• Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Game Development and Families

This topic is 5276 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi, I''m interested in getting into the field of game development (mainly the programming aspect) and I''ve read that some jobs require nearly 18 hour work days. What I''d like to know from some of you who maybe actually have experience in the field is, how do you manage to have a social life? I don''t plan to be a bachelor my whole life, but will this come into conflict with my aspirations for game development?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
quote:
Original post by Jbs
how do you manage to have a social life?

Via email and instant messaging

Seriously, the industry (like most other creative/entertainment industries) does not function on a 9.00-5.00 basis. Part of this is because games need to get finished ASAP, part because it is hard to schedule them (and the resultant slippage needs to be made up through unpaid overtime) and partly because some people choose to work long hours.

There are times (close to deadlines) when long hours are necessary but at others they are not and staff need to ensure they work sensible hours. The "hero" culture of working long hours as the nrom actually makes people less efficient and slows development. If the company you end up at doesn''t realise that they try to educate them (by actually looking up facts n figures). If they still wont listen then move elsewhere. There are companies that opperate sensible working practices.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions
Game Development & Design consultant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
> I''ve read that some jobs require nearly 18 hour work days

There is an not-so-old adage that states "it takes a gamer to make games"; that''s why companies filter candidates for that inner drive to perform and a deep interest in all games. That is, in essence, not conflictual with spending a large amount of time in front of a TV or computer screen.

The average game developer is 27 years old; that''s in line with the average gamer. The smaller firms with low budget projects will tend to take on low-paid freshly educated developpers at 22 years average, while the big guns are willing to pay for experience and know-how and 30 year old buffs is not uncommon. Younger people are easier to influence and peer pressure is at maximum. Older buffs have engrained habits, are harder to influence and family matters get in the balance.

So the work life evolves with time, fortunately for you. Go to a studio where the average age is low to get that sense of driving at 390 MPH while typing code; the hours will zip by with that ''whooooshhh'' sound. Fast will also be your progress in the corporate ladder. Otherwise, a large studio with an older pool of developpers will feel more like a big corporate IT department; career progress could also be slow. Choice is yours.

-cb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is no social life. It''s Friday nite, my friends are all out partying, while I''m here coding.

Prepare to marry your computer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My girlfriend is a programmer also.

I''ve ran my own business for six years with my friend, and we occasionally hire her to help us with some time-critical missions (otherwise she''s a freelancer).
Normally, we work about 8-10 h a day.

Note, we''re not a game studio per se, but an interactive graphics specialist house. We only gamedev for fun...

Could not be a sweeter deal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our project manager often takes us out for drinks; I''ve been in here till 11:00pm the past couple of nights, but that''s mainly because I have to wait for him to give me a lift home (having stayed just past the last bus), and partly because the project has to be finished by, er, today. We''re not often asked to come in on weekends; when we do, it''s just a Saturday afternoon for a few hours type job. I''ll be in tomorrow - voluntarily - to help polish the final demo.

Working for one of the larger, more established studios like EA will be more of a ''normal'' working life. Despite what you may think, having your people stay to the wee hours of the morning does *not* increase productivity very much - you just end up with tired people. Management are beginning to catch onto this, and so a 5:30pm leaving time is kinda expected. That''s one of the reasons I don''t get paid overtime, I think - they don''t want to give us an incentive to work late.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.
Enginuity1 | Enginuity2 | Enginuity3 | Enginuity4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Void
There is no social life. It''s Friday nite, my friends are all out partying, while I''m here coding.

Prepare to marry your computer.


Wait... partying != coding? No one ever told me that!! Since when has there been a difference?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Over the summer I worked for 3 months at a game company. Here''s what they did:

During normal times, 10am-7pm (pretty mild)
During crunch time: 9am-9pm
Night before milestone: 9am-2am

The balance between "normal" time and "crunch" time probably depends on your particular project. If your company has a very tough schedule, or is understaffed etc, it is possible you could be in crunch mode for anywhere from 3-12 months or even longer.

At the company I worked at, I would say during the span of the game''s development, by the time it''s done, there probably will have been about 4 months worth of crunch, and about 12 milestones, each of which usually involved staying up til average of 1 or 2am, sometimes 3, and on one occasion, we were there from 9am-7am

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Four MONTHS of crunch? From what I''ve read and talked to others about, that sounds really excessive. Were the milestones well-planned or constant problems? I read an article in Game Developer last year that highlighted this problem really well, quoted that somewhere around two to three weeks of crunch for a year-long project was average.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My experience has been that we generally work 8-10 hours a day depending on the nature of our job, how much we have left to complete and how likely we are to make our intended deadline. For example our musician has been working long hours like mad for the past couple of weeks because our game is due to be completed today and, well, there are some sound samples that aren''t quite there. We had a slow start though, so our situation, I would say, is a bit unique. If we''d had the development kit and necessary software in the beginning then we''d probably be done already. Otherwise we often work 5-6 days per week and 8 hours per day. As others have said, it depends on if you''re in a crunch period when gearing up for finalization. Otherwise you should only put in about 40-50 hours per week and, ideally, just a steady 40. Otherwise people will get burned out and productivity will falter. Note: Not all people are the same, your mileage may vary.

Charles Galyon
NeoPong Software
www.neopong.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Jbs
Hi, I''m interested in getting into the field of game development (mainly the programming aspect) and I''ve read that some jobs require nearly 18 hour work days. What I''d like to know from some of you who maybe actually have experience in the field is, how do you manage to have a social life?

I don''t plan to be a bachelor my whole life, but will this come into conflict with my aspirations for game development?


First of all you should already have a social life. You should be cool with your family and friends and do stuff with them. Second try to expand your mind, try having other hobbies. Me, I have many. During most of the day I''m riding bikes with my cousin and my sisters and then be go play some basketball, which I suck at, then we go see some of our friends for anothers 4 hours. After that we go home and I work on my garden for an hour. Then I draw some stuff. And THEN I program for 2 hours and get A LOT done. One time in one hour I finished an small game! Finally, on weekends we go party or my entire family and I go out. My life is AWESOME!!! I couldn''t imagine living better. As for work, well... I put in 3 days a week but I work the WHOLE day. This way I don''t have to work the other 4 days. NOW THAT''S THE WAY TO LIVE!!!


Hey, don''t forget to visit my page... by clicking here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Void
There is no social life. It''s Friday nite, my friends are all out partying, while I''m here coding.

Prepare to marry your computer.


YOU ARE A NERD!!! There is more to life than coding. Have fun! You only live once! (probably)


Hey, don''t forget to visit my page... by clicking here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Nik02
My girlfriend is a programmer also.

I''ve ran my own business for six years with my friend, and we occasionally hire her to help us with some time-critical missions (otherwise she''s a freelancer).
Normally, we work about 8-10 h a day.

Note, we''re not a game studio per se, but an interactive graphics specialist house. We only gamedev for fun...

Could not be a sweeter deal


Ahh... NERDS IN LOVE. It''s like Romeo and Julliet but with a nerdy tough. Good luck coding NERDS!!!

I bet if you guys get married they will call you Mr. and Mrs. NERD. 8 HOURS A DAY!!! HELL! Only a nerd could do that!

Geeze!!! I''m glad none of my friends are into computers. I would be constantly surrounded by NERDS.


Hey, don''t forget to visit my page... by clicking here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by superpig
Our project manager often takes us out for drinks; I''ve been in here till 11:00pm the past couple of nights, but that''s mainly because I have to wait for him to give me a lift home (having stayed just past the last bus), and partly because the project has to be finished by, er, today. We''re not often asked to come in on weekends; when we do, it''s just a Saturday afternoon for a few hours type job. I''ll be in tomorrow - voluntarily - to help polish the final demo.

Working for one of the larger, more established studios like EA will be more of a ''normal'' working life. Despite what you may think, having your people stay to the wee hours of the morning does *not* increase productivity very much - you just end up with tired people. Management are beginning to catch onto this, and so a 5:30pm leaving time is kinda expected. That''s one of the reasons I don''t get paid overtime, I think - they don''t want to give us an incentive to work late.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.
Enginuity1 | Enginuity2 | Enginuity3 | Enginuity4


This is your classic DRUNK NERD!


Hey, don''t forget to visit my page... by clicking here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Void
Partying involves chicks. Real human, not .jpgs.


LMAO! That was bad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by TreizeSG
quote:
Original post by Void
There is no social life. It''s Friday nite, my friends are all out partying, while I''m here coding.

Prepare to marry your computer.


Wait... partying != coding? No one ever told me that!! Since when has there been a difference?


It''s ok, nerd, code your life away... Live man, live!


Hey, don''t forget to visit my page... by clicking here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Void
Partying involves chicks. Real human, not .jpgs.


I hate ".jpgs" you can touch any of the chicks. That''s why I hate porno! I prefer real humans. I live in a real world. I''m not the Codeloader who is supposedly an AI virus (like he said) and gets his fun from infecting programs. I''m human no F***en machine is going to control me!


Hey, don''t forget to visit my page... by clicking here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Edward Ropple
Four MONTHS of crunch? From what I''ve read and talked to others about, that sounds really excessive. Were the milestones well-planned or constant problems? I read an article in Game Developer last year that highlighted this problem really well, quoted that somewhere around two to three weeks of crunch for a year-long project was average.


I don''t crunch programs I cruch girls! Over programming is really a sucker. You can''t do too much of anything otherwise it starts to suck!


Hey, don''t forget to visit my page... by clicking here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 posts from one person in 15 minutes? Can you say "troll"? It''s not a wonder you''re on problation...

Anyway...

You know FrancoisSoft, a lot of what you''re saying would have merit if you were in business for yourself or just a hobbyist.

You''re awful damn lucky to have a job that''s 3 days a week. I imagine those 3 days would be hell (assuming a normal 40 hour week) but to have 4 days of weekend every week would be awesome.

In case you haven''t ever been exposed to the real world of work (which it sounds you might not have been), most people have to work 40 hrs/wk (with more hours counted as overtime as necessary). And because of religious issues mainly, it''s deemed that Saturday and Sunday aren''t supposed to be workdays (that''s kind of archaic now but it''s the original basis for it). So to maximize the number of business days, that 40 hours is split over the five normal work days. Hence 8 hrs/day.

quote:
8 HOURS A DAY!!! HELL! Only a nerd could do that!

By those standards, every single full-time worker (by my standard above) is a nerd. If you only mean programming 8 hours a day, then every single full-time programmer out there is a nerd.

And I bet in Void''s case, his company''s in "crunch" time. In case you couldn''t figure it out, that''s when you have to work more because something has to be done soon. You can''t tell me you never did anything like that when you were in school at the very least...

-Auron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A life? What is that? Hehe, I''ve been in the industry for over 10 years now.

Well you can manage to have a night life once in awhile, or at least I did. This industry is NOT friendly towards families or relationships. So before you get involved with somebody make sure they know the demands of your job, assuming that you are not working for a cooshy game company which doesn''t demand alot of hours from you... Yes there are those out there what are like that.

In my case, I have my own compnay running a MOG. I live and breath the game, so do most people in the office. We are either developing, working on support emails, playing the game or GMing. I''m on call 24/7/365. Hell I feel bad when I take took days off, which was the first time I took any time off in the last 4 years. But the lady in my life understands my work and supports me. I also have a son who loves my game and plays with me when he can. That is always good.

I''ve known people who dated other developers and even work on the same projects. That can be good and bad. They tend to argue over who''s code runs the best or whatever and God forbid they ever argue about Who''s bug it is.

You have to love what you do and have somebody in your life who understands enough and respects you enough to let you do it. Squeeze every ounce of time you can and yes IMs help some.

In normal environments you''ll have alot of time between projects or during starting phases of a game. You''ll get plenty of time for a social life then. But close the doors when you crunch. You will not see the light of day for a very long time.


http://www.dransik.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement