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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'.
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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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