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ShyPoke

What Should We Avoid in the Industry?

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For budding game devs, what would be on a "blacklist" of things or people to avoid in the games industry?

My example for this (so that I'm not just asking a question and actually contribute to this forum) would be to: Avoid promising your audience that your game will be on Steam, and then taking an Epic Exclusivity Deal.

I hope this is the right forum to post this in, let me know if it's not and I'll delete it and post somewhere else.

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1 hour ago, ShyPoke said:

Avoid promising your audience that your game will be on Steam, and then taking an Epic Exclusivity Deal.

That would be a Marketing boo-boo. Are you talking about what kind of Marketing mistakes to avoid? Or are you talking Indie only? I was going to say "don't grouse at work because it poisons the workplace," but that comes from an entirely different place from your example. 

1 hour ago, ShyPoke said:

I hope this is the right forum

This is the Career Development forum, so my answer comes from having a job at a game company. Sounds like you're planning on running your own company. Perhaps the Business forum is a better place to ask this, if that's where you're coming from.

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I am actually the co-owner of a studio actually, so I will check out that out, thank you.

And I was going for mistakes in general that someone in the game industry should avoid, whether you are running your own company or a part of one.

And your advice is good. Grousing at work can cause issues for sure.

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Well, 

Your question is a bit too broad, 

Mistakes or things to avoid can be put into many categories and it all depends on your situation. 

For example, things to avoid for indie are totally  different than things to avoid for AAA. 

Remote work Vs. office jobs, etc. etc. etc. 

But in general,Avoid toxic or anti social people even if they are highly skilled. 

Avoid disagreements with your business partners. 

Avoid making games for the sake of just making games. 

Avoid feature creep 

 

Without knowing more about your situation, it's difficult to tell you what pitfalls you may come across.

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On 9/1/2019 at 3:52 AM, ShyPoke said:

My example for this (so that I'm not just asking a question and actually contribute to this forum) would be to: Avoid promising your audience that your game will be on Steam, and then taking an Epic Exclusivity Deal.

You've asserted that this is a definite Do Not Do item. But based on what evidence? Sure, fans get angry. But it may be the difference between being able to finish the game at all or not.

Personally I have a lot of sympathy for frustrated players in this situation but nobody deliberately sinks their company just to avoid a bit of online backlash.

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1) Never work for someone else for free.  You have skills, make sure you get paid for them.

2) Avoid religious fanatics.  This includes (but is not exclusive to):

  • Scrum is the only One True Development Process people (be Agile and let your project dictate the process, not the other way around)
  • The Object Oriented Programming is the only way to develop crowd.  The Cache is King, polymorphism and poorly laid out classes kill it.  By extension the patterns crowd where they have a hammer therefore the world is a nail.

3) Avoid people tied to a specific technology. Primarily game engines.  You don't always need a game engine to create a game.  Opinion here, but I think that the reason why we, as gamers, have not seen any really revolutionary type stuff in the last 10 years or so.  Producers are so risk adverse that they are dictating certain technologies thinking they are going to save time (i.e. money) but end up with a sunk cost fallacy.

4) If you are hired by a development house realize that you are a mercenary, companies will not be loyal to you and you will end up in a Death March and not be paid appropriately and typically dumped when the project is cancelled or 'finished' and shipped.

5) Avoid Brogrammer culture at all costs.

6) Don't worry about code reuse, you probably won't reuse code.  You will learn stuff and figure out how to do it better the next time.

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19 minutes ago, ThorMalleuson said:

realize that you are a mercenary, companies will not be loyal to you

Good one, but I would put it differently: Look out for yourself, first and foremost. Take care of your health. Do your best to get the project done, and do not speak poorly of the game, the people, or the company, but remember that your own career and life have to take priority. You can get other jobs.

23 minutes ago, ThorMalleuson said:

5) Avoid Brogrammer culture at all costs.

6) Don't worry about code reuse, you probably won't reuse code. 

SO TRUE!! 

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1 hour ago, Kylotan said:

nobody deliberately sinks their company just to avoid a bit of online backlash.

Perhaps you are right. Let me rephrase: Avoid not being transparent about it. Trust your audience enough that you keep them in the loop if you have to make the switch. Also don't do what Ooblets did and be condescending about taking the deal. Handle it incorrectly, and you risk losing your audience, and then it won't matter if you have Epic's money.

With the state of Epic right now, I personally would do everything I could to avoid making the switch especially if I've already promised it to Steam. 

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On 9/20/2019 at 4:08 PM, ShyPoke said:

Handle it incorrectly, and you risk losing your audience, and then it won't matter if you have Epic's money.

That's not really true. If you get offered enough money by your publisher (in this case, Epic) to finish your game, then losing some of your audience is fine. The games industry is a business, not a popularity contest. I agree with you on treating your community with respect when you consider these deals, but you have to consider the literal bottom line.

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On 9/20/2019 at 4:11 PM, ThorMalleuson said:

1) Never work for someone else for free.  You have skills, make sure you get paid for them.

2) Avoid religious fanatics.  This includes (but is not exclusive to):

  • Scrum is the only One True Development Process people (be Agile and let your project dictate the process, not the other way around)
  • The Object Oriented Programming is the only way to develop crowd.  The Cache is King, polymorphism and poorly laid out classes kill it.  By extension the patterns crowd where they have a hammer therefore the world is a nail.

3) Avoid people tied to a specific technology. Primarily game engines.  You don't always need a game engine to create a game.  Opinion here, but I think that the reason why we, as gamers, have not seen any really revolutionary type stuff in the last 10 years or so.  Producers are so risk adverse that they are dictating certain technologies thinking they are going to save time (i.e. money) but end up with a sunk cost fallacy.

4) If you are hired by a development house realize that you are a mercenary, companies will not be loyal to you and you will end up in a Death March and not be paid appropriately and typically dumped when the project is cancelled or 'finished' and shipped.

5) Avoid Brogrammer culture at all costs.

6) Don't worry about code reuse, you probably won't reuse code.  You will learn stuff and figure out how to do it better the next time.

I've been through all of that.
(1) Did some free work for a student group that slowly turned into a real cult tracking down blasphemers.
(2) The student group forced every global function to allocate and free an object on the heap for no reason. Didn't even use static functions, so memory leaks and crashes were everywhere.
(3) Most jobs I don't apply to require having learned some crap library that I've made better versions of myself.
(4) During my job interviews with Electronic Arts, they pretty much warned me that it was a churn and most people couldn't handle the stress there.
(5) Some C++ programmers really do say bro a lot. Ask them why something's dangerous in their framework even thou safety would have zero overhead, then it's a trap left on purpose to intentionally scare off noobs (the rest of the company).
(6) Some developers are so eager to reuse every line of code that they introduce hundreds of dependencies across modules so that a change anywhere breaks everything.

Edited by Dawoodoz

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