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Rocksy

Family & Game Design (Industry Question)

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Is there room for a family life (children, spouse, etc) if you're working 14 hours a day 6-7 days a week? I have read a lot of responses from Devs here and elsewhere stating that 12-14 hr workdays are normal. Some people advised not asking to work (in an interview) for less than 80 hrs/wk because it would show "lack of enthusiasm." I love games and programming, but I am worried about the fact that I want to have a family someday and probably wouldn't want to work more than 9-10 hrs a day maximum, even if I love the project to pieces. Is the Game Dev. industry looking for drones that sleep in the office and work weekends? Are those the only people who get promoted or do they try to discourage extreme overtime-obsessive working at all? Sure, every business has crunch time and that's understandable. But the way some of the Dev blogs read, it seems like if you can't devote your every waking moment to game design, you should just go into Insurance Sales and mod the Sims as a hobby. XD So, your opinions/experiences? Is the 14 hour work day just stated to scare off the feint of heart or is it the sign of a poorly organized and under-funded company? I'm not asking this to be snarky, I genuinely want to know your takes on it... especially from female point of views, if possible.

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Bollocks to the lack of enthusiasm. Take the interview, answer their questions honestly, ask them a few in return. If the company wants you to work 80 hour weeks, then it's not a good fit for you.

Not every company is EA.

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There are a number of horrible companies that treat their employees like slaves who exist for the sole purpose of generating code [and the products from those companies tend to also show that sort of environment. Electronic arts has become a bit of a joke regarding that sort of inhumane treatment], but the majority of studios are more similar to an average job *most* of the time [in terms of hours, though arguably more interesting than an average job].

It's a fact of the game dev world, though, that 'crunch time' will come. And when it does, it will temporarily shatter the social lives of all those on the project. 'Crunch time's are a bit more severe [from what I can see] in game development as compared to most software firms, and possibly more frequent. The *average* work day, though, is the standard 8 hour gig, 5 days/week, with all the more typical treatments [vacation, sick time, etc].

But be prepared to bring a sleeping bag to work right before the release date :P [a sensation that likely everyone here has felt with regard to their own projects though... so no big deal]

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Standard project period is 8 hr days and 5 day weeks. Crunch time (if any) will vary from project to project, company to company.

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Occasional crunch times (once a month or every other month) should be manageable. I have just been hearing so many horror stories lately about people in basically code sweat shops that I was worried it was the norm.

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IMO the best way to become really good at anything is total immersion.
When I was new in the industry (in the 70's) the only way to get access
to the tools was if a company owned them. That's no longer the case.

Nobody is going to reward you with wads of cash and valuable stock options
while you work 80 hour weeks and learn your trade. Some will offer you
lottery tickets (ie; stock and options that are worthless today).

So, again IMO, you can choose to be exploited for a few years (it actually
can be a lot of fun...), or you can do your immersion on your own time
on your own projects.

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After asking about the hours at a company I recently interviewed at they said they had milestones that came up every month or two. These would produce crunch times of a week or less. The rest of the time they worked 40 a week just like everybody else.

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