Producer: Oli Smith

Producer: Oli Smith

Who are you?

Hi, I’m Oli and I’m a Producer on Alien: Isolation

What’s it like to be a Producer at Creative Assembly?

Being a Producer is all about being able to help people make informed decisions. You’ve got to keep the bigger picture in your head at all times to ensure that we’re always working on the features and tools that will add the most value to our games and delivering them on time to the incredibly high standard the CA is known for. During any one day I’ll talk face to face with more than half of the development team, finding out how their work is progressing, any issues that need to be resolved and then presenting that information to the project leads along with projections on how that will affect the project’s development in the long term.

Why did you join CA?

The pedigree. CA has a reputation for doing whatever it takes to ship quality games. That reputation is hard earned and it’s even harder to maintain whilst expanding and exploring new genres and business models. To work in an environment that is so quality focussed and yet still eager to push outside of its comfort zone is hugely motivating and it’s an attitude that demonstrates a real confidence in the ability of the people behind the games.

What does your average day look like?

My morning is fairly structured and always begins with checking up on the overall status of the project; how much work we completed yesterday as a team and the current status of the game. After that I’ll get together with the people that form specific feature or level groups, find out how their targets for the week are progressing and any roadblocks that might put those targets in jeopardy. Then I’m mostly going around the office clearing those roadblocks before sitting down with the project leads to give them an update on the team’s goals and confidence levels.

After lunch things get a bit more freeform depending on how the morning went. I’ll always try and set time aside to play the game, checking out anything new that’s gone in or looking for features that might need fine tuning or additional work, as well as finding moments or levels that really demonstrate the game at its best! Finally I’ll dive into my own personal Excel heaven doing a bit of R&D for project forecasting or day to day resourcing and reporting- really my goal here is to reduce everyone else’s admin as much as possible so they can focus on making their part of the game as good as it can be while I manage the numbers as unobtrusively as possible.

What’s the best part of working at CA?

CA is an environment that really allows its staff to broaden their skills and interests. From embarrassing myself during the lunchtime five-a-side football matches to looking at new ways of handling data or project management techniques, I always feel like I’m given the opportunity to become better at the things that appeal to me. Aside from that, being able to help the team realise their vision of a fantastic game in the simplest most efficient way possible is something that gives me great job satisfaction.

What advice would you give to games professionals interested in working here?

Whilst a fantastic portfolio is always the key to a successful application, never underestimate the importance of attitude. CA is a workplace of enthusiasts who are always eager to talk passionately, positively and knowledgably about their work and the things they love. Manifesting that enthusiasm in personal projects even if they are not directly related to the position you’re applying to is a great way to demonstrate discipline and motivation and convince us that you’ll be bringing drive and positivity to the role in addition to your other talents.