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Would(honestly) you accept if games wer sub par/ took longer to avoid crunch

Oct 25, 2017
3,716
#51
Why would a product be sub-par if crunch is avoided?

Back on topic, if a game needs to take more time in the oven before it is released to avoid crunch, then by all means, do it. Those people working in those games have their own lives too. Our enjoyment of a product shouldn't need people suffering daily just to release a product in time, and in case of not indie games, please investors.
 
Oct 29, 2017
473
#52
Less crunch actually leads to shorter developer times. There have been tons of studies going back decades, that show that working over 40 hours for an extended period of time actually leads to a decrease in productivity. Basically working around 40 hours is about the best. Working 60 hours for a couple of weeks leads to more productivity for only a few weeks, after that fatigue starts settling in and you start doing lower quality work.

The problem is there's a prevalent work culture that doesn't understand that. I know people that are proud when they are able to work 80 or 100 hours a week, despite the fact that there's tons of research showing that it quickly leads to being less productive than just working at 40 hours in the first place.

The other problem is that working over 40 hours a week does lead to short term gains. For short sighted management, those short term gains are what their after.

https://www.alternet.org/2012/03/why_we_have_to_go_back_to_a_40-hour_work_week_to_keep_our_sanity/

Maybe someone will find some problems with this article, but it has some examples of how reducing the amount of hours that were worked lead to an increase in productivity that date back to the late 1800's.


Overall, I would absolutely be in favor of waiting longer for games to have better working conditions if that were the case. But there's very strong evidence that avoiding crunch would actually reduce the waiting times. So it's really a win-win.

Lower hours would make people more rested, keep them sharper, and it would also in general make them more satisfied and healthy. So all that leads to better workers.
 
OP
OP
Redfox088
May 31, 2018
2,272
#54
I should edit the op but I’m implying that deadlines would be static and strict. You can’t bleed money and develop as long as you want if you want to maximize profits. If deadlines are still a thing you either crunch to meet it or release a game sub par and support It while collecting revenue
 
Oct 28, 2017
614
Canada
#55
I'd take a visual downgrade for better, more fleshed out content. Crunch is always bad though, so I'd avoid it at all cost. It's been proven that working your ass off actually demoralizes people, you need to strike a balance between life/work.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,806
#58
Crunch is a sign of mismanagement, its not needed to make good software in any field. The gaming industry needs to unionize to force publishers to stop using crunch as a crutch and to fix their project management and planning issues. Failing upwards into management seems so common in the industry it affects the day to day work load of the people actually making the games.
 
Apr 6, 2018
2,403
#59
Honestly? Probably not.

There are many issues worth taking a stand on and fighting for, but imo this isn't one of those. Realistically game devs have it much better than the vast majority of the world's population (including within the developed world alone).
 
Oct 25, 2017
35
#61
Taking longer would be great, but developers are creating a product that costs a ton of money the longer the development time takes. Of course I would accept longer development times. It’s just not realistic.
 
May 3, 2019
4
#63
No game or any other product should exist at the expense of people's health.
The game can take longer, or just have a smaller scope with a sustainable development cycle. If this is not financially viable, this product shouldn't be done at all. I'm totally ok with not having my favourite game.
 
#64
I’m saying if games get released basically unfinished/ bare bones instead of hunkering down to meet a dead line. Sea of theives, SFv, etc.


Are we ok with SFV/ EX Layer style releases if the game is janky/featureless?
Can't say about Sea of Thieves, but Street Fighter V being feature incomplete at launch had nothing to do with the lack of crunch.

By their own admission, the game came out incomplete because they wanted it on the market for EVO and especially their Pro Tour, something for Capcom that is especially profitable, it's why many of the features lack in the initial launch were single players modes that competitive fans would care less about (just see any Street Fighter V thread for proof of that).

This is more in line with what happened with Battlefront 2015 (also released early because of EA wanting it out before The Force Awakens) then anything.
 
Oct 25, 2017
712
Muricas
#65
take the extra time, but usually it costs extra money too.. a lot of the times crunch happens people aren't getting paid more if they're salaried. There are more than enough games being released every single day that I think some taking longer to come out wouldn't really make a dent at all. If anything, it might be for the better so people can consume what's already available.
 
Nov 2, 2017
310
#66
I should edit the op but I’m implying that deadlines would be static and strict. You can’t bleed money and develop as long as you want if you want to maximize profits. If deadlines are still a thing you either crunch to meet it or release a game sub par and support It while collecting revenue
This is a bullshit rationalization though.

Deadlines are real things, so you estimate work and appropriately scope it to what you can produce on standard work weeks. If you haven't re-scoped and you haven't modified deadlines, then the project that comes out half baked as the result of those conditions isn't because the company didn't abuse it's employees, it's because it set itself up for failure from the jump with piss-poor project management.

Crunch is caused by a combination of exploitative labor practices and awful project management. We absolutely must work to eliminate it, but we can never forget that it's a symptom of deeper root causes.
 

Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,088
bork land
#69
crunch is weird to me, because while I'm sure it's cheaper than delaying a game for a few months, it can't be all that much cheaper can it?

all that extra hiring, training, all that extra overtime pay they have to issue for hundreds of employees
 
#70
I don't know if this is even really related, but this feels connected why I'm not even ready for a new generation. All a new generation is gonna do is put more pressure on developers to push hardware even further and make games prettier at the expense of their own well being. Not to say that's the case for every game, but I still feel like we're in this period where games on the current hardware can be very impressive. it's just something that's not necessary to replace yet. I'd be happier if we could stay in a place for a few years where developers are comfortable with the hardware currently out, and don't have to learn new tech constantly to stay ahead. They could be perfecting their craft, and maybe deliver a better product without having to work as hard.

I could be completely wrong because I'm not a developer. I think every time I post here I just make myself look stupid, so I probably shouldn't be posting at all.
 
#71
You do realize that whole debacle ended up being complete nonsense based on a quote taken out of context in an interview right?

Nobody at Rockstar was working 100 hour weeks. Not even the 4-person writing team (who Dan Houser was talking about in the first place).

100 hours a week is over 14 hours per day, 7 days a week, lmao. He was exaggerating and it backfired hard.

Not to say the writing team wasn’t crunching, they most certainly were, but that whole “100 hour weeks” quote was blown way out of proportion. Plenty of Rockstar employees also chimed in on Twitter shortly after to talk about how crunch was a non-issue for them at R*. Again, not saying crunch isn’t an issue at all there. But it has improved in the last decade according to many.


You also realize that normal people don’t give a fuck about any of this outside of gaming forums like Era right..? People just like to enjoy games.


Seeing as there is no ethical consumption under capitalism - Yeah, pretty much.

Crunch is shitty but it’s very hypocritical to get hung up over it as a consumer of...all the other shit we consume in life & the horrendous practices/morality behind it all.

The bottom line is, without crunch, we would not get the games we are accustomed to today - You don’t get a Last of Us or a Red Dead Redemption 2 or a Witcher 3 without someone going above and beyond. That’s just the way it is. That’s the way life is.
Okay how is it something taken out of context when he what he said? Even if it was exaggerating, the fact that he thought that was something to gloat about speaks volumes in itself about the culture of crunch in gaming.

And quite frankly, so what most consumers care? I'm also sure most wouldn't care about a lot of things, doesn't make them less important or changes things. And we quite frankly, no, we'd likely would get games like Last of Us, Red Dead or Witcher 3 without failed management and crappy work conditions, Hell the impressive games Insomniac can pull of without hardly any speaks volumes (and so glad that company is still considered within the industry as one of the best to work for) should be an example of this.

Just because you don't care doesn't mean s*** doesn't need to change or it's unimportant.
 
Nov 2, 2017
310
#72
crunch is weird to me, because while I'm sure it's cheaper than delaying a game for a few months, it can't be all that much cheaper can it?

all that extra hiring, training, all that extra overtime pay they have to issue for hundreds of employees
From the 2017 IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey:
When employees worked beyond normal office hours (i.e., overtime or crunch), 37% received no additional compensation. Of those who did, this additional compensation came most often in the form of perks like meals (37%) or future time off (32%). Only 18% received paid overtime.
Some people get overtime. The key to managing the overtime pay on that is to depress the base wage, so that paying them time and a half means that they're finally getting something approaching where they should have started at. And this is why you had the stories about NetherRealm hiring contractors at $11/hr and then working them for brutal lengths of time, because even double time on $11/hr only bumps the rate up to $22/hr.

Other times the compensation is comp time, but you can look at the Fortnite story for how that goes wrong. Epic technically has an unlimited vacation policy, so you can take comp time whenever, assuming your boss approves it. But the constant churn means that anyone taking time off is increasing the load on the rest of their team, so there's pressure to not use the time you've got.

And then there's like a third of people that just get nothing for it, or they get sold that catered meals is something they should consider a perk and not an inducement to get people to stay in the office.
 
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Fat4all

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
19,088
bork land
#73
From the 2017 IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey:


Some people get overtime. The key to managing the overtime pay on that is to depress the base wage, so that paying them time and a half means that they're finally getting sometime approaching where they should have started at. And this is why you had the stories about NetherRealm hiring contractors at $11/hr and then working them for brutal lengths of time, because even double time on $11/hr only bumps the rate up to $22/hr.

Other times the compensation is comp time, but you can look at the Fortnite story for how that goes wrong. Epic technically has an unlimited vacation policy, so you can take comp time whenever, assuming your boss approves it. But the constant churn means that anyone taking time off is increasing the load on the rest of their team, so there's pressure to not use the time you've got.

And then there's like a third of people that just get nothing for it, or they get sold that catered meals is something they should consider a perk and not an inducement to get people to stay in the office.
jeez, thats like seven shades of fucked up
 
#75
Yes. I already think most gamers come across as entitled and whiny about most things. Games don't need to look as good as they do or be as content-rich as they are. I only play a few AAA games a year, and I'd happily pay more or wait longer for smaller big budget games if it means the workers aren't dealing with hell to get them out the door.

That said, I don't want them to start relying on intrusive monetization schemes to pay for longer cycles. That's something that would be a deal-breaker for me. Not that I'd prefer crunch over microtransactions, just that I won't buy games if the image feels compromised for the sake of business.
 
Feb 8, 2019
235
#77
I should edit the op but I’m implying that deadlines would be static and strict. You can’t bleed money and develop as long as you want if you want to maximize profits. If deadlines are still a thing you either crunch to meet it or release a game sub par and support It while collecting revenue
I don't get this.
Deadlines ARE already static and strict. Crunch exists to meet those deadlines. You can't get rid of crunch and still have those deadlines so your basic premise is a little flawed. Companies crunch because they are trying to meet an unreasonable deadline.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,103
#78
You know if you loosen deadlines, people/teams just end up taking their time, and still end up crunching in the end lol. Really what it all comes down to is good project management vs bad management. Barring disasters such as an engine not working out or whatever.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8,547
#80
Apex's battle pass has nothing to do with crunch. The skins are ugly and some are hidden behind lootboxes.

If anything I'd think that games would be better since they weren't rushed due to crunch. See Fortnite having to patch out their new features every other month due to how rushed they are.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,424
#82
I think it'd be perfectly fine if games just generally took longer to come out to avoid crunch. I'd prefer it. Game dev is what got me interested into software dev, but all the shittiness surrounding it pushed me more into general software dev. I'd love if the industry could change and game dev could be like other software dev jobs and not a sacrifice for passion.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,333
#85
Take as long as you need. With the diminishing returns of visuals, I imagine such an approach would be more viable than ever.

Ultimately, the problem is that studios under publicly traded publishers oftentimes don't have the pull to get more time. EA pushes bad games out that they know are terrible all the time because they must make the fiscal year deadline. It's bullshit.
 
Jun 17, 2018
180
#87
I think games are too big. Too many levels. Too many features. Too many polygons and graphical effects. If even AAA development was scaled back even higher quality could be achieved in the same amount of time (without crunch)
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,141
#88
I firmly believe that products made by people who are being treated with basic human decency are better in the end.

Edit: Then again, as an illustrator, crunch and long hours are sadly just a reality of the profession at times. And sometimes a lack of time can lead to some ingenious creative ideas.
 
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#92
Crunch has never lead to a better product. There’s just no data in favor of it, in actuality the more hours a person works the less productive they become. So would games take longer to hit their intended launch dates? Possibly. But we would absolutely see better games if employees of game dev studios were treated like humans.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,249
Kitchener, ON
#94
Crunch doesn't happen because of ravenously, starved gamers. We all have massive backlogs, we'll be fine.

Crunch happens because of ravenously, starved shareholders who expect perpetually increasing revenue/profit. They are never satisfied.
 
Oct 27, 2017
281
#95
Seeing as the natural outcome of avoiding crunch is the game taking longer to come out, I'd say yeah, I'm all for it. As mentioned by many others, the quality of a game isn't improved by crunch so I wont' be responding to that point.