Dev Space: John Day - Senior Producer

Dev Space: John Day - Senior Producer

Besides The Climb and Robinson: The Journey, there are other fun projects we're working on and John is the Senior Producer for one of them!

Name and position

John Day, Senior Producer.

Why did you want to work in the games industry and how did you get started?

I’ve been a gamer my entire life – my first computer was an Intel 8088 based system with an amber and black screen.  The first game I remember playing was “Digger” when I was about 3.  I’ve been fascinated with games ever since, both playing them and making them.  I started out learning to program, though I never was really any good at it.  I got my first job in the industry in QA, and moved from that into design, and ultimately into production management. 

What are you working on at the moment? What's first on your to-do list?

Most of my day to day work includes planning milestones, reviewing updates to features and content, and ensuring that we’re getting everything done on time, and that we have the resources we need to hit our goals. I do also have an opinion on the quality bars and design direction of the game. As for what project I’m on right now, that’ll have to wait :)

What music do you listen to at work?

I almost never do. I know a lot of people use music to help them focus at work, but it’s just another thing I have to pay attention to. In the off hours, though, I’m a huge fan of The Goo Goo Dolls, but I was also raised on Mozart and still enjoy it a lot. I don’t know if my musical tastes really have any sort of a pattern. I’m debating whether to go see Iron Maiden when they come to Germany this year.

What tools are you using at the moment?

My job is primarily facilitating communication and project tracking, so I mostly spend my time in JIRA, Outlook, various messengers, and a whole lot of talking to people with a notebook and a pen in hand. I do occasionally use the Sandbox Editor to look at various states the project is in.

What types of games do you like, and what is your favorite game of all time?

I really dig adventure games and RPGs. My youth was shaped by LucasArts (Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island, Full Throttle) and Sierra (Quest for Glory, Police Quest). I’m also a sucker for a good multiplayer co-op game (Trine, Rocket League, Last Stand), strategy games (Dawn of War II, Starcraft) and space sims (Freelancer, Starflight). If I had to pick a single, favorite game of all time, it’d probably be The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Skyrim was definitely the more refined experience, but Oblivion blew my mind in ways that games just…don’t.  The first Deus Ex also ranks extremely high. I’m playing a lot of Elite: Dangerous and Payday 2 right now. 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I have a wife and two sons, and my time is largely spent with them – We’re travelers, gamers, and geeks. As recent immigrants to Germany, we spend a lot of our time traveling around near where we live and experiencing the local sights, culture, and food. 

Where are you going on your next vacation?

I’m taking my wife to Ireland for our Anniversary in a couple of months. Keep that under your hat – she doesn’t know that yet. 

Do you have any tips for people wanting to get started in the industry?

If you want to make games, there’s no better time to start than now.  Many games come with their own editors and tools to let you get started.  Education is extremely important – plan on a university degree, and I’d emphasize that diligent studies matter – but the only thing that matters more is a portfolio that shows game making experience.  Get started now with whatever tools you can get your hands on and start learning what it takes to make a good game, and start making some of your own.  Some very well known games began life as user created mods for other games (Team Fortress, DOTA, DayZ).  It’s a fantastic place to start, and the tools now are better than they’ve ever been.

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