Why an art project manager is an essential brick for your hit?

AppQuantum
7 min readOct 4

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Disclaimer: The article was written and published in December 2022. Some details have changed since this time, but the main points are relevant.

This article is another piece where we, a mobile publisher, AppQuantum, share with you how processes in mobile game development work. We have already told you about how the entire mobile publishing boosts your mobile game, and we also talked about the user acquisition team and how they make a hit out of your project.

Another essential brick in the building called a mobile game publisher, is an art project manager or a mobile ads production manager. This person gets things done and carries out all the work on ad creatives for your mobile game. In this article, we are going into the matter of who project managers are and how they help make your mobile game known worldwide. Well, if you’re interested, keep on reading.

What it is precisely that project managers do

Each project manager has their own responsibilities in different departments depending on the publisher. Here at AppQuantum, global project managers monitor processes throughout the company; art project managers work with creatives and specialists in the production department; and in some other teams, line staff performs specific tasks of project managers.

It is only a matter of flexibility or leads’ and heads’ viewpoints.

The primary goal of a project manager is to organize the process. The production process of an advertising creative was chosen as an example for this article.

A PM leads the procedure from start to finish: sets deadlines, provides communication between the creator and the assignee, calculates the budget required, and allocates workforce and material resources.

Besides that, PMs at AppQuantum update visual guides for designers to minimize the risks of mistakes and avoid additional alterations.

PMs also keep track of the material quality, recruit freelance designers, distribute tasks among them, and constantly modify the production process, requiring less time without losing quality.

Why project management team is vital for your mobile game at all

Global PMs act as a link between all of the company’s teams. In most cases, the fact that the assignee didn’t get the task correctly results in them failing to deliver the product that the client was expecting. This misunderstanding was most probably caused by an inaccurate statement of work that lacked precise wording, details, etc.

That’s why we have PMs whose task is to delve into the client’s concept, dig into the details, systematize information, and deliver it clearly. After checking that everything is okay, they also attach all the necessary materials. Such PMs can complete up to 100 tasks in one month — 100 ad creatives.

PMs save your money. They are perfectly aware of the pricing policy in the field of motion design and can find skilled specialists with reasonable prices (taking into account that the market lacks truly experienced motion designers right now).

How exactly does a PM work with assignees?

Here at AppQuantum, a significant part of a PM’s work consists of interacting with freelance designers, who are engaged in the work with creatives and usually are the main assignees of our tasks. The first thing PMs do after finding a specialist — is hand over the document with the pipeline for the work ahead to the freelancers. The second stage — making the payment process clear for them.

We assign a testing task that we assess personally: a PM controls the process, makes edits, etc. We always try to create a challenging testing task that can’t be done carelessly. In most cases, it’s a task from the User Acquisition department. A scheme like this allows us to demonstrate our pipeline to the future assignee and catch them up on things.

Usually, PMs themselves keep in touch with freelancers. However, some specific tasks are discussed directly with the author through the Jira service. Being constantly in touch during the communication process between the author and the executor, a PM joins the conversation whenever necessary.

Each freelance worker must read and accept the Terms and Conditions of our Jira — these rules regulate the whole working process. Without accepting them, a designer simply won’t be able to log into Jira.

Besides everything that has already been mentioned, PMs are also responsible for solving problems while working with assignees (and having soft skills is necessary here). Building solid relationships inside your team, resolving conflicts, and supporting a particular side for the common benefit is vital for efficiency.

After all, well-built relationships inside the company benefit the quality of its work.

PMs need to balance between creators (who may be satisfied or dissatisfied with the result) and assignees (who don’t know how to manage some tasks at times).

The task of a skillful manager lies in satisfying the author’s desires while motivating freelancers to complete their work on time, even in conditions of constant criticism.

From start to finish — how PMs help turn a creative into a masterpiece

Not only can we tell you how the PM’s team works, but we can also show you!

According to trends, users prefer the following kinds of creatives:

  • Something relaxing, with pastel colors, calm music, and effects.
  • Someone is dealing with problems or saving the character who is in danger. Such creatives usually show the protagonist failing in the end. This encourages gamers to download the app because they sure know how to play correctly!
  • Real-life triggers: husband cheating on his pregnant wife, a child abandoned by his parents, kittens and puppies dying from starvation. All this is aimed at provoking emotions that make us download the app.

Keeping this in mind, it is essential to implement your idea correctly so your ad will perform amazingly. Mobile games are sometimes unpredictable, and it is hard to tell which ads users will like and which won’t. It may even seem that performance marketing is always a pure lottery. However, if you stick to the rules below, your creative will have a higher chance of success:

  • Сatchy visuals. Distinct interactive objects. Colors and textures complement each other. The main character is clearly visible in the foreground.
  • Bright colors
  • Dynamics. Don’t let your viewer get bored by switching scenes rapidly. However, do not exaggerate. No sooner does the first scene finish than the next one begins.
  • High-quality production. Objects and characters move smoothly, with no glitches or sudden movements. If a hand performs an action in the frame, it must be anatomically correct and imitate a user’s actions realistically.
  • Packshot — is the last frame with the game logo. It should last a minimum of 3 seconds. This will give users enough time to go to the app’s page in the store.
  • All the main events happen in the center of a 1080х1080 square.
  • Timing: 15–30 seconds.

Following these rules increases your chances of earning with the creative. After successful advertising campaigns, it is worth iterating compelling creatives with different endings and plots to launch campaigns once again. This approach helps prolong the revenue stream.

How are PMs able to make your game a hit?

PM is an integral part of the whole process. Their contribution may be underestimated sometimes, but they prevent the entire mechanism from falling apart. These people provide your project with high-quality content (in this case, advertising) in the shortest time possible and at a minimal cost.

Such a “gear wheel” must be skilled in many fields to maintain this large machine’s uninterrupted operation.

If you want to become a project manager, you should:

  • Be responsible and diligent. It is your task to ensure everything is done well and on time.
  • Double-check everything. It is essential to convey accurate information while working with freelancers. So everything you are going to say should be checked beforehand.
  • Have a good memory. Otherwise, it would be hard to structure the working process properly without spending extra time figuring out who, what, where, and when assigned the task.
  • Prioritize wisely.
  • Be good at communicating and avoiding conflicts. On the contrary, working with people gets really hard.
  • Always stay attentive. A PM must monitor the whole process and carefully watch videos before resolving a task (so that there are no unnecessary assets of the game, technical flaws, etc.)
  • Be a proactive person.
  • Understand human psychology (it is a great advantage). If you feel another person's mood, you can build a better dialogue.

We’ve tried to tell you as much as possible about the work of an art project manager in a mobile publisher, but it is definitely not an exhaustive article. There are still lots of nuances that cannot be highlighted in one text.

Do you want to learn more interesting details about the mobile games industry and publisher's work? AppQuantum will continue sharing valuable insights for you, so stay tuned!

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