By combining his love for computer games and business, Trevor Chan Ming-yuk created his own entrepreneurial vision as founder and chief executive officer of Enlight Software Limited. 'I have been fascinated with computer games since I was very young and was always attempting to create my own games using my old Apple II,' Mr Chan said. It wasn't long before he had created a game based on building a business empire. In 1995, he launched 'Capitalist', a simulated stock market game that allows players to experience running their own multi-billion dollar business. Leading US publisher Interactive Magic distributed Capitalist, which has been hailed as one of the best economic games. Harvard and Stanford University incorporated the award-winning game into their business management courses shortly after its release. 'Most people spend their lifetime working for companies but never have the good fortune to run a business of their own, which is where the fun is,' he said. 'Our games aim to provide a virtual reality where all players are bosses of their own companies and get no less fun than their real-life counterparts in activities such as expansions, acquisitions and takeovers.' As if following the Enlight dictum that modest company growth is a sin against nature, the firm increased the number of its design staff to 30 last year, moved to larger offices in Wan Chai and launched its own distribution company in the United States. Mr Chan said the route he took to get into the game industry was not an unusual one but has become less common and practical. The escalating cost of producing interactive games with detailed graphics is raising a barrier for those wishing to enter the industry independently. 'The success of Capitalist was a turning point in my career and allowed me to develop a full-fledged development studio producing games that I both enjoy working on and playing,' Mr Chan said. It took more than three years to develop and launch Capitalist, during which time he was working seven days a week as a consultant providing computer-generated business solutions to trading companies. He spent his evenings and weekends writing computer code and reading business manuals. The phenomenal success of Capitalist spurred the creation of other business games, such as Virtual U, which simulates operating a university, Seven Kingdoms, Capitalist ll, Hotel Great and the latest offering, Restaurant Empire. Launched in March, Restaurant Empire is based on research and the business philosophy of 'laddish' British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. Players are required to design, decorate and equip a restaurant, compile a menu, source ingredients, develop a cuisine style, handle kitchen staff and deal with difficult clients. The game forces the player to concentrate on the bottom line and competitors. In keeping with the changing scenarios built into Enlight's games, Mr Chan has discovered that new challenges emerge as his business grows. 'While there are periods when I work as an individual programmer and worry about nothing else but cranking out code, there is increasingly more time I have to spend on talking with my team members about various development issues,' he said. 'As game development becomes increasingly more intricate, the need to have a large development team also increases. 'At times I wonder how long I can continue wearing my programmer's hat, as most successful game designers who started out as programmers are no longer involved in programming. 'I have already started to sense the pressure. But for now I am still pretty much resistant to it, as I really value the ability to intrinsically enjoy myself in both game design and programming.'