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EA首席创意官Rich Hilleman谈论游戏设计(3)

发布时间:2013-11-16 10:33:28 Tags:,,,,

EL:你会在技能上辅导并帮助年轻的设计师们,并将他们带到艺电,你认为他们如果想成为一名商业游戏设计师将会面临的最大挫折是什么?

RH:我们所从事的是一份有关幻想的工作,这意味着许多进入我们这一业务的人都是真心想要成为电子游戏设计师的人。你已经见过他们中的一位,也就是Blade Olson。他是我见过的第一个拥有“我该如何创造电子游戏?”的意识的人。

所以如今我们可以在产业中看到许多这样的人。而他们真正的魅力在于对这一业务的感激以及对于自己每天工作的热情。

不过坏消息便在于,他们在进入这一业务前并不清楚自己将做什么事。当你投入了很多时间于你所构造的幻想中,但却遭遇到完全不同的现实—-可能没有比较好或没有比较糟,只是不同而已,这对大多数人来说都具有很大的打击。

我尝试着确保从业务的角度去谈论业务的运作,而不是用户的角度。如果你是一名用户,你便会想:“这只是关于制作优秀的游戏。你创造了优秀的游戏,他们都是有效运作。”但事实上却不是如此。

我尝试着让他们清楚决策制定过程如何在公司内部发挥作用,即关于他们如何决定怎样的游戏可行怎样不可行。当你进入这一业务3年,并重新坐下评估之前的决策是否可行,我敢打赌你应该不会想要继续创造同样的内容。

所以我认为对于人们来说最困难的教训便是分离幻想与现实。奇怪的是,这正是一种游戏设计学习机会,因为在创造模拟游戏时你会去探索同样的幻想。

当看到现实世界与你的期望相反时,你的能力将受到巨大的打击。

Rich Hilleman(from etc)

Rich Hilleman(from etc)

EL:你能分享在自己的职业生涯中所吸取的一些经验教训吗?

RH:我想应该是关于想象力的治理。这听起来很简单也很明显,即关于如何编造事情。但实际上这并不是我的意思。

治理想象力并不只是关于你自己的想象力,还有关于其他人的想象力,关于那些你要与之共同创造产品的人的想象力。明确该创造怎样的产品的过程是创造一件产品较为交单的组成部分。让其他人看到你所看到的,理解你所理解的,保护你觉得需要保护的,并珍稀并投入于该投入的内容中。然后让组织予以理解,让销售组织予以理解,让其他合作伙伴能够予以理解,并最终让你的用户能够予以理解。同时理解所有的这些想象力并明确那些并不存在的现状真的非常可怕。

这便意味着你的想象力很重要,但是你在理解其他人的想象力方面却有待加强。我认为大多数设计师所缺失的便是对于其他人的了解。创造我们自己想要创造的似乎是一种自私的努力。当你让别人掏钱去实现你自己想要创造的东西时,这真的是个非常低劣的把戏。

不幸的是这只是半个把戏。还有一半之后才会发挥作用。而能够让它们发挥功效的元素便是其他人的想象力。

我认为设计师拥有一个非常妙且非常快速的方法去做到那点,去满足他们对于自己想象力的追求,甚至能够满足用户对于游戏体验的追求,但却会因此忽视了其他人。他们会经常因为这样而沮丧。

我便遇到过许多优秀的设计师不能有效地做到这点。David Jaffe便是一个典型的例子,他是真的很爱自己的玩家,真的很推崇自己的看法,但却无法忍受过程的其它部分,并觉得这阻挡了自己的去路。

我想Peter Molyneux也是这么做的。Criterion的Alex Ward也做过同样的事。还有像Will Wright等人,在自己表现得最出色的时候他们便会避免做到这些,但是当在表现糟糕的时候,他们便想着如何去操控它们。

所以谁是最擅长做到这些的?我认为Cliff Bleszinski便能做到有效的平衡。

我想其他人也在努力让别人能够为自己做到这些。就像Will Wright需要Lucy Bradshaw。David Jaffee需要Shannon Studstill。有时候这些人也是不完全的。他们还需要其他的另一半。

EL:这与Michael John所拥有的想法很像,即他认为设计领导者并不一定是拥有最棒理念的人。有些人总是能够激励一群人同时朝着一个方向前进。

RH:这是关于激励与沟通。

但这也是一种危险。创造性努力中的模糊性具有一定的价值,这并不需要做出太明确的定义。所以我会说“我们将创造出世界上最出色的电子游戏。”但只是如此。而你和我在脑子里看到同样的事的可能性是多少?也许是零。(笑)。

但是另一方面,如果我说我们将忽视我们可能拥有不同想法的事实,那么我们同时感到高兴的可能性又是多少?有可能非常接近100%。

所以这里的挑战在于,想象力到底需要多具体?它会表现出怎样的同一性?你会规划出怎样的过程?如果你将与一个团队的成员共同创造某些内容,那么有时候你关于声音该如何设置的想法可能便不会是最佳想法。

当你说出自己能够想出的最棒的声音,那么团队成员对于该想法的理解将远远超出你向他们传达的能力,更别说真正理解你所说的。

所以真正有趣的是:你的想法有多具体以及你是如何明确进行传达与你如何努力传达自己想要用户获得的体验以及你希望创造情感体验的人能够为自己创造这样的情感体验之间的比较。

有时候这会导致一种混乱的局面:因为你从不晓得如何统一想法,所以你最终只能创造出具有7个不同方向的产品。我只能说这既是一种糟糕的制作也是一种糟糕的设计。但如果能够做好这点,最终结果便会如魔术般让人惊艳。它将成为你们所有人能够想象到的最棒的产品。虽然是如魔法般神奇,但却是真正的存在。让人惊讶的是,如果你采取了正确方法并与正确的人合作,你们便能创造出让人满意的结果。

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

On Game Design with Rich Hilleman (Part 3)

EL: For the young designers you coach and help craft and bring into EA, what do you think is the biggest frustration point that they should be prepared for as a commercial game designer?

RH: So we’re a fantasy job, meaning lots of people who come into our business grew up their entire lives wanting to be videogame designers. You’ve got one of those guys named Blade Olson. You’ve met him. He literally is one of those people that I believe the first conscious thought he had was, “How do I get to make videogames?”

So we have a lot of those people in our business nowadays. And what is joyous about them, absolutely wonderful about them, is the depth of their appreciation for being in the business and their enthusiasm every day for what they can do.

The bad news is they have no idea what the job is before they walk in the door. When you’ve really invested a lot of time in the fantasy that you think something is, and then it’s confronted with the reality that’s different—not better or worse, just different—it’s a jarring event for most of those people.

And what I try and do is make sure I have a conversation that talks about how the business works from the perspective of the business, not the customer. If you’re a customer, you tend to think, “Well, it’s just all about making great games. You make great games and it all works.” And it’s like, ehhhh, not really.

I try and get them to be aligned with how the decision-making process works within companies, about how they decide what games get made or don’t get made. Usually what happens is, people come in and they’re very frustrated for the first three or four years because they can’t get their game made.

First of all, that’s not a realistic expectation. Number two, are you sure that’s actually the game you want made? Chances are, after you’re here for three years and you’ve actually sat down and re-evaluated how things really work, I’ll bet it isn’t the game you want made anymore.

If it is, then for God’s sakes, let’s make it. If it’s survived three years and all of that time, chances are it is the game you want made. In most cases, it isn’t. In most cases, what’s happened is you have figured out that it needs to be something else to be successful and to meet what you want it to be.

So I think that the hardest lesson for people to learn is the disconnect between the fantasy that they have in their head. Oddly enough, it’s a game design learning opportunity because that same fantasy is the thing you want to exploit in simulations, for instance.

It can damage your ability to see the world as it is versus the way you wish it was.

EL: Can you share an important lesson you have learned about design during your career?

RH: is about the harnessing of imagination. And that sounds really simple and it sounds really obvious, that it’s about making things up. That’s actually very little of what I mean.

Harnessing imagination is not just about your imagination, it’s about other people’s imagination and about those who you’re going to make the product with. The process of figuring out what the product should be is one of the simpler parts of making one. Getting other people to see what you see, to understand what you understand, to protect what you feel needs to be protected, and to cherish and love and invest in the things that need to be invested in. And then to make the organization understand that, to make the sales organizations understand that, to make your other partners understand that, and ultimately to make your customers understand that. To understand how to harness all of those imaginations at one time and to see something that doesn’t exist is a hell of a trick.

That means that your imagination is important, but your ability to understand other people’s imaginations is much more. And I think that’s the part that most designers don’t ever quite get, is how much of it is about other people. That it is a seemingly selfish endeavor to have our own vision for what we wish to make and then to get to make it. When you pull that, when you get somebody else to give you a bunch of money to make something you want to make, that’s a hell of a trick.

Unfortunately that’s only half the trick. The other half of the trick is then making that work. And the parts that are important about making that work are all those other imaginations.

I think designers have a very good and very quick approach to getting to that, to satisfying their own sense of their imagination, maybe even to satisfy the customer’s sense of what their experience will be, but forget about everybody else. And they don’t do very well, and they’re very unhappy usually.

I’ve watched good designers who still have a hard time with that. I think David Jaffe’s a very interesting example of a guy who is truly and passionately in love with his players, and truly and passionately in love with his vision, and very irritated with every other part of the process, and finds that it gets in his way.

I think Peter Molyneux has expressed it somewhat that way. I think Alex Ward for Criterion has shown some of those same things. Guys like Will Wright, when they’re at their best, they’ve figured out how to be above all of that. And when they’re at their worst, they’ve tried to manipulate it.

So, who are people who are good at it? I think Cliff Bleszinski’s pretty good at balancing it.

I think that other people have struggled with getting other people to do that stuff for them. A guy like American McGee needs to be produced. Will Wright needs Lucy Bradshaw. David Jaffee needs Shannon Studstill. Sometimes these people are incomplete. They need the other half.

EL: It’s very similar to sentiments Michael John had that basically a design leader isn’t necessarily someone with the great idea. It’s someone who can inspire a bunch of people to move in one direction at the same time.

RH: Inspire and communicate. That’s right.

It’s one of the dangers. There’s a certain value to managing by ambiguity in creative endeavors, which is not to define too much. So I say, “We’re gonna go make the world’s greatest videogame,” and then that’s all I say. And I walk away. Well, what are the odds that you and I see the same thing in our heads? Probably zero. [laughs]

But on the other hand, if I said that and we’re going to be blissfully ignorant of the fact that we’re going to have a different vision, what are the odds that both of us are happy at the same time? Pretty close to 100%.

So the challenge is, in this context, how specific does that imagination have to be? How specifically the same does it have to be? Versus how much of the process do you let sort that out? If you’re going to work with a team of people to make something, sometimes your exact vision of how the sounds should work isn’t going to be the best vision.

When you said the best sound you could ever imagine, the complexity and their grasp of what that can be far exceeds your ability to express it to them, let alone even understand what it means.

So that’s the interesting tension: how specific your vision is and how specifically you try and convey that versus how much you try and convey the experience you want the user to have or the emotional sense that you want the people who are building it to create for themselves.

Sometimes that ends up with a mess: you end up with products that are going seven different directions because you’ve never figured out how to unify that vision. That’s bad producing and bad designing, I’d say, at the same time. But if you do that well, it’s almost magic because it doesn’t just become the best thing it can be. It becomes the best thing all of you together could imagine. That’s really magic, I think. And it happens, by the way. Surprisingly, if you do things the right way and work with the right people, it happens a surprising amount of the time.(from famousaspect)


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