DAY IN THE LIFE OF A... HUTCH GAMES PRODUCER
What’s life as a producer at Hutch like? Here’s Graeme to take us through a typical day, including the joy of post-it notes and why every new team member gets a rubber duck and a pebble...
What brought you to Hutch?
I was in between contracts at the start of the pandemic and happened to hear a podcast by Shaun Rutland. He was talking about the inclusive nature of Hutch and how important the idea of culture is to the workings of a great studio. From that point onwards I made it a mission to find myself a home here at Hutch.
Tell us a bit about your role?
My role here at Hutch is the producer for Rebel Racing. I’ve been here for nearly 2 years. As a Producer I obviously think that we are the glue that binds the team together, but actually I really feel like our role is to help people be as awesome as possible.
Hutch believes (as do I) that our role can be described as Servant Leaders. This means that we support the team in their decision making process rather than telling them what to do.
Here at Hutch we take the view that teams should work in an autonomous fashion. On Rebel Racing, as with all Hutch games everyone’s opinion matters no matter what they do. Our QA, Marketing and Customer services are all embedded with the team as an integral part of the family. This means and they have an equal say in the direction we take the game. We believe that through empowering individuals and not micromanaging them, we make better games and have a more engaged team. Simply put, the Rebel team call the shots about Rebel Racing, no one person.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
My first port of call is to say hello to my team. I like to just check in with them before I start working on anything else. I think it’s essential to just be present with them before production starts in earnest. Oh and maybe a coffee whilst I do this, no one wants a decaffeinated Producer!
A typical morning task is…
A typical morning starts with the stand-up, which I personally believe is such an important ceremony.
It’s more than an exercise in ticking tasks off a list, but an opportunity for the team to come together, get aligned and to check in on each other.
A typical afternoon task is…
I like to find a quiet spot away from my desk and just clear some admin. I think it’s important to find time away from where you usually sit as it helps give me a different perspective. I’ll usually go through the backlog of tasks and compare them to the roadmap of what we’re going to deliver. I’ll check this against our delivery forecasts and people's velocities. These little and often sanity checks help me keep the team informed about progress and remove hidden risk from the project.
My favourite kind of meeting is…
I just love the end of sprint demo. This is such a great opportunity for the rest of the team and in fact the whole company to see the outstanding work being created, not just art but fascinating sections of code and design documents. Basically anything created by anyone over the last 2 weeks.
People present their work and as a team we discuss what we are seeing and share our thoughts. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a great believer in bringing the team together to celebrate what they do.
I couldn’t do my job without…
Post-it notes. If it’s important I put it on a post-it. For me it acts as a really helpful reminder of super important tasks. Other Producers will have their own methods for tracking the things they think are essential to remember but I just really like this tactile notion of remembering.
The best part of my job is…
Being the calm centre of a storm when people are under pressure and helping them through difficult situations. Most people in this industry are goal oriented and seek to find solutions to problems they face, but some times we can’t see the wood for the trees. To help my team to approach these situations from a different angle I gave them all a rubber duck and pebble. The duck is for them to talk to about the problem they are facing. By externalising it, it helps the brain think differently about solutions. The pebble is there for when the duck's solutions aren’t forthcoming. I tell my team to imagine that they are the pebble, to let the frustrations to wash over them and be carried off down stream.
I’d have to say that the best part of my job is actually helping people through difficult situations and seeing the excitement they get when they find solutions.
The Hutch Family:
Describe Hutch using 3 words…
Community, transparency, honesty
What’s your favourite thing about working at Hutch?
It has to be the talented people I work with. I’m constantly amazed by the work created, the professionalism and the sense of community each and everyone brings with them to support each other.
Any tips for people applying for a job at Hutch?
Be yourself and be honest, no one knows everything and that’s okay. Just make sure you have done your research regarding the job you are applying for.
It's okay to be nervous as we’ve all been exactly where you are. An interview should feel like a conversation not a tug-of-war.
Like the sound of working at Hutch? Check our our latest vacancies here: https://www.hutch.io/careers/
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Thanks for reading!