Why do we do it?

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Polyjunky polycounter lvl 8
If I didn't tell you what I did for a living, I told you I worked long hours, unpaid overtime, sometimes have to work weekends without pay during busy periods. If I told you all this and then said, I could be made redundant at anytime, maybe because of the studio shutting down or say a credit crunch. You'd say: " What a crap job"!! but if I don't tell you what I have to do, but tell you what I do, I'm a games artist...you'd be like: " that's so cool"!

So why do we do it if this is our lot?

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  • Wells
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    Wells polycounter lvl 12
    I'm not treated badly. I love my job.
  • Polyjunky
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    Polyjunky polycounter lvl 8
    Try working in the UK :)
  • thomasp
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    thomasp greentooth
    who's getting treated badly again?
  • notman
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    notman polycounter lvl 12
    Try being an engineer... you work the long and unpaid overtime (including weekends), but when you tell people what you do, you don't get the 'cool' factor :P It's part of working a salary based job... get use to it ;)
  • Mark Dygert
    I do it for:
    • The pay and bonuses, they want people to stick around.
    • A well run company, I know all of the higher ups and they are NOT empty headed hack asses out for a quick buck.
    • We're our own publisher, no toxic relationship, our profits drive future game development.
    • Creative freedom. We're given well thought out designs, but we're left an amazing amount of creative freedom to build on them.
    • Regular build reviews & scrums are done and everyone is open to critique and flexible to changes.
    • The flexible work hours. Very nice coming in early (or vice versa), dodging traffic and getting a bunch of stuff done before anyone shows up to pester me.
    • Great benefits.
    • Low crunch periods.
    • Access to the gym downstairs.
    • The chance to work on things I wouldn't be able to work on if I worked at other places.
    • I can work from home, so if I need to work the weekend I can do it at home.
    • I build my dept's schedule (all 3 people) and it turns out realistic every time.
    • Low turn over as a result of the above.
    I'm spoiled and it will take a pretty sweet deal to get me to move on.
    So yea... I'm totally abused, mistreated and about to hide 50lbs of cow chips in the air vents as soon as they lay me off next week.
  • Ghostscape
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    Ghostscape polycounter lvl 10
    Because few people can say "I pay my rent in giant robot money."
  • skankerzero
    I do it all for the nookie.
  • ElysiumGX
    no idea...but it pays well for a job that doesn't require a college education. and it beats food service. i'd honestly prefer weekends and overtime over part time food service jobs. in this industry, the customers actually appreciate the work you've done.

    if you're working weekends and unpaid overtime, and unhappy...leave.
  • low odor
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    low odor polycounter lvl 11
    I do it :
    Because I love working on the stuff I'm working on

    On Fridays I can sit at me desk and have a beer (sometimes said beer is provided)

    Yeah..we crunched our asses off...then I took almost a month off..paid

    If I wanted to come to work dressed in a different costume everyday...no one would mind

    I get to work with a team of awesome artists on a daily basis

    bennefits are awesome

    pay is good..etc


    It's not all beer and Costume parties though. Ultimately it is still a job, regaurdless of what fanboy jones thinks it is.
  • low odor
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    low odor polycounter lvl 11
    ElysiumGX wrote: »
    no idea...but it pays well for a job that doesn't require a college education. and it beats food service. i'd honestly prefer weekends and overtime over part time food service jobs.

    Amen......And you never get..."We think your tattos are scaring the customers."
  • TomDunne
    Juju wrote: »
    So why do we do it if this is our lot?

    Hookers and blow.
  • Rob Galanakis
    Juju wrote: »
    If I didn't tell you what I did for a living, I told you I worked long hours, unpaid overtime, sometimes have to work weekends without pay during busy periods. If I told you all this and then said, I could be made redundant at anytime, maybe because of the studio shutting down or say a credit crunch. You'd say: " What a crap job"!! but if I don't tell you what I have to do, but tell you what I do, I'm a games artist...you'd be like: " that's so cool"!

    So why do we do it if this is our lot?

    Because you like being taken advantage of?

    Seriously, there's no reason this should be the description of a game artist (or anyone, for that matter). The fact that you think being taken advantage of by sub-par management is part of being a game artist is pretty worrying and only contributes to this being your continued 'lot'.

    If we grow up and understand nothing about crunch and overtime is inherent in game development (and as many studios have shown, there isn't), not only will you have an awesome job, but your life will be so much better, because you will not be sacrificing your time and life for a company that, in the end, doesn't really give a shit about you. You should be spending your time on you.
  • Fliff
    Juju wrote: »
    Try working in the UK :)

    a chav taken away your job ?
  • Em.
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    Em. polycounter lvl 10
    low odor wrote: »
    Amen......And you never get..."We think your tattoos are scaring the customers."
    Exactly.
    If you've ever worked customer service jobs, construction, or cleaned houses, you know that this is fucking cake. Sounds more like an issue of where you're working than the job itself. I never minded overtime if it was what was needed to get the job done, partly because I knew that they'd be hooking me up with dinner and if I ever needed time off I could get it no questions asked. I love what I do, I'm happy doing it and I say all this having just been laid off last week. Go scrub some rich lady's toilet and have her look at you like an infected wound and get back to me. It could always be worse, it's just a matter of perspective.
  • skankerzero
    the nookie
  • Paul Pepera
  • Farfarer
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    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    'Cause it's fun and it pays for bills and beer.

    You'd rather be an accountant?
  • EarthQuake
    So i can smoke weed EVERY day.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 12
  • Rhinokey
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    Rhinokey polycounter lvl 11
    totaly uncalled for meisse.

    i love my job, its not without its frustrations and risks, but i'd rather have an unsecure job making games than a secure job in a sawmill
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 12
    Because it's the only job I enjoy doing. I come from a physical labor background and while I miss that work (kept me in great shape), it was miserable, uninspiring, non-creative and fulfilling.
    Making games brings enjoyment to other people. Ever stand in line for a game release? There's a very positive feeling around, where everything is talking about the game and such. It's bringing happiness to the masses. But maybe I'm just weird. I like giving gifts more than receiving them.
  • [Deleted User]
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter lvl 12
    At least you get to sit down all day, except to go to the kitchen for coffee and doughnuts.

    I worked in a scaffolding yard for 3 days once, it seemed like 3 years.
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 12
    Ruz wrote: »
    I worked in a scaffolding yard for 3 days once, it seemed like 3 years.

    I was a glass cutter for 4yrs. Hardest.job.ever. Wearing 15lbs of kevlar, gloves, facemask, metatarsal steeltoe boots, lifting and cutting huge sheets of glass all day, in temps up to 140º (w/relative humidty in summer). Carrying 600lb pieces of 3/8" glass with another guy, holding on for dear life to your 300lb end. Lifting pieces 84"x130" of 1/8th" onto a dolly and rolling them to a rack, while it waves like water two feet about your head. Scary scary shit.
  • b1ll
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    b1ll polycounter lvl 12
    Because im the boss and i said it was GREAT!
  • Mark Dygert
    I change my answer, I do it because I never want to build water skis or snow boards again... I did it for 4 years, felt like 10.
  • maltuna
    Because I can play with airzookas at work, why else?!

    2991.jpg
  • AshleyTayles
  • Super
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    Super polycounter lvl 12
    I wish I did do what we do what you do for a living, you lucky devil.
  • coldkodiak
    I just got laid off in December with about a 2 hour notice before it happened.

    Job security would be cool.
    But shit... our jobs is to make cool useless shit. We get to become endeared to people for helping them waste their time, and implant our sense of what the world should be in their heads.

    Who wouldn't love that?

    I guess in the end though, if you don't like your company for whatever reasons, you can't help but be somewhat miserable at times.
  • Gav
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    Gav greentooth
    4+ years of school and all that other shit doesn't necessarily get you job security and "fair treatment", I know plenty of people who have gone through just that only to find the end goal wasn't what they thought it would be...then they're stuck in a job they dislike or switch careers. Personally, I like the feeling of crunch time, have no problem working extra for a cause I believe in, am treated pretty well...the money is fine for what I do. I kind of think a BIG problem with this industry is people expecting way too much (on both sides, management / people in the trenches)...like kodiak said, our job is pretty much based around luxury, what can you expect? Ask anyone in a similar field and they'll probably have the same complaints.

    My wife was a chef for YEARS and just decided to switch careers for more or less the same reason...
  • TeriyakiStyle
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    TeriyakiStyle ngon master
    What I find myself thinking of a lot is working to produce art for other projects is just to keep my skills sharp for those rare days I am able to leap into personal stuff. If I were working at starbucks or something I would atrophy.

    This is a common struggle. Capitalist society has been regarded as "velvet fascism" but it's all a state of mind.

    I find I am much happier and successful when I find things to be grateful for. It's Sunday and I'm at work right now with my friends/coworkers and blasting music and making art. That's pretty cool.
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 12
    I do miss the good ole`days though...
    This is me and the other crew saying goodbye to our old pal, Bob. We had 2 extra rolls of shrinkwrap and were waiting for more glass to be brought in from the trucks.

    bobxg6.jpg


    We left him there for about 2hrs. :D!!
  • monkeyboy_garth
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    monkeyboy_garth polycounter lvl 9
    @Juju: Why do you do it?
  • skankerzero
    so you can take that cookie and stick it up your yeah!
  • Reverenddevil
    I do it because the worst 18 hrs a day of overtime is better than the best normal 8 hour days alot of people work. We make art and get paid for making a video game look cool. Also, I dont have to even think about my tattoos or what someone might think of me. It is all about doing what we chose to do. No one fell into game art or had to do it to support their family. We made the choice!
  • Kevin Johnstone
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    Kevin Johnstone polycounter lvl 12
    Who needs reasons when you have a sincere and truthful polygon addiction.
  • flaagan
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    flaagan quad damage
    I do it cause even when I decide to go to work on a saturday, I look forward to going to work.

    That, and cause I can drive to work in a convertible Corvette that the job is paying off... 8)
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter lvl 12
    well perhaps you need paying for your addiction Kevin ie passion equals remuneration

    To be fair most places pay quite well these days, but you have to watch out for the bad

    managers who use unpaid overtime as a stick to beat you with
  • EbolaV
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    EbolaV keyframe
    for me its because i cant image to make something other shit. I hope i get a job in the industrie after that game dev school here :/
    damn its 5 am thats why i do it i life in the darkness. wake up when its getting dark and go sleep when the sunlight comes argh.
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 8
    I do it because I'm delusional. Life is so amazing; let's create a virtual experience!

    I think creative outlet is pursued for similar reasons across the board, except for maybe in movies. Until there is a games Hollywood, I think it's destined to remain that sort of career where you do it because you like it the best and don't (to a realistic degree) want to do anything else. But, I mean, people write books and die before anyone reads or understands them all the time.
  • aesir
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    aesir polycounter lvl 12
    Em. wrote: »
    Exactly.
    If you've ever worked customer service jobs, construction, or cleaned houses, you know that this is fucking cake. Sounds more like an issue of where you're working than the job itself. I never minded overtime if it was what was needed to get the job done, partly because I knew that they'd be hooking me up with dinner and if I ever needed time off I could get it no questions asked. I love what I do, I'm happy doing it and I say all this having just been laid off last week. Go scrub some rich lady's toilet and have her look at you like an infected wound and get back to me. It could always be worse, it's just a matter of perspective.

    I don't really agree. Sure I like the job better, but service jobs were fun in their own ways as well. Pay was better too (fancy restaraunt). Physical effort and mental effort are the same for me. Both jobs require you to try hard.

    I do this sort of stuff because I'm competent at it and enjoy the challenge of improving my abilties. I like the room for both personal and professional growth. I like creating things. It pays well enough. In the end though, work is work.
  • ebagg
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    ebagg polycounter lvl 11
    Here's a few reasons for me:
    -I love being an artist and getting paid for it
    -the people I work with are some of the most open minding, problem solving people I've ever encountered
    -seeing my name in the game credits
    -seeing my art in the game
    -working as part of a team of creative minds
    -camaraderie (worth emphasizing)
    -being able to write off my toys on tax time
    -for the love of the game, baby
    -Because the ladies get moist when I tell them what I do.
  • AshleyTayles
    -Because the ladies get moist when I tell them what I do.

    Really? I need to live where you are...
  • Vrav
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    Vrav polycounter lvl 8
    I see this sentiment all over, and while I agree that creating assets in a team for a certain project over which one likely has no direct control is definitely "work," and a job, a task, I see that process as leading into bigger and better creative directions, if that's something one aspires to do. Many artists seem content to treat their career as a job and don't try to share their own ideas and glory with the world as much as others (I have no idea who fits into what category, but this is the way it seems), and that's fine, but really what you make of any job is... just that, what you make of it.

    So, I suppose the "bigger and better direction" to be had out of any experience is self-improvement and expansion of some sort. Artistic use of technology and entertainment is just a cool way to embrace this.

    I, for one, have art and music and feeling inside of me that I want to get out; games provide an interesting medium, and I just so happen to also have a thing for task-oriented asset creation, given focus and direction, so... that's why I want to do, or do, anything in the field. The eventual expression of what lives and grows inside my spirit, be it beautiful or grotesque, comical or somber, is a goal I will pursue no matter what; game art provides a modern, highly detailed and effective medium for this, so... if I can make a living doing it? That should be the most awesome thing. Terrible bosses and coworkers be damned, so long as I continue learning and nearing the ultimate goal.

    I mean, life rarely works out so ideally as that and everyone's bound to have a miserable job (even in games) at times, but given that it's something we (hopefully) love to do, and are actually interested in, what in this era could be better. Anyway, I'm not really saying anything others haven't already said in a more reasonable manner, am I. Art, creativity, survival, fun, etc.
  • JO420
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    JO420 sublime tool
    -Because most other jobs are boring,soul draining and suck (also there were no penings at the candy factory run by big breasted hookers)

    - I get to travel to alot of interesting countries

    - Not having to deal with a boss 90% of my week,no long meetings.

    -Working in whatever way i like as long as i finish my work in time.

    - Nobody dies if i mess up :)

    -Like being paid to be an artist.

    - Making games is all i have ever wanted to do.
  • Polyjunky
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    Polyjunky polycounter lvl 8
    @Juju: Why do you do it?

    Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I've been doing it for nearly nine years, crunch doesn't really bother me. I've done the whole late night weekend thing. It's all good. I love the team spirit, having my name on the credits and my art in the game. All that good stuff.

    In that time though there have been a lot of redundancies, people, good people have been laid off and left by the way side. It appears to me that in the great scheme of things, artists are the most expendible commodity in the games industry. I was just wondering if people in the states have experienced similar. Maybe freelance is the way to go.

    People like Gavin and B1ll will probably have more insight in that area.
  • Jeremy Lindstrom
    maltuna wrote: »
    Because I can play with airzookas at work, why else?!

    2991.jpg

    u know those can shoot smell too!! :D
  • sebas
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    sebas polycounter lvl 10
    ... because this is more than a job, it's our passion.
  • JO420
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    JO420 sublime tool
    Juju wrote: »
    Don't get me wrong, I love my job. I've been doing it for nearly nine years, crunch doesn't really bother me. I've done the whole late night weekend thing. It's all good. I love the team spirit, having my name on the credits and my art in the game. All that good stuff.

    In that time though there have been a lot of redundancies, people, good people have been laid off and left by the way side. It appears to me that in the great scheme of things, artists are the most expendible commodity in the games industry. I was just wondering if people in the states have experienced similar. Maybe freelance is the way to go.

    People like Gavin and B1ll will probably have more insight in that area.


    Well i see what you are saying. For me one thing that really bothers me is the long term career prospects in this industry. As you mentioned artists always seem to be the first to get the chop and its this aspect of the industry that is the most concern. I am possibly facing looking for work again soon which i am not looking foward to and my concern is being able to place down roots somewhere. Somewhere i can call home or even get married one day and have a family. At the moment it seems like this industry makes it hard to do so. I like the work but i wonder how long will i be able to handle moving around alot,worrying about my job safety and so on. Im single and it concerns me i wonder how stressful it must be to my co workers who are married with children.

    Well my experience in working in the states is none i havent worked in a studio in america yet but american labor laws is a big reason i decided to try out europe. Being let go on the spot with no warning is something i dont think i would like. Where i am at now if the company goes bust,the money i pay in taxes(which is more in America) goes towards a fund which will pay me 3 months of full salary and the pay owed to me in vacation which is like 3 weeks. So if i lose my job i have some breathing room to find work before things get dicey. Same for my healthcare,i wont lose that until my visa expires. I have rarely worked crunch since management in my company seems to have their planning all sorted out.

    If i have to move around again in the next few years time i might consider other careers to be honost.
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