Crossing the games development divide; Koh Wee Lit is diversifying his honed games development skills into new industries.
What’s your story?
Video game development for me is both an art and a science; with a software structure needed to support team development and the art of making something creative. In 2004 I started post graduate studies with Nanyang Technology University (NTU) to have more time to play around with game development technologies. NTU also supported my studies with a monthly stipend to research crowd simulations for pedestrian behaviours. Between 2006 – 2012, I received several development grants from the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA), which I then used to kickstart Red Hare Studios.
In 2012, hoping to create a more sustainable future for my game developers and retain game developers in Singapore within the industry, I began to diversify into other sectors. My most recent venture ORCA BOS is a suite of business solutions targeted at helping F&B businesses operate better. Although this is not games development, the principles of product development are the same.
What excites you most about your industry?
The cutting edge technologies used in computer graphics, artificial intelligence, run-time optimizations and more recently mix realities. This makes a game developer uniquely versatile if they are able to explore beyond their comfort zone, they can develop a lot of real-life applications.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Singapore, educated in Singapore and now doing business in South East Asia. All my developers are based in Singapore and ORCA BOS has reached seven markets in ASEAN.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I think each city in Asia has its own unique flare. I am definitely more comfortable in Singapore as that is my hometown, but I am also a great fan of games about history and civilizations, hence there is always something new to learn and understand in different cities.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Let time do its magic, no failure is too painful to stand up again.
Who inspires you?
All entrepreneurs who failed but rose again or worked hard in their own way towards their dreams.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
How sheltered and privileged Singaporeans are compared to our neighbours, there is much to learn about resilience from my foreign partners and employees. Life is not easy for them, not even in their home countries, yet they always seems to have the “make do” mentality.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have planned the previous games I made differently and spent more effort marketing them. I programmed because I could and because I loved it, but I soon realised that I was focusing on the wrong priorities as an entrepreneur and a boss.
How do you unwind?
Local desserts in the different cities that I work in.
Simulation or Empire Building video games
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Taiwan, food that my parents can enjoy
Everyone in business should read this book:
Our Iceberg is Melting by Dr. John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber
Shameless plug for your business:
Need a game developed or have an interest in sharing your experience in the indie games business in Asia, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Need a business solution for your Hospitality, Retail or F&B business or interested in sharing insights about operating such a business in Asia, contact me at email@example.com.
For start-ups in the IT space looking for partners to help you Uplift, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can people connect with you?
Red Hare Web: www.redharegames.com
Orca BOS Web: www.orcabos.com
Orca BOS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OrcaBOS
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>