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AnthonyHJ

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  1. The other point in the EU is that the same laws require 11 hours of unbroken rest between shifts, once every 24 hours. There are exemptions for specific roles (hospitals, police, etc.) and time spent on call doesn't count unless you are called in, but if they keep you until midnight, coming into work before 11am is a breach of health and safety law; you (the employee) would be liable, a company asking you to do so would be in breach of H&S law the same way a building site not supplying a hard-hat would be.   In the UK, it's worth noting that BECTU is the union for technical work in the entertainment industry (whether you are a lighting technician in a theatre or a software engineer in games) and their lawyers are very good. If in doubt, contact BECTU and (from memory) they don't even mind if you are signing up just to get legal help.
  2.   Sadly, the UK actually added an opt-out clause when the relevant laws were passed. And (at the risk of derailing the thread) that was before Brexit.
  3.   Junior? I think you need to get pretty far in your career (studio manager at least) before they stop expecting it. The simple truth is that every studio does it, so any studio who didn't would get priced out of the market. I still don't understand why there is even an option to 'opt out' of health and safety legislation though. 
  4. In the UK at least, the main warning sign is something called the Working Time Directive. It's a piece of Health and Safety legislation which limits workers to a 48-hour week, so most game studios (every non-indie I have ever encountered) will ask you to opt out of it.    A normal week will be your contracted hours, usually 37.5 or maybe 40 hours, plus ten or fifteen minutes before you leave on Friday so you can finish the code you are writing or finally answer that email you were putting off. Deadline weeks (once every couple of months if you are lucky) tend to go over quite badly. You work until the work is done, even if that's 60 hours or more, because missing a deadline usually means penalties and / or delayed payments and either of those can bankrupt a game studio. This is called 'crunch' and is something to watch out for.   In a good studio, the management team are still there (if only because they are on the phone to the publisher trying to keep them updated) and will buy you pizza.   If you have more than one 'crunch' week in a calendar month or more than two in three months, something has gone wrong. If you are lucky, it just means management screwed up and will get 'restructured' soon. If you are not, expect to arrive at work one day to find the locks have changed.
  5. AnthonyHJ

    How did you start in Game Development/Programming?

    It was the mid-late 80s and my dad (a programmer working in the financial sector) decided to show me how BBC BASIC worked. I wrote my [10 print "Hello World!"] and I learned how to expand it to endlessly write that my little brother was a poo-head (I was only about 8 at the oldest) with GOTO statements, but I wanted more. Thanks to an advertisement in the local newspaper, I got the whole set of INPUT magazines in a collection of black folder-things and that got me started.   My first game set up targets at the top of the screen, then you moved left and right to shoot them and I think I even had the targets shooting back eventually.   A decade later, I taught myself how to make Doom levels in DoomEd, then moved on to making Quake levels with Worldcraft (what you know know as Hammer) and taught myself C++ via the QC language Quake used for its scripting, which was basically a simplified version of C++ by all accounts.   I studied a degree in games and software engineering as a mature student, learned 3ds Max, made a basic space-sim using DirectX, then more or less walked straight into a job as a level designer in 2006, switched to design and scripting in late 2007, was doing narrative design by August of 2008 (on the second anniversary of my first job, almost to the day).   Seven and a half years later, I am writing about development as much as doing it, but my daughter asked earlier this week if I could teach her how to make games, so maybe one day she'll be replying to a thread like this. I am not sure whether to be proud or scared for her...
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