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Woland

The job of a Producer

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2. I guess what I was trying to say is that the Producer is not above the ball, but below it. He is making it, rolling downhill and everything, but if you ever made a ball big enough, you know that sooner or later it will be much too fast for you to catch up with it. A producer cannot lag behind, cannot even be nudging from the sides. He must be always a few steps ahead and in critical moments clone himself to be all around the ball. What you are presenting is an ideal state, where everything goes as planned and market doesn't change throughout the production of the game. This might be true for small projects, but for anything that takes over a year...

 

I took a liberty of commenting the snowball metaphor a bit more here:

  • Concept Phase - deciding to make a snowball and roll it (and hit a shed down at the bottom) - 100% agreed
  • Pre-production - making a snowball and pushing it until it rolls on its own - it may never be able to roll on its own, even if the pre-production was done by the book
  • Production - running to keep up, nudging the ball to control its direction (but not its speed). - speed is an important factor. The producer needs not only to control the speed, but also be able to deliver additional snow if there isn't enough on the way.
  • Post-production - impossible to exert control over the snowball at this point (producer's legs are tired - s/he is winded - ball is heavy, fast, practically beyond his/her control) - if the producer's legs are tired, he should have chosen another job. This isn't for sprinters, it's for guys who can run the marathon, then remember they left the oven on and run back.
  • After-market phase - the snowball has stopped; people come out of the shed (angry) - why angry? Maybe they wanted a snow delivery ^^

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Once a person actually gets into a company, the combination of terminology and methods at the tactical level are somewhat unique to that company - a corporate culture in effect.  It may take years with such a team to realize the opportunity to become a producer. If a person had the goal to be a producer, I believe that it would be one of the hardest positions to prepare and achieve it.  Reputation would critical.  Heavy emphasis on character traits demonstrated in things such as organizational and communication skills would be paramount, I would think.

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