The Big Interview in Chicago
By SNAKE EYES EX 08-16-2008 05:49 PM
Next week I fly to Chicago to interview for a game designer position at a 'major independent game developer'. Needless to say, I'm very excited!
I've had a few interviews here and there ever since the game studio I owned went belly-up, but nothing has panned out. Generally what you find in game design interviews is a strange mish-mash of analytical question along with, what basically boils down to, a personality-compatibility test.
Game development is a very team oriented exercise. There has to be eventual consensus on a mechanic, character, cutscene or what-have-you. People with egos or those who are stubborn don't make good designers. But every team is different; And some teams just don't fit right with certain people.
Even more interesting is the non-standardized role of the designer. Some studios allow their design team to do very little 'high-level' concept design; Instead these designers end up doing monotonous story dialogue and quest design (think MMO's). Relying on the creative director and pruducers to do all the 'high-level' and "blue-sky" design. Other studios have their designers do more 'technical' or implementational design, whereby the designers are using 'high-level' (generally C based) scripting languages such as LUA or Python to script sequences, events or agent (NPC) "AI".
Now some studios have designers do...*gasp*... design! How crazy is that? A few studios still rely on an entire design team to create and execute the design for the entire scope of the project - from "blue-sky" to pre-production to production. Where I'm interviewing is one such studio.
If I land this gig I'll be part of a team that designs the entire scope of the project. We'll design and implement via a WYSIWYG-ish level design toolset wich handles all the scripting on the back-end and gives the designers the ability to prototype gameplay scenarios very rapidly. There is still a lot of hard work that happens before this step, but it's still a very cool process. Why don't all studios use this method?
The main reason is extensibility. It's difficult to have the complex layers for scripting events as say Call of Duty 4 where there are many layers of scripted events. Those events are scripted by the game designers and NOT the engineering team. Using the WYSIWYG model you lose the ability to have that level of complexity, unless you have a lot of "special case" implementation from the engineering side which can really backlog a project.
I'm excited. I love doing theoretical design and I love being able to rapidly see results. It can be both fun and rewarding. So here's hoping I land this job!
|Comments (Total Comments: 2)|
|Blackout - 08-16-2008, 08:18 PM|
|nickmad - 08-16-2008, 08:53 PM|
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