Sprint 15 – Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve

Sprint 15 – Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve

August 2nd, 2020

The funny thing about the startup world is that we only ever see the success stories, the plucky entrepreneurs that save the day by creating some world changing software, or that appear one day with an amazing, addictive game that everyone wants to play.

It’s rare people talk about the failures, or struggles because it’s not glamorous. Those same entrepreneurs who built 100s of applications or games before that golden egg.

Did you know that the creators of Angry birds made 51 mostly unknown games and almost went broke before creating Angry Birds?

Turns out even simple games can be incredibly complex
Turns out even simple games can be incredibly complex

“Ok James, I thought this was meant to be a SoSa update? Why are you talking like this? WHERE ARE YOU KEEPING THE HOSTAGES???”

Don’t worry, the hostages are safe.

Since January, I’ve been working hard to rebuild SoSa, it’s been an emotionally strenuous journey. A pandemic started, I’ve had to go back to full time employment but still – we’ve gotten to the point where every 2 weeks I’m building an Alpha release.

But, I’m still only human.

The last month we’ve had more drama as a community than I can ever remember in previous years, it’s felt like some members have intentionally tried to twist people’s words, make the mod teams life hard just because they don’t like the rules and brought other members of the community in to that.

I’m so pleased with the mod team, and feel like as a whole they have dealt with issues amazingly, but it’s still been very draining emotionally for all of us. 

The community has started to heal in the last week or so. 

People are regularly chatting, some older members have returned, people have been playing games with each other. It’s been a lot of fun.

I still love you SoSa
I still love you SoSa

As well as the drama, my full time job has been kicking my ass. 

We’ve got a mountain of work to deliver in a very short period of time and whilst I’m enjoying the company, the people, the challenge. It’s been a huge drain on my emotional energy.

So all in all – it’s been a shit sprint and I feel drained, tired, unmotivated but hopeful.

I wanted to share that with you all, because building a startup is HARD, it’s not just something you wake up one day and decide to do and then you’re a millionaire. 

Especially something the size of SoSa, this isn’t a humble brag but to build something like SoSa to a high quality requires a lot of time, patience and skill. 

Most developers focus on a single area of expertise (backend / frontend / infrastructure / mobile) I am doing all of that and

  • These articles, 
  • SEO, 
  • social media, 
  • coordinating a designer and writer, 
  • video editing, 
  • delivery, 
  • managing user feedback, 
  • community management

all in my spare time, whilst holding down a full time job and trying to have a life. 

So now I’m wearing my heart nice and firmly on my sleeve, let’s see what I have done this sprint!

  1. Precursor
  2. Sprint 1 – The Foundations
  3. Sprint 2 – The ummm Foundations?
  4. Sprint 2 – Nerd Ramble
  5. Sprint 3 – Cooking with matches!
  6. Sprint 4 – Now We’re Cooking With Gas!
  7. Sprint 5 – Robot Uprising
  8. This Is Not the Sprint You’re Looking For
  9. Sprint 6 – That’s a Weird Looking Patronus
  10. Sprint 7 – Corona Stole My Title
  11. Sprint 8 – Adventure Time!
  12. Sprint 9 – Now In Technicolor
  13. Sprint 10 – Refinement
  14. Sprint 11 – Motion In The Ocean
  15. Alpha Release 1.0.3
  16. Sprint 12 – No Rest For The Wicked
  17. Alpha Release 1.0.4
  18. Sprint 13 – I Need a Break
  19. Alpha Release 1.0.5
  20. Sprint 14 – Just James Things
  21. Sprint 15 – Wearing My Heart On My Sleeve
  22. Alpha Release 1.0.6
  23. Sprint 16 – Warm Up
  24. Alpha Release 1.0.7
  25. Sprint 17 – Coffee’s back on the menu!
  26. Alpha Release 1.0.8
  27. Sprint 18 – We’re on fire!
  28. Sprint 19 – Slowly fast
  29. Sprint 20 – Let’s get Nerdy
  30. Alpha Release 1.0.9
  31. Sprint 21 – We’re back!
  32. Alpha Release 1.1.0
  33. Sprint 22 – You Look Cute Today
  34. Alpha Release 1.1.1
  35. Sprint 23 – Sausage Smuggler
  36. A SoSa Retrospective
  37. Sprint 25 – I am SoSa and don’t call me Shirley
  38. Sprint 26 – The best laid schemes of mice and men
  39. Sprint 27 – Vogue, Strike a Pose
  40. Sprint 28 – a New Hope
  41. I Couldn’t Think Of a Title
  42. Guess who’s back, Back again!
  43. Demolition Man
  44. Squid James
  46. We Didn’t Choose This Life, We’re Just Living In It
  47. Let’s go!

Bot Face!

Bots are misunderstood

If you’ve been following the progress you may have seen the dummy bots have weird human like faces.

I decided it would be nice to have an API that generates unique bot faces just for SoSa and so I got the same designer that did our Patreon badges.

The generator works but isn’t live yet, there are a combination of 9 heads, eyes, mouths, antenna, It allows you to change the bot face colour and the background.

Facebook Login

This sprint I managed to implement Facebook login in to both the app and the website API, if you’ve been following the news you might remember seeing apps breaking because they used Facebooks SDK (https://9to5mac.com/2020/07/10/app-crash-facebook-sdk/

To avoid this and protect the privacy of our users, we’re not using Facebooks SDK in the app, instead using their OAuth 2.0 flow.

It does mean it’s not quite as seamless as other apps but honestly – I’d prefer that if it means a breaking change doesn’t break SoSa and also to protect users privacy by not having their SDK integral to our app.

If you look closely, on the right of each image you'll see a Facebook Icon
If you look closely, on the right of each image you’ll see a Facebook Icon


We’ve spent a lot of time working on Chat and login, registration so i thought it would be nice to start putting together some of the auxiliary screens. In this case meetups!

This sprint, I put together the the main Meetups screen. It’s not connected to an API at the moment but is “functional”

I spose we could meet in real life too sometimes...
I spose we could meet in real life too sometimes…

Game night

Next SoSa game night we will be playing Teeworlds!

Sunday 23rd August 1900-2100 GMT / 1200-1400 PT / 1500-1700 ET

Play together with your friends and have a fun time! In Teeworlds you can play in three gamemodes (Deathmatch, Team-Deathmatch and Capture The Flag) and tons more of community-made modifications with up to 16 players!

Customize your own player character, your personal tee, to your liking. With hundreds of possible combinations, you will always look unique!

Teeworlds is a game that gives you a lot of freedom and plenty of gameplay mechanics to use or abuse. With a full focus on multiplayer games you will never be bored.

The game is completely free and runs on most machines, so just grab a ticket to join in! 🙂



LinkedIn grew from 492 to 552

Patreon, stayed steady at 14 Patrons!

Our Beta List grew from 328 to 338

Our average search position has actually improved from 27.9 last sprint to 22.5 this sprint, although impressions are down from 2.34k to 2k – our click through rate has gone up!

It’s been a while since I shared our moz stats, mainly because they weren’t changing significantly each sprint. I figured it’s good to do a check in.

Domain authority is up to 25 from 24, Total links are down from 74,693 to 68,942 and so is % from 52% to 47%

External links has gone down from 155 to 145, but the number of linking domains has increased from 101 to 124 and followed linking domains from 62 to 67.