What can a Producer do?

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ProfKranc
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What can a Producer do?

#1 Post by ProfKranc » Tue Nov 03, 2015 8:18 pm

Hey guys,

I've been producing content for a long time now. This includes experience in the TV, Radio and Online sector. However an industry I would love to break into game creation.

I don't know if it would be game management, development, video editing, writing, etc. Because I have experience in those areas and more.

I was wondering if you would have a suggestion for a producer who's primarily been in the film sector trying to get into game development.
What uses would I have? Is there anything you suggest I do?

Thanks in advance

ProfKranc

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#2 Post by MorchellaGames » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:51 am

Hi ProfKranc,

I'm not sure this is the best forum to ask this question, as game development is a very large subject and this forum is more for Visual Novels (or variations of), but you may find some insight nonetheless. Otherwise, you may want to check out the forums on sites like http://www.gamedev.net

I'm a little confused by your definition of "producer".
Do you actually mean someone who produces the actual content (artist) or someone who oversees/manages the production of content/show/game.
In the games industry (and probably other industries too), the term "producer" is usually associated to the second definition.

Looking (quickly) at your Twitter account, it seems like you are more interested in the artistic aspect of game development.
So, to answer your first question, as to your "uses", there are plenty.
In game development, there are lots of jobs that are related to creating content directly for games (illustrators, animators, writers, voice actors) as there are for creating indirect content for games (marketing content, video editing, etc.).

That being said, your question: "Is there anything you suggest I do?" is difficult for us to answer.
What are you good at?
What do you like doing?
What do you imagine yourself doing?

If you have answers to these questions, maybe we can help you a bit more.

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#3 Post by ProfKranc » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:31 pm

MorchellaGames wrote:Hi ProfKranc,

I'm not sure this is the best forum to ask this question, as game development is a very large subject and this forum is more for Visual Novels (or variations of), but you may find some insight nonetheless. Otherwise, you may want to check out the forums on sites like http://www.gamedev.net

I'm a little confused by your definition of "producer".
Do you actually mean someone who produces the actual content (artist) or someone who oversees/manages the production of content/show/game.
In the games industry (and probably other industries too), the term "producer" is usually associated to the second definition.

Looking (quickly) at your Twitter account, it seems like you are more interested in the artistic aspect of game development.
So, to answer your first question, as to your "uses", there are plenty.
In game development, there are lots of jobs that are related to creating content directly for games (illustrators, animators, writers, voice actors) as there are for creating indirect content for games (marketing content, video editing, etc.).

That being said, your question: "Is there anything you suggest I do?" is difficult for us to answer.
What are you good at?
What do you like doing?
What do you imagine yourself doing?

If you have answers to these questions, maybe we can help you a bit more.
Hey man, thank you for taking the time to answer :)

For your first question: I mean the second definition. Managing and overseeing. However, given a majority of people are doing things independently, I see a lot less opportunity for a producer to help.
I have experience as a producer (the second definition) in the industries I mentioned. Sorry if I didn't make that clear :)

As much as the majority of my experience within these industries is as a producer, I am very interested in the creative side. This is why you'll see various films, voice acting gigs, etc. on my twitter.

What are you good at:

Time Management
Team Management
Video Editing
Voice Acting

What do I like doing:

Writing
Voice Acting
Editing
Social Media Management

What do you imagine yourself doing:

Either an Administrative role on a video game production or and production role as any of the interests I mentioned above.

Thanks again for the feedback and I'll be sure to visit that other forums,

ProfKranc

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#4 Post by SundownKid » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:36 pm

As was said earlier this forum is more visual novel focused, which technically is a type of game but a more specific one. For games as a whole you may want to check out TIGSource.

But as a producer, what I am assuming would be the best path is to invest money into hiring people to develop a game of your concept and then pocket the return on your investment. Such as hiring a game designer, artist, composer and programmer.

Anyway, game development is a very tricky business, so you should start small and work your way up.

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#5 Post by Tyrantauranox » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:54 am

I've worked as a producer on NDS and PSP games. The definition of a producer in a game dev studio can vary a bit, but this vid has one of the best descriptions I've seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUkcz2taCiw

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#6 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Nov 05, 2015 3:08 am

What I'd need a producer most for: Financing. And I think I'm not alone at this.

If you can manage a Kickstarter campaign (and help make it successful through social media), I think that would make you a really valuable asset to any commercial production here.
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Re: What can a Producer do?

#7 Post by MoonStar » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:00 pm

Taleweaver wrote:What I'd need a producer most for: Financing. And I think I'm not alone at this.

If you can manage a Kickstarter campaign (and help make it successful through social media), I think that would make you a really valuable asset to any commercial production here.
Same here :) and a lot of ppl im sure

As for ProfKranc voice acting skills i can vouch and say hes very good and prompt I had the pleasure of working with him.

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#8 Post by Aviala » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:04 pm

Taleweaver wrote:What I'd need a producer most for: Financing. And I think I'm not alone at this.

If you can manage a Kickstarter campaign (and help make it successful through social media), I think that would make you a really valuable asset to any commercial production here.

Yep, this is pretty much it. If you're able to either finance a (small) game out of your own pocket or help run a successful KS campaign, that would be a huge asset to this community. Most people here want to make games but can't afford to pay for the assets and other production costs.

Unless the project is big, there is usually no "producer" unless it's the person paying for the costs. If you have a small team you don't really need a person like that; everyone usually helps in the production of the game in some very concrete way like writing, drawing, marketing, composing music or voice acting. If you're not doing any of those things in a small project and you're not even paying the bills, then what exactly are you doing?

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#9 Post by ProfKranc » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:50 am

MoonStar wrote:
Taleweaver wrote:What I'd need a producer most for: Financing. And I think I'm not alone at this.

If you can manage a Kickstarter campaign (and help make it successful through social media), I think that would make you a really valuable asset to any commercial production here.
Same here :) and a lot of ppl im sure

As for ProfKranc voice acting skills i can vouch and say hes very good and prompt I had the pleasure of working with him.
Aviala wrote:
Taleweaver wrote:What I'd need a producer most for: Financing. And I think I'm not alone at this.

If you can manage a Kickstarter campaign (and help make it successful through social media), I think that would make you a really valuable asset to any commercial production here.

Yep, this is pretty much it. If you're able to either finance a (small) game out of your own pocket or help run a successful KS campaign, that would be a huge asset to this community. Most people here want to make games but can't afford to pay for the assets and other production costs.

Unless the project is big, there is usually no "producer" unless it's the person paying for the costs. If you have a small team you don't really need a person like that; everyone usually helps in the production of the game in some very concrete way like writing, drawing, marketing, composing music or voice acting. If you're not doing any of those things in a small project and you're not even paying the bills, then what exactly are you doing?
Tyrantauranox wrote:I've worked as a producer on NDS and PSP games. The definition of a producer in a game dev studio can vary a bit, but this vid has one of the best descriptions I've seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUkcz2taCiw
Thank you Tyrantauranox, the video was very helpful,

Usually what a producer would do with the film and television industry would be managing the project. Managing recourses, time, finances, copyright clearance, publishing negotiation, audience research and marketing. It is a very varied role as Tyrantauranox said. They would also have creative input. Essentially they are project manager.

Did I just get these things wrong? With a majority of animation and games studios that I have worked with, usually the project managers have another role since it's a very "do it yourself" industry now if you are an indie.

The issue I have is that I have always been the one to organise a production, budget or no. But since this community is very independent, I don't see how someone with my experience would fit.

That's why in earlier posts I've said that I also have skills in other areas, including writing, video editing, marketing etc.

And thank you so much MoonStar :D It was great working with you too! I really voicing in your project!

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#10 Post by ProfKranc » Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:04 pm

Honestly? I think that the title "Production Manager" does more to identify what I would do.

What do you guys think? Is a "Production Manager" necessary?

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#11 Post by papillon » Fri Dec 11, 2015 7:25 pm

I'm not sure what sort of response you're looking for. Are you trying to find out if someone will let you in to manage their existing team, or pay you money to do production manager tasks? It's highly unlikely that anyone's going to hire a paid manager. Those tasks are usually taken on by whoever chose to head up the project in the first place.

If you want to produce a game, in the indie world, it generally falls to you to start the management yourself from the very beginning: find a concept, organise funding, hire writers and artists, get things rolling.

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#12 Post by SundownKid » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:33 pm

ProfKranc wrote:Honestly? I think that the title "Production Manager" does more to identify what I would do.

What do you guys think? Is a "Production Manager" necessary?
For indie games, no. Budgets are too low to have a person producing who isn't, well, the producer. Most indie games are either self made or funded by a person who then dictates all the creative stuff.

That role is most likely mainly in AAA games or films.

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#13 Post by ProfKranc » Sat Dec 12, 2015 3:14 pm

papillon wrote:I'm not sure what sort of response you're looking for. Are you trying to find out if someone will let you in to manage their existing team, or pay you money to do production manager tasks? It's highly unlikely that anyone's going to hire a paid manager. Those tasks are usually taken on by whoever chose to head up the project in the first place.

If you want to produce a game, in the indie world, it generally falls to you to start the management yourself from the very beginning: find a concept, organise funding, hire writers and artists, get things rolling.
SundownKid wrote:
ProfKranc wrote:Honestly? I think that the title "Production Manager" does more to identify what I would do.

What do you guys think? Is a "Production Manager" necessary?
For indie games, no. Budgets are too low to have a person producing who isn't, well, the producer. Most indie games are either self made or funded by a person who then dictates all the creative stuff.

That role is most likely mainly in AAA games or films.

Nah, I'm just digging to find out if it's possible. So far, it's just reconfirming what I already know. That in the indie world, a manager doesn't usually exist and is usually spearheaded by someone in another skilled area whom has started the project.

Thanks guys for your help :)

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#14 Post by Aviala » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:20 pm

I commented in this thread way back, but my opinion on this matter has changed a bit. I think some indie projects might benefit from a production manager, but it has to be a big-ish indie project for it to work, and you'd probably have to do it as a part of an unpaid collaboration - either completely free or with some kind of a profit sharing deal.

I'm pretty sure a lot of projects fall apart because a lack of proper time and team management. If the creative lead is not too good with these things, an additional person handling these things might help. Of course, you might want to branch into other things as well, like marketing.

To be honest, part of the reason why I'm writing this message is because my fiance told me that I'm skilled in team management and things like that - writing emails, contacting people, sorting out stuff, making schedules... And I realized he was right.
But I'm a student - I don't really have the money to fund a project. I know I said earlier that I don't know if you can do these type of things without funding the project, and I still kinda believe that. But I wish it wasn't true - I (and probably many other people) have a skillset they don't really get to use because they can't afford it.

I guess I could help organize kickstarter campaigns and stuff, but I don't really have any experience on that, and I can't run a KS campaign because I'm from Finland.

So, I guess I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on if it would be possible to put a skillset like that to use without it being complete charity work? Do you guys think a project you've worked on would have benefited from a production manager or something similar?

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Re: What can a Producer do?

#15 Post by Rosstin » Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:24 am

As an indie-game developer who does my own stuff, there are 2 kinds of producers I would hire:

1) Myself
2) Someone who handles the duties of a producer in addition to another essential job like programming, artwork, marketing and business, or sound

I promoted one of my writers for Queen At Arms to a producer (and increased their salary) after handling all the responsibility on my own became too much for me.
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