以Peter Willington爲例談遊戲媒體人向產品製作的轉型問題

原作者: Matt Suckley 譯者:Willow Wu

要順利運作一個企業,你需要大量不同領域的人才共同協作。

手遊行業當然也不例外,爲世界各地的上千人才提供動態、多樣的崗位。

因此,PocketGamer.biz決定推出一個系列訪談,我們將會每週邀約一位手遊行業內的專業人士,談論他們各自不同領域的工作內容——譬如說遊戲設計、美術、公關,瞭解一下他們是如何在遊戲中運用他們的職業技能。

雖然職業道路不盡相同,但是目標大體上是一致的:掌握技能,取得資格證書,對於這個職位有所抱負,還有我們能從中學到什麼。

這次,我們把燈光聚焦到Peter Willington身上。他之前在PocketGamer.biz的姐妹網站Pocket Gamer and AppSpy擔任記者和評論員,現在他已經越過柵欄,在位於(英國)Bristol的Auroch Digital公司中擔任遊戲製作人。

Civilization VI(from venturebeat.com)

Civilization VI(from venturebeat.com)

PocketGamer.biz: 跟我們談談你現在的工作吧。

Peter Willington: 在Auroch Digital,我是一個製作人,也是銷售經理。

銷售經理的職責自然不用贅述:我設定公司的營銷方向,計劃如何達成我們的銷售目標然後和我的同事Jake Connor(我們的遊戲社區經理)開始着手執行。

我們目前正在加速發佈近期的新遊戲——Ogre,在Steam平臺上,所以我們倆現在都非常忙。

製作人的工作內容在不同工作室中差異可能非常大,鑑於不同工作室的團隊規模、項目類型、公司文化等等的不同。

在Auroch的工作日常就是我跟蹤團隊確保製作過程順利,並且至始至終都跟他們一起策劃項目。

我得保證遊戲走在正確的軌道上,和客戶、股東保持聯繫,等等。我十分慶幸可以和Ilse Marshall和Nina Adams一起工作,我們三個爲製作程序定製了一套工作室準則。

在這個項目中,我代表了玩家的利益(製作一個優秀的遊戲)同時也代表了管理層的利益(控制預算),還有團隊的利益(享受工作)。

把自己放在整個製作大格局的中心看,理解各方的需求,激發傑出人才的最大潛能。

關於那些已經公佈的項目,我現在正在製作Dark Future: Blood Red States,改編自Games Workshop的經典桌遊,但是還有更多的遊戲正在籌備中,我真是迫不及待要跟你說說它們了。

你一開始是怎麼得到這份工作的?

成爲製作人之前,我在Pocket Gamer擔任副主編,利用AppSpy將用戶引入流媒體平臺,增加閱讀量。

這份工作讓我獲得了很多豐富的經驗,關於員工管理、怎樣帶領數字化項目、尋求合作來擴大品牌認知還有理解遊戲行業中的不同需求。

我決定把職業生涯轉個方向,基於我的這些專業知識,成爲一個製作人那是再合適不過的了。

我以前就認識Tomas Rawlings,就是Auroch Digital的老闆,已經好幾年了而且也對Bristol Games Hub也瞭解頗多,所以Auroch的求職機會一出現,我就毫不猶豫地抓住了。

你之前有想過當遊戲製作人嗎?

是的,當然。我以前計劃着把記者生涯中想做的事都一件件完成,然後放棄這個工作去真正地參與到製作遊戲的過程,出一份力。

我不會寫代碼,不會視覺藝術設計,我也無意涉足商業層面,所以製作人就是最合適的選擇。

這份崗位結合了我的所有興趣:能夠全面參與遊戲製作進程,開發有序系統去幫助其他人創造奇蹟,成爲一個組織的中心,和他們一起追求卓越。

你爲了得到這份工作做了什麼功課(如果有的話)?你對那些還在向專業程度進階的人士有什麼建議?

我從實踐中學到了最重要的課程。

去參加活動和發佈會,跟人們交流,作爲一個評論員,我的工作能讓我見識到這個行業的多面性,瞭解人們的需求。

我一直都是用非常簡單的工具來製作我自己的遊戲,這能夠讓我記着製作遊戲需要運用到不同領域的知識和技能。

我從三歲開始就玩遊戲,最重要的是我一直都沒有停止玩遊戲和研究遊戲,這些經歷提升了我的詞彙量,拓寬了我的知識面,這些在行業內都是非常有用的。

策劃播客節目Staying In,我們在節目中常常會談到遊戲,迫使我要對媒介保持批判性思維,並且去玩一些我平常不會考慮去玩的遊戲。

我在大學學過表演。那段時間讓我學會了如何給予、接受善意的批評,還有跟他人合作。

我聽說英國有一些不錯的遊戲課程,但是比起實踐經驗,還有你去下載Unreal Engine 4, GameMaker或者Quest開始製作你自己的遊戲,全身心投入其中獲得的這種自豪感,我認爲課程還是比不上的。

有沒有什麼關於工作/行業方面的東西你希望一開始工作的時候就知道的?

我在Auroch工作的第一週,我很快就明白如果一個製作人和開發者以“你能不就直接……”這樣的開頭對話,那麼他們就註定走向失敗。

製作遊戲是一個非常複雜的程序,(看起來)最簡單的要求可能實現起來也非常困難,其中涉及到的任務需要整個工作室各種領域的知識技術運用。

對於這個崗位的求職者,你還有什麼建議?

儘可能地去玩不同種類的遊戲,熱切關注遊戲媒介。如果要是不這麼做的話,你的那股滿腔熱血很快就會沒了,因爲製作遊戲真的是很難。

如果你想成爲一個製作人,要弄清楚你真的是想做一個製作人,而不是設計師,我之前看過好幾個人陷入這個誤區。

去參加game jams,還有儘可能加入那些能夠幫助你更好地理解團隊協作,還有他們所需的成功要素的實際項目。這些知識能讓你的生活輕鬆很多。

爲人謙虛點,聽從專業人士的建議。你也許可以估計出程序員要花多久能完成這個任務,但是隻有程序員才知道要花多久才能完成。

堅定自己的立場,實事求是。製作人經常需要保持實際頭腦,但是千萬不要悲觀。

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.

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.

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: pocketgamer.biz )