Andy Kearney – Producer at Super-Secret Game Company

Andy Kearney

Andy Kearney, a producer at a super-secret game company, came to the University of Bolton to give us a talk on his job as a producer in the gaming industry. The topic which caught my interest, was the ‘role of a producer’.

As a producer, communication is a huge priority for them. Without communication, staff could be unhappy and workflow could be slow. (Petro, 2006) blog titled ‘Communication Tips for Game Producers’ mentions that ‘one of the hardest parts of being a producer is figuring out what information to give to the team and what information to hold back till later’. To combat this, a producer can have daily meetings to keep track of how everyone is doing and from this, they can make judgements of how on track the project is.

Meeting with the producer taken from, (Dusty, 2013)

As well as team communication, publishers should have constant communication with the publisher. Andy mentioned, in the talk, that there are two types of publishers ‘external and internal producers’, with the external producer being the publisher’s producer and internal producer being the companies producer. (Petro, 2006) mentions in his blog titled ‘Communication Tips for Game Producers’, that the publisher has the ‘right to stop paying whenever they are not happy with the state of the project’ so impressing them and keeping the project on schedule is an extremely important task, otherwise the game won’t be funded or published.

Meeting with the publishers taken from, (Automaticity, 2014)

Being flexible and adaptable in the industry is extremely important for a producer as nothing stays the same within the gaming industry. Problems can occur and game engines could update and totally change the way you do something. (Bosch, 2013) mentions in his blog post titled ‘What Makes a Good Game Producer?’ that ‘with so many moving pieces in an industry that is still in its infancy, things rarely happen as you’d hope and every two steps forward are followed by one step back’, which tells us that producers flexibility and adaptability is very important to keep that workflow going.

A producer needs to know the projects pipeline as it is a critical part of a project. Without knowledge of the pipeline, the game can fail. (Bonin, 2014) states, in his blog titled ‘The Future of Being a Video Game Producer’, that without the understanding of pipelines, ‘the producer will be unable to fix or even optimize workflows’ which could cause a slow workflow or none at all.

To conclude, it is the producer’s role to communicate with their team and with the publishers as everyone needs to know what the current state of the project is. This allows the producer  to know what he needs to do to improve the workflow. Constantly keeping on top of the workflow and pipeline is extremely important as they need to make sure the project is going to be finished and on time for the deadline.

Bibliography

Petro, B., 2006. Communication Tips for Game Producers. [Online].
Available from: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1831/communication_tips_for_game_.php?print=1
[Accessed 07 May 2016].

Bosch, E., 2013. What Makes a Good Game Producer?. [Online].
Available from: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ErnstTenBosch/20130912/200168/What_Makes_a_Good_Game_Producer_Part_1.php
[Accessed 07 May 2016].

Bonin, H., 2014. The Future of Being a Video Game Producer. [Online].
Available from: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/HarvardBonin/20140412/215368/The_Future_of_Being_a_Video_Game_Producer.php
[Accessed 07 May 2016].

Dusty, 2013. Mistakes to Avoid as an Indie Game Producer. [Online image].
Available from: https://www.gameacademy.com/mistakes-to-avoid-as-an-indie-game-producer/
[Accessed 08 May 2016].

Automaticity, 2014. AdventureX 2014. [Online image].
Available from: http://automaticity.tumblr.com/post/104859601748/adventurex-2014
[Accessed 08 May 2016].

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