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Advice on becoming a producer

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Hi, this is my first post here and I'm hoping to get some advice. 

My background is in marketing, specifically digital marketing and SEO, and for the past 2 years I have been working as an Agile Product Owner in software development.

I've been wanting to go into Game Production for years, and have been told that my skills are transferable; particularly product management and project management, the outsourcing I did whilst a marketing/web dev contractor, stakeholder engagement, technical communication and cross functional team management. Aside from my professional career, I'm quite creative though in recent years I'm craving this more and more and can't shake the feeling that I'm not happy doing what I'm doing now and that I really want to be working in games. 

I've been a gamer and a geek since a young age, and professional fulfillment is really important to me. I crave working on things I'm passionate about. Sometimes I feel like I'm being greedy or naive by wanting this, but I'm starting to realise there's nothing wrong in that want. Some people are just built that way. Also, I'm approaching 30 and getting this horrid feeling it's all too late to change, so really just looking for some advice. 

At a gaming event a while back, someone recommended that I speak to game developers who might be in need of a producer and do some work for free to gain experience. I'm just about to take the leap and ask around (so if anyone has advice on that beyond me posting in some game developer forums - my next task - I'd be most grateful!). Production advice articles also mention trying to create a simple game myself to get a feel of the mechanics, which I'm excited to do, and also learn to code, which I can (at a reasonable level), albeit web development languages rather than gaming code languages. 

Like others on here, I have a strong passion and a very strong will to succeed once I know my direction. I really feel like my professional and personal skillset is a match and I just want to make this happen - and if nothing else, just to chat to some like minded folk regarding their experiences.

Thanks in advance for any advice / feedback!

 

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Sounds like you've got the production skills experience that you need, but are missing game development experience? 

Yeah, volunteering with hobby teams could be helpful, or contracting for super cheap with small indie teams, just to get used to these particular skillsets and how they interact... However, these small teams won't operate the same as a professional team  and often won't know the value of a good producer :(

It could also be useful to get your hands dirty on some actual development, whether that's scripting some game logic or making terrible artwork. Often modding an existing game that you like (one with modding tools / community) is an easy way to ease into that, as you can tweak small things without understanding the big picture of how they work. This can also help give an idea of how assets for that kind of game were made, and the kind of work a producer would be trying to organise. 

More than once in gamdev I've seen producers realize that some task has no ownership, their team is already over capacity, so they get their hands dirty and start doing dev too ;) Often these tasks are "modding" level ones, like rearranging assets, making small tweaks to scripts, editing spreadsheets/tables of data.

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Thanks so much for your replies and advice.

Yes, it's the gaming experience I need - and I'm itching to get it! I will follow your advice above and seek out those opportunities. I'm not opposed to getting my hands dirty so I'm totally up for getting stuck in to the things you've suggested above. 

 

Thanks again - my fear was that I'd be told it's unacheivable and I'd have to keep using the skills I've honed in industries I have no passion for! I'm pretty excited to move this forward now. 

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