Master the Meta: What we have learned about learning at Lightheart

"We always strive for the fastest path to learning"

Master the Meta: What we have learned about learning at Lightheart

Master the Meta is a free newsletter focused on analysing the business strategy of the gaming industry.

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I usually write here about other companies, but this week is an exception: I want to talk about the story of Lightheart Entertainment, the company I co-founded.

We just announced our Series A funding led by Makers Fund. This is our second funding round after the Galaxy Interactive-led seed round in early 2020.

We founded the company in the summer of 2019 and we released our first game, Mr Autofire, in November 2019.

We have been able to grow Mr Autofire every quarter since, and now we are in the fortunate position to rev up the growth of both the game and our team. I would like to use this opportunity to share some of the foundations that enabled our journey so far.

First, we founded our company on a very clear set of values. We believe that happy, motivated game developers who can make decisions where the magic happens are able to create great games fast.

That is why we chose to be fully self-organised from the start. Make no mistake, though: self-management may mean zero hierarchy, but it does not mean zero structure.

In fact, the structures and rules that allow anyone to make any decision are in the very heart of how Lightheart works. In short, we are building a games company where we would like to work ourselves.

For those interested, we have found that Reinventing Organizations by Frederic Laloux is a great starting point for self-managing companies.

Second, we always strive for the fastest path to learning. We squeeze down development scope to learn from real players as fast as possible.

The first version of any given title should be in the app stores already in a matter of months, not years. In addition, we try to be as intellectually honest as possible in all stages of development. We do not look for validation; we look for improvement and red flags.

As game makers, we constantly ask ourselves whether the game we are working on is the best use of our time and resources, or whether we should do something else instead. We have found that our core values endorse honesty and critical thinking and this certainly helps to achieve this goal.

Third, our approach to making games is very simple. We make games that are instantly accessible, yet deep enough to become a hobby. We call this hypercore. The gameplay must make for ad creatives that sell the game within seconds.

Playing the game must feel so good that your playtester will not give your device back. The players need to genuinely care about their progression. These building blocks are the foundation of retention and monetizsation. The approach is not unique to us; it is the combination of our core values and the talented team that enables us to execute on this well.

We have recently started to grow our team. We are both continuing work on Mr Autofire and we have plans to build more games.

If you feel like you would be a great fit, do not hesitate to contact us. Lightheart’s journey is just beginning! (written by Miikka Ahonen)

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Master the Meta is a newsletter focused on analysing the business strategy of the gaming industry. It is run by Aaron Bush and Abhimanyu Kumar. To receive future editions in your inbox sign up here: regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.