Game publishing is a high-risk, high-yield business. Most
For developers, concentration of the publishing business is unwelcome: fewer outlets for games means less favorable deals. However, until online self-publishing becomes a
"How I Spent My Spring Break: A Report on the 2000 Game Developers Conference,"
available online at
[Larame03] "How Developers Get Paid: The Retail Market for Games," in Secrets of the Game Business, Charles River Media, 2003 .
[McGilvray03] "The Producer: Friend or Foe?" in Secrets of the Game Business, Charles River Media, 2003 .
[Perkins03] "Customer Support in Massively Multiplayer Online Games and Elsewhere," in Secrets of the Game Business, Charles River Media, 2003 .
[Sloper02] "Following Up after the Game is Released: It's Not Over When It's Over," in Game Design Perspectives , Charles River Media, 2002 .
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The role of the producer varies depending on whether the producer works for a publisher or a developer. This article deals
By establishing a positive relationship with a producer, you are taking the first important step toward a successful relationship with a game publisher. Prior to having a deal with a publisher, a producer can:
Recommend you for a project he has. When a producer has an upcoming project, he will be on the lookout for a good development team. He will typically have two to three developers in mind whom he will contact to get proposals.
Recommend you to other
Help you prepare for a successful pitch to the publisher. The producer can provide you with document templates and sample information to help you prepare the most effective pitch possible.
Help you with key
Alert you to opportunities for contracts or product proposals. The proper timing can significantly increase your odds of obtaining a contract with a publisher. Knowing when a publisher is looking for developers and what types of titles they are looking to publish will help you focus your presentation or pitch.
Once you have inked a deal with a publisher, the producer assigned to you can help you with the following:
Put together the perfect project plan.
Most publishers have approved examples of technical designs, game designs, schedules, and
Proactively keep you on good terms with the publisher.
If you succeed, he succeeds. He will review your progress, alerting you to any potential issues in terms of milestone
Get you a quick sign-off and prompt payment for your milestones. Assuming you meet your milestone, most producers can expedite approvals and check deliveries. Remember however, that getting you an expedited payment is extra work for a producer.
Gain support for your product from other divisions.
A good producer
Recommend you for future work. Do a good job and maintain a positive working relationship, and he will recommend you for additional work.
Unfortunately, not developing a positive working relationship with a producer will affect both your short- and long-
Make it difficult or
Critique every milestone approval to the point that it is impossible for you to successfully complete your project.
A producer can make a developer's life miserable if he so chooses. Having very
Get your project
Speak poorly of your company to his peers.
The producer network is very tight. Most producers have worked for several publishers and have a solid network of peers. Obviously, it is important to always maintain a positive relationship with your producer. This is