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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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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? 
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