May 17, 2003 at 12:34 pm #25239
Since everyone’s taking the chance to ask Ken Williams something, I thought I do the same just for fun. With that, here’s my question.
Ken, what would you say to people who truly wish to become game designers? I did read the interview by Jan posted the other day, so I got a great idea about what running a company is like. Still, what advice or words of wisdom would you give to such game enthusiasts?
May 17, 2003 at 4:25 pm #25240
(re: Question for Ken Williams) This is a question I’m not sure there is any one right answer to.
At Sierra, it really was a matter of being “in the right place in the right time”. If market research told us there was a market for a fishing product, and I happened to know someone who fished, you stood a good shot of getting your chance. I usually picked designers based on targeting a demographic for a product, and then looking around for someone who had the pulse of the target market. (a fancy way of saying I identifyed the niche in the market first, and then looked for a person who fit the niche).
Now that I’ve confused you, I’ll tell you what I would do if I were trying to break into the business today:
My sense is that distribution is in the process of changing. In the past 99% of PC product was sold through retail outlets. My guess is that this numbers has dropped significantly, and that 10% or more of PC product is being sold over the internet. Selling games over the internet requires not much more than the ability to build a great game. Artists and programmers can be found who are also trying to break into the business. Check out
(Jeff Tunnel – formerly from Dynamix). I’d try to assemble a team and build a product – then distribute it free on the web. If people like it you can sell them a sequel, (or more of the same game) or use it as your resume to get an interview at a game company. Nothing speaks louder than success.
In other words, don’t wait for someone to GIVE you a chance. Instead TAKE a chance. Prove yourself – and, perhaps you will make some serious money, or break into the industry, along the way.
May 17, 2003 at 8:05 pm #25241
(re: Question for Ken Williams)
Although I like computer games, I’m not really thinking of going into the industry myself. I was just curious about what you have to say about it. It’s definitely work, but it sound interesting. Thanks a lot, Ken. It was very enlightening. 🙂