Hi everyone! I’m Avanya, and since January this year, I’ve been the Community and Social Media Manager at Colossal Order! Today, I’m here to tell you a bit about myself, how I ended up in this position, and what it’s like to work at Colossal.
How did you get into Cities: Skylines and modding?I randomly came across Cities: Skylines shortly after release and was instantly hooked! It didn’t take me long before I found the workshop either. I started making my own assets in October 2015, because I wanted more variation in my industrial areas, and through that process I started taking part in the community around the game. I met so many lovely people and enjoyed being part of the community so much, it quickly grew into an important part of my day.
What was your experience before Cities: Skylines?While I don’t have a degree relevant to my role as community manager, Cities: Skylines isn’t the first community I’ve been very active in. I ran a fairly successful guild in World of Warcraft for around 4 years and, prior to that, helped run a local Live Action Roleplay club for years. I’ve always really enjoyed working with people but, due to anxiety, it was never something I thought to pursue professionally.
How did you end up applying for a job at Colossal Order?In 2019, I visited Colossal Order for the Modder Meetup. That’s when I got to meet some of the team and also got a real sense of what the company was like. I toyed with the idea of applying for a job then, but I’d been away from the job market for years at that point, and had issues with my hands meaning I probably couldn’t work as a full-time 3D artist. So, I abandoned that dream.
However, just before the release of Sunset Harbor, I got the opportunity to join the Cities: Skylines team part-time as a community ambassador for Paradox. This was the perfect opportunity for me to see what it was like to do this professionally and ease back into a working life. And I have to tell you, it was great! Later, when the chance to join Colossal Order as a community manager came around, I just knew I had to take it!
What is it like working at Colossal Order?I haven’t relocated to Finland, and I’m working remotely (like pretty much everyone else these days!), but that hasn’t made me feel any less part of the team! I couldn’t ask for better coworkers, and I can’t wait to actually go see them in person!
I can also confirm that the love of cake is very real! It wasn’t a problem getting everyone to take pictures for Cities: Skylines’ anniversary in March! Picking only a handful of pictures however… That was the real challenge!
What has it been like turning your hobby into your profession?It’s been both challenging and amazing! I get to wake up every morning to a job I really love doing, but I’ve also had to find new ways to unwind at the end of the day. I still play Cities: Skylines and work on assets for it, but it’s a lot less than it used to be, and I don’t really just hang out in the community anymore. I do miss that occasionally, but having the best job I could imagine more than makes up for it!
Instead, I’ve started playing a few other games, and I’m working my way through all the unread books I’ve collected over the years. All in all, I make sure to spend time away from my computer every day during my waking hours.
I hope you have enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes mini-series about working at Colossal Order! I’m really looking forward to sharing more with you all in the future, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you’re curious about! Just keep in mind that there are of course some things we can’t talk about at this point.
If you have any questions following this series - to me or any of the others you have heard from - ask away! We'll do our best to answer them and collect them all in a Q&A in August.