游戲邦在:
雜志專欄:
www.577454.com訂閱到鮮果訂閱到抓蝦google reader訂閱到有道訂閱到QQ郵箱訂閱到幫看

小團隊和小項目將會成為大多數開發者的未來選擇

發布時間:2021-07-06 15:41:53 Tags:,

Josh Sawyer:小團隊和小項目將會成為大多數開發者的未來選擇

原作者:Oleg Nesterenko 譯者:Willow Wu

游戲設計師/編劇/總監Josh Sawyer在近期的DStars Connects上發表了一篇主題演講,核心觀點就是小型工作室開發小型項目會成為行業未來發展的重要趨勢。他也概述了小團隊實現成功的戰略。

Josh Sawyer因開發RPG游戲而為人所熟知——包括《冰風谷》系列、《永恒之柱》系列以及《輻射:新維加斯》。他目前正在和Obsidian Entertainment的一個小團隊開發一個秘密小項目。

以下是演講內容整理編輯后的版本:

當我在回顧這些年游戲行業的發展變化時,我得出了這樣一個結論:對于大多數開發者來說,他們的未來存在于那些更小的團隊和更?。ㄇ覍λ麄冇幸饬x)的項目中。

為什么這么說?讓我們先來看看20年前是什么狀況。

1999年的游戲行業

1. 首先,跨平臺是比較罕見的。

2. 第二,沒有線上銷售平臺,你只能在實體商店銷售實體游戲——這其中的影響可能比你想象的還要大。外殼的設計非常重要,你得考慮盒子內所有東西的成本。游戲壓成了幾張CD/DVD?游戲說明書有多厚?要選擇哪種紙來做?重量有多少?體積有多大?零售商會非常仔細地挑選要上架的游戲,斟酌進貨數量,賣不好的話還能寄回去。哪些游戲能被批準進入下一階段,哪些游戲能夠順利完成開發繼而發行,這其中很多相關的決策都得顧慮到實體銷售。制作人Jason Bergman之前給我講了個故事:某個游戲完成了最后的壓盤,但一直都沒有發行,因為發行商算了下相關實體附件的生產成本和分銷成本,發現這樣賺不了錢。我知道這很不尋常,但是1999年就是會發生這樣的事。

3. 第三,市場是那些大型游戲說了算。那時候當然也有小游戲,但是它們通常被認為是廉價游戲,甚至是“shovelwares”(低預算低質量只為掙快錢的游戲),因為它們通常沒有多少藝術價值,或提供的是實驗性玩法。

4. 盡管如此,在那個年代大項目的預算也只有幾百萬美元,可能一千萬的也有。有的游戲是為了試驗各種狂野的點子,也有一些游戲純粹是因為預算不夠才做得那么差。

5. 最后一點是開發團隊在那時候并沒有特別多樣化,沒有女性開發者,非白人、LGBT群體并不多。我并不是在暗示說現在的情況就好很多了,但1999年時這個問題真的非常嚴重。

10年代左右以及之后的變化

在2010年左右,有些重要變革在行業中露苗頭了。

1. 多平臺發行變得越來越普遍。相比以前,有更多游戲會發行PC和主機版本,或是兩邊同時上架或是只間隔一小段時間。

2. 數字分銷平臺在這時候已經出現,但還沒怎么發展起來。

3. 很多中型開發團隊或是被發行商買斷產品或是就直接倒閉了。至于那些大型開發團隊,他們開始往更大規模的方向發展。行業中出現了100多人的開發團隊,有幾百個人或者多個工作室一起做一個超級龐大的游戲。

4. 游戲預算變高了很多。由此一來,人們對風險的規避行為也隨之增加。游戲公司想通過增加投入來掙更多錢,比如投入3000萬掙8000萬。他們并不想做小游戲或者實驗性的游戲。這也是為什么我們在當時無法制作類似《永恒之柱》這樣的游戲。

5. 最后就是開發團隊的多樣性和包容性都提高了一點。我確實有跟一些女性開發者合作過,工作室也有更多LGBT員工了。

I am MT(from 880sy)

I am MT(from 880sy)

如今的游戲行業

1. PC和主機之間的界線不再那么明顯,甚至在某些情況下,跟移動設備之間也沒有明顯的界線。中間件的出現確實帶來了很大變革。Unity、Unreal有支持跨平臺的相關功能。

2. 線上銷售已經成為常態。除了收藏家,我很少會聽到有人討論實體游戲了。我們對游戲制作過程、盈利、分銷的思考發生了很大改變。

3. 大型開發商和發行商依然存在,就比如400人規模的工作室。但也有很多小型開發團隊、發行商——這些發行商不只是給你提供資金,他們還幫你做公關和營銷工作,讓潛在客戶注意到你的游戲?!队篮阒愤@個游戲我們是跟Paradox合作的。他們沒有提供資金支持,但是他們在特定地區做了營銷和分銷。確實,有很多游戲是開發商自主發行的。比如Overhype Studios,他們自主發行了Battle Brothers。但是考慮到如今市場的擁擠程度,如果你是小團隊的話,要獲得關注度確實會很難。

4. 各種級別的預算都有。有的游戲預算超過了1億美元,有的游戲預算是3000~5000萬美元,有的只有200萬,甚至是低于100萬。而且2010年眾籌平臺出現了,開發者有了另外一些獲得資金的途徑。

5. 開發團隊的包容性更強了。雖然還沒達到理想的狀態,但確實有在往好的方向走。

這一切都意味著什么?

在我看來,小團隊現在可以創造出更私人化的游戲,跟特定目標市場的用戶產生共鳴,在商業上獲得成功。我真的覺得這是整個行業未來的主要發展方向,這將促進游戲玩家市場的發展,因為在10年或20年前,人們可能對游戲還不感興趣,但現在游戲能夠從美學或機制上吸引到他們。這并不意味著大型團隊就會消失,但以后會有越來越多小團隊制作的小游戲實現成功。

讓我們來看看過去十年發行的幾個游戲:

· 《肯塔基0號路》第一章節發行于2013年

· Gone Home,2013

· 《星露谷物語》,2016

· 《林中之夜》,2017

· 《死亡細胞》,2018

這些都是小團隊制作的游戲,他們找到了對應的小眾市場,游戲得到了熱烈反響。

所以針對未來,我有幾個建議想分享給大家——主要針對新手或有少量經驗的開發者以及一心只想進入這個行業的人。

一開始不要選擇大公司

我想提醒大家的是,不要一開始就去大公司工作。

1. 首先,你沒有多少機會可以表達自己(游戲邦注:如果有機會的話)。這么多人圍繞著一個愿景,就像是在建造金字塔——一兩個精英坐在頂端,然后一堆一堆的人在完成那些累死人的工作。那些拉石磚的人不會跑到工頭面前說:“如果把建筑弄成立方體會如何?如果在中間放個藍色條紋會怎樣?可能會覺得煥然一新呢!”在大型團隊中工作就是這樣的。很多人的愿景都是從核心高管那邊傳達過來的。團隊的人數越多,個人對愿景的投入就越少。

2. 第二,你能接觸到高層決策人物的機會非常有限。如果團隊有一百個人,項目負責人肯定是沒時間傾聽所有人的想法。此外,普通員工和設計總監、編程總監之間可能隔著多個管理層。

3. 第三,大型團隊中特定的工作是由特定人負責的,分工非常明確,所以你有時候可能會覺得重復乏味、疲憊。而且你接下來三年都會是這個狀態,制作圓柱體、立方體這樣的原型道具。當然我們都得做這樣的事,但是在大型團隊中,分工會更明確,工作內容重復性會更高。

4. 第四,大型項目或者大公司并不能保證給你鐵飯碗。有些人選擇去大公司是因為他們覺得大公司和大項目會更有保障,其實并非如此。大項目也有被砍的風險,經驗少的開發者通常就是最容易被裁員的。當項目被砍時,你會發現自己辛辛苦苦干了這么多年卻沒有任何東西可以展示。我認識一些在大公司工作了六七年的人,他們開發的三個項目最終都被砍了。由于保密協議,他們也不能給別人展示自己的工作。這對尋找新工作來說是非常不利的。大公司的保密協議一般都非常嚴苛。

5. 最后一點,大項目可能會對你的心理和生理造成嚴重損害。團隊規模越大,人與人之間的關系就泛化,你更像是一個齒輪,這會導致你的工作變得更痛苦。

別誤解我的意思——能參與制作大游戲是很酷的一件事,但其中也有不少風險。其實跟做小項目比起來,大游戲項目所帶來的滿足感也沒有多那么多。不管是有1200萬人玩的《輻射:新維加斯》還是100萬人玩的《永恒之柱》,歸根結底還是在于能找到懂得欣賞你游戲的人,這樣不管是大游戲還是小游戲你都能獲得成就感。

做一個你喜歡的游戲

我覺得你應該遵循自己的喜好來做游戲。

就拿《極樂迪斯科》來說吧。開發團隊覺得這樣的游戲可能不會成功,但是他們還是很想把游戲做出來。游戲發行后收到了很多玩家的好評。

不要為了追逐潮流而做一個你并不喜歡的游戲。首先,人們可能從游戲中就可以感受到你并不是真正地喜歡這類東西。第二,你不一定會得到很好的結果,因為外面可能還有很多人抱著跟你一樣的想法。第三,你會感到很疲憊,沒有動力。

不要害怕遠程工作

我指的不僅是COVID-19時期,現在跟另一半球的人合作不再是難事了,此外,當某個團隊為了共同的愿景而揮灑熱血時,遠程合作可能是為他們提供幫助的最佳方式之一。

就比如MORDHAU這個游戲,主創團隊多數都是斯洛文尼亞人,但他們與來自世界各地的人合作完成了這個游戲。他們并沒有一個可以容納很多人的實體工作室,只是一個線上的合作站。

別為工作豁出性命

在進入行業的頭三四年,我真的拼了命地工作。甚至有個階段我一年工作了300多天,周末節假日我都在工作。

你有看過關于游戲行業離職率的文章嗎?五年內就離開的人太多太多了。這種工作方式對人們產生了極大的負面影響,生理和心理層面都有,情感上也是,人們很難去好好經營與其他人的關系。

所以如果你想在行業中好好生存的話,不要拼了命地工作。你還有工作以外的生活,把時間分一些給別的事情,這樣能防止你對工作感到倦怠。

體驗一些非游戲的東西

花點時間遠離工作,做一些你真正喜歡的事情,這會讓你走得更遠。

廣泛的興趣能夠促使你做出更有意思的游戲。你知道由任天堂的即時戰略&解謎游戲《皮克敏》的起源嗎?這是一款指揮類植物生物去完成各種任務的游戲。游戲主創宮本茂之前在整理他的花園,然后從中獲得了靈感,創造了這些小皮克敏生物。這一整個系列的游戲都是從一個愛好衍生出來的。你無法預料這種靈感會從哪里蹦出來。

開發之前先做mod

為一款已發行的游戲做mod,你可以看到所有資源素材的配置以及它們是如何協同發揮作用的,這會給你帶來非常大的啟發。

我有時就很喜歡鉆進各種文件和mods里。二十年來我都在做這件事,就是想看看其他人是怎么做游戲的——怎么構建對話、組織文件、工作流程是怎樣的。

做mod可以讓你學到很多東西,而且你也沒有多少后顧之憂——就算你搞砸了mod也不會造成多大影響。

從小做起

不管你是在給其它游戲做mod還是自己做一個游戲,先從一個小點子做起,逐漸向外擴展。這個建議不僅是面向新手&經驗不多的開發者。有些已經在行業呆了10年的人還是會出現項目范圍設定過大的問題,然后他們就陷入了僵局,因為他們沒有能力去實現自己之前許下的承諾。從小事做起,打好堅實的基礎再擴展,要意識到在不同的開發階段你或許要調整項目范圍。

選擇跟自己各方面不同的工作伙伴

游戲行業跟之前相比更加多樣化了,所以你可以試試找個跟自己不太一樣的人合作,可能是外表不一樣、扮不一樣、背景不一樣等等。不同的視角能夠幫助你拓展自己的眼界并最終創造出更好的游戲。

但其中有一點是很重要的——你得去找這些人。我曾經想得很天真,以為什么都不做只要等著他們來應聘就行了,但事實并沒有這么簡單。他們看到這個地方沒有一個“同類”,本能地就會產生猶豫。所以你必須主動伸出手,邀請這些人進來。

細節很重要

你自己的背景、生活細節也是很重要的。你應該把它們都融入到游戲中,讓它變得更有真實感,更私人化。地球上有幾十億人,你很有可能會找到會對這段經歷產生共鳴的人。

利用先前的工作經驗

我曾參與開發過一些等軸視角的奇幻RPG團隊游戲。每次我都會參照前一個游戲的開發經驗。

當我進入《輻射:新維加斯》團隊時,我沒預料到要開發一個第一人稱射擊RPG游戲。所以我得快速掌握相關的知識。我把之前的RPG游戲開發經驗全都應用到這個項目上了。隨著你的職業生涯發展,你的經驗也會累積得越多,無論你現在手上做的是什么游戲,都要記得把它們用起來,不要拋在腦后。

做一個視覺上吸睛的產品

在這個眼花繚亂的市場中,如果你的作品能夠在視覺上突圍,很快吸引到人們的注意力,你就能夠走得更遠。

你可以做一個相關的GIF圖,放在圖推特上,讓人們轉發分享。

能在概念上突出的產品

你可以看出Papers, Please這款游戲確實存在著某些短板,但是它的設計概念無疑是非常有創意的。玩家扮演的是邊境檢查站的人員,工作就是核對證件,每天重復著這些機械式的工作,但同時也要應對這些入境人員給你的生活造成的影響。

游戲首先是通過這種獨特的像素畫風吸引用戶的注意力,然后憑借獨特的設計概念留住玩家。

Lucas Pope的另外一個游戲《奧伯拉丁的回歸》也是如此,別具一格的藝術風格,解謎部分也非???。

簡而言之就是出色的視覺效果搭配出色的概念。但說起來簡單做起來難。然而就如我之前所說的,作品的獨特之處多數源于生活中的小細節。

給用戶&媒體講一個故事

在如今,讓游戲獲得關注是一件非常困難的事,尤其是對新手開發者或者小團隊來說。你或許認為宣布游戲本身就是一個故事了,但你得考慮到,無論哪一天可能都有另外20個新游戲公開。游戲記者肯定沒有時間把這些游戲都報道了。

認真想想你的亮點究竟是什么。想想游戲中的私人化元素、吸引人的視覺效果、獨特的游戲概念、有趣的機制等等。并不是每一樣東西都得是革新性的。但是你得給人們一個好故事。

在《永恒之柱》中我們設計了一個大頭模式,在當時沒有人會這么做。我們覺得很搞笑,所以就做出來了。這就是一個可以講的故事。在《天外世界》中,你可以殺掉任何人。這也是一個可以展開說說的故事。

所以你應該為玩家提供一些能夠吸引他們注意的內容。他們自然就會分享給別人。媒體們出于點擊率考慮可能也會去報道這個游戲。

互相幫助

我想說的最后一點就是你們應該互相幫助。作為剛入行不久的開發人員,你們將會成為游戲團隊中的多數群體,要大方分享彼此的技術經驗,交流交流設計理念。你會得到別人的反饋,反過來對方也會因為你的觀點而受到啟發,更愿意與你分享他們的經歷。對于很多游戲開發者來說,當他們開啟職業生涯時團隊中并沒有既定的制作流程和技術(尤其是小團隊),也沒有游戲制作人。所以,在小團隊中分享彼此的工作方法是非常有益的。

至于批評,你得意識到如果別人沒有請你給出這樣的意見,你就不應該這樣做——除非你的工作就是給出批評。但如果有人征求你的意見,你應該本著樂于助人的真誠精神給出反饋。

注意身邊工作伙伴的狀態。我認為這是新手開發者很容易忽視的一個問題。我們都超負荷工作了,但周圍沒有人提起這件事。我沒有在期望任何人說什么,但我確實希望有更多的人走到某人面前說:“你該回家了,你最好還是休息一段時間吧?!?/p>

當你看到有人正處于煎熬之中,或得不到想要的幫助,或得不到應有的補償,你可以去找他們談談具體的情況,盡力幫助他們,他們會很感激你的。反過來人家也會這么對你。還有就是積極吸引少數族群加入這個行業,讓他們感到安心、受歡迎。你需要主動伸出手,尋找他們、歡迎他們——具體要怎么做我無法回答,但你必須去做,不斷嘗試。

本文由游戲邦編譯,轉載請注明來源,或咨詢微信zhengjintiao

Game designer/writer/director Josh Sawyer gave a keynote speech at the recent DStars Connects. His talk was centered around the idea that smaller studios working on smaller projects will play an increasingly noticeable role in the industry as it evolves in the years ahead. He also outlined tactics on how to make it as a small team.

Josh Sawyer is known for his work on role-playing video games, including the Icewind Dale series, Fallout: New Vegas, and the Pillars of Eternity franchise. He is currently developing an undisclosed small project with a small team at Obsidian Entertainment.

Below is the edited transcript of Josh’s talk at DStars Connects.

When I look at how the industry has changed over the years, it makes me think that the future of game development, for most devs, is in smaller teams and smaller projects that are more meaningful to the people behind them.

Why do I think that? Let’s see where we were 20 years ago.

The industry in 1999

1. First of all, there wasn’t a lot of cross platform development.
2. Second, there was no digital distribution. The fact that you had to distribute a physical copy of a game in a store had so much more impact than you might expect. The box design was very important, as was the cost of all the things in the box. How many CDs or DVDs is it? How thick is the manual? What paper is the manual made of? How much does it weigh?The physical copies had to take up shelf space. So the retailer would be picky about what games they took and in what quantity, and they could return them if they didn’t sell. It informed a lot of the decisions about what games were greenlit, what games made it through development and got published.Producer Jason Bergman told me a story of a game that was finished and went gold but it never shipped because the publisher calculated that the cost of reproducing the physical materials and distributing them would not be recouped. That’s very atypical but that’s the way things could be back in 1999.
3. Third, the market belonged to big titles. There were small games, of course, but they were usually considered budget games or, more unfavorably, “shovelware” as they didn’t typically have a lot of artistic merit or offer experimental gameplay.
4. That said, even a big budget was just a few million dollars back then, maybe 10 million. So there was some experimentation on wild ideas and games simply because the budgets weren’t really that high.
5. Finally, the dev teams were not particularly diverse at this point. That’s not to say there were not any exceptions, but there were no women among game developers. A not a whole lot of non-white, gay or transgender people. I’m not saying it’s a lot better now, but it was certainly much worse in 1999.

Changes around and after 2010

Around 2010, some things were really starting to change quite significantly in the industry.

1. Multi-platform releases did become a lot more common. There were a lot more games released on both PC and console, either concurrently or within a very short period of each other.
2. Digital distribution was already happening during this time, but it hadn’t quite taken off yet.
3. Many mid-sized developers either were bought out by publishers or simply collapsed. As for large development teams, they started getting extra-large. You started seeing dev teams of over a hundred, several hundred people or multiple studios working concurrently on a very large game.
4. The budgets got a lot higher. And with higher budgets, there came a lot more risk aversion. Companies wanted to invest big for a big payout, spending for example 30 million to make 80 million. They didn’t want to do small or experimental games. That was one of the reasons why we couldn’t make a game like Pillars of Eternity with a publisher at this time.
5. Finally, dev teams became a little more welcoming and diverse. I did actually work with some women. Gay, lesbian and transgender people were more welcome at studios.

The industry today

1. There’s not really a sharp delineation anymore between PC and console and, in some cases, even handheld and mobile. The middleware has really changed this. If you work with Unity or Unreal, the idea of cross-platform support is integrated into these engines.
2. Digital distribution now is the norm. I don’t often hear people talk about physical products at all outside of the context of collectors additions. That dramatically changes how we think about what games can be made, how they can be profitable, how they’re distributed.
3. There are still huge publishers and huge dev teams, like a 400 person studio. But there are also hundreds of small dev teams and quite a few small publishers right now.And they are not just there to fund your game. Publishers do PR and marketing, they help get your games noticed by human beings who might buy your games. For Pillars of Eternity, we partnered with Paradox. They weren’t funding the game, but they were marketing and distributing it in certain territories.True, there are a lot of games that come out without publishers. Overhype Studios went without a publisher for their title Battle Brothers. But given how crowded the market is right now, it can be very difficult to get traction if you are small team.
4. Budgets are all over the place. We have games that have well over $100 million dollar budgets. And we have games that have $30-50 million and even $2 million budgets, sub-$1 million budgets. And crowdfunding happened in 2010. We started seeing other sources of funding for games.
5. Dev teams now are kind of more welcoming. It’s not quite there yet, but progress is being made.

So what does this all mean?

The way I see it, small teams can now be commercially successful making games that are more personal, that resonate with niche audiences. And I really think that’s going to be the way to go for the industry in general. It’s going to grow the market of who plays games, because people who might not have been catered to 10 or 20 years ago now find games appealing to them, aesthetically or mechanically.

That doesn’t mean that the big teams are going away, but it does mean that many more people are going to be able to make small games with small teams and find commercial success.

Look at the following games that came out in the last decade.

· Kentucky Route Zero. The first episode came out in 2013
· Gone Home, 2013
· Stardew Valley, 2016
· Night in the Woods, 2017
· Dead Cells, 2018

They are all games made by small teams. And they all found very cool niche audiences and did very well.

So I want to give some advice for the road ahead. It’s focused at junior level or associate level devs and people who only want to get into the industry. Here it goes.

Don’t start at a big studio

I would caution against going to work for a big studio right away.

1. First of all, there’s not very much room for personal expression, if any at all.Large teams rally around a vision. It’s like building a pyramid. You got one or two fancy folks up at the top, and then you have hordes and hordes of people that are doing all the manual labor, executing that one vision.None of those people pulling that block is going to go up to the foreman of the group and go like, “What if this were a cube instead? What if we put a big blue stripe down the center of it? That could really add a lot!”That’s what working on a big game team is like. A huge number of people are all taking a vision from a central directive. And the more people are on the team, the less input they have into that process.
2. Second, you have limited exposure to the people at the top that are making all the decisions. If there are a hundred people on a team, the head of the project simply won’t have time to talk to everybody. Moreover, there may be many layers of management between staff level employees and even a discipline director, design director, programming director.
3. Third, work is often very highly specialized on large teams, so it can feel very repetitive and draining. And you’re going to do it for three years straight. Building props like cans and boxes. Obviously we all have to do that stuff, but on larger teams, it becomes more specialized and more repetitive.
4. Fourth, big projects or big studios don’t ensure safety. Some people will go to big studios because they have a sense that big studios and big projects are safer. Well, not really! Big projects also get canceled, with associate and junior devs often being most vulnerable to layoffs.When projects get canceled, you can discover that you have worked for years and have nothing to show. I knew some people who worked at exclusively big studios for six or seven years, on three different projects, which all got canceled. And because of NDAs, they weren’t allowed to show anything that they had worked on. And that’s rough when you’re trying to then find a new job. Big studios can often have very draconian NDAs.
5. Finally, big projects can take a serious physical and mental toll. The larger the team is, the less personalized everyone’s relationships are. And the more you become kind of a cog, which can lead to you suffering a lot in the process.

Don’t get me wrong. It can be really cool to work on a big game, but there’s a lot of dangers that come with it. Besides, it’s even not that much more satisfying than working on a smaller project. Whether it’s 10 or 12 million people that have played Fallout: New Vegas or a million people who have played Pillars of Eternity, it comes down to finding a niche audience that really appreciates your game. Then I think it’s going to be satisfying either way.

Make what you’re passionate about

I think you should work on what you’re passionate about. Well, sure, easy for me to say! But given that this market is so crowded, there is not a super compelling reason to sort of cynically make something that’s just appealing.

Take Disco Elysium. The team behind the game expected to fail, but they still really wanted to make this game. And when it came out, it was very well received.

So don’t work on something for the sake of chasing a trend if it doesn’t appeal to you. First of all, it’s probably going to show in what you make. Second, it’s not going to do that well because it’s competing with so many other games that are probably trying to do the same thing. And third, you’re going to get really dispirited and burned out.

Don’t be afraid to work remotely

I don’t just mean working from home because of COVID-19. Working with people who might be in a different hemisphere is getting increasingly possible logistically. Moreover, it might be one of the best ways to work for certain teams when they share a common vision and enthusiasm for an idea.

Take Mordhau. It was made by a largely Slovenian team that also worked with people from all over the world. It wasn’t a physical studio for a lot of the developers. It was just a workspace online.

Don’t live to work

The first three or four years I was in the game industry, I really lived to work. At one point, I went over 300 days going to work even on weekends, even for holidays.

Have you read articles about retention in the industry? Tons of people drop out before their fifth year in the industry. It takes a heavy toll on people, psychologically, physically, emotionally. It takes a toll on people’s relationships.

So if you want to survive in the industry, don’t live to work. There is life outside of your job, and spending time doing other things will prevent you from burning out.

Experience things that are not games

Sometimes I see a team of passionate developers who share the exact same references to the exact same games and pieces of media, discussing the same movies. There is some benefit to that because you have certain shorthand in communicating, but it also means that your perspective is quite narrow.

Spending time away from work, doing other things that you are really into goes a long way.

Your interests will help inform your games. Do you know the origin story of Pikmin [real-time strategy and puzzle video game series published by Nintendo that focus on directing plant-like creatures called Pikmin]? Game designer Shigeru Miyamoto was working in his garden and just had the inspiration for these little Pikmin creatures. That’s a whole series of cool games that came out of just a hobby of working in the garden. And those bits of inspiration will come from seemingly nowhere.

Mod before developing

Even if you’ve completed a game development course, it’s useful to do modeling before or even while developing something.

If you work on small-scale projects, the number of people contributing is relatively limited. So is the number of assets. But when you mod a shipped game, seeing the scale and scope of all the assets and how they work together is very illuminating.

I sometimes like jumping into files and mods. I’ve been doing this 20 years just to see how people do things, how they structure dialogues, how they organize files, what their workflow is.

Modding can help you learn a lot with relatively limited liability. Because if you screw up a mod, it’s not that big a deal.

Start small

Whether you’re modding or making a game, start with a small idea and work outward. This is not even unique to junior and associate devs. Sometimes people who’ve been in the industry 10 years still get their scope too big. And then they’re stuck because they’ve committed to building something that is beyond them. Start small, plan on building from a solid base, understand that you may have to contract at various stages of development.

Work with people who are not like you

The game industry is now a little more diverse than before. So try to work with people who are not like you, people who don’t necessarily look like you, who don’t have your outlook, who don’t have your background.

There are many ways to be different from you. And all of those perspectives can contribute to broadening your understanding and ultimately making your game better.

But here’s the important thing. You actually have to try to find those people. I used to have a very naive idea that all you need to do is to wait for them to apply and then you just hire them. But it’s not that easy. They might be naturally hesitant to enter a space where they don’t look like anybody else. So you have to actually reach a hand out and invite these people.

You and your details matter

Your own background, the details about your life will matter. And they should go into the game. Then it feels personal and real. There are billions of people on this planet, and you will probably find some people who are sympathetic to the experience that you went through.

Build on your experiences

I worked on a bunch of isometric party-based fantasy role-playing games. And each one that I worked on allowed me to build on the previous one.

When I worked on Fallout: New Vegas, I was not expecting to work on a first-person console and PC shooter RPG.

So I had to learn a lot very fast. And I brought all of my RPG experience into the project to try to make it work within that new environment. So as you develop your career and your experiences, try to use whatever you’ve made, don’t just throw it out.

Make something that stands out visually

In a marketplace that is flooded with so many cool games, if you can make something that stands out visually, that will go a long way.

I’ve heard it said that if you can make a GIF of it and put it on Twitter for people to share it, do that.

Make things that stand out conceptually

There are certainly things that you can criticize about Papers, Please, but it’s built around an incredible idea. The game puts you in the shoes of someone working at border crossing, checking passports, doing all these mechanical things, but also dealing with the reality of the people that are coming through this process and how it impacts your life.

So you draw people in with the visuals, and then your idea gets people hooked.

Lucas Pope did something similar with Return of the Obra Dinn as well. Beautiful art style, and a very cool murder mystery to solve.

Cool visuals and cool concept! Again, easier said than done. But as I said before, the uniqueness comes from little things.

Give people and the press a story

It’s so hard to get attention for your game, especially if you’re a new dev or a small team. You might think that announcing your game is enough of a story in itself, but on any given day, there may be 20 other games being announced as well. No game journalist has the time to preview all of them.

Think what makes you stand out. These personal things, beautiful visuals, cool concepts, intriguing mechanics.

Not everything you put into a game needs to be revolutionary. But you have to give people a good story.

We had Big Head mode in Pillars of Eternity in an age when nobody did that. We decided to have it because I thought it was funny. Now that’s a story to tell, that’s a thing. In The Outer Worlds you could kill everybody. That was a story, something to talk about.

So give people something to latch onto with your game. They’ll share it organically. And the press will probably also run it because they want people to click on their articles.

Help each other

The last thing I want to say is that you should help each other. As junior devs, you will make up the majority of the workforce that is making games.

Share your techniques and your design philosophy freely with each other. People will give you feedback. It will inspire them and they will also, in turn, feel more open about sharing their processes with you. For a lot of game developers, when they’re starting out, especially if it’s on small teams, there aren’t established production pipelines and techniques. Many teams don’t have producers. So talking about your processes on small teams is very helpful.

As for critiquing, it’s important to know that if people don’t ask you for a critique, you probably shouldn’t give it unless it’s your job. But if people ask you for your opinion, do it in the genuine spirit of helpfulness.

Watch out for the well-being of the people that you work with. I think it’s a very common trap for junior game developers. We all overworked, and no one around said anything about it. I didn’t expect anyone to say anything, but I do wish that more people had said, “You should go home. You should take some time off.” So help people watch out for themselves.

When you see people suffering, people who are not getting the support they need, who are not getting compensated properly, work to help them and represent them, talk to them about what’s going on and they will appreciate it. And again, if you need it, they will help you. And again, actively draw underrepresented people into this profession and make them feel safe and welcome. It’s an active process. They’re not just gonna float in through osmosis. You have to actually reach a hand out, find them and welcome them in. I don’t have a clear answer for how to do that. But it’s work that needs to be done. And we got to keep trying.

(source: gameworldosberver )


上一篇:

下一篇:

人妻夜夜添夜夜无码AV