Hey everyone! My name is Ryan Vaughan and I‘m a producer for The Sims 4. A lot of you might be wondering what the heck a producer does day-to-day. How do I spend my time in The Sims Studio? And, maybe what my favorite food is? This is my opportunity to let you get to know me and the role I play on The Sims 4 team a bit better.
First, let me say that I’ve actually been working on The Sims for more than six years! It’s gone by pretty fast, but when you truly love what you do, it’s inspiring to come in on a daily basis and have a lot of fun. Don’t get me wrong, all jobs come with their own challenges, but working on The Sims has been incredible.
In The Sims Studio, a producer works with all the different members of the team. We work with artists, computer engineers, designers, QA, other producers, you name it! In the simplest terms, we help keep them on track, hit their schedules, and make sure the game is the best that it can be. Simple task right? It’s actually a lot more than that.
One of the most important jobs of a producer is to ensure that specific features evolve and change from their original design when they don’t end up fitting correctly into the game. We ensure that game features like Create A Sim (which we talked about last week) and Build Mode work in a way that feels right. Games are made of many different parts and finding a balance is one of our most important goals.
Now that I mentioned them, I have to tell you that one of the things I’m most excited about in The Sims 4 is the brand new Create A Sim. Being able to directly manipulate the way my Sim looks (without using sliders) is something I’ve always wanted from the very first time I played The Sims. I cannot wait to finish this game so everyone can enjoy how much fun it is now to create Sims.
I’m also constantly tracking the status of projects, playing the game, and working with my various cross-partner team members. A lot of my job, you see, is being a support system to the team. If a developer has an issue that’s keeping work from getting done, it’s up to a producer to either find a way to get it done, or to find the right person to get it done. People who are good problem solvers make great producers!
My life is not all work. I have a beautiful family that I come home to every night. These moments where I’m unwinding is where I derive a lot of my stories for how I play The Sims. In fact, watching my son build houses out of blocks the other night reminded me a lot of how the new Build Mode works – constructing houses by building individual rooms and shapes. I relish those moments of watching real life at home and then recreating them when I come to work.
That about sums it up. Hope you had a chance to get to know me a bit better.
Oh, and by the way, my favorite food is pizza – no question about that!
Follow me on Twitter @SimGuruRyan.