Your role: Associate Producer
Games you've worked on that impacted you:
Fable Fortune: I was very proud to work on such an incredible and ambitious CCG. It was challenging but playing the game after its release was such a reward.
YAHTZEE® with Buddies: A great experience working on such a successful title. I feel working on a project like this is a goldmine for experience!
Software/tool that makes your life easier: JIRA, Google sheets!
Years in your current role: 2 years (4 years in the industry)
So, what is an Associate Producer?
An Associate Producer is someone who supports their Senior in the planning, coordination, and delivery of the development of the Game they work on. They are hands on with all of the development disciplines (Design, Engineering, Art and QA) to ensure they all understand the schedule, their targets and solve any problems that block the progress of their work.
What kind of things do you get up to day to day?
My day consists of a variety of tasks depending on what stage of development we are at! In general it’s catching up with each of the discipline leads to see how their progress is trending, if they’ve run into any roadblocks and how we can alleviate those problems (putting out the fires!). As I work with an external publisher on my current title, I meet regularly with them to provide our development plans and keep them updated on the progress too. Most importantly is tracking all of this progress in all of the lovely spreadsheets we have : )
When nearing the release of a feature or game, we can spend a large amount of time in triage which is vital for a release. In triage we make sure we are tackling as many bugs necessary and with the correct priority - it’s this focus that really helps the team close out that feature/game in the best state possible!
I shouldn’t forget to mention one of the best bits - playtesting! This is a very regular occurrence for the team to play the features we are developing. Its main focus is to firstly assess the progress, but more importantly rate how enjoyable it is. We get a lot of value from playtests and have often found ways to improve or streamline an aspect of a feature that isn’t as obvious during the design phase.
How did you become an Associate Producer?
I began working in the game industry as a QA Associate. In the two years that followed I kept increasing my responsibilities and experience as I worked on multiple games which led to me being promoted to Senior QA. I have always enjoyed the communication side of my job and working with people to coordinate our tasks - this was something noticed by our Production Director and he offered me a change in role to Production which I found very exciting and accepted!
What kind of education or skills would help if someone wanted to become an Associate Producer?
I studied Multimedia Applications Development where I was introduced to a variety of software where I learned how to edit Images, animation and audio. Also included was introductory level programming both on the server and client.
I don’t think the above is essential at all, but it did help me when talking with the various disciplines as I have a better understanding of how they create their work. Excel or Google sheets is a massive part of my day so I would highly recommend attending classes or courses to improve your ability to use them!
Communication both written and spoken is a major part of my job so gaining any client facing or management experience will really help too!
If civilisation went back to ground zero how would your role contribute to non-tech society?
Oh no! I’m hoping some of my experience working with people and managing their time would help me to coordinate the resurgence of the human race! Or we could go back to creating table top games : )