Get the skills and practice you need to break into the gaming industry.
Let Zynga’s Executive Producer help you master the tools and methodologies you need to lead successful teams and launch hit games.
You’ve worked on a producer’s team, but do you have what it takes to step into their shoes? Learn essential leadership techniques, and team management skills to lead your own production team.
Whether you’re a game tester or already in the game development industry, get to grips with the tools and production methodologies you need to show hiring managers that you’re ready for the role.
You have a couple of projects under your belt, but now is the time to formalize your experience. Learn from the best and see how project planning and production management is done at the world’s most successful game studios. Couple this knowledge with resume and interview tips to make a solid first impression and break into the industry!
Build your own Game Design Document and mock game launch project using industry grade tools such as Jira and Smartsheets. Solidify your knowledge through 4 practical workshops, 2 LIVE demos, and 10 home assignments with personal expert feedback from Hal.
Behind every producer is an effective and motivated team. Hal will teach you to drive your team's success through practical leadership techniques, team management best-practices, and tried-and-tested morale building initiatives.
Learn what it takes to get hired. Hal hires producers all the time - let him walk you through the most common interview questions and help edit your resume to tailor it to the game production role you want!
Start your journey by understanding what a Producer brings to the process of making video games. Who should or can be a producer?
Assignment #1: Start by watching the first 5 minutes of gameplay of the classic game Galaga. Choose one classic game from the list provided - this will be the one you will work on going forward. Write down as many important details and features as you can identify.
Go Deeper: Create a Trello account and become familiar with it. Try making a new board for your chosen game, and adding some lists.
Learn to identify the task separation between the different (and often overlapping) disciplines. Understand why “More people” is not always the answer, but “Lean” is also a risk.
In this class, you’ll take a deep dive into the purpose and key components of a Game Design Doc (sometimes referred to as Global Design Doc).
Workshop: Work in groups to break down key production components of Galaga Remaster 2022.
Assignment #2: Create a GDD outline for your chosen game. Outline and describe key game features, gameplay, differentiator, art style, and audio style. Then, outline the epics by breaking down the game into logical components.
What's the difference between Scrum and Waterfall? Learn to distinguish between Agile and Linear methodologies, and why one might be more useful in a specific situation than the other.
Assignment #3: Read Agile Software Development with Jira, chapters 1 and 2.
Take a front seat in this fireside chat with Harvey Weaton on what Scrum really means. Harvey is the former president of Scrum Alliance and has extensive experience applying these processes to real-world game development. After this class, you’ll have a much stronger footing when building your Backlogs, Stories, ACs, and Agile Boards.
Assignment #4: Working with each Epic you defined in Assignment #3, create stories and define acceptance criteria in the Description.
Go Deeper: Create a free Cloud Jira user account and project.
After this class, you'll be able to create issues within your project that accurately reflect the work you defined in the GDD. Also, get to grips with moving issues through the workflows and using the search tools.
Workshop: Creating a Jira project and working with Jiras.
Assignment #5: Finish creating stories for each item identified in Assignment #4. Continue exploring Jira Workflows. Can you set and move tasks? What about making a specific search?
Go Deeper: Look into Stretch Goals.
You will be able to take all of the steps between paper-planning and functional Scrum sprint planning in Jira.
Assignment #6: Build an Agile Board for your game project. After you’re done, prepare for your next assignment on Waterfall by setting up a SmartSheet account and creating a blank Smartsheet for Agile with a deadline.
Understand the WHYs and HOWs of making sure a project is tracking well. Also, know how to look forward far enough to identify and call out risks well ahead of them becoming problems.
Assignment #7: Build a Waterfall chart using the Smartsheet you prepared for your last assignment. Now, try applying running and dependencies.
See how the same work you defined in your GDD is scheduled using a Waterfall, as opposed to Scrum, to track and plan your project goals.
Workshop: Outlining a milestone.
Assignment #8: Ask questions and polish your Agile board and Gantt chart. From the reading, identify the 3 strategies from Table 3.2 that you believe will be your specialties. Write a paragraph about each and submit for discussion later.
Draw a clear distinction between the short and long term wins for a game team. Discover the third, and most important role of a Producer.
Getting a game out to the world is a complicated and challenging process. We will explore the hazards and some of the speedbumps for taking a game live. Also, in today’s marketplace, games almost universally have some sort of post-release support. Understanding why and how we release additional content over time is critical to the success of games.
Assignment #9: Hal will provide some development data - Make it make sense.
Getting into the game industry or moving up through the ranks is extremely hard. We will identify the questions and areas of interest that gatekeepers use to screen out applicants. Through a workshop, Q&A, and redlining of resumes, we will prepare for The Interview.
Workshop: Practice addressing common interview questions.
Assignment #10 (Optional): Resume Red-Lines - Submit your resume to Hal for personalized feedback.