🌿 Hi everyone! I’m Amanda (she/her), the Community and Support Senior Associate at Lumi Interactive.
We’re working on a mobile game called Kinder World, a self-care houseplant game focused on community and wellbeing. Lumi Interactive is a women-founded studio that started making Kinder World after experiencing pandemic burnout. We’re excited to be expanding our team to fully launch Kinder World on iOS and Android by the end of this year!
I’m relatively new to Lumi and to the gaming industry overall! I only started gaming over the pandemic and created a game recommendation TikTok account as a fun lockdown project. Through self-taught skills and making industry connections, I’ve pivoted into a game marketing role. I’m very happy to chat about our current open positions, our studio founded on kindness culture, personal experiences of TikTok marketing and breaking into the gaming industry, and anything else.
You can also find me on my personal Twitter and TikTok @cutieindierecs 🥰
🤔 To kick things off, please tell us a little bit more about yourself, about your journey into games, and how you got your position at Lumi Interactive! - Katherine
🌿 Amanda: Amazing! I am very new to gaming and the games industry overall. We had really intense lockdowns here in Melbourne, so I turned to games as a hobby and became somewhat obsessed. I started a TikTok during lockdown #6 as a way to share about the indies that I loved! I made a ton of connections with game devs through TikTok and that's how I met Lauren from Lumi. After quitting a pretty toxic job, she scooped me up to work at Lumi and it's been such an amazing experience!
🥰 I can't wait to hear more about your TikTok adventures! - Katherine
🌿 Amanda: TikTok is a really fun platform! There's an opportunity to grow quickly and reach a lot of people. More than that, I've found that it's a great way to connect with others. Everyone is putting themselves out there to film videos and it feels pretty vulnerable. So likes and comments go a long way. I've made friends with so many devs and connections are so important to get jobs in the industry!
🤔 Hi Amanda, thank you for doing this! I am about to start making Tik Toks for my game company, and am really lost with how to start, and how to get over the anxiety of putting myself out there, do you have any advice based on how you started and how you were able to get over that first bump of anxiety if you had it? - SusanatTursiops
🌿 Amanda: There's SO much anxiety over making TikToks at first!! I made my first few and posted them all together. They ended up taking so much time and energy. Things do get easier! It feels weird and cringey but that's something you kind of have to push through at first. Trying something easy like using a trending sound with gameplay is a good way to get started. Then you can build up to talking and showing your face. It's definitely recommended to actually scroll TikTok yourself because trends move really quickly!
🤔 Thank you! Which format have you found connects with viewers more, or in other words, what seems to get the most responses?
🌿 Amanda: I've found the most popular videos for my page are 20-30 seconds, showing my face, chatting with the audience like they're friends, and giving info they find interesting. For my personal channel, that's game recommendations and talking about indies. I'm still playing around with the Lumi channel! I've just been using trending sounds for now which do okay. But I think people are really looking to get to know you and the stories behind the game
🤔 What was the "lockdown Tiktok project" that helped you land your current role? - Shelby
🌿 Amanda: I started a channel to just recommend games that I liked! It ended up getting a lot of traction so I was able to make connections with lots of different folks, just from trading comments on each other's videos. It also helped develop the skills that I use in my job now to connect and manage a community.
🤔 What skills did it help you develop? Do you think that there are some skills that only TikTok was able to teach you?
🌿 A lot about community management and interaction, marketing to a target audience, and telling stories that people are interested in hearing. Starting my own community was a huge trial and error and took a lot of learning in and outside of TikTok. I have a Discord, YouTube channel, Instagram, etc. I've been able to transfer all those skills to my current job. We're in the process of hiring now and one of the positions is a Marketing Content Creator.
I've found [.c-highlight]professional experience doesn't matter quite as much as demonstrating that you have the skills and dedication[.c-highlight] for the type of content creation we're looking for.
🤔 Have you noticed any recent trends with the TikTok algorithm? I feel like it's favoring longer videos (as long as they still have good metrics like full watch %) - Jared
🌿 Amanda: The TikTok algorithm is stressful. It feels like things change all the time. Some weeks videos do really well and some weeks all videos tank. At the moment it feels like the longer videos with stories and talking are getting pushed. That might change in the future. I've found that it's most important to do content that you have fun with. And if something does really well, replicate that style with other videos. I've also learned to not stress as much if things don't do well. That can be quite stressful when just starting on the platform haha
🤔 Can you tell us more about how you go from "trading comments on each other's videos" to developing actual relationships with indies, and specifically, Lauren? How does go from TikTok to even beginning to talk about a job? How was that conversation even initiated? And then what happened from there? - Nate
🌿 Amanda: Great question! Lauren has actually started a private Discord with a few of the folks from TikTok, both devs and content creators. This is a cool space to connect and chat about TikTok strategies and feel like you're less alone in this odd space of TikTok. I actually posted about leaving my job (with no real backup plan) and Lauren messaged me for a chat. I started working for them as a Virtual Assistant, mostly just answering support emails. They've gotten a bit of funding and created this role for me based on what I'm interested in which is super cool!!
[.c-highlight]♥ Love this! I always advocate for getting your foot in the door any way that you can.[.c-highlight]
Did you set out on the TikTok journey with the aim to meet game devs and find work in games, or was that just a serendipitous positive outcome? (i.e. how much of this was part of a plan?)
🌿 I definitely didn't intend to work in games hahaha. I had a Twitter for the sole purpose of following devs, but that was just to see gaming news. I did want a bit of a bigger platform to chat about indies because I really loved them. I ended up being way more excited about games than I was about my actual job. My intention was to take some time off working to figure out what I wanted to do but got scooped up by Lumi in the process. I feel like I definitely fell into this career just by following things I really liked doing.
🤔 How much time per day do you spend on the app? Do you think your engagement with other people's content brings more people back to your account/videos? - Strawberry
🌿 Amanda: Much less now hahaha. I used to spend way too much time on TikTok, especially during lockdown times. It's useful to spend time on the app to get to know the trends and everything. Plus once you train the algorithm right it's really fun to watch the videos. I've found that devs and other content creators are super supportive, especially when you've left a few comments on their videos as well 😊
🤔 Now that you've found the awesome world of indies, and are have jumped into the dev side of things. Are there any other roles you are interested in pursuing? - Strawberry
🌿 Amanda: I'm not sure actually! This whole dev world is very new for me. I never thought my skills would transfer over to working in games. The cool thing about Lumi is that there's a ton of opportunity for growth and learning. There's a creativity stipend every month for education, and Lauren has been so lovely at lobbying opportunities my way. It's a great environment to try a bunch of new things to see what really resonates
🤔 What is a good way to connect without feeling too pushy? - StarOnVenus
🌿 Amanda: I've found that just spending time on the app and leaving supportive comments has been great! I don't love as much when folks tag me in videos though without having that baseline connection established hahaha
🤔 Speaking of your current open positions, the roles mention that you are based in Australia, but that you're willing to work with those that are remote. Are there any limitations to this? - Shelby
🌿 Amanda: Yes! We're based in Melbourne but hiring from anywhere! No limit on working remotely, and the company has been great at matching benefits for your home country. I'm in Melbourne currently but will be moving back to the US and working remotely. The time difference is a bit tricky, but will only really play a part for the weekly sync-up meetings
🤔 What's a game you're looking forward to this year? - Maggie
🌿 Amanda: My millennial self is really excited about the Harry Potter game. I don't agree with the stances of the author and am conflicted by supporting her in any way. But growing up with the series, playing through the world is a dream that will probably make me cry. I find that this is similar to some of the other games I've enjoyed. Some of my top games have come from studios I've later found out have had some really toxic working environments. It's definitely conversations we should be having in the industry and for those consuming games.
🤔 Do you have any pointers about what Lumi might be looking for in hiring? Any other positions that aren’t listed? - SusanatTursiops
🌿 Amanda: Yes! We have two more senior roles listed now- Acquisition Manager and Senior Game Designer. We also have a Marketing Content Creator role which will probably close out next week (so would recommend applying soon!) [.c-highlight]Beyond the skills listed for the jobs, we'd love to hear about your personal experiences and what you love about the game's mission. Why does Kinder World really resonate with you? We're hiring folks who really fit in with the team and the ethos of kindness, so hearing your story is quite important.[.c-highlight] We also have a general expression of interest form on the site! We'll definitely be hiring more folks by the end of this year (and hopefully more beyond), so following us on Twitter is a great way of hearing about those!
[.c-insight]💡 Editor’s Note So important. People want to know why you want their job and why you want to work for their company and on their game. Great applications will show the hiring manager that yes, you are paying attention and that yes, the team/culture/mission/game truly does vibe with you. And you want to submit great applications. (Good news is that it only takes a few sentences.)[.c-insight]
🤔 What was your experience like interviewing for your role (or interviewing others)? And can you pass on any lessons learned or tips for future applicants? - Nate
🌿 Amanda: I've done a few get-to-know-you chats with folks applying for the Marketing Content Creator role, and they've been lovely! In those chats, I'm really looking for a bit of rapport and excitement about the role. I've been asking questions like 'What brings you joy in your current job?' and 'What most excites you about this position?' which are very simple questions to get a read on what folks are interested in. Being a free-to-play mobile game that's already out in beta, playing the game or at least checking it out beforehand is really important!
🤔 What are some examples of how you/your teammates have utilized the monthly "creative allowance" that Lumi provides? - Shelby
🌿 Amanda: Most of us are quite new, so I haven't been able to use this yet. I'll be seeking out training and conferences, and Lauren has been amazing at sending potential opportunities my way. Going back to the US, I'll also be able to go to some in-person cons in the future which I'm soooo excited about.
🤔 What does a normal day at Lumi look like for you? - Strawberry
🌿 Amanda: Being in a small company, we do a bit of everything! I have my daily tasks which are posting to Twitter and TikTok, chatting in Discord, and responding to support emails. Then I'll have a few bigger projects to be working on. Most of that is setting up systems to be in place as we grow the team and the community. So a Discord makeover, setting up an in-game support system and creating onboarding documents. Also in the office, there are lots of general chats about the gaming industry which I love as a very new-to-games person!
🤔 For artists interested in joining the field - are there any tips and what you or others might look for specifically? - StarOnVenus
🌿 Amanda: Having a portfolio is great! On a website is lovely, but a curated instagram would work as well. I'd say to make connections with other artists as well as devs. For example, my partner is an illustrator. If he gets a request for a job and is too busy, he often recommends one of his friends. I never loved the term networking, it's really just about making friends in the space.
🤔 I was wondering with your content creation for Kinder World, have you found that sticking with the same kind of format for videos/social posts etc gives the best results or have you found that branching out and trying a bit of everything has been better? Or is there anything you would encourage people who are in social marketing to try? - VioletLeBeaux
🌿 Amanda: I think trying different things is great! I'm new to Kinder World's socials and still trying to get a handle on what works the best. But I love that there's ample room for creativity and testing a bunch of different styles of posting. In general, it's all about sharing stories. That's what I most want to hear about as a consumer of media, and is really what makes each company unique
🤔 I mean, I love this from your job board:
We care about your career. We’ll craft your role to suit you, and help you actively grow toward your goals!
But, what I am curious to know what that means to you, in your own words. Or, if you have an example of how Lumi has crafted your role for you and how they are helping you to grow? - Nate
🌿 Amanda: Love this one! The fun part about working in a small team has been doing a bit of everything. The experimentation is really fun and trying different things to see what resonates. BUT, there's no expectation to do everything. For example, the Marketing Content Creator role was created because it was stuff that I didn't particularly want to do (ie. product photography and graphic design). I applied for a more junior position listed and in the interview process expressed what I really was interested in pursuing, so they created some new job responsibilities for me. Lumi has done this with other candidates as well. If someone has been really great but might not have hit everything on the job description, they've shifted responsibilities and roles to get that person on. Being a bit of a startup, we're able to be quite flexible when bringing new folks on!
[.c-insight]😍 Editor’s Note: This. is. so. good. I love it when teams have the foresight to align people to their strengths and minimize exposure to their "weaknesses" (which can also just be things that they aren't interested in or excited about). You tend to get far more "bang for your buck" AND that person is far more happy, engaged and motivated.
I have also been a part of teams where they hire great talent and then that great talent struggles for whatever reason and they blame the talent. When, no, that person is obviously talented. They've proven it before. It's not them, it's us! So, instead of immediately showing them the door, we can work with that individual to find the right role and responsibilities so they can get back to a place where they are thriving.[.c-insight]
🤔 So... (stealing one of your own interview questions 😄 ): Why does Kinder World really resonate with you? - Nate
🌿 Amanda: hahaha love this!! Our big focus is on self-care and community. The community features we're adding are just amazing and make me so happy. For example, there are letters you get in the game that come from members of the community. We also have an in-app purchase where you can buy a pot and send another one to a stranger. It's truly inspiring what people write and how kind they are. It makes you feel really connected to other people in the game. We have a little community feedback section of our Slack where we just put nice things people say in and about the game. It makes me cry on an almost daily basis because of how wonderful everyone is 💖.
Lumi Interactive is a female-founded mobile game studio focused on games that make the world a kinder place. With a focus on social connection and wellbeing, their latest title Kinder World is in development for iOS and Android for release in 2021.