What is the core competitiveness of Game Technical Designer? What key role can you play in the team?

With the development of the game industry, the position of TD has gradually been recognized and accepted by the industry. I myself have been in this position for almost 7 years. If I were asked to answer this question 5 years ago, I might have felt that the logical expression ability, communication ability, learning ability, ability to adapt to the environment, or a lot of project experience is this core competitiveness of the position.

With the accumulation of jobs and contacts with more domestic and foreign counterparts, now let me answer this question, I will think that “ingenuity” or “craftsmanship” is the core competitiveness. I believe science and experience can bring results close to perfection, but only human craftsmanship can break through the final hurdle.

Ingenuity is the most important factor for craftsmen to improve, be proficient in their craftsmanship, and be outstanding. The producers of my team have always said that we are all craftsmen who make games. I agree with this point of view, so I believe it is not difficult for everyone to understand why I think Ingenuity is the core competitiveness of TD.

Now briefly talk about some thoughts on the work of the craftsman spirit I know.


0, choose one thing for a lifetime

There are two most important days in a person’s life, one is to be born, and the other is to know why you were born. When you identify an industry that you will work hard for your whole life, you will not forget your original intention and endure loneliness to do it well.

In the 1990s, when technology and planning experience were extremely lacking, our predecessors chose this industry because of their love, and they were making games with strong beliefs and goals. Through the efforts of several generations, the game industry in China has been able to grow from ” Not doing a good job” has become more and more recognized.

Today, I believe that many students choose the game industry and TD position because of their love. However, a temporary love cannot solve all problems. Only with a lifelong goal can you decide your final height.

1. Pursue the ultimate

I think for TD, the pursuit of the ultimate can be roughly divided into two aspects, one is the ultimate in production tools, and the other is the ultimate in production content .

The ultimate in tools can be understood as when designing or making game pipeline tools, you should spend time and energy to do your best.

This is a very simple mathematical problem. The number of users of pipeline tools is far greater than the number of tool producers. We should minimize the use time of users, and the production efficiency of tool producers is the second thing to consider, so that The total time between the two will be the lowest.

As a TD, you need to constantly ask yourself whether the pipeline has been designed to be minimal and easy to operate, whether the tool’s memory and disk consumption is optimal, and whether it runs fast enough.

TD’s work will also involve the production of game content, and it also needs to pursue the ultimate, because the content you produce will become a benchmark for other colleagues to refer to, and they will continue to produce according to your thinking, and even paste and copy yours. things are processed.

Only when you understand the essence of program implementation and the intention of planning and design, can you make the content the best, extremely simple, extremely clear, and complete with detailed specification documents, so that the content you make becomes a standard and is passed down.

2. Focus

I’ve always felt that being able to do well in TD doesn’t require top-notch brains or strong technical abilities, but absolute focus .

Focus on the game category you are developing, keep trying to find out what pipelines are used to make games of the same category, what ideas are used, which ones can be learned from your own projects, and learn to absorb advanced technical ideas at home and abroad at any time.

Focus on the problems of colleagues at work. TD is the best guardian of the quality of planning work. If you don’t focus on the pipeline problems that occur in your colleagues’ daily work, and don’t focus on helping them solve problems in time, then the soul of the game is very good. There may be problems. Can you imagine a painter who has to worry about how his paintbrush is broken every day, and if the paint is not enough today, can he complete his artistic creation well?

Often in the early stages of a project, some people think that the pipelines between games of the same type should be similar, and it’s good to learn from a successful project for my use.

I cannot fully agree that TD needs to focus on the personnel situation in its own team, technical situation, project cycle and other parameters to build and optimize the pipeline to achieve the optimal solution.

So focusing on all the details of the pipeline is what you need to pursue to do a good job in TD, which is also very difficult, but as a designer or optimizer of the pipeline, the less you know about the details of the pipeline, the more you can control the optimization. The ability of the pipeline will be worse, and the team will need to spend more human time to achieve the original goal.


3. Objective

Being able to look at and solve problems objectively, I think, is also an important part.

Why do you say this, because TD will deal with many types of work at work, and has the most contact with procedures, art, and planning. If you as a TD can’t start from the essence, objectively handle and solve problems, but go with the wind, who will listen strongly Whoever owns it, then the pipeline design and content standards you are responsible for may be seriously derailed, and there is a high probability that the entire team has been producing in an inefficient pipeline.

Let’s answer the second question: What key role can TD play in the team?

I have been thinking about this question all the time, and I will have different experiences at different times.

In the early days, I realized that the role of TD is to return the design time to planning, reduce the proportion of planning time for moving bricks, increase the proportion of design time, and be a bridge between planning and program communication.

Now I want to use three words to express the key role TD plays in the team: “Quality”, “Efficiency”, “Culture”.

  • Quality : Make sure the curation produces high-quality content.
  • Efficiency : Improve pipeline production and verification efficiency.
  • Culture : Build a culture of tool use in the team that tests the brain rather than the physical to solve problems.

I like the description of TD in GDC2021-“Avoid an Identity Crisis as a Technical Designer”, I hope TD can become a hexagonal warrior and contribute to the top of the world for domestic games.


Source: Zhihu www.zhihu.com

Author: Tong Dayan

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Further reading:

What qualities make you immediately feel that a game technical designer (Technical Designer) is very reliable?

Is the position of Technical Designer really necessary?

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