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分享游戏设计要点之学会推销自己(2)

发布时间:2013-07-23 11:57:36 Tags:,,,,,

作者:Ethan Levy

现在你已经创造了一个包含有形设计作品的强大游戏组合了,你便会想着是时间开始编写简历并申请工作了。但是同样地,当我在为《Enhanced Wars》设计功能时,我总是会在编写实际规格前设置一个设计目标,所以你需要在编写简历前基于某一基础去明确自己想从中获得什么。(请点击此处阅读本系列第1第3篇

当我加入BioWare旧金山工作室的招聘过程中时,我花了很多时间与我们的HR同事一起审查应聘者。尽管我也会花时间在LinkeIn上搜索应聘者,不过往往一天不会超过一个小时,因为我还需要管理自己的游戏团队。主要的搜索工作还是在于HR。

我们很难向那些未亲自经历过游戏开发的人解释内容设计师与系统设计师的区别。或解释你需要一名曾经担任过系统管理者的人作为系统工程师,但是你却不需要那些带有传统系统管理者经验的人,你只需要他们曾使用过AWS这样的云端服务便可。这是非常复杂且专业的要求,这里并不存在围绕着工作职位和资历水平的任何标准或指南。

所以你最终需要告诉HR同事你所寻找的设计师类型。你可能需要编写一列目标工作室,职位名称或解释你想在简历上看到的若干内容。“我需要设计师曾经为RPG游戏创造过任务并编写过关卡。但是他/她最好还是全能的。最理想的情况是应聘者曾创造过用户体验流并为一款发行后的游戏设计过新功能。”

我之所以解释这些内容是为了帮助你们理解雇佣过程的另一面。HR同事将会把附带着网上帖子的简历递交给人事部经理,同时他们也会花时间在网络上寻找着合适的应聘者(游戏邦注:主要是在LinkedIn上)。如果发现了符合要求的人,他们便会把这个人的信息发送给人事部经理询问该应聘者是否值得联系。一般情况下,招聘者通常都会在你的简历中寻找相关经历,这是帮助他们决定是否联系你的关键。所以为了帮助自己越过第一道门槛,你就需要清楚如何更好地推销自己。

sell yourself(from cals)

sell yourself(from cals)

“英雄事迹”(工作业绩)

创造一个广泛的游戏组合的部分原因便是让你有足够的设计经历能够与招聘者分享。你需要仔细思考这些经历,并明确自己作为设计师有何独特的“卖点”。每个申请游戏设计工作的人都是充满激情的,所以利用热情去突显自己并没有多大帮助。千万别利用一些不相干的技能或活动去推销自己。你需要做的便是明确,当接到人事经理的面试时你该说些什么。也就是你需要找出自己的英雄事迹。

英雄事迹是指那些能够强调你具有胜任这份工作的独特能力的真实经历。你与招聘者间的对话将会围绕着简历中的内容展开,所以你需要用自己作为设计师所做过的大多数英雄事迹去填充这份简历。

假设我正在申请一个手机团队中的首席设计师的职位,我便需要证明自己能够通过执行和发行过程从最初的理念中汲取一个有效的理念。我认为笔和纸上原型便是我作为设计师的一大重要技能,所以我会在自己的英雄事迹中强调这点:

“我们是先规划出设计目标而开始创建《Enhanced Wars》的原型。这里有一列点句,先是‘当**,我们便知道自己完成了《Enhanced Wars》的原型创建’,然后列出像‘我们拥有没有困境的游戏’以及‘我们至少玩过3款带有最终规则的完整游戏’。我与同事在24小时内对于《Enhanced Wars》进行了22次迭代。深夜的时候,当我们进行到第16次迭代时,我们知道已经拥有了魔法架构,并在当下结束了那天的工作。早上,我们是通过阅读设计目标开始了全新一天的工作。而当我们再次去核实魔法架构时却发现设计中存在着一些漏洞,所以我们便继续进行迭代,直到在第22次迭代时创造出了符合我们所有要求的版本。”

我并不期待你能够编写出与这完全相同的故事;因为我自己也未拥有完全一样的经历。但是我希望你能够仔细思考自己的所有设计经历,并将其罗列在一起。明确哪些内容对自己所申请的职位最有帮助。

编写你的失败简历

关于申请一份工作的另一大重要元素便是呈现你从过去经历中所学到的。为了通过反省以及承认自己过去的错误而推销自己,我会建议你编写一份失败简历。这是我在Tina Seelig(游戏邦注:Stanford Technologies Venture Program的执行总监)的演讲中所学到的。

失败简历是对于你从过去的错误中所学到的所有经验教训的总结。当你在申请一份工作时,这些经历与你的英雄事迹一样重要。例如:

“在PlayFirst,我是在参与第二款游戏《神秘鲨鱼岛》时获得了首席设计师的职位。尽管我拥有生疏的设计技能去执行该工作,但是我却是在好几年后才意识到这点,即在刚刚大学毕业后我没有成熟的能力去领导一个游戏设计团队。我面对的最大难度便是听取来自公司高管们的反馈—-我经常会因为僵硬的肢体语言和紧张的语调而让对方觉得自己在忽视他们的理念。这种消极的循环意味着人们将不喜欢与你共事。从我的角度看来,如果其他人不能理解我的想法,我不得不以牺牲某些乐趣而做出妥协的话,那么游戏就算失败了。

几年后,我学会了‘如何找到事情的背后原因。’当我致力于《龙腾世纪传奇》并获得来自公司高层的反馈时,我便意识到了这点。此外我还学到了一点,即没有一个人能够比你更了解自己的项目。你清楚所有细节,所以你能够明确地判断为什么别人的理念不适合游戏。但是当公司的CEO愿意花时间去尝试你的游戏时,你便不能直接地跟他说,你错了。实际上他并没错,他只是不像你那样了解该项目。所以你需要做的便是认真听取别人的反馈然后尝试着去找出游戏不符合特定功能要求的原因。所以有人说‘我想要功能X’时,我便会回复‘我想你会建议这一功能是因为你在使用功能Y时出了错,对吧?’现在我们会对游戏团队能够解决的一些根本原因和动机展开讨论,而不是仍停留在某一特定功能的优劣上。”

通过编写你的失败简历,你便能够基于更深层次去推销自己。当你面对一个困难的问题或被问及之前所遭遇的失败时,你便知道如何阐述这一消极的经历并将其变成积极经历了。

现在你便清楚了推销自己所需要陈述的所有故事,接下来便可以编写简历了。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Breaking into game design: Part 3 – learn to sell yourself

by Ethan Levy

Now that you’ve built a strong portfolio filled with tangible design works, you may think it is time to write your resume and start applying for jobs. But the same way that when designing features on Enhanced Wars I always set a design goal before writing the actual spec, there is groundwork you need to do to figure out what you want to achieve with your resume before you start writing it.

When I was deeply involved in the hiring process at BioWare San Francisco, I spent a lot of time working with our HR partners on identifying candidates. Although I would spend time on LinkedIn searching for candidates, this may be one hour or less a day because I had responsibilities on my game team. The majority of the searching was done by HR.

It is hard to explain to someone who does not have hands on experience developing a game the difference between a content designer and a systems designer. Or to explain that you need a systems engineer who may have previous jobs listed as a system administrator, but you don’t want anyone with traditional sysadmin experience you only need someone who works with cloud services like AWS. These are very complex, specialized requirements and there are no standards or guidelines around job titles and seniority levels in our industry.

So you end up telling the HR partner about the types of experiences you are looking for. You may write a list of studios to look at, job titles to search for or explain a number of tasks you want to see on a resume. “I need a designer with experience creating quests and scripting levels on an RPG. But he or she has to be well rounded. Ideally the candidate has experience creating user experience flows and designing new features on a live game.”

I explain all this to help you understand what is happening on the other side of the hiring process. HR partners will forward the hiring manager resumes that come in through online postings, but will also spend time crawling the internet looking for candidates (mostly on LinkedIn). If they find someone that they think fits the requirements, they will send that person on to the hiring manager to ask if this is a candidate worth reaching out to. In general people on the hiring side are looking for key experiences on your resume that will convince them you are worth reaching out to for a phone screening. In order to prepare yourself to pass through this first hurdle, you must figure out how to sell yourself.

Hero stories

Part of the reason to build an extensive portfolio is to gain a number of design experiences to talk about. You need to think through those experiences and figure out what your unique selling points are as a designer. Everyone applying for a game design job is passionate, so don’t try and sell yourself on passion. Don’t sell yourself with unrelated skills or activities. You need to figure out what are the things you want to talk about when you get that hiring manager on the phone. You need to find your hero stories.

Hero stories are the stories of a real world experience you had that highlights why you are uniquely qualified for this job. The conversations you will have with people looking to hire you will be driven by the content of your resume, so you need to seed that resume with lead ins to your most heroic deeds as a designer.

For instance, let us imagine that I am applying for a lead design position on a mobile team. I would want to prove that I am capable of taking an idea from initial idea all the way through the process to execution and launch. I think that pen and paper prototyping is one of my core skills as a designer so I want to make sure I highlight it with a hero story:

“We started prototyping Enhanced Wars by first laying out our design goals. These were a list of bullet points that started with ‘We will know we are done prototyping Enhanced Wars when…’ then listed out things like ‘we have a game with no stalemating’ and ‘we have played at least 3 full games with the final rule set’. My colleague and I did 22 iterations of Enhanced Wars within 24 hours. Quite late at night, around iteration 16 we thought we had the magic build and called it a night. In the morning, we started the day by reading our design goals. When we tried to verify our magic build, we discovered gaping holes in the design and kept prototyping until we finally had a version that fit all our requirements with iteration 22.”

Now, I don’t expect you to actually fully write out all your stories like this; I certainly never have. But what I do expect is that you think about the many design experiences you have had and put together a list of bullet points for your hero stories. Figure out how you want to sell yourself to fit the position.

Write your failure resume

Another important aspect of interviewing for a job will be showing how you have learned and grown from past experiences. In order to sell yourself with a level of introspection and acknowledgement of past mistakes, I suggest you write a failure resume. This is an idea I learned listening to a lecture from Tina Seelig, the Executive Director of the Stanford Technologies Venture Program.

The failure resume is a summary of all your biggest screw ups and the lesson you learned from those mistakes. These stories will be just as powerful as your hero stories, if not more so, when you are selling yourself as a candidate for a job. For example:

“At PlayFirst, I was given the role of Lead Designer on my second game at the company, Mystery of Shark Island. Although I may have had the raw design skill to do the job, I did not realize till many years later that I simply did not have the maturity level to lead the design of the game when I was so fresh out of college. One of the biggest areas of difficulty I had was in listening to feedback from the senior people in the company – I would often shut down their ideas (with poor body language and tone of voice) and make them feel like I thought their ideas where stupid. This negative cycle meant people did not like to work with me. From my perspective, I felt like the game was failing because other people did not understand my vision and I had to compromise it past the point of fun.

Years later, I learned to ‘find the why behind the what.’ This realization came to me when working on Dragon Age Legends and getting feedback from literally the top people in the company. What I learned then that I wish I had known at PlayFirst is that other people are not as close to your project as you are. You know every intimate detail so it is easy for you to instantly see why other people’s ideas will not work within the framework of the game. But when the CEO has taken time out to sit at your desk because he enjoys playing your game, you can’t tell him he’s wrong. And in fact he’s not wrong, he just doesn’t know the project as intimately as you do. So what I did was to listen to feedback then try and identify the reason why the game was failing to deliver that led to a specific feature request. So, if someone would say ‘I want feature X’ I would reply ‘I think you are suggesting this feature because you are having problem Y, is that correct?’ Now we’re having a discussion about root cause and motivation that the game team can solve, instead of talking about the merits of a specific feature.”

By writing your failure resume, you will be able to sell yourself at a much deeper level. When you get difficult questions or are asked about past failures, you will know how to take a story about a negative experience and turn it into a positive experience.

Now that you’ve identified all the stories you wish to use to sell yourself, you are prepared to write your resume, which I will cover in the next article in the series.(source:gamasutra)


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