When I signed up for UIT, deep down I knew I was going to be there to learn programming. I really wasn’t interested in starting my own startup but yet the program I applied to had “Startup Immersion” in the name. At the beginning of my year at UIT Startup Immersion I tried to keep an open mind and see if I’d be fitting for a startup co-founder. However, I feel like the more I learned about startups the more I realized they were not for me.

The current but subject to change landing page for GamerPals.

But how am I doing in the business side of UIT program? I like to think I’m doing okay. All the other students have proper startup ideas for the business class to work on, and unfortunately for me I did not for some time. But after some thinking I actually discovered that I had an idea sitting right in front of me. Back tracking to the first major project I did at UIT, I made chat app for gamers to discuss their favourite video games with friends. And for the second major project I made a service app where gamers can create their own profile to meet new friends and create teams to organize meet ups and competitions. So I decided for my business I would combine both of my coding projects to GamerPals!

GamerPals is just name I gave to a mock business idea I have that combines both aspects of my chat and service app. I wanted to use this idea because it solves a real problem that I had, which is: it’s hard to find the perfect gaming friends. A few years ago, I only played single player games. But it’s only now that after I found some nice and relatable people to play games with that I finally enjoy playing multiplayer games with other people, not only that but it did improve my social life and skills.

I find it funny that it’s also a problem that I see many other gamers have but they don’t even realize it. For example, in the game of Grand Theft Auto 5 there are about 5 difficult but very fun special missions that give the highest reward to the player. However you cannot start any of the missions unless you have exactly 4 people in the mission lobby. So for a normal player they’d have to find a public lobby that can contains up to 30 people, start one of the special missions, invite any of those 30 players and only hope that at least 3 people join. It does seem plausible, right?

Well that task could be the most difficult thing in gaming today. Imagine this, you are a professional hockey coach and you are tasked to manage a hockey team in which you have to beat a junior hockey team (Like the Screaming Eagles). Again, plausible right? Except all the players on your team are selected at random. And I mean completed random out of the 7 billion people on the planet. One player could be a 12 year old kid while another could be someone who doesn’t even speak english. See how difficult this could become? This is exactly the problem that Grand Theft Auto suffers from. The community is so large and varied I cannot even imagine it’s average player.

I see countless players complain on the game’s subreddit that completing any of those special missions are impossible to do when inviting random people from the game. When I encountered this problem myself, I set out onto the internet to find some gaming friends, and I succeeded by looking for people who are encountering the same issue. But there wasn’t this one big platform that’s super popular, and that’s well known to have a respectful and active community. So my idea is to fix exactly that.

1 thought on “My startup idea that may or may not actually happen – GamerPals”

Some of the best products have been born out of “scratching your own itch”. I think a big reason is not only the passion you get from solving something important to yourself, but you also have a head start on domain knowledge and an inkling of edge cases which might creep up.

The important part is getting to it and let the results do the talking. Getting your product out their, building a community around it, and users will emerge who want to help contribute. Before you know it, you wake up one morning and realize a humble project is now a popular service and those community helpers are your startup staff, Mr. Founder.

Thanks for the post Spencer.

Leave a Reply