Presentation date: 10/10/2011

A producer’s role is very dependent on what company they work for, and how big that company is. There can either be internal and external producers in a company; internal producers work closely with the third-party developers, and the external producers (often executive producers) work directly for the publisher. Most games are made through third-party developers, working with a publisher.

External producers may focus on overseeing several current projects at once, and working with various developers. I believe working as an executive producer would prove to be extremely stressful, as well as not potentially being able to do their job properly. Working on many different products for different companies could become confusing, and the producer wouldn’t be able to put 100% of their time into one product. I feel that more companies should try and hire producers from within the company as I feel the companies would produce a higher quality product as the producer can focus on the one or few main projects within the one company, as opposed to travelling to many different companies (which could be very far apart, meaning a lot of time and money spent travelling) and focusing on many different projects, most likely different types of projects too.
Internal producers tend to work closely on one project at a time. Their responsibility lies in the timely delivery and final quality of the game. Internal producers have the luxury of being able to focus on just the projects within the company, and as I stated before I believe that a company could produce a more high quality product when the producer can focus their time on the different departments and help schedule the project better. Another quality I believe an internal producer has over an external producer is the fact that an internal producer will most likely know the employees on a more personal level, and through this they can be more friendly and personal to the employees they work with. I personally believe that when someone can address you on a personal level, you are more likely to want to work harder than someone who may not know you by your name, but knows you as a ‘level designer’.

Responsibilities of a producer
-Negotiating contracts, obtaining correct licensing for assets in the game.
-They act as a liaison between the development staff and the upper stakeholders (publisher or executive/lead staff).
-They develop and maintain schedules and budgets of each department, and then have meetings with the leads of departments to see if said schedule is obtainable/do-able.
-They oversee the creative and technical development of the game.
-They make sure that milestones are met, and if they’re not, they find out why.
-The producers arrange the testing for the Alpha and Beta testing in the dev. cycle.
-They also arrange the localisation for the game.

The producers may interact directly with the creative and programming staff, but they mainly speak to the leads of the game. The producers tend to meet the leads of each department time to time if a small game is being created, however more regular meetings are made the larger the game.

The main department that the producers have an influence on is the games design behind a game. A producer must make sure that publishers and upper management are included in the games design.

Types of producer
-Associate/Junior Producer
-Producer
-Senior Producer
-Executive Producer

A good way of becoming a producer in a games company is to start within the QA department of a games development team. Some qualities that help someone to become a producer is to be an excellent communicator, good at talking to people, timely and organised.

From this lecture I gained a lot of new knowledge; I always knew there were managers and leads in a games development company, and I first thought that these lead roles also had the roles of a producer for their department. I never realised that the producer was an entire role on its own, foreseeing the entire project, and having an understanding and working knowledge of each department in the company. Most producers get their roles from progressing up the career ladder, and for most producers this is the Quality Assurance path.
From Jo’s Lecture, I feel that I had an epiphany, and I feel extremely motivated to push myself towards the role of a producer. I am extremely organised and  have a good knowledge of the major departments in a development company, and I feel with these qualities I could become a great producer.

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