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Producers: What do they even do? Develop sat down with producers from studios of all sizes to discuss their central – but seldom discussed – role in a game’s development, and ask what’s next for their ever-changing responsibilities When Lana Zgombic of UK studio Chilled Mouse is asked by friends or family what her job is, the answer isn’t as simple as she would hope.

Producers: What do they even do?

The majority of Develop readers will have a general understanding of what an associate producer does, but beyond that? “I tell them it’s mostly a manager position,” she says. “It’s so much more but for them to understand, it’s simpler to say you’re in charge of things rather than listing all the little ways you help. They think all you do is Excel spreadsheets – which sometimes, yes, I do, but there’s so much more.” Zgombic is one of seven producers Develop and Testronic invited to Brighton last month to discuss their role. Auroch Digital producer Peter Willington adds: “It’s about helping talented people do their very best work. “Being positive helps. Mark Kilborn's Blog - What I've Learned About Management.

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.

Mark Kilborn's Blog - What I've Learned About Management

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. I've been the Audio Director at Raven Software for about two years now. At 32, with about 7 years of experience in the industry, I'm one of the youngest Audio Directors I know. Prior to my position here I'd been in an audio lead position on a project before, but "lead" really meant "only person. " I was never managing a team. So I've been making it up as I go along: absorbing ideas I see in books, getting tips from other department directors and Audio Directors at other studios, and generally just trying to follow my instincts. I am not the grizzled veteran Audio Director with two decades behind me, so I’m sure there are other perspectives and better ways out there.

I'm ripping a quote from the leaked Valve handbook. In Raven Audio, there are a handful of traits we seek: You have zero ego. Blizzard Entertainment:Career Opportunities. Producers make Blizzard games and services the best they can be.

Blizzard Entertainment:Career Opportunities

Producers keep creators from disparate backgrounds speaking the same language, and monitor complex efforts that span multiple regions across the globe. A producer’s primary goal is to keep fellow team members free of impediments that could impair their work. Blizzard producers aren’t “in charge”—instead, with project management tools, tremendous empathy, and team-wide communication, they’re the life-saving handhold in the hurricane of game development. Producers make sure no stone is left unturned, no checklist is left ignored, no deadline is missed or rushed. Blizzard production prides itself on keeping engineers coding, artists drawing, and designers making fun game systems. When they’re polishing the fourth pass of a level or the latest UI revision, they’ll thank you for it.

Kain Shin's Blog - About Entry-level Producer Positions... About Entry-level Producer Positions...

Kain Shin's Blog - About Entry-level Producer Positions...

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. I sense a disturbing trend amongst some of the fresh graduates lately. A lot of kids are coming my way that fit a specific archetype: nice, smart, passionate, and utterly screwed by the false expectations fed to them by their educational institutions. They have spent at least four years and their reserve of educational funds following a producer track at a school that offers a producer track for the video games industry.

When they graduate, they will be fighting for positions that make up the smallest ratio of head count on a development team when compared to programmers, artists, designers, audio engineers, and QA. I would like to make the following potentially controversial assertion: Master them all... to become Lion-O! “The Door Problem” “So what does a game designer do?

“The Door Problem”

Are you an artist? Do you design characters and write the story? Or no, wait, you’re a programmer?” Game design is one of those nebulous terms to people outside the game industry that’s about as clear as the “astrophysicist” job title is to me. Matt Powers's Blog - Producerland (part 2 of 3) The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.

Matt Powers's Blog - Producerland (part 2 of 3)

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Welcome to Producerland - a three part series sharing tips on being a producer and stories from the field. Producerland defines "10 Rules" for producers and shares stories that cover "easpouse", Unreal, Medal of Honor, Infinity Ward, and many more. This is the second part of three. Matt Powers's Blog - Producerland (part 1 of 3) The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.

Matt Powers's Blog - Producerland (part 1 of 3)

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Welcome to Producerland - a three part series sharing tips on being a producer and stories from the field. Producerland defines "10 Rules" for producers and shares stories that cover "easpouse", Unreal, Medal of Honor, Infinity Ward, and many more. The 3 parts of Producerland will be posted over the next week. PRODUCERLAND - PART 1 of 3 In the movie Zombieland our hero creates "rules" to assist in his survival during the zombie apocalypse. I have always been a big fan of anything zombie related. While rules such as "double-tap" or "always check the back seat" may not be exactly applicable to video game production there are rules I have found in my years that I believe have helped me being a producer. Zombieland fact: The rules I have come up with for producers are not hard and fast.

Ernst ten Bosch's Blog - What Makes a Good Game Producer? Part 1. Ernst ten Bosch's Blog - What Makes a Good Game Producer? Part 2.