原作者：Matthew Forde 译者：Willow Wu
为了让大家了解这些屏幕背后的杰出工作，并给那些有同样志向的人提供建议，PocketGamer.biz将会采访一些对游戏行业有重要贡献的人，收录在我们的Jobs in Games专栏。
Kellee Santiago: 作为Niantic开发者关系（developer relations）负责人，我就像是一个大使，衔接业务拓展、平台和开发者社区。我很喜欢跟不同团队工作的感觉，就比如技术工程团队、产品团队和市场团队，跟他们一同打造AR的未来，利用我们的产品在真实世界中留下难忘的体验。
那时我还跟其他人共同创立了一个名为Indie Fund的天使投资基金，成为了GDC独立游戏峰会的共同组织者，还担任了IndieCade的奖项评选委员会主席，并成为了Google Play Games的合作开发经理。
于是我就跟其他人一起成立了Indie Fund，专门为独立开发者设立的天使投资基金。在Indie Fund和thatgamecompany之后，我进入了Ouya公司，开始参与发行和开发者关系，我从一次和几个开发者合作变成了和几百个合作。
如果你曾经观察过Pokemon GO Fest活动中的各个社区，你就会看到AR技术是如何改变我们与周围环境的互动方式。
得益于《精灵宝可梦GO》以及《哈利·波特：巫师联盟》所累积的经验，我们成立了孵化计划Niantic Creator Program，允许创作者在Niantic真实世界平台（Real World Platform）上开发新式AR体验。能与开发者社区合作是一件很让我开心的事，他们的创新点子在我们创造沉浸式AR体验的道路上能够起到很大的作用。
The games industry plays host to a colourful cast of diverse individuals, from artists and coders to narrative designers and studio heads.
The skills to pull off these roles, however, are complex and differing, with each position requiring mastery in its field.
To highlight some of the brilliant work that goes on behind the screen, and help others who may be keen to dive in, PocketGamer.biz is reaching out to the individuals who make up the games industry with our Jobs in Games series.
This week we spoke with former Thatgamecompany co-founder and now Niantic head of developer relations Kellee Santiago.
PocketGamer.biz: Can you tell us about your current role and what it entails?
Kellee Santiago: As the head of developer relations at Niantic, I work as an ambassador between Niantic business development, platform and the developer community. I love being able to work with different teams such as engineering, product, and marketing to continue building the future of augmented reality and creating memorable real-world experiences through our products.
How did you first get into games and how did you progress into the role?
I’ve always played video games from a very young age. My father, who was a software engineer, had a computer in the house and always encouraged me to experiment with it.
After graduating with my Master’s degree in interactive media at the University of Southern California, I co-founded my own studio, Thatgamecompany, with the vision of pushing the communicative possibilities of video games as a medium.
Since then, I’ve co-founded an angel investment fund called Indie Fund, became a co-organiser of the Independent Games Summit at GDC, was Chair of the awards committee for IndieCade and became a partner development manager at Google Play Games.
I basically became obsessed with helping developers make incredible, unique games! I found myself intrigued by the challenges of creating new experiences for games in VR and AR and was so excited to join Niantic. It just felt like the perfect combination of all my interests and my goal to continue supporting developers create games that can truly augment and change the way we experience the world around us.
Is it something you ever imagined yourself doing?
As a kid, I never connected games and their developers so it didn’t strike me as something I could pursue as a career. I was always drawn to the arts so I studied theatre, dance and music but still felt like there was something missing. When I pursued my degree, I was introduced to game development and there it was – the missing piece I had been searching for all along. I love how making video games calls upon so many different disciplines.
What did you study (if anything) to get your role? What courses would you advise for aspiring professionals in the area?
I attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where I became involved in experimental theatre. I was particularly drawn towards incorporating interactive and digital media into my work at the time, which led me to pursue an MFA in Interactive Media. However, my experience at the University of Southern California is where I truly developed the belief that games can simultaneously be engaging and wildly entertaining.
Jenova Chen and I found each other there and bonded over this same passion. I wanted to bring his visions into the commercial video game market. My career in games then coincided with the birth of the independent games movement, where I met so many incredible game makers and also saw how the business of games can affect who gets to make what kinds of games.
This led me to co-found Indie Fund, and angel investment fund for independent developers. I built on both Indie Fund and thatgamecompany to move into publishing and developer relations at Ouya, which meant I went from working with a couple of developers at a time to hundreds.
For aspiring professionals, there are the obvious cornerstones of game making – programming, game design, storytelling, art and sound design. But, on top of these, I would recommend taking courses on leadership, collaboration and production. So much of what can make or break a game comes down to two areas – managing team dynamics and enabling creativity while on a budget and schedule. The more you understand these two things, the more successful you are going to be.
What part of your role do you find most fulfilling?
I’ve been a fan of Niantic since Field Trip (an app that told users about nearby landmarks) way back in their early Google Days. Niantic has always viewed the world differently and their continued mission to provide dynamic ways to connect the digital and physical world is a mission that really resonates with me. I want to use technology and discover new ways to make the world a better place and Niantic lives by this same ethos.
To be able to work at a company that pushes the boundaries of geospatial technology and real-world gaming, it has been an extremely fulfilling experience and only leaves me excited for the years to come.
With Pokemon GO being a humongous success, were there any particular moments that have stood out during your time?
If you have ever had the opportunity to observe the community at a Pokemon GO Fest, you’ll get a glimpse of how AR technology can transform the way we interact with the world around us. Through the Niantic Real World Platform, which is responsible for enabling hundreds of millions of players to experience the best of AR through Ingress.
Through Pokemon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite we were able to build on the Niantic Creator Program that empowers creators to develop innovative AR experiences on the Niantic Real World Platform. I’m always excited to collaborate with the developer community to discover the innovative ideas they bring as we build the future of immersive augmented reality.
Do you think there are any misconceptions, public or professional, surrounding your area of expertise?
Starting out in games with my own company, I had to wear a lot of hats and learn about every facet of game making. From design and engineering, all the way through marketing and distribution. I didn’t realise it at the time, but it gave me a very unique knowledge base into every aspect of game development – plus, thatgamecompany specialised in innovative and new types of games, which is its own skillset. However, it can be hard to describe exactly what it is I do!
I know how to empower developers to make games no one has seen before. That starts with the first conversation you have with them, through contracts, production and development, all the way to publishing and distribution. In order to make it happen, I have to do a little bit of everything, which is what gets me excited to come to work every day. Every game is unique.
Is there anything about the job/industry you wish you would have known when first joining?
Making games isn’t easy! To take that first step in creating a video game unlike anything you’ve seen requires a lot of faith and confidence. It can be extremely challenging to know where to start, and the development process along the way is a tumultuous one.
You need to surround yourself with the kinds of people you would trust in an expedition, who will be there to lift you up when you feel down and vice versa.
What other advice do you have for someone looking for a job in this profession?
Be brave and just go for it. There is no such thing as a bad idea! While Niantic’s products have created engaging experiences that blend the real and digital worlds, we’re just barely scratching the surface of what these technologies are capable of.
We’re looking to you, the developers, to tell us how you want to push the technological boundaries and re-imagine the world to enable experiences that transform how people explore the world, connect with each other and move their bodies.
（source: pocket gamer ）