You can get started in production in a variety of different ways. Personality is the key here: are you someone who likes working with others or doing general management tasks? If so, you may have already taken the first step towards a career in production without even noticing.
Preparing for the Role Without Realizing It
Producers generally come from all kinds of different backgrounds. Commonly, someone who considers themself a people person can be a pretty natural fit for a role like this, considering that getting along with different kinds of people is crucial. No two development teams are the same, yet a producer needs to be able to adapt to each environment instead of making the environment adapt to them. Therefore, it's important to have social skills.
Maybe you've always been the leader type and taken charge in things like school projects, or maybe you've always enjoyed public speaking and presentations. Perhaps you have a background in customer service which requires reacting to situations on the fly while working with all kinds of different people. Maybe you even have a background in the tech industry, which, combined with other skills and experiences, might just make you a natural fit for a producer’s role.
All project management skills are especially useful in mentally preparing you for the role of a game producer. All of the aforementioned backgrounds, along with many others, are solid starting points because the job description of a produced varies quite a bit. Different types of talents can all become useful down the line.
Taking the First Steps
Most larger teams and studios tend to have multiple producers. As a starting producer candidate, you may have to "climb the ladder" before you get to the role of your dreams. Unless you’re a known name in the industry, you don't get to just walk into a management position without first proving yourself. This ladder often starts from the Quality assurance (QA) department that can lead to the Associate producer role and so on.
Answer the following questions about becoming a producer.
In the next lesson, we'll dig deeper into the different producer roles that you can encounter on your career path.