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This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  omen 12 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #3749

    omen
    Participant

    Do we have have any producers on the forum ?

    And why are producers called producers? They are the part of the game making process that actually produce nothing for the game, except useless paperwork, or am I missing the point somewhere ?

  • #17404

    Nooptical
    Participant

    Producers are like project managers if I’m not mistaken. I think its just a term taken from the movie world, where producers basically manage the production, try to keep it on schedule, budget etc….

  • #17405

    omen
    Participant

    Yeah, but its a bit of a misnomer, eh ?
    ;)

  • #17406

    Idora
    Participant

    Yeah, but its a bit of a misnomer, eh ?[/quote:67f677180d] not really – we also ‘produce’ the budget, without which… well, you get the point ;)

    there are many ‘flavours’ of producer (and I’m not including the assistant, associate and executive types here). But mainly they have 3 roles:

    design/creative sourcing and creating new IP, shepherding and protecting the game’s ‘vision’, shaping an IP to find a better niche within a given market

    business liaising with both management and publishers, pitching concepts and finding funding, tracking market trends, etc.

    pure production budgeting, scheduling, tracking, reporting, hiring, training and people management

    Prooducers are generally the project lead and thus responsible for every facet of a game’s ultimate success or failure. That’s the theory… what generally tends to happen is that if a project goes well ‘the team did a great job’. If it goes badly, ‘it was the producer’s fault’!! (That’s the perception anyway)

    Also, a producer is generally the first person onto a new project and the last person to leave it…

  • #17409

    omen
    Participant

    D’oh, forgot you were a producer Tony. Thought you were a studio manager for some reason.

    And you forgot…they do the manual, cos no-one else has time to. :)

  • #17413

    Idora
    Participant

    And you forgot…they do the manual, cos no-one else has time to. [/quote:7de8184cea] naw… leave that one for the associate producer!

  • #17436

    kyotokid
    Keymaster

    Producers are *******

    Insert whatever 7 letter word you feel like. Mine begins with a ‘w’ :)

  • #17438

    omen
    Participant

    Tony, dare I ask what an associate producer does ?? ( other than the manual ;) )

    My 7 letter word begins with “u”

  • #17440

    mal
    Participant

    I can get the ‘w’ one ( wndrful I think it is ;) ), but am not sure about the ‘u’ ( I’ve led a sheltered life me! )

    Could I have another vowel or constenant please, omen?

    Mal

  • #17442

    Nooptical
    Participant

    Usurper

    to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right <usurp a throne> b : to take or make use of without right <usurped the rights to her life story>

    Sounds about right… ;)

  • #17448

    Ronny
    Participant

    Producers are *******[/quote:3b0bf47989]
    Sperior, perhaps? ;)

    (Would have worked better if you’d given me eight!)

  • #17449

    mal
    Participant

    This has got me thinking a bit, as to what a good producer should do.

    Obviously this depends on the size of the teams ( on a smaller team, the producer will probably be involved mouse-on with part of the actual production ).

    I’m going to assume a > 5 team here.

    A producer should be the link between the business side and the creative side of running a games team.

    They should ensure that the development team is meeting targets.

    They should ensure the team has all of the resources required to meet these targets.

    They should ensure that the targets begin set are feasible, and are not suddenly changed to being infeasible by upper management, accounting, marketing etc.

    They should have a previous skill in either the art or technical side of developing a game, and an appreciation of the one they don’t have. This will aid them in knowing if a project is on track.

    They should not have more than two of these hats…
    – producer ( ie ensure team is meeting, and have the resources to meet, targets ). An obvious one, being a producer, but a lot of producers don’t wear this hat. This hat should be glued to a producer.

    OK, onto the other hats.
    – head designer
    – manager
    – marketeer

    Having too many hats may, from my previous experience…

    a) will start to heat up the head of the producer, and as a result swell it beyond recognition

    b) will cover their ears, so they don’t listen to what other members of the team are saying

    c) will cause the real designers of the game ( the team members, and the real lead designers ) to feel that their views aren’t being taken on board, thus lowering team morale

    and worst of all..

    d) cause the producer to renage on their primary role as a producer ( see above ), putting the team in a position where they are not confident that they are meeting the targets, or even what the targets are.

    I’ve worked on over 6 released PC and console games, and have had quite a few different producers, some of which have been great, and some not-so-great. The team itself always pulls through, irrelevant of the producers skills or lack thereof, but having a good producer can make all the difference at crunch times and right at the end of a project.

    Mal

  • #17457

    Idora
    Participant

    Tony, dare I ask what an associate producer does ?? ( other than the manual )[/quote:cbbdcab923] this really depends on the studio and the project….

    some studios have one Associate Producer per SKU, with the whole project being overseen by a Producer

    We’re hiring an AP from a studio in LA at the moment – and her responsibilites will be scheduling and task tracking only

    I pretty much agree with most of what Mal said above. The number and type of responsibilities are less important then the number of roles in my experience. Very few people can perform well in 3 or more roles; two seems to be the limit for most, while some are best suited to focussing solely on a single job. Production roles are all about multi-tasking and problem solving, as much as planning

    I would also add that the games industry is famous for its lack of project and people management skills – which is probably why so many of you have nothing good to say about your producers (Having said that the folks in Torc may well feel the same way about me ;) ). In general, I would say that if you do not finish a project feeling that your producer has protected both you and the integrity of the project from unrealistic deadlines and work schedules, then then there’s trouble at mill basically…

    Of course, producers only have so much power in the end. Management will always have the last word. (At this point it may be worth noting that from a developers’ point of view, Producers are management – and to management’s point of view Producers are developers…. piggy in the middle doesn’t cover it!)

  • #17461

    omen
    Participant

    At this point it may be worth noting that from a developers’ point of view, Producers are management – and to management’s point of view Producers are developers[/quote:96690a0a40]
    Wow…I didn’t know management thought of producers as developers. Guess that explains a few things though…

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