Sign in to follow this  
I_Smell_Tuna

Office Space

Recommended Posts

What would you guys think about having a big apartment or townhouse (+/-4 bedrooms) as a live-in game development studio? You could live at the place you worked, which would get rid of the cost of office space and the utilities needed to run it. This would also be great for your development team, they wouldn't have to pay rent, and work is just outside of the bedroom. And if you needed more space you could just get two apartments right next to each other. What are your guys' thoughts? I think it's a great idea providing that everyone in your team gets along.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mixed thoughts. I've worked like that (crunch time) for some weeks every now and then and it was plain fun and cool. I've seen a team living like that for over two years and that was not a nice sight. Nor a nice smell btw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I think that's how Carmack and Romero made Doom.

I think it's not a bad idea when you are young and enthusiastic, but if something bad happened, you wouldn't be able to seperate work from life

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I absolutely agree with the AP. After a crappy day at work (and we all know they happen) or even a great day at work you need to get away from it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The biggest problem with this is that the seperation between work and personal life becomes so blurred that it can be very stressful. There's no escape from it at all, and that can grind on you bit by bit, especially if you start running into other problems or conflicts during development. If everyone worked together well, this could work great, though.

As a rule, I think the size of an apartment could be prohibitive to this type of situation, as the cramped nature of it could lead to problems later on. A townhouse or regular house would probably work better, and the price difference for renting isn't that large in many areas. A regular house would probably be the best solution, but it wouldn't be as easy to expand if you needed more space.

The biggest thing to make sure to do is give a very distinct seperation between the work areas and the personal areas. If you designated a certain area of the house as "the office," then it would give people the ability to escape away from it into the other areas of the house for rest and relaxation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your feedback. You guys really point out cons. The reason I'm asking is becuase in the next few years I hope to get some friends together to start a dev studio. Right now this seems to be the most cost effective solution to starting this kind of business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah, yeah. It can definitely help with costs.

I've actually been in a similar situation to this. It wasn't for purely work, but we did a lot of indy development around our regular jobs. We had a 2 story, 4 bedroom house. The computers and work area was in the largest room downstairs, and it was nice and open so you didn't feel enclosed and stressed. Having the bedrooms upstairs offered a nice seperation from it. It also helped a lot that there was a nice backyard with a pool, for lots of rest and relaxation.

One thing to remember is that being roommates with someone is completely different than just being friends. I've had a few friends that were great people, but didn't work out at ALL as roommates. Try to get these people together in some really close quarters situations before you do it to test how people get along - stuff like canoeing, camping, road trips, etc.

Another thing I could offer for advice in this situation is to take into account for the costs that it is a MUST that you get a good maid service for the house, and a good grounds keeping service (if you have a lawn). These aren't that expensive, and are HUGE in keeping everyone feeling comfortable in their living space. Everyone neglects the things they have to do from time to time, especially dishes and trash, and everyone looks to point the blame when they're not feeling comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your experience gives my more confidence. :) My friends and I have been on plenty of road trips and send more than our share of time at each others houses. We know what sets each other off. Maybe a house would be better off after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Have you been involved in any web projects before? like creating a mod or something?

It might be something worth considering in the next few years before you decide to move in together. It would definately aid a working relationship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Be certain to look into your city's zoning restrictions per prospective home. Some zones disallow home businesses entirely while others prohibit certain things like signs.

I don't think there's a serious problem with working literally in-house. I know a small business financier who runs a multi-million dollar brokerage from his townhouse. Setting up a professional barracks of sorts might also get rid of the need to have your workplace certified by the fire department, etc., because each employee of the company would also be paying rent and thus be personally liable like homeowners typically. A Limited Liability Partnership would probably work best for this type of setup.

For a startup game development studio that I presume doesn't already have a million-dollar deal, consider setting up your company's operations to initially function as a vendor of game development services to other studios. From this vantage point, you can build capital for an internal project while providing for the welfare of your investors, co-workers, and partners (if any).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
id worked in rented appartments and houses to make Doom, Keen, and Wolfenstein.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by I_Smell_Tuna
Cool. How many people made Doom 3?


Doom 3 had lots of people involved. He meant Doom 1 (maybe 2, I am not sure about that).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this