Broken Wings When launching your own software company, expect an emotional roller-coaster ride. You're responsible for your own success and it can become stressful. Fortunately, it doesn't affect me too much, as I've been doing my own thing for almost a decade. However, whether you're a software engineer, a graphic designer, or even a PowerPoint slide monkey, you do need to find a certain balance in your every day tasks to avoid going crazy. Personally, I work on tons of different tasks in a day (marketing, sales, scripting, development, bug fixing, testing, deployment, web changes, documentation) and I find it is one way to find a balance during the day. After hours, I enjoy the time I spend off the computer with various activities and hobbies. Lots of people, including Etienne, enjoy playing video games to reduce their stress levels.

What does Steve, our talented art director, do when he's off hours? He creates video games! (Okay, he actually goes out with friends and plays hacky sack much more than he does game development, but that's beside the point). Steve has been developing games for years, as a hobby. He hasn't released that many, but many of his games have been played a couple million times. Over the course of the past year, while we were developing LavaBlast's software infrastructure, Steve developed a new game with his brother and it is called Broken Wings. Today, he's officially launching the game and I'm personally inviting you to spend a few minutes to try it out! It is a totally amazing airplane arcade game with RPG elements (whip out your Core2Duo!) Tell your boss it's a great way to keep from going crazy! :)

On a more serious note, what I find the most exciting about this game is that for the first time in years, Steve's gaming hobby can finally generate a few bucks. In the past, people stole the Flash SWF from the website and posted it on their crappy game portals, stealing all possible advertising revenues that could have been generated. In January, we found GameJacket, a software startup that specializes in putting advertisements inside Flash games. (They are a competitor to MochiAds.) Steve will also be able to monitor how often the game is played after spreading virally on the Internet.

Finally, the game features music by a local band called A Plot Against Me. These guys are simply amazing... it's worth it to try the game out just for the music. They were finalists for the Live 88.5 Big Money Shot and almost won a quarter million dollars in December. Personally, I listen to lots of music because it boosts my productivity and helps me retain my sanity.

What do you do to keep from going crazy? Oh, you're a big Dr. Phil fan, are you?