Samantha is the producer/operating manager who handles all kinds of game-dev outsourcing and technical connections with SDK on different release platforms (iOS/Android). She has been working for 3 years at EA’s PopCap Shanghai. Previously, she worked in a variety of roles, from game designer to PM. She has shipped several game products in Console/PC Online/Web at PopCap Shanghai, Ubisoft Shanghai, Shanda, and Real Networks Beijing.
PLEASE NOTE THIS INTERVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED AUGUST 2015
Name: Juan Du (杜娟) (aka Samantha)
Vocation:Game Producer/Game Internal Dev- Outsource Operating Manager
Years of experience: 14 years and 7 months
Shipped game titles:
1999.07-2002.02: UBISOFT as level designer
– Donald Duck, PS 3D AVG
– Music Up, PC 2D RPG
– VIP, PS 3D Combo ACT
– Charles Angels, PS2 3D ACT
2004.05-2005.11: SHANDA as lead game designer
– Magic Land, PC MMORPG
2006.03-2007.11: Real Networks as Product and Project Manager
-Magic Academy, PC Game Hall Platform –MMOCG (3rd party co-dev)
-PAPA Zoo, PC Game Hall Platform –MMOCG(3rd party co-dev)
-25 Chinese Localized Standalone PopCap Games, PC Game Hall Platform- OCG(3rd party co-dev)
-Feeding Frenzy, PC Game Hall Platform- MMOCG(3rd party co-dev)
-Real Pets, PC MMO Casual Community Game(3rd party co-dev)
2007.11-present: PopCap Shanghai as Operating Project Manager
-Plants Vs Zombies, PC CHS Standalone
-Plants VS Zombies Street, PC Web SNS Game
-Zuma Blitz, PC Web SNS Game
-Bejeweled Blitz, PC Web SNS Game
-All the localized PopCap standalone PC games planting to TV Android system
-Bejeweled 1, Plants Vs Zombies 1: Android OS Mobile game planting to Win7 Mobile OS
-Plants Vs Zombies All Stars, iOS Mobile game SDK release
-Hero of Dragon Age China, iOS Mobile game SDK release
-Plants Vs Zombies Magic Book, iOS Mobile game SDK release
-Plants Vs Zombies Adventure of Chinese Phonics, iOS Mobile game (3rd party co-dev) SDK release
1. What are you currently reading and/or playing?
Plants Vs Zombies 2 iOS Game
2. First time you knew you wanted to work in games was…?
Oct. 1998 when I was in grade 4 of university.
3. What was your favorite mistake?
When acting as the lead game designer for an MMORPG for the first time, I created a quite long game characters’ animation list. I didn’t know it would heavily affect the game client loading speed, and it made serious challenges to game client size.
4. What was your favorite success?
Helping James [Gwertzman] to set up the PopCap Shanghai office in April 2008. James was my boss when I joined PopCap Seattle on Nov. 2007, and we were the 2-person team to start Shanghai PopCap.
Everything is new, and many unknown challenges were waiting for me at that time. It was not scary to me but very exciting.
5. What’s the best advice you ever got?
If you are not the expert when facing some problems or questions, find the right one to do it. The real challenge to you is not covering all the new things by yourself, but learning how to judge, estimate, find, or create the correct role to solve it in the proper way. And don’t try to make some un-professional changes to his/her proposal plan, even if you think it seems to be smart, but is actually the total opposite view in his/her eyes.
6. Share one thing few know about you.
I like to make my mind clear through Kendo practice, and joined the World Championship Tournament as a member of the China national team.
7. What’s one thing or trend you’re most excited about in the industry?
Games are produced as greatly as an art production, compared with its charming outlook. But in the process of being born, games are still quite struggling. It pushes you to keep exploring new ideas, new knowledge, new fields.
8. Anything else you want to add?
Choosing smart team members is very important.
Feel free to reblog with a link back to this post. If you are a lady dev who’d like to be profiled or would like to nominate one, please contact wigsig [at] igda [dot] org