So, there we have it. We've now gone over both the roles quite extensively. Previously we went over the role of the designer and all the responsibilities that it entails. Now, after this final course, you should also be familiar with the work of a producer to a similar extent. However, most development teams tend to feature both these roles, and it's quite common to see them clash. Both manage something within the project, yet their responsibilities are often in conflict. Let's recap what their major responsibilities are.
Being on top of the workload is the producer's responsibility. Knowing what tasks are to be completed next, which are currently worked on, and which are waiting for their turn is their job. Knowing these things allows you to check if you're on schedule and if features need to be cut or developed further. Recognize risks and threats before they halter the production. Make sure that no-one is overworked and the tasks distributed evenly between the team members. The endgame for all of this is smooth development, which leads to a finished and successful product.
You need to know your team personally. Their sources of motivation, future plans, and strengths and weaknesses. Being confident and trustworthy is the key since the team must be able to rely on you. It's the producer's responsibility to make sure that the team is functioning as effectively as possible.
Representing the Team
You'll also need to convince people from outside your team like publishers, potential investors, and so on. Being easily approachable and professional can get you a long way, but don't forget to practice your public speaking and presentation skills either. Networking is key, so go to events, socialize, and make yourself and your team visible in the community.
Be a Team Player
You're making the game with your team, and they're the ones spending their days hands-on with the game. They know more about the inner workings of an implemented feature than you will ever do, so be there when they raise concerns or have ideas. Ask your team to tell you how they've interpreted your design, so you can avoid misunderstandings. Create the kind of documentation they'll use.
Know Your Game
You can only know if a game is truly enjoyable by playing it. Create playable prototypes early and test them with your team. Is the game fun to play? Do the mechanics in the prototype align with the vision?
Know Your Players
Right from the very beginning, you should know who the game is aimed for. Make every design choice with the players in mind and test those choices as often as possible. If the players do not understand the game, why is that? Is it lacking features, or could the existing ones be improved? Are the core mechanics of your game easily understood, or could things be simplified?
Listen to Yourself
Designing a game means designing an experience for the players, and having experience of your own will help you do just that. Play games, read books, watch movies, and go out in the world to be inspired. Be confident in your decisions while being open to external feedback. You are your team's designer, make sure that they can trust you and your judgment on the design choices.
Working as a team and finding the balance is crucial. The producer can't cut any features by themselves, and the designer can't just decide to add more. These important decisions need to be evaluated case-by-case by the whole team.
Now that you've learned what the roles of the producer and the designer entail, you might have noticed a conflict. The producer should make sure that a game gets published and that the team has the energy to do so, while the designer needs to design the best product possible with lots of content for the players.
The designer should never work as the producer or vice versa. These two roles are in conflict and if you work as both the designer and the producer, your judgment can easily become clouded. Would you be able to cut your favorite feature? Can you guide resources to a feature that you don't like?
Cooperation between the producer and designers can either make or break a project depending on how it's handled. Effective communication between both roles is mandatory if you wish to strive for success with your game.
Whose duties are the following? Assign the responsibilities to either the producer or the designer.
Now that we've cleared things up, the last thing remaining is a small test. Let's see if you've internalized what we've gone over about the role of a producer, during this course.
Choose your answers carefully. Good luck!
This is it. The final knowledge test. Review the material and answer the following questions. Good luck!