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  • So You Want To Be A Producer

    [07.06.06]
    - Marc Mencher
  • pro-du-cer n. 1. Someone from a game publisher who will be the liaison between the publisher and the game development team. 2. A furnace that manufactures producer gas.

    If you want to learn about furnaces manufacturing producer gas, this article’s not for you. However, if you want to learn the basics of being a game producer, read on.

    Producer careers range from the entry-level assistant producer position to executive producer. Here’s a sample of recent job openings on GameRecruiter.com: producer, producer/director, associate producer/localization manager, senior producer, executive producer, online producer/webmaster, development director (executive producer), producer (external), producer (internal).

    But becoming any kind of producer starts with making sure you have the right skills…

    Tools of the Trade

    Were you the kid in school who actually utilized the organization features of your Mead Trapper Keeper? Are you the one who plans, schedules, and directs weekend game tournaments for your friends? While the rest of the world may, on occasion, get slightly annoyed by your Julie McCoy-your-cruise-director attitude, it’s those very traits that could make you a star game producer. That’s because virtually every game producer spot requires the following attributes:

    • Great scheduling ability.
    • Exceptional organizational skills.
    • Excellent leadership consensus-building abilities.
    • Ability to direct development of a project from start to finish while meeting deadlines.

    As a producer, you will need to know how to utilize Microsoft Project, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel, as well as common scripting languages. You also need a familiarity with the latest game systems. And, generally speaking, you should be an avid gamer.

    Demonstrating Your Abilities

    For the game producer, a well-organized résumé is a must. If you can’t organize a simple résumé, how could you possibly organize the production of a game? Also, since meeting deadlines and attention to detail is key to your position, if you get the interview, make sure you’re on time!

    A good producer will also have the essential assets at his or her fingertips to make a solid single-level demo that features how the product works, controller configuration mapping, the key features, and a display of graphics and audio.

    If you want to be a game producer, you need to understand the job fundamentals. From the initial game concept and how you “sell” the idea to management until the boxed game rolls off the assembly line, the producer is part of just about every aspect in the development of the game. Don’t panic at the details in the following; this is just to familiarize you with what you’ll tackle in your professional life.

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