How hobbies shape our products

In what on-line gaming taught me about startups Joel Gascoigne enumerates the lessons he learnt while playing an on-line game at 11.As he mentions in his piece he is not the only one who is influenced by his childhood avocations.

“That was how I got into it actually. I’ll credit Doom II for everything.” – Kevin Systrom

Like Kevin and Joel I grew up playing video games too.I was 15 when I first played Midtown Madness 2 and 17 when I played DOOM II (really late I know).But it was a different game that prompted me to take up programming.I first played Monster Hunter when I was in the second year of my graduation.It was no where near as popular back then as it is now.It had a good following but it was still more of a cult than a sensation.

Monster hunter was a very hard game.It was unlike any other rpg that I had played.I distinctly remember that I got my ass handed by an entry level monster,Congalala it really was very humiliating.

When I was just a beginner in the game I used to watch videos on youtube of players taking down monsters the size of mountains, frightening ferocious beasts, alone.It was at the same time inspiring and a bit demoralizing to see someone completely outclass you in every aspect possible.

Slowly but surely I started to improve in the game.I still was unable to hunt down some of the more high class monsters but I completely owned Congalala now.I farmed out a hunting set for myself made out of Congalala materials (I looked completely ugly in it but it had some advantages) that helped me bring down tougher monsters in the game.

After about 400 hours into the game I started hunting like a pro.Akantor was the final boss in the game and one of the hardest monsters (the top spot being taken by White Fatallis) in the game.On a good day I used to take the beast down in 15 minutes.

Anyways like Joel and Kevin I learnt a lot from video games that I consider valuable lessons in my life

Never give up

Monster hunter was a soul crushing game.It was unlike any other game that I had played before.The only way to get stronger was to actually get good at the game.It was not easy.Some of the earlier monster in the game were designed to mock the player.Congalala had a fart attack.If you could get through the first 20 hours in the game you are set for a grand adventure.

Take things one step at a time

Monster hunter can be a bit overwhelming for new players.There is no mission structure to the game.You can take on most monsters at any stage of the game.But the most effective way to play the game is to take on the easiest and master it before moving to the next.You learn a lot more this way.

Start small

This is an extension of above.It is imperative to start with easier and smaller monsters before moving up the chain.Learn the tricks of the trade.Hone your skills first.


Don’t stop after you have defeated a monster.Improve your skills.Tackle tougher challenges.

During my college days, I wanted to build a website specifically around Monster Hunter universe.I learned basic web programming(HTML, css and javascript) and hacked together a website.I never made it live though.Soon I moved to different programming environments and forgot all about it.

Almost 4 years later here I am with brislink a web application built using the same technologies that I made my first website in (I used node js which is javascript and html and css).So don’t feel bad if you invest too much time into your hobbies.Who knows when it might come in handy?



  • On March 31, 2013