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February 10th, 2011, 15:43
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
I always wanted to make games but once I actually started to understand what it involved I quickly turned to normal 9-17 IT work.
That's like me

Except I'm trying to make games on the side…
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February 10th, 2011, 16:18
Originally Posted by zadokAllen View Post
My blood boils when I read sob stories like that. I know that some of you are totally disconnected from how the majority of the world lives -in real poverty - and I don`t particularly blame you, for sometimes it`s hard to envision other mindsets without the experience.

And yet, in times where the whole countries` economies are endangered because of some greedy jackasses & people are dropping like flies from malnutrition/disease/etc -whining about someone who apparently happened to work for one of the best companies in the industry is perhaps, well, inappropriate.

And that`s putting it mildly.
He wasn't whining; he was making a point: people prefer making a decent living to living in poverty — not primarily for themselves but for their loved ones. Seems a rather common sensical point. I'm not sure why it required riding in on the high horse.

"In the laws of nature, an intelligence so superior is revealed that in comparison all the significance of human thinking and human arrangements is a completely worthless reflection." - Einstein
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February 10th, 2011, 16:28
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
He wasn't whining; he was making a point: people prefer making a decent living to living in poverty — not primarily for themselves but for their loved ones. Seems a rather common sensical point. I'm not sure why it required riding in on the high horse.
Well, if you think that working for huge software companies compares to living in poverty then we do live in some parallel universes. Unless our definitions of poverty - as often happens - differ.

Perhaps my reply was full of pathos - and I hate to be a drama queen, believe me - yet it`s hard to avoid it when speaking on this subject to which I am extremely sensitive. (Also the reason why I steer clear of P&R forum)
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February 10th, 2011, 16:35
It was indeed a story fit for Hollywood

The starving artist turned noble developer so he could care for his family.

Isn't that what happened to all Bioware developers?

They could make a shit-load of movies based on each individual - and to top it off - they get to take care of their families with the profit from their noble movie efforts
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February 10th, 2011, 17:02
Dont know about bioware wages but I have one artist friend who has worked for no pay at all in the only "big" game company in town. He tried hard but finally gave up and took a payed job in other company as an IT support.

I know lots of other people too who have developed games for no pay at all for years. I think its more like a creative outlet for them than anything else. Creative people need that or they get frustrated and possibly depressed.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
"Those who dont read history are destined to repeat it."– Edmund Burke
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February 10th, 2011, 18:49
Most starving artists who only do it for the art produce utter drivel. I never, ever want to see another 'edgy' or 'artsy' performance again.
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February 10th, 2011, 19:18
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Most starving artists who only do it for the art produce utter drivel. I never, ever want to see another 'edgy' or 'artsy' performance again.
Cat mutilators aside there are people who are good and ask no money. Good example is game mods. Its amazing how much effort they put into them and just give them away for free.

But speaking of game artists its very hard to make coin out of it atleast here even if you are good. Industry is so small that nobody will hire you no matter what your skills. Its much better to just become i.e a web designer.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
"Those who dont read history are destined to repeat it."– Edmund Burke
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February 10th, 2011, 19:28
Couchpotato and DArtangnan, I understand completely where you're coming from, and especially Couchpotato, I think it sucks that you weren't able to get into the industry that you love. For the longest time, I wanted to be a programmer or graphical artist, but the life of an entry level drone in the video games business is far from glamorous, and almost completely unstable. So I know where you're coming from.

It is noble and idealistic to suggest that we do what we do, whatever it is, for the love of doing it, and if we have a consumer for what we do, that our focus is in giving the consumer the highest quality of whatever we produce, and that the consumer will be appreciative of our time and effort and enjoy our product. But, as DArtagnan pointed out earlier, that rarely falls in step with human nature, which, unfortunately, is geared to be a dick most of the time. We're naturally, evolutionarily, and genetically competitive. It's not just human nature, but nature, and something that Dhruin said is very true: we as consumers have been pushing the realism and graphical content issue for years now, reinforcing the current trends that we see in our games today. By consumers, I do not mean aficionadoes, as DArtagnan put it. Unfortunately, aficionadoes are in short supply, while there's a bottomless well of consumers. Consumers who want their games as pretty as possible, using real voices, and packed with action. Publishers see what kinds of games consumers are buying, and throw their investment at developers who can make something that the consumer wants. It's not so much that we consistently boil the situation down to the black and white profit / poverty model that DArtagnan speaks of, but that's how the situation naturally evolves because of who we are as humans. Nature is all about min / maxing.

Like I said before, the average age of the gamer might be in the early 30's, but of the group above that age, how many do you think are casual PC gamers, playing minesweeper, solitaire, and bejeweled at work? I truly believe that the core of the video gaming industry still lies within the 15-24 age range, and these people didn't grow up playing old Apple IIe titles, MUDs, and The Bard's Tale. They grew up playing counter-strike, Halo, and Final Fantasy VII. They are the majority of the market, and it sucks for us who want more substance and less showmanship from our entertainment, but it's no different than other entertainment media, like music, movies, and literature. Unfortunately, we have to look to developers who, like us, are dissatisfied with the status quo and the over homogenization of genres. An indirect benefit of the success of larger developers and publishers is that it creates smaller, more specific indie markets, that we can get our fix from. Some people aren't so lucky: how lousy would it be to be a flight-sim fan right now?
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February 10th, 2011, 19:32
Originally Posted by zadokAllen View Post
My blood boils when I read sob stories like that. I know that some of you are totally disconnected from how the majority of the world lives -in real poverty - and I don`t particularly blame you, for sometimes it`s hard to envision other mindsets without the experience.

And yet, in times where the whole countries` economies are endangered because of some greedy jackasses & people are dropping like flies from malnutrition/disease/etc -whining about someone who apparently happened to work for one of the best companies in the industry is perhaps, well, inappropriate.

And that`s putting it mildly.
I TOTALLY get what you're saying, and it wasn't my intention to make it a sob story. In fact, I exaggerated a fair amount of the poverty scenario that I wrote about. I have no doubt that my friend would have continued to work for peanuts, even with a wife and kids, but he didn't have to. He was able to continue doing what he loved, while making a decent living. I don't know if you have a wife or kids, because I don't know you, and this is not said to be pedantic or self-righteous; I'm married, with a one year old (today), and there is no limit to how much of my pride I could swallow for their benefit. As long as they're healthy, happy, and loved, I couldn't care less if someone else thought I was soulless, corporate pond-scum.
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February 10th, 2011, 20:07
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
I TOTALLY get what you're saying, and it wasn't my intention to make it a sob story. In fact, I exaggerated a fair amount of the poverty scenario that I wrote about.
Fair enough, sir. Perhaps I should`ve seen the exaggeration…it`s just this "starving devs" line is one of my pet peeves & sometimes people use it in whole seriousness.

I guess there`s just not enough space for all the creative types in this industry, for what it is at the moment. So some obviously will have either to adapt to assorted rules or find employment elsewhere. It` not something I`d ever hold against anyone. Nor any pride swallowing - this is something I`m well familiar with :)

And obviously: Happy Birthday to Buzzkill Jr - I`m sure this will be one kid whose taste in games will be above his peers, in few years time ;)
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February 10th, 2011, 20:32
Read "Microserfs". This is a good book on the Software Industry - no matter how close it is to reality.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 10th, 2011, 20:58
Originally Posted by zadokAllen View Post
Well, if you think that working for huge software companies compares to living in poverty then we do live in some parallel universes. Unless our definitions of poverty - as often happens - differ.
No, I just took him literally when he made reference to "just about starving" and sleeping on garage-sale matresses — that's poverty by most definitions — but apparently he was exaggerating.

"In the laws of nature, an intelligence so superior is revealed that in comparison all the significance of human thinking and human arrangements is a completely worthless reflection." - Einstein
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February 10th, 2011, 21:55
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
No, I just took him literally when he made reference to "just about starving" and sleeping on garage-sale matresses — that's poverty by most definitions — but apparently he was exaggerating.
Right, so you`ll insist that these big companies either don`t pay you at all or pay such a pittance you`re reduced to near-starvation?

Also, that if you have a skill set/education needed to work for such companies, you`re really unable to find decent job elsewhere? It may not be in the particular field you love, but not so many people are lucky enough to have that dream job.
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February 10th, 2011, 22:32
Originally Posted by Captain Buzzkill View Post
…I truly believe that the core of the video gaming industry still lies within the 15-24 age range,…
It's a believing, but even if it's true not many of them have money to buy more than 3/5 video games by year, that why most require a platform where pirating is easy and numerous.

Myself I think you wrote that because you are old enough to enter in the range and young enough to not be too close to the limit, ie you have between 17-21. But I'm not sure that 8-14 isn't even a stronger force in gaming consuming, the clue is the huge domination in console market of DS until DS game market crashed recently, and the huge domination of Wii.

A major point is how wrong it is to make a PC vs Consoles comparison, because consoles aren't a unified whole but represent fractions of market. So when you look at consoles top trusted by wii games, it's pointless to compare it to PC market. And if you take only PS3+360 for a console market comparison, the first point is how the 360 is still glued to PC.

So it ends into a PS3 vs PC comparison if you want make a comparison that means something. That's where the 1 Billion made only by Steam and through only their top ten sells, suddenly change the perspective…. Is it really safer to develop for PS3 than for PC with a possibility of a release on 360? I doubt a lot.

Another major point when you look at game market is that the console market is seen as a whole (that means nothing) and includes hardware sales that count for a lot, when PC sales aren't counted because it's impossible to evaluate. So in numbers comparison take care if it's clearly mentioned it's only about the games or not.
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February 11th, 2011, 01:37
Originally Posted by zadokAllen View Post
Right, so you`ll insist that these big companies either don`t pay you at all or pay such a pittance you`re reduced to near-starvation? Also, that if you have a skill set/education needed to work for such companies, you`re really unable to find decent job elsewhere?
No. I think you're misunderstanding where I'm coming from. My point was that you were being sanctimonious, calling the guy a whiner, etc., when there was no reason for that. My use of the word "poverty," which you have focused on, was an accident based on my assumption that Capt. was being accurate in his storytelling, which he wasn't. Since he said the guy was "nearly starving," I assumed there were periods of unemployment between the jobs at big companies, or else jobs at smaller companies that paid very poorly.

I suggest we drop it. No point in having an argument based on mistaken assumptions, exaggerations, and misunderstandings.

"In the laws of nature, an intelligence so superior is revealed that in comparison all the significance of human thinking and human arrangements is a completely worthless reflection." - Einstein
Last edited by Anderson; February 11th, 2011 at 05:39.
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February 11th, 2011, 03:11
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Cat mutilators aside there are people who are good and ask no money. Good example is game mods. Its amazing how much effort they put into them and just give them away for free.
I work on one of those projects and there are huge problems with large mods. People come and go. Stuff is unfinished. It can be quite chaotic and most large mods never get close to finished.

But speaking of game artists its very hard to make coin out of it at least here even if you are good. Industry is so small that nobody will hire you no matter what your skills. Its much better to just become i.e a web designer.
We only see the "high quality" stuff in games that actually gets published. Yes, even the often crappy stuff we see is better than the rest of it. There's an article around somewhere about the 99% of stuff that never makes it and it was really grim.
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