There. That. I know what I want to do. I know what it’s called now, and I know what I want to do. If this week’s episode of Extra Credits is to be believed, I want to be a video game producer. Not a designer. Not an artist or sound engineer. Not a programmer. Not a director. I want to be a producer. I want to work with all of the departments to make sure they get what they need.
I have a really broad skill set that includes the ability to talk to people and to manage a schedule and create priorities. I’m good at hearing people out and helping them to figure out what they need, then getting it for them so they can keep working. I have a working knowledge of all the basics — sound and music, art, code, design — and I’m obsessed with organization and communication.
I can do the detachment thing, and I know firsthand the heartbreak that accompanies a failed project. I know it from dozens of failed projects over the years. Not unlike Thomas Edison, I know two thousand ways how not to complete a project. Personally. I can spot the symptoms and work to correct them before they become problems, and I can defuse situations quickly. But be in charge? Nah. I want to grease the wheels.
One of the things that kills me is that I already knew this. Ideas, seriously, like trying to carry an armload of laundry, just slip out like stray socks. Am I a writer? Sure, but I’m not an artist. Am I an illustrator? Sure, but I’m not an artist? Can I code? Can I design? Can I direct? Sure, I can do all those things, but they aren’t my craft. They aren’t what I obsess over and they aren’t what I do best. And I know all of this already.
The reason. No, let me say it in bold. The reason I made a website, why I wrote and illustrate a comic, why I plan a series, why I design games, is not because those are the things I want to do. No, they’re things I want to help other people do. I want to manage a studio, not be in it, not be in its stable, or roster, or whatever … of artists.
I want to attract talent so I can hand over these tasks to the people who can actually do them. I want to bring people on board and show them what I can help them do. Better design. Improved aesthetic and style. Character, dialogue, story. Effective direction. And getting things done on time at the highest possible quality. Making things run smoothly, and smoothing things over between artists and engineers.
Yeah, I want to be a producer.