Being games developper is cool... think twice
November 30, 2004 12:47 PM   Subscribe

...when Jesus appears in your texture maps.
Ok, this is old news (been there since 1996), but from my own game programmer point of view, this site is hilarious, in a bittersweet way.
It's been down for a while, only available through the wayback machine, but recently got online again.
It might even be informative for all nerdy mefis, since latest news prove games programming stay as a modern slavery icon.
Might be NSFW if you're working on 'in trouble' game project.
posted by denpo (11 comments total)
Argh, I don't see any Jesus! I'd love to say this has happened to me -- but alas.

As for the modern slavery thing, I can attest to that -- it's been quite the conversation piece around this part of the industry, where "crunch" is required and talk of overtime pay is considered treason to the cause.

The games industry has to be unique in this regard, having the near-ritualized fervor of communist partisans. Do it for the team! So, denpo, let's get together one weekend and form a union. I'll bring the sharpies and you bring the white cardboard and a bundle of sticks.
As a narily related aside on the hidden/double image thing, it reminds me of a Gibson novel, forget which, wherein there was a cult who scoured the backgrounds and off-focus bits in old films, searching for revelations from God.
posted by undule at 1:23 PM on November 30, 2004

The problem as I see it, as a game developer myself, is that for every burned-out, frustrated game programmer working for a giant company, there are ten other kids who are surprisingly good (although inexperienced) programmers, eager to do anything they can to be part of games. I don't know if that's going to change.
posted by thethirdman at 1:40 PM on November 30, 2004

That is true, which would explain why a full 90 percent of game releases go straight to failure, and why gameshops are closing in record numbers, or being eaten up for IP.
posted by undule at 1:59 PM on November 30, 2004

On my campus, about 3/4 of all the CS majors want to be game programmers. Well, actually, they want be game designers but every actor want to direct, etc. This is just something I don't understand, especially with EA's problems. Do people really think that game programming involves sitting around and playing game all day? (There are a few people here that aspire to be game beta testers, but they don't count.)
posted by PantsOfSCIENCE at 2:01 PM on November 30, 2004

And if you like the long hours, you'll love the low pay!
posted by Nelson at 2:06 PM on November 30, 2004

I do think that people view the making of games as a breezy activity. It's exactly like movies. I've actually had the experience of working on some movies (including making a custom video game that was featured in a movie, heh) and the people are the same way in either medium- if they're doing it, it's ridiculous hours, low pay, and sacrifices for art, but if they're not doing it, then they desperately want in.

And yeah, undule, I think that is why so many games fail. But, again, that's like movies- tons of movies fail. And even some of the biggest filmmakers form a new production house for every film.
posted by thethirdman at 2:32 PM on November 30, 2004

... when there are two Jesus-related FPPs on MeFi before lunchtime.
posted by sour cream at 5:32 PM on November 30, 2004

I do agree in some way with you comparision to movie indrustry thethirdman, with just a little twist : it's far worse.
Movie industry has been around for much longer time than video game industry, and I do believe it's easier to get movie project funded and to find valuable people to work on it.

I used to use this kind of comparision to explain to parents, friends or relatives why a video game projects was hard, long and expensive. But I think I found a better reference : building a car. A game needs to be attractive, fun, good looking, have a good ergonomy, and first of all, must never crash.

Movie industry don't have to deal with changing technologies and R&D costs the way we (game programmers/industry) have to. Of course nowaday blockbusters get loaded with tons of computer FX, but it just have to look good, even if the way of achievement is paved with duck tape. They don't need to re-invent lumière brothers' gift to mankind every time you make a movie (except if you're Georges Lucas or RIP Stanley Kubrick).

Big players like EA get nailed these times for they in-house workers treatment methods, my personal experience is more on the small studios side, where, apart the cruel lack of money to do things right, the main issues is people moroniness (mostly from management). That's why when I read things like
"..when your managers tell you they just bought the rights to the Quake III engine, and your game is a 2D platform game..."
just make me feel I'm not alone afterall.
posted by denpo at 6:37 PM on November 30, 2004

I genuinely haven't met anyone who really wanted to get into games who didn't realize it was incredibly competitive and really hard work. People want to work in here because they want to make something that is cool and that other people enjoy, rather than, say, writing bank software.

Let's also not forget that games are very often on the cutting edge of technological development. Trying to make a graphics engine work at real-time is a technical beast, for example. So there's some good reasons to get into the games industry. Money, however, is not one of those reasons.
posted by Ubiq at 7:25 PM on November 30, 2004

i thought it was hilarious that the webmaster makes a consistent effort to point out which names he thinks are weird
posted by Satapher at 2:05 AM on December 1, 2004

Thanks for the link, denpo, and welcome. I really like this page.
posted by theora55 at 6:28 AM on December 1, 2004

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