Startup Principles, Working on StarCraft II and Fortnite, Burnout, Empathic Design, UI is Key, Tools Development, VC Ecosystem, Mental Health, and Crossplay with Matt Schembari


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I welcome Matt Schembari, CEO of Lightforge Games. We begin by discussing his lifelong love of games and how he got his first job in the industry, followed by the other studios he’s worked at. Our discussion pivots into burnout and the effects it has on a person, along with a crisis of identity, and thoughts on mental health. We then discuss the industry turnover rate and constant loss of talent that’s happening, along with the key principles Lightforge Games has been founded on.

Hear Matt’s thoughts on empathic design, targeting tool development as a career choice, the importance of UI, and ideas around focusing your career. We then discuss the need to be a team player, mentoring others, and developing as a leader. Listen to the most important skill he thinks people should have and the importance of learning and developing.

We then pivot into his experience working on StarCraft II and FortNite, including the development of crossplay, along with the rise of Twitch players. Hear about threats to the industry around big companies needing to get their shit together, the rise of startup studios working together and sharing ideas collectively, and the VC ecosystem. Listen to his excitement around AR and a funny story about a trip to Korea to promote StarCraft II.

Towards the end we discuss thoughts about being all-remote, how the studio was founded on not asking people to move, and working asynchronously with employees in different parts of the world. We then wrap up talking about the importance of empathy and the belief in it creating better games.


Matt Schembari has spent his career in the video games industry with a resume that spans both Blizzard Entertainment and Epic Games. He is currently the CEO of Lightforge Games.

Show Links:

*Lightforge Games website

*StarCraft II Wikipedia

*FarSide Cartoon JPG

*Crossplay Fortnite The Gamer

*StarCraft II expansion pack Korean news

*Miro website

*Notion website

*Tangle website

Connect Links:

*Lightforge Games Twitter

*Lightforge Games website

*Matt Schembari LinkedIn

*Matt Schembari Twitter

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44 episodes