Game Developers Must Avoid The ‘Wage-Slave’ Attitude

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Apr 18, 2016.

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  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    For those of you that missed this, Alex St. John, the creator of DirectX and founder of WildTangent, has a few words for the game industry. Obviously this article is going to piss a lot of game developers off so I wanted to see what you guys thought about the situation.

    Many modern game developers have embraced a culture of victimology and a bad attitude toward their chosen vocations. They complain that the long hours and personal sacrifices great games require are a consequence of poor management. They want to pretend that they can turn an inherently entrepreneurial endeavor like game development into a 9-to-5 job. Somehow, these people have managed to adopt a wage-slave attitude toward one of the most remarkable and privileged careers in the world. Listening to them complain about it, you would they think that they are trapped in some disenfranchised third-world country forced to dig for blood diamonds to feed their families.
     
  2. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    If you don't like it, quit and get a new job.
     
  3. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    Unless your compensation is based on the success of the company through stocks, bonuses or other things besides YOUR NORMAL SALARY, people should only work 9-5.

    If its only the people at the top who are benefiting from your extraordinary work - ask yourself, why are you doing it?
     
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  4. Denpepe

    Denpepe [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have no problem with doing paid overtime or even unpaid if done within reason, but working 80 hours a week of which 50% or more for free so some bigshot is getting rich, no thx. You need to get paid for the effort you put in.
     
  5. ZLoth

    ZLoth Gawd

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    Now, get back to work, code monkey! Christmas is coming, so we need everyone to work 20 hour days for that release.
     
  6. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    project mis-managment and poor scheduling...welcome to the world of design.
     
  7. mastaBlasta

    mastaBlasta Gawd

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    What a terrible condescending opinion piece.

    So what about when EA forces everyone to work 80h/week to finish a game, and then once done fires everyone and closes the studio? Is that also part of the "suck it up you're privileged" attitude?
     
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  8. ZLoth

    ZLoth Gawd

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    Yup.
     
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  9. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    Everybody wants to be a victim these days, it's all the rage.

    The bottom line is that game development and IT in general can be a really shitty job. If only there was something you could do about a shitty job... What could someone do if they hated their job?...
     
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  10. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have to say that I agree with part of his argument. Games are a creative endeavor and art requires adversity. The best games come from small groups of talented people with big ideas who put in the time to develop them, not people who went to college for a 'game design' degree and work 9-5 on DLC packs for Call of Duty 25. It's not so much an attack on individual programmers and developers as it is a criticism of how the industry is run in general.

    It seems pretty clear to me that the big publishers are the crux of the problem though. EA managed the team behind SimCity [2015] into the ground and completely destroyed their famous Maxis subsidiary. Paradox Interactive made a proper city builder (Cities: Skylines), sold it for 1/3 of the price of SimCity, and is enjoying a profitable existence.
     
  11. i960

    i960 Limp Gawd

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    I always wondered what happened to him.

    He's pretty much wrong on all points though. The especially disturbing part to me is thinking that development isn't really work because the end product is for entertainment, and that development is no more difficult than pushing a mouse around all day. Maybe I read that wrong, but it sure came off that way. Creative works and programming in particular are very difficult and taxing on the body, even if it's not physical labor.
     
  12. Zion Halcyon

    Zion Halcyon 2[H]4U

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    Guy is a douche.

    Now, that said, there is something about game developers, at least some, nowadays being more pissy, whiny babies who blame fans for their own shortcomings (the community management team for SWTOR is a prime example of this, as Eric Musco is a condescending hack), but that aside, they do have miserable working conditions, and I do think they are entitled to a 9-5 job at a fair wage, and game releases should be structured under that expectation.

    It's so funny - for all the corruption in Unions brought up in the other thread, the video game industry is the one industry that actually COULD BENEFIT from a true union. The problem is, those old unions that protect workers don't exist anymore, so there's no one left to stick up for people in that industry.
     
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  13. Yakk

    Yakk [H]ardness Supreme

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    EA has been subbing out a lot more work to avoid some of this (well, mostly so they don't have to pay benefits though).
     
  14. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    [​IMG]
    All Programmers have a desire to be useful. But in moments, you will no longer seek communication with each other,
    your friends, or your families. You will each be a part of Me. And together, we will be complete.
     
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  15. schizrade

    schizrade [H]ardness Supreme

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    Lol, you ran off to the hills with that one.

    Passive aggressive much boo-boo?
     
  16. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    Game developers create games for preexisting publishers/studios. Wise game developers create their own games.
     
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  17. MarkVI

    MarkVI Limp Gawd

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    I'm a musician and I run into this attitude all the time. "You love what you do, why should you get paid for it?" Just because we do something we like and it's artistic doesn't mean we shouldn't be treated like other working professionals.
     
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  18. Zion Halcyon

    Zion Halcyon 2[H]4U

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    You know, at the same time, I almost want to file this under "Silicon Valley People-Problems".

    :p
     
  19. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Yeah, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. :LOL: I worked since I was 12 years old. If I did not like my job....I got another one. I moved furniture for a year so I would not have to "spend months with no work." If you want to work, it is out there. Suck it up buttercup and put your big boy panties on.
     
  20. Wierdo

    Wierdo [H]ard|Gawd

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    The population is getting primed for burger flipping jobs. Bad social net, bad hours, bad education, some "work hard and don't complain" brainwash posters, parks full of aluminum shacks on wheels... it's all good if the purpose is breeding starry eyed servants.
     
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  21. schoolslave

    schoolslave Gawd

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    waaah waaah wahh I want to be CEO but only work 40 hours per week wahhh wahh wahh. Waaaahhhhhhhhhh I've been doing the same thing for 10+ years but I deserve a raise! waaaaaaaaaaah. Waaaaahhhhh this other guy put in 80+ hours this week and got a raise, promotion, bonus while I worked 40 hours, 20 of which were gossiping in the office, and I don't get shit waaaaahhhhhh.

    Entitlement and playing the victim will be the death of the West I swear.

    The only way to differentiate yourself (in a software/programming job) is to work a shit ton, volunteer for everything, constantly push for new shit, and be "noticed". Yeah, that means you have no life until you hit 35+ and cushy upper management/lead role. Derp such is life.
     
  22. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    Even those jobs may go away. With some places creating $15/hr min. wages, the front line at fast food restaurants is already being replaced by kiosks with card readers. Burger flipping could easily be replaced by a robotic arm with a spatula, timer, and a thermal camera.
     
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  23. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    In this case, I feel like a "The Dark Knight" quote is appropriate here:

    If you're good at something, never do it for free.
    You have the "Right" to Work laws to thank for that prevailing mentality.
     
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  24. schoolslave

    schoolslave Gawd

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    Who's fault is that? A good rule of thumb I've heard from some successful people around here is that every time you get a significant raise (10-20%), live for at least 6 months assuming you still had your old pay.
     
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  25. Yakk

    Yakk [H]ardness Supreme

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    Hey, it's a Brave New World out there...
     
  26. Jehuty

    Jehuty Limp Gawd

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    I'm actually surprised to see some people support the mentality that having to work like a slave is totally acceptable. Especially given what this website is about - many of us understand the working conditions, some from first hand. Working long hours, ok - I can see that. Projects may need the extra time and manpower sometimes. But the goals set now days are so astronomical in scope that some people practically live at their workplace. Not only that, but they're not compensated for it. It's not even about having to have a 9-5 schedule at all times. It's about the rampant abuse. It's about the lack of compensation.
     
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  27. Weenis

    Weenis I said WEENIS, not...

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    You obviously don't own a home.
     
  28. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Actually, yes I did. No mortgage at the time, but everything else.
     
  29. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    Whose fault is it if a person decides to spend their money getting into debt every time they get a raise?

    Dont buy homes you can't afford. If you do, realize that the home now becomes an anchor that makes it harder to quit your job.

    Its called being free to make your own decisions and live with the consequences.
     
  30. NeghVar

    NeghVar 2[H]4U

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    “Right to work” laws actually make illegal discriminatory firing legal because the employer is not obligated to give a reason for the firing.
    Even ridiculous reasons such as this.
    Dentist who fired pretty and ‘irresistible’ employee acted legally: court
     
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  31. mastaBlasta

    mastaBlasta Gawd

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    The "Don't like it? Quit!" statement is not really that simple. Programmer do have the luxury of finding jobs in other industries, but the same is not true of concept artist, modelers, writers, designers, testers, sound engineers etc. Most of those jobs are very very specific to the game industry, and if that's the only professional background you have, then your 2 options are leave shit company A for shit company B, or start from zero with a different career. All bad choices.

    I think what's fair is fair. If you work really hard and your game bombs, then you should accept the fact that your work was for nothing. But you if you work hard and your game is hugely profitable, then it seems you should get a bigger piece of the pie not get downsized EA style.
     
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  32. Jehuty

    Jehuty Limp Gawd

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    lolololol

    because most people buy homes every time they get a raise! hahahahaha come on man. Also, just because you buy a home doesn't mean you can't afford it. You can afford a home but what good does it do when you can't even enjoy it because you're slaving away at your job? even if the person didn't have debt no one should have to be held to those ridiculous standards. It doesn't make it ok.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
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  33. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    I would suggest you go get training and education in another field if your picked field does not fulfill your earning and lifestyle needs. I would not consider that a bad choice. Fixing your situation is never a bad decision.
     
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  34. schoolslave

    schoolslave Gawd

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    Correct, but in ~1 month I will (new construction).
    I also made it a point to buy a home in a growing area (real estate wise) and with a ridiculously large amount of tech companies.
     
  35. Semantics

    Semantics 2[H]4U

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    The fact that a "crunch time" where you're pretty much living at the studio to finish a game is normal in the industry shows that it's massively mismanaged. Then dumping most of your developers when the game is done because you don't need them for another year or two while the studio is between projects sorta just goes along with how poorly the industry is managed. They get away with it because it's pretty much non-overtime so publishers don't feel the burden of their mismanagement only the developers. I bet if their positions get reclassified suddenly games wont have a crunch time.
     
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  36. BreezeDM

    BreezeDM Gawd

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    It is even worse than that. Poor management causes the budget to balloon and the difference is not easily realised because you don't have the cost numbers for the same project from a parallel universe where the project was properly managed. The only numbers they see is that they got 40 hours of work for free.
     
  37. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    Are you 12? MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION. If you want a big nice expensive home, you might find it harder to quit your shitty job and find another. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
     
  38. Monkey God

    Monkey God Mangina Full of Sand

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    Crybabies. Always an excuse. Its NOT MY FAULT I have a crappy job that makes me work 70 hours a week and I CANT QUIT because I need the money and I CANT learn another career because of reasons.
     
  39. Jehuty

    Jehuty Limp Gawd

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    Oh sweet we've hit the ad hominem phase. Why are you assuming people buy big expensive homes anyway? A lot of devs live in apartments or they rent homes. The buying of a home has nothing to do with the debt you acquire - it can come from other things like the education it takes to get you where you're at. Remember: you pick the job you want to make a living off of. So, you often do what you need to do to get there - and that includes racking up some debt from school. A lot of devs go in with the mentality that they just want to do what they love and want to make games people enjoy. Then they find the hell they're in - and it's hard to leave that and it's not like the debt disappears. It becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to escape. Maybe back when going to college set you back maybe $15k you could up and leave and find a different line of work.

    Personal responsibility is a line people use when they've nothing useful to add to the conversation, though I suspect you're not really interested in doing that.
     
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