No matter how much you love your work, whether you're a website builder or a creative director, it's good to have a side project to keep your creativity on its toes. We asked Thomas Palef about his playful side project.
Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Thomas Palef. I'm French and live in Paris. I worked as a web product designer/manager, but I quit my day job a few months ago to start working on my own projects. Lessmilk is one of them.
Why make a game per week?
I had zero experience making games, and I wanted to become good at it. Forcing myself to build one new game every week seemed like a good way to achieve that goal. Ten weeks later, I can say that it worked out pretty well: I'm now feeling more and more confortable building more and more complex games.
What's the reaction to the project been like?
Right from the beginning of the project, I added a comment system to gather feedback from players. And almost all the comments on my games are really supportive. People seem to enjoy my games and are recommending them to their friends. This was completely unexpected, and really awesome.
Why make the games in HTML5? Why not produce an iPad game per week and get rich?
Actually, when I was just starting to think about this crazy 'one game per week' idea, I was considering making iOS games. But I quickly realised that making games for smartphones is a lot of work (as well as making the game, you have to support different screen sizes, follow the App Store submissions process, and so on). With my short time constraint, I think it was more reasonable to keep things simple and make web games in HTML5. However, now that I have more experience, I'm thinking of starting to make smartphone games.
What advice would you give a web worker looking to start a side project?
This might sound obvious, but you should start a project you really enjoy working on. I've started a lot of side projects only to stop after a few weeks because they were becoming boring. With Lessmilk, since I really like building games, I just kept going until the project started to get noticed.
This article originally appeared in net magazine issue 254.