The Gaming Founders Podcast - Stephen Lim and Trevor Romleski

The Art of Game Creation: Slim and Trevor of Valorant and Raid Base Live from LA Tech Week

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Welcome to our first-ever episode with a live audience coming to you from LA Tech Week. Our special guests are the co-founders of Raid Base - Stephen “Slim” Lim, Product Director, and Trevor Romleski, Game Director. Slim was a product designer and VP of R&D at Riot and is known for always doing right for players. Also at Riot, Trevor was a Game Designer and worked on League of Legends. The duo were the co-founding team at Valorant, then 3 years ago started a new studio called Raid Base.

Slim and Trevor discuss their approach to finding target audiences, ensuring game design decisions resonate with players, and using player motivation to create games catering to various skill sets, knowledge levels, and mechanics. Additionally, they explore the importance of trust and alignment in their startups, both in terms of hiring and funding decisions, to maintain a supportive environment. The guys offer valuable lessons for aspiring game developers, founders, and gaming enthusiasts alike.

Discussion points:

Background and introduction of Slim and Trevor

Slim and Trevor's gaming origins and influences

The importance of community engagement at Riot

Merging teams and deciding game direction

Developing the thesis for Raid Base's game

Balancing game features and team resources

Prioritizing and clarifying game design decisions

Aligning team visions for a cohesive product

Slim's focus on high-level vision, Trevor on execution

Prototyping and resolving design ambiguities

Navigating challenges in the gaming industry

Balancing work, gaming, and personal lives

Closing remarks on passion and creating games

The Gaming Founders Podcast is brought to you by Eden Chen, CEO of Pragma, and Kevin Zhang, Partner at Upfront Ventures.

Pragma is a venture-backed backend game engine founded by the engineering leaders who built the platforms for some of the largest live service games including League of Legends, Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Plants vs. Zombies 2. Pragma powers services like accounts, matchmaking and player data for the world’s most ambitious live service games. Eden Chen is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Pragma, Fishermen Labs and Lightmark Capital, and started his career in investment banking at Citigroup and Lehman Brothers.

Founded in 1996 in Los Angeles with investing professionals based in LA and SF, Upfront Ventures has backed startup teams across all technology sectors, with about half in Southern California, and the rest across the US and Europe. Kevin Zhang is an avid gamer and former neurobiology researcher who leads gaming and healthcare investments at Upfront Ventures, including Pragma.


Stephen Lim LinkedIn

Trevor Romleski LinkedIn

Raid Base


Gaming Founders Podcast

Eden Chen LinkedIn

Kevin Zhang LinkedIn

Upfront Ventures


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