, and everything else in between I find not-quite-production-ready-but-interesting-enough-to-play-with and enjoy my time doing that. If you think 100% of crypto projects are scams stealing your money (I’m sorry if some did), and will hate me for what I decided to do - I don’t care, just don’t bother me. I want to enjoy game development again, and this is exactly what I plan on doing to achieve that.

Don’t worry, the js13kGames competition and the Gamedev.js Jam will still be happening the exact same way they did, it’s just that I won’t be needing to waste my time chasing sponsors anymore. This opportunity couldn’t come in a better time, really. I’m gonna do mine, you do yours, and if you think it’s worth exploring what I’m gonna do with OP Guild , then please join me and let’s talk!

Top comments (3)

chrislarry profile image
Chris Lawrence

Congrats, @end3r, on these breakthroughs, new opportunities, and chances to grow. I appreciate your honestly and transparency here. Careers and life can be complicated, and you were honest about that. Thanks for staying connected to this community.

end3r profile image
Andrzej Mazur

Thank you for your kind words, and your support over the years!