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Jimquisition: crunch culture justified TLOU2 leaks (no spoilers)

JerryinSoCal

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huh, the same old, same old, Game engine footage. You aren't being lied to.
It runs in the engine without any gameplay running. They just cranck all the effects to the max. It only has to run at 30fps.
Game engine footage != gameplay footage.

It's like complaining how the big mac you get at McDonald look nothing like the one in the AD.
Well they are using the exact same ingredients, they just made one prettier.
There is one you can eat, and the other one is basically inedible.
Grow up.


As for the developers freely choosing crunch ? that's the implicit deal that's not written in any contract.
If everyone crunch, then you don't have a choice if you want to work in the game industry, do you ?
This is often the only deal that's on offer, either crunch or i'll find someone who will.

So what's the solution here ? making the conditions worse and worse until the supply of developers dries up ?
If that's your idea of a solution, that's not games i'll like to play. (if you think that's a reductive argument, it is, but then again, so is yours)

When they show us footage and call it "in engine" you can throw any expectation that the game will look like that out the window, they all do it and it's all bullshit and I wish they'd stop. Wait until actual gameplay is ready to show and then let us see it. After MS showed that "in engine" footage of hellblade 2 I saw people on this forum and resetera acting as if the game was going to look like that, people I thought knew more about games lol. We've been through this BS before, it's not just MS either Sony did it with Nathan Drake for the UC4 announcement, third parties do it as well and it's just annoying. To me it comes across as them trying to put one over on people and I hate it.
 

BlitzerRadic

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As for the developers freely choosing crunch ? that's the implicit deal that's not written in any contract.
If everyone crunch, then you don't have a choice if you want to work in the game industry, do you ?
This is often the only deal that's on offer, either crunch or i'll find someone who will.

Then work in a different industry. It's not like it's some big secret that big studios do it.
 

nemiroff

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Is “Crunch Culture” something new? Or has it always been around in gaming?

Not only in gaming, it's been an important part of many types of industries for many logical reasons. I was very well paid when I was in my twenties and worked full days and double pay overtime until 3 AM in crunch to make sure our automation systems was tested and approved for a specific date to be shipped to our customers. Of course all the fine money came with a price; I burned out.
 
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Arkam

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I'm guessing this "crunch culture" is at least part of the reason we get so many unfimished or broken games that require day one patches.


Nah. Games have always been buggy ass software. The main thing that has changed is the loosened gate keeping of the platforms. We have come a long way from NIntendo's way or the highway. You can now negotiate platform standard violations and make promises to fix known issues with the beloved Day 1 patch.... if you just let it pass and move on towards release.
 

Darkmakaimura

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Nah. Games have always been buggy ass software. The main thing that has changed is the loosened gate keeping of the platforms. We have come a long way from NIntendo's way or the highway. You can now negotiate platform standard violations and make promises to fix known issues with the beloved Day 1 patch.... if you just let it pass and move on towards release.
Games weren't buggy to the point of being unplayable without a day one patch though, which is something a lot more frequent nowadays.
 

waxer

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I buy my games on special or 2nd hand so I ain't helping. If people cared they wouldn't have got pissed about digital markets and no discs etc
If they don't like the conditions the staff need to do something about it. Not just bitch. I've worked long hour jobs before. 12hrs 6 days a week. I solved my own problems and regret nothing.

We are talking about grown adults. They should act like it and don't require my help to save them lol
 
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Tsukumo

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What a fucking Cleanprincegaming /Quartering level of click-bait.
I'm all for people shitting on Last of Us 2, but it's one thing to dance around this dumpster fire of a release for a couple of giggles, it's another to take it seriously and use it like this.
 
Oct 2, 2019
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Game development isn't the only industry with crunch as stated by Arkam Arkam it's happens in a number of jobs, this recent """""holy crusade""""" people like Fat Jim and Balding Schreeeeeeeeeeeeeier are on is nothing but another clickbait they use to make some $$$ from nothing more.

Like some devs have stated in response (even people like David Jaffe and John Carmack) some times devs care so much about their game they want to deliver it on time and in the best shape possible, and if you want to be a contender in the AAA space you need crunch.
 

Clear

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It's crazy to hear so many people defend a practice that seems to exist only because directors are not good at managing the time and resources that they have been allotted.

To eliminate crunch you need to have a utopia where you never fall behind schedule under any circumstances. Does that sound realistic or attainable?

Objectively the most practical route to achieving that is simply to cut corners, content, and/or release in an unfinished buggy state.

And in case you're thinking, well just get rid of deadlines consider how that fits in with fixing bugs and issues that crop-up post launch? You going to be happy when stuff goes unfixed for extra days and weeks because there's no staff on-hand to do emergency maintenance and bug fixing. On top of the fact that release dates have to get pushed further and further out because not only does the dev period take longer, after its completed the marketing/manufacture/distribution part needs to ramp up!

Oh and of course, when there's no deadline set in stone by marketing or whatever there's nearly always an informal "drop-dead" date because money to support development is finite. No money to pay staff or keep the lights on at the office, and the project likely won't see the light of day!

Think this all through and you'll realize that some crunch is inevitable, and while some exists there's always going to be impetus for some groups to crunch more in order to gain an advantage in the marketplace.

Its an intractable problem, which is why people like Stirling never offer any solutions to the problems they bring up.
 
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M1chl

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Crunch is default, when you are coding, etc. Industry is simply too new to have some sort of normal schedule. Also most programmers starts working later than normal people, so if you take into account the ending hours, then it gets skewed obviously.... I am saying that as a developer. What I am againts, is bad working place, assholes, bullying and etc. That could fuck into hell...
 

#Phonepunk#

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i noticed the VP/lead writer has "abuser of characters" in his Twitter bio. maybe he should change that to "abuser of devs and audiences"

 
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As industry (like gaming) which seems notorious for crunch really means a few things:

1. Bad budgeting and expectations by managers

2. Bad work ethic by employees

or 3. which is my choice

Game makers purposely have unrealistic expectations for hitting a deadline due to securing funding. And it's become the norm.

Tell whomever is in control of budgets you have a game come out in 5 years (knowing deep down it'll be a relaxed sked) or tell them 4 years making their eyes light up (but know it's require employees working to 9 pm every night leading up the launch), and I bet most of the people pitching a game will say 4 years.
 
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LordKasual

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Used to love his videos, but Jim Sterling's yapping about "The ""Triple-A game's industry"""" gets old the more you listen to it.

I get tired of hearing people complain about the same thing all the time
 

jaysius

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I'm not sure this video requires any feedback, all Jim ever was was a troll parser, he's Metacritic of trolls instead of a final score he comes up with this vomit regurgitation, he simply looks at message boards, finds the hated/popular troll comments and blurts them out like he's written it himself. It's shocking that it's taken people so long to come around to realizing how acidic the man is, he claims to hate trolls, but he is a troll himself.

Jimmothy posts videos even when he has nothing to say.
 
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Fbh

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Does anyone have a TL DR version of the crunch issue at ND?
How much overtime are people doing? And for how long? And how are they getting compensated for it?

I don't really have a problem with crunch though of course, there's a limit to everything.

Ultimately the studio will have to deal with the consequences. If 70% of the team leaves after every project and the quality or development time of their products starts to suffer they'll have to make changes to retain employees for longer, but only time will tell if that's true.
 
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D

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i noticed the VP/lead writer has "abuser of characters" in his Twitter bio. maybe he should change that to "abuser of devs and audiences"



Could that tit look any more pompous? :pie_eyeroll:
 

Clear

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Feb 2, 2009
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Does anyone have a TL DR version of the crunch issue at ND?
How much overtime are people doing? And for how long? And how are they getting compensated for it?

I don't really have a problem with crunch though of course, there's a limit to everything.

Ultimately the studio will have to deal with the consequences. If 70% of the team leaves after every project and the quality or development time of their products starts to suffer they'll have to make changes to retain employees for longer, but only time will tell if that's true.

My understanding is that everyone gets paid very well and the turnover while above average isn't close to critical. Like Rockstar people will make the sacrifices for a project or two for the value of having a ND game on their resume.

Gotta be honest as well, even if the crunch is extreme so long as that excess of effort is reflected in the final product, why is anyone complaining? If people were getting worked to death to produce mediocrity then there's clearly a big problem, but if that extra mile produces better games then its worth it.

If greatness was easy to achieve, everyone would be attaining it, and it'd become normal.
 

Peebs

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Nov 22, 2018
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When you start-up your AAA studio, please make sure you follow this magical recipe, which, though self-evident, apparently no one ever thought of applying. Undoubtedly, it'll yield satisfied employees and great games at the same old price tag of 60 bucks, because those who brought in the dough, the investors, they will surely take it on the chin when the profit margins suddenly plummet.

Meanwhile, in the real world, teams are stuck with their own conventual wisdom, whereby, to the best of their judgement, they alone get to decide how the operation is run. Just imagine having to appease business angels, who otherwise would have invested in an Instant Mash Potatoes factory, but went with Game development instead.

On the other hand, employees can try to talk management out of crunch, can unionize, ask for a raise, can go on strike, can quit and submit their CVs to the competition, can start their own indie studios.

But the inherent infantilization in the common popular view about crunch, which is matched only by the infantilization found in certain comments about micro-transactions, depicts developers as hopeless keyboard slaves. They are children lost in the dark scary woods. They cannot be trusted to assess and look out for their best interests. Somehow the right answer must come from someone else, someone who hasn't got the faintest clue about their individual needs, wants and circumstances.

Crunch is universally bad, states the royal decree of the anonymous forum poster and developers are supposed to comply and businesses to follow through. Who do these developers think they are, adults? Sovereign free will agents?

How about giving developers a say in how they manage their careers? How about giving them the right to choose? To say Yes or No to crunch? How about letting them crunch if they so wish, if, after due evaluation, they come to the conclusion it is the best choice for them, at this point in time, so that their needs and their aspirations are best served?

No. it's been pre-determined for them. It's been decided that crunch is malign cancer and that it needs to be eradicated with the chemotherapy of social media, even against their own will. It's been determined there isn't a good enough reason in the entire multiverse that would ever make crunch a legitimate option and so the pawns must nod their heads in agreement. Self-proclaimed high-performance team leaders and Jason Schreier have it all figured out for you. Who wouldn't like Jason to run their professional life? How can you not trust the man and let him tweet a detailed roadmap to professional bliss in billionaire-free America?

There's one bit where I agree with you, though:
"show their games closer to completion"

As a customer, I'd appreciate a more candid approach. Just the other day I was showing how Cyberpunk 2077 release trailer from 2018 looks nothing like subsequent gameplay, even though it was dubbed "Game engine footage". I appreciate not being lied to. I usually like being told the truth. I can handle it, thank you.

Let's wait till next Thursday and see if CDPR learned this marketing lesson or if itt urns out to be Groundhog Day.
 
Dec 29, 2018
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I'm not sure this video requires any feedback, all Jim ever was was a troll parser, he's Metacritic of trolls instead of a final score he comes up with this vomit regurgitation, he simply looks at message boards, finds the hated/popular troll comments and blurts them out like he's written it himself. It's shocking that it's taken people so long to come around to realizing how acidic the man is, he claims to hate trolls, but he is a troll himself.

Jimmothy posts videos even when he has nothing to say.
I thought I was the only one to realize this. Thank you for saying exactly what i was going to post.

And I still have no idea why people on this forum regurgitate his shit here.

Have. No. Fucking. Idea. Why.
 

Golgo 13

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Is “Crunch Culture” something new? Or has it always been around in gaming?
Dude, "crunch culture" isn't exclusive to gaming! I've had plenty of jobs where I worked 60-80 hours a week. Did I bitch that I didn't get to see my family? No. I did not. Because work is work. It's a free market and employment in 49 of the States is "at will". Don't like me? Fire me. I don't like working here? I can find other employment. I can quit.

Don't like working 60 hour weeks? Game industry probably isn't for you. I heard CVS is hiring!
 
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Torrent of Pork

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I dislike the man's overt leftism, but usually find myself agreeing with him more often than not when the topic is strictly limited to videogames.

Concerning crunch, I would rather leave that up to the industry, same with unionization. Just remember that 40 hour work weeks will lead to increased development cycles, increased costs, and less risks being taken. I can accept that, it's up to you if you can.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Dude, "crunch culture" isn't exclusive to gaming! I've had plenty of jobs where I worked 60-80 hours a week. Did I bitch that I didn't get to see my family? No. I did not. Because work is work. It's a free market and employment in 49 of the States is "at will". Don't like me? Fire me. I don't like working here? I can find other employment. I can quit.

Don't like working 60 hour weeks? Game industry probably isn't for you. I heard CVS is hiring!
I think part of the reason why crunch in gaming gets more attention is three fold:

1. Out of all industries, gaming might the one with the most feedback and interaction, so people notice and think it's the only job that has crunch.

Well, for all you people who hate numbers, every accountant and finance guy works extra hours to close off the monthly, quarterly and yearly books. While everyone is at home eating dinner, the finance team might still be there staring at spreadsheets. Also, if someone fucks up a number for publicly traded companies (accounting irregularities), there's a lot more fall out.

2. Half the games made out there are shit.

So I think both gamers and game makers make it a big deal because everyone wasted their time and money crunching and following a crap product for the past 5 years.

In most other jobs, if you crunch to finish something there isn't this big "good review or bad review event" where your product gets publicly reviewed by game sites.

3. Self imposed

As someone said earlier, it's part of the culture and game making people seem to love it. If not, then why do it? Uhhhh.... to make video games I love. Well, if that's the case and you love making games so much you are willing to do art and programming till midnight, that's on you. No wonder management puts pressure to get it done by a certain date and budget, they know the whole floor is willing to work all night and even sleep in their cubicle (for those times you hear stories people don't even bother going home).

You can work 9-5 making artwork for a new bag of cookies using Photoshop and making good money and perks working for a big company. Or you can live the dream creating dungeons and dragons art for a game over 5 years and might have to slog it through potentially shit pay, shit hours and shit managers in a pressure cooker setting.

Your choice.
 
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Naughty Dog isn't just a company riddled with crunch. It's a leading example. And it deserves to be shamed.



Jim touches on some subjects around ND in general even going back as far as UC4 and talks about how rewrites probably shouldn't be getting done as part of focus test feeedback. He advocates that the company being hirt is godo, though single developers are not. Seems like he is OK with the collateral damage though. Some context from other articles about UC4:

What a vile scumbag of an opinion, yikes. You done fucked it up Jim!
 

Lethal01

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You can work 9-5 making artwork for a new bag of cookies using Photoshop and making good money and perks working for a big company. Or you can live the dream creating dungeons and dragons art for a game over 5 years and might have to slog it through potentially shit pay, shit hours and shit managers in a pressure cooker setting.

Your choice.

Or you can work at one of the many game/movie companies that manage to get things done with good pay, good hours and making games you like. Sometimes you can even just ignore all the colleagues giving you the side eyes becase you aren't working 15 hours together with them.

Don't know why people are pretending that all game companies have the same ridiculous levels of crunch. It's okay to just say that companies often fuck up.
 
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Panajev2001a

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I mean sure, but it is up to the employee/employer to work this out. No one is forcing anyone to work. There are careers that require less hours, maybe these people should go do something else. I mean, there are construction workers doing hard physical labor working 60+ hours a week and no one is complaining about that.
People are complaining and those conditions cause a lot of injuries and deaths on the job as well, not as publicised yes I agree... not a problem? Nope, it is...
 
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Max_Po

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What a sad fat sack of shit. ... promoting/encouraging millions of dollars of loss of developers in an industry he is suppose to "represent" and make living off of.

I would discourage spoiler/leaks/loss of anyone ... even if they are working on a shitty indie game.
 

Panajev2001a

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That's a stupid narrative. Game devs that dont crunch dont produce (much). Sorry but that is a fact. No amount of planning, padding or resourcing will remove reality. If you set a date to ship, you will either crunch or deliver a woefully under featured game.

And even in a perfectly planned project it takes only ONE BUG at the end to create crunch. If QA finds ONE BUG in the submission build it kicks off a whole process. Bug fix (takes time), build a new build, give build to QA to redo the entire checklist AND put 100 hours on the game and complete all game mode/story/missions/seasons/etc. You think when that happens people say "oh well lets take it easy and casually knock it out and submit to first party next week"...... NOPE!

Dont like Crunch, dont work for a game developer. There are thousands of other jobs that will utilize your skill set and likely pay you better. You make games cuz you like making games and understand (and appreciate) the craft.

The problem is not a week or a few weeks of 10-12 hours days and the odd weekend, the problem is when crunch goes for months at even longer hours and it is planned in (“BioWare Magic”).

You know what is highly paid and a difficult job too? Project planning and definition and prototyping. It seems like how hard something is happens to be an excuse onlyvalid for the directors and project managers, planning, marketing,and resourcing... the rest of the game development process? Lazy devs as response to any issue or perceived shortcomings.

Sometimes development that may require a revision of your MVP, sometimes that may require a slight delay, as if games never got delayed, sometimes more resources, and sometimes yes a bit longer hours (not 6 months of living at the office or the like).
 
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Orpheum

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So the argument is as follows: Game dev studio has crunch time so the game deserves to be leaked?

So all games deserve to be leaked?
 

Three

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I'm guessing this was in production before they found out this wasn't an ex employee and that the person leaving ND to go to MS' Double fine didn't actually exist but was a made up person.
 

FranXico

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I'm guessing this was in production before they found out this wasn't an ex employee and that the person leaving ND to go to MS' Double fine didn't actually exist but was a made up person.
No, he comments on the official statement.
Ultimately, his opinion is that the ND company as a separate entity deserves it, not the employees. Because capitalism bad, obviously.
 

Paracelsus

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I wonder if people will post his review after he says he loved it, since subversive TLJ-FFVIIr ghosts writing is right up his alley.
As for the focus group the problem isn't the rewrites, but what kind of people you let test your games to.