How I Quit My Job And Started An Indie Game Studio While Also Fabulously Pregnant
It’s plus sign.
I just quit my job and found out I’m 8 weeks pregnant.
Holy mother of squirrels.
My face when I saw the plus sign — utter shock and horror…But also fascination!
What am I going to do, now…?
Two months ago, I quit my job and started TrinityMoon Studios.
Is following my dream to start a game studio still possible? Or will I let this pregnancy compromise my creative potential and have me work under someone else forever?
No, No…I think I can do it — I know I can do it.
I’ve already bought the company domain, hosting and started hiring people for the first time in my life. Plus, the story ideation is complete; I need to write it — something I had just started to do the week before.
Sure, I’m getting super prego now, or as I like to call it — Super Saiygo.
Look out boys, here comes Super Saiygo.
And yeah, I occasionally deal with depression and anxiety…
Clearly, a graceful human being.
Can’t forget the society’s pressure on how I should be, or what I should do nonchalantly whispering profanities in my ear — both as a woman and a person in general but — who cares!?
Neither do I want to be a housewife or wear a mustache — but I think you get Freddie Mercury’s point.
Why should I let this stop me?
Why should I listen to these feelings and thoughts that pervade my mind?
They’re not me.
They’re just visitors that come and go.
Plus, seriously, it’s exhausting, and I’m tired of it.
Shoo, shoo thoughts. Bother someone else.
From this day forward, I decided no matter what difficulties lay in front of me…
I will conquer them all!!!
Kicking booty, Avatar style.
I’ve always been quietly rebellious, so why stop now?
Why not turn it up and take it to the maximum level? I definitely have it in me.
Clearly, I was pumped.
Erm, what’s the worst that can happen?
As long as I have a backup plan, I’ll be fine.
Ok, so then, erm, what’s my backup plan?
Go back to doing what I did before?
Exactly what I look like when thinking out loud.
I mean, I genuinely enjoyed my old work, but it just wasn’t my dream.
I'm going to work my butt off and make my dreams come true — But how…?
My skills with Unity — the game engine used to create The Girl Who Knew Time — was literally zero at the time, the story was half complete, and for the first time in my life, I was on the opposite end of the hiring table.
Regardless, while dealing with early nausea from the pregnancy and dwindling in pain every few minutes, I completed writing the story for The Girl Who Knew Time. Ah hellz, yeah!!
Crossing out all my little goals like a boss.
I’m grateful to have written something I am passionate about. This helped distract me from the pain + kept me focused — meditation helped a lot too.
Not long after, I found everyone for my team and we started the 3-month project. Easy-peasy right?
BOY, WAS I WRONG.
Just the process of explaining everything the game needed ie. each background, each character, and the little details for each one, as well as reviewing every single visual element, took so much damn time.
What I naively intended to be a quick and easy three months project — painfully stretched to a whopping year and a half.
Start a company they said. It would be fun they said.
On the days I had breaks from reviewing art/animation, I studied Unity relentlessly and started implementing features for the game.
Just in the first year, I experienced for the first time: getting married to my lovely best friend, fun times with pregnancy, hiring and letting go of people, building an entire codebase and personal language with C# and Unity, giving birth, learning about all aspects of owning and managing a company and oh man so much more — Yeah, you can say a lot happened that year.
This is fine.
But no matter how I felt and what I went through this crazy difficult time, I never gave up. Even working most weekends.
In fact, the week after giving birth via c-section, I popped some ibuprofen and continued working on my passion project.
I mean, what was I going to do, focus on recovering?
HA! Like I have time for that.
Ok, no, I did that too — recovery after birth is essential.
I mean, I literally just brought life to this world, I think I deserve a break.
Me actually giving it to myself — well that’s another story.
I asked my team to take a month-long vacation while I continued working on refactoring, adding new features to the game, and making sure I also had plenty of rest to recover the body.
There was still so much work to be done, but this gave me a few less stressful days. Man, being a perfectionist really sucks sometimes.
If I’m going to release something, it has to be something I’m proud of. Especially after all the work, I put into it already.
One of the most challenging periods of this entire process was the first three months my son was born.
Mom guilt is real.
Not me, but still so cute. My son does all these things.
I felt guilty both for not being there for my baby as much as I wanted to be as well as not working when I’m with the baby. So either way, I lose, heh.
Regardless, I still made time to breastfed him until he was 9 months old when he decided to stop himself. Wow, I never thought breastfeeding would be so emotional.
I became a bipolar monster.
Yeah, fun times. Especially for my husband. He had a real blast — poor guy.
Thank the heavens above that he’s such a patient, amazing, loving, caring human being(I promise he didn’t make me write that 😂). We were able to switch off and help each other so much. I feel eternally grateful to him and will always respect him for that.
Over time, I just learned to be ok with how much love I was giving my son. At least if it’s 25–50% of what I can provide, and as long as my husband is taking care of him, he will be ok. Otherwise, the guilt can easily overtake me and that is the last thing I need on my plate right now.
As many mothers had experienced before me, I was dealing with what felt like endless postpartum depression. On top of this, the pressure of completing the project was mounting.
It was extremely tough — so what kept me going?
No matter how cheesy it sounds — I want to achieve my dreams.
Besides, I’ve always enjoyed pushing myself to the limit — or rather finding my limit.
Don’t stop believin’, hold on to that feeeeeelin’!
Most of my discipline came from sports, especially after joining the local swim club at nine years old. Training my butt off until I became one of the top swimmers in high school earned me a spot as one of the only four girls to compete in the state championships.
Watching stories and movies that inspired me helped a lot too. Seeing others who were dealing with their hurdles and setbacks encouraged me and made me so grateful for what I have — something I am constantly training myself to do.
Time passed, and I was able to get over my post-partum depression, including most of my fears. I was finally able to let go and just focus on what I loved to do most — creating beautiful stories and exploring them creatively.
August 27th, the game was available for pre-release.
Still, I had significant issues to fix.
Late August to late October — was a huge learning experience for me. I struggled a lot during this time, even shed some tears.
Rockin’ the last few weeks before release, hiding my pain.
During this time I forced myself to refactor — yes again, because I’m a perfectionist — the entire codebase, fix the last most annoying bugs, deal with new performance issues I’ve never encountered before, and learn all the irritating caveats and bugs that come with releasing for android. On top of this, I was thinking of more ways to improve the Prologue and how to manage family time after the Prologue was released — especially now that my son was turning one.
He would need even more love and attention to grow up into a healthy, confident adult.
I worked nonstop during this period and rarely took more than a few hours off the computer.
There’s always some sacrifice when following your dreams.
After a year and a half…Finally, the Prologue for the game was released.
Everything worked smoothly. I was so proud of myself.
I did it — I really did it.
Finally, I have more time to spend with my family and give all the love my son and husband deserve.
Finally, I can take a breather and take care of myself — something I’ve been neglecting since the baby was born.
Finally, I can have the freedom and control to express my creativity to my heart’s content.
Finally, I know enough C# and Unity where it’s so much easier to implement anything I can think of.
Finally…I can make my dreams come true.
And it wasn’t easy…I want to be super transparent about it.
Everything takes time, patience, and hard work.
If you have to cry, vent, whatever you need — do it. Take a break, and when you’re ready, come back to your goal. Little by little, you will get closer to what you want to achieve — whatever that may be.
Please stay resilient and practice being persistent. Our minds are so strong, we can achieve anything if we really want it enough. Grow your inner discipline and think of creative ways to keep your end goal in mind, this has helped me a lot too.
🦙What’s up next?
There’s still so much work to be done, but now my white hairs can chill out a bit and let some brown ones grow again.
Since the Prologue release, I’ve been organizing everything needed to create the first episode as well as writing these articles, moving the website, and more. Aside from the beautiful art and animation created by the amazingly talented people I hired, I am doing everything else myself — so some things take more time than others.
This includes coding new features, thinking of and creating the scenes, choosing music, managing and writing blog posts for the website, promoting the game, reviewing any work left, and still trying to be a good wife and mother.
But hey, I’m not complaining — genuinely my intention is to inspire you and to be realistic. This isn’t some cheesy motivational video, this is real life bro/sis.
I am super grateful to everyone that has worked with me and helped out — all the artists, animators, my husband, mother, and son have all been such a blessing in my life.
At the end of the day, I enjoy the hard work.
Plus, the end result is totally worth the blood, sweat, and tears.
The Girl Who Knew Time, including all episodes and features, will be complete as soon as possible. Each episode will be released one by one. I think this is very feasible since most of my focus will now be on creating the actual episodes(camera shots, scenes, music) and less on reviewing art and animation — 90% of art/animation is complete.
Thank you for your patience.
After The Girl Who Knew time is complete, I have three new story/game ideas I want to explore. They are both 70–80% done(story only). Everything I experienced during this first game’s process will make the next project work that much easier. I plan on writing about everything I learned to help others as well here.
If you’ve made it this far, I want you to know you are genuinely appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to hear my story and learn how TrinityMoon Studios was started…And going!
My intention for this blog is to encourage anyone, especially those with hurdles — which is most of us, anyway, to listen to their intuition and follow their dreams. But also be realistic of the hard work that comes with it.
There are still so many more stories of struggle, triumph, and experiences I’ve learned that I want to share with you. Both as inspiration and to save you some time if you’re thinking of going the indie-game route.
You’ve read my story. You’ve learned how I struggled both physically, emotionally, and relentlessly held on to my vision, even when I wanted to give up so many times. You’ve also learned what the future holds for TrinityMoon Studios and The Girl Who Knew Time.
What’s your story? Feel free to reach out at email@example.com and share with me!❤️
Thanks for reading. Like and follow for more updates! 🤗
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day/evening *~
If you are pregnant or suffering from a health circumstance, I am not saying you should push yourself beyond your limit. This article is solely meant to tell my story, the origin story of TrinityMoon Studios and our first game, The Girl Who Knew time, and to inspire others to follow their dreams. Even when I worked hard, I would always take the time for breaks, be it 10 minutes, 1 hour, or a day, if really necessary — whatever was needed to recover. Listen to what your body is telling you — please rest if you need it. And again, I am not a licensed doctor or health professional, so please consult your doctor if you’re unsure.
Thank you so much for this. All radical changes are difficult and require a lot of work and patience as you said.
You achieved your goal: this post it's inspiring! Congrats and cheers for the future!👏🏻🎉🎈
Thanks so much, you too! If you ever need to learn about Node.js(front end developers should have a bit of backend knowledge too) and ES6, feel free to read some of my others post too on Medium: mariyadiminsky.medium.com
And if you ever have any questions about being a Frontend Engineer let me know, we can connect on LinkedIn as well: linkedin.com/in/mariyadiminsky