Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
GameEngineer_gi

Quality of life in the game industry

This topic is 4815 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

It should be obvious that this question is coming from someone who is NOT in the game industry. I am a programmer for a very large inkjet printer company but I do not program games. I have always had a passion for game programming, hobby mostly, but I do not know what the "life" of a programmer (game engine or game tools for asset creators like artists and such) is who works for a decent sized game company. Before I make any stupid, career change decsions that put my family at too much risk I would like to find out from experienced, game programmers who currently work or have worked for game companies. I have heard from an acquaintance who used to work for Midway in San Diego that the work hours are 9-midnight, 7 days a week. I hope he was kidding. I'm not a budding programmer fresh out of college who (no offense meant) would accept working long hours for little pay. I have also read a public letter from a wife who talks about her husband who was treated poorly at a certain game company. Is the industry really that cut throat? Is the competition to fierce and the profit margins so small that these companies have to pay so little and require so much time from their employees? -Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Stay in your current job, moving to the game industry will clearly risk your family, period.

If you want to make games, do them in your spare time... but don't leave your current job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
He wasn't kidding. I've earned a few "light weeks". This is only 9 hours a day. Once I'm over this "vacation" it'll be back to the 11 hour days.

Unless you really want to make games, don't consider it. At most companies, the hours are longer and the pay is worse than your current job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good feedback so far and the links to IGDA was invaluable. Currently I work from 9.5 to 10 hours per day by choice. Yeah I know. But the keywords are "by choice". Sounds like from you and from what I read from IGDA that you don't have the choice.

For now I will stick to the hobby.

-SJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to point out that not All games companies are like the picture painted by the above posts. Sure, there are some bad companies that push their employees excessively, without due reward, but this applies to all types of jobs, not just games.

I work 9 to 5.30, 5 days a week, with 5 weeks holiday a year. I get a reasonable salary, with completion bonuses and royalties on unit sales (and since these are games that sell millions of copies, the royalties are good).

Most importantly, I absolutely love what I do, and can't imagine doing anything else. It's what I've always wanted to do, and now I get paid for it.

If you have a real passion for games, then the games industry can be a very rewarding place for the right people. It's not everyone's cup of tea, and it can certainly be a very volatile place if you make the wrong decisions about where to work, but the same can be said for all types of jobs I would say.

If you're in it just for the money, then you're going to be disappointed - as almost every other type of software job will pay you better; but when I go into a shop and see a game that I've made on the shelves, or see them advertised on TV, or read reviews in magazines, or, most importantly, when I see people playing them and having fun; then it always reminds me how lucky I am to do what I do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I'm in sort of the same position as the original poster. Except I've just been layed off after five years of a "traditional" software engineering job. I'm not married and not hurting financially, so I'm just contemplating my next career move. I'm an avid gamer, and have always been very interested in 3D graphics, games programming, etc. I'm currently learning DirectX. I have 11 REAL years of software engineering experience, almost exclusively C++. My question: Is the game industry worth looking into, and do I have any real chance as someone with very solid software engineering experience, but no real game programming experience?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From my own experience and the fairly large number of people I know in the industry I'd say that some companies are not like that but most are.
Small or large developers, even the grunt worker is over 10 hours a day and a good number of week end spent working due to frequently missed deadlines.

This is imho a very bad industry, avoid if you can. Of course, ymmv but probably won't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
He wasn't kidding. I've earned a few "light weeks". This is only 9 hours a day. Once I'm over this "vacation" it'll be back to the 11 hour days.

Why do you let them do that? Why let someone explore your passion to get rich? Why not move to Wall Street, make almost double your salary, work eight-nine hours a day, make some money and start your own company?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
I'm in sort of the same position as the original poster. Except I've just been layed off after five years of a "traditional" software engineering job. I'm not married and not hurting financially, so I'm just contemplating my next career move. I'm an avid gamer, and have always been very interested in 3D graphics, games programming, etc. I'm currently learning DirectX. I have 11 REAL years of software engineering experience, almost exclusively C++. My question: Is the game industry worth looking into, and do I have any real chance as someone with very solid software engineering experience, but no real game programming experience?


If you have some good things to show in one or more game related fields then you probably have your chances, of course. You just need concrete things to show, it will always be much easier.

As a software engineer with your experience expect to be severely p1ssed off by the code you will have to work on. If you want a good example of how bad it can get just have an honest look at the 3DS MAX SDK. I'm sure you have already seen plenty of poor code but MAX is pretty much a reference in very poor software engineering.

IMHO passion is one of the worst thing that can bring you into this industry these days. Your passion will get burned in a few months. This is a buissness, no time for passion... unfortunately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!