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
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.