Producing any creative work requires more particular sets of skills than Liam Neeson in Taken. From overseeing and maintaining a project’s vision from throughout and having the technical knowledge to cover every detail, this role is certainly not for the faint of heart. But for those talented few, who are driven by hard work and expertise, they will thrive. In this series, we dive into the minds of experts in the industry to shed some light on what their days are like in the gaming industry. There is no better example than one of Magic Media’s & Starloop’s video game producers, Mariana Parra.
What does a Producer do?
Mariana’s responsibility is to manage the development of a video game from start to finish. This includes overseeing the game design and making sure that the project meets the desired specifications. She is also responsible for coordinating the work of the various teams involved in the game’s production, managing the budget and schedule, communicating with stakeholders such as publishers and investors, and solving problems as they arise during game development.
She would describe this role as a rollercoaster without knowing where the track leads to. It’s important to be adaptive, flexible, and ready to take on new challenges as they come. Being people-focused and having tacit knowledge within the different roles you oversee is what separates the good from the great.
Mariana’s days regularly would have weekly reports, meetings, messages, documentation, and task review. Outside of this routine, there are a vast amount of responsibilities to work with during the course of any project. Her team would involve several producers, some specialize in art production and others would focus on development. Where there are common responsibilities, the differences would be in how the work is handled.
For example, in regard to the project, her responsibilities include handling expectations when dealing with the client and collaborating with other project managers or producers from companies on the client’s side and in-house. She also focuses on getting the right resources when creating a team while incorporating a high standard of risk prevention and allowing room for deadline negotiations. Whether you are working with a full-cycle development or co-development, the producer would be in charge.
Mariana must also focus her skills to aid the company in improving departments and collaborating with the marketing team as well as leading estimations for potential clients. When cooperating with the companies involved with the Magic Media group, she finds their management style to be a huge benefit to her agile-styled work as it allows everyone to be approachable.
One of Mariana’s main priorities every day is the people she works with. Finding the right team and keeping in the loop is critical. From there, it’s about analyzing the team’s state, maintaining a high level of communication, and building good habits. She trains and builds the team’s soft skills, such as communication, adaptability, problem-solving, etc., because this in turn helps with the team’s hard, technical skills.
Handling such a broad scope of work will always have its challenges, especially being a global company where team members reside in different parts of the world. Mariana’s go-to tools to support her coordination are Confluence, Jira, and the repository of the game.
Another challenge she points out is getting the information required from the team when taking as many administrative tasks as possible from her teammates. Doing so means they can focus on their work. To her teammates, it might not align with their priorities but as for a producer, it’s important to be proactive to anticipate the client’s needs. In general, the information a producer requires would help the client and other departments allowing opportunities to add services. The goal is to spot the yellow flags and prevent them from turning red.
With video game development, Mariana says that the key to understanding the industry challenges is good communication and knowing that people are the first resource for everything.
Producing in the collaborative environment of the Magic Media group allows for all your project’s desires to be created by one team. Get in contact with us today and benefit from Magic Media’s exquisite full-cycle game development services.