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Trenches comic: Tuesday January 21, 2012 - Concept Faces 1

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Posts

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote:
    MuddBudd wrote:
    Gaslight wrote:
    Once again, the material suffers from the total lack of any context or commentary from the creators. How about telling us what characters these concept drawings were for or something?

    Are you serious?

    Quite. Sure, we can make educated guesses about who's who and such, but wouldn't it be a lot more interesting to hear Mike or Scott (or maybe Jerry too but he's not an artist) talk about the ideas they kicked around for what the characters should look like and how they evolved? Instead it's just, "Here's some faces." Actually not even that, the faces just appear without the barest introduction.

    You are silly, and a goose, and that makes you a silly goose.

    It's just concept art.

    Oh, and thats John at the front there.

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  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    Huh? How would it not be more interesting to hear context about what they were thinking for these drawings, and how or why they were modified or scrapped?

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Yeah, I'm not sure why the idea of wanting to hear more about what Mike, Jerry and Scott think about the comic and the creative process is so offensively absurd to MuddBudd. I know I'm not the only one who'd like them to speak up more often; we discussed it in the thread for the last comic, after Mike said he just realized they never told us it was being done in "seasons."

    Personally, I would really love to see an occasional special Trenches 4th Panel with all three guys.

    Gaslight on
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  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Well, when you know you are going to have layoffs after you finish the project (very common in video game QA) it's actually a smart idea for the person doing the firing to be as detached as possible.

    Or else they will go insane.

    I don't know... I've done layoffs before, and they are hard as hell to do, but that's still no reason to dehumanize someone. You can remain detached without being a jackass.

    True, I'm just saying that staying detached is important, not that being an asshole is justified.

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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote:
    Yeah, I'm not sure why the idea of wanting to hear more about what Mike, Jerry and Scott think about the comic and the creative process is so offensively absurd to MuddBudd. I know I'm not the only one who'd like them to speak up more often; we discussed it in the thread for the last comic, after Mike said he just realized they never told us it was being done in "seasons."

    Personally, I would really love to see an occasional special Trenches 4th Panel with all three guys.

    Because I'm not sure what level of commentary they're supposed to provide for random concept art. They drew some faces, here they are, done. They're either characters we know, or characters they haven't used yet. Either way, not much to say about it.

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  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    "These were some of our test concepts for X, but we realized we needed something more/less Y in order to convey Z. We liked the 3rd face so much, though, that we're going to use something similar in an upcoming strip."

    "We started doodle-brainstorming the look we wanted to go for with the art. We knew we wanted it to be a blend of Mike and Scott's styles, but we also wanted..."

    "As you can see, the unique nose concept was something on our minds from the early stages of developing the visual style for Trenches..."

    "These were some of the first faces we sketched for Trenches after a pie-eating contest in Detroit. We liked the looks, but then we realized Mike was just drawing the people one booth over."

    I mean, it could be anything, but only the creators would know.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Yeah, its not that I really want some background on these concept drawings in particular, it's just symptomatic of the fact they don't do any background or commentary or newsposts for Trenches at all.

    1Slimus.jpg
  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Yeah this story is more about corporate culture than anything. This is a large reason why I've gravitated towards smaller indie companies and development houses for the last decade. It means having to look for a job more often (as small houses are prone to layoffs or closing down) but stuff like in this story doesn't tend to happen in smaller, tighter knit groups. Right now I, a senior developer, sit 10 feet from our QA department in a big open room and when they need something done or a question answered they come ask us. Most people play Rock Band or basketball after hours on Friday, Nerf guns all around, and food is bought for the whole office, or not at all.

    But I've been in places like where that story would take place, and I've seen good places turn into such corporations. This is generally how it happens:

    1. A group of creative types get together and build something cool.
    2. Investors invest, venture capitalists (VC) invest, money starts flowing, the company grows.
    3. People who used to sit next to you at a folding table in some low rent office become VP's and managers in fancy offices.
    4. Creative people, in general, do not make good managers. The demands and stresses are entirely different, as are the rewards. People react to this in different ways.
    a) Some just aren't good at it and fall into some bad boss category, like micromanagers or their polar oposite, the absentee boss.
    b) Some go on ego trips and become jerks.
    c) Some turn out to be good at it. It happens.
    5. With much of the original creative force in the company now in management and doing a sub-par of job managing all the new people things start to go sideways.
    6. The investors and VC have seen this kind of thing before, they start pressuring really hard for the company to start bringing in MBAs. The 'suits'. Usually people the VCs have worked with before and have a track record of whipping unruly companies into shape. People who don't play Rock Band after hours or engage in Nerf gun fights but do, by-and-large, know how to run a growing company and keep it growing (because in this industry you either grow, get bought, or die).

    And thus the startup begins its evolution into a corporation, with all the stratification, politics, empire building and bureaucracy that entales. It's an ugly process that companies like Valve and Double-Fine are attempting to avoid, and their continued success is a joy to behold.

    EDIT: Gramatical two-step and clarifications.

    Zazu Yen on
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  • SerukoSeruko Ferocious Kitten of The Farthest NorthRegistered User regular
    ncraike wrote:
    Bucketman wrote:
    ugh that story. I just don't understand why youd treat the people who work for you as nearly sub human.

    What puzzles me more is a corporate culture where you don't treat the testers (or "QA staff") as part of the "team" working to create the product – they're meant to be working with the developers to improve the product. They should at least get a free meal when they're putting extra hours in.

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  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Syphyre wrote:
    This story makes me really really sad. People know they can get away with it because if one poor schmuck up and quits because of the environment, they know ten more are ready to take his place.

    I'm sure there's articles all over the web on this, but I've never done my historical research which I think I'll do today. We all hear the stories about EA, Activision, other publishers and developers. How were things back in the 70's? Early 80's? When gaming was still a new thing. Would these stories fit Atari back then perfect? What about the early PC game makers? Sierra, Broderbund, etc. Same thing different tune? I don't know!

    If anyone has good links to stories about this, I'd love to have 'em.

    I know a lot of companies went through the process I described above, with some variations and twists thrown in. I know my first company, Berkeley Systems, did as did Sierra Online and Interplay. EA, although it was presented as "by artists, for artists" from the beginning, was always a business venture for Trip Hawkins and run like a corporation. Though it must be said that he and his people knew tallent and backed some of the most influential games of the time. Atari was more in the hardware side of things and hardware engineering was more established back then. Not to say they didn't have the garage mentality as a startup, but as they grew there were more established paths for them to follow than there ever were for software, especially games. I believe that was largely because hardware required a much greater investment to go to market, so a company had to be more stable to enter that market. Now the money investment for a AAA game is gigantic, which is why AAA game studios are corporations, or are run by corporations, or are backed by corporations who are quite likely going to consume them before or shortly after going to market.

    Wikipedia offers good histories on most of the big companies of the day. More obscure companies, and some interesting trivia bits on the big boys, can often be found on MobyGames

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  • KochikensKochikens Lovely-Cuddle-Blanket-Stephen-Fry-Awesomer Registered User regular
    I hope we get more stories and comics that don't demonize devs. I'd love to see in the next season the QA crew go to the development studio or something.

  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Registered User regular
    Kochikens wrote:
    I hope we get more stories and comics that don't demonize devs. I'd love to see in the next season the QA crew go to the development studio or something.

    They'll demonize devs. They have too, it's a well established rivalry. If they didn't it'd be like the elves throwing a welcome party for Gimli. They can show an exception that proves the rule, but by and large we'll be demons. I'm figuring that's how Q will get his comeuppance.

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  • KochikensKochikens Lovely-Cuddle-Blanket-Stephen-Fry-Awesomer Registered User regular
    I don't mind if the characters demonize the devs, I just hope the story telling doesn't have a secret plot where the Devs are performing satanic rituals on the corpses of ~fired~ QA and eating their hearts.

  • ArandmoorArandmoor Registered User
    Kochikens wrote:
    I don't mind if the characters demonize the devs, I just hope the story telling doesn't have a secret plot where the Devs are performing satanic rituals on the corpses of ~fired~ QA and eating their hearts.

    I do.

    Depending on where you work it could be closer to the truth!

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Arandmoor wrote:
    Kochikens wrote:
    I don't mind if the characters demonize the devs, I just hope the story telling doesn't have a secret plot where the Devs are performing satanic rituals on the corpses of ~fired~ QA and eating their hearts.

    I do.

    Depending on where you work it could be closer to the truth!

    That's not Devs. That's executive producers.

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  • AthenorAthenor Registered User regular
    So, question for people who know more than me:

    Is there a market for outsourced QA, or even unionized? Or is the worker pool just so large that corporations have nothing to worry about from that angle?

    The idea of a firm that lines up QA contracts and can keep a dedicated stable of testers who are good at their job and have steady, non-overkill work, and can be productive without burning out.. it just seems appealing. But it's likely more expensive for the corps than minimum wage temp workers who are pushed almost as bad as miners...

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  • HarridanHarridan Registered User
    We have a seasonal rush at my job wherein we employ temps, and I never do bother to learn their names or histories. They just revolve in and out so quickly, and somehow there are always four Heathers/Ashleys...and its all Heather B and Heather S...so I usually refer to them collectively as "The Temps". However, we always feed them. That's one thing about cubicle culture...if there is cake or food there had better be enough for everyone or else productivity is going to immediately tank in favor of email/bathroom/breakroom kvetching sessions.

  • BucketmanBucketman Dyslexic Puppy Skraggle RockRegistered User regular
    For me, the worst part about it is that its becomming more and more a thing that people know that testing is an awful job. yet we still have groups of people willing to humiliate themselves and act like fools on a reality show just for the chance to get treated like shit afterwards.

  • The Good Doctor TranThe Good Doctor Tran Registered User regular
    Bucketman wrote: »
    For me, the worst part about it is that its becomming more and more a thing that people know that testing is an awful job. yet we still have groups of people willing to humiliate themselves and act like fools on a reality show just for the chance to get treated like shit afterwards.

    Welcome to humanity? This isn't a new phenomenon, just a new context.

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  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote:
    So, question for people who know more than me:

    Is there a market for outsourced QA, or even unionized? Or is the worker pool just so large that corporations have nothing to worry about from that angle?

    The idea of a firm that lines up QA contracts and can keep a dedicated stable of testers who are good at their job and have steady, non-overkill work, and can be productive without burning out.. it just seems appealing. But it's likely more expensive for the corps than minimum wage temp workers who are pushed almost as bad as miners...

    We've all had that idea, and nobody I know has ever tried it. Mostly because if they are going to outsource, they will outsource to China.

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  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    You know, as much as I hear about it being impossible to go from QA to development, I can think of a significant number of co-workers who have done exactly that, myself included. I started out as a contract tester, went from that to a full-time QA Analyst and, from there, made my way into Design. The project team I'm on right now, there are four of us in our particular corner of Design. Of the four, three are ex-QA.

    I'll readily admit that my experience is atypical, though, and has a lot to do with the particular culture surrounding QA at my studio, which seems to be rather different from the industry as a whole. We invite QA to planning meetings, and design both features and content with them in mind. It's a lot more of a partnership than an antagonistic relationship, and it seems to work best when it's at its most cooperative.

    WATCH THIS SPACE.
  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    So, question for people who know more than me:

    Is there a market for outsourced QA, or even unionized? Or is the worker pool just so large that corporations have nothing to worry about from that angle?

    The idea of a firm that lines up QA contracts and can keep a dedicated stable of testers who are good at their job and have steady, non-overkill work, and can be productive without burning out.. it just seems appealing. But it's likely more expensive for the corps than minimum wage temp workers who are pushed almost as bad as miners...

    A local company has been advertising "OMG WORK IN GAEMS" for a year or two now. They are a CS outsourcer, but I've seen them putting up ads for testers recently. I know of a couple people who are proud to be working in The Industry (for 8.75 an hour, and no hope of promotion).

  • CroakerBCCroakerBC YorkRegistered User regular
    jackal wrote: »
    In the corporate LOB world QA is held in high esteem at least in my experience. I'm sure it varies by company.

    I've mentioned this before, but the above was worth emphasising. Outside of the video gaming industry, at least in my experience, QA is generally seen as on a level with any other type of skilled professional. You're there to pick up a build, run with it, hit all the odd points, log defects, provide feedback, and go out to lunch with the dev team, because it's not "The Dev Team" and "The QA Team", but the project team.

    I suppose some of that is corporate culture, and some of it is the demographics in the corporate QA industry compared to video gaming. In my general experience, corporate QA guys tend to be mid 20's, team leads in their early-mid 30's, management in the 40's and 50's..like any busines branch. There aren't as many (or possibly any) people who see QA as a step into 'making games' or 'becoming a developer'. Honestly, that's sort of like taking up nursing so you can have a shot at being a doctor. They are complementary roles, but very different.

    Similarly, a lot of corporations are reluctant to hire young, inexperienced QA staff, because they make software which either a) handles a lot of money or b) has the potential to kill people if it goes wrong. I know when I worked at <financial company x> we would never have brought someone in to do financial compliance QA at minimum wage - because if it went wrong, we would have lost a fortune, and probably our licenses. Instead you hire the guy who knows what the job entails, has done it before, and is thorough and professional. And because they are a professional, they expect to be treated that way.

    Mind you, maybe some of it is national work culture vs. corporate - I can see how the US policy, for example, of "right to work" would allow for behaviour that would be much harder to justify elsewhere (laying off entire teams, for example).

    At any rate, just wanted to interject that the treatment of QA appears to be more an industry issue than a professional issue. I'm still not sure why that industry is so much worse than others I've worked in - but perhaps its because video games follow the retail model, and don't have a gradated schedule fo revenues? You have no money until you ship, then you make a fotune and lay everyone off...which works less well if you need them for long term engagements, which are more common in the business/corporate world.

  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    vsove wrote: »
    You know, as much as I hear about it being impossible to go from QA to development, I can think of a significant number of co-workers who have done exactly that, myself included. I started out as a contract tester, went from that to a full-time QA Analyst and, from there, made my way into Design. The project team I'm on right now, there are four of us in our particular corner of Design. Of the four, three are ex-QA.

    I'll readily admit that my experience is atypical, though, and has a lot to do with the particular culture surrounding QA at my studio, which seems to be rather different from the industry as a whole. We invite QA to planning meetings, and design both features and content with them in mind. It's a lot more of a partnership than an antagonistic relationship, and it seems to work best when it's at its most cooperative.

    As an aside, given your experiences, did anyone ever really mentor you into the industry, or did you just figure it out as you went? And how does your SQA experience measure against what you read on The Trenches?

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  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Registered User regular
    It's worth saying that I also moved into development through the Tech Support->QA->Programming path and did so by programming my ass of on my free time and showing it around, which I still do because I really like programming. But that was back in the early '90, things are harder now.

    I also have to bring up that a decent part of the issues with game companies has to do with the immaturity of the people involved. The games industry tends to higher people just out of collage, or high school and they bring that same mentality to the workplace with cliquish behavior, fragile ego's, manufactured drama, etc. etc. As the industry has matured so has much of it's workforce (the ones that stuck around anyway) and it's in those companies with a more seasoned workforce that things are better, Valve and DoubleFine for example employ mostly industry vetrans who've been there and don't want to do it again. My current company skews much older than the companies I worked for in the '90s and it's environment is much more better than those others.

    Which isn't to say it's not a "true" game company. You can be emotionally mature without necessarily "growing up" as they say. We play Rock Band, we've got a regular Battlefield 3 group, a KOTOR guild and our own Mincraft server and I've got 3 Nerf guns and a crossbow on my desk as I type this.

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  • ArandmoorArandmoor Registered User
    edited February 2012
    vsove wrote:
    You know, as much as I hear about it being impossible to go from QA to development, I can think of a significant number of co-workers who have done exactly that, myself included. I started out as a contract tester, went from that to a full-time QA Analyst and, from there, made my way into Design. The project team I'm on right now, there are four of us in our particular corner of Design. Of the four, three are ex-QA.

    I'll readily admit that my experience is atypical, though, and has a lot to do with the particular culture surrounding QA at my studio, which seems to be rather different from the industry as a whole. We invite QA to planning meetings, and design both features and content with them in mind. It's a lot more of a partnership than an antagonistic relationship, and it seems to work best when it's at its most cooperative.

    The size of the company matters here. You'll have a MUCH better chance of making the transition from QA to Development in a smaller company. As a general rule, if your boss's boss doesn't know your name, you're probably fucked (which is why tuesday's story is so funny. "Um...I'm your audio designer". yeah...he's fucked)

    Also, regardless of the size of the company, if you don't have a degree that lends itself well to development you're probably not going to get considered for a development position. Don't expect to skip the whole "college thing" and land a lead designer position through QA. That's more like the plot of a disney movie than anything else. Putting in the time is great, but you need the skills they're looking for. The exception here is doing a project or two on your own that proves you have development chops. Again, they'll be looking for skills first and foremost. A degree saves them a lot of trouble in that regard, but if they know you personally, and know that you have those skills, they have the option of overlooking something as basic as a lack-of-degree when the time comes to hire for a development position.

    Regardless, smaller companies win for this.

    Now, if you have a degree, skip QA altogether. While you might end up regretting it, putting in a year or two at an EA or Activision sweatshop will pretty much allow you to work anywhere if you're still willing to do it. Just don't expect to move into development from QA in that situation. Their hiring process will filter your application automatically if you don't have a BS in some sort of applicable field.

    Arandmoor on
  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Arandmoor wrote: »

    <...>

    Now, if you have a degree, skip QA altogether. While you might end up regretting it, putting in a year or two at an EA or Activision sweatshop will pretty much allow you to work anywhere if you're still willing to do it. Just don't expect to move into development from QA in that situation. Their hiring process will filter your application automatically if you don't have a BS in some sort of applicable field.

    IF you're still willing to do it. If you can do it there (and still want to afterwards), you can do it anywhere. OR go the indie rout. You'll likely work more, definitely get payed less and probably be out of a job in a year or two (unless you score the next Angry Birds or Tiny Tower). BUT you'll likely have fun, gain LOTS of experience and start making contacts in the industry, which is super important. The more contacts you have the shorter your periods of unemployment will be until maybe, just maybe, you land a solid job at a stable game company.

    Zazu Yen on
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  • agoajagoaj Hey You Pichu I don't like your girlfriendRegistered User regular
    Have we heard anything from winners of the Tester?

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  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    Arandmoor wrote: »
    vsove wrote:
    You know, as much as I hear about it being impossible to go from QA to development, I can think of a significant number of co-workers who have done exactly that, myself included. I started out as a contract tester, went from that to a full-time QA Analyst and, from there, made my way into Design. The project team I'm on right now, there are four of us in our particular corner of Design. Of the four, three are ex-QA.

    I'll readily admit that my experience is atypical, though, and has a lot to do with the particular culture surrounding QA at my studio, which seems to be rather different from the industry as a whole. We invite QA to planning meetings, and design both features and content with them in mind. It's a lot more of a partnership than an antagonistic relationship, and it seems to work best when it's at its most cooperative.

    The size of the company matters here. You'll have a MUCH better chance of making the transition from QA to Development in a smaller company. As a general rule, if your boss's boss doesn't know your name, you're probably fucked (which is why tuesday's story is so funny. "Um...I'm your audio designer". yeah...he's fucked)

    Also, regardless of the size of the company, if you don't have a degree that lends itself well to development you're probably not going to get considered for a development position. Don't expect to skip the whole "college thing" and land a lead designer position through QA. That's more like the plot of a disney movie than anything else. Putting in the time is great, but you need the skills they're looking for. The exception here is doing a project or two on your own that proves you have development chops. Again, they'll be looking for skills first and foremost. A degree saves them a lot of trouble in that regard, but if they know you personally, and know that you have those skills, they have the option of overlooking something as basic as a lack-of-degree when the time comes to hire for a development position.

    Regardless, smaller companies win for this.

    Now, if you have a degree, skip QA altogether. While you might end up regretting it, putting in a year or two at an EA or Activision sweatshop will pretty much allow you to work anywhere if you're still willing to do it. Just don't expect to move into development from QA in that situation. Their hiring process will filter your application automatically if you don't have a BS in some sort of applicable field.

    Well, to be fair, this is hardly a smaller company - I work at BioWare, and I think we've got near 350-450 employees at this studio alone.

    Again, though - I'd say this is atypical. And to answer the previous question - my final transition from QA to design definitely involved a mentor, the lead Cinematic Designer. He pushed for myself and another guy to make it into Design and I doubt it would've happened (or at least, it would've been much more difficult) without him. As for my experiences versus what's mentioned on the Trenches - there's some truth to it, but the situation here is a lot better than it is elsewhere. We really do have an atypical QA environment.

    WATCH THIS SPACE.
  • World as MythWorld as Myth Registered User regular
    vsove wrote:
    You know, as much as I hear about it being impossible to go from QA to development, I can think of a significant number of co-workers who have done exactly that, myself included. I started out as a contract tester, went from that to a full-time QA Analyst and, from there, made my way into Design. The project team I'm on right now, there are four of us in our particular corner of Design. Of the four, three are ex-QA.

    I'll readily admit that my experience is atypical, though, and has a lot to do with the particular culture surrounding QA at my studio, which seems to be rather different from the industry as a whole. We invite QA to planning meetings, and design both features and content with them in mind. It's a lot more of a partnership than an antagonistic relationship, and it seems to work best when it's at its most cooperative.

    ArenaNet is much the same way: a great deal of our designers came from our QA department at some point. Not every big corporate studio follows the dead-end QA adage, it seems.

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  • fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once. Registered User regular
    This isn't about "corporate culture." The best job I've ever had was developing software at a giant corporation. I had a blast and worked with some really bright, competent, professional people. Of course, that corporation made jet engines, and the software I was developing was an in-house CFD package. I've worked for some other giant corporations, and those were great jobs, too. This is about idealistic, naive young people desperate to work with games. I really think this is an artifact of gamers thinking games are fun = working in the games industry is awesome, so they're willing to gnaw their own arms off to get in. But it's like junkies thinking that working in a poppy field in Afghanistan would be a sweet job. Employers can treat them like shit because there's always another 22-year-old sucker salivating over the idea of "playing video games for a living."

    I've heard enough horror stories that I wouldn't even go work as an actual developer--"crunch time," mass layoffs at the end of development cycles, studio closure after two failed $50m gambles, etc. That's just not worth being able to have a Nerf gun at my desk. No thanks, I'd rather just play the game when it comes out.

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    PSN ID: fearsomepirate
  • Zazu YenZazu Yen Registered User regular
    This isn't about "corporate culture." The best job I've ever had was developing software at a giant corporation. I had a blast and worked with some really bright, competent, professional people. Of course, that corporation made jet engines, and the software I was developing was an in-house CFD package. I've worked for some other giant corporations, and those were great jobs, too. This is about idealistic, naive young people desperate to work with games. I really think this is an artifact of gamers thinking games are fun = working in the games industry is awesome, so they're willing to gnaw their own arms off to get in. But it's like junkies thinking that working in a poppy field in Afghanistan would be a sweet job. Employers can treat them like shit because there's always another 22-year-old sucker salivating over the idea of "playing video games for a living."

    I've heard enough horror stories that I wouldn't even go work as an actual developer--"crunch time," mass layoffs at the end of development cycles, studio closure after two failed $50m gambles, etc. That's just not worth being able to have a Nerf gun at my desk. No thanks, I'd rather just play the game when it comes out.

    It's "corporate culture" not in the sense that all corporations have the same culture, but it's the result of culture that a particular corporation has. Game companies tend to grow dysfunctional cultures for the reasons I outlined above, and as we've both noted they tend to attract immature people. I've had nerf gun battles at an eCommerce company I worked for, the corporate culture is influenced by the industry the company is in, but it is defined by the people running and working at the company.

    ExistentialExistenceException: Your thread encountered a NULL pointer and entered a state of non-being.
  • vsovevsove ....also yes. Registered User regular
    This isn't about "corporate culture." The best job I've ever had was developing software at a giant corporation. I had a blast and worked with some really bright, competent, professional people. Of course, that corporation made jet engines, and the software I was developing was an in-house CFD package. I've worked for some other giant corporations, and those were great jobs, too. This is about idealistic, naive young people desperate to work with games. I really think this is an artifact of gamers thinking games are fun = working in the games industry is awesome, so they're willing to gnaw their own arms off to get in. But it's like junkies thinking that working in a poppy field in Afghanistan would be a sweet job. Employers can treat them like shit because there's always another 22-year-old sucker salivating over the idea of "playing video games for a living."

    I've heard enough horror stories that I wouldn't even go work as an actual developer--"crunch time," mass layoffs at the end of development cycles, studio closure after two failed $50m gambles, etc. That's just not worth being able to have a Nerf gun at my desk. No thanks, I'd rather just play the game when it comes out.

    Certainly, horror stories exist. There's a reason for the stigma, and for a lot of people, the reality is going to be that working in the industry will involve a lot of disappointment and sacrifice.

    However, the people who stay in the industry are rarely the ones thinking 'games are fun, thus making games must also be fun'. By and large, they're also the people who aren't easily replaceable by another person who'd give their left arm to work in the industry. They're people with passion, who go into the industry knowing that it's going to be a lot of work, but who feel that it's worth it because it's something they really believe in. I've crunched. I've worked 16 hour days for months on end, and yeah, it's not necessarily the best.

    But at the same time, I wouldn't trade my experiences in this industry for anything. Every day I can look forward to going to work, and every couple or few years, I get to see my passion and effort in products that people actually buy and enjoy. To me, that's why I work in the industry.

    Yeah, there's certainly an element of 'oh my god, games! I want to work in games - I love games, so I'll love doing that job!' that ignores the fact that it is real work. Often times less-than-exciting work, particularly when it comes to documentation and bug fixing. But by and large, that isn't the lion's share of who works in this industry.

    WATCH THIS SPACE.
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Man, I would probably get arrested and fired for my response if someone knocked something out of my hands like that and flipped their shit.

    Maybe if they paid me a shit load of money. I don't know.

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