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Fred the Barber

If any of you ever does work in the video game industry...

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Make sure you don't work for this guy: http://venturebeat.com/2016/04/16/game-developers-must-avoid-the-wage-slave-attitude/

 

The money quotation IMO is: "You can’t 'make fun' on a schedule, under budget, on time with a bunch of people who are all grumbling about what a miserable time they are having finishing a game together." 

Since the second half of that sentence is actually predicated on a failure of the first part, I'll just paraphrase this to:

 

I don't know how to make games on a schedule, under budget, on time.
- Alex St. John

 

Although I do also really like the part where he explains that making games is not "an actual job", and that's why you should feel privileged to be shat on as an employee in that industry. I've literally never seen a better exemplar of everything that's wrong with American white collar businesses.

I hate the "love your job" mentality that pervades modern middle-class moralizing morons like this man. It doesn't make anybody any happier. Hard-working people don't get to eat dinner with their families for months because a bunch of idiots, like this clown, fail to predict how much work it would take to make, say, Madden 2016, despite having gone through exactly the same experience year after year for decades, with Madden 2015, Madden 2014, ... And then this guy comes along and tells them that, simply because they're working on video games, this is some massively privileged position that deserves their undivided love, and if they want to work on them they should be willing to throw away everything else in their lives. I guess fussing with the deployment scripts for the eightieth time so you can rev the service backing your game is doing God's work, or something.

Screw that, and screw him.

Now, don't misunderstand. If at all possible, you should find a job you like. It makes the hours go by a lot faster, and you'll even enjoy your time there most of the time. But unless you're in the 0.01% of people who actually live to work, rather than the remaining 99.99% who work to live, you probably are better off if you don't love your job and you realize that that's ok.

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Well, no one is forced to work for this company. You are free to move on and work for someone else. One thing about the game industry I don't care for is that college grads have a very hard time finding a job that applies to their degree. I know someone like this and every company seems to want experienced only. Well, you gotta start somewhere to get experience.

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In a world where unicorns and dinosaurs are real, people work overtime because of their passion because they don't have any other responsibilities besides making people happy and enjoying their creativity.

Unfortunately, we don't live in that world, and eating food and having a place to sleep are real necessities.

But naaah, no real developer should ever consider their coding skills to be worth any money, they're better off under a bridge, carving HTML onto a pillar, because their creativity is their real reward!

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Now this is a thread with real talk. On top of everything else, it's not even like the people coding the game necessarily have a lot of input on the game itself: usually more well-paid project managers and "concept designers" simply dictate what needs to be coded. Making a game isn't necessarily the same as designing a game.

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44 minutes ago, Fred the Barber said:

But unless you're in the 0.01% of people who actually live to work, rather than the remaining 99.99% who work to live, you probably are better off if you don't love your job and you realize that that's ok.

+1

Very, very, very few people get to do what they love as a living and actually be profitable at it.

This line sealed it for me here:

Quote

Making games is not a job — it’s an art.

Horseshit. Making games is a job. It involves art, sure. You think the graphic artist making a pixelated vagina on his 50th nameless, similar looking girl is enjoying it? Maybe. Or maybe he's wishing he was out painting, but painting doesn't necessarily pay the bills. Selling video games does. And you think the guy coding the game is having fun, comparing himself to Rembrandt as he tries to make sure all the choices line up in the code? Maybe, but I bet he's doing it so his rent doesn't go late.

Making games takes technical skill, and the idea of changing it into a "privilege industry" is stupid. The industry exists because there's a demand for the product, and not just anyone can deliver the product. I can't make games - I could write script for games and currently am doing that - but I can't code that script, and I can't make the art that goes with it. And yes, you can burn out doing it. Because it's your FUCKING JOB. I wouldn't be surprised if the percentage of people who got into making games did it because they loved games and thought it would be fun to turn their hobby into their career who now do hobbies other than games is relatively high, because it's suddenly not fun anymore.

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This Alex St. John guy is a real piece of work and everyone on twitter has been dogpiling him the last few days, with good reason. He's like a villainous 19th century coal mine baron displaced into the modern world. It's impossible for me to read anything he says and not get seething mad. Here's some more material to get mad about: http://www.alexstjohn.com/WP/download/Recruiting%20Giants.pdf

Rami Ismail is a cool dude and really level headed, his response to that article was great.

 

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"Don't choose the job you love, but a job that'll keep you alive to do what you love".

ofc if the job you love also gives lots of money, then you got the best of both worlds. But for the rest of us regular people, I think this saying is a good one to live by.

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I don't really know or care about this topic, but from my experience there is a surplus of young guys out there looking for a job in the gaming industry. I actually hear it quite a bit... "my dream is to get into the gaming industry." Or something similar. 

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