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Amanda Wixted谈在Zynga工作生涯及未来计划编辑本段回目录

Amanda Wixted拒绝了Instagram早前向其提供的职位,这原本能够让她在公司得到数百万美元(游戏邦注:该公司以12亿美元出售给Facebook)。

但Wixted并没有因此而感到遗憾。她已在自己的事业上取得突出成就。

她是Zynga的第75位员工,是公司手机游戏团队的首位成员。如今Zynga手机游戏团队规模已增至好几百人。

在加入Zynga之前,Wixted曾为Namco推出首款iPhone版《吃豆人》。

在本访谈中,Wixted主要谈论Zynga的早期阶段,自己的杰出事业及未来计划。

amanda wixted from businessinsider.com

amanda wixted from businessinsider.com

你什么时候加入Zynga?

2008年10月。我是公司的第75位员工——当天和我一起入职的还有其他16位成员,所以其实我很难判断自己究竟是第几位员工。

我是首个加入手机团队的成员,所以我参与Zynga所有的手机项目,直到1年前自己离开公司。

目前Zynga在Facebook业务中占据重要位置。据Facebook的S-1报告显示,公司约有12%的收益来自Zynga。

其实我很惊讶此数值竟然只有12%。在Zynga,我们所有的交易都是围绕Facebook。我们有在其他平台推出几款游戏,但Facebook是我们的核心平台。

这也体现在Zynga在手机业务中吗?这些作品是否都是针对Facebook开发的?

手机领域如今越来越清楚什么内容适合这一平台,因为这和网页游戏开发截然不同。从起初加入到我离开公司的前6个月,手机团队一直都是10位成员左右,现在我猜人数已发展至数百人——我不确定。Zyng的手机业务无疑得到突飞猛进的发展。

你最终是如何选择进入科技领域的?

我在图森的亚利桑那大学念书,毕业后有家小型游戏初创公司刚和诺基亚签订协议。他们广泛招募人员,所以毕业后我就凑巧在游戏领域谋到职位。许多想要成为游戏设计师的人士付出多年努力才最终得以进入这一行业,而且最终经常以失败告终;而我是恰好赶上了天时地利(游戏邦注:这家公司最终卖给索尼)。

随后我转移到圣何塞,加入Namco Networks。我参与制作iPhone版《吃豆人》和《Ms. Pacman》,这两款作品于2007年入驻iPhone(也许是2008年)。

你是否一直就对电脑和编码感兴趣?

我是长大后才逐渐对电脑感兴趣,但我直到进入大学才知道编程是什么。

我原本打算学习舞蹈专业,但我发现舞蹈专业的施展空间非常有限。我很清楚自己并不想成为专业舞者,我也不想教别人跳舞。

我还在大学第一学期学习微积分课程,我的很多朋友都是计算机科学专业。在我们的学习小组中,当他们全都在做课外作业时,我多半都在问:“嗨,这是什么?告诉我这是什么——我以前完全没见过。”第二个学期,我修了计算机科学,完全着迷其中。

你最初是如何发现Zynga的?

我后来搬到旧金山,开始替Zynga效力。他们起初聘用我时,我从没听说过Zynga,因为他们当时规模很小,还没推出那么多的热门游戏,但他们最终取得突出成绩。他们有款游戏在Facebook评价相当高,MAU数量置于首位,所以我想加入他们,协助他们组建手机团队应该是明智选择。

自2008年来,公司的手机业务就处于迅猛发展之中,所以你现在应该是个“抢手货”。什么促使你留在Zynga?

我猜有很多方面。我接触到的一直都是手机版《德州扑克》、手机版《黑手党战争》、《Scramble》及《Farmville》之类的优秀项目。

无疑有很多公司力邀我加入他们。Instagram就是其中之一,但我回绝了,因为我喜欢呆在Zynga。

工作非常棘手。Zynga的日子并不轻松,因为它发展很快;人员都是新的,结构也处于持续变化中。

但项目的艰难性令整个工作趣味横生。所有人员都充满激情,才华出众,是我遇到过最棒的团队。

你为什么拒绝Instagram?

我觉得游戏编码的复杂性远超过其他内容。编写照片应用或Instagram之类的内容一个月左右就可以完成。

客户端也没那么复杂。Instagram的服务器端会更棘手,因为它需要大范围延伸,但客户端就没那么复杂。游戏的挑战性要高很多。所以这就是我决定留在游戏领域的原因。

Zynga首次公开募股是什么样一种情况?当时你是否在场?

没有,我1年前就离开了,去年5月,所以是在公司首次公开募股之前。

我兄弟目前在Zynga任职,公司首次公开募股时,他有在场。我记得那是他上班的第一个礼拜。

你为什么离开Zynga,转战纽约?

我男朋友在这里创办了一家公司。他的名字是Timothy Fitz,他和Chris Poole一起创办了Canvas。

但我离开Zynga的原因是想要创办自己的公司。我们前往纽约,然后6个月后,我遇见了我工作室的联合创始人。我共同创建了游戏公司Turf Geography Club,公司很快就会开始运作。

你现在已离开Turf?下步打算是什么?

是的,我已经离开,目前我在和几家公司商谈。我在等待下个大型项目,下个优秀团队。

我不知道这会是个怎样的商业构思,但肯定和手机领域有关,多半会和游戏挂钩,一定是个很棒的项目。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,作者:Alyson Shontell )

Meet Amanda Wixted, An Early Zynga Employee And The Most Eligible Mobile Talent In New York

By Alyson Shontell

Amanda Wixted turned down an early position at Instagram that could have netted her millions of dollars when it sold to Facebook for $1.2 billion.

But Wixted wasn’t fazed. She’s already had an amazingly successful career anyone would kill for.

She was Zynga’s 75th employee and the first on its mobile team. Now the mobile division has a few hundred people.

Before Zynga, Wixted help create the first version of Pacman for Namco on the iPhone.

Wixted spoke with us about Zynga’s early days, her awesome career, and what she’s planning to do next.

Here’s the (lightly edited) Q&A:

Business Insider: When did you join Zynga?

Amanda Wixted (AW): I joined Zynga in October 2008. I was the 75th employee (I think) — 16 people started the same day as I did, so it’s kind of hard to tell what number I was.

I was the first person hired for the mobile team, so I worked on all the mobile titles that Zynga’s done up until I left about a year ago.

Zynga is such a big part of Facebook’s business now. Facebook’s S-1 reported about 12% of its revenue came from Zynga.

AW: I was actually surprised it wasn’t more. Being at Zynga, our whole deal was Facebook. We had a couple games on other platforms, but Facebook turned out to be the dominant platform that we developed for.

Is that true even of Zynga’s mobile games? Are they all made with Facebook in mind?

AW: The mobile scene has been getting better at figuring out what works on mobile because it’s totally different from developing for the web. When I started, up until about six months before I left, the mobile team was about ten people and now I think it’s in the hundreds—I’m not sure. Mobile is definitely blowing up at Zynga.

How did you end up in the tech scene?

AW: I went to University of Arizona in Tuscon and after I graduated there was a small games startup that had just landed a deal with Nokia. It was hiring aggressively so I kind of lucked into getting a job in the game industry right out of college. Most people who want to be game developers try for years to break into the industry and often can’t do it; I was in the right place at the right time. That company later sold to Sony.

I moved to San Jose and worked for Namco Networks. I worked on Pacman and Ms. Pacman for the iPhone, and those were out on iPhone launch day, 2007 (2008 maybe).

AS: Have you always been interested in computers and coding?

AW: I was definitely into computers growing up but I didn’t even know what programming was until I got into college.

I was planning on being a dance major but I figured out there’s not much you can do with a dance degree. I knew I wasn’t going to be a professional dancer and I didn’t want to teach dance.

I was also taking calculus my first semester at college and a bunch of my friends were computer science majors. In our study group they’d all be working on homework and I was like, “Hey, what’s that? Show me what this is—I’ve never seen anything like it.” The next semester I took a computer science course and completely fell in love with it.

How’d you find Zynga?

AW: I moved out to San Francisco and started working for Zynga. When they recruited me I had never heard of Zynga before because they were so small and didn’t have that many popular games yet,but they were definitely on track to do really well. They had one of the highest rated games on Facebook with the most monthly active players, so I figured it would be a good bet for me to go there and start them help the mobile team.

Since 2008 mobile has blown up, so you must have been a pretty hot commodity. What kept you at Zynga?

AW: I guess a lot of things. I was always working on cool projects like mobile poker, mobile Mafia Wars, Scramble and Farmville.

I definitely got a lot of calls from  people asking me to come join their companies. Instagram was one of those companies but I said no because I liked being at Zynga so much.

And it was hard. Zynga is a really hard place to work because it’s always grown so quickly; everyone there is new and the structure was always in flux.

But, the kinds of projects we were working on were so difficult that it made it really fun to be there and do that kind of work all day. And everyone who works there is super motivated and smart, and I’ve never worked anywhere else that had that caliber of people.

Why’d you turn down Instagram?

AW: I think games are harder to code than anything else. Writing a photo app or something like Instagram can be done in one month or something.

The client side is not that hard. The server side of Instagram is much harder because it had to scale so much, but client side is not hard at all. Games are way more challenging. So that’s why I decided to stay in games.

What was it like when Zynga IPO’d? Were you there?

AW: No, I left about a year ago, last May, so it was before the IPO was announced.

My brother actually works for Zynga now and he was there during the IPO. I think it was his first week.

Why did you leave Zynga and come to New York?

AW: My boyfriend started a company here. His name is Timothy Fitz, and he started Canvas with Chris Poole.

But the reason I left Zynga was to start my own company. We moved out to New York and then about six months later I met the person who was my co-founder. We a game company called Turf Geography Club that is going to launch soon.

You’re not working on Turf anymore? What’s next?

AW: No. Now I’m consulting with a couple of different companies. I’m definitely waiting for the next big idea to come along and the next founding team I’d like to join.

I don’t have any idea what that business idea might be, but something in the mobile space, probably game-related, and something awesome.(Source:businessinsider

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