John Lau

John Lau

ustwo games

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John is a games producer and designer with 17 years of experience in the interactive field.

As a producer he’s delivered projects for clients including Disney, the BBC, Creative Review, and Universal music.  He spent 3 years as a senior games producer at BAFTA-award winning studio Preloaded, focusing on games that work beyond entertainment, like healthcare and education.

After that he completed an MA in Game Design and Development from the National Film and Television School, and has been the lead designer on VR and AR projects for organisations like the Tate Modern and Amazon. His main interests lie in games narrative, which is what most of his personal prototyping is focused on.

John was the Creative Producer on South of the Circle, leading project delivery as well as providing support with story, casting, actor performances and design.  He is currently a Lead Producer at ustwo games.

John Lau is speaking at the following session/s

Stuck in the Middle With You: Translating Between Business and Creativity as a Producer

5:00pm - 5:45pm
Room 3

A game producer’s role is an ill defined thing: Is it operational? Is it commercial? Is it creative? Is it organisational? Is it facilitation? Is it all of the above?

Drawing on a 17-year career ranging from work-for-hire production, game design and indie games, ustwo games Lead Producer John Lau sketches out a way of understanding the producer’s role not just as an organiser, but as a translator between two uneasy allies: the creativity of a game team, and the logistical realities of the businesses that employ them.

Session Takeaway

  • Developing a commercial literacy helps a producer understand their stakeholder’s problems. Understanding your stakeholder’s problems allows you to do your job better.
  • Understand that the ideal situation for a business is for things to be perfectly predictable. Not only is that impossible, it’s the opposite of what your team needs to be creative.
  • Reframe conflicts between commercial and creative as mismatches of language: always try to translate the problems of one into the language of the other.

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