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The road to become a video game producer is a long one. Video game producers typically are not hired right out of college but are promoted from within a company. You might work at several companies before you able to move up to the position of video game producer. In addition to demonstrating an attention to detail, you will need to show that you can organize and manage the production of a video game. One way to do this is by creating a video game and managing the entire project, either before you begin working in the industry or after you have been hired for a lesser role in a video game company.
Project management is very important to producers. If you want to become a video game producer, you will need to be able to prove that you can manage a project. You will need to organize the project, keep everyone on task, manage schedules and handle anything that comes up during a project. Some college programs, such as business administration programs, have courses in project management. You also can accept an internship or entry-level job to gain project management experience.
If you choose to attend a college that specializes in game development, then make sure that you start showing your potential to be a producer as soon as possible. Volunteer to manage team projects as the team coordinator. This will show employers that you already have the experience and will help you move into a producer position sooner. Any experience directing projects, in college or professionally, will help your chances to become a video game producer.
Another way to prove that you have what it takes to be a producer is to make a video game. While you are in college, get some friends together and design a game. That game will be a valuable addition to your portfolio when you apply for a job with a video game production company. You can do this after a company hires you as well. The experience of leading the design project will help your chances at becoming a producer greatly.
There are three levels of video game producers. When you are first promoted to producer, you will start as an associate producer. From there, you will move up to producer, and finally, you can become an executive producer. It might take several years to move up the career ladder to become an associate producer and several more years to advance again. If you truly want to become a video game producer, it is well worth the wait.
Although producers come from many different areas in a video game development company, the majority of them come from the quality assurance department. This is because people who work in quality assurance demonstrate the attention to detail, organization and diligence that a video game producer needs. If you do not work in the quality assurance department, you still can become a video game producer. As long as you can show that you have the traits that a producer needs and that you can handle the responsibility, you can become a producer.
The video game industry has changed so much over the years that a producer is more of a project manager than that person might have been in the past. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it wasn't uncommon to just have one programmer per game (in the case of the Magnavox Oddysey2, the same guy programmed most of the games for the system).
You don't have just one person cranking out games anymore. No, those are huge undertakings with a team of people and the producers must keep that team on track and make sure the project gets done on time and in budget.
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