Saturday, March 03, 2007

Live Free or Work Hard

I recently read an article on about getting into the games industry. The main point seemed to be that you have to be clever, and you also have to work very hard, and consequently you won't have time to play any games.

Is that really such a good idea? If you go to a design job interview an can't talk about the good and bad points of recent games, and all of your cool new ideas have already been done half a year ago, you're not going to come across at your best.

I'm always amazed (in a bad way) by how many people in games development don't play games regularly. I've often come across the opinion that playing games is for QA and designers - but surely it's an advantage for artists and programmers to look at what the rest of the industry is up to as well? How can you hope to make a competitive product if you don't know what you're competing against?

As a bit of a footnote, I also take exception to the last line of the article: "But if it’s truly what you love, putting in the hours will be easy." Which sounds dangerously close to the 'you should accept crunch and overtime as an integral part of games development' myth that's so very damaging to the industry, and that a lot of developers are trying hard to stamp out.


Bez said...

Yes. Working hard != working well.

I've had to take time off work for exhaustion on doctor's orders. Needless to say, the work I did while exhausted was sub-par.

JC Barnett said...

Agreed. This whole "love your work, work hard, don't ask questions or get uppity" mentality is partly what is keeping this industry from actually maturing.

As an interesting observation, having done about half the weekends and overtime as my closest two colleagues it is rather telling they are now doing overtime fixing their bugs while I have *almost* none. And these are great artists, not amateurs; I respect their work immensely. Go figure.