Hiring Experienced Game Designers

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Sandman302

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Member

03-08-2013

You should look at Zipnut. His resume is posted on his twitch channel: twitch.tv/zipnut


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Roy Monster

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Junior Member

03-08-2013

,


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CitrusHaze

Member

03-08-2013

How about you hire some experienced server designers??? Just got dropped out of a game, and I know it wasnt my internet because I could hear my jungle-less team on skype getting dominated. Its really cool you can keep coming out with all these skins and champs, but how about we get some decent servers we can use these on?


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Maleficus Nex

Member

03-09-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
Generally, our preference for design is an analytical degree [...] like Chemistry, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering and so forth.
If you don't mind, Zileas, could you stipulate your meaning for "analytical"? It seems to me, from the subjects you have specified, that you refer only to degrees that include a strong mathematical element.

Though none of these, success in my area of study requires the ability to analyze a system, formulate a theory about the system, then find within that system the most compelling evidence with which to defend the theory.

I refer, of course, to a degree in the study of English (by choice, not default or elimination).

I have, over the course of my education, studied the terminology for and structure of literature, films, graphic novels, and music. Two seminar courses used literature as a study of American Law. Next fall, I will take a seminar on the Narrative Structure of Video Games.

I chose English for this interdisciplinary nature, to develop a tool that would equip me for any situation: an analytical mind.

If you prefer that Game Design applicants possess advanced mathematical knowledge, well, I must sadly accept that Calculus and I parted ways in high school and that this opportunity is most likely not mine to pursue. If, however, you seek an analytical mind, then I ask one favour: allow a "non-analytical" degree on a resume to pique your curiosity. Give us the chance to show you that we have something different to offer.

We just might surprise you. ~.^

P.S. [Unrelated] Thank you for putting into words the concept of counterplay. Your ideas have changed the way I look at games, and helped me to understand why I enjoy certain multiplayer modes more than others. I would love a chance to discuss with you (at a more appropriate place and time, of course) the perceived successes and failures of counterplay elements in LoL design, or at least to hear you give a talk on the subject.

Edit: I just noticed your mention of creative writing (that's what I get for reading posts in reverse order). Confidence +2.


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Duffman316

Senior Member

03-09-2013

soo.... any word on database guys ._. ?


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

03-09-2013
41 of 53 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maleficus Nex View Post
If you don't mind, Zileas, could you stipulate your meaning for "analytical"? It seems to me, from the subjects you have specified, that you refer only to degrees that include a strong mathematical element.

Though none of these, success in my area of study requires the ability to analyze a system, formulate a theory about the system, then find within that system the most compelling evidence with which to defend the theory.

I refer, of course, to a degree in the study of English (by choice, not default or elimination).

I have, over the course of my education, studied the terminology for and structure of literature, films, graphic novels, and music. Two seminar courses used literature as a study of American Law. Next fall, I will take a seminar on the Narrative Structure of Video Games.

I chose English for this interdisciplinary nature, to develop a tool that would equip me for any situation: an analytical mind.

If you prefer that Game Design applicants possess advanced mathematical knowledge, well, I must sadly accept that Calculus and I parted ways in high school and that this opportunity is most likely not mine to pursue. If, however, you seek an analytical mind, then I ask one favour: allow a "non-analytical" degree on a resume to pique your curiosity. Give us the chance to show you that we have something different to offer.

We just might surprise you. ~.^

P.S. [Unrelated] Thank you for putting into words the concept of counterplay. Your ideas have changed the way I look at games, and helped me to understand why I enjoy certain multiplayer modes more than others. I would love a chance to discuss with you (at a more appropriate place and time, of course) the perceived successes and failures of counterplay elements in LoL design, or at least to hear you give a talk on the subject.

Edit: I just noticed your mention of creative writing (that's what I get for reading posts in reverse order). Confidence +2.

It's more that other fields not only encourage but require strong quantitative AND qualitative analysis, and typically hold the qualitative analysis to a higher standard. English allows for a lot more looseness. A GREAT English degree forces rigor in the spirit of law school or similar fields, but I know lots of people who have English degrees from the very best universities in the world who pretty much lack the ability to do the sort of systems analysis we need, and are handily outclassed on a systems design question by anyone with a technical background (of course, an English degree prepares you for other tasks, and I'm speaking in generalities here, but generalities around majors inform good hiring prioritization.. when combined with a bunch of other factors)

So, while some English majors really get this, a lot do not. Because recruiting is a numbers game of guessing who's higher probability to be a fit, I have to put English alongside other degrees that have a low average rate of skills and training we need. It's a plus still vs no degree, but it wouldn't make sense to give it the same weight as Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science or Applied Math.

On the other hand, we really like the JD (law degree) for design, probably second only to computer science. Interestingly, a lot of people with law degrees did undergrad in English or Political Science. But the JD degree insists you get a ton of training in very rigorous debate. A lot of undergrad English degrees let you get by with repeating basic frameworks vaguely in essays with good writing. Good English professors force you to kick it up a few notches, and if you have several of those professors, I'm sure you can demonstrate it in your other accomplishments as those skills will reliably allow you to produce great results.

- Zileas


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Kluirl

Senior Member

03-09-2013

Zileas, since you're around, please let me ask a quick question.

Riot is extremely competitive in all of your areas, taking the best and brightest whenever possible and, from what I can see, you guys get a massive number or exceptional people applying. When you're looking at applicants, do you guys have "qualifying" criteria that are going to determine if you even look at an applicant further or not? So, grad schools generally look at GPA/GRE/MCAT/etc as a way to weed out under qualified applicants. Do you have a system like this?

For myself personally, I'm coming out of one of the top 3 music schools in the country.. with a degree in Psychology, not music, so my university doesn't really stand out for what I want to do. My GPA is largely average. While I have experience tinkering with many different game systems, a few coding languages and a lot of different (little) mods to various games, nothing I've done is particularly stand out and I have not mastered a proficiency in any of these categories. I have a large portfolio of graphics design work, but I am still an amateur. What I do have in my favor, though, is an extensive list of activities outside of school and work. I'm nearly a published undergrad researcher, I hold high positions in multiple LGBT/HIV activism/support organizations and have held down a full time school schedule while working 2-3 jobs at all times since the day I moved out of state for school. I've received scholarships for the activism I do and i'm proud of all the work I've done. I'm extremely driven and when I get past those qualifying criteria, I've always managed to impress.

I want to work for Riot. I'm wrapping up my internship application for Summer 2013. For those of us in my position, who have a lot to show besides a top tier school or a completed game, what can you tell us about our chances of even making it past a first glance?


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Katsuni

Senior Member

03-09-2013

Sorry, you had your chance. Several, in fact. =P

Unfortunately, even with contacts inside of Riot and more than enough evidence of understanding the design challenges faced by Riot in particular, I couldn't even get more than a single generic copy/paste letter about four months too late for it to matter.

Ah well, no big deal; it led to new opportunities, so it's not all that bad. I'm busy working at a startup instead now as the director of design. Sure, it probably won't reel in the cash Riot does, but it's nice to get prompt communication from my design team within a few hours, rather than the weeks to months it's taken nearly every time I've had to talk to Riot. =P

Still, I don't hold grudges; I know enough people in Riot and hear enough nice things about the corporate culture there to be willing to maybe give it another shot some day in the future, if I can ever get my current crew to the point where I can trust them to not drive off a cliff without me. =3

Regardless, I can only state that it'd be an honour to work alongside you someday, Cadwell, but it won't be today. Maybe in a few years, if you can hold things together that long.

Best of luck in finding the people you need to keep things running smoothly! I'd be disappointed if Riot took a nosedive, especially if LoL took a hit because of it, so make sure the place sticks around for awhile. ^.~


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Zileas

VP of Game Design

03-09-2013
42 of 53 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kluirl View Post
Zileas, since you're around, please let me ask a quick question.

Riot is extremely competitive in all of your areas, taking the best and brightest whenever possible and, from what I can see, you guys get a massive number or exceptional people applying. When you're looking at applicants, do you guys have "qualifying" criteria that are going to determine if you even look at an applicant further or not? So, grad schools generally look at GPA/GRE/MCAT/etc as a way to weed out under qualified applicants. Do you have a system like this?
We generally don't like hard cutoffs, unless it's something like requiring a JD to practice law (legal requirement) or speaks a specific language or other obvious cases where it's impossible for someone to do the job in the absence of the skill or certification. That being said, we do weigh 'quantitative' factors from time to time, but they are part of a comprehensive evaluation.

Quote:
For myself personally, I'm coming out of one of the top 3 music schools in the country.. with a degree in Psychology, not music, so my university doesn't really stand out for what I want to do. My GPA is largely average. While I have experience tinkering with many different game systems, a few coding languages and a lot of different (little) mods to various games, nothing I've done is particularly stand out and I have not mastered a proficiency in any of these categories. I have a large portfolio of graphics design work, but I am still an amateur. What I do have in my favor, though, is an extensive list of activities outside of school and work. I'm nearly a published undergrad researcher, I hold high positions in multiple LGBT/HIV activism/support organizations and have held down a full time school schedule while working 2-3 jobs at all times since the day I moved out of state for school. I've received scholarships for the activism I do and i'm proud of all the work I've done. I'm extremely driven and when I get past those qualifying criteria, I've always managed to impress.
Past leadership positions certainly make your app look a lot stronger. And accomplishing a bunch of stuff that distinguishes you is what we look for, assuming you do a good job of helping us understand that you've distinguished yourself. With art though, it's a lot easier for us to filter by the quality of work, so we likely would evaluate a large portion of your candidacy purely on your portfolio, as it gives us an efficient work sample. For design, we'd just stack your app up against other intern apps, and prioritize. If you crossed the 'water line' for first tier eval, you'd get first tier eval, and from there, it's mostly how you perform on the evaluations.

Quote:
I want to work for Riot. I'm wrapping up my internship application for Summer 2013. For those of us in my position, who have a lot to show besides a top tier school or a completed game, what can you tell us about our chances of even making it past a first glance?
I honestly don't know on art. They use a different process than game design. I can tell you it will be significantly impacted by your portfolio quality. For design, it is important to demonstrate exceptionalism, which it sounds like you think you can do.


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Kluirl

Senior Member

03-09-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zileas View Post
For design, it is important to demonstrate exceptionalism, which it sounds like you think you can do.
I believe that I can. Thanks a lot for the response, Zileas!