Andy Tsen is the Co-founder and CEO of Ramen VR, builders of the VR MMO Zenith: The Last City. Andy has held product and engineering roles at various top-grossing social and mobile free-to-play gaming studios, including Metamoki, GREE, Mobee, and Jana. Before Ramen, he was the CEO at TribeVR, a builder of multiplayer games that he helped co-found. From 2014-2016, Andy was a co-organizer for Boston VR, the second-largest VR community in the US. He is also an alum of Y Combinator, the world's leading startup accelerator.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Andy Tsen shares the inspiration behind Ramen VR
- Overcoming rejection and achieving success as a VR gaming Kickstarter
- What makes a video game successful?
- Breaking into the gaming industry
- Video games industry trends and predictions
- Andy shares advice for starting a gaming studio
In this episode…
Starting a video game studio is a challenging endeavor with potential pitfalls, including high startup costs, the need to find trustworthy partners, increasing competition, and the ever-changing nature of the industry. However, for those who are serious about making their dream a reality, what priorities should they focus on?
Andy Tsen, a video game industry veteran, offers three pillars of advice: assemble a trustworthy team, design a concept, and create a marketing strategy. Game development requires patience and long hours, so surround yourself with committed, talented, and reliable individuals. Additionally, the team should include experienced professionals with the skills and expertise necessary to bring the studio's vision to life. It is also vital to create a culture of collaboration and innovation. Although owning a studio is exciting, its success depends on having appealing products. So Andy encourages having a clear vision of the types of games you want to develop. However, creating cutting-edge video games is only possible with an iron-clad marketing strategy. Beyond materials like blog posts and social media, Andy suggests posting information on Reddit, building a website illustrating concept art, and teasing potential buyers with surprising reveals.
In this episode of the Here’s Waldo Podcast with Lizzie Mintus, Andy Tsen, Co-founder and CEO at Ramen VR, discusses the ebbs and flows of the VR gaming industry. Andy shares the inspiration for founding Ramen VR, overcoming rejection, and advice for breaking into the video game space and starting a studio.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Here’s Waldo Recruiting
- Lizzie Mintus on LinkedIn
- Andy Tsen on LinkedIn
- Email Andy Tsen: email@example.com
- Lauren Frazier on LinkedIn
- Dan Chao on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode...
This episode is brought to you by Here’s Waldo Recruiting, a boutique recruitment firm specializing in the video game industry that prioritizes quality over quantity and values transparency, communication, and diversity. We partner with companies, creatives, and programmers to understand the why behind their needs and provide a white-glove experience that ensures a win-win outcome.
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Welcome to the Here's Waldo podcast, where we sit down with top visionaries and creatives in the video game industry. Together, we'll unravel their journeys and learn more about the path they're forging ahead. Now, let's get started with the show.
Lizzie Mintus: I'm Lizzie Mintus, founder and CEO of Here's Waldo Recruiting, a boutique video game recruitment firm. This is the Here's Waldo Podcast. In every episode, we dive deep into conversations with creatives. Founders, founders, and executives about what it takes to make a successful video game. You can expect to hear valuable lessons from their journey and get a glimpse into the future of the video game industry.
This episode is brought to you by Here's Waldo Recruiting, a boutique recruitment firm for the game industry. We value quality over quantity, transparency, communication, and diversity. We partner with companies, creatives, and programmers to understand the why behind their needs. We provide a white-glove experience that ensures a win-win outcome.
Before introducing today's guest, I want to give a big thank you to Dan Chow for introducing us. Hopefully, you're listening. I'm going to send you this episode. Today we have Andy Tsen with us. Andy is the co-founder and CEO of Ramen VR, builders of the VR MMO Zenith, The Last City. In addition to Zenith, he's worked on some of the top-grossing social and mobile free-to-play games of the last generation in both product and engineering roles.
Let's get started. Andy, thank you for being here. And what a humble introduction for any of our listeners that aren't familiar with your game or your studio. Will you give us a little background?
Andy Tsen: Sure. Yeah. Zenith is a massively multiplayer online game where countless players can adventure together in a virtual world. It's cross-platform on all major VR headsets. And I'm very proud of the fact that when we launched, we were the number one game across all of the platforms we're on, Steam included. That was a kind of achievement unlocked for me personally. And so based on the success of Zenith, we've also started working on a couple of other initiatives that I'm really excited about. As a game studio, we are around 20 people, and we're a series B company. It's been amazing to be able to pursue our passions while making a business out of it.
Lizzie Mintus: That's everybody's dream. Can you tease us about what else you're working on or no?
Andy Tsen: Not right now. When there's more to talk about, I'll be sure to let you guys know.
Lizzie Mintus: Perfect. Tell me about the early days. What inspired you to start the company in the first place?
Andy Tsen: In 2016, I tried the DK2 for the first time and I was absolutely blown away back then. It was just like these really amateur kind of experiences, sitting in a roller coaster, which is a pretty bad thing you don't want to do because nowadays you'll get super sick and people will complain about that. But it was just so amazing. And I think many people back then saw the future. And I decided I wanted to spend the next 10 years of my life working on virtual reality. I wasn't doing that at my job at the time, which was at a tech startup out in Boston, so I quit my job, moved back home and decided to just start learning the ins and outs of VR programming and worked on that for a couple of years and then it was the Oculus launchpad program where I met my co -founder Lauren. Lauren and I really hit it off, released a game together called Conjure Strike, which was nominated for Unity- VR game and multiplayer game of the year award. And it just showed how powerful we could be if we collaborated on something. So at the time she was leading a few tech teams at Unity. And before that she was at Google. But she was looking for her next move.
We decided to start the company together and we started explicitly to work on Zenith. Right from the very beginning, we had this dream of building a massive world where people could get lost in.
Lizzie Mintus: Wow. So you met and you just knew she was the one. I've heard people do co-founder dating. Like it's so hard to find the person that you connect with.
Andy Tsen: We worked together for a couple of years. So that's how we knew that we were going to be a good fit for each other. It definitely wasn't right away.We met at a kind of a dev hack day that one of our mutual friends, Klorama, was hosting. From there, we just started talking and working together. It's been a long time. Six or seven years since then. It's been fun.
Lizzie Mintus: When you find your person, you stick with them. What kind of games or concepts were the biggest inspiration for you?
Andy Tsen: I think I grew up playing a lot of JRPGs and MMOs. So things like Final Fantasy, films from Miyazaki anime. Obviously we joke around a lot about Sword Art Online and Ready Player One. Those were pretty big inspirations from what was possible and what the type of experience we wanted to eventually create, right? The passion to get into the industry to begin with. World of Warcraft. Ultima Online. Lots of games from various generations that kind of just fed into the experience. I think we set out to create something that felt completely new, yet similar at the same time.
With VR games, you have to really reinvent the wheel for a lot of the core mechanics, but you also can't lose the essence of what makes those games so compelling on other platforms as well. And so there's always a fine line trying to balance those two things.
Lizzie Mintus: Yeah, that makes sense. Okay, so you met your co-founder and then what happened? I know you raised 48 million in the end but walk me through early days. Idea. It's you and Lauren, then what?
Andy Tsen: Yeah, so we started the company in 2019, and 2019 was not a good time to start a VR gaming company. Let me tell you. This was before Quest had launched. It was on the tail end of Rift and Vive, and a lot of companies were either going out of business or pivoting away from virtual reality. With that context in mind, Lauren and I were like, Hey, why don't we just do the opposite? I think we were one of the few devs that had an early access dev kit for the Quest.
A lot of the things that people were saying out in the media about: VR is dead. We genuinely felt that standalone VR could be the savior and could presage a new era for virtual reality. So we decided to put our eggs in the Quest basket and we applied to a bunch of accelerator programs, and I remember there was one point where we got in the final round interviews with Y Combinator, and then we got rejected by them. We were both feeling super depressed by that because you think you get into the final round interviews, and you have a good shot of getting it 30, 40%, depending on what year it is. So you really think you're going to get it, because usually it's a couple percentage points. And then, that week we were also flying out to Philly to interview for Techstars, the Comcast branch of Techstars. But I sent the partners aan email saying, Hey, sucks, I disagree and here's why. And they actually got back to me, and said, Hey, can you come in and talk to us again?
So before we flew out to Philly, went back to YC and basically convinced them this almost never happens once you've been rejected. Convinced them to let us in. And then flew out to Philly the next day, which by the way was also a recommendation from Techstars LA, which had also rejected us. So they were like, you should talk to these Philly guys.
So we went out to Philly and then actually we got accepted into Techstars Philly that day too. So in the span of a day we went from, or a week, we went from being rejected from every accelerator to getting into the two most prestigious tech accelerators, Techstars and YC. And then we had to make the decision between the two.
We went with YC. And the rest is history. From then on, we raised one of the most successful VR gaming Kickstarters. We grew our connections at YC. We got introduced to a plethora of amazing investors, which kind of helped fund our seed round. And the impetus of the rest of the fundraising was just hitting the numbers that we said we were going to hit in terms of retention, in the alphas, and beta tests that we were running.
At the time it was very frothy in the VC ecosystem and the conversation was all around metaverse. So timing was great there. I feel very fortunate to have been in that situation. So definitely a bit of luck was involved there.
Ultimately, at the time, a lot of companies that had no game, just basically, they worked at a really successful game company, you could just get somebody to write you a term sheet based of just that cache alone. We actually had a game, and we had revenue, and we were doing pretty well. That led to a lot of excitement investor interest and led us where we are today.
Lizzie Mintus: I would love to see that email. I have a similar story. My last job rejected me and I told them I'd be their best employee and they gave me a shot.
Andy Tsen: Wow.
Lizzie Mintus: I was, but you were too. Look at you. Look at your success.
Andy Tsen: Hey, what's the worst that can happen, right?
Lizzie Mintus: That's my motto, as annoying as it was for my parents growing up. I'd always ask everybody, but you get stuff like that. When did you know your game was going to have the level of success that it did? Was there a moment or did it snowball into a surprise?
Andy Tsen: We knew it was going to be good, but we had no idea how successful it was going to be at launch. Basically when we got Oculus started getting excited by the pre-order numbers, that's when we started getting excited because our dev relations person was like, these are really good numbers. And we're like, Oh, really? I don't know what the comparison is. So we launched and we were number one across all the stores. And people were loving the game. That was really the best kind of feeling. Beyond all the success we've had with the game from a number standpoint, the reason I get out of bed is like, I've heard of people getting married through meeting in Zenith. I've heard of people getting over their social anxiety. People send me pictures all the time of people traveling across country with their guild mates to meet each other in person for the first time. Those types of connections and bonds are why we built Zenith to begin with. And so it's been really amazing to see how that's evolved over time.
Lizzie Mintus: I love that. I can't believe people have gotten married.
Andy Tsen: I know. It's pretty cool.
Lizzie Mintus: Yeah, you're a matchmaker. They say rough seas make great sailors, and I feel like everyone tells you of all their business successes, but it's up and down like every day.
What is the biggest failure in either this venture or a past venture been and what did you learn from it?
Andy Tsen: Good question. I wouldn't necessarily call this a failure, right? As we've been working on Zenith, I think we've realized what is a good cadence for building products. We're not free to play, but we're live ops. We release constant updates.
We had a really great launch. And then it was hard to keep up given the processes that we had, to having six to nine months of live ops content ready to release, being more on iterative development cycles. And it was hard for us to transition to that business model, because we had spent years developing the game and basically all of that content had been saved up for the launch of Zenith.
We didn't have much in the way of like, Hey, this is what's going to come in the next patch. So if I had to go back and do it all again, I would have a roadmap planned out. There's a good talk that the Bungie guys give about this, which is for live service games. It's not about where you launch. It's about how quickly you're able to iterate and build the game with the community after launch. So that kind of stuck with me. A lot of the KPIs that you would look at in a traditional premium box product game, are not the same as the ones you'd look at in a LiveOps live service game.
Lizzie Mintus: I hadn't thought about that. What do you think, in general, for a LiveOps game or not, what do you think are all the differentiating factors that make a game successful versus not?
Andy Tsen: I think the frequency of updates is really important. And so you have to be okay with some degree of roughness as long as you're moving in the direction that you want with your community and your game. So having the tooling set up to create content super easily is really important. Having the ability to deploy that and the processes put in place with continuous delivery, QA, continuous integration, because shipping games is hard enough in and of itself. I think it's the most complex technical product you can ship.
It's so much more complex than many other companies that I see where the focus is more on sales. With as in like a sales function, not like selling copies. With games, it's definitely this combination of so many different disciplines and to make sure that all of that stuff happens on time is really difficult. So having those processes built in.
I think one thing that I've heard from very successful people that have been more successful than me is have released trains that are scheduled, that are holy, that don't move, but allowing the team to decide what gets shipped in that release.
So if something's not good enough, or something's not at the quality bar that, that you expected, you can instantly turn it off with some sort of feature flag or live ops service, right? And so if you do that, then you can basically say, Hey guys, we have to ship every two weeks, but if something's not quite up to the quality bar, you can delay that for the next rooms.
Lizzie Mintus: That makes sense. I love it. Tell me about breaking into the industry and games. So many people have a hard time just beginning.
Andy Tsen: Honestly, I never thought of myself as a game developer. I started my career at Cisco as a software engineer. Lasted there for about six months before I got pretty bored. Great company, but just not for me at the time. So actually it was a recruiter. A recruiter reached out to me and I got hired on as a software engineer at a company called Metamoki, still around today, they built Mob Wars, which was the first successful X Wars RPG back in the day.
And I think I slid in there. I was lucky, I think in essence, is what it was. There's a lot of luck. The luck was that games were evolving so that you didn't need to work at Blizzard or one of these AAA publishers. Mob Wars was basically a website. So a lot of the experience that I had building websites were applicable to Mob Wars. And then from there I started getting more into deeper games and mobile and stuff like that and moving into product. And so it was all that first opportunity that was just lucky that I got in. That kind of set, set the stage for the rest of my career.
Lizzie Mintus: So a recruiter reached out to you at that point, or you applied or knew somebody there?
Andy Tsen: A recruiter reached out to me, Hillary.
Lizzie Mintus: Okay. I love, I guess you never forget.
Andy Tsen: Yeah.
Lizzie Mintus: I love it. What did you learn from working at all these different game studios that you took to start your own company and what didn't you take?
Andy Tsen: I learned that you can become very successful and you can change the world if you get into an industry at the right time.
I think that was the most important thing, right? I looked at social, right? Mob Wars, Zynga, FarmVille, all that stuff. Timing was of the essence. Then I looked at mobile, same thing.
The technology was taking off, and therefore people that were there with the first mover advantage had a disproportionate outcome. And so I was like, the next time this happens, I gotta jump on board. I can't be working for somebody else the next technological wave shifts. So fast forward to 2016, when VR really started taking off, when Oculus got acquired by Meta, it was really obvious to me that I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't at least try to make this thing work.
Lizzie Mintus: Okay. So what do you think the next wave is? What are the industry trends and predictions?
Andy Tsen: I'm still very bullish about XR and VR. Obviously generative AI is totally out there right now. I think it's some combination of the two. So with the advent of the Vision Pro, I think Apple has demonstrated over and over again a uncanny ability to just invent markets out of thin air.
And I think this is also really great for my friends at Meta. It's competition. And it's like iOS versus Android. Or console wars. I think everybody's going to win as a result. The XR industry is going to be elevated. Consumers will have better products across all different categories, and it will push VR and XR forward in a way that it hasn't in the past.
So I'm really bullish about the XR industry still, and I'm also really excited about generative AI. I don't know how we'd incorporate that generally as a game studio, but I do know that a lot of my team members are already using it religiously And that it has a huge impact on efficiency. If you can figure out the right way to talk to chat
Lizzie Mintus: It is an exciting time and Apple does have this uncanny ability. So looking forward to it. When I started recruiting, I was recruiting for an AR VR company. And so many people at the time are telling me 2016, 2017, that VR was going to go nowhere and they were not interested in working on it. And there was so much hate and then it grew and it became so much less. For some people it makes them sick, but most people see the future now, especially with Apple.
Andy Tsen: Yeah. And I think we're just getting started.
Lizzie Mintus: I saw that you helped run the second largest VR community. Did that impact your success at all? Did you meet anybody there that you ended up working with or gain any ideas from this community?
Andy Tsen: I met a lot of great people while I was out there and I think the thing that it helped me with was just being super inspired and passionate and meeting with passionate people, many of which are still in the VR industry today. I was part of Boston VR, which is one of the largest consumer VR meetups. They also did B2B, but mostly a lot of consumer stuff. SVVR was the other big one. And so I got a chance to meet a lot of cool people through that. I think they were also closely connected to Boston Unity Group. One of those guys ended up going to make like Job Simulator, which was one of the most successful VR games in the first generation.
So there's always been a lot of passion. I think I also had a chance to try out some really cool hardware as a result of that. Got a chance to try early access. HTC Vive, HoloLens, all that stuff before, well before it was announced to the public. I got to see the future before the future had arrived. That was helpful.
Lizzie Mintus: Yeah. Anyone in particular that's gone on to like build a top VR game that you can think of from that community?
Andy Tsen: I don't remember. I'm sure there has been. Especially with all the talent in Boston, all the schools around there. Definitely a lot of people that on to work at really successful startups and game companies and game engine companies like Unity, stuff like that.
Lizzie Mintus: Yeah. Interesting days for Unity lately, but yeah.
Andy Tsen: Yeah. For sure.
Lizzie Mintus: You've been in a leadership role for a while. Who have you seen the most growth from? Who have you worked with that's really accelerated their career and what did they do to do that?
Andy Tsen: That's an interesting question. I don't think I'm going to talk about my team, but...
Lizzie Mintus: It can be in a past role. You've worked alongside so many people and I think people want to understand what it takes to be successful in games and move up to the next level and eventually start your own company potentially.
Andy Tsen: What I look for in terms of leaders and stars on any team is there's got to be the space level of grit and determination and passion that just can't be substituted with anything else. It's really obvious when somebody genuinely cares about a problem and wants to solve that problem.
I've noticed that the more senior you get in the hires you make, it's harder to find that core passion from when people were just starting out. And so I think the main thing for people starting out is if you can maintain that passion and keep it, nurture it, let it grow, don't forget about the reason why you got into gaming and just let that passion continue to ignite. You'll probably do pretty well.
Certainly, you look for leadership qualities and an ability to motivate a team. But I think that the passion is probably the most important thing. And that's the hardest to manufacture. Because if you're passionate and you don't end up being traditionally defined rules of success, you'll still be happy because you were doing something that you love to do. That's a win-win. I guess saying yes a lot, even when you're not sure you can do something, even when it sounds scary. Just being open to the challenges that life throws at you and being flexible to the opportunities that are being presented. I think that's super important as well.
Lizzie Mintus: The grit. You can learn it, but a lot of it seems to be like you're in nature too. But that is definitely what makes the most successful people.
Andy Tsen: Don't focus on comp or title at the start either. Like focus on, is this a cool thing that you want to work on? That's the most important thing. Work with smart people doing work that's worth doing. Surround yourself with people that you can learn from. Be really open and receptive to feedback.
Lizzie Mintus: And sometimes you learn a lot more working with a small group of people versus working at a massive company because you get to touch so many things.
Andy Tsen: Yeah, both have their perks and benefits. I think at a larger company, you're going to learn how to make a widget really well. The best widget in the world. You're going to specialize and be incredible at this one thing. But if you want to start your own company or you want to do something that's broader, it's helpful to get some small company startup experience as well, especially early on in your career. Because that's the point where you can take risks. And that's also the point where you have the most growth and you can move the fastest if you pick the right companies, the right places to work at.
Lizzie Mintus: And give a little seminar to my recruits. I'll clip this for them.
Andy Tsen: Oh, you flatter me. You flatter me.
Lizzie Mintus: Who's been your biggest mentor throughout your career and what advice have they given you?
Andy Tsen: I've had a lot of mentors along the way. I don't think there's any one person, but when I was starting out, I'm pretty good friends with the Darshan who started Big Screen. Big Screen had VR headsets. Amazing. Carmack reviewed it. They also had a really successful movie streaming app. But anyways, Darshan was a great inspiration for me when I was first starting out. We just hung out last night. But as I've progressed in my career, I've built a network of mentors. And so now it's not just one person. It's depending on what the problem is. There's so many people I can reach out to and get support from. And that's what's awesome about this community and the gaming ecosystem at large. It's still a very small community and people still are very passionate. And it's great to just be able to have a network of people. I'm thankful for that.
Lizzie Mintus: Best and the most important. There's always questions you don't know the answer to and having someone to call and not just getting stuck is so good.
Andy Tsen: That's the part where you got to be open to feedback. I think as you see a bit more success, it's potentially that you get closed off a little bit more. And one thing I have to keep reminding myself almost as a meditation or mantra is to be humble and know that there's still a lot you can learn from people. That's not super hard for somebody like me because I'm pretty dumb.
Lizzie Mintus: Okay, you are so humble. You're like, Oh yeah, I just have this game studio. We make a VR game. We're not that big. You're super successful.
Andy Tsen: I didn't realize this, but we've actually been profitable for the last two years, which is amazing when you think about how rough it's been. I'm pretty hard on myself normally so it's not something I'll look at on a regular basis. But credit goes to the team for having achieved that. Sky's the limit.
Lizzie Mintus: If anyone wants to start their own studio, what advice would you give to somebody?
Andy Tsen: Probably three things. First thing, team is the most important thing. Make sure you have people you trust around you, an amazing team. Amazing group of people that you just want to do stuff with day in and day out because it's going to be a grind.
The second thing I would say, and this is so surprising for me, have a concept. Have an actual game that you want to build or have a product idea that you want to ideate on. Not everybody would think about it this way. I've talked to a lot of people that are like, oh, we just want to have the best team and then figure out what we want to build. There's a lot of different paths to success. But for me, having a really clear direction of where we wanted to go was pretty important.
And then the third thing, very specific to gaming is like in games, just having a good product is not good enough. You have to market it as well. So if you build it, they may not come. You do have to market your game and a lot of small developers massively underestimate how much work that is. It should be somebody's full time job, essentially, to be marketing the game. These days, marketing is more around earned marketing and earned media and community management. Discord, blog posts, stuff like that. Just don't neglect that. It doesn't matter how good your game is if nobody knows about it.
Lizzie Mintus: Very true. Okay, what was your marketing strategy? How did people find out about your game ultimately?
Andy Tsen: Yeah, we started out, just posting stuff on Reddit and creating a discord. And this was one of the things YC helped us do, is structure very specific goals prior to our demo day where you pitch all the VCs and get investment.
So one of the things that they had us do was like, Hey, before you even launch the Kickstarter, put a website up with some concept art and a Stripe payment page. See if people pay for that. And it turns out that they were willing to pay for it. We just put a Strike Stripe page up, it took us a day to set up and people gave us like 2,000 or something. They bought a hundred copies of the game, 200 copies. And it was literally just like a piece of concept art and a promise. From there we launched Kickstarter. That was very successful. And community building, word of mouth, having really amazing reveals, and then having something that people really want.
It was easy for us because we were building a VR MMO, which people really wanted. That's like a core concept. That's a core kind of conceit, right? The whole idea of Sword Art Online or Ready Player One is something people get a VR headset for. So that was an easy idea to market. If it was something else, it might have been more difficult. You have to make sure the concept is something people are interested in right away.
Lizzie Mintus: So you had really positive feedback in the early days that led you to believe, I know like you and your heart knew, but people have different ideas. How did you prove that was the right thing to do?
Andy Tsen: We had a discord where we would source feedback and we would show reveals and we would encourage doing play tests. We would also do a lot of signed NDA play tests to get feedback very early on, even when it was uncomfortably rough. That helped us a lot because we got a lot of really great feedback and that helped shape Zenith into what it is today.
Lizzie Mintus: What did you learn about yourself on this journey?
Andy Tsen: What did I learn about myself?
Lizzie Mintus: It is like a self-discovery journey. You started out, you were rejected, you built this crazy thing.
Andy Tsen: I think I view work as a way to grow yourself, right? I'm not religious, but I would say if I was, mindfulness, meditation, those would be things that would be important to me because that's a part of my routine. I view work as another form of meditation or I try to. One that you can do all day. How do I better myself through the work that I do? How do I better the lives of those around me? How do I really be a conscious leader to make sure that we're putting some good into this world and we're changing the lives of the people around us. When you start a company, and I'm sure you know this Lizzie, it's a lot of pushing yourself to the limit, seeing how far you can go before you break. And I think that teaches you a lot about yourself too and what you're truly passionate about, where you stand on certain things, what you're willing to go to war for and what isn't as important ultimately.
Lizzie Mintus: I mean, it forces it, really.
Andy Tsen: Yeah, yeah, you really have to prioritize the people, relationships in your life, the things that you do, your hobbies, all of that kind of gets weighed against the business.
Lizzie Mintus: Yep. I write down all my to-dos, including my life, that's how fun I am. But I do evaluate and prioritize and figure out what I have time for. I'm only kind of type A.
Andy Tsen: Only kind of type A.
Lizzie Mintus: Only a little bit.
Andy Tsen: I would hate to see what a real type A person is in your eyes.
Lizzie Mintus: I'm just kidding. But I think you do have to balance it. If you're working a lot too, I always write down, "Text so and so back. Don't forget to do this." Birthdays on my calendar, everything.
Andy Tsen: You also have a thousand things swimming around in your head at any given time. It can be hard to remember everything unless you write it down.
Lizzie Mintus: Write it down, send yourself emails, text yourself.
Andy Tsen: Multiple points of reinforcement. Let's just put it that way.
Lizzie Mintus: Yeah. Definitely. Lots of things swimming around. That's a good way to put it.
I have one final question before I ask it I want to point people to your website zenithmmo.com.
The last question is: let's pretend we're at an awards banquet. I know you've won already a ton of game awards, but you're being awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for everything you've done up until this point. Who do you thank? Who are the colleagues, friends, mentors, peers, business partners that you would acknowledge who've made the most impact for you?
Andy Tsen: Yeah, I think, obviously huge, hugely grateful for Lauren and her belief in me initially for us to start this company. She's made a huge impact on me. Also my parents, my sister, they've always been there. I remember, with my big sis, she's 10 years older than me when I started this company, I was working out of her spare bedroom for like 2 or 3 years so that I have had an office. So there's a lot of people that I have to thank. All the way back to... All the way back to Hillary for getting my 1st job in gaming to our investors, Y combinator for believing in us.
Everybody has helped me along the way to build this company into what it is today.
Lizzie Mintus: I love that you worked out of your sister's office, to provide it for you like that. That's sweet. We've been talking to Andy Tsen, the co-founder of Ramen VR. Andy, where can people go to learn more about you, your company, contact you?
Andy Tsen: Best way to, to contact me is probably just by email andy@ramenVR.com. I think you've already said the name of the website, but we are hiring and we have a lot of amazing roles. We're working on some really cool stuff that we're not quite ready to announce on a call yet, but really exciting stuff. And I'm hoping that some of you guys will give us a look if you're looking for a job in games.
Lizzie Mintus: Love it. Thank you so much.
Thanks so much for listening to the show this week. To catch all the latest from Here's Waldo, you can follow us on LinkedIn. Be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes. We'll see you next time.
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