Hello, my team  and I have been practicing for our Game Design Challenge interview. We were wondering what would be good practice questions for the questioning period of the interview. Will they be general questions on the game or would they be more unexpected.
You might take a look at the list of awards. The judges are there to allow you to share your designs but also to get direct input to see if you qualify for an award. Are there awards you’d like your design to be considered for? What types of questions might the judges ask to get at that information? The questions will (likely) be targeted to fill in additional info specific to your submission materials. Often, judges ask question about the process: what alternatives were considered? How did you make decisions? What testing/design were you able to do? What features were most challenging? What might you do differently with the additional knowledge/experience you have now?
I’ll take a stab at some questions. Note I am not a GDC judge. I have been on both sides of judging interviews for the majority of my life, but still, use at your own risk.
You may have picked up during pit interviews that the traditional source of questions is literally just the award descriptions. If you think about it, judges have a lot of information to gather for decisions to make and not a lot of time to do it in. So here’s my hot take for GDC awards judging:
- Why did you choose this game? …Please describe your engineering design process.
- How are your field components designed to function together and with robots?*
- Can you explain the depth of strategies for your game? …How can robots with different capabilities play it?
- What makes this game design unique? …How does that integrate with your competition objectives?
- What makes your game design realistic? …How did you analyze/think this through?
- How did you develop and integrate your visuals? …Can we see more of your branding content (storylines, teasers, animations, artwork, swag, etc.)
Remember, you can make this easier by answering a lot of what’s in the award descriptions in your own submissions before the Q&A portion even starts!
Another skill we teach our “judge whispers” is to target awards they want and “pivot” back to them. In this case, e.g. if Imagery is not your strong suit, something like, “We didn’t have a lot of bandwidth for extra imagery, but we’re really proud of this CAD representation of our unique/realistic X…”. YMMV, but regardless use your time wisely.
'* I don’t really get this question myself, but maybe it’s covered more clearly in training? Or in a team resource I didn’t catch. Anyone?
I will take a stab at this. In Deep space, there was an issue where the hatch covers would get stuck in the player station. Another issue in the same game was the cargo would be different sizes depending on how inflated they were. Both of these situations caused unintended stress and complexity in the game (I am sure you can look to find threads about it here on CD).
I wonder if they want us to consider how elements interact with each other smoothly and robots interact with game elements to ensure the challenge is consistently what the designers and players expect.
They used the example of picking up a cylinder as a task that seems easy, but is actually difficult. I am not positive that is the intent as I am not a judge either, but that is how we interpreted it.
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