Game Producers Should Serve—Not Just Lead
Whenever I reflect on my duties as Nuclear Toaster Studios’ game producer, two fun pictures invariably come to my mind. These are part of an excellent video crafted by Extra Credits on the realities of the game producer’s role:
What a perfect depiction of the game producer’s everyday life! The job title might sound glamorous, but you are in for a rude awakening if you expect that being a game producer implies “being in charge” or “telling the development team what to do.” As with every position of responsibility, such an immature, selfish mindset leads to disastrous scenarios. Being a good game producer is about the exact opposite—serving the team.
According to my experience and inquiries, here are some traits I think should be deeply ingrained within a game producer’s behavior:
- Help the team achieve its fullest potential. A game producer organizes tasks, solves high-level issues timely and effectively, and communicates clearly with the team. They should be tirelessly focused on making their teammates’ lives easy, orderly, and predictable. The producer’s job is to take this organizational burden off the team’s shoulders, so people can focus on what they do best, enjoying their long-dreamed job working happily and productively.
- Deeply respect game developers. Have an honest, vast personal and professional appreciation for every artist, programmer, and designer in the team. Talk to them, hear their stories, and be amazed by what they can make. This also contributes to building trust and fostering an excellent working atmosphere.
- Keep that useless ego under control. The team will not always notice the producer’s work, as they are busy making a great game. This should not bother a game producer. There is no point in seeking recognition—the producer focuses on the team’s long-term prestige and collective success.
- Mandatory bonus: be madly in love with making games! It is not enough for a game producer to be a sterile project manager that “likes to play video games.” A game producer must love to make games—from start to finish!
What do you think? Are there other personal or professional qualities you deem necessary in a good game producer? Let us know in the comments!