April 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm #12251
I just read an interesting piece on the closure of LucasArts last week. The whole article can be read here, but I thought the passage below was particularly interesting as it relates to the level of maturity and storytelling in big budget games:
I’ve talked to too many people in this industry to wonder why so many of our games feel adolescent; many of the artists who make the games are given a job, they begin to live at the studio, the hours grow long, they cease to grow as human beings, and they’re stuck with the same influences, passions, and sense of humor they had as a teenager. This may not have happened at LucasArts, as the men and women in these images may have paid the cost gladly or had a richer home life than is hinted at in the euology, but it’s a problem in modern, AAA game development.
The best thing we can do to ensure high-quality, diverse games is to create a system where the people who make these games can take a day off to go to a museum. Where they can take their spouse to dinner on their anniversary, or watch their children’s play or musical performance at their school. Where they can have a life outside of the office, and become actual adults with functional relationships that don’t involve space marines and lightsabers. You shouldn’t have to give these things up to create video games, and we shouldn’t romanticize these realities when a studio closes.April 11, 2013 at 12:47 am #12406
I would think either the industry is highly specialized and barriers to entry as an employee are difficult enough that there are not many people who do it or maybe the profit margin per video game is relatively small that the org. culture had to become that way to make ends meet.April 15, 2013 at 2:20 pm #84742
I don’t really agree with this. There are plenty of highly intense jobs that employes spend hours upon hours at without having much of a social life. The difference is that those jobs and industries hold their employees to a higher level of maturity. It’s all about setting expectations and the video game industry has been lacking in that regard.April 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm #84769
I wish everyone would embrace a more mature cultural idea of the people who make video games. The perception is that making video games looks exactly like playing video games, and that is quite far from the truth.
But I’ve spent most of my career in the industry as a QA tester, so I’m in a lower caste anyway!April 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm #85719
Does anyone remember Ion Storm with John Romero? I went there when they had the top two floors of that skyscraper in Dallas. They were a bit of work. A complete stereotype of a startup, to the point of breast implants. The coders and designers had to put drapes over their cubicles to work, because Dallas has this issue with sun.April 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm #85732
I thought Ion Storm was gonna be the greatest company ever. They did make one of my favorite games of all time, Deus Ex. But then, Daikatana so … yeah. Romero offers some great insight on the time there and with id in the book Masters of Doom.
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