PRO­DUCER IN­SIGHT

THE CRE­ATIVE AS­SEM­BLY’S SE­NIOR PRO­DUCER MAR­CUS SHEL­DON TAKES A BREAK FROM WORK­ING ON A NEW UNAN­NOUNCED IP TO EX­PLAIN HIS ROLE IN THE COM­PANY

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How did you get to be in your cur­rent role?

I started out as a pro­duc­tion man­ager for a mu­sic web­site that made karaoke-style back­ing tracks. This led me into my first games-in­dus­try job as a con­tent cre­ator (level de­signer) for a mu­sic game, and it wasn’t long un­til I got my first taste of pro­duc­tion. I was made scrum mas­ter for our lit­tle team and I re­ally en­joyed the team plan­ning and con­tent de­liv­ery work, so af­ter a few other de­sign roles, I fo­cused fully on pro­duc­tion.

What does your role ac­tu­ally en­tail day to day?

My day nor­mally kicks off with sev­eral stand-up meet­ings with all the pod teams (scrum teams) I am re­spon­si­ble for, fol­lowed by res­o­lu­tion of any is­sues iden­ti­fied in these meet­ings. I can then fo­cus on our next group of mile­stone goals and how we are pro­gress­ing to­wards them. My role is es­sen­tially to work with the leads and direc­tors to make sure we as a team de­liver what we need to, within the time frame avail­able – achiev­ing that can be through plan­ning, re­view­ing, pri­ori­tis­ing, dis­cussing prob­lems and re­solv­ing is­sues, but of­ten it is through a com­bi­na­tion of these things.

What tips would you give some­one as­pir­ing to be­come a pro­ducer?

My se­cret to pro­duc­tion is al­ways do your best to plan for the un­ex­pected, be­cause pro­duc­tion in game de­vel­op­ment is all about how quickly you deal with the nu­mer­ous curve balls thrown at you. Start with your pre­ferred plan but al­ways think about a po­ten­tial Plan B, C and D. That way you can re­act quickly to steer things back on course when is­sues in­evitably come up.

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