Waysun Inc.

Game Jam 2021

One of Waysun and Boss Bunny’s primary efforts is to stimulate entertainment and economic growth in the MENA region. Game Jam is one way that goal is reached.

What is Game Jam? In short, it’s a global gaming competition hosted by Boss Bunny Games. The competition is an incredible opportunity for talented teams worldwide to come together to design, collaborate, and make their dreams a reality. The competition features industry speakers from Unity, training, and personalized guidance and support. Game Jam is more than a competition. It’s an event that shows the world that the UAE is at the forefront of art, culture, and technology. This year, Game Jam’s theme was Future Technology Inspired.

The structure of the competition includes teams creating a game over just two short days. Then, the games are reviewed by our panel, and three top ideas are chosen for potential funding and development.

The Game Jam was held online this fall from November 28-30, 2021. Contestants had the chance to speak to world-class mentors using Teams and Discord. This year’s winners received amazing prizes including 50,000AED first prize 30,000AED second prize 20,000AED third prize and a chance to develop their game. Game Jam 2021 saw 1,095 participants from 53 countries.

Boss Bunny announced the winners on social media, as well as at the World Conference on Creative Economy event in Dubai, during the days of December 7-9, 2021. Check out the winners below:

Visit the website for Boss Bunny Games Jam here and stay tuned for more game growth opportunities.

What the Future of Mobile Gaming Might Look Like

Mobile gaming has been a part of mainstream culture since Tetris hit the very small screen in 1994 (bet you thought it was Snake in 1997). Fast forward 27 years and the landscape has evolved to include multi-player experiences, incredible graphics, and epic storylines. But, what’s next?

Here’s a list of 5 things experts expect for the future of mobile gaming.

1. Financially, mobile gaming is projected to grow.

$100 billion – that’s the revenue mobile gaming is set to reach by the end of 2021, according to Newzoo. The 2010’s were a double-digit decade of growth for the industry. With advances in tech and the saturation of iPhones (or Androids, we don’t judge), that number is likely to continue growing into the next decade.

2. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will become increasingly common.

Remember back in 2016 when Oculus VR headsets were all the rage? Well, developers and engineers are continuously working on ways to bring that tech to our phones.

Features like Google AR and those flaw-erasing, super-popular Snapchat filters have made use of this tech already. Over time, experts expect people will become more accustomed to AR and VR, adding new elements to the mobile experience.

3. More devices will be designed with mobile gaming in mind.

Tech companies like Huawei, Asus, and Lenovo, both well-known for making computers, have released phones recommended for mobile gamers. Topping the list of features, they offer include faster refresh rates, gorgeous displays, and dual front-facing speakers.

As graphics and features continue to excel, the devices used to play will follow suit. Food for thought: If Apple made a phone for mobile gaming, would people buy it? Until then, check out TechRadar’s recommended gaming phones here.

4. 5G will make it easier to play in real-time.

One thing that’s created a community amongst console gamers throughout the years is the ability to team-up and play immersive games in real-time. With the emergence of 5G, mobile-first products will increasingly draw in players for this same reason.

Enjoy the camaraderie and instant action on the go? Get ready. Faster download speeds and stronger internet will create seamless playing experiences according to an article from the WSJ.

5. Cross-platform capabilities will continue to grow.

Whether a gamer’s primary console is a PlayStation or a Samsung, developers are making strides to connect them all. Fortnite now allows players from all platforms to compete in its free-to-play battle royale game.

The industry expects to see other companies expanding their cross-platform capabilities to attract new players and reach new markets.

We want to know: what are you looking forward to most? The surge of 5G networks, cross-platform expansion, or the potential for holograms? With the mobile gaming industry on the up-and-up, it’ll be interesting to see what we’re doing with our phones in another 27 years.

4 Mobile Gaming Genres You Need To Know About

August 4, 2021

Just like books and movies, games have genres, too. If you’re an industry professional, understanding the top genres can be helpful in business. And, if you’re just an enthusiastic gamer, you might need this information for trivia eventually — you never know.

Here are four super-popular mobile gaming genres for Android users, according to Statista.

Casual

Flappy Bird, Super Nano Jumper, and Comic Boy are all considered casual games. So what makes a game… casual?

Well, typically these games have a lighter learning curve. They also don’t demand a lot of time from the player, meaning sessions are shorter.

Additionally, casual games are generally designed to appeal to a mass audience. It’s worth noting that plenty of mobile games are technically considered casual even if they fit into another genre. According to an article by Udonis, Casual games make up 78% of mobile game downloads.

Puzzle

You might have guessed already, but Puzzle games are notoriously popular on both the Google and Apple App Stores. Drop Four, Color Maze, and Tetris are just a few fun and challenging puzzle games we love. Depending on who you ask, Candy Crush and Bejeweled are also considered puzzle games, but a more specific type, called a Match 3.

Simulation

Simulation games are characterized by their similarity to real life. Most often, these games replicate the feeling of real-life events, like the famous Sims game we all know and love. Other common themes include caring for a pet, interior designing, hunting, or flying an airplane.

Did you know simulation-style games are used for training purposes, too? Imagine playing a version of “The Office” to prepare for the dynamics of working 9-5.

Runner

Runners are those fun games you stand over your friends shoulder to watch. Subway Surfers and Temple Run are the two most notable runner games to date. One of the best things about runner games is that there are seemingly no limits to how far you can go.

If you have reached the end of one of these though, please tell us what happens.

Which of these genres do you find yourself playing most?

5 Things to Know About Mobile Gaming

July 7, 2021

If you’ve been on the internet lately (we know you have) you’ve probably read that the mobile gaming industry is on the rise. Whether you’re new to the industry or a seasoned vet, there’s always more to know about the fast-paced world of gaming.

We asked our team, “what’s one thing you think everyone should know about mobile games and development?” After the expected, “I can’t pick just one,” here’s what they said.

1. “There is a game for everyone”

David, our Software Engineer Lead said, “There are games for everyone. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gamer, there is a game for you.” Whether you love solving puzzles, interior designing or crave to solve puzzles through interior design, your app store likely has the solution.

Key takeaway: You’re probably a gamer… you just don’t know it yet. 

2. “Mobile gaming is the future”

In 2018, mobile gaming generated 50% of global gaming revenue according to Newzoo. From a business perspective, jumping in the mobile gaming arena might be a wise decision. Even Netflix has thrown its hat in the ring, recently announcing it will begin dabbling in gaming. Allen, our Business Strategist, noted the mobile gaming industry has enormous growth potential.

You might be curious why mobile is growing so rapidly. We can attribute it, in part, to this stat: currently 67% of the world’s population has a mobile phone. This allows for mobile gaming to flourish since most players already have all the tools they need. No extra hardware needed for beginners to join in the fun.

Key takeaway: Mobile gaming is everywhere – and likely isn’t going away anytime soon.

3. “Developing a mobile game is a lot of work”

While you’re playing that mobile game you always turn to when you’re waiting, you probably don’t consider how much time went into making it – and that’s fair. We get it.

However, our Backend Developer Tim, said, “There can be thousands of hours of work that goes into the smallest part of a game.” Crafting a simple user experience is actually very complex. According to 3sidedcube, general app development takes an average of 9 months – the same amount of time it takes to have a child.

Key takeaway: Making a mobile game requires a lot of time and resources.

4. “Nobody works in a silo”

“From art to tech, all parts of game development require constant communication,” says our PM Ashlie. In order to create a cohesive experience for the player, everyone needs to be on the same page during development.

Fast changes and new builds require everyone to be in the loop. Not to mention, most developers and creatives have more than one talent that contributes to the end result of a game, so open communication is important to create the best experience for the player.

Key takeaway: Communication and collaboration makes the dream work.

5. “Planning takes a lot of time”

You’ve likely heard that failure to plan is planning to fail. Not only do you have to plan when you’ll execute your design and development, you also have to plan time to, well, plan.

Adam, our Project Coordinator, says, “Planning takes a lot of time. You have to make short term plans – from days to weeks – and long-term plans – extending to years in the future. You also have to plan for roadblocks and be able to have time allotted to course correct if a build breaks.”

Key takeaway: Have a plan but be able to adjust accordingly.

Mobile games are more accessible, social, and entertaining than ever before. Whether you make mobile games or play them, we want to know. What’s one thing everyone should know about mobile gaming?

Waysun Inc. Makes Key Leadership Appointments

May 5th, 2021

The entertainment and video game company expands its team with the recent hires of Chief Technology , Strategy and Creative Officers.

Orlando, FL – May 5, 2021 – Waysun Inc., a full-service entertainment and video game company for owned and licensed content globally distributed across mobile, digital, and console platforms, is expanding its team with four key leadership appointments. All executives are based out of Waysun’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida and report to Aly Yip, CEO of Waysun Inc.

“We are thrilled to have these experienced leaders join our team and help us drive Waysun’s global growth and success. Their combined experience in the entertainment, technology and media sector, as well as expertise in the game development, animation and fundraising, will contribute to Waysun’s expansion and leadership on the casual gaming segment, ” Yip says.

Ben Wronsky, Chief Technology Officer

Wronsky brings more than two decades of experience in technology development for the online, games, and entertainment industry. At Waysun, he leads the organization’s vision in technology, research, and development of the company’s games portfolio and platform.

As a 15-year veteran of Electronic Arts (EA), he held various leadership positions in graphics and technology development. Some of the key franchises Wronsky has contributed to include MADDEN NFL, FIFA, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, and Need fo Speed among others. He played an important role in transitioning several AAA games to new consoles and guiding the development of innovative technologies to enable immersive interactive storytelling.

Wronsky holds a bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics and Animation from California State University, Chico.

“The intersection of technology and gaming has redefined the industry in recent years. Technologies like augmented and virtual reality are now becoming mainstream and are changing the way consumers interact with content. I see this continuing to expand, along with transformational technologies such as artificial intelligence, not only in consumer experiences but also in mobile hardware, the cloud and backend systems, as developers leverage new capabilities for product innovation.” Wronksy says.

Bill West, Chief Strategy Officer

West is a seasoned executive in the entertainment and gaming industry and a leader in content publishing and creation. At Waysun, West is responsible fro globally executing the company’s operation and strategic plans. In this role, he has forged partnerships with companies including EA and The Walt Disney Company, among others, to license games and entertainment content.

In his tenure, West has consulted for major global brands, including SEGA, Warner Bros, Microsoft and AT&T, handling strategy and deployment for game distribution and expansion into new markets. He also held leadership positions at Redbox, Acclaim Entertainment, The Jim Henson Company, Codemasters and Climax Studios.

West has a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the Catholic University of America and a MBA in Entertainment and Finance from the University of Southern California.

“Casual gaming has reached a new level in the past year, with consumers using it to connect virtually with family and friends, I expect this trend to continue as audiences look for social and multiplayer experiences while they play their favorite games on mobile, digital, and console,” West says. “I am excited about what we have in store for Waysun as. drive forward our strategy of embedding entertainment and education in our gamin portfolio.”

Chris Maras, Chief Creative Officer

Maras brings more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry as a creative director and producer. At Waysun, he oversees the creative development and production of the company’s proprietary games with a focus on creating enriching experiences for. gamers.

Maras was a senior creative leader at entertainment giants including Universal, The Walt Disney Company, Electronic Arts, Sony, and Warner Bros. He has worked on feature films such as Aladdin, The lion King and The Iron Giant, as well as game franchises including madden, NBA Live, Medal of Honor, and Toy Story 3. Maras also helped develop experience for Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan.

Maras has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video from California Institute of Arts.

“In an increasingly competitive market, seamlessly bring real world elements together with new innovative technologies for everyone to enjoy is an essential component of success. Developers are no able to create unique worlds or utilize existing ones to build relationships with players like never before as they fully immersed in an experience,” Maras says.

4 Popular Mobile Gaming Trends to Look Out For

October 20, 2021

We’re happy to report that the mobile gaming industry has been bringing its A-game to the table lately (pun intended).

Partly due to the pandemic, mobile gaming revenue has skyrocketed and has only been leveling up since then.

According to AdColony.com, “The State of Mobile Gaming 2021 says revenue growth only accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic and users spent more than $22 billion in mobile games in Q1 2021”.

We’re about to throw more amazing statistics your way!

Did you know that just like social media and fashion, mobile gaming has trends, too? Here are four popular mobile gaming trends to look out for. 

1. Gaming is Becoming More Inclusive

If you’ve ever played Words With Friends with your sweet, adorable grandma, you know this is true. The convenience of not being tied down by components like wires, consoles, and controllers makes mobile games so versatile for every generation. The simplicity of being able to download multiple games from different genres and play with anyone regardless of age is definitely appealing.

Not to mention, there are more than just first-person shooter games. From interior design and gardening to caring for pets, games appeal to more niches than ever before. Did you know there’s an entire genre dedicated to cozy games? 80% of downloaded games in 2020 were casual and only 11% were action/shooter games.

Whether you’re a busy mom trying to relax, a stressed college student looking for a creative outlet, or a kid that just loves gaming, there’s a game out there waiting for you in the App Store.

2. 5G Is Here to Spice Things Up

Innovation struck the mobile world yet again due to the 5G rollout last year. Newzoo’s Global Mobile Market Report tells us that more than 700 million smartphones will be 5G-compatible by the end of 2021, with no intention of slowing its roll.

Within the next two years, it is predicted that over 2.1 billion mobile phones will be 5G-compatible (which is pretty awesome if you ask us).

How exactly does this 5G technology benefit mobile games? We’re here to fill you in!

5G technology offers low latency, high speed connectivity, and a higher bandwidth to mobile phones, ultimately improving game performance and providing a better multiplayer experience.

So get excited, your gaming sessions with your besties are about to get a major upgrade in the near future!

3. More Hyper-Casual Games Are Being Released

According to Sensor Tower, in 2020, hyper-casual games were responsible for one-third (31%) of global downloads, equating to 6.3 billion downloads.

You might be wondering: what makes hyper-casual games so popular? Due to the simplicity and ease of use while playing, these games can certainly be highly addictive and not to mention, lots of fun.

If you find yourself stressed and in need of some relaxation, a fun hyper-casual game might be just what you need to melt all those troubles away. The next time you’re on the subway, glimpse over and you can probably find at least one person playing a hyper-casual game.

4.  The U.S. Tops Mobile Game Spending

We’ve got another fun fact from Sensor Tower for you: The U.S. remains the top market for mobile gaming, having already surpassed Japan in 2019.

Revenue has surpassed $6 billion just this year and likely will only keep growing from here.

The pandemic has definitely played a big part in this monetary success, as it amplified player spending by 35%, according to Adcolony.com.

With the recent success of the mobile gaming industry, we predict that revenue in the U.S. will only continue to skyrocket, especially since AAA games are being introduced to the mobile platform.

We’re thrilled to see how mobile gaming will continue to prosper and make its way to the top.

Now that you’re aware of all of the recent trends that have been happening in our favorite industry, which one surprised you the most?

3 Mobile Gaming Blogs to Explore

November 6, 2021

There are two words that can be used to describe the mobile gaming industry: always upgrading. Whether it’s a new accessory, a fresh trend, or a spike in revenue, our industry can’t help but churn out innovative ideas and products. But, who can blame us? There’s so much to create.

The convenience and versatility that mobile gaming provides players is unmatched, and developers are surely stepping up their game (literally!).

With all the information out there surrounding mobile games, we wanted to make a quick list of some of our go-to resources. Of course, we recommend our blog as a one-stop shop for the latest in gaming and tech, we recognize the killer resources provided by others in the industry.

Grab your reading glasses and get ready to be enlightened, here are three mobile gaming blogs we think every gamer and gaming professional should explore (once you’re caught up on our news, of course):

1. PocketGamer.biz

PocketGamer.biz focuses on the business components of the industry that make mobile games happen. If you’re an aspiring game developer, a publisher, or an advertiser with a passion for gaming, this site has a blog post that will cater to you.

From industry news and interviews with gaming professionals to reports on mobile gaming events, there are a plethora of articles to explore.

This blog will also provide you with an industry analysis of current trends.  You can stay up to date on all things mobile gaming and see what current factors are driving the industry.

If you prefer to learn on the go, PocketGamer.biz has got you covered with its very own podcast that centers around perspective and discussions about, yes, you’ve guessed it, happenings in the mobile gaming industry.

10 Games Industry Jobs to Apply for This Week is a great example of a helpful blog post for anyone who has an interest in working in gaming.

Since you’re now aware of how awesome this resource is, which article are you reading first?

2. Mobile Free To Play

For all of our fellow mobile gaming publishers out there, this one’s for you! The Mobile Free To Play blog is a haven for gaming publishing content and news. If you’re new to this industry and want a foot in the door, you may want to delve into their Free To Play Bible for high-quality educational material on the ins-and-outs of mobile gaming.

In addition to that resource, there are also many insightful articles regarding industry and market trends, game growth and marketing, design, development, monetization, and retention (we know, they’re out here slaying the game).

Their blog posts are also extremely well-written and easy to comprehend, due to some exceptional organizational skills.

If you’re looking to dip your toes into the wide pool of content they provide, Mobile Free to Play’s Top 10 Game Mechanics for Hyper Casual Games is a fantastic read.

Will you be keeping an eye on this blog?

3. Gamasutra Mobile

Last but not at all least, we’d like to present the Gamasutra Mobile Blog, which caters to anyone with a zest for mobile gaming!

Gamasutra has created this blog with mobile in mind, as it provides readers with continuous content of industry news, and analysis from the company’s gaming professionals that experience working in the mobile world.

Gamasutra editors have definitely done something right, as the blogging site contains some amazing and perceptive posts regarding programming, art and design, audio, production, and marketing.

Tips to Build Customer Support for the Golden Age of Mobile Games is an insightful article with suggestions on how to build customer support when developing mobile games.

Looking for a career in games? Like PocketGamer.biz, Gamasutra Mobile also provides detailed job postings for those looking to enter the industry. Go on and apply for that dream job, we’re rooting for you!

Now that you know a bit more about these three awesome mobile gaming blogs, we’d like to know which one piques your interest the most (we couldn’t choose just one, which is why we wrote a blog post about it). Also, feel free to let us know other blogs to keep on our radar over on Twitter at @WaysunInc. Happy reading, gamers!

5 Surprising Benefits of mobile Gaming

August 4, 2021

You’ve just put down your mobile device after a two-hour gaming session and your win has you feeling on top of the world right now. 

You’re wondering if there could be any other benefit to mobile gaming than this rush of victory. We’re happy to report that there are a handful you should know. You might want to take a seat, because here are five benefits to mobile gaming that will blow your mind: 

1.  Mobile Gaming Can Improve Your Mood 

Do you find yourself a little overwhelmed with everyday tasks? Stress is definitely not the best feeling, and it can creep up on you if you’re not careful!

Did you know that playing mobile games can actually help alleviate that stress and anxiety? This can be quite an entertaining way to help manage and filter out those negative feelings. 

According to Lifehack.org, “Playing mobile video games allow and enable users to engage in a sense of escapism, since these games require full engagement and deep concentration.” 

Being immersed in a good mobile game can promote relaxation and feelings of accomplishment. Get ready to throw all your pesky troubles away by plugging in those headphones and having a productive gaming session! 

2.  Playing Mobile Games Can Boost Brain Power 

You might be very confused as to how exactly a mobile game can improve your intellect…well we’re here to clue you in. Here’s a fun fact for you: Healthygamer.gg states, “According to some preliminary research, strategy games can increase older adults’ brain functions, and perhaps even protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

When played on a regular basis, certain mobile games such as Lumosity can actually promote brain health and power (Which is pretty awesome if you ask us). 

Playing these games increase this power by improving memory, keeping your brain engaged, and even enhancing overall awareness. Now that you know how mobile gaming can stimulate your mind…what are you playing next? 

3.  Mobile Gaming Keeps People Connected  

Four words for you: the more the merrier! Multiplayer games are not only a fun time with your besties, but also an amazing way to keep you in touch with your loved ones.

Like social media platforms, certain mobile games can help build a sense of community and togetherness. Scrabble GO is a great example of games bringing people together, especially in recent times.

It may be hard to keep in touch with your family and friends that live far away but playing a fun mobile game together can help maintain that relationship and create some great memories! Words with friends, anyone?

4.  Playing Mobile Games Improves Problem-Solving Skills 

You’ve likely played a game where you felt quite challenged by a certain level but managed to beat it anyway. Congrats, you’ve just brushed up on your problem-solving skills! 

There are so many mobile games out there that train your brain to work through problems and obstacles faster. This enhances your critical-thinking skills in the process. 

Call it a workout for your brain. When you’re able to overcome an obstacle in your favorite mobile game, your brain is training and getting stronger each time. Being able to define and solve puzzles in a game can help your observation skills in real life, too! (Sounds like a win-win situation to us).

5.  Mobile Gaming Can Get That Creativity Going 

Here’s a scenario for you: you’re on a strict deadline with two thousand words due tomorrow by the end of the day. Your professor will not extend that deadline. You’re panicking because writer’s block is hanging over you like a storm cloud. 

Have you ever considered playing a game on your phone to help get those creative juices flowing? 

Mobile gaming can actually promote creativity by expanding our imaginations, inspire new ideas, and spark new ways of thinking. 

Next time you find yourself with a creative block, see what sort of innovative ideas develop once you have that quick gaming session. 

Are your minds blown yet? Ours certainly are! The majority of people may not realize how beneficial playing a mobile game every so often can be. Now that you’re aware of these advantages, we can bet that you’re on your way to the app store to get gaming!  

5 Tips for Creating your First Game in Unity

Looking for some tips to make your first game in Unity? If you’re like us and have a passion for gaming (if you’re reading this you probably do), it’s possible you’ve come across Unity. In the world of game development, Unity is known as one of the most-used game engines out there for developing games.

Our amazing team of creatives and developers have given us insights on Unity for beginners, and here’s what they had to say:

1. Unity is relatively easy to use

Our Software Engineer David advised, “Unity doesn’t have a big barrier of entry. One of its strengths is that it’s relatively easy to use.”

You might find yourself wondering how exactly something as complicated as game development can be smooth sailing. Here are a few main reasons why:

  • The game engine has a straightforward game-building process, especially for smaller and mid-sized games. Unity also provides developers with accessible features, such as an easy animation controller and direct importation of animation and 3D modeling files.
  • Correcting missteps is simple. Worried about making a mistake? Not to worry! The platform makes it fairly uncomplicated for developers to correct their blunders in only a matter of minutes.
  • If you’re struggling to find the time to put into developing your game, Unity might help. The game engine is faster and less time-consuming compared to other ones out there. This is an extremely helpful feature for people that develop games for fun or have another full-time career.

Now that you know how easy Unity is to use, what will you create?

2. Unity has features for beginners

Our Software Engineer Chuck said, “I wasn’t a game developer prior to this, but learning Unity was fairly fast and easy.”

If you find yourself trying to dip your toes into the pool of game development, Unity can be a great tool for you to learn the process. Unity is an ideal engine for beginners to work with because:

  • There are plenty of free assets to get you started. The Unity Asset Store offers a variety of free assets, making it easy for new developers to get started. A few of these assets include 2D hand painted packs, first and third person starter assets, default UI shader with fog, pixel car pack, road system package, along with many more!
  • You’ll have access to tutorials. If you’re a newbie to the game development world, you might find yourself feeling a little intimidated. Have no fear! Unity tutorials are here! Unity developers have access to a plethora of helpful online tutorials and step-by-step learning materials. This is an amazing resource for anyone who’s starting their journey out in developing games. The assortment of these extensive resources can help new developers master the program at their own pace and time.
  • Unity has an easy coding process that offers multiple languages. This “Unity Script” is straightforward and simple, allowing newer developers to learn the process relatively fast. The availability of premade inputs for coding also makes the Unity coding process smoother and more efficient.
  • It’s relatively affordable. For developers that don’t have a big budget to start out with, you’ll be getting a good bang for your buck!

3. You can develop games for multiple platforms and players

Kevin, our Systems Engineer said, “Unity is great at creating games for multi-platforms.” 

Can’t decide what kind of game to develop? Not a problem! Whether you prefer to build a mobile, PC, or console game, Unity has what you’re looking for. 

The game engine supports and incorporates all major platforms, which makes it so attractive to developers across the globe. Mobile developers may find themselves especially drawn to the program. Unity makes it quite easy for them to build games for both iOS and Android software.

Want your game to be played amongst friends? The more the merrier! Unity makes it so that developers can transform their single player into multiplayer games with ease. 

Which platform will you build your game on?

Final Thoughts

If you’re at the beginning stages of developing your game, Unity might be a great resource for you to consider. Now that you’ve heard our side of things, we’d like to hear your thoughts! Developers, we want to know: will you build your first game with Unity?

Aly Yip: 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming CEO

Aly Yip, CEO of Waysun Inc. gives advice on 5 things she wishes she knew before becoming CEO of a tech startup. With a lifelong passion for STEM and tech, Aly hopes to inspire and encourage others to be decisive, genuine, and confident in their abilities. Waysun Inc. is a full-service entertainment and video gaming company.

Read the full article below where Aly shares her insights and experiences as a woman in STEM.

This article originally appeared in Authority Magazine on April 23, 2021.

As a part of my series about “Lessons from Inspirational Women in STEM and Tech”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Aly Yip, CEP of Waysun Inc.

Aly Yip is the CEO of Waysun Inc., a full-service entertainment and gaming company that spans the global market. She immigrated to the United States with her parents at the age of 6 where she fell in love with STEM. Since then, Aly has accumulated more than 15 years of experience working in STEM, consistently leading efforts to forge strong US-China professional relations and changing the tech landscape for women.

After graduating from the University of Albany, NY, with a degree in Marketing and Communications, Aly worked for the Asian Council of North America, where she was able to further foster her negotiating and world-class business skills. Aly was honored by NYS Senate as a Top 10 Asian in 2008.

In 2015, Aly co-founded Core Holding Group (CHG), a consulting firm for major industry players. Then, just two years later in 2017, CHG and AHG co-founded Waysun Inc. This opportunity led Aly to the position of CEO at Waysun Inc., where she brings her love of technology and animals to work every day, proving your passions don’t have to be separate from your work.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you! I have had a strong interest in STEM my entire life. Whether it was assisting in professional lab work in high school or taking apart and tinkering with computers to figure out how they work, I loved all of it. When I was in college, my “aha” moment came in the form of a computer programming class. The joy from learning Visual C was unparalleled to any other course I had taken in the past; I knew this was something that I wanted to pursue. After formal schooling, I had amazing opportunities to act as an international liaison with various businesses around the world, widening my horizon on various cultural perspectives while honing my abilities to influence and negotiate. Soon thereafter I founded Waysun Inc., where I am able to bring all my experiences together in a unique mix of technology, gaming and global relationships.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

This story is interesting to me because it is an unexpected challenge as the leader of a start-up organization: gauging office space needs is hard! We are thrilled that our company is growing so rapidly and dynamically that we have outgrown office space three times already — we are on to our fourth location as of this publication! Creating an environment where employees feel comfortable, valued, and like their needs are met promotes a positive atmosphere where people are happy to come to work. This sentiment, in turn, creates a culture that fosters productivity and efficiency. It’s important to me that my employees are having fun and enjoying their work — otherwise, what are we doing here?

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I mentioned before that I’ve had opportunities to share and experience different cultures all around the world, but one thing I’ve realized is that there’s always something new to learn. I was once having a banquet dinner with Chinese partners, and there were two sets of chopsticks: one black, one white. I wasn’t sure why, thinking that maybe people have preferences. When you’re the guest, you serve yourself first. What I didn’t realize was that the black pair was a serving set, and the white pair was for eating off your own plate. I used the white pair for both! After seeing others using theirs properly, I realized my mistake. While they politely didn’t point out my blunder, I was so incredibly embarrassed and vowed that any time I’m eating with partners, I will read up on their table etiquettes!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

One thing that makes my company stand out is the incredibly distinguished experience each employee brings to Waysun Inc. We began our very early days in New York state, but shortly thereafter moved to Orlando, Florida, one of the entertainment capitals of the world. With that comes the privilege of picking from the best in the industry. Our employees boast backgrounds leading incredibly successful AAA game franchises, working on Disney animated feature films, creating successful partnerships with top-tier entertainment companies like Sony and The Jim Henson Company, producing and financing major media endeavors for companies like Thomson Reuters… and those are just a few examples! I remember bringing all these talented people into a room together to discuss our next project and being completely amazed by the in-depth and personal perspectives on best practices, diverse creativity, and what truly makes a business endeavor successful.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Of course, we are! Slated for Holiday 2021, we will launch a mobile AR game where players can adopt and care for virtual pets, contributing to their health, growth, and development, all while being rewarded as the pets achieve certain milestones. Our goal is for players to consume positive content in a healthier way because we know that entertainment content has an enormous impact on society. By creating games that are not only fun, but also enriching, social, and physically engaging, we are paving the way for a more purposeful and inclusive industry, one that brings out the kind and nurturing spirit within all of us.

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. Are you currently satisfied with the status quo regarding women in STEM? What specific changes do you think are needed to change the status quo?

The status quo regarding women in STEM is far behind where it should be. While I’m happy that there is awareness for the need to address the disparities, I believe there must be more programs created for young girls who want to participate in STEM. We need to encourage knowledge, involvement, and passion in STEM from an early age in school and at play. Little girls should be allowed to play in the mud and dig up worms with the boys; females should feel comfortable participating in messy science experiments in after school clubs; and young women should be given the same types of research, tasks, and responsibilities in higher education. It should be just as accepted and normalized for a woman to be in STEM as it is for a man.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women in STEM or Tech that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts? What would you suggest to address this?

In my opinion, there are a variety of challenges faced by women in most industries, including STEM and tech, that are not typically faced by their male counterparts.

The first challenge relates to a long history of relationship bias. Simply put, the relationship bias can be seen when men in power often tend to hire other men. Whether it’s a deliberate attempt to re-connect their network, or instead an unconscious gender bias, it leaves women with a harder time getting their foot in the door. This trend is perpetuated by the fact that most leadership positions are held by men in tech and STEM. According to a recent ICT Solutions & Education publication, just 10% of executive tech positions are held by women.

To combat this, I think our investment in women becoming involved with STEM should be made years before they enter the workforce. That way, when it comes to networking and opportunities in the professional field, it will be just as natural to think a woman can step into, and excel in, these roles in the same way a man could.

Another challenge that is staggering for women is the pay gap. According to a 2021 PEW report, “the median earnings of women in STEM occupations ($66,200) are about 74% of men’s median earnings in STEM ($90,000).” Professionals should be paid based on skill and talents, not gender, and undoubtedly, women are equally as skilled and talented as men. It’s even wider when race and ethnicity are brought into play. The simple way to address this is to ensure women are paid the same as men if they rank similarly in experience, education, and performance. To me, this is a no-brainer.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a woman in STEM or Tech. Can you explain what you mean?

One of the “myths” I would like to dispel about being a woman in STEM or tech is the belief that we are less interested or less capable than men in these fields. The idea that women aren’t interested in STEM or tech has been a stereotype perpetuated by media and institutions for a long time, but recent studies have shown that this myth isn’t reality. According to a PEW research study, women accounted for more than half of degrees in STEM at the bachelor’s level, and 25% of math research doctorates were earned by women. While rates of women studying healthcare is the most prevalent, I think it’s imperative we continue to encourage women to pursue other STEM careers if they want to. With the proper push back on this myth, I believe the numbers of women in STEM will continue to rise.

I believe the myth that STEM should be gendered is discouraging to women interested in joining the field, even though they are capable. Women in tech and young girls interested in tech should have that interest fostered, and they should be celebrated and encouraged every step of the way. I want to dispel this myth because it is harmful to not only the individuals it singles out, but also the industry. By discouraging women from STEM, we are missing out on a plethora of new ideas, skill sets, and solutions. Not only are women interested in STEM, but they also often excel in these fields because of their innate abilities for problem-solving, leadership, and innovation.

What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience as a Woman in STEM or Tech” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

In my journey to CEO, I have learned so many lessons, and I don’t think the learning process really ever ends.

The first topic that came to light early in my career is that being a CEO of any business — including one in STEM or tech — requires adopting the skills of a salesperson. Along the way, I’ve had to sell my vision to investors, my strategy to the team and, of course, our product to consumers. Among all the responsibilities I’ve had, understanding how to position my ideas and plans to get others on board is paramount.

Second, I find that it’s important to be levelheaded when making decisions. It’s beneficial to be passionate and invested in your product and team but separating emotion from action is key; business should never be personal. Women are often assigned the stereotype of being “too emotional”, but to me, it’s all about intelligent decision-making. It’s been said before, and I agree, “Never reply when you’re angry, never make a promise when you’re happy, never make a decision when you’re sad.”

Third, I learned to get good at problem-solving. This is especially important in STEM and tech, as these sectors are largely based on finding solutions and innovating. Oftentimes, your team will be having fun in day-to-day tasks, but as a leader, it’s your job to find solutions that work. It’s not always glamorous but being a problem solver is rewarding in its own right.

My fourth tip is don’t get caught up in creating a perfect product but instead, focus on creating a strong foundation and successful business. Fostering a collaborative culture, being financially viable, and finding the right talent comes first. You can always perfect your product later. STEM and tech are all about testing, so focusing too much on one product or feature can be fatal. A good business will outlast any one feature.

Lastly, stop using big words! Delivering precise and clear directions to your team is crucial since they are the ones carrying out your vision — especially in STEM and tech, where so many complex theories, systems, and terms exist. It’s important to simplify depending on your audience. Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

What advice would you give to other women leaders to help their team to thrive?

My advice to women leaders to help their team to thrive is to set them up for success, act as a strong, confident, and decisive leader… and then trust your team to do their best!

It’s crucial to set your team up for success from Day 1 by providing them the appropriate training and resources. Create a culture that is welcoming and inclusive where all voices are heard and valued. At Waysun, no matter the role title, we take everyone’s ideas into account from game feature development to favorite kitchen snacks.

In times of difficulty or uncertainty, people look to a leader to be strong and prepared. They want a reassuring voice with a decisiveness to feel confident in taking action. If you believe something should be done in a certain way because it will be successful, stand firm. Work with conviction and integrity, be confident in your decisions, and do not let others sway you from your path. Women are not always taken at face value or can be easily overridden by other voices; don’t hesitate or be afraid to stand up for what’s right.

And finally, if you’ve set up the right team in the appropriate roles, working in the most effective manner possible, you’re going to see great results! Let your team do what they do best and trust that they will deliver. Don’t micromanage but do be there every step of the way to encourage, mentor, and celebrate.

What advice would you give to other women leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

The advice I would give to other women leaders about the best way to manage a large team is twofold: the first is to treat each person as an individual, and the second is to effectively manage and distribute talent and resources.

Whether you have a team of 5 or 100, each person comes to work with a different background or home life. We should be empathetic, caring, and human. Each employee also brings unique skills and talents that only they can provide. We should find those treasures, hone them, and ensure they are being utilized in the most effective and positive way possible, both for the benefit of the company and their personal growth. Divide, conquer, and distribute work appropriately. It is impossible to know everything about every single subject, so hire people who are trustworthy and knowledgeable and work with integrity. Creating a dependable team is the only way to ensure tasks are carried out successfully and no detail is missed.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My father was the biggest influence in my life, and I’ll be forever grateful to him for helping me become the person I am today.

Most of my principles are influenced by my dad. He taught me how to learn from my mistakes and use them as fuel to become better. No matter how disappointed he could have been with a misstep, he never belittled me or made me feel ashamed. Rather, he taught me that mistakes are often made because we have different perspectives in various situations.

I have never met someone to date with such an incredible ability to see all perspectives of a situation. He truly listened when people provided their opinions or thoughts and had this way of being able to truly understand them. His example has allowed me to make better decisions in work and life. He would tell me, “We do not see things the way they are, we see things the way we are.” (The Talmud)

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

As I mentioned earlier, entertainment content has an enormous impact on how we shape society. The upcoming generations are some of the most aware and purposeful that we’ve seen in history. They are very concerned with what they consume and what brands they stand behind. By being a founder and CEO of Waysun, I am in a position that allows me to drive both business and content goals. With that in mind, I want Waysun to be a company that not only makes incredibly entertaining, high-quality, and tech-forward content, but also one that wants to foster and encourage the natural human instinct of desiring happiness, hope, and goodness.

Aristotle said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” I have spent my life navigating different channels and overcoming challenges to become a woman leader in STEM. There is no point in having all this knowledge if society doesn’t benefit from it. I hope to take this knowledge and positive intention, apply it to our work and products, and hopefully spread influence beyond the phone screen and into the real world.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

To expand on my previous topic, if I could inspire a movement to bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be one where industry content creators band together to be more purposeful with the work they produce, in a way that inspires others to find the good in the world and act on it. The last 18 months have been incredibly divisive and dark. It would be amazing if multiple brands decided to carefully curate content that is fun, meaningful, and has a purpose to find unity amongst division and light despite the dark. I want entertainment content to inspire its consumers to believe in one another and work together for a better world — whether that is through animal care, environmental awareness, humanitarian works, or any other endeavors that contribute to the betterment of this world and the generations to come.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I live by quotes. They’re a way to ground me and always help me in moments where I need a temperature check. They remind me to ask, “Am I following the philosophies I wish to imitate?” Amongst the others I’ve mentioned in this piece, one of my favorites is: “People will hate you, rate you, shake you, and break you. But how strong you stand is what makes you.” (LeBron James)

This quote has allowed me to stop worrying about the inevitable judgment of society, where people are quick to criticize or put blame on others. Regardless of critique or people trying to tear us down, we need to just be able to stand on our two feet and charge ahead with integrity, strength, and confidence. We are the only ones who are living our own lives, so we must hold ourselves accountable, and, likewise, be responsible for our own fulfillment and happiness through our efforts and heart.

We are very blessed that very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would be absolutely honored and beyond ecstatic to have a private meal with Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX. Her achievements in the space transportation industry are astonishing, and she is a complete force of nature. With her bold confidence and incredible intelligence, you know she is poised to take on any challenge. She’s proven that in her personal and professional history, whether being personally asked by Elon Musk to join his team early on or raising more than $1.4m for STEM education programs that have reached thousands of students nationwide. Gwynne’s every endeavor proves her to be an incredible role model for women in STEM, myself included.