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Value for a Team as Producer

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Hi,

 

I'm a new member to the forums looking to land a job as a producer in the games industry once I graduate from my Masters and I had a couple questions I wanted to ask. What would you say are the most desirable qualities for a producer in a team? What would you say is most important for them to bring to a project? And if looking through a portfolio of a producer, what would you look for?

 

Apologies for the large number of questions but as I'm developing my portfolio, I would like to know how to tailor it and create it for the industry.

Edited by CameronH

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For the title of producer, the first thing I'd look for is experience producing games professionally.
I'd look at the titles, find out who developed those games, and I'd contact those developers to
inquire about the candidate.

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Ah, thanks. So before I have the experience, would you recommend I go through another route such as QA or Design? I've developed prototypes in my spare time before as well as games for my course, but nothing has been commercially released so all my production experience has more been in a university environment.

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A producer, in my experience, is a project manager foremost. The sort of skills and experience I'd therefore look for, are:

  • project management and scheduling software
  • issue/bug tracking software (overlaps with the above)
  • software development methodologies (buzzwords like agile, scrum, kanban)
  • all-round familiarity with game development processes
  • previous shipped games
  • personal communication skills

Junior producers are much the same but with less scheduling and more general dogsbody tasks - i.e. you'll find yourself doing all the boring things that help other people to get their work done, such as fixing IT problems, ordering pizza for people working overtime, etc.

Edited by Kylotan

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By the way, your subject line is never reflected in the body of your question. "Value of a
Producer" and "the most desirable qualities for a producer" are entirely different things. It's
best to write a subject line that accurately summarizes the topic.

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What would you say are the most desirable qualities for a producer in a team?

1. Familiarity with management principles and tools

2. Ability to interact effectively  with diverse people (all backgrounds, all disciplines)

3. Humility/ being humble 

4. Able to motivate action

5. Time management

6. Genuine interest in helping people and organizations for it's own sake, not just means to an ends.

 

What would you say is most important for them to bring to a project?

 

The ability to facilitate and foster trust, respect, and productivity with limited/ general authority.

 

 

if looking through a portfolio of a producer, what would you look for?

 

1. Duration of commitment (in years)

2. # of people managed

3. Education specialties

4. Scope and scale of project

5. Demonstrated track record of management experience/ management studies

6. Communication proficiency across all platforms  (verbal & written)

7. Conflict resolution skills

8. Change management skills

9. Ownership of responsibility

10. Critical thinking and problem solving skills (especially in areas not their specialty)

11. Passion for continuous learning

12. A keen study of people/ psychology

13. Has passion for the process of making games, able to display that in contexts not  in direct interest.

14. Large network of people from both in and out of gamedev related fields.

15. How holistic and Consistent the pieces of the product look with each other

16. How clear the big picture of the product/ goal of the product is conveyed as a whole.

___________________________________

 

No producer should ever think to themselves, "This isn't in my job description, so I won't do it"

 

As someone who's Been doing it for 5-7  years now, there's so much more, we just scratched the surface.

 

For more info go:

 

 

or read the articles I wrote:

https://www.gamedev.net/resources/_/business/production-and-management/industry-producer-interview-project-job-analysis-of-a-games-producer-part-1-r4353

 

They are very long and in- depth, but here is an academic analysis.

 

Let me know if you have any specific  questions about  them.

Edited by GeneralJist

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Junior producers are much the same but with less scheduling and more general dogsbody tasks - i.e. you'll find yourself doing all the boring things that help other people to get their work done, such as fixing IT problems, ordering pizza for people working overtime, etc.

Yeah. A junior producer should be the kind of person who will proactively find something to do, regardless of what it is. That could mean helping QA, data entry on internationalisation spreadsheets, renaming old art assets to fit a new convention, tweaking a programmer's script to tune gameplay, or filling out TPS reports... As long as the team needs this stuff done, but isn't doing it, it will be appreciated.
There's also the real job of making sure the team has everything they need in order to maintain progress, but the above is quite a 'direct action' way of doing that.

This does require familiarity with all aspects of game development.

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^indeed.

A producer shouldn't be the expert in any discipline either, you don't need to know how to do everything, but you need to be able to know how everything works together.

 

In short, think of it like this:

Everyone on the dev team wants the highest standard for the product itself, production is meant to help do whatever it takes to unlock and make that possible.

 

Your standards of execution are on the talent, the process, the procedures, producers are meant to figure out how best to align all variables, find all roadblocks, get everyone on the page they are meant to be on, and ensure that the plans are being followed, the assets are where they need to be, and that all this is in budget and on schedule.

 

Whenever I interview a candidate for a management role, I make sure they understand their impact. That a mistake on this level (no matter how small), can turn into hours of extra work for everyone else.

 

That is a lot of responsibility, and those who may know, but not fully understand that are the ones who are not ready. 

 

Your job is often to do whatever needs to be done, so others don't have to. 

 

Producers are administrative specialists and gamedev generalists, where as how the dev team members are all specialists in their respective gamedev fields and not usually administrative at all.(And OFC, those creatives that are also admin get to be dpt leaders, etc.)

 

In general Tech, great engineers often don't make good managers, they do better staying in engineering, a producer's job would be to identify stuff like that, and make sure that their still satisfied in non management, despite their seniority,

Edited by GeneralJist

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