Lumi Games Interview Part Two: Playing for Charity
Is that a bear or a game developer? Lumi Games, forged in the wilds of Norway, is an indie development studio in its nascent phase. With a couple titles under their belt and a development strategy in revision, Alexander Presthus and Erik Bratil, Dungeonmasters at Lumi Games are frank about the learning curve and realities of starting out with an idea and seeing it through to the finish. They spoke with Cat about their background, founding Lumi, and their strong commitment to charity.
Read Part One here: http://n4g.com/user/blogpos...
CAT: Do you ever see Lumi doing console development, and what do you think of the current generation of consoles?
ALEX & ERIK: We have talked about developing games for Steam, but have not talked about console development yet. We have a couple of projects that we are creating prototypes for that appeal to a more traditional gamer audience, some of which we think would offer completely new gameplay experiences! More on that later ;) As we grow as a company and hopefully can hire more people we are naturally going to expand the scope of our projects as well.
We are also like many others excited by the recent advances in VR technology and think that this brings possibilities for previously unknown experiences in gaming. The possibilities are endless both in terms of visual, technical and story aspects in the VR space.
CAT: Can you talk more about VR and your vision for the technology? Thoughts about FaceBook and Oculus?
ERIK: When it comes to VR technology I have always had a vision that this would be reality in the not to far future, so of course I’ve had a few ideas for games using VR. Hopefully some of them will come true.
I am not sure if Lumi Games will ever work on VR games, but who knows.
When it comes to Facebook buying Oculus we are generally positive. It’s going to be exciting to see what Facebook and other companies will do with the technology.
CAT: You’ve made charitable donations a part of your business model, can you talk about how that works?
ALEX & ERIK: Personally we both care deeply about helping people realizing their dreams and enriching their life in some way, and we often discuss ideas and ways of bettering society, of course it is only natural for us that Lumi Games is a part of this.
The reason for starting with this so early in the companies history is that a mutual friend of ours, has a son with leukemia. During his treatment his father got to know other parents whose children had been affected by cancer. One such pair of parents started a foundation called "The Super Selma Project", where they collect empty bottles and in other way raise money to create "experience days" for children with cancer and their families. This is absolutely something Lumi Games wanted to be a part of, so we came up with the idea of the "Play for Charity" model, and decided to start by donating 5% of the total revenue (not just profits) of PAX HD and ParticleBOOM! to "The Super Selma Project". We want this to always be a part of the company and will continue to donate a percentage of the revenue of each game we make to a charitable cause.
We are also developing and app in Norwegian where you can read about the project and donate money directly to "The Super Selma Project".
CAT: How do you decide which charity to benefit?
ALEX & ERIK: Play for Charity is still in an early phase of its development, so we have to sit down after the completion of ParticleBOOM! and devise a more concrete plan and strategy on how to pick organizations a nd charities.
Our primary goal is to help those that need it, and that we are sure that the money we donate are actually used for the intended purposes.
CAT: Is there a way for players to suggest a charity for consideration?
ALEX & ERIK: As mentioned, we have to make a well thought out plan and strategy for how we want Play for Charity to develop and work, so that we can look at alternatives where players can suggest and support different charities.
It is important that we get familiar and know the charity we are donating to, so that we know that the money being donated are also used for its intended purpose. It is naturally easier for us to follow up and support Norwegian organizations or foundations than it is a foreign one. But as we grow we want to look for even more possibilities.
CAT: The Super Selma Project sounds like The Make-A-Wish Foundation - friends of ours are on a family trip to Oahu, Hawaii right now as a result of Make-A-Wish! Are you familiar with that organization?
ERIK: I haven’t heard about that foundation, but it sure sounds like the same idea that is the foundation of the Super Selma project. And that is something we really want to help bringing forward both through donations and through the media.
CAT: What does being an independent developer mean to you? What are your thoughts about the current indie scene?
ALEX & ERIK: This is something we always dreamt of doing, so it means a lot to us both. We don't look at making money or getting rich as our main motivation, neither do we identify that as the only criteria for success.
To be successful for us is to be able to do what we love each day, together with great colleagues and friends. Success is knowing you are playing an important part and contributing pos itively to peoples life, to help make peoples day better, not just through our games but also with Play for Charity. We also look at the mobile platform as a platform that deserves a mature selection of games, as we currently feel that it is suffering from the same "childhood problems" as video games did in the past, with some games almost being designed as a drug to make the user fork over their money, or give them a false sense of progression rather than a meaningful and unique experience pl aying a game on their mobile device. We want to help change that as both the platform, medium and we grow as a whole.
Day 13 | Lumi Games