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Dbproguy

Deadlines

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Hello, Me and my friend were discussing stupid things you could do to just make your code work (hard-coding values to fix certain challenging bugs) and I thought I had read something on the subject before, and a lot of professionals even do this to successfully meet their deadlines. Well this friend of mine is saying that real professionals don't even have deadlines and that's why we don't ever hear the release dates of most games for a long time. So now I'm curious if this is at all true. I had always thought that game programming (or any programming job for that matter) required a lot of extra hours sometimes because of deadlines but now I feel like I've been totally proven wrong and I don't have any evidence to support my side of this. I will make note of the fact that I don't think the guy that's trying to tell me this has any knowledge on the behind-the-scenes of game development.. But then again I really don't have that kind of knowledge either.

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Well this friend of mine is saying that real professionals don't even have deadlines and that's why we don't ever hear the release dates of most games for a long time.

This is called "bullshit."

Real professionals have deadlines. The only (professional) projects that tend not to have deadlines are those in very early prototype or pre-production phases, or those run by incompetents. It's simply that the deadline may not be fixed -- as development goes on, a deadline becomes more and more a fixed target. Without deadlines, however, its extremely difficult to plan and scope a project.

The reason you don't here about a ship date for most games until that ship date is very near is primarily to manage expectations. People who do not work in the industry -- like, for example, your friend (apparently) -- do not have an accurate picture of what working in the industry is like. In fact, they tend to have a horrifically skewed perspective on the reality of the situation, depending on which popular media outlets they frequent. So we keep our deadlines close to our chest to manage expectations -- as I said, deadlines are not fixed in stone at the start of a project, but when we move them, it's not always the massive catastrophe that the public usually interprets it as. It's impossible to plan out the details of a games development three years ahead, so moving the ship date around is expected.

That doesn't mean we don't aim to hit whatever the current target is, though.

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Duke Nuken Forever is what you get when your project doesn't have any deadlines.

Once you announce a date, you're already late. Basically, as soon as you shift the internal deadline (which happens all the time) the media immediately starts reporting about how you're running behind "schedule", "Project XYZ Slipped Three Months", etc. Of course, it's probably worse for Microsoft than for most other companies, but the expectation is still there.

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Original post by Dbproguy
Okay, thanks for clearing that up for me. It all makes much more sense.

Any company that makes software or anything else really will have people called managers(program managers or PM in software) and they are the ones that spend all day making Gantt chart's to make sure people working for them are making adequate progress and meeting deadlines.

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Original post by daviangel
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Original post by Dbproguy
Okay, thanks for clearing that up for me. It all makes much more sense.

Any company that makes software or anything else really will have people called managers(program managers or PM in software) and they are the ones that spend all day making Gantt chart's to make sure people working for them are making adequate progress and meeting deadlines.


Most of the time the number of managers in a team is directly proportional to the number of missed deadlines.

However coming to the real deal - there are deadlines, and I think game developers have a more strict deadline than product development. For Eg:- Christmas comes only once a year - if you have a christmas deadline then its pretty much you have to hit a christmas deadline else it sort of translates a lot into lost sales.

Product development has its deadlines too. Its just slightly different but extremely similar.



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