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Do You Enjoy Your Game Industry Job?
Hello everyone, I know alot of you out there actually have professional level design jobs. I'm just curious if you feel it's worth it. Is doing what you love for a living worth the very long hours and relatively low pay? Is being around interesting people and not having to deal with corporarte bullshit enough incentive? Do you still engage in your own personal level design projects even though you probably spend 50-70 hours a week doing level design? Are the arcane editing tools you might use at work and having to conform to someone else's creative vision sapping the enjoyability out of one of the best damn hobbies there is? How much room do you have to exercise your own creativity in the levels you design? How do you feel regarding job security? If you feel you need to post anonymously to reply to this thread please do so, I think this thread might be important to let people know what exactly they are getting themselves into when they pursue their 'dream job working in the industry'.
Getting There Was The Most Fun 
I worked briefly as a level designer myself. I don't know if it was the particulars of my own situation or the industry itself, however I left my job pretty damn jaded. I worked at a small company in Middle of Nowhere,USA, growing up as a city kid that was probably the biggest change to adjust to. Our project was essentially a Quake3 imitation to be released 3 years after Quake3 using inferior technology. That didn't really bother me, I knew you would have to go through some difficulties to get a decent job in the industry in someplace you like to live. What did bother me was our engine creators. These people basically had no respect for people doing art/content related stuff. Our level design tools were complete and utter shit. Before I took the job I asked the project lead if the tools were going to be improved, he said yes we will take your feedback, we understand they need to be improved. Once I actually spent a lot of money relocating and basically turning my life upside down to join the project, that answer turned 180degrees into 'the tools are not a priority'. After struggling to try to make decent looking levels, I just said 'fuck this builshit' and quit after a few months.

Things that influenced me into this decision. I couldn't make decent levels at work, and doing more level design in my spare time was the last thing I wanted to do after mapping for 60 hours a week, then how I am going to get a better job? I really couldn't stomach the possibility of making only $30k to $60k a year for the rest of my life, the job I was working at was under $20k a year, living expenses were non-existant in that back-water shithole town. Job security was a big concern, I felt very expendable as a level designer in a volatile industry. Just look at what happened today to all the great talent working on Elite Force II, project done, layed off. It's really unfortunate, I wish them the best of luck landing on their feet. All these factors led me back to school for a Computer Science degree. $100/hr doing consulting work? Wow suddenly corporate bullshit doesn't look so bad.

I've had a few run-ins with the game industry since this time. I interviewed at Blizzard, and also was offered a position with an EA subsidiary. I didn't get Blizzard and turned down the EA position. I would of loved to work at Blizzard, but oh well. Overall level design is much more gratifying to me as a hobby. I had infinitely more fun polishing my level design skills to a professional level in my spare time, than doing the job full time. I think I'm going to keep it that way, unless that true dream job comes knocking. 
I Geuss It Depends On The Company 
I've just started a job at a developer and Im finding it really great. Everyone is friendly, the tools are good and most days I dont really notice that ive worked overtime.

Sorry to hear that its not this way for everyone :( It *IS* different from what I thought it would be, but this hasn't affected my love of the work, you just have to go into so much depth and detail in the industry whereas in your own projects you can throw stuff around and chop and change it whenever you like.

All in all its been well worth it for me, and worth all the risks that come with it imo. 
Regarding Coders 
What did bother me was our engine creators. These people basically had no respect for people doing art/content related stuff.

I feel exactly the sameway about coders in the so-called community. It seems like half are jerks and the other half don't have a clue what they're doing. Very rarely you'll come across someone who can actually code and you can also get along with.

I wish I could comment about working in the industry, but I've never worked in it so I can't. 
A Job 
I didnt really work for them in a way that i never meet them or saw them face to face. this is a UK company and i live on the us. hehe.

anyway. they where making a doom clone for the GBA, using doom2 as a base, new texture and all that shit. so they asked the doom comunity for level designers and shit, so i e-mailed them, they praised my levels and they told me to make a level or so. so i was all excited and stuff, but it was weird and sucky. they sent me an image and a word file explaining the level's style and so on and the image had the textures, all of them. so you had to figure out which textures where which (they didnt sent me an exe file or a wad file to open or anything) so it was well, complicated. i asked them if they could send me an exe file or something so i could look at the maps and see if i had everything right, but they said my e-mail didnt accept big files (what about uploading it somewhere?). anyway. they wanted the map for like 4 weeks or so because they were going to show it to the E3 or whatever they do with consoles and well, told them i couldnt make a level and well, never heared of them and i never saw the game. that was in 2001. :)

i dont know if thats good or bad. i honestly dont care about that anymore. just sharing. hehe 
... Which Brings Me To Another Point... 
Don't smoke crack. 
Hehe 
do opium instead 
I Geuss It Depends On The Company

Seconded, and can even depend on different teams within the company. The tools on my project are abysmal - think worldcraft the s&m edition - but other teams have got it much more together. If you ever go for an interview, make sure you can sit down with one of their designers and spend five minutes with the tools.

Disclaimer: I'm a coder. 
Hmm 
Daz, where you working? 
Eurocom 
 
D= 
EddieDean...

I don't know what your real world name is, but I know EXACTLY where you were, and ALL i have to say about it is "joel"

in response to that, i have to say that i believe that i have worked in 2 of the most diametrically opposed Game Dev work places possible.

First, some of you may know that i worked on Gore for a while. The office there was crap both environmentally and mentally. The design tools were shit (originally started as a modeller) the engine was shit (no moving geometry, no water, no volume triggers). The pc i worked on would BARELY play Q3, (in 2001, p3 450 w 512mb ram)... and on top of that, the company ran out of money while i was there... granted they were funding it on their own, but when it comes down to paying people and my paycheck almost doesn't get cashed . . . that's to fucking much.

aside from all the factors external to the levels that i was working on, the ONE CTF LEVEL that i got to %30 completion... i spent well over 400 (four hundred) hours working on it. . . and this is basically with quake 2 visual tech and depth-of-detail/poly counts. why? well, i could give a billion individual examples of why, but i'll just end that tyrade right now by saying that the map editor HAD NO CLIPPER, nevermind any kind of CSG tools. Thats right... no clipper. that DRASTICALLY reduces the amount of detail that you want to add to a map. it means no sunken floors, no deciding to put a window in later, no item alcoves etc... cuz if you want to do that you had to do all the brushing manually. it totally blew.


on the phlip side, i am currently working at the best place i think i have ever worked since i got out of college in 1988. In 15 years of being quitting one job for another, being layed off for no goddam reason (i've been layed off more times than i've quit or been fired put together), and having to deal with office politics, HumanHead is the most professional office atmosphere that i've ever worked in.

How many of you would allow 3 people to say "we're all pretty much your direct supervisor" without quitting on the spot? in the 9 mos i've been here, it has only been a problem for 1 episode. they are pretty much on the same page ALL the time.

The real advantage here is tht 6 of the 7 principals of the company came from raven, and an office environment that had become increasingly more stagnant and hostile to the creative process. it was becoming a machine, and these ppl wanted to make games.

so, armed with the knowledge of how NOT to do it, they started a company. and after their first signed project was cancelled (daikatana 2 believe it or not), and a couple of Rune's, they hired me to work on one of the 2 proj's in dev right now.

here, on a team of ~30, the level of communication is stellar. the amount of creative freedom is very high... "we want X kind of look for this level... Blueish lighting dominant with greenish ambient light. Lets have a blockout and a flow document in a few days." I'm responsible for everything save major scripting and major mapmodels. I do know, tho, that up the street at the behemoth (raven)

but, of course, freedom doesn't come without responsibility. I've had to learn lightwave and several other apps that'd i'd have never considered fucking with otherwise. it also means time gets tight. which means i should stop with this thing and get back to the grind.

pay is decent. it's about what i was making as a pc tech working for a health services company. BUT... i'm making the same amount here in wisconsin tht The Collective wanted to pay me for SoCal... i mean com on... cost of living is LITERALLY 3x what it is here, a 3 br apt here is ~800/mo. in so cal it's almost $2000 for a much smaller place in a similar hood. so getting paid shit is relative to where you are geographically. working on external proj's is non-existant cuz i'm here all the time, and workin with much cooler tools (= 
Oh Hey... 
yeah i know now who eddie dean is. . . you were the guy that basically got me the job at 4d.

dunno if i shoudl curse you for getting me into such an assbackwards company, or thank you for showing me the basement of the gamedesign industry. 
Oh Hey... 
yeah i know now who eddie dean is. . . you were the guy that basically got me the job at 4d.

dunno if i shoudl curse you for getting me into such an assbackwards company, or thank you for showing me the basement of the gamedesign industry. 
Oh Hey... 
yeah i know now who eddie dean is. . . you were the guy that basically got me the job at 4d.

dunno if i shoudl curse you for getting me into such an assbackwards company, or thank you for showing me the basement of the gamedesign industry. 
BLOODY HELL 
I THINK I JUST DISCOVERED A BUG IN THE BOARD. 
I Think It's A Bug In You. 
 
And Furthermore. . . 
Eddie. . .

the talk around that office was that you were undependable... that you'd started several things, but in the end they couldn't depend on you to finish. . .

nevermind that 'they' had told us BOTH things that never came to pass, to do with stuff both in and out of the office... like I BARELY got paychecks, neverminding travel reimbursement. and then the editor, and on and on. I'm pretty sure that they also believe that i am "a shitty mapper that doesn't know what he's doing."

(=

I'll just wait till our spiffy eyeball popping game comes out and will handily laugh at their crappy little Unreal Championchimp 'same thing only different' Gore 2 for Dreamcast. 
Monsto 
a p3 450 should be able to run q3 just fine! (I'm still on a 450MHz...) 
Ah The Good Ol Days 
Monsto- Sup man, did you enjoy your trip down memory lane? More like being dragged through a bed of rusty urine soaked spikes with beavers attached that are grinning but their teeth point outward, I bet.

Anyways, I'm glad to hear you're at a much better company nowadays. From working with such flatulent tech to Doom3 tech, aren't you quite the lucky bastard... 
)8 
ow. 
The Place Now... 
Hello from Beatrice.

I spent time working at 4D last summer as a level designer and am working again on a contract basis on their current title.

My reason for being there is simple - it's paid work on a shipped title in my own hometown. I attend the University in Lincoln, and with the number of activities I'm involved in there, I'd greatly prefer being able to finish my education while still getting a little bit of experience on a shipped title for resume purposes, even if it is a crap company.

I will say that the engine is almost to the level of decent at this point. It's funny that Ben has been slaving away on the real-time lighting/bump mapped/specular highlighting bandwagon but there's still no moving doors... *shakes head sadly* I think someone needs to sort their priorities, but what -is- there doesn't look -too- bad. It's still pretty crappy, but with the right content creation team it can look good.

Speaking of content creation, I will say the contracted team assembled for the new title is pretty good. There's still a couple people doing things who shouldn't be doing things, and I'm guessing both you former 4DR types know exactly the two people I'm referring to.

I'm an English major at the University and have been offering my skills to try and salvage the script - I'm getting to make some limited input at least, but I don't know if that will be enough. In fact, I highly doubt it will be...

Brent, who I don't know if you would be familiar with or not, is churning out some great stuff level wise and beating Ben in the head with certain bits that need to be included in the editor. There's a hell of a lot more features now than it used to be, though it's still missing a few notably important pieces (though I think there may have even been a clipping tool added by the time I worked there last summer).

The reason I'm on contract is everyone is gone. Jim and Matt were let go (while Matt was talented, it's probably for the better Jim is no more - he was breaking levels the week before Gore went gold...). Chris headed off to Jaleco last August, and Chad saw the relocation package and things like that as Chris got them and followed him a couple weeks later. They're both working on Goblin Commander for PS2 right now and absolutely loving the new job in a real studio.

I never heard anything about any "shitty mappers who didn't know what they were doing," though I think Chris made reference to both of you guys at one point. Said you guys were great, but just couldn't handle the editor. Which I can definitely understand. I picked it up surprisingly quick last summer, but oh god was it pain. At least we had an Unreal engine licensee evaluation to dink around with for a couple months - that was fairly pleasant, just working with Chad and Chris on a demo level in that. But no, there's no Gore 2 for Dreamcast. ;)

Anyway. Yeah. That's about how things are now. Chad's been contracted to develop a rather intriguing title and is now pending final budget approval after the prototype went over -extremely- well. I'm just holding out hope for that so I can turn to that as a source of experience and income instead. 
The Place Now... 
Hello from Beatrice.

I spent time working at 4D last summer as a level designer and am working again on a contract basis on their current title.

My reason for being there is simple - it's paid work on a shipped title in my own hometown. I attend the University in Lincoln, and with the number of activities I'm involved in there, I'd greatly prefer being able to finish my education while still getting a little bit of experience on a shipped title for resume purposes, even if it is a crap company.

I will say that the engine is almost to the level of decent at this point. It's funny that Ben has been slaving away on the real-time lighting/bump mapped/specular highlighting bandwagon but there's still no moving doors... *shakes head sadly* I think someone needs to sort their priorities, but what -is- there doesn't look -too- bad. It's still pretty crappy, but with the right content creation team it can look good.

Speaking of content creation, I will say the contracted team assembled for the new title is pretty good. There's still a couple people doing things who shouldn't be doing things, and I'm guessing both you former 4DR types know exactly the two people I'm referring to.

I'm an English major at the University and have been offering my skills to try and salvage the script - I'm getting to make some limited input at least, but I don't know if that will be enough. In fact, I highly doubt it will be...

Brent, who I don't know if you would be familiar with or not, is churning out some great stuff level wise and beating Ben in the head with certain bits that need to be included in the editor. There's a hell of a lot more features now than it used to be, though it's still missing a few notably important pieces (though I think there may have even been a clipping tool added by the time I worked there last summer).

The reason I'm on contract is everyone is gone. Jim and Matt were let go (while Matt was talented, it's probably for the better Jim is no more - he was breaking levels the week before Gore went gold...). Chris headed off to Jaleco last August, and Chad saw the relocation package and things like that as Chris got them and followed him a couple weeks later. They're both working on Goblin Commander for PS2 right now and absolutely loving the new job in a real studio.

I never heard anything about any "shitty mappers who didn't know what they were doing," though I think Chris made reference to both of you guys at one point. Said you guys were great, but just couldn't handle the editor. Which I can definitely understand. I picked it up surprisingly quick last summer, but oh god was it pain. At least we had an Unreal engine licensee evaluation to dink around with for a couple months - that was fairly pleasant, just working with Chad and Chris on a demo level in that. But no, there's no Gore 2 for Dreamcast. ;)

Anyway. Yeah. That's about how things are now. Chad's been contracted to develop a rather intriguing title and is now pending final budget approval after the prototype went over -extremely- well. I'm just holding out hope for that so I can turn to that as a source of experience and income instead. 
Guh. 
Shit, sorry. Double posts from hell. I think it has something to do with reloading. D: 
Kungfusquirrel: 
yeah, it does have to do with reloading. One of those things i want to solve at some point. 
Woohoo! 
Master of the obvious once again... I'm too good at telling people things they already know. ;) 
Bleh 
note. i was forced by r.ectal p.ain g.enerator to write here ;)

anyway, well, i enjoy working in this satanic industry. it's something completely different from usual office job. i wouldn't tell that here is more freedom or something, but creating something virtual, and not just images but playground is interesting in every way.
at first i'd spot people. they are vey nice. openminded and humorous and not snobs. they have sober view of things (at least in this company). it's pleasure to work with them.
but of course people isn't the main thing at job. the main thing is self-contentment from this job.
personally i'm happy. it's a lot of new things i had to and will learn. new editors, new technologies. i work on a TPS game. genre i never touched (mapped) before.

so, that's it basically. hope our game will be interesting to play ;) 
Von 
what company are you at? 
Wrath 
www.nival.com
i'm working on unannounced ps2 title 
Von 
aw, ps2 sucks worse than lithtech.

fuck ps2, and fuck everything that looks like a ps2. 
Consoles 
all consoles suck imo. the only one that holds a special place in my heart and i still play with is the first one i ever got. the 8bit nintendo! yay! 
UR GAT!!!!!!!!!!!!1 
 
Well 
i thought the same before trying it.
actually i like a lot of ps2 games.
the best of them are quite addictive.
of course there are crappy games like on pc.
so it's all matter of taste. 
Hmm... (nonentity :) 
you'd be surprised what you can get out of a ps2 these days, games like gta3 vice city and sphinx, the game im working on have some really nice and detailed maps in them.

Still, Im not much a console gamer myself. 
Regretably... 
...I'm forced to agree with wrath.

fuck ps2, and fuck everything that looks like a ps2. 
Sigh 
stop fucking ps2 bastards! 
Hmm 
/me waiting for metlslime to comment on his new job 
Woo 
I'm trying to figure out if I went all retarded when QMap died, because I never even knew this place existed. I tried the q3map URL just for the hell of it and was redirected here.

Sup everyone.

Anyway, back on topic: Working in this industry can be incredibly annoying. Working on games that you sometimes don't give a particular shit about (and trying to do the best job you can anyway) can be annoying, to say nothing of working on games you actively hate. It sucks sometimes not having a great deal of creative input into what you're working on, and it's tough implementing someone's poorly thought-out ideas when you don't have much choice in the matter. The hours can be stupidly-long at times and there's a lot of chasing your tail.

And the toughest thing that happened to me so far was working on something that could have been really, really cool (the single-player portion of RTCW:Enemy Territory), and having it totally screwed up and subsequently flushed by forces totally beyond my control. :(

All of the above being true, this is the best job I've ever had. And I've had a lotta jobs.

My answer: Hell yeah, I enjoy it. :)

(Does anyone but me think that the lightbulb icon looks like an incredibly fat person with a shiny ass bending over to pull up their pants?) 
Pjw 
(Does anyone but me think that the lightbulb icon looks like an incredibly fat person with a shiny ass bending over to pull up their pants?)

Your imagination is entirely too vivid.

And now that you mention it, I think you're correct. 
Now That You Mention It, 
yes i do. 
Hmm 
I'm with wrath on this one, fuck the PS2 (and fuck it's lack of memory even more). 
@ Monsto 
Do you have a current working email you might share? I'd like to ask you a couple of questions, and your telefragged one appears to be deceased . . . 
PS2 
Developing for the PS2 sucks, but the potential for actually getting royalties is some compensation :)

BTW, I think I use the same in-house toolchain that Maj is bitching about, and it is indeed amongst the foulest things I have ever come across. 
Bleh 
well, i use maya primarily, so creating ps2 game isn't that painful for me though ;) 
Haven't Read This Yet But... 
...a bloody good idea for a topic given how many QMap level designers are now pros....I'll be interested to read their views for sure.... 
Ah, I See, 4 Qmappers... 
Okay it's better than none....but where are the views from Grindy, Pingy, Than, Spog, Cybear, Warth, Frib etc etc?? 
Shambler. 
too much to say on the topic. I wouldn't know where to start really.

sometimes it sucks, sometimes it's one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
regardless of what, I know I've grown alot as a person during my time working here - and I'll continue to do so, I'm sure.

Is doing what you love for a living worth the very long hours and relatively low pay?
It beats flipping burgers.

Is being around interesting people and not having to deal with corporarte [sic] bullshit enough incentive?
Yeah. Definitely - it's the team, and the people in it together, that makes the long hours bearable. Breaking your back and fighting like a motherfuck is more fun when you're not alone.

Do you still engage in your own personal level design projects even though you probably spend 50-70 hours a week doing level design
Not a chance. I write alot though. Game design related as well as fiction. Also, recreational blood-sport and reading books/watching movies/ listening to music and the shrieks of the eternally damned.

Are the arcane editing tools you might use at work and having to conform to someone else's creative vision sapping the enjoyability out of one of the best damn hobbies there is?
The editor we're using here is the best one I've ever laid my steel-alloyed murder-gauntlets on. The conforming part isn't really an option - you learn to deal with it as best as you can. Doesn't matter what position you're in. Even if you're the top dog you must listen to those you're leading, or watch as the team gets sick of everything and goes fuck-you-very-much. And if you can't tolerate people having opinions you're in the wrong business. It's knowing who to listen to, that is the trick.

How much room do you have to exercise your own creativity in the levels you design?
Depends on the project and how it's layed up. I've had lead designers telling me to move a tiny stone to fit their "creative vision" and I've worked with people who just makes sure everything fit together and plays well.
I prefer the latter. A lead designer, or lead level designer, should co-ordinate the bullshit and make sure the level designer has enough information to do his job. No-one looks good wearing more than one hat.

How do you feel regarding job security?
In the undying words of George Carlin - I don't have pet peeves, I have major psychothic fucking hatreds. The executives in the game industry should decide if they wan't to run their companies as a play-house pre-dotcom crash or go old school. Either way has implications - but you can't have it both ways. That's when you end up in the sorry state many developer studios are today, whoring themselves out to publishers when they realize that they have to close the fastest deal possible before a team ends up without a project. Because that means they have to be layed off. I'm not speaking of my employers here *knock on wood*, but you've all heard the horror stories - I'm sure.

Aah, look at that, I did have something to say.
Anything else on you folks petty little mortal minds, holler up. I'll do my best to answer them. 
"No-one looks good wearing more than one hat."

That's a good one. I like that. 
But Can It Be Empty Of Meaning? 
I aim to maim.

Please! I aim to please. Sorry. 
I Have A Question? 
Do you have to have a twisted sense of humour to work in the games industry? Or does it just help? :P 
Kell 
not taking yourself too seriously always helps.
unless you're a doctor. people get nervous around loose cannon chiropractors. 
Another Question 
This is a question that I'm sure has no set answer, but from the experience of you guys in the industry, roughly what percentage of your time is spent on:

1) theorizing and understanding the elements of gameplay you wish, or are told, to create;

2) experimenting and testing to achieve these elements;

3) creating the actual content of the game;

4) modifying or recreating content due to suggestions, changes in the functions of the game, or other factors rendering your previous work unusable;

5) fine-tuning your work or fixing bugs;

6) anything else that I haven't thought of? 
My Personal Experience: 
Pretty rough numbers, and will vary from project to project.

1)< 5%
2)< 5%
3)~ 50%
4)~ 25%
5)~ 25%

1 isn't rocket science (unless the game you're working on has some groundbreakingly-new gameplay going on).

2 is usually just rolled into creating the actual content, unless I'm misunderstanding you. IOW, there's usually very little experimentation for experimentation's sake going on. We have to get this done and alpha is due in two weeks and little children are dying and *head explodes*. 
Wrath (and, No Doubt, Others) 
aw, ps2 sucks worse than lithtech.

fuck ps2, and fuck everything that looks like a ps2.


it seems to me wrath's hatred of the ps2, is largely a hatred of the "corporate/ mainstream/casual gaming" culture and changes it has introduced into gaming.

not that there is anything wrong with that sort of hatred, because there isnt.

but i am just intrested to know WHY he/anyone else hates the ps2? am i correct? or do you hate the ps2 for completely different reason?

do you hate the games? sony? the machine itself? or the people that buy them? or all of these things?

and WHY? 
 
The only thing I really hate about consoles is FPS with a gamepad.

If N64 had a keyboard and mouse I'd of beat the snot out everyone I played. 
Underworldfan 
I don't hate the machine itself, or their target demographic, or the games. Hell, the best game ever is a ps2-game.

But it's bitch developing on it, not to mention porting to it. 
Meh 
Wrath speaks the truth. Pain... unending pain... 
Sigh 
i have to agree...
but still, it's fun working in this industry though 
Out Of Curiosity 
What is required of developers when porting a game? What changes do you have to make and why are they so much more difficult with the PS2? 
I've Only Worked On A Couple Of PS2 Games 
but from what little I know from overhearing coders talk about it, the inherent memory restrictions suck goat balls.

I'm sure said coders can give a better and more technical answer though... 
 
Don't bet on it... 
Tools 
What is the problem with the tools ? Just make an importer for some common 3d formats and use whatever tools you like - 3dmax/gmax, lightwave, q3r etc. You may have to pay for the licence, but development time isnt free either - time to create the tools, time to learn them, and time wasted struggling with buggy cumbersome editors 
Ps2 Dev 
well, restrictons and tools isn't a big prob, i think (maybe i'm wrong since i just started working on a ps2 title, not much done yet). i'd say that some of restrictions are useful thing and it's interesting to work having them, it's like a game. (well, for example, we have only 2megs for textures on location :) the main prob is image quality on tv. the picture is SO different in maya and on tv. sometimes tv behaves inadequate to what you think it should show. for example, you make yellow sand in photoshop. but when testing it on tv it turns a bit pinky. ok, you adjust tv's colors to default, then brown rocks go greeny or something like that. i'm sure we'll invent the way to avoid such shit but this is really a headache.
i'm not a coder as u know, so maybe things are worse in the coding area. i heard distant cries of the coders though. so only maj and others can tell more bad things about ps2. 
Von, Et Al. 
the color issue isn't ps2 specific.

anyway, the playstation2 is a year older than both the NGC and the XBOX, with less memory and less computing horsepower. this means that when you do a port or a cross-platform launch of a title, something will suffer.
it's usually the developers.

it's either use the ps2 specs as the LCD or produce platform specific content. the latter costs way more money. the former results in xbox games that look nominally better than the ps2 version. 
PS2 
The PS2 is the only active game platform with a highly programmable graphics pipeline -- the PC doesn't. However, this is no advantage in turning out standard 3D texmapped graphics. 
%'s 
1) theorizing and understanding the elements of gameplay you wish, or are told, to create;

%4

2) experimenting and testing to achieve these elements;

%9

3) creating the actual content of the game;

%38

4) modifying or recreating content due to suggestions, changes in the functions of the game, or other factors rendering your previous work unusable;

%17

5) fine-tuning your work or fixing bugs;

%31


this, of course, doesn't include the amorphous factor of "bs" time, which is spent fuckin up irc, surfing, ordering computer parts, playing, or reading/posting forums. if it DID include that, you could move the decimal point up one place on each of those assessments, and balance out the rest of the time.

not really (= but it is significant... and much less so for me than others in the orifice. 
Thanks 
for the answers to the percentage question, guys. 
Me Like 
I really like working in the industry. The hours can be a bitch but the work is varied and interesting. Having to think up cool ideas day in day out is a bit of a mental strain but worth it in the end.

Oh and DaZ, I wasn't much of a console gamer until I started at Eurocom 2 years ago, it will change j000! f34r the 1ndu5try ;-)

-Killer 
Haha 
Maybe but I dont even own a TV yet :)

..Hmm Im not sure if I even want to buy one now you've said that! 
Ps2 
programmers hate the PS2 because it has a completely different underlying architecture than a PC. ArsTechnica did some superbly excelllent (and quite technical) articles about this a few years ago, if anyone's interested.

From the sound of it the PS3 is going to be even more nonstandard, so the situation won't change much. 
It's Not Completely Different 
It's just shit. It's roughly like targetting a Voodoo1 on PC, except you have to write all the drivers yourself.

The really stupid thing is that it's a fairly powerful machine within a narrow range of features, but very few companies can actually afford the coder time to get anything decent out of it.

Unfortunately I've gone well past the stage where I can argue rationally about PS2, so I'm just going to end with an incoherent scream of rage.

AAAAAAARGHIIIIIEIEIEIEEEEEEYYYYYARGHHJH. 
Oh 
look, a kindred spirit!

NNNNNNNNNNNGHAAAAAAAAYYYYYYRGH! 
 
RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR*CHOKE* 
 
:O dammit! how stupid!

... THIS! *flicks finger* 
Title Cannot Be Empty My Ass 
i must say, i haven't really mapped much since i worked as a hl/q2 mapper for a summer. working on deadlines drained me of my desire to make maps for fun, for some reason. since then, i have only dabbled in a map or two for q1. i've started to focus much more on art and music and school and other such piddling RealLife concerns...

maybe i'll get back into the fray one of these days. 
Killjoy 
killjoy
hope to see your site back online
maybe you can even find a time and inspiration to make a map 
This Thread's Been Dead A While But... 
Sorry to bump an old thread. I'll probably get flamed...

I'm finishing up my Associates in Computer Science soon, and will be moving on to the 4-year Bachelor's degree. After talking to 4 of my uncles - all of which have been in the major areas of video game development, including coding, graphics, modeling/animation, play testing, etc - I have decided video game programming is NOT the career for me. It's been months and months since I spoke to them, but here's some of the reasons I can think of right now:

1. The life of a programmer SUCKS right now. I'm worried about even going into the work force as a programmer for anything, let alone games. I do want to eat, and I want to be able to afford a computer that will run Doom3. :) All the reports on entry-level pay rates for programmers seem to be a load of BS designed to attract more people into the work force. Does anyone here have actual experience as to what I should expect?

2. Bosses are the evil spawns of satan (the universal rule, except for the rare cool boss that I'll never get), and they know they can get away with more and more crap, the more their employees want to keep their jobs. Thus, when you've got a "fun" job like creating video games, the boss treats you like crap because you're disposable, or he hates you because you're needed too much to be fired, but not enough to recieve human treatment. Low pay (the company would rather you work for free on your "fun job"), long hours to cover insane deadlines, stupid bosses that don't know anything about video games (move that stone to fit my creative vision comes to mind), etc.

3. The boss knows he can pay you crap, because this is a "fun" job, and there are tons of people who would love to replace you.

4. After making it a career, doing the same stuff 24/7, and then play-testing it over and over and over again utterly destroys video games for you. I happen to love my precious games, and would be deeply traumatized if I could no longer enjoy playing them in my freetime. ;) The phrase "Get a job doing something you love, and you'll never work another day in your life" does not necessarily apply.

5. You're either a competent human being who is not deemed worthy of much higher than minimum wage, or you're an absolute genious that the company can't do without. Chances are I'll be neither - the unemployed one.

6. Programming jobs are *saturated*, especially where I live (and I don't want to move to California). Everyone tells me that work force will turn around any day soon, and programmers won't have to lick the first layer of skin off each morning to get their breakfast. I remain un-convinced. This thread is several months old. Does anyone feel things will or have already changed since the last post?

I'm probably deeply wrong in all of this. I've read many of the posts above, but not all. Things sound somewhat better than I'm imagining, but you guys are competent workers with real experience. :)

What does everyone think of this? 
Wazat 
All of what you said can be true, but not universally. It's horribly dependent on what company you're at, or which project you're working on.

1) Started on 21k (ukp, after 3 year AI degree and doing 3 months work ex. summer before).

2) Well, mine are generally alright (depends what you mean by 'boss' though, this goes from lead coder to CEO).

3) Games jobs are probably below average, but it's not peanuts either. Leads and seniors can go into 40-50k. Starting salaries are what you'd expect for graduates.

4) Nope. A lot of people here spend their lunchtimes playing AA/CS/UTk3/Q3/etc., stay after work for Halo/football games, own 2+ consoles. As a coder you wouldn't do much play-testing anyway.

5) Er... k... not sure how to respond to self-pity.

6) *shrug*, they're not falling of trees here, but good people can still get good jobs. However, it would be trickier coming straight out of uni - experience is very important.

NOTE: This is UK. I have no idea what it's like in US. 
Thanks 
Thanks for replying, Maj. I was expecting to be ignored to death since this thread is so old. :)

What about the US, anyone? 
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