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svgfahmesvgJune 6, 2022svgMemories

A Valentine Tale of 1833 days

It was the very beginning of February in 2015 when we named our little team ‘Battery Low’. We started working on our first game, but suddenly one of the founding members said to me while coming out of the cafeteria (with extra chocolate milk that he has just smuggled), “We should make a game based on Valentine’s Day. Well, just first week into the startup- imagine the insane craziness we all had inside us! Somehow we finished the first game in a rush (didn’t even fix all the bugs, no) and jumped onto this exciting idea! We tried to make a whole infinite runner in a week. Of course, we had to release it before February 14th!. Let’s face it, to make a whole game without bugs in this timeline was almost impossible when you had 8 am — 5 pm classes. We used to come back from classes and jump onto this straight away, every single day. We worked up to 3–4 am and pulled off all-nighters just to make sure that it gets released on time. Well, thankfully- it did! We asked all the people in the residential halls of IUT to play and give feedback. They obliged accordingly and we were truly overwhelmed to see these on our notebooks. Yes, we took handwritten feedback on notebooks. The game ‘Valen-Tine Run’ was the story of Valen (the boy) and Tine (the girl). In the initial version of the game, Valen used to run to collect gifts in a city of love for his Tine, so that he can give them to her. It was a 2D infinite runner with a parallax scrolling background.

Feb 14, 2015– I was feeling like an accomplished man myself, having pulled off something crazy with the new team who just got born, literally. People loved the concept, gameplay, sound effects, and graphics. This gave my confidence level a huge boost. I thought that I should make this Valentine more special, and so- I planned for something, well, unorthodox.

The girl I was in love with, lived 400 miles from me back then. The long-distance relationship used to get us wounded once in a while. But I thought that distance shouldn’t stop us. I planned for the impossible. I did what I do best- I arranged for a surprise visit!

Due to a vacation of straight 2 or 3 days (February 13 and 15 was off day for everyone as well, apart from Feb 14), everyone was heading outside Dhaka. So, Bus tickets on the Aricha root (the comparatively long road to her town) were already sold out, and also, it takes 9 hours minimum on that route. Now, somebody told me that if I could catch the bus before/at 8 am at Saydabad (This uses the Mawa route), then I would be able to reach in 6 hours maximum. This seemed like my only feasible option. Even though I pulled off an all-nighter, I couldn’t reach Saydabad at 8 am. I started from Gazipur, my university dorm as soon as the dawn was upon us, still, I reached at 8.15 and boarded a bus that goes through Ferry as the bus which I was aiming for was already gone. I listened to the conductor who promised that he would drop me off at my destination within 6 hours. Little did I know.

At 3 pm, I only managed to reach the Ferry Ghat, so that was not even half the journey and the person whom I was going to surprise, has already got heavily suspicious. I have been ignoring her calls and kept the communication limited to texts but by 3 pm it had become impossible to keep avoiding her. I received the call.

She understood my efforts, but she sent me back. It was pointless to do another 10 hours journey as I wouldn’t even be able to see her as the girls’ hostel gates close at 9 or 10 pm. I wasn’t willing, but that mattered little. So, I started the way back. After a long journey, I reached back at IUT after 11 pm. 18 hours straight on the road and a body ached from the all-nighters, hit me hard. Love is difficult.

Feb 14, 2016– Spent the whole day cheering our successful Valentine campaign ‘Airtel Run For Love’ with Airtel Bangladesh. This was a game made by us for the celebrated telecom ‘Airtel Bangladesh’. It was a facebook game inspired by our ValenTine Run, but so much more. You could play with both characters now. Also, scoring certain points would get you a different game over scene every other time. We decided on the final gift based on the score. First work with such a big company- naturally all of us were pumped up. We spent the whole day on facebook. The top 5 scorers of this campaign were supposed to get a helicopter ride with his/ her Valentine. Guess what? The guy who was the ultimate top scorer didn’t have a girlfriend. He took his mom with me instead. Beautiful, wasn’t it?

Feb 14, 2017– We introduced our first custom game- Love In the Air! It is a game you can actually ‘order’. You just have to send the pictures of you and your loved one and we would make a custom Valentine gift you can give to your love. Basically, the output was either an apk file or web URL which you could send as a gift. You both become a game character in a game of love! The demand was huge and we alone couldn’t handle it all. Though me, Istiaque Bhai, Mimo were doing our best, still it wasn’t enough. We called in the cavalry to deliver the pending orders. Mahfuz, one of our founding members who had to leave the company due to family issues, came back to assist and the whole day, we made games, delivered them and did PR activities for the game. This week was full of allnighters in our Gulshan office as well.

Feb 14, 2018- The team had grown in number by then. We had so many superheroes in our league then. They were so dedicated that you had fewer reasons to worry and possess more aspirations. Love in the air continued its success and it was preached in social media and online portals. But the heroes are the reason we could breathe well in the storm. We made PR videos and the team worked hard to deliver. Jahid’s first aim at the graphics part of this, as I can remember. This guy is a maestro.

Feb 14, 2019- Spent the whole day in a high profile business pitch. I and Mimo were teaming up with Erada Bhai and Ashiqur. It was, well, an interesting experience. Mimo told me that he has seen my best speech ever that day, probably I got some divine motivation or something. Valentine always does weird things to me. Well, I think I got a call before my speech that was really inspiring. That got the best out of me. I am driven by small things.

Feb 14, 2020- The team has delivered a Valentine game to Braver this year. Istiaque bhai led the way as hulk, chaos, silver surfer and others pulled it off. I spent the first half of the day with Shakhawat bhai, visiting lands that people sold that don’t exist and discussing business. The second half had intense meetings with the team and the long-awaited concert of Arnob. 7 of us went from Battery Low and we banged our heads when he sang ‘Rastay’ together. Came back to the office after 11.30 pm to do a stayover.

My Valentine has always been the one I love most. You know the name.

Battery Low Interactive.

I used to say-

“ People betray. People get worse.

Game doesn’t betray. Game never gets worse.

Be smart. Play Games. If you can, make them as well. 

No matter who’s single and who’s mingle, we are what we have. The blessed league of superheroes in Battery Low. We love who we are and we are what we have.

We love to make games that run your batteries low and we will always have something ready for you in Valentine.

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