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Gameloft failed GD test?

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i've been wanting to start my career in the game industry and after a bachelor's degree at an IT college, over 15 years of gaming, and what I deemed decent critique skills, I decided to apply to Gameloft for a position. I have never been employed before under any profession, nonetheless my CV and letter of intention provided them with enough reason to initiate the testing procedure, which would consist of 2 e-mailed tests and a live interview. I passed test 1 but failed on the 2nd, despite it being my belief that I did pretty decent.

The worst part is that I put much dedication into it and I really can't realize exactly where I could have failed so badly. Obviously their response was very vague and standard("it shows promise but isn't quite the of the level we were expecting"), and if I am to improve my skills, I would quite frankly need a review from within, preferrably from someone who works in the field. I've attached the test to this post.

Thank you for the time and patience in advance.

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Honestly, you can fail these sorts of subjective tests for any reason, or no reason at all -- its unfortunate, but a subjective judgment is essentially unfair -- or rather, cannot be perfectly fair -- by definition. The people who usually end up winning out in these types of tests are those that, for whatever reason, managed to impress the crap out of one or two people in the hiring comity, and made those people their champion. From that point on, its largely a matter of who's champion was most persuasive. You might have failed to recruit a champion, or maybe you did but they were out of town or in another meeting at some critical juncture.

Another reason you might have fallen short is your youth -- Its not very typical for a person with no experience to enter into these sorts of design roles, and although being aware of games is important for any type of design role, no amount of exposure as a player amounts to tangible experience as a designer. In other words, just because I've been to a lot of museums, doesn't make me an artist, because that experience in and of itself doesn't bring me any closer to *executing* as an artist.

Finally, from my brief review of your design, it doesn't look to be entirely shallow, however, in these types of tests, what the critiquing panel is usually looking for are an ability to follow directions, creativity, and indicators that you are thinking about the practice of this craft at a sufficiently-deep level. As a professional technical writer, I have to think about all kinds of issues that are part of "the big picture" but which come out in the implementation of a particular document -- for example, I have to maintain the professional tone that is set out in our style guidance at all times; I have to be aware of the progression of the reader not only within my documents, but within the larger collection of documentation; I have to always keep in mind who my audience is, what their goal is, and what skills or biases they bring to the table; I have to be generally aware of how localization will affect my content, such as how in some languages it can be difficult or impossible to infer the subject, as is the norm in English, or how my diagrams need to leave plenty of room for text if they're going to be localized into, say, German. I also have to develop enough grasp and intuition about all these practices that I can contribute to higher-level decision-making around these types of topics.

One specific thing that jumped out at me from your design was the pacing -- it wasn't clear whether this level was meant to be early in the game, or later when the player had developed some skill, but your path immediately required the player to execute some kind of triple wall-kick in order to progress, and worse-still, there doesn't appear to be any alternative means of progressing. Since there is a time-component to achieving the goal, perhaps you should reward skilled players by providing the fast-path (or sometimes even just the "cool path" is reward enough) while also providing a means for less-skilled players to progress with some penalty to their time, or perhaps by having an alternate path that is more combat-centric vs. one which is stealthy but requires more dexterity of movement. In general, linearity may have been your Achilles's heel -- often times, the biggest challenge in any type of content production (I know I deal with this all the time in my writing) is being able to step back and think about how others are going to perceive/approach that content. Other people may not enjoy the same approach to game design that you do -- professionally, its not enough to create the kind of content that you, yourself find helpful or enjoyable; you have to produce content that a wide swath of others will find helpful or enjoyable.

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I'd take their stated reason as the truth: It isn't what they were expecting.

If you were unsure what they expected you could have asked for clarification.

You could follow up with them along these lines: "To help me improve, can you give me an example of what you were expecting?"

Considering their description and the tools they suggest, I don't believe your word doc is what they had in mind.

They specifically suggest a real map with separate 3D files and 2D files. To me this implies an actual rough 3D model or a carefully drawn 2D overhead. You provided embedded gifs that look like they came from scribbling in mspaint and are frankly not very clear.

They specifically requested "a series of images with text boxes explaining the components described above". That is not what you provided. You provided prose with explanatory images (not images with explanatory text).

In my mind I see an exported view of a block model from Maya with little text bubbles covering it if you were applying for a 3D level editing job requiring Maya or similar 3D packages. Or if you were applying for a more general design job, a more detailed overhead view or map like the level walkthroughs you find in the hints and cheats sections of game sites.

In my mind, I imagine something like http://www.gamefaqs....-xii/faqs/43190 or http://www.gamefaqs....cess/faqs/46864 or http://www.gamefaqs....cess/faqs/46615 or http://wiki.teamfort...in_overview.png or http://www.gamezebo....tal/walkthrough. Each of those are pretty clear at describing a various types of map flows and game puzzles.

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