It’s simple and addicting. It’s a game you would want to play during slow office hours. If you liked playing Game Dev Story, you’ll definitely enjoy Don’t Get Fired. It’s an RPG from Korea that lets you embark on a quest to gain the highest level an employee can achieve in a corporation: President!
It’s a tough climb because you can get fired for the silliest things such as eating chips, taking a selfie where you accidentally include your boss, doing your part-time job during work hours, and sleeping at your desk.
Okay, the last two examples are valid grounds for firing. But the game gives you no chance to relax as you’re immediately fired as soon as you’re caught. No suspension, no verbal warning; one strike and you’re out!
Aside from that, your level drops down to two tiers. Climbing up the ranks isn’t easy, and the higher you climb, the lower your chance of getting that next promotion. Whew! Talk about steep.
You may buy skills or improve them via in-game currency or in-app purchase. Depending on what type of gamer you are, you’ll find yourself either buying skills with real money in exasperation or futilely grinding until you throw your mobile phone to the floor. Nonetheless, it’s enjoyable whenever you see yourself getting promoted or paying off student loans.
I have yet to get a house, a car, or even a girlfriend. The most extravagant thing I’ve bought is a bag for my mom which didn’t even result in a major reward. But at least I could make my mom happy, even if it’s an in-game mom. This game is truly brilliant because it hits home. There’s a universal truth in there that resonates with everyone who’s been through job-hunting, rejection, retrenchment, and promotions.
In fact, I love it so much that I reached out to the developer of the game. In a couple of days, I got a response from the girl who developed the game. Apparently, Quickturtle is a boyfriend/girlfriend indie dev couple. The latter told me that the inspiration for this game is based on the experiences of her designer/artist/project manager/boyfriend.
It was so heartbreaking for the couple to see him fail to secure long-term employment in a major Korean studio that they decided to make a game based on his struggles. They both wish that this sort of situation gets acknowledged so companies can work to fix this problem in the unstable Korean game industry.
According to them, he’s been with three companies over three years, all games-related. And the reasons for leaving each company are as follows, in order:
- Company lacks funding
- Company does not makes games anymore
The game was developed with the goal to share the sadness of losing a job. But it also encourages the player to get back on his feet as soon as he can. Their sole wish is that this job security problem ceases to exist. Whether it resonates with you or not, this game is his story, his memories, his experiences.
Cutscenes are littered with his point of view. His thoughts on what he could’ve done better, his prayers to have a more stable job, and his reflections on his life as a job-seeker. I urge the would-be players to stop and read those messages. Ignore the grammatical errors and the minor text issues and instead focus on the heart of his message. Because at the end of the day, we all just want to make games that would reach out to everyone.
So give these developers some love. Make sure to download their game which is available in both the App Store and Play Store for free. Leave your comments and ratings so that they may know how many lives they’ve touched. And while you’re at it, share it with your friends too and race against each other on who gets promoted to President first.