"They took my key card..."
The year is 2014, things are going well. I'm shooting weddings as a photographer while working full time as a financial analyst at a large telecommunications company. I'm juggling two jobs, very Jamaican of me.
If you're into art take a look at my commercial site at Mike Bamboo 😀
I worked at this telecommunications company for 7 years. One day I came in and realized our team was shrinking, shrinking quickly. People were getting called to the main floor and getting the boot. I thought I dodged the bullet since I hadn’t heard anything after lunch, but nope...there I was sitting at my desk, working away, and I get the call.
Firing Director: Hey, Mike...Can you come downstairs?
Me: Is this THE call?
Firing Director: I'm going to need you to come downstairs.
There I was sitting in this small room with HR and the Director of Finance, telling me it was the end.
Firing Director: Are you okay?
Me: Hmmm, to be honest, I would be more upset if I dropped a plate of food. 😐
Then… they took my key card.
I'm not really sure what made me say that, but that's my reality. I don't really get upset about things I can't control. That, and I kinda wanted to leave, let me explain why I say "kinda". It's hard to leave a job where you've built relationships, make good money, have a pension, and benefits. Those things are great, but can keep you caged so you can't fly. Then there's the other side of the coin, pursuing an idea that doesn't have relationships, money, pension, and benefits. You're on your own. I wanted to be a full time entrepreneur but it was hard to let go of that safety net.
The next two years were really hard, my mood was all over the place. Really grinding it out trying to make it as a photographer wasn't easy, but I did it. I was happy to be doing what I loved. Everything I went through made it much easier to start AUXGOD.
An Idea Strikes 💡
July 1st 2016
So, It’s Canada Day, I’m playing music on a Bluetooth speaker at one my best friends parties. I’m being the DJ, playing new school, old school whatever comes to my mind.
So I'm at this party and a guest asks to battle, we split into two teams and the hosts of the party start throwing out categories. Nothing really structured, just whatever they can think of.
I’m getting hyped, my team is plotting what we’re gonna play. I’m on the chair dancing, people are laughing. It’s a magical moment. I get home that night and start thinking about all the songs I could have played. The next morning, I’m still thinking about this game. I try to Google search for something similar, and nothing. I’m trying different keywords, nothing.
At that moment, I decided to make the game myself. Yup, July 2nd 2016 I started writing AUXGOD: Hip Hop & RnB. Four months later it's November and we’re looking at a successful Kickstarter campaign, fully funded by friends, family, and a few strangers. Whew! 😅
While I loved being a photographer I wanted to take on other projects and try new things. During this time I was on the lookout for something where I could touch more people with my creativity. I knew I had to test the waters to see how far AUXGOD could go.
Growing up I was always around games. Not just Nintendo games, but game nights were really big in our family. When my aunts and uncles came over that's all they did. I think growing up seeing this is why making a game wasn't too far out of reach. It's a tradition in our family that my generation has taken over and continued. Gaming has always been a way for us to enjoy each others company and create memories.
AUXGOD: A person or team that can play a hot song at any given moment.
We (small team at this point) knew we had something when we started getting tagged in all our customers videos. Seeing real people play at their parties, baby showers, and holiday gatherings. It’s crazy. Those clips never get old. It's always amazing for us to see how crazy you guys get while battling. We’ve seen some crazy stuff LOL.
I would have never thought that my curiosity in 2016 would have me hiring writers to create other genres of the game such as Pop and Country. These highly talented people know these genres so well that the cards speak with such authenticity. If you're a pop culture/pop music fan or a country music fan you'll definitely understand what I mean when you read these cards.
AUXGOD: POP Music Edition
Krystin L. + Jonas D.
Garrett M. + Matiya S.
AUXGOD: Soca and DANCEHALL
Jason C., Sharine T. + Christopher T.