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  • An Interview With Senior Game Producer Christin Overton

    [12.12.19]
    - Riley Roberts

  • What factors do you consider when looking at a potential company?

    Look for companies that match the environment you want to work in. A lot of people go into companies with a game they want to work on, but the environment is more important. If working in an Agile environment is important to you, identify if a company is truly Agile or if they just use Agile buzzwords.

    When I left games intentionally, I went to a company that would allow me to strengthen my abilities with Agile. I went there to hone my Agile skillset and learn about being a teacher and coach. Working for a big company, you're not turning the Titanic, you're turning the iceberg. There are so many layers to it, but the power of Agile is the transparency that reveals the problems within the current processes and culture, in time, they just do not stay hidden.

    As a result of my time outside of games, my approach to learning how a business works became very different. I have no qualms with asking anyone in my current studio about the problems they have with the way things currently operate, these kinds of questions help me do my job. Working in a coaching role made me more forthright and outgoing, because my job was always about helping someone else. This has made it more fun to do what I do now, because of those 4 years I spent outside of games honing my craft, becoming a better communicator and a better listener.

    I'm glad I took a break from games, it was an opportunity to strengthen a skill, but I always intended to come back. When I decided to make the switch to Big Fish, I looked for a couple of things. I looked for a good track record of how they treat their people, the culture I was going into. I knew several people within the company, so I already had information from people I could trust. One thing I always ask during interviews is "if you could change one thing about the company or the team you work on, what would it be?" This brings up some interesting things, you can go into a company much more informed on the procedural or organizational challenges, and you're less surprised. Every company has issues, but is the culture acceptable to you?

    I also need to make sure I have the autonomy to do the job I was hired to do. The most significant disappointment of my entire career was getting a job and not being allowed to perform the job I was hired to do. In that situation, you're not able to really help people, and that's very disappointing.

    What do you do outside of work that helps you in your job?

    Learning to be honest with myself. I know that if I get too invested in a project, I might not be able to ensure that the hard decisions get made. I know that about me though it might not be true for everybody, but everybody needs to know their weaknesses, the things that get in their way and prevent them from doing the best job they can as they support the game and the team. I can love helping a team make something great, I know I can't fall in love with my project and be a good producer too.

    What are the best things aspiring project managers/producers can do in order to increase their chances of getting job offers as a project manager/producer?

    Ensure that the resume you're writing and submitting aligns with the position you're applying for. Usually, there's some automated system that will look at your resume before a human does, you need keywords to get a pair of eyes on it. Your LinkedIn should be broad, but your resume should be aligned to the job you're applying for, even if that means hacking and slashing away potentially irrelevant information that you think is very important. It is, to you, but your resume needs to matter to the person reading it and explain how you will help solve the problem they have.

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    That concludes the interview, I hope it shined some light on game production! Please feel free to reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions!

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