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Reader Comments (17)

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 8:14AM vaiden said

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Here's what goes on:
They clock in, grab a cup of coffee, go for a cigarette, complain about what happened yesterday.
Next it's a bathroom break followed by figuring out where they left off yesterday.Now they grab another cup of coffee and discuss with their friends where to go for lunch.
30 minutes of actual work is accomplished followed by 45 minutes of complaining how slow the service was at lunch and how they should have went somewhere else.
They grab another cup of coffee and talk about what they are going to do on the weekend or vacation.then bathroom break.
They have a meeting about what they completed today and what really needs to be done tomorrow since they are behind schedule, then go home.

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 9:33AM Bartlebe said

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Here's what goes on:
They clock in, grab a cup of coffee, go for a cigarette, discuss what they'll be working on today.
Next it's a quick bathroom break followed by figuring out where they left off yesterday.Now they'll meet up for an early meeting and talking about current focuses, projects and progress.
Hours upon hours of actual work is accomplished as they slave over even the smallest details, coding, scripting, writing and working on the art. Lunch is occasionally late.
They grab another cup of coffee and talk about some crazy stuff they read on the forums. Then they have an afternoon meeting and jump back into the gritty details of what they're working on testing, consulting and creating with their team members.
They keep working through the day, often staying many hours past when normal people would go home. Due to the amount of work that needs to be done and the scope of the project, there is still a lot to do.

I think they probably work really, really hard and the job is not at all glamorous. I know I wouldn't do well in a position like that and I have a lot of respect for people that have the skill and patience to create the games I love.

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 10:23AM Sephirah said

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According to various sources, working in the video games industry is a nightmare.
That said, as a developer myself, I can confirm the "grab a cup of coffee, go for a cigarette, quick bathroom break" initial part of the day... :)

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 10:47AM Nepentheia said

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Most folks wander in late.

They head off to the soda or coffee machine immediately after dumping all their iPod, smartphone type of paraphernalia at their desk.

Their computers are already on, they never turn them off over night.

They poke at yesterday's fruit basket to see if anything looks edible in there.

They wander back to their desks and start browsing email and the internet.

Some might open up a spreadsheet or two to appear industrious.

They continue to putter until the morning meeting where at least five people get more coffee during the meeting, making such a racket that no one can hear any of the meeting announcements being made--everyone is staring blankly and doesn't pay attention anyways, so it doesn't matter if they could hear what's being said--and usually what's being said is something about another milestone was missed and all the scripts got mangled and some code update from one of the coders (no one knows who did it or would ever admit to it) from yesterday managed to create untold bugs of doom that the coders will have to poke at today.

So then everyone trudges back to their desks, after getting their third or fourth soda or coffee for the morning. Everyone slaps on their headphones to listen to music and tune the rest of the office out. Some look at their watches, estimating the time until lunch. Some folks get wrangled into long meetings--the ones where the designers spout off really wacked ideas, and the coders sitting in the back cringe and protest.

Others go back to whatever instant messaging programs/email/browser pages they were looking at, while opening up some more spreadsheets on their 2-3 monitors or... god forbid, actually trying to get into the tools, client or their test server and hope it runs this time without completely crashing every few minutes. While getting work done, something will inevitably crash, so its time to get another cup of coffee, slightly overfilled (its important to leave a large coffee cup stain on the desk of the coder's you're going to visit) before wandering off to pester various coders about whatever bizarre bug/crash just happened to the tools, client or their test server.

So this continues until lunch time--where most everyone (especially the folks more inclined to having Aspergers--which is an unspoken prerequisite to work as a game developer) will sit around the lunch table and ramble in a monotone drone in painfully excruciating detail about WoW (or maybe another game that just launched and the entire office is playing--which is how the second part of the day is often spent--for a few weeks or a month before they go back to WoW again).

So back to the desk after lunch. Time to check email for awhile, and watch whatever YouTube videos that have been linked. Then on to making a serious attempt to do some more work (assuming the tools, client or test server works...), fiddle with a myriad of spreadsheets, spend time writing up 85 page design documents.

Wander off to get more soda or coffee, stop by and talk to folks at their desks, talk to folks who have wandered by and stopped at your desk. Herd up a bunch of folks and go down to the local quick-stop to get a mid-afternoon snack. Come back, headphones back on, and attempt to do some more Real and Serious Work.

From here, usually because an unrealistic milestone has been set (and will inevitably be completely missed, yet again), it will be a long evening of More Serious Work and by mid-evening everyone orders over-time food (in which at least three people will not get their order, someone wandered off with someone else's dinner and four people forgot to order, so back to the quick-stop some folks have to go again...).

And then do it all over again the next day (7 days a week during crunch time--ever notice though, that its ALWAYS crunch time....?)

And here's the kicker to all of this--a lot of stuff actually gets done every day and people really really love doing it! :-)

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 12:05PM Poordevil said

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I think these scenarios were posted by laid off devs who wonder why it is so hard for them to keep a job :)

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 12:19PM Dirktooth said

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I am once in a game studio environment as a 3D artist. Life was isn't as much as easy going.

The moment we clock in, it is the pantry first, we talk over the counter, cracking jokes and when time to start work, we prep our beverages and start going through internal system for news, updates, follow ups, previous notations on the changes, updates or new work.

For us 3D artist are all about poly counts and making the topology right for texturing as well as the models to be rig properly when transferred to the animation team.

Internal deadlines are the key. Those are our milestone and we have to adhere to what was suppose to come out first and next, what to fix in between and what to follow up next.

If any errors encounter, the address is immediately. Any delay from a source means you are delaying the whole production so we are doing our best to zero out such cause.

Since i was in a Senior level, the task broaden to tight knit supervision of everyone's progress and report to the supervisor for proper comments alongside with the directors.

Not to mention, its constant war in art department. Debates, respected arguments, constant changes to visual, conceptual art and any related to it. It is fun to work in there, to me it is a passion. :)

Oh my staple food on my desk, Snickers, sky juice, mix trail nuts (lightly salted) and some berries if i bring it from home. When needed to have an eat-in lunch, will pack my tuna melt or tuna mayo sandwich.

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 12:20PM JanChel said

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Magic.

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 3:46PM 2DruNk2FraG said

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@JanChel

and shenanigans.
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Posted: Mar 26th 2011 1:25PM (Unverified) said

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Ping pong tables, pizza, endless 2 liters of pizza, and hard core coding all day.

Thats all they do, they dont give a ****.

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 4:53PM pixledriven said

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@(Unverified)
I want a 2-liter of pizza
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Posted: Mar 26th 2011 2:25PM Pingles said

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Ever see the movie "Grandma's Boy"?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0456554/

It's exactly like that.

For reals! True story!

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 2:43PM bobfish said

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I've worked in the games industry for a few years, though I've never worked on MMO development I am eternally grateful that I am neither a programmer or an artist, for I would've slit my wrists over the monotomous, boring and unforgiving work long long ago.

Personally, I like to think of them like construction site workers... doing the donkey work for the designers who sit in their fancy offices all day :)

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 3:44PM Tristik said

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It's not possible they hate their job as much as I do. But it's more than possible they hate their bosses as much as I do. :)

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 4:52PM Gildas said

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I think it varies a lot depending on the studio. Some studios might have the ability to be more laid back, and I'm sure they take full advantage of that. Other studios might have a lot of management piggy-backing on the labor of hard workers, steering things in iffy directions. I imagine that they all have a lot of empty progress and work that gets done but is never used for the actual game. There's a lot more that goes into things than the viewer can see (and a lot more work and backtracking than really has to). I'm guessing there are a lot of authority figures that aren't on the cutting edge of ways to work and efficient workflows. Probably a lot of management people that piggy-back like in most professions. I feel sorry for studios that think 3ds max and maya are good modeling, uv, rigging, and animation programs. I'm sure there is a lot of unnecessary "slave labor" because of that.

Posted: Mar 26th 2011 5:58PM Graill440 said

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The morning meeting 30 minutes, no coffee, no donuts, water is provided, the team lead lays out agendas and goals for the next few days to each section. Missed goals from the previous week or day if its a hot item are reveiwed as to a failure mechanism or success. SME's are asked for q/a on the submitted work and asked for input on various sections work in relation to the overall project, qdr's are given to the SME's for review and retest to be reviewed at the end of the week.

Section leaders are reviewed after the meeting for performance issues and if a trend is found in non productivity or alot of mistakes they are replaced along with the person causing the mistakes.

The environment is slightly antiseptic as its a work area not a party room, ISO standards are in place and independent reviewers are monitoring budgets and time oriented goals, including SME interaction with the team lead, section leads and qdr sections. Zero defect is in effect and the contract reflects this in writing.

Its a very efficient work environment, unlike the makers of MMO's, no responsibility or consequence for wasting time or money other than moving on to another company to do the same thing, if only MMO makers had to stick to real standards.

"Laid back", "party atmosphere", "everyone is a buddy", "we are all friends", these are traits or indentifying features an investor wants to see in anyone or any business handling their money.

Posted: Mar 27th 2011 4:26PM Averice said

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Delegation of assignments. Priority lists. Q and A on direction and inspiration. Bust it for the stuff that's past deadline or major priority, take a short breather, work on what needs to be done today. Long breather, if you finish. Fiddle with a pet tweaking project or start working on the next assigned project.

There's nothing wrong with conversations, beverages, going surfing on your lunch break. As long as the work gets done, your head is in the game, and you realize that while you may only be assigned certain tasks, this is a project, and if you feel like something is off, you need to search your soul until you can explain why to someone else.

Posted: Mar 29th 2011 3:01PM Space Cobra said

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I like to think endless partying and boozing with easy access to 100 foot TVs on every wall in every office room and state-of-the-art computers that can easily multiplay altogether.

Then on some nights, some hosting of wild sex DnD parties and Strip-a-rama Nerf gun games when offices are closed.

Well, that's what *I* would like to think! :)

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