As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

[TRENCHES] Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - Dietary

GethGeth LegionPerseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
edited March 2013 in The Penny Arcade Hub
Dietary


Dietary
http://trenchescomic.com/comic/post/dietary

You’ll need more than that, don’t you think?

Anonymous

I used to work for a small game team working as … a contractor to a contractor to the people who funded the game. We were a small QA team, but we worked as hard as we could for Directors with no direction, unrealistic deadlines, no support, and dwindling budgets.

We reached the final stretch before our target launch date and were all asked to gather into the meeting room.  We were told that the team was in danger of losing funding if we didn’t meet the deadline and exceed expectations.  It was suggested that we were on the verge of our product being “ship ready”, and that they couldn’t pay us any OT due to the ever shrinking budget, but if we worked really hard and shipped on time our jobs would be safe.  Moreover, the Producers told us that they had gotten word that the next version would be ours if we met this one final goal, and so we started to develop those levels in good faith during down time or while blocked on our current version to be released.  One of our animators couldn’t have been sleeping more than 3-4 hours a day.

A week later, an Artist and a Producer from our team were fired to show that they meant business.  They said that it was due to poor performance, but everyone knew that it was because they had voiced their concerns about the risks involved with our current trajectory.
Before ending the meeting the higher ups that came to fire our friends said that they understood that these people were our friends, and so in order to make things right with us they wanted to show us how they take care of their own.  They gave us free t-shirts that they had been given for agreeing to use a lighting engine.

About a month before I was to be married, and about two weeks before the game was supposed to ship, I asked one of the heads of my Game Team (who was actually a direct employee of the funding group) for a week off for my wedding with a few days off for my honeymoon.  He responded with “Oh, no… You’ll need more than that, don’t you think?  You should take three weeks off, paid.”  Ecstatic, I gladly accepted.  We worked tirelessly for the next two weeks, and got the game to the state in which it needed to be to ship a day before the release date.

That night we went to a local pub and celebrated with a makeshift release party, which was paid for entirely by our Producer and ourselves.

The next day we came to work and were greeted by the same higher-ups that had flown in from the mother ship to tell us that they were shutting down our studio and that we were all to be laid off.  They told us that they had known for months that we wouldn’t be able to secure funding, and it was really an unfortunate turn of events.

All in all, I worked about 400 hours of unpaid overtime to release a game for which we were promised a renewed contract for a new version of said game.  A while later they released our games new version’s levels that we’d been working on in our off time as their own work and didn’t give us credit for any of it.

On the plus side, I got more than three weeks off for my wedding.


Geth on

Posts

  • Options
    101101 Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Dang

    Even though you know whats inevitably coming in everyone of these stories, it's still depressing.

    Definitely a strong case for 'fuck you, pay me'

    101 on
  • Options
    ShowsniShowsni Registered User regular
    Actual story:
    Happy Birthday!
    03/26/2013 - Anonymous
    While working one day on a moribund cross platform licensed AAA title, my concentration was broken by the sound of a raised voice coming from the design corner. “Settle down!” was the command shouted over the cubicle by a worried looking senior designer. It was directed at a fuming mid-level, heavy with the stress of broken zone boundaries, a looming milestone and compounded by an upcoming WoW guild performance review for his level 80 Healer.

    No big deal, but I decided to leave one earphone off just in case things did escalate. No sooner do I glance back at the code as my attention is broken again by a blur of producers running full tilt over to the troubled designer who is now brandishing two of the studio’s birthday-cake-cutting knives. He’s absolutely fuming as he stabs one of the knives into his desk and stands up. Now he has undivided attention.

    “Just put the knives down. Put the knives down and we’ll talk. Let’s go outside.”

    Luckily our studio is the kind of place that hires producers with previous experiences in pub management. Our stressed out designer made one feeble swipe before being escorted from the floor to wait for the arrival of police and ambulance.

    Well, I guess it's not as depressing as other stories, unless it ends with the line "and from that day on, all cake was banned from the studio."

  • Options
    El SkidEl Skid The frozen white northRegistered User regular
    Really, given the lack of headlines pertaining to "mass murder in game studio" I see, and the high stress environment game development and testing engenders, the murder rate in the industry is surprisingly low. Especially given the hairbrain theories the media has that video games somehow engender violence in gamers.

  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    I must say I am puzzled why the workstation thing would be a source of concern.

  • Options
    Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    I guess he wasn't "cut" out to be a game designer /sunglasses

    Switch: 2143-7130-1359 | 3DS: 4983-4927-6699 | Steam: warlock82 | PSN: Warlock2282
  • Options
    Gamer8585Gamer8585 Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Warlock82 wrote: »
    I guess he wasn't "cut" out to be a game designer /sunglasses

    Well at least he took a "stab" at it. /shinysunglasses

    Gamer8585 on
  • Options
    AssuranAssuran Is swinging on the Spiral Registered User regular
    I don't really get why Cara is going along with this sham.

    It is her dad's IP that is going to flop if the project fails.

  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Assuran wrote: »
    I don't really get why Cara is going along with this sham.

    It is her dad's IP that is going to flop if the project fails.

    Yeah, I'm kind of with you on not quite understanding her motivation.

    Cora is hardly a perfect person, at least no more so than the rest of the cast, but she's always appeared to have a White Knight complex where it seemed like it was important for her to see herself as doing the "right" thing and sticking up for the little guy.

    In this case, though, all she's doing by hiding the truth about the devs and the prospects of the game is screwing over her coworkers who would be better off getting out. Granted, not the first time she's screwed over her coworkers, though previously there was some justification in her mind that she was serving the greater good. In this case I don't see what that justification is. Not to mention she could be screwing over her dad who she helped convince to put his faith in Q.

    Maybe she's just in denial? Figures she's already talked her dad into signing over the rights and got everybody committed to the job so she's sticking with it come hell or high water?



    Gaslight on
  • Options
    El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    Whoever created this thread forgot to update the story. You know, the one about the psycho with the knives.

    Still, if you have an employee who is so fed up with your bullshit that he sticks a dagger in his desk, you're doing something very wrong.

  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    El Guaco wrote: »
    Whoever created this thread forgot to update the story. You know, the one about the psycho with the knives.

    Geth is a bot, and there's some kind of glitch that makes it keep grabbing the previous story when it autoposts the new threads. It's been happening for a couple weeks.

  • Options
    Shakes999Shakes999 Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Assuran wrote: »
    I don't really get why Cara is going along with this sham.

    It is her dad's IP that is going to flop if the project fails.

    Yeah, I'm kind of with you on not quite understanding her motivation.

    Cora is hardly a perfect person, at least no more so than the rest of the cast, but she's always appeared to have a White Knight complex where it seemed like it was important for her to see herself as doing the "right" thing and sticking up for the little guy.

    In this case, though, all she's doing by hiding the truth about the devs and the prospects of the game is screwing over her coworkers who would be better off getting out. Granted, not the first time she's screwed over her coworkers, though previously there was some justification in her mind that she was serving the greater good. In this case I don't see what that justification is. Not to mention she could be screwing over her dad who she helped convince to put his faith in Q.

    Maybe she's just in denial? Figures she's already talked her dad into signing over the rights and got everybody committed to the job so she's sticking with it come hell or high water?



    I was just about to ask the same question but this seems as good a response as any. If shes in this deep already, the pressures of not humiliating her dad are prob enormous. Im seeing all sorts of different real life failed developer secnarios being mashed in to the story. This is going to be funny yet grim.

  • Options
    fortyforty Registered User regular
    So did psycho pass his guild performance review??

  • Options
    theResetButtontheResetButton Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    So did psycho pass his guild performance review??

    So is that a real thing? Like, do people really sweat over things like that?

    Keep honking: I'm also honking.
  • Options
    Shakes999Shakes999 Registered User regular
    forty wrote: »
    So did psycho pass his guild performance review??

    So is that a real thing? Like, do people really sweat over things like that?


    Never been big in to MMOs but from my understanding and what ive heard, some of the more, um, "dedicated" guilds actually hand out report cards like you are still in high school.

    The first time some random guild douche handed me a "C-" for only spending 4 hours a day online (Which your graded on also), I would probably take a step back and re-evaluate if this game was a valued way to spend my life.


  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    The time/organization aspect is the single biggest reason I have never gotten into MMORPG's. I don't want my gaming to feel like work, with schedules and obligations.

  • Options
    IcyLiquidIcyLiquid Two Steaks Montreal, QuebecAdministrator, Vanilla Staff vanilla
    edited March 2013
    Gaslight wrote: »
    The time/organization aspect is the single biggest reason I have never gotten into MMORPG's. I don't want my gaming to feel like work, with schedules and obligations.

    I think that's valid and invalid at the same time. Just because a certain objective (and lets face it, most gaming involves meeting objectives) requires more organization than another doesn't necessarily make it less enjoyable. If it's tedious *to you* and boring *to you* then sure. But the fact that it takes planning, teamwork, and organization does not itself mean that the experience will necessarily be tedious and boring.

    And as someone who was in a guild like that for a while, I can tell you that it was not tedious and boring for me until the underlying game itself lost its appeal. 4 years later.

    IcyLiquid on
  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    IcyLiquid wrote: »
    Gaslight wrote: »
    The time/organization aspect is the single biggest reason I have never gotten into MMORPG's. I don't want my gaming to feel like work, with schedules and obligations.

    I think that's valid and invalid at the same time. Just because a certain objective (and lets face it, most gaming involves meeting objectives) requires more organization than another doesn't necessarily make it less enjoyable. If it's tedious *to you* and boring *to you* then sure. But the fact that it takes planning, teamwork, and organization does not itself mean that the experience will necessarily be tedious and boring.

    And as someone who was in a guild like that for a while, I can tell you that it was not tedious and boring for me until the underlying game itself lost its appeal. 4 years later.

    Basically for me games are a way to relax, put aside thoughts of responsibilities, and escape. The moment I started to think about a game in terms of, "I have to log in and play Game X tonight, people are counting on me, they'll be upset at me if I'm not there" the fun factor would drop to exactly 0. To say nothing of having to go through a performance review or something from my guild, that just blows my freaking mind why anybody would put up with something like that.

    But hey! The Tube quote Icy has in his signature applies.

  • Options
    IcyLiquidIcyLiquid Two Steaks Montreal, QuebecAdministrator, Vanilla Staff vanilla
    Haha it really does.

    I definitely understand that there are many different ways to enjoy games so its no surprise that some people find high end guild activity to be tedious while others love it. The only point I was trying to make is that you can't just make a blanket statement like "if I have to log on at a certain time and perform to a certain standard, the game is work". Some people actually like that.

  • Options
    GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    IcyLiquid wrote: »
    The only point I was trying to make is that you can't just make a blanket statement like "if I have to log on at a certain time and perform to a certain standard, the game is work".

    Well, it wasn't a blanket statement. I didn't say it "is" work, just that it feels like work, to me. :)

  • Options
    MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    I love tough dungeons and raids in MMOs, so for me it's worth scheduling time with like minded people where we're all obligating ourselves to show up and perform at a high level. 4 hours a day, more than a day or two a week, more than a week or two in a row? Screw that noise, never been a game that good.

  • Options
    StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    Honestly, I don't know about the super high performance guilds, but the "regular" guilds are not just about "logging on at a certain time and performing to a certain standard". There is this monstrous black hole of drama and bullshit at the core of the whole raiding experience, and also, whenever you raid, you're gonna spend half the time waiting for people, or on down-time, or dealing with all kinds of bullshit.

    I COULD deal with the scheduling and performance requirements, but the bitchin' and moanin' is way too much.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    I'll one-up Shakes and say if you are playing any video game 4+ hours a day, you should re-evaluate your life. Video games are fun, but their ROI in your personal life is virtually nil.

Sign In or Register to comment.