Skills Week / Toby Allen / What Are Producers and Assistant Producers?


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Toby Allen gave a comprehensive overview of the production process and roles within it.

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  • Start by asking information about your audience; Do we have many producers in the room? Did anyone go to Steve Brand’s talk about Viva Pinata? To put this in context, how many believe they understand what Steve’s Job is about
  • Skills Week / Toby Allen / What Are Producers and Assistant Producers?

    1. 1. What are APs & Producers? Toby W. Allen Assistant Producer [email_address]
    2. 2. Overview & Background <ul><li>Who am I? Why am I here? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s this talk about </li></ul><ul><li>Producers and their roles </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond Management </li></ul><ul><li>The Good, Bad and the Ugly </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
    3. 3. Toby who? Sumo What? <ul><li>Assistant Producer (AP) at Sumo Digital </li></ul><ul><li>Helped on over 6 games (8 SKUs) in 15 months. </li></ul><ul><li>Worked on PS2, DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac. </li></ul><ul><li>Current Project: New International Track and Field (DS ) </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is this all about? <ul><li>Aims </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Help give an insight into the roles of producers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How producers go beyond management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The good, the bad and the ugly… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What to take out of this talk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions and Answers </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Types of Producers <ul><li>APs, Producers and Executive Producer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developer Types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publisher Types </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Western vs Asian job titles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Defined vs Undefined </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Roles can be very structured </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change to meet the demand and requirements </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Some definitions…. <ul><li>Leader </li></ul><ul><li>“ The role of a producer can vary greatly, too, but essentially, the job entails being the chief organizer .” - Ask the Experts: 'How to Become a Producer‘ Game Careers Guide (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Manager </li></ul><ul><li>“ A game producer is the person in charge of overseeing development of a video game.” – “Game producer” Wikipedia; </li></ul><ul><li>Communicator </li></ul><ul><li>“ The producer acts as the communication conduit between the development team, publisher and any other partners, for example outsourcers.” - “FreeStyle Career Tips: Part 1” Patrik McCormack - Producer, FreeStyleGames </li></ul>
    7. 7. Beyond Management <ul><li>Development Producers & </li></ul><ul><li>their role beyond management </li></ul><ul><li>What producers can bring to </li></ul><ul><li>new team; the importance of </li></ul><ul><li>APs at this stage </li></ul><ul><li>Upcoming Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Keep developing their skills </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>The Good, the Bad and the Ugly… </li></ul>
    9. 9. The good… <ul><li>Amazing Teams </li></ul><ul><li>Great Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Travelling & PR opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Demand for the job </li></ul><ul><li>Schmoozing (Technical Term) </li></ul>
    10. 10. … the bad…. <ul><li>Headless Chicken Syndrome* </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of Clarity and Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Mundane Jobs </li></ul>*(Which can live up to 2 years according to the Book of General Ignorance).
    11. 11. and the ugly…. <ul><li>Abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Producers & their mistress: Overtime </li></ul><ul><li>Egos </li></ul>
    12. 12. What to get our of this talk <ul><li>Various Roles and Definitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No industry standard. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Versatility of Producers and what they can bring to the company/projects/team. </li></ul><ul><li>Better Understanding of the roles of producers and their multiple facets </li></ul><ul><li>The good really outweigh the bad </li></ul>
    13. 13. Toby W. Allen Assistant Producer [email_address] ? Questions? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?