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[TRENCHES] Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - Iteration

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Super Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited April 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Iteration


Iteration
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/iteration

From Rags to Something Else.

Anonymous

My first industry job was as an $8/hour artist at a startup. The company was founded by two guys who just wanted to give the booming industry a shot. They didn’t even have an office when we started, just an apartment. We were about 6 people strong, including an art director who had no experience with art - he was just a friend of the boss.
Myself and one other guy were the primary artists, we concepted, textured, and made any graphic elements they needed. We were all learning as we went.

As time went along we figured out our strengths and weaknesses. The other 2D artist’s strength was in creating the same thing over and over again with varying degrees of purple and blue hue. I made everything else, environment art, tile sets, the other races even the company logo. It was not uncommon for them to ask me to help fix his art.

We spent every waking hour at that studio, sleeping under our desks for a few hours to wake and start working again. We would crunch for unlimited amounts of time, seven days a week never seeing a cycle of day and night in it’s original form. After months long crunches we would all get sick from the stress and die alone for a couple days.
The team grew over the next couple years, a few of my friends from college came on board. We were still all green, not a single one of us with any industry experience.  Our original art director left, eventually we got a new one that worked for a month then just disappeared. They kept him on the payroll the entire time.

Years later, after we’d finally gotten a publisher at the expense of our health, and sanity. My buddy and I are renting rooms in our boss’s house he bought to celebrate. We were all a tight crew by then. One day while on a walk my friend tells me something that the boss had told him. He said the other 2D artist demanded a raise or he’d walk, and they gave it to him. The prima donna who’s primary contribution was an entire in game race that looked eerily like him, skinny and bald, and a technology that looked like Syd Mead just stopped giving a sh*t. This guy who’s “art” I had to clean up and fix for years, this guy who thought he was the industry’s gift from on high. Best thing is they told my best friend not to tell me. So he did.

You can tell where this is going now:) I talk to my boss/landlord about this. His response, fire my best friend, kick him out of the house. Fire me and do the same.

I was unemployed for about six months after that, debating if I wanted to keep trying in the industry or head another direction. One day I get a call from my ex-boss saying they want me back. They’ll even give me a raise! Desperate, bored I signed up. 6 months later our publisher tells us we have to go to their HQ in another state to continue work, but only a few of us can go. Boss takes me aside, says I can’t come along because I’m too much of a risk.


Posts

  • FenominusFenominus Registered User new member
    Ha! The chat box has "CWGabriel" and "Cora."

  • RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    "Space Obama" has a nice ring to it.

    The story gives me a sad. :(

  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I hear these stories and I think

    "I wonder what the 2D artist has to say."

    Steam name: munkus
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  • ApolloinApolloin Registered User regular
    The entertainment software industry is and always has been the cowboy end of the tech sector. Sometimes, when you're all browncoats together and doing something you really dig, that doesn't feel too bad. Other days you check your map to see where you are and find you're just walking into Serenity Valley.

    Maybe this is one of those stories.

  • SabreMauSabreMau Still featuring glasses. Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    "Space Obama" has a nice ring to it.

    But the Phantom Menace review already used that line a couple years back.

    SabreMau on
    1yrxP.jpgmXcqC.jpgtYRm1.jpg
  • darleysamdarleysam Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I hear these stories and I think

    "I wonder what the 2D artist has to say."

    Same here. I'd like to hear from other people at the studio to get a fair picture, because this guy doesn't exactly write from an impartial perspective. When you start saying "This self-aggrandising jerk never did anything and got paid more money than me, when I was the one who really did all the work and never got a word of thanks for it" , I figure it's just as likely for the other guy is thinking the same thing.

    darleysam on
  • goulogoulo Registered User
    Fenominus wrote: »
    Ha! The chat box has "CWGabriel" and "Cora."
    Sadly it also has "Issac" instead of his actual name "Isaac"... :/

  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah Registered User regular
    goulo wrote: »
    Fenominus wrote: »
    Ha! The chat box has "CWGabriel" and "Cora."
    Sadly it also has "Issac" instead of his actual name "Isaac"... :/

    I would have never noticed these.

  • NeuroskepticNeuroskeptic Registered User regular
    I hear these stories and I think

    "I wonder what the 2D artist has to say."
    Maybe it will turn out that all of the Trenches stories are about the same company, in which everyone's perspective was that everyone sucked except them.

  • ShimshaiShimshai Registered User regular
    Q's profile pic has cat ears.

    Steam/Origin: Shimshai

    steam_sig.png
  • blurfmanblurfman Registered User
    oh great, sherriff douchestar of furfag gulch is back, i thought i smelled hot dog water

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Does anyone else think that the author of the story probably went about asking for a raise the wrong way? He had information that the other artist got a raise, but he didn't need to tell the boss that he knew that. He could've simply asked for a raise, or at worst tried to pull the same stunt.

    Also, is it normal to start in a company of 6 people and not get any investment in the company? It seems crazy to work that many hours for nothing but a basic wage.

  • agilemaniaagilemania Registered User regular
    Since CWgabriel is on there, I'm going to guess that "Toon..." is Toonhound (aka Scott Kurtz).

  • Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    agilemania wrote: »
    Since CWgabriel is on there, I'm going to guess that "Toon..." is Toonhound (aka Scott Kurtz).

    Yup

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  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    Q's icon in the video box has cat ears.

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  • DedwrekkaDedwrekka Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    Does anyone else think that the author of the story probably went about asking for a raise the wrong way? He had information that the other artist got a raise, but he didn't need to tell the boss that he knew that. He could've simply asked for a raise, or at worst tried to pull the same stunt.

    Also, is it normal to start in a company of 6 people and not get any investment in the company? It seems crazy to work that many hours for nothing but a basic wage.

    If they don't publicly trade, stock options are out, and if the money is only ponied up by a couple people there's no reason to give everyone else a cut. It also sounded like the company was already founded before the artist got there.

  • OufourOufour Registered User
    Why am I not surprised Q owns cat ears?

  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    That Tales writer was clearly vying for the award for "Most Rambling Tale."

    Also this.

    Patch 5.4 wrote:
    First win of the day now awards 150 Conquest Points (up from 100).
    Subsequent wins now awards 75 Conquest Points (up from 50).
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  • Skelly BSkelly B Registered User
    "Thanks, Space Obama."

    This is the first Trenches that's actually made me laugh out loud.

  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    This comic establishes that either Marley has a habit of screwing up enough that he "versions" his name to get rehired, or he's the team's scapegoat.

    scornsig.jpg
  • MagnumCTMagnumCT Registered User regular
    This season, I find myself coming back for the comic rather than the stories.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Clearly M/Rarley's real name is Barley.

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • MagnumCTMagnumCT Registered User regular
    Perhaps his name isn't -arley at all. Maybe he ran through his real name already.

  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    If they don't publicly trade, stock options are out, and if the money is only ponied up by a couple people there's no reason to give everyone else a cut. It also sounded like the company was already founded before the artist got there.
    Private companies have been known to issue stock options, although they appear to be not worth much unless the company eventually goes public:
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5757558_understand-private-company-stock-options.html
    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=521335

    As for giving people who don't invest money a cut, that's been known to happen as well. The most famous would be Facebook, where Zuckerberg didn't invest any money, but a number of their early employees got a significant share of the company as well. Their programmer Dustin Moskovitz had an 8% share of the company:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Facebook#thefacebook.com
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_Moskovitz

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    The last panel sort of implies Marley goes through iterations of his name alphabetically, but he apparently skipped N(arley?) O(arley?) and Q(uarley?). Curious.

    1Slimus.jpg
  • marsiliesmarsilies Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    The last panel sort of implies Marley goes through iterations of his name alphabetically, but he apparently skipped N(arley?) O(arley?) and Q(uarley?). Curious.
    It could be that he was technically working under the name "Quarley" when Isaac joined, but everyone just calls him Marley when Credenza's not around. Q's been there long enough that he was there when Marley was working under his real name, and has lost track of what letter he's on.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    marsilies wrote: »
    Gaslight wrote: »
    The last panel sort of implies Marley goes through iterations of his name alphabetically, but he apparently skipped N(arley?) O(arley?) and Q(uarley?). Curious.
    It could be that he was technically working under the name "Quarley" when Isaac joined, but everyone just calls him Marley when Credenza's not around. Q's been there long enough that he was there when Marley was working under his real name, and has lost track of what letter he's on.

    I like that theory pretty well.

    1Slimus.jpg
  • fortyforty Registered User regular
    Skelly B wrote: »
    "Thanks, Space Obama."

    This is the first Trenches that's actually made me laugh out loud.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZG1AWVLnl48#t=338s

    Patch 5.4 wrote:
    First win of the day now awards 150 Conquest Points (up from 100).
    Subsequent wins now awards 75 Conquest Points (up from 50).
    YES! I AM INVINCIBLE!
  • zeldafanjtlzeldafanjtl Registered User
    The "Thanks, Space Obama" joke goes back farther than that Phantom Menace video. There was a Penny Arcade comic around Thanksgiving a while ago where Gabe started saying "Thanks, Obama."

  • SabreMauSabreMau Still featuring glasses. Registered User regular
    Despite the timestamp on that particular upload of the Phantom Menace review (I think it's been taken down and reuploaded once or twice), Gabe's saying that dates back to December 27, 2010. The original posting of the Episode I review was in December 2009.

    1yrxP.jpgmXcqC.jpgtYRm1.jpg
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