Publishing² ~ The Traits of an Employee
I haven’t actually been taking notes throughout the day on this topic. It’s been brewing in my brain alongside that warm thumping of pain in my abdomen. But I think I have an idea of what we are looking to work with. Lets see what becomes of this little project!
The number of traits that we will be covering must sum up to a number that produces a polygon at least as large as a pentagon and going up to as large as a dodecagon. I don’t think 12 is necessary but I want to make sure I can represent these features in a simple shape that people will find visually appealing. I’m going to start spit balling out traits I find interesting and see how many we end up with.
A primary trait is one that is deeply ingrained in the employee. These are unlikely the change no matter what you do during the game.
Emotional Stability – This trait would dictate how quickly a person is influenced by outside agents. If the environment is becoming more caustic (or less caustic) this value is important because it dictates how long it will take them to be influenced by it. I don’t believe I want this to impact both directions equally. Someone who is very mentally stable would presumably take longer to succumb to the horrors of bad leadership but would rebound quickly I think. Someone who has a low emotional stability level would react quickly to the bad leadership and recover much more slowly. In a game about emotions and healthy productive employees this is probably the most important trait.
Creativity – How adaptable is your employee? When a new challenge approaches how likely are they to have a solution to that problem? An employee with a high creativity index is going to be your best bet for putting on complicated tasks or problem solving. They might not always have the right answer but they will at least provide bonuses towards accomplishing the task.
Intelligence – Simply put how well does your employee handle data? When a situation starts happening with their product how likely are they to catch it if you have them handling number tracking. Intelligent employees work well with creative employees and if you hire employees that have both of these traits you are likely to build a strong cabinet. I’m lumping in Wisdom and Intelligence so you can just presume that a character with high Intelligence will also be able to apply their skills like someone who is wise.
Ego – How confident is the employee? This isn’t always necessarily a negative thing. This is more of a market to help you decide where to place the employee in the room. It is unlikely that you want to be placing characters with high ego around characters with low emotional stability. You also don’t want to be hiring characters with low intelligence and high ego. They’ll be highly likely to swindle the company or hook up friends in game to prove they have power. Additionally they will be the hardest to teach important business skills because they will not accept that they do not already know them.
Friendliness – An employee with a low friendliness quotient is going to be very mean. When your company is looking to hire upper management positions this will be a difficult value to find high. This may be incentive for your company to push for inside advancement. Employees with low friendliness will be abusive and pairing them with employees who have low emotional stability or high ego (or both) will create high levels of tension and complications.
A secondary trait is something you can teach or train and it is less important. These are often mistaken in interviews as things that are important or crucial to a hire. You can often figure out just how bad a place is managed by how much of these traits they deem critical to the hire.
Technical Skills – How much does this employee already know about the technical side of game publishing? This trait gives you an idea of how likely they will be able to answer support tickets on the first try. An employee with low technical skills can be trained and if their primary traits are balanced properly this hurdle may only hold them back for a short while. I’ve seen employees with 0 technical skills do quite well in publishing. I’ve also seen employees with high technical skills do absolutely terribly.
Enthusiasm – Otherwise known as drive, enthusiasm is how self motivated an employee is. Employees with low enthusiasm should be paired with leaders who have high friendliness numbers and a medium to high creative and intelligence level. They should be kept as far away as possible from other low enthusiasm employees and should never be left anywhere near low intelligence or low friendliness employees.
Social Skills – The ability for a character to interact with others. This can be seen more as the likelihood that they will engage in conversation (either spoken or text) rather than how well they do it. A character who has very low friendliness but also low social skills will likely be invisible to other employees because their seething hatred for everyone around them will be a mystery. Naturally you can improve this but be careful who you give the confidence to be vocal.
So those are what I’ve got thus far. I would also like to add a single or double line random “perk” system. This would go in later and would add things like specific talents. A character with expertise in Photoshop could be good on a game that has a small team or no graphics team. You might be thinking to yourself “Who would license a game that has no graphics team?”
If you are thinking that to yourself you haven’t worked in game publishing.
I don’t necessarily believe the above traits are the only things that are important when trying to hire people or working with people. I’m not even sure if they are what I will fall on when I get to work on the game. Maybe I’ll notice that trait X is too hard to quantify in game or that Y is more important.
We have our emotions and our “human trait” system. Tomorrow I’m going to examine both and see how they interact and provide a few scenarios to see how viable this system would be.