• Register
  • TOS
  • Privacy
  • @NeoGAF

Nirolak
Mrgrgr
(07-14-2011, 05:29 AM)
Nirolak's Avatar
There was a concerning trend in interviews with Square Enix from this week's Famitsu, and it had nothing to do with their actual games, but rather involved employees describing poor working conditions.

Given that this is a magazine that is essentially an advertisement to consumers, I'm quite surprised that Square Enix let them voice their circumstances to consumers in it, but since they did, I feel it's a worthy point of discussion.

First up, Tanaka took a far more subtle route. When asked what he would do if he was CEO, he did not respond with an answer of what games he would make, but rather this:

Originally Posted by AndriaSang

Famitsu also asked Tanaka what he'd do if he were Square Enix CEO. He'd revive the company trips, he said, and invest in employee wellbeing.

Source: http://www.andriasang.com/e/blog/201...uenix_feature/

Now, this might not sound too bad to people, but let's look at what Naoki Yoshida said about what it's like working on Final Fantasy XIV.

Originally Posted by DualShockers

If you thought the guys at Team Bondi had it hard when working on LA Noire, Yoshida is no slacker himself. Final Fantasy XIV‘s cheerful producer walks into the office at 10 AM, attends development meetings until 9 PM, and leaves the premises at around 2-3 AM, after responding to an average of 230 emails. Since taking this job he routinely soldiers on by sleeping between two and three and a half hours a day.

Source: http://www.*****************/2011/07/...ida-published/

Between this and experience GRIN had working with the company, it sounds like things haven't been going so well at the company lately in the realm of employee land.

Given the variety of recent departures from the company, several of them higher profile, I have to wonder if they're actually just burning their staff out instead of parting with them over creative differences.
AceBandage
Banned
(07-14-2011, 05:30 AM)
AceBandage's Avatar
This seems to be becoming a worrying trend in the industry.
Like all these developers are basically slave labor.
This business practice can not be sustainable.
Spokker
Banned
(07-14-2011, 05:32 AM)
Spokker's Avatar

Originally Posted by AceBandage

Like all these developers are basically slave labor.

Given the variety of recent departures from the company

These two statements conflict.

If the business practice is unsustainable, then Square Enix will suffer as employees leave for greener pastures.

At the same time, it's also possible that if developers return to a 40 hour work week, games will take longer to make and budgets will inflate, which may result in a higher price for games. Ultimately, better working conditions may hinge on our willingness to pay more.
Auto_aim1
MeisaMcCaffrey
(07-14-2011, 05:33 AM)
Auto_aim1's Avatar
Didn't Wada say this?

Wada attributed the poor state of development to weak communication. Creative leads did not pass on his opinion to their subordinates. Additionally, there was trouble with division of labor amongst technical staff, who were protective and would fulfill only their own roles.

Now this. SE really needs a better CEO.
zlatko
If my BP falls below 1000 Lord Sirlin will kill my family
(07-14-2011, 05:35 AM)
zlatko's Avatar
That's expected with the FF14 development team. 14 bombed so damn hard, and the fact they are STILL putting in resources to try and save that already burned down ship is beyond stupid. No matter WHAT THEY DO that game has already failed in the public's eyes. They should apologize one last time, shut the servers down, and put that team and its resources to increasing FFXI's longevity or focusing on a new MMO that is just FFXI 2.0. I know they are trying to make 14 in FFXI 2.0 now, but it's not gonna work out.
cosmicblizzard
Shounen Iconoclast
(07-14-2011, 05:35 AM)
cosmicblizzard's Avatar
This is why I say Square has the talent but not the management. There really needs to be a change in the place. Wada going would be a start, but the damage has already been done and we'd need a miracle worker like the Gooch again to fix it.
JWong
Banned
(07-14-2011, 05:36 AM)
JWong's Avatar
I think, comparatively, Japan just works harder in general compared to NA.

Rockstar's conditions may be considered a nightmare to us, but Square Enix's condition might just be "a bit bad" for Japanese people.

I mean, they work 6 days! Who would want to do that!
Dragon
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:36 AM)
Dragon's Avatar
I'd imagine the amount of pressure on the staff is overwhelming. 13 and 14 were critically panned even if 13 sold well. They'd have to be feeling the heat with 13-2, Versus, etc.
InsaneZero
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:38 AM)
InsaneZero's Avatar
Man, Nintendo has it good with treating their employees right with swimming pools and exercise rooms.

It just sounds nasty everywhere else. Square Enix really, honestly needs to change the corporate culture quick.
Sophia
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:38 AM)
Sophia's Avatar
The conditions have probably been that way for years, to be honest. Or steadying getting worse. Given how many people left from the early PS1 era all the way to the current era.
djplaeskool
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:39 AM)
djplaeskool's Avatar
Both examples given are related to XIV development.
This may or may not be self-explanatory...
Spokker
Banned
(07-14-2011, 05:42 AM)
Spokker's Avatar

Originally Posted by JWong

I think, comparatively, Japan just works harder in general compared to NA.

If you had said that Japan works harder than the United States, then I would agree. But there is one North American country that works harder than Japan according to the OECD and that is Mexico.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-h...-4#1-mexico-14

Of course, Mexicans tend not to make video games.
SoulPlaya
more money than God
(07-14-2011, 05:43 AM)
SoulPlaya's Avatar

Originally Posted by JWong

I think, comparatively, Japan just works harder in general compared to NA.

Rockstar's conditions may be considered a nightmare to us, but Square Enix's condition might just be "a bit bad" for Japanese people.

I mean, they work 6 days! Who would want to do that!

Japanese work hours have actually decreased in recent years, while the US is going up.
Derrick01
Banned
(07-14-2011, 05:43 AM)
Derrick01's Avatar
For the sake of Eidos I hope they get their shit together as a company. Wada must have blackmailed everyone who can fire him because I dunno how it hasn't happened yet.
Visualante
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:45 AM)
Visualante's Avatar
Working in Japan is long hard hours for little reward and no ownership. Western development mostly seems way nicer.

Remember interviews with people who worked at Sega, and the only thing that made it okay was the fact that everyone else in the company was in the same boat. You got the train with all your colleagues and made it through. At least at a Western studio you aren't just work for hire.
gblues
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:45 AM)
gblues's Avatar
Remember the scene in FFVI where Kefka murders Emperor Geshtahl, fucks around with the statues, and destroys the world? I think it was a metaphor.

Kefka is Wada.
Geshtahl is Sakaguchi.
The statues are Square's development teams.
And the earth below is the whole of Square (now Square Enix).
DanielJr82
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:47 AM)
DanielJr82's Avatar
The Japanese are overworked. This same story applies in the anime biz.
erpg
GAF parliamentarian
(07-14-2011, 05:49 AM)
erpg's Avatar
Dang, FFXIV. Of all the games to ruin your workday over, that's got to be one of the worst. My sympathy to S-E employees on that project.
zlatko
If my BP falls below 1000 Lord Sirlin will kill my family
(07-14-2011, 05:51 AM)
zlatko's Avatar

Originally Posted by gblues

Remember the scene in FFVI where Kefka murders Emperor Geshtahl, fucks around with the statues, and destroys the world? I think it was a metaphor.

Kefka is Wada.
Geshtahl is Sakaguchi.
The statues are Square's development teams.
And the earth below is the whole of Square (now Square Enix).

Eidos are the heroes who will save them by killing Kefka?
Finaika
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:52 AM)
Finaika's Avatar
No. My cousin works there, and he seems ok.
Pagusas
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:52 AM)
Pagusas's Avatar

Originally Posted by Visualante

Working in Japan is long hard hours for little reward and no ownership. Western development mostly seems way nicer.

Remember interviews with people who worked at Sega, and the only thing that made it okay was the fact that everyone else in the company was in the same boat. You got the train with all your colleagues and made it through. At least at a Western studio you aren't just work for hire.

I wonder if this has any bearing on why Western developers are so much more efficent then there japenese counterparts currently? Or if it was just because the technology investment was already heavily done in the western market for shaders, physics and many other libraries that the japenese dont seem to have the same grasp on this gen.
Phenomic
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:52 AM)

Originally Posted by Nirolak


Given the variety of recent departures from the company, several of them higher profile, I have to wonder if they're actually just burning their staff out instead of parting with them over creative differences.

I think you've hit the nail on the head. You don't lose your entire staff that everyone had come to know and love without some serious reason. Nor do you go from an A++ Tier Developer to a sub par developer without reason. (At least in my opinion I will always love Square though and ultimately want them to succeed)

Something serious has to be done about things like this. When did companies deciding that good talented workers shouldn't be viewed as their greatest assets. Regardless, if you're the guy who is the producers or just a graphic designer.

When you made products like Final Fantasy and sell 5 million copies there's no excuse. Treat those guys damn good when you have that much success on a product.
Last edited by Phenomic; 07-14-2011 at 05:56 AM.
Majine
Member
(07-14-2011, 05:55 AM)
Majine's Avatar

Originally Posted by InsaneZero

Man, Nintendo has it good with treating their employees right with swimming pools and exercise rooms.

Yep. Now the consumers on the other hand...
Scum
Junior Member
(07-14-2011, 05:55 AM)
Scum's Avatar
You know, I've always wondered how SquareEnix (or the Square side of things for that matter) would be like if they had a figurehead like "Old Man" Yamauchi in charge...?

A shrewd businessman with a keen eye for spotting and nurturing talented people within the company. Maybe SquareEnix management wouldn't b so piss poor now if someone like him was there instead of Wada...

Those poor employees. :-/
speedpop
Has problems recognising girls
(07-14-2011, 05:57 AM)
speedpop's Avatar
Flush out management. Get serious communication issues sorted out.
Sky Chief
Member
(07-14-2011, 06:01 AM)
Sky Chief's Avatar

Originally Posted by Meisadragon

Didn't Wada say this?



Now this. SE really needs a better CEO.

Completely agree. I honestly have no interest in SE or their games but as someone who has worked in bad office environments before I clicked on this thread. I instantly knew that the things cited would be endless meetings and emails and poor communication. These issues are all cultural and always come straight from the top. Email in particular is the worst form of communication ever invented, nothing meaningful is ever accomplished in the workplace by sending emails.
john tv
minna ni naisho dayo
(07-14-2011, 06:03 AM)
john tv's Avatar
If you have 230 emails a day to respond to, you're doing it wrong.
Sky Chief
Member
(07-14-2011, 06:10 AM)
Sky Chief's Avatar

Originally Posted by john tv

If you have 230 emails a day to respond to, you're doing it wrong.

Yeah, excessive email is caused by poor communication and nobody knowing whose job is what. This shows very poor leadership, organization, and culture.
TheSeks
Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
(07-14-2011, 06:15 AM)
TheSeks's Avatar

Originally Posted by Spokker

At the same time, it's also possible that if developers return to a 40 hour work week, games will take longer to make and budgets will inflate, which may result in a higher price for games. Ultimately, better working conditions may hinge on our willingness to pay more.

That's bullshit and you know it. A one-two year added to the development cycle isn't going to kill anyone.
Rollo Larson
aka Glute.Belly
(07-14-2011, 06:16 AM)
Rollo Larson's Avatar
im over this whole dirty laundry thing already...
Raitosaito
Member
(07-14-2011, 06:18 AM)
Raitosaito's Avatar
This isn't that surprising.

This business model is doom to fail though.
thetrin
Hail, peons, for I have come as ambassador from the great and bountiful Blueberry Butt Explosion
(07-14-2011, 06:21 AM)
thetrin's Avatar
Wada, driving the company into the ground with style, panache, and a gnarled smile on his face.

I'm always floored by how many employers (in any country, in any industry) really do not understand the concept of employee happiness and well being.
NeededSleep
Member
(07-14-2011, 06:37 AM)
NeededSleep's Avatar
I guess they still are trying to figure out that whole HD towns thing huh?


But seriously, i think Yoshida is trying hard to clean up the mess that Tanaka left. I applaud his effort and he is a great leader, but i honestly feel that the game as is (ff14) is not salvageable with the current mechanics in it. It really needs to be built from the ground up again.(yes i bought the collectors edition of 14). Who knows, maybe the crystal tools engine has done more damage to SE than they hoped for. Maybe its one of those impossible pain in the ass engines to work with and communicate with. Could be why we havn't seen anything this generation worth mentioning yet(imo).

I just hope the conditions they work under over at SE are not on par or even close to that of Foxconn.
Krev
Member
(07-14-2011, 06:37 AM)
Krev's Avatar
Kitase said this years ago in a review of 'The Last Guy' in Famitsu:

"I'd love for them to add a stage map more close to the SquareEnix office. In The Last Guy, there's a feature where if you save the hidden "VIP" citizens you get more points. So gamers could get fired up if there was a mission "Save the VIP President WD![Wada]"... to save this man in our company who is getting criticized. But it might be even more interesting if people were like "I hate this high class VIP Mr.'____' so I'm going to just watch him die!" (laughter) Could they put that in the game as a 300 yen add on?"

Dunan
Member
(07-14-2011, 06:38 AM)
Dunan's Avatar
None of what I'm about to say is specific to Square-Enix, but it wouldn't surprise me, given what Yoshida's working hours seem to be, if this were the case at SE too.

There's a certain segment of Japanese society that seems to enjoy engaging in the masochism of sleep deprivation. Bosses impose it on the employees, and employees, eager to prove their diligence, accept the imposition.

At my first job, in Tokyo at age 23, we were unlucky to have a boss who barely seemed to need sleep at all, and who felt that he could impose that regimen on his employees. 8 AM to midnight, every weekday, was perfectly normal.

Of course many of us hardly got anything done in the hours after 8 PM or so, and the struggle was simply to stay awake. Being so exhausted and sleepy all the time, coupled with the lack of time to shop for food or cook it, meant that "dinner" was typically some preservative-laden food bought at the 7-11 and wolfed down while walking back to the train station.

Then when the weekends finally arrived, the sleep deprivation of the previous week would mean I'd wake up well past noon and then not be able to fall asleep that evening. This created a kind of virtual jetlag which made it that much harder to wake up at 7 AM on Monday, and of course with that morning alarm came the profound depression of realizing that as tired as I was at that moment, it was still more energy than I would have until the next weekend, five days away. And I was so cranky that I wanted to tear someone's head off half the time. Ever wonder why you sometimes hear about salarymen getting into fights on the train platforms over trivial things? This is why.

Never, ever work for a company that deprives you of sleep. A 12-hour day, where you work all day long and then flop into bed for a solid 8-hour rest before getting up and doing it again, can still be rewarding and exciting. A 14-hour day cannot be, unless your apartment is in the same building as your office. Once your working hours start cutting into your sleep, watch out. You work will suffer, your friendships will suffer, and your health will suffer.

The stuff you produce while at work will probably suffer, too.

It's a vicious circle. I can easily see 230 messages per day going back and forth just because what could be communicated in one note probably takes many back-and-forth clarifications as the exhausted workers' brains aren't 100%. Combine that with the general Japanese corporate penchant for going into minute detail on everything and you've got yet another time-sink for employees who really don't have the time. Or energy.

When I went for my annual health check (mandatory, and I despise it), one of the questions was about how much sleep I get per day. The choices were (A) under 4 hours, (B) 4-5, (C) 5-6, and (D) 6 or more.

Imagine a question about nutrition where all the choices except one were "under 1000 calories per day" and the last one were "1000 or more" despite the standard for a healthy adult being 2000 calories per day!

I don't want to play a game designed and produced by people who aren't at 100% of their mental capacity. If I'm a SE stockholder, I'm ordering Naoki Yoshida to start sleeping 8 hours a day, minimum, even if it means he has to hire an assistant to read all that pointless e-mail and summarize it for him. His customers deserve better.
ElFly
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:06 AM)
ElFly's Avatar

Originally Posted by Pagusas

I wonder if this has any bearing on why Western developers are so much more efficent then there japenese counterparts currently? Or if it was just because the technology investment was already heavily done in the western market for shaders, physics and many other libraries that the japenese dont seem to have the same grasp on this gen.

If that was the only reason, we'd just have uglier japanese games. They seem to be focused heavily on the PSP right now, though, which doesn't require that kind of technological advance.

I suspect that classical japanese management simply doesn't scale well to the team size needed for this generation, and they either just take longer to make games, or just cut down on features.

-Sony first party teams seem to take the former approach, and so do many other developers.

-Nintendo seemed to struggle with development in the Gamecube gen, where they released Sunshine and Windwaker, which seemed strangely short in content, and then they delayed Twilight Princess forever when Miyamoto had to retool a lot of it. The Iwata Asks interviews show that Miyamoto loves to work overtime, and that some others designers are adopting that too.

-Capcom was doing all right this gen at the start, but something happened midway and they outsourced a lot of their franchises and a lot of talent left.

It's hard to say without knowing better how they structure their teams.

Kind of weird, given how japanese management techniques were all the rage in the 80s, and it seems they are still studied.
Barkley's Justice
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:08 AM)
Barkley's Justice's Avatar
i feel the full-on industry shift, do you?
Riposte
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:15 AM)
Riposte's Avatar
The way I come to understand is that FFXIV was rushed due to technical difficulties(I really wouldn't be surprised if real development started around 2008) and the employees were probably given a tremendous burden because the upper brass wanted a certain release date. Tanaka would be understandably bitter if I'm right.

EDIT:

Originally Posted by john tv

If you have 230 emails a day to respond to, you're doing it wrong.

I wouldn't be surprised a lot of those are fans. Yoshida interacts quite freely with the fanbase.

I am not sure Yoshida can be used as a proper example though. It seems voluntary and FFXIV is his "baby". I figure Yoshida knows if he can pull off a FFXIV revival he will make a name for himself. (Unfortunately it is probably mandatory if he wants to stand a chance of doing so.)
Last edited by Riposte; 07-14-2011 at 07:22 AM.
Jackl
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:16 AM)

Originally Posted by ElFly

Kind of weird, given how japanese management techniques were all the rage in the 80s, and it seems they are still studied.


Works great for physical production. Not so much creative design.
Lord_Byron28
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:32 AM)
Lord_Byron28's Avatar

Originally Posted by ElFly

-Capcom was doing all right this gen at the start, but something happened midway and they outsourced a lot of their franchises and a lot of talent left.

This likely the future for some major publishers/developers in Japan. Even Nintendo has become more reliant lately on others for development. So far up until this past week, Nintendogs was the only internally developed game(1st and 2nd parties) by Nintendo this year. Relying on 3rd parties for publishing(The Last Story, Goldeneye) and outsourcing(Pilotwings Resort, OoT3D, SF643D). Even last year things looked pretty similar with the only internaly developed games being Wii Party, SMG2 and DKCR with S&P2 and Kirby being done by an outside studio, Nintendo collaborating with Team Ninja for Metroid Other M and Nintendo publishing Monster Hunter 3 and Dragon Quest 9 in the west.

Although I might be wrong and overlooking something. I know for obvious reasons there was a bit of resources taken with 3DS internal software development.
ciaossu
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:45 AM)
ciaossu's Avatar

Originally Posted by zlatko

That's expected with the FF14 development team. 14 bombed so damn hard, and the fact they are STILL putting in resources to try and save that already burned down ship is beyond stupid. No matter WHAT THEY DO that game has already failed in the public's eyes. They should apologize one last time, shut the servers down, and put that team and its resources to increasing FFXI's longevity or focusing on a new MMO that is just FFXI 2.0. I know they are trying to make 14 in FFXI 2.0 now, but it's not gonna work out.

I agree. There isn't anything they can do to make that game successful enough to recoup for the losses, but I'm sure nobody at SE is going to want to admit that.

Failed MMOs have a habit of destroying companies.
Zaptruder
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:47 AM)
Zaptruder's Avatar

Originally Posted by Dunan

None of what I'm about to say is specific to Square-Enix, but it wouldn't surprise me, given what Yoshida's working hours seem to be, if this were the case at SE too.

There's a certain segment of Japanese society that seems to enjoy engaging in the masochism of sleep deprivation. Bosses impose it on the employees, and employees, eager to prove their diligence, accept the imposition.

At my first job, in Tokyo at age 23, we were unlucky to have a boss who barely seemed to need sleep at all, and who felt that he could impose that regimen on his employees. 8 AM to midnight, every weekday, was perfectly normal.

Of course many of us hardly got anything done in the hours after 8 PM or so, and the struggle was simply to stay awake. Being so exhausted and sleepy all the time, coupled with the lack of time to shop for food or cook it, meant that "dinner" was typically some preservative-laden food bought at the 7-11 and wolfed down while walking back to the train station.

Then when the weekends finally arrived, the sleep deprivation of the previous week would mean I'd wake up well past noon and then not be able to fall asleep that evening. This created a kind of virtual jetlag which made it that much harder to wake up at 7 AM on Monday, and of course with that morning alarm came the profound depression of realizing that as tired as I was at that moment, it was still more energy than I would have until the next weekend, five days away. And I was so cranky that I wanted to tear someone's head off half the time. Ever wonder why you sometimes hear about salarymen getting into fights on the train platforms over trivial things? This is why.

Never, ever work for a company that deprives you of sleep. A 12-hour day, where you work all day long and then flop into bed for a solid 8-hour rest before getting up and doing it again, can still be rewarding and exciting. A 14-hour day cannot be, unless your apartment is in the same building as your office. Once your working hours start cutting into your sleep, watch out. You work will suffer, your friendships will suffer, and your health will suffer.

The stuff you produce while at work will probably suffer, too.

It's a vicious circle. I can easily see 230 messages per day going back and forth just because what could be communicated in one note probably takes many back-and-forth clarifications as the exhausted workers' brains aren't 100%. Combine that with the general Japanese corporate penchant for going into minute detail on everything and you've got yet another time-sink for employees who really don't have the time. Or energy.

When I went for my annual health check (mandatory, and I despise it), one of the questions was about how much sleep I get per day. The choices were (A) under 4 hours, (B) 4-5, (C) 5-6, and (D) 6 or more.

Imagine a question about nutrition where all the choices except one were "under 1000 calories per day" and the last one were "1000 or more" despite the standard for a healthy adult being 2000 calories per day!

I don't want to play a game designed and produced by people who aren't at 100% of their mental capacity. If I'm a SE stockholder, I'm ordering Naoki Yoshida to start sleeping 8 hours a day, minimum, even if it means he has to hire an assistant to read all that pointless e-mail and summarize it for him. His customers deserve better.

Seriously... things like this is what makes me question the state of society.
Teknoman
Little Big NeoContra
(07-14-2011, 07:55 AM)
Teknoman's Avatar

Originally Posted by NeededSleep

I guess they still are trying to figure out that whole HD towns thing huh?


But seriously, i think Yoshida is trying hard to clean up the mess that Tanaka left. I applaud his effort and he is a great leader, but i honestly feel that the game as is (ff14) is not salvageable with the current mechanics in it. It really needs to be built from the ground up

Thats what they are doing, which is apparently why they are working so long. Its not going the way of XI 2.0 either other than the addition of an auto-attack system. He's mentioning PVP and things of that nature. I still think he has a really good chance, since he and the new team members are pretty much rebuilding the game from the ground floor (eventual environment redesigns are also in the works).
Last edited by Teknoman; 07-14-2011 at 08:00 AM.
Emitan
Member
(07-14-2011, 07:57 AM)
Emitan's Avatar
Square needs to send their management over to CDProject or someone and learn how you make an RPG that looks fantastic in a short amount of time without killing half your staff and your budget. "HD Towns are impossible" is literally the worst excuse I've ever heard from a developer.
Tagg9
Member
(07-14-2011, 08:00 AM)
Tagg9's Avatar
I can see the similarities with LA Noire. It sounds that for certain games they have taken the wrong path (FFXIV, Versus) and now they have to work double time to fix everything and make the intended release date.

For everyone claiming that Asian development generally entails working more grueling hours than North America, just look at Nintendo. I don't remember any complaints coming from their first party developers.
tafer
Member
(07-14-2011, 08:02 AM)
tafer's Avatar

Originally Posted by Dunan

None of what I'm about to say is specific to Square-Enix, but it wouldn't surprise me, given what Yoshida's working hours seem to be, if this were the case at SE too.

There's a certain segment of Japanese society that seems to enjoy engaging in the masochism of sleep deprivation. Bosses impose it on the employees, and employees, eager to prove their diligence, accept the imposition.

At my first job, in Tokyo at age 23, we were unlucky to have a boss who barely seemed to need sleep at all, and who felt that he could impose that regimen on his employees. 8 AM to midnight, every weekday, was perfectly normal.

Of course many of us hardly got anything done in the hours after 8 PM or so, and the struggle was simply to stay awake. Being so exhausted and sleepy all the time, coupled with the lack of time to shop for food or cook it, meant that "dinner" was typically some preservative-laden food bought at the 7-11 and wolfed down while walking back to the train station.

Then when the weekends finally arrived, the sleep deprivation of the previous week would mean I'd wake up well past noon and then not be able to fall asleep that evening. This created a kind of virtual jetlag which made it that much harder to wake up at 7 AM on Monday, and of course with that morning alarm came the profound depression of realizing that as tired as I was at that moment, it was still more energy than I would have until the next weekend, five days away. And I was so cranky that I wanted to tear someone's head off half the time. Ever wonder why you sometimes hear about salarymen getting into fights on the train platforms over trivial things? This is why.

Never, ever work for a company that deprives you of sleep. A 12-hour day, where you work all day long and then flop into bed for a solid 8-hour rest before getting up and doing it again, can still be rewarding and exciting. A 14-hour day cannot be, unless your apartment is in the same building as your office. Once your working hours start cutting into your sleep, watch out. You work will suffer, your friendships will suffer, and your health will suffer.

The stuff you produce while at work will probably suffer, too.

It's a vicious circle. I can easily see 230 messages per day going back and forth just because what could be communicated in one note probably takes many back-and-forth clarifications as the exhausted workers' brains aren't 100%. Combine that with the general Japanese corporate penchant for going into minute detail on everything and you've got yet another time-sink for employees who really don't have the time. Or energy.

When I went for my annual health check (mandatory, and I despise it), one of the questions was about how much sleep I get per day. The choices were (A) under 4 hours, (B) 4-5, (C) 5-6, and (D) 6 or more.

Imagine a question about nutrition where all the choices except one were "under 1000 calories per day" and the last one were "1000 or more" despite the standard for a healthy adult being 2000 calories per day!

I don't want to play a game designed and produced by people who aren't at 100% of their mental capacity. If I'm a SE stockholder, I'm ordering Naoki Yoshida to start sleeping 8 hours a day, minimum, even if it means he has to hire an assistant to read all that pointless e-mail and summarize it for him. His customers deserve better.

For some managers, two simple concepts are just impossible to understand:
- A Healthy and happy worker does more and a better job than one that isn't healthy or happy.
- 2 people won't do the job twice as fast... neither does working twice the regular hours.
Matts Legacy
Member
(07-14-2011, 08:03 AM)
Matts Legacy's Avatar

Originally Posted by Billychu

Square needs to send their management over to CDProject or someone and learn how you make an RPG that looks fantastic in a short amount of time without killing half your staff and your budget. "HD Towns are impossible" is literally the worst excuse I've ever heard from a developer.

Lost Odyssey Proves You Wrong Square Enix!
Emitan
Member
(07-14-2011, 08:04 AM)
Emitan's Avatar

Originally Posted by Matts Legacy

Lost Odyssey Proves You Wrong Square Enix!

The Last Remnant has HD towns. It was created by Square-Enix. It's complete bullshit.
hamchan
Member
(07-14-2011, 08:06 AM)
hamchan's Avatar
I blame Wada.
Matts Legacy
Member
(07-14-2011, 08:12 AM)
Matts Legacy's Avatar

Originally Posted by Billychu

The Last Remnant has HD towns. It was created by Square-Enix. It's complete bullshit.

It's clearly possible but, with not enough people in the company and wanting to roll out 3-4 high budget titles including games like FFXI And FFXIV with expansions and bunch of PSP games doesn't help. I miss the old Squaresoft days when every game I bought from them was worth the money and I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

On a personal note..The 3rd Birthday I will never forgive them for what they did to my PE series...

Thread Tools