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EbonyBetty

Games so good it costs human misery to make them.

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Rockstar the thread. What's interesting is CDPR is deliberately basing their company structure around Rockstar's model.

 

In generally I consider any luxury based industry to be rather volatile, especially if it's bubble has burst and it's found it's true market cap.

 

If rumors be true, you'd think CDPR taking money from the Polish government would hold them to a higher standard. It's not like they are a a Sp z o.o. anymore, so they're past limited liability.

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One of the odd and counter intuitive things about the neoliberal economic model is that governments giving money to businesses seems to increase the government's responsibility to those businesses rather than the reverse. Best example is agricultural subsidies, but it's common in many sectors. It's doubly ironic because in theory neoliberals don't believe in subsidies, except when they do as the result of lobbying or threats for pet sectors.

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One of the odd and counter intuitive things about the neoliberal economic model is that governments giving money to businesses seems to increase the government's responsibility to those businesses rather than the reverse. Best example is agricultural subsidies, but it's common in many sectors. It's doubly ironic because in theory neoliberals don't believe in subsidies, except when they do as the result of lobbying or threats for pet sectors.

 

Neoliberal economics is largely based on expedience. The idea is that the market will respond faster than the government, but one has to raise capital external from the market in order to shift spending in a market. This is because at market cap all markets become protectionist, because to grow there the companies had to be fully self-invested. Too much liquid capital and your beat to market cap. The market doesn't like large amounts of liquid capital so they rely on tax dollars or inflation. There is pragmatism in it all, but only because it's expedient. The results somehow prove a virtue which is not necessarily there. It's a highly utilitarian way to run things, thus it's a system of favor rather than merit. But because the market winner take all structure of the market on the premise of merit, the favored take all.

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Funny thing is, that they rely on tax dollars, and still avoid paying taxes as if it was plague...


Sent from my Stone Tablet, using Chisel-a-Talk 2000BC.

 

Let's Play/AAR Europa Universalis 1: Austria Grand Campaign (completed)

Let's Play/AAR Europa Universalis 2: Xhosa Grand Campaign (completed)

 

My PS Platinums - 19 games so far (my PSN profile):

1) God of War III - PS3 - 24+ hours

2) Final Fantasy XIII - PS3 - 130+ hours

3) White Knight Chronicles International Edition - PS3 - 525+ hours

4) Hyperdimension Neptunia - PS3 - 80+ hours

5) Final Fantasy XIII-2 - PS3 - 200+ hours

6) Tales of Xillia - PS3 - 135+ hours

7) Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 - PS3 - 152+ hours

8.) Grand Turismo 6 - PS3 - 81+ hours (including Senna Master DLC)

9) Demon's Souls - PS3 - 197+ hours

10) Tales of Graces f - PS3 - 337+ hours

11) Star Ocean: The Last Hope International - PS3 - 750+ hours

12) Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - PS3 - 127+ hours

13) Soulcalibur V - PS3 - 73+ hours

14) Gran Turismo 5 - PS3 - 600+ hours

15) Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3 - 302+ hours

16) Mortal Kombat XL - PS4 - 95+ hours

17) Project CARS Game of the Year Edition - PS4 - 120+ hours

18) Dark Souls - PS3 - 197+ hours

19) Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory - PS3 - 238+ hours

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Hey Sharp_One, you say CD Projekt was checked. Do you know what such a check entails in Poland? Genuinely curious.

 

I ask this because when I worked in Game Dev, unpaid overtime was the norm but generally denied by the workers since that unpaid overtime meant the projects got finished, the contracts got fullfilled, the people got paid and kept their jobs in a highly competitive field whereas admitting to unpaid overtime was a good way to get your company to go out of business and have everyone lose their jobs. Workers and management denying it was pretty much mandatory to survive, and with server technology a lot of that crunch was done by taking your files home and committing them to the servers. Especially in places that have maybe one or two big companies and the rest struggling to survive, and I believe Poland's industry is similar. Like the Netherlands has Guerilla, some mid levels and then tiny companies popping up and going bankrupt at enormous rates. Poland's got CD and then about the same, I believe?

 

Anyway, I'm not sure if the number's still the same but the average time spent in the game industry was 4 years. Including life-long game designers, this means a lot of people get burnt out on it within the first few years. It's a concern, and it's hard to fix because as stated it attracts "dreamers" who are just happy to be there. They won't fight for unions, they're already amazed they're even getting to do it. I was one of them. And there's companies that exploit this, with EA (check EA spouse) and that company who made LA Noire being the most publicized.

 

(Also, the complaints about a lot of the western game industry being -- generally unintentionally -- insensitive to minorities to a certain degree are true in my experience, but my experience is limited and I got burnt out as a cis white male just as soon as anyone else.)

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The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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That's quite extensive. Thanks for your response.


The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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Hey Sharp_One, you say CD Projekt was checked. Do you know what such a check entails in Poland? Genuinely curious.

 

Am not an expert in this, buuuuuuuuut:

  • PIP (which stands for Państwowa Inspekcja Pracy, roughly translated as National Labour Inspectorate) is the Polish supervisory authority and control over compliance with labor law (oh, look, they even got an English version of their website)
  • Inspectors have right to check a company without any notice. They may be doing a scheduled routine control, they may visit a company due to some reports/complaints.
  • Interests: general labor law, safety, legality of employment, verification of wages (wages punctuality, is it above minimum wage defined by law)
  • The company is obliged to provide the PIP inspector with the conditions and means necessary for the smooth conduct of the inspection, and in particular to promptly present the requested documents and materials, provide timely information, a separate room with appropriate equipment (if possible). Failure to consent to the inspection or non-availability of documents may be grounds for the prosecutor's office of a criminal offense (thwarting or obstructing the performance of official duties). This imposes a penalty of imprisonment for up to 3 years.
  • The labor inspector has the right to free access to the premises of the establishment and to all its premises, machinery and equipment, requests for written and verbal information on the matters subject to inspection.
  • All employees are also obliged to comply. The inspector may call and interview the staff.
  • The PIP employee also has the right to inspect personal files and any documents related to the performance of work by employees.
  • Inspector has access to the documentation of the workplace, including those related to the construction, reconstruction or modernization of the company, the plans and technical drawings, the technical and technological documentation, the results of the expertise, the surveys and measurements related to the production or other activities.
  • At the end of the inspection, the inspector shall draw up a control report and submit it to the employer for signature. Before signing the document, the employer can raise objections. They should be submitted in writing within 7 days of the date of submission of the document.
  • PIP may punish a person for committing an offense against the rights of a worker by a mandate of 1,000 up to 2,000 . If the offense is committed at least twice within two years of the last penalty, he or she can receive a fine of up to 5,000 . In case of refusal to accept a penalty, the inspector shall apply to the court for punishment. The court may impose a fine up to 30,000 .
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It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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Alright, so, I haven't gone through the whole thread (not that long, I know), nor have I read the Glassdoor reviews, but on the topic at hand, as someone who's worked in the audiovisual medium for a few years now, ranging from webseries and YouTube miscellanea all the way to Oscar-winning features (well... one), I've been through a number of productions that were essentially turned into a nightmare because the directors bought into the myth that art is better the harder the way is to getting there, and so they tried to make everyone's life an absolute hell for no reason other than trying to replicate these same myths. By these I mean, for example, the stories about Stanley Kubrick requiring 75 takes of their actors in The Shining, or Tarkovsky burning the original masters of Stalker so as to re-do it by venturing into a highly radioactive location and shooting there, or Herzog's and Coppola's many stories through the filming of Fitzcarraldo and Apocalypse Now respectively. This is bull****. These films were great not because the directors behaved like **** or put themselves and their crew in danger, and yet I see nowadays a lot of young filmmakers (mostly young anyhow) who feel they have to deliberately create an awful environment for their work to reach greatness. To make a great film, ambition is necessary, effort is necessary, pressure is necessary... These are all good things, but none of these require the work environment to be absolutely toxic or for the director to behave like absolute scum. Under high-pressure situations there will always be moments where you'll clash with one another but by and large one should attempt to diminish and resolve conflict, not to outright create it. In short, ambition may require you to be an **** sometimes, but don't be an **** for the sake of being one.

 

Sorry, just a little rant on the matter.

Edited by algroth
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My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

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In what world are you living? I can safely say that majority of companies have cool and nice policies, but they get ignored when it comes to things, like deadlines and making the budget...

 

Shareholders don't care as long as it's not illegal and money keeps flowing.

 

It's not unique to gaming industry... it's just the entertainment industry attracts more "snowflakes", because they think with their hearts instead of minds when thinking about their job choices.

 

There are some cool companies, that are loaded with money and they can afford some luxury for their employees. lets say "google", but those are exceptions. If you can find a company, which is co=managed by an owner with vision and this company is doing great financially - there you might get some comfy conditions, but companies, which are listed public companies, or got multiple parties interested in the profit, then the HR policies can affect only the general attitude of managers to employees, like they won;t be calling you ****, and take other mobbing and discrimination actions.

 

Everything has its cost, why do you think I was telling you for some years on this forum, that CD Projekt can do to their customers what they do? They get comparatively cheap labor and cost side, while they can price you at the same premium price as other game producers.

 

Their success, if can manage with this brief PR blunder, will lead other game producers to look to places like Eastern Europe, where there is plenty of cheap talent, that can do the same if not better job than people in High cost countries at 1/4 to 1/8 of the cost. (depending on complexity of task and required skillset)

Edited by Darkpriest

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Sorry, it took so long for me to respond to my own damn thread, but I've read everyone's response and it's quite compelling. For me, I tend to listen to the people at the bottom of the pyramid as opposed to the top. I don't think CDPR is the worst of the video game companies (I've been reading a lot about Rockstar *shudder*) and I'll def. check out "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels"  @HooAmEye.

 

As a person looking from the outside in, I feel CDPR is starting to buy into its own hype, they feel like they're no longer the "little guy" and can stand shoulder to shoulder with the Heavy Hitters now, certainly, its fandom hyping them up doesn't help. But like the old proverb goes: Those who are rewarded much, have much to be expected. So I feel CDPR have backed themselves into a corner. Everybody and their mama has given CDPR awards for Witcher 3, game developers are claiming they're taking notes from Witcher 3 in terms of quests or say they want CDPR's RPG "crown." That's a lot of pressure and stress. CDPR might be getting a little too big for its britches, I've read some of the Glassdoor reviews, on both sides and it's unanimous that the management there can be an "organized and inspiring circus" on the positive side and "complete lawless ****-show" on the negative side.  It seems order can be something they lack at times. However, some might argue that's what gives video game developing its charm? Some have argued yes and no (I'm somewhere in the healthy middle). This kind of "Wild West cowboy" experimental freedom has been in the game industry since the beginning. There's a really interesting article about the early days of Atari and its downfall with E.T. along with  accounts from former employees on Cracked  Really nice read. I still think this mindset is very much embedded within the industry and unfortunately has a very high probability of being a menace to the worker bees at the bottom of the totem pole. Despite how far video games have come they're very much a new industry (probably leaving its childhood years and entering teenagehood) and is evolving a lot faster within a shorter timespan than say the Movie Industry. To keep the Wild West analogy going the video game industry is a Gold Rush with lots of gold in them hills, but at the expense of a lot of exploitive labor and with out-of-touch/boy's club rich white guys being the last ones standing when all is said and done. 

 

TL;DR: I don't think people's suffering should be profitable if the end result gives them no gratification, however that is oil that makes the gears of Capitalism turn. However private companies have the freedom to be more accommodating to their workers ex. Ben n' Jerry's, Zappos, even Obsidian (they have really nice benefits and every Friday the company treats its employees to a movie to see the latest film). With  CDPR being known for treating their customers with respect, I think most of us assumed they treated their employees the same way too and ultimately kind of left us with a shock.

Edited by EbonyBetty

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Hey, at least they're not visual effects companies.


The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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Or fintech companies.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Those kids are looking at your arguments...

 

INDIA_(F)_1006_-_Lavoro_minorile.jpg

Nope. Doubt they have Internet access.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Ah, the old starving people in Africa argument. :wowey:

Edited by Hurlshot
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I think it's pretty straightforward, if you expect employees to work extra for long periods with no overtime you give them a piece of the action, stock options, a share in the profits. Otherwise you are exploiting them. Doesn't matter if they are picking up nickel in a scrapheap or making games. 

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CDPR isn't even among the worst. Check out the stories from Rockstar and Japanese development. The book "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels" has some fascinating accounts on the issue. The industry has a massive problem with handling this, expecting so many many to place their entire lives into the job. And even this ****show is not as bad as the situation in silicon valley.

 

Yup, everyone interested in how games are being made should read the book. Crunching is a wide spread problem in the industry unfortunately

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Hate the living, love the dead.

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Ah, the old starving people in Africa argument. :wowey:

It's clearly India.

 

 

Hmm, my parents never really talked about the starving kids in India when I wouldn't eat my vegetables for dinner, so I don't believe you.

 

 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AppealToWorseProblems

Edited by Hurlshot

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CDPR isn't even among the worst. Check out the stories from Rockstar and Japanese development. The book "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels" has some fascinating accounts on the issue. The industry has a massive problem with handling this, expecting so many many to place their entire lives into the job. And even this ****show is not as bad as the situation in silicon valley.

 

Yup, everyone interested in how games are being made should read the book. Crunching is a wide spread problem in the industry unfortunately

 

Crunching isn't the issue; poorly managed projects due to upper management ****ing up and having the workers fixing up their mistakes so they can write themselves a big fat bonus, is the problem.

I firmly believe in letting things break and become the worst, that seems the only way to get upper management to get with project.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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CDPR isn't even among the worst. Check out the stories from Rockstar and Japanese development. The book "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels" has some fascinating accounts on the issue. The industry has a massive problem with handling this, expecting so many many to place their entire lives into the job. And even this ****show is not as bad as the situation in silicon valley.

 

Yup, everyone interested in how games are being made should read the book. Crunching is a wide spread problem in the industry unfortunately

 

Crunching isn't the issue; poorly managed projects due to upper management ****ing up and having the workers fixing up their mistakes so they can write themselves a big fat bonus, is the problem.

I firmly believe in letting things break and become the worst, that seems the only way to get upper management to get with project.

 

 

Yeah, they want that big fat bonus, because they worked their way up there for years of various sacrifices and hard work - now someone puts a certain financial goal for them so they can get paid a good amount of money and keep their job, that someone is perhaps a friend of yours who has ownership on the stock market or funds allocated in investment fund, that is working for his retirement plan. They want a certain level of return from the invested money and that means they will pressure management of companies in which they hold cash, to push towards better returns.

 

I can count on a single hand companies that decided to come up with explanations that they will be running lower return in short term, for better gains in the long term... Longe term does not exist in a volatile market - so things get pushed on the board to have certain levels of growth and profitability, that gets pushed on middle management, who have to cope with various expense cuts and reallocation of work force and that pressure in the end gets pushed back to the line employee doing the daily job for the company projects.

 

 

We as customers want higher return on our financial investments, want prices to stay stable and quality to increase, but at the same time we put the pressure on higher salaries.

 

That gets improved by either automation of some jobs (some people lose jobs), relocation of the jobs to cheaper locations (another batch of people loses their jobs), or by squeezing the project time - then we are unhappy as it takes away from our personal time.

 

Of course these are not the only effects, but the most visible ones.

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CDPR isn't even among the worst. Check out the stories from Rockstar and Japanese development. The book "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels" has some fascinating accounts on the issue. The industry has a massive problem with handling this, expecting so many many to place their entire lives into the job. And even this ****show is not as bad as the situation in silicon valley.

Yup, everyone interested in how games are being made should read the book. Crunching is a wide spread problem in the industry unfortunately

Crunching isn't the issue; poorly managed projects due to upper management ****ing up and having the workers fixing up their mistakes so they can write themselves a big fat bonus, is the problem.

I firmly believe in letting things break and become the worst, that seems the only way to get upper management to get with project.

Well crunch is the problem, but management is the cause (for the most part, probably are some cases when it can be other areas). Project management sure isn't easy, have to deal with a lot of politics some of the time which causes screw ups. My current company has that issue in spades.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Eh, Upper Management of one company can't fix the industry. Don't get me wrong, they're douchebags, but at this point if you don't crunch you can't keep up. I've worked on projects where the deadline crunch started before the contract was even signed. It's also become a bit of a cultural problem. This industry attracts young, passionate creatives who WILL crunch to get their projects done and if you don't comply with them, you are a traitor.


The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

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"African American MALES only making up 9% of the industry"

 

I know this isn'ty an Ameirkan company... but what % do you think AA MALES make up in the US or this country's population?  AA totally make up approximately 13% of the US population for example so I am going to hazard a guess that AA males more than have their share of representation. Other minorities likely not so much...


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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CDPR isn't even among the worst. Check out the stories from Rockstar and Japanese development. The book "Blood, Sweat, and Pixels" has some fascinating accounts on the issue. The industry has a massive problem with handling this, expecting so many many to place their entire lives into the job. And even this ****show is not as bad as the situation in silicon valley.

 

Yup, everyone interested in how games are being made should read the book. Crunching is a wide spread problem in the industry unfortunately

 

Crunching isn't the issue; poorly managed projects due to upper management ****ing up and having the workers fixing up their mistakes so they can write themselves a big fat bonus, is the problem.

I firmly believe in letting things break and become the worst, that seems the only way to get upper management to get with project.

 

 

Yeah, they want that big fat bonus, because they worked their way up there for years of various sacrifices and hard work - now someone puts a certain financial goal for them so they can get paid a good amount of money and keep their job, that someone is perhaps a friend of yours who has ownership on the stock market or funds allocated in investment fund, that is working for his retirement plan. They want a certain level of return from the invested money and that means they will pressure management of companies in which they hold cash, to push towards better returns.

 

I can count on a single hand companies that decided to come up with explanations that they will be running lower return in short term, for better gains in the long term... Longe term does not exist in a volatile market - so things get pushed on the board to have certain levels of growth and profitability, that gets pushed on middle management, who have to cope with various expense cuts and reallocation of work force and that pressure in the end gets pushed back to the line employee doing the daily job for the company projects.

 

 

We as customers want higher return on our financial investments, want prices to stay stable and quality to increase, but at the same time we put the pressure on higher salaries.

 

That gets improved by either automation of some jobs (some people lose jobs), relocation of the jobs to cheaper locations (another batch of people loses their jobs), or by squeezing the project time - then we are unhappy as it takes away from our personal time.

 

Of course these are not the only effects, but the most visible ones.

 

"Hard work"

 

People don't get ahead because of hard work they get ahead because of "hard work" that gets noticed by the bosses and they buffing up their resume. I could get in my current company a meaningless title that sounds impressive and get a better job at another one, without knowing **** all about what I'm doing and if I butter up to management enough they will see it right to keep me and I can pass along the blame. That's how you get ahead, the business world is a meritocracy only if the merit is brownnosing.


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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"African American MALES only making up 9% of the industry"

 

I know this isn'ty an Ameirkan company... but what % do you think AA MALES make up in the US or this country's population?  AA totally make up approximately 13% of the US population for example so I am going to hazard a guess that AA males more than have their share of representation. Other minorities likely not so much...

 

What are you responding to?

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