從傳媒到開發,Peter Willington轉身跨界進遊戲的經驗分享

本文原作者:Matt Suckley 譯者ciel chen

想讓任何商業化的企業運轉起來都需要大量的人力和諸多的機率。

所以手遊產業當然也不例外,他們爲世界各地成千上萬的熱門提供了動態且多樣化的職業角色。

因此,PocketGamer.biz已經決定通過一系列定期的訪談來慶祝這一遊戲盛世——每週,我們都會和遊戲行業不同領域的專業人士進行交談——可以是遊戲設計、美術、或者PR——爲的是能瞭解他們是如何在遊戲這個領域獲得工作的。

很顯然,每條職業道路都各有不同,不過目標都是爲了讓人們擁有一種技能、資歷和報復,讓人們在這樣的職業角色中找到自我——以及我們如何能在這份工作中有所收穫。

這一次訪談,我們把焦點對準了Peter Willington。他曾經是PocketGamer.biz姊妹網站Pocket Gamer and AppSpy的記者兼評論員。現在他跳躍了不同行業之間的柵欄,進入到了遊戲開發行業,在位於布里斯托的Auroch Digital擔任了遊戲製作人。

Tablet Gaming(from nerdsmagazine)

Tablet Gaming(from nerdsmagazine)

PocketGamer.biz: 來跟我們講講關於你現在的職業角色以及這個職業角色需要具備的能力是什麼。

Peter Willinton: 在Auroch Digital我是一名遊戲製作人兼市場經理。市場經理,聞名知意:我爲公司確立市場方向以及爲我們將採取怎樣的方式達到我們的市場目標下定義,然後再和我的大學校友Jake Connor(我們的遊戲社區經理)一起開始去實施這些計劃。
我們目前正在抓緊在Steam平臺上發行我們的最新遊戲——《Ogre》——,這正是我們的職責所在,所以最近我們倆都很忙。

作爲一個遊戲製作人,要做的事可以根據不同遊戲工作室之間的不同的團隊規模、進行中的項目類型不同、公司文化不同等因素而有着很大的差距。

在Auroch的日常就是,我會很團隊一起進行遊戲檢測,以確保產品的順利生產,並同他們一起從頭到尾地進行項目規劃。

並且我要確保遊戲的開發按照原計劃有條不紊地進行,和我們的客戶和股東互通有無等等。我很幸運能同Ilse Marshall以及Nina Adams一起共事,在我們三個人的努力下,我們爲工作室的生產過程定擬定了一系列標準。

同時,我也參與了其中的一些項目,以在代表着管理層的利益(保證開銷在預算範圍內)的同時還能代表玩家利益。(做出一個品質優良的遊戲)

我就站在遊戲開發的網中央,瞭解各方的需求,爲傑出的人才提供最好的環境讓他們發揮自己最大的才能。

在我們已經公開的遊戲項目中,我目前手頭上的工作是《Dark Future: Blood Red States》(我們對經典桌遊《Gmaes Workshop》的改編作品)的製作,不過我所參與遊戲製作中還有更多的遊戲是我迫不及待想要展開討論的。

你是如何得到這份工作的?

在我成爲一名遊戲製作人之前,我曾經是Pocket Gamer的副主編,並與AppSpy的直播平臺合作,爲Pocket Gamer指引了發展方向。

這讓我在管理、帶領數字化項目、合作並尋求擴展自家品牌、理解遊戲產業的各種不同需求等這些方面積攢了大量的經驗。

我決定讓我的職業生涯向一個不一樣的方向發展,這個方向是建立在我的專業基礎之上,而遊戲製作人就是一個不二之選。

我好幾年之前就知道Tomas Rawlings是Auroch Digital的創始人,而且也經常在布里斯托而的遊戲中心見到他,所以當這個在Auroch任職的機會出現時,我毫不猶豫地抓住了。

你曾經想過你會做這份工作嗎?

絕對是有的。我總會計劃着趕緊把遊戲新聞記者這個工作從我的願望清單裏劃掉然後轉職去做有關遊戲開發的工作。

我不是個程序員,我也沒法做原畫,並且我對做一個商業層面上的遊戲設計師這份工作也不感興趣,所以遊戲製作人就是我的不二職業選擇。

這份工作彙集了我所有的興趣:深入地參與到遊戲的各個層面之中、製作出一個有條不紊的系統來讓大家做一些了不起的事情、還有成爲一個渴望有所成就的組織中的一員。

你做了怎樣的功課(如果有的話)讓你進入角色的?你會建議給這個領域的專業人士一些什麼課程嗎?

我是在實際的操作中習得了最重要的經驗。

我會以評論者的身份前往各種遊戲活動和展會,去和那裏的人們交流,好看看企業的不同方面以及人們的需求都是什麼。

我總是會用簡單的遊戲製作工具來製作我自己的遊戲,這樣可以不斷地讓自己記得不同學科的使用和要求所需要的各種技巧。

從三歲開始就玩遊戲,最重要的是,玩遊戲和研究遊戲一定不能停,這讓我有足夠的詞庫和知識深度在這個行業裏呆下去。

我們在做播客視頻《Staying In》的時候,我們經常談論有關遊戲,這讓我對媒體進行了批判性的思考,並去玩那些通常不在我所認知的遊戲範圍之內的遊戲。

我在大學學習過表演——這讓我學會去接收並提出建設性的批評並且與他人合作。

我聽說英國當然有很多不錯可以去上的遊戲課程,不過我認爲——下載一個Engine 4、GameMaker或者Quest,然後把自己投入到這些編輯器裏,最後做出一些專屬於你自己的程序——沒有什麼比這更能讓你獲得絕佳體驗,充滿自豪感的了。

有什麼關於遊戲工作/行業的內容是你在剛開始進入到遊戲產業中所希望能更早些知道的?

當我加入到Auroch工作的第一週,我很快地懂得了,一名製作人如果用“你能不能……”這樣的形式和開發人員進行對話,那你註定是要失敗的。

做遊戲是一個很複雜的過程,並且就算最簡單的(表面上看)一些要求都可能涉及各種測試,需要整個工作室各個部門都投入到其中,將會是一項高度複雜的流程。

對於那些想找這個職業相關工作的人,你有什麼其他的建議嗎?

去儘可能多地玩各種各樣的遊戲吧,保持對媒體的激情。如果你不這樣做的話,你會很快崩潰的,因爲遊戲開發是一個非常艱難的過程。

如果你想成爲一個遊戲製作人,你要保證你真的想做這個職業——而不是一個遊戲設計師,這是我看到很多人曾經陷進過的陷阱。

爲了更好地瞭解團隊是如何運作以及要如何滿足他們的需求讓他們取得成功,可以參與到遊戲和其他一些實際的項目中去。從中獲取的只是將會讓你更好地在這裏生存。

要謙虛並聽從專家的建議。你可以猜測一個程序員要完成一個測試需要多久的時間,不過只有程序員自己知道需要多久。

要堅定你的立場,並且現實一些——因爲製作人常常需要成爲整個團隊裏的現實主義者——不過記住絕對不要成爲一個悲觀主義者。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

It takes a great number of individuals working together in various disciplines to make any commercial enterprise function.

The mobile games industry is certainly no exception, offering dynamic and diverse roles to thousands the world over.

As such, PocketGamer.biz has decided to celebrate this with a regular series of interviews where each week we chat to a mobile games industry professional from a different field – be it game design, art, or PR – to learn about how they bagged that job in games.

Obviously every career path is different, but the goal is to give a picture of the sorts of skills, qualifications and ambition one might need to find themselves in such a role – and how we can all learn from it.

This time, the spotlight is on Peter Willington. A former journalist and critic on PocketGamer.biz sister sites Pocket Gamer and AppSpy, he has since hopped the fence into a production role at Bristol-based developer Auroch Digital.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a little about your current role and what it entails.

Peter Willington: At Auroch Digital I’m a Producer and Marketing Manager.

The Marketing Manager role is pretty self-explanatory: I set the direction for the company’s marketing, define how we achieve our marketing goals and then set about with my colleague Jake Connor (our Community Manager) on meeting them.

We’re currently ramping up to the release of our latest game – Ogre – on Steam, so we’re both very busy at the moment in this area of our duties.

What a Producer does can vary pretty wildly between studios based on factors like team size, the types of projects being worked on, company culture and so on.

I keep the vision of the game on course, liaising with our clients and stakeholders.PETER WILLINGTON
The way things work at Auroch, on a day-to-day basis, I’m checking in with the teams to make sure production is smooth and planning projects with them from start to end.

I keep the vision of the game on course, liaising with our clients and stakeholders and so on. I’m fortunate enough to work with Ilse Marshall and Nina Adams, and between the three of us we set studio-wide standards for the production process.

I’m also on projects to represent the player’s interests (making a great game) while representing the management’s interests (keeping to the budget), and the team’s interests (enjoying their work).

I do this by being in the middle of the web of development, understanding the needs of all parties and enabling incredibly talented people to do their best work.

In terms of projects we’ve announced, I’m currently producing Dark Future: Blood Red States, our adaptation of the classic Games Workshop tabletop game, but there are some more titles in the pipeline I’m involved with that I can’t wait to start talking about.

How did you first get into this job?

Before I became a producer, I used to be Deputy Editor of Pocket Gamer and led the direction and growth into streaming platforms with AppSpy.

This gave me a great deal of experience managing people, leading digital projects, making partnerships to amplify the brands I was a part of and understanding the different needs of the games industry.
I decided to take my career in a different direction that built upon this expertise and being a producer was a natural fit.

I’d known Tomas Rawlings – the owner of Auroch Digital – for a few years by this point and had been around the Bristol Games Hub a lot too, so when the opportunity at Auroch came up, I jumped at the chance.

Is it something you ever imagined yourself doing?

Yes, absolutely. I’d always planned on ticking off the games journalism bucket list and then moving on to actually help making games.

Since I’m not a coder, I can’t do visual art and I’m not interested in being a designer at a commercial level, becoming a producer was a natural fit.

It intersects with all my interests: being involved deeply in games on all levels, developing ordered systems to help people do amazing things and being a central part of an organisation that aspires to do great things.

What did you study (if anything) to get your role? What courses would you advise for aspiring professionals in the area?

I learned my most important lessons in a practical setting.

Going to events and conferences and talking to people, as a critic, let me see lots of different facets of the business and what people’s needs are.

Never stopping playing and studying games has given me a depth of knowledge that is so useful.PETER WILLINGTON
Always making my own games using simple game-making tools keeps reminding me about the kinds of skill sets different disciplines use and require.

Playing games from the age of three and, most importantly, never stopping playing and studying games, has given me the vocabulary and depth of knowledge that is so useful in the industry.

Running the podcast Staying In, where we talk about games quite often, forces me to keep thinking critically about the medium and play games that are outside of what I usually consider playing.

I studied acting at university. It taught me to take and give constructive criticism, and work with others.

I hear there are some good games courses available across the UK, but I don’t think you can beat the experience and sense of pride you gain from downloading Unreal Engine 4, GameMaker or Quest, getting stuck in and making things for yourself.

Is there anything about the job/industry you wish you would have known when first joining?

In my first week of work at Auroch, I learned very quickly that a producer that starts a conversation with a developer with “could you just…” is setting themselves up for a fall.

Making games is a complicated process and the (seemingly) simplest of requests can actually be highly complex, involving tasks that require multiple disciplines from across the studio.

What other advice do you have for someone looking for a job in this profession?

Play as many different kinds of games as you can and be passionate about the medium. If you’re not, you’ll burn out real fast because making games is hard.

If you want to be a producer, make sure you actually want to be a producer – and not a designer, which is a trap I’ve seen a few people fall into.
Get involved in game jams and other practical projects where you can in order to better understand how teams work and what they need to be successful. This knowledge will make your life a lot easier.

Be humble and defer to your experts for advice. You can guess at how long a task might take a coder to complete, but only the coder knows how long it will take them.

Stick to your guns and be realistic. Producers very often need to be the realist in the room – though you should never be the pessimist.(source:pocketgemer.biz