Chris Lena is the producer of Champions Online
"Meet the Team" InterviewEdit
Chris Lena was the subject of a "Meet the Team" interview on the Champions Online official site. The interview went as follows:
Q: What do you do as producer of Champions Online?
A: I like to think of a producer as the scaffolding for the team. With the help of the associate producers, we do our best to make sure everything gets done on time and with a high degree of quality. This can span from scheduling to making sure all the artists have sharp pencils. “Does everyone know what is going on and do they have the tools to do their part?” is the most important question of every day.
Q: How long have you been working in gaming, and what did you do before working on Champions Online?
A: I have been working in games since 2001. I started as a temp in Technical Support for a company that now rules the world. That only lasted a few months, and then I got my first production job at Sony Online Entertainment. During my years there I worked on all sorts of stuff, but most importantly I was the producer of the venerable and lovable EverQuest.
Q: What is a typical day for a producer?
A: I usually start my morning by answering some e-mails, and I like to hop in game and take a look at anything that has been added from the day before. Then at 9:45 a.m. sharp, the production staff meets and the real day begins. After that it is a mix of future planning, status meetings, cheerleading and fire extinguishing. As a wrap-up to the day, I prepare daily reports for various groups to keep everyone informed.
Q: Who is your favorite Champions character?
A: I have a soft spot for Ironclad … I think it is because of his cool forehead. Don’t we all at some point feel like an alien trapped on this planet? And don’t forget that Ironclad arrived on Earth the same year I started working in gaming … coincidence?
Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: There's life outside of work?
Q: What are your must-see movies of 2008?
A: I have big hopes for The Dark Knight, and I’m really curious to see how they turn Chuck Palahniuk’s book Choke into a movie.
Q: What is an interesting fact about you that players would be surprised to know?
A: I like to talk about myself. Or maybe you already know that by now.
Q: What is the one thing you can't get through the day without?
A: Coffee. Everything else is negotiable.
Q: What instrument do you play in Rock Band?
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a producer? A: First pursue your real dream of being an artist or a designer. When that doesn’t work out, study the heck out of Excel. In other words, a producer is well served to have some knowledge of the disciplines they are producing.
Also, be a student of people. At the end of the day, the core job is to make sure everyone else can do their jobs to the best of their abilities. I could go on, but I think people are bored enough.
Q: Do you have anything else you want to add?
A: At least one of the answers above is a lie.