2.4 Game Production Interviews: Chris Sykora, Associate Producer at Yager

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I'm very grateful to Chris Sykora to find the time to chat after a busy week at Yager in Berlin, where he has served as an Associate Producer for a year. Yager has given us its namesake, as well as Spec Ops: The Line, Dreadnought and The Cycle. Previously, Chris worked as a QA Lead at Konami and EA, a project manager at Accenture, Epsilon and Wargaming, as well as as a brand champion and Google marketing campaign specialist. Chris has had an interesting entry point into game production and I very much enjoyed talking to him all about it.
Topics include:

00:00 Intros
07:20 The benefits of having a project management background
09:10 Leadership
11:00 Support for producers at Yager
12:30 Life as an Associate Producer (AP)
16:00 Traits, Skills and Guilds for APs
22:00 Agile & Story Points
25:00 The Cycle - Game Deep Dive
including:
31:40 A Day in the Life of an AP
34:00 Advantages of having a marketing background
37:00 Did Chris ever feel like a spare part? Trello board
40:00 How does he plan?
45:00 Giving an example of when planning failed
52:00 How to build a good relationship with the team and peers
53:40 Hardest part of making the game
55:00 Player feedback and how to focus on features
58:00 If you could go back and change one thing..
63:00 Spec Ops and other games
General Q&A:
64:20 Advice for College students - get yourself a background
68:20 Why would anyone want to be a producer?
70:40 Pressure, Resilience, Mental Health and asking for help
74:30 The future for Chris
76:00 What training would he advise? Toastmasters!
80:00 Remote teams and working from home - his experience and insights
87:10 Farewells

Chris mentioned Toastmasters and the Cycle Trello board whilst chatting. Here's the links to those:
https://trello.com/b/6LuxGQiP/the-cycle
https://www.toastmasters.org/
We would love feedback - leave it anywhere we can reach it! For more articles and interviews with producers and others in the games industry, check out:
http://www.game-production.com
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