Mohamed Abdel, Karnak Studios: Co-founder and CEO

Mohamed Abdel, founder of Karnak Studios, shares his story and gives his advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Karnak Studios is an international video game development company with people working from over nine different countries around the globe. Their two games in development are Tut Trials and The Daily Tut.

Can you share a little about your story and how you got to where you are today?

We started off as two best friends who grew up making and playing games, and after we graduated we wanted to follow through with our dream of building a game studio.

Can you describe your average day?

I wake up pretty early. Depending on my mood I play video games on my PC (I’m working through a Divinity: Original Sin campaign with my co-worker) or continue my learning with an online course I’m taking. I co-work at an office with another top gaming studio in Egypt and so during lunch we’re always playing Smash Bros. In the evenings I usually wind down by spending time with my wife, if she’s busy then I’ll be present and will play portably on my Nintendo Switch.

Playing games is an extremely important part of my day, everyone at our studio loves games and we’re always up to date and playing what our fellow devs are cooking up.

What has been the largest obstacle you have had to overcome and how did you overcome it?

I think every obstacle is always the greatest one. We’ve been through it all as a studio so it’s just another step in the process. There are new obstacles everyday, some big and some small. It’s all about figuring out which decisions have the most impact and working from there.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Creatively building great comics and games with such an amazing team.

What has been the hardest part of adjusting to covid-19?

We’ve always worked remote and asynchronously even before Covid. What we really had to adjust to was everyone else doing that. Suddenly other people in our lives were also working from home and that’s a great thing. We’ve had team members move cities where rent is cheaper or to reunite with their family. More companies are understanding the benefits of remote and so even with offices opening we’re able to spend more time with those close to us as working from home becomes a global norm.

What is your biggest challenge to becoming a "success"?

Our biggest challenge is proving that we can make good games and we’re still developing our first so the jury is still out on that.

What do you wish you knew before you first started your business?

Don’t take advice from anyone who doesn’t have skin in the game.

How has failure helped you later in life? Can you share any specific lessons you have learned?

You shouldn’t seek out failure but you’ll inevitably face obstacles that are difficult to overcome and when that happens you need to shift direction and explore which actions have the most impact and go from there.

Useful Links:

• Mo's LinkedIn

• Karnak Studio's Website

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