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The mastermind behind Baldur’s Gate 3’s popular TikTok account spills his secrets: The sooner you can ‘make a character look like Shrek and kick somebody off a cliff’ unsupervised, ‘the better’

There’s a lot that goes behind steering a ship as big as Larian Studios, the indie behind Baldur’s Gate 3 (with a team size that goes toe-to-toe with AAA-studios) including running social media accounts on various platforms—such as the bizarre, cryptic, potentially-about-to-be-banned-in-the-US landscape of TikTok.

Mercifully, Larian has a dedicated guy for that, who has generated a solid 274,000+ followers for the studio on the site. “I actually just live in Oxford and create everything from, uh, my living room,” says Ben Maltz-Jones from a podium at GDC, giving a talk on managing social media accounts which properly convey Larian Studio’s cryptic vibes.

The talk itself is long, detailed, and—bless everyone involved—very much interesting only if social media management is your actual career, but it is notable how ad-hoc the process of cooking up short and memorable clips for the masses is. Jones describes a bizarre start for the studio’s presence on TikTok that was mostly just throwing spaghetti at a wall.

“I was able to show stuff to my manager directly, which was really helpful,” Jones says. However, “the feedback [I received] was often ‘I have no idea what I’m looking at, but it seems funny, so post it.'”

According to Jones, clawing views from the algorithm is more about social sharpness than technical quality—and when your team trusts you to get a touch unhinged, your job gets a lot easier: “The sooner you can learn to capture things yourself, and not have to explain to somebody why it’s important to make a character look like Shrek and kick somebody off a cliff, the better.”

Yeah, I can’t imagine trying to explain that one in a pitch meeting, either. Most of Jones’ experimentation was similarly off-the-wall, which seems very fitting, considering Larian’s CEO Swen Vincke likes to show up to awards shows in a suit of armour. Jones recalls an anecdote from when he was trying out some voiced TikToks: “I recorded most of them with airpod headphones, a jury-rigged setup with a cable, attached to my phone, attached to a professional microphone—again, in the bathroom.”

Ultimately, the Jones wisdom is to “run your TikTok as if it were a fan account. Don’t get caught up in the details of the game you’re promoting … this won’t work for every single studio, but if your marketing takes itself too seriously, then it’s unlikely that the TikTok account will work.” In other words, don’t let perfection get in the way of a good bit. Words to live by.

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