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A Horrible Industry

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I don't see myself working in any game studio. There is not much innovation going on, the pay is not very good, etc.


That depends a hell of a lot on the studio.

There are good places to work, and they do plenty of innovative stuff, with competitive pay rates with non-gaming programming jobs. They're hard as hell to break into, sure, but they do exist.


It's the same in any industry or any career. If you want to work for the top 1% of companies, you better be a top 1% employee. Life in the first two standard deviations is not all roses and rainbows in any business. I've had my share of experiences like frob's in the non-games software world where the quality of life was utter rubbish - both as a contractor and as a full-time employee. Overall it comes down to how hard you're willing to work to get into a good position, and how qualified you are to stay on track in that position over time.

Compared to the horror stories I hear coming out of the supposedly "good" employers in the non-games software world, I'm pretty damn happy to be working for a studio.

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Oh, god, don't tell people that success is random Dmy, it scares them and consequently makes them angry. I've seriously gotten death threats from pointing out that WoW became the most popular MMO because of a unique confluence of popular IP, minimal competition, and extensive advertising and awareness outside of the core gaming demographic.


And like ten years of RTS games where a whole generation grew up with the lore and the world. WOW was not build in a few years. The build up of the WOW universe took many years and yaa no one could foreseen that it would be so popular wink.png Also the smart advertising strategy by using cult like people(Chuck Noise, Ozzy Osborne, A team members(the TV series from the 80'ies etc)) has all turned out to be a success. If you got the money you can move the snowball which in the end will increase in size. Also the concept has gone more main stream in the game design so no one needs to read much and instead just point and click etc. etc. But of course that is all just random and not about a company doing its research well tongue.png

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Oh, god, don't tell people that success is random Dmy, it scares them and consequently makes them angry. I've seriously gotten death threats from pointing out that WoW became the most popular MMO because of a unique confluence of popular IP, minimal competition, and extensive advertising and awareness outside of the core gaming demographic.

Why do you think the latter part of your comment is random? WoW's success wasn't random at all. Maybe you mean pointing out that something doesn't become successful because it is the best product is what you mean?

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[quote name='Dmytry' timestamp='1341172849' post='4954631']
I don't see myself working in any game studio. There is not much innovation going on, the pay is not very good, etc.


That depends a hell of a lot on the studio.
[/quote]

It also depends on what you want to get out of working there.

I'm a 'nuts and bolts, tools and tech' kinda guy - I making good and cool solutions to problems to let game teams make games. They give me requirements, I make shizzle happen.

I couldn't give a damn about the games themselves, if the game play mechanics are good or whatever, I just get satisfaction out of doing my job well.

Fortunately I seem to have landed in the Rendering team of the Central Tech department of the company I work for so have a fair amount cool rendering stuffs I can work on :D

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[quote name='AltarofScience' timestamp='1341173617' post='4954638']
Oh, god, don't tell people that success is random Dmy, it scares them and consequently makes them angry. I've seriously gotten death threats from pointing out that WoW became the most popular MMO because of a unique confluence of popular IP, minimal competition, and extensive advertising and awareness outside of the core gaming demographic.

Why do you think the latter part of your comment is random? WoW's success wasn't random at all. Maybe you mean pointing out that something doesn't become successful because it is the best product is what you mean?
[/quote]

Random probably wasn't the best word.

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I think money and the majority of gamers, is the important. but no matter what thing, with people as the key, the only people who are interested in, can design the do better and more attractive.

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[quote name='Dmytry' timestamp='1341172849' post='4954631']
I don't see myself working in any game studio. There is not much innovation going on, the pay is not very good, etc.


That depends a hell of a lot on the studio.

There are good places to work, and they do plenty of innovative stuff, with competitive pay rates with non-gaming programming jobs. They're hard as hell to break into, sure, but they do exist.


It's the same in any industry or any career. If you want to work for the top 1% of companies, you better be a top 1% employee. Life in the first two standard deviations is not all roses and rainbows in any business. I've had my share of experiences like frob's in the non-games software world where the quality of life was utter rubbish - both as a contractor and as a full-time employee. Overall it comes down to how hard you're willing to work to get into a good position, and how qualified you are to stay on track in that position over time.

Compared to the horror stories I hear coming out of the supposedly "good" employers in the non-games software world, I'm pretty damn happy to be working for a studio.
[/quote]

Well, I know Valve is pretty good, and they pick up projects like Portal... but overall I dunno, I just don't see any of big guys making something particularly new. Even something as old as generating unique faces is omg super innovative there. The other software industry is also not very good of course. It's all mostly redoing old shit over and over again everywhere with few exceptions (Google's self driving car for example of real exception).

I just don't see how a big name studio would end up paying me as much as I got on Polynomial. Someone might, now, after I've released a competent game, but now I can make a next game and avoid the mistakes I made, and that should pay off better. (Polynomial was my first game. There's one thing I am sure I did right - going very obsessive on polish - and it was correct to make very basic gameplay for the first game - but it'll be better to have more diverse gameplay in the second)

Regarding role of luck: it shouldn't be either overstated or understated... something like angry birds, well, there's a lot of such games, many of them good, just 1..2 uberpopularity slots, whichever takes them is up to luck because nobody's really doing some sort of careful comparing like in sports. On the other hand, mmorpgs, that's heavy monetary investments, someone puts in more money than anyone else (including into marketing), has actually a good game, and captures the niche, not a lot up to luck. Edited by Dmytry

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I don't think that masses are dictating something. They believe what the media said and media says what was paid for. Most people believe in what they hear or read not too much on their experience. That is normal because today more people are playing games and the level is going down.
There are so many games which had excelentn first and second versions (or games) and then when companies grows they produced garbages. Look at Cossacks->American Conquest->Cossacks II; or Stronghold; or AOE 2 compared to AOE 3. Many good games were forgotten, no way to buy them, no mods, no new things, no working servers.
Companies are becoming larger and spent more money to do the same work with worse quality. Especially these tamagochies-free browser games called RTS...

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I don't think that masses are dictating something. They believe what the media said and media says what was paid for. Most people believe in what they hear or read not too much on their experience. That is normal because today more people are playing games and the level is going down.
There are so many games which had excelentn first and second versions (or games) and then when companies grows they produced garbages. Look at Cossacks->American Conquest->Cossacks II; or Stronghold; or AOE 2 compared to AOE 3. Many good games were forgotten, no way to buy them, no mods, no new things, no working servers.
Companies are becoming larger and spent more money to do the same work with worse quality. Especially these tamagochies-free browser games called RTS...



Money is votes, and games which get the most money get voted the highest. Game companies which see their games earning lots of money will naturally assume that there's interest in a sequel. It's a safer bet to invest your money into a sequel for a popular game which already has an established player base than to invent a brand new IP. That's why we see a lot of companies making lots of version of Call of Duty, The Sims, Diablo, Halo, Deus Ex, etc. There is quite a bit of new and fresh content within the sequels (there has to be, or the sequel to the sequel will fail).


Note that if you're planning on releasing a new sequel or version every year or two, your next release is going to be competing with your current release. Every version of Microsoft Word is a very good word processor. Once you have a good word processor, why buy the next version? Keeping that in mind, would you intentionally leave out features from your current release so that you can include them in the next release? If yes, then your current release is slightly crappier. If you do it too much, you run the risk of gaining the reputation that your last release was crap. If you make the most perfect software you can possibly make, you can't release a subsequent version which improves on it, and thus are out of business. This might be a plausible explanation on why the quality goes down for franchises which have a monopoly on a segment of the market. Edited by slayemin

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I am a musician. I joined this site hoping to start making music for video games.

You want to talk about bad industries, I can send you to quite a few musicians to talk to! haha

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