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January 31, 2005 at 10:40 am #3749
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 ?
January 31, 2005 at 11:12 am #17404
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….
January 31, 2005 at 11:43 am #17405
Yeah, but its a bit of a misnomer, eh ?
January 31, 2005 at 12:00 pm #17406
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…
January 31, 2005 at 2:29 pm #17409
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. :)
January 31, 2005 at 5:09 pm #17413
And you forgot…they do the manual, cos no-one else has time to. [/quote:7de8184cea] naw… leave that one for the associate producer!
February 2, 2005 at 12:32 pm #17436
Producers are *******
Insert whatever 7 letter word you feel like. Mine begins with a ‘w’ :)
February 2, 2005 at 12:43 pm #17438
Tony, dare I ask what an associate producer does ?? ( other than the manual ;) )
My 7 letter word begins with “u”
February 2, 2005 at 1:53 pm #17440
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?
February 2, 2005 at 2:05 pm #17442
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… ;)
February 2, 2005 at 2:26 pm #17448
Producers are *******[/quote:3b0bf47989]
Sperior, perhaps? ;)
(Would have worked better if you’d given me eight!)
February 2, 2005 at 2:41 pm #17449
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
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.
February 2, 2005 at 4:35 pm #17457
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!)
February 2, 2005 at 5:38 pm #17461
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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