UAT Game Studio Producer
In the beginning . . . .
Early in my career, I’ve had the luxury of adapting to new spaces in the Media Arts world. I’ve held a variety of positions that consist of Game Artists, Web Designer, Graphic Designer, Compositor and Art Director.
Learning and adapting to new positions helped me understand what it takes to master the trade. I was able to dive into any position and know what deliverables and skills it takes to deliver the product at hand.
Having the experience as a multimedia artists helped me evolve into a Art Director role. I adapted to the position almost seamlessly. I was able to manage my art team, set them on strict schedule, motivate them and intervene with any trouble shooting.
I figured if I’m able to manage experts in the field then I could manage young aspiring students with ease. This is when I left the industry and fled into the educational space. Being an educator has helped me learn a lot about management, I’m able to strategically adapt to learning needs and help with any obstacles.
I’ve never been in a Producers role, I do however have many experiences with management and feel confident about my new position. Excited to take on this journey and the new challenges that await.
The roles of a producer
According to Dave Perry’s keynote speech at GDC (2004) a Video Game Producer is an individual
- Whose primary focus is on the delivery of the video game as a complete project.
- Who knows every person on the team by his or her first name.
- Who works late with the team and is available to provide guidance whenever necessary, anytime, day or night.
- Who clearly communicates with anyone who can affect the game, positively or negatively, as it is the game producer’s responsibility to bring everyone into the fold of game production.
- Who runs interference with anyone who can affect the game or otherwise sidetrack the product.
- Who does everything possible to sell, promote, and protect the game and the team.
- Who has the complete confidence that he or she can cross any obstacle to face any challenge.
- Who does whatever it takes to help the team deliver the game.
Considering Dave Perry’s outline, I will dissect each section by sharing my experiences, leadership and strategies as I move into this role.
Primary focus-Delivering a completed project
In videogame development, I understand it takes several iterations to produce a completed project. Seeing that the is in its early stages of development, my goal for the next 6 weeks is to have the team produce at least 1 functioning/polished level.
Emphasis is on the first level, is to teach the player basic game mechanics and have them immersed with the narrative driven storyline.
Display aesthetically pleasing worlds and characters; bring in art as a point of attraction to the player.
Know your team
I’m a firm believer that in order to have a dedicated, disciplined and motivated team you have to establish a personable relationship with them inside and outside of development.
This does not mean “get into their business” but more or less get to know who they are.
- What are their hobbies?
- Where are they from?
- Family upbringings.
- Academic and industry experiences.
Availability and Mentorship
I have had the privilege to get to know my team, particularly the art team. I have established a relationship with them and know their strengths and weaknesses.
I’ve created a set schedule with the following personal.
- Project lead – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Public Relations – Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Development team- Fridays
If and when obstacles occur, the team has all my contact information where I can intervene and help with any technical or management issues at hand.
Since I have experience in development, I want to mentor the team and instruct them to work smarter not harder. I’ll provide the best management strategies to have the team set up for success.
Communication is one of the many measures for success. Currently the development team and I have set up several outlets for effective communication.
Assembla - Used as an application for management, guidance and communication
Google Drive - Used as an application to have access to content.
Facebook Group Page - Used as an application to have social media presence
Slack – Used as an application to have presence with the entire game studio.
Intervene during hardship
With my management background, I’m able to intervene if any interference with development occurs.
If there's an individual or party that is hindering the project in any way, I will talk to the to the party privately and discuss alternatives, plan of actions or remove them entirely form the project.
One of my many goals is to create a friendly environment that will help motivate and encourage the team to produce at an exceptional level.
Create presence for the company, game and team.
- Company Website – Link game to website and team members.
- Social Media – Create Facebook , Twitter and YouTube outlets.
- Published Articles – Contact local agencies to highlight the companies strengths.
I will be playing a MAJOR role in this space, I have a background and experience with Web Design, Graphic Design, and Advertising. I will utilize my extensive knowledge by providing the team with much visibility as possible.
Confidence is a key role to play when mentoring a team. If you exude confidence, the team will feel comfortable and immediately adapt to your presence.
If and when obstacles occur, it is my duty to make impactful decisions that will benefit the team in the long run.
Inheriting confidence will make me believe in myself and make my team believe in me.
Shipping-Delivering the game
As a producer, I understand this is one of the many goals and dreams to have. Having a shipped title under your belt shows that you were effectively able to manage a team and release a functioning product.
Seeing that I’ll be in this role for 7 weeks, I have to be realistic. There is no possible way to have this game completed with the time allotted. My goal is to have my team release a polished level, where they’re able to test it into the marketplace.
This approach will set them up for success and help them understanding their audience and markets.
With a test market, marketing platforms established and effective management, I’m confident that I will place the team in a path for success.