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leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


The big companies donít work on games that wonít give a large expected return because they donít move the needle and the admin costs around projects (legal review, executive management, etc) increase with company size.

If the mothership is blind to expenses less than six figures, theyíre not going to green light a project for seven. Theyíre going to ask why youíre wasting their time.

Source: I work in the games division of a large company.

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leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Discendo Vox posted:

Mother, how do you feel about the Games as Service/seasons model, as a business practice? What are the pros/cons compared with the lootbox approach?

Why are loot boxes mutually exclusive with service games?

Where do you think they came from?

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


mutata posted:

General software and video games are VASTLY different in most aspects. I'm sure there's a ceiling at some point, but nothing suggests that we're approaching it.

On the engineering/client side, theyíre not that different than any other simulation. Server side is similar to other server problems.

Itís not a CRUD database app, but there are non-games problems that do all the same things. Biggest difference is that frame rate matters for the client, so the specific algorithms (and fidelity) are different.

ShadowHawk posted:

Why is this? It feels like most other software is getting cheaper to make due to commoditized infrastructure, more capable tooling, and reusing common components.

The scope of AAA games has certainly increased as hardware has gotten better and more and more people get thrown at exploiting it (new engines and even more detailed models), but I'm not sure we can expect that trend to keep outpacing software in general.

Content is expensive, and the cost wonít stop increasing until the quality bar stops rising.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Meyers-Briggs Testicle posted:

Have you ever had a great idea for a game but gotten scooped on it?
As in someone beat you to the punch and made something beyond what you had imagined. Would you still pursue the project or try to refactor it into something different?

I imagine there were a lot of people making harvest moon farming sim type of games who had their lunch completely eaten by Stardew Valley, there's almost no point in releasing another one of those games for a few years due to how great it is.

Sub question - how do you view other games in the same genre during development? If you're making an FPS and a game like Doom 2016 comes out, do you play it and frantically take notes trying to integrate the best parts of it, or do you try to ignore its influence to maintain your original vision?

I expect very few people were working on harvest moon clones. And surely a successful one launching is a reason to /finish production/ not cancel.

Itís hard to know what question youíre asking, as you refer to both an independent project with effectively no budget and also a well financed project from a large corporation. Generally, everyone plays everything (to some practical limit). If a game does something with its UI or controls that are really good, those things will find their way to other games because they work. You may even hear: ďyou should check out the [UI, art, procedural generation, pacing] in <game>Ē from friends/colleagues. This is essentially how the medium has progressed for decades. See also music, art, film, or any other creative endeavor.

Things that involve a lot of tech are a bit different. Indies donít generally have the budget to build stuff like the animation system in DooM (both from a tech and art perspective) and large projects are slower to adapt to fast changes by their nature.

Itís definitely happened that games get rushed to beat a competitor to market, but that decision typically gets made at the exec level. Most of the people in industry here arenít making those decisions. Or if they are, theyíre probably on a relatively small team.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Pixelante posted:

Are there any useful Christmas presents to buy for a teen who is pursuing a career in game dev? He's done a Digipen high school thing and really liked it.

If theyíre into programming, the unity course from Ben tristem on Coursera is pretty good and routinely excessively cheap. Itís project based. Did I mention you can probably pick it up for

No idea on the art side..?

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Meyers-Briggs Testicle posted:

I'll rephrase it: have you ever been working on a game and had another game come out in the same genre that completely blew you away? Is it more ' now we're going to be compared to this' or "that's awesome and doesn't affect my morale at all" or something else entirely?

Personally, I get a feeling similar to this:

The interpretation of which may be good or bad depending.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Lutha Mahtin posted:

I don't know if I've explicitly said it but one thing I've been trying to point out is that big, existing industry leaders, whether in games or something else, didn't get to the position they are in because they are the sole captains of industry who are smarter and more rational than everyone else. Pointing to a couple of arbitrary data points on (in this case) EA's ticker readings and SEC filings really means nothing. This is because EA, much like any other large multinational corporation, is affected by a huge number of variables every single day. They are affected by changes the economy and stability of every country they do business with, changes in all the laws and regulations of these countries, mergers and acquisitions (and divestitures) of their own and of competitors, the growths and failures of competitors, internal reorganizations, and I could go on for quite a bit longer here but I think anyone arguing in good faith would see my point. And this is even before we consider the general monopoly nature of the games business and the entertainment business in general (in terms of copyright, trademarks, and patents), the monopoly nature of the console business, and so on. We don't live in an Ayn Rand libertopia where "smart man -> business decision -> more profit -> better than" and I think it really obscures the bigger picture when people discuss it that way.

Is your position that executives and the boards of major corporations are not responsible for their profits, and do not make decisions based on their best belief to increase their profits and margin?

Or is your position that it does not appear to rational people that micro transactions in games is beneficial to long term customer value?

Because I donít believe either of those is true, and most of the higher ups Iíve interacted with seem similarly inclined.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Triarii posted:

One thing I can say for sure is that's it's frustrating when a smaller company like the one I work for looks at the trends that are making the top dogs billions of dollars and says "this is how you make money now, and we if do that too then we'll be successful" and then tries to copy the latest trends as closely as possible with none of the funding or resources to back it up. A lot of executive-types seem to think that there's something magical about whatever techniques are currently making lots of money such that you can turn a big profit with them even when developing on a shoestring budget.

The trick to the plans used by the big players is they have huge ad budgets. And the storefronts return their calls when they ask about featuring.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


teardrop posted:

I have spent a huge chunk of my life playing games, almost all single-player. I finish maybe 1%, because by halfway through either there is no longer a challenge or the gameplay has become repetitive.

When I've gotten to see all of the gameplay mechanics, if not the story, then starting the next game becomes more appealing. I finish 99% of books and movies because I know the ending is a huge part of the experience and will completely change the way I view it. My assumption is that most of the artistry in a game goes into the gameplay, not the story, so I've "gotten" almost all of a game by halfway through.

Is this a cool and good way to experience games? Or is a ton of work going into the last third of the game, carefully managing difficulty curves, writing elaborate plot twists, and varying mechanics to avoid repetition, that I've just written off after a few stale experiences? I would hate to think that I'm often missing out on fresh gameplay and book-level plot twists at the 11th hour. But no matter what, as much as I love 4x, I am still always going to restart as a new faction once I own half the map!

It depends on the genre. In some games (like platformers), level design is vitally important, and the interesting stuff may not appear until near the end or post-game content. I wouldnít want to jump out of a game just after the tutorial. In [the current form of] Diablo 3, the interesting part of the game is in progressing through greater rifts; this is entirely in post-game content.

If youíve seen enough of a game though, you shouldnít feel obliged to finish it. Same for books, movies, and albums.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


teardrop posted:

It's funny you should say platformers, the last game I finished was Psychonauts. Level design did stay fresh until the end.

I would never leave a book, movie, or album unfinished (unless it was really bad), because the author is able to surprise me right up to the end. In a game, although a Gravity Gun might end up getting supercharged, it's rare to withhold anything really radical. I know I'm not going to beat Sleeping Dogs and find myself in Shadowrun: Hong Kong building a spaceship that launches me into Stellaris! The experience of playing a game is primarily exploring and interacting with the world which has been created, and devs can't waste the resources to make 2 worlds when they could make 2 games instead, so overwhelmingly this seems to leave the second half as a mirror image of the first half. Protagonist grows from doing 1 damage to 10 damage, someday he may deal 20 damage and defeat the end boss and save the world.

I haven't played Diablo 3, but how is playing those endgame rifts and optimizing your gear different from the rest of the game? Could you give me any other examples (don't need to be recent) of games that definitely aren't mirror images, that might surprise me with the late game?

The nature of what youíre doing and the strategies involved are just different. The gear you get (and would have trouble getting before) fundamentally alters your characterís skills.

Frog fractions [no explanation will do it credit]. Dance Dance Revolution [self evident, but maybe not worth picking up]. Disgaea [game starts as a tactics RPG, but it turns into an exploration in methods to break its systems]. If I thought longer, Iím sure I could come up with others.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Phobeste posted:

Freaking lol at giving hackbunny career advice

For those of you that have been programmers in other subdisciplines as well as video games, what stands out as similar and different to you, especially on the other-than-writing-code side? Like, are the business and teams organized similarly? Do you use many of the same tools? Do you have similar conflicts?

On the back end, itís all basically the same poo poo. On the front end, you need to be mindful of things that will cause your frame rate to drop.

Perforce is prevalent as the version control system (though I prefer, and many smaller teams use, git). Testing (on the front end) is often just not done outside manual testing. Jira is standard.

By and large, itís very similar to other sorts of non-JavaScript dev Iíve done.

Sometimes thereís different words for roles; eg producer vs project manager. Generally just window dressing.

Only conflict that is different is with creative and design. Creative wants things to look pretty; you have to occasionally tell them no (more often, offer suggestions of things similar to what they ask for) because what they want would blow your frame budget. Design can be more challenging; thatís where game feel and other soft requirements usually come in. Dealing with design can be like working with a product owner that changes their mind on what they want week over week; especially on new projects. In the best case theyíve already prototypes the systems before they ask you to build them into the rest of the game.

My current game has a couple development teams. Back end, two client teams, and an events team. Design and QA (manual testers) are embedded in the teams; art is generally a separate thing, but there are a few people embedded as well. Separately thereís the business analysts, IT/admin staff, etc.

The office environment is generally a bit more fun than most non-games places Iíve worked. Essentially everyone has a shared hobby in games, so thereís always /some/ common ground with coworkers in a social setting.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


GC_ChrisReeves posted:

I think good game AI is hard to demonstrate and advertise nowadays, only the most interested of gamers are going to appreciate when it's done well. And with that, I suspect AI complexity has quietly been chugging along in it's own lane, you just don't hear about it the way like we did in the days before Oblivion (Full day AI cycles!) released. From purely a gamer's perspective, MGS5s AI is utterly superb yet it rarely gets much praise. Good AI may just be being taken for granted nowadays.

As for gameplay, I suspect the conservative approach there is due to games being bigger investment risks than ever now and changing a previously winning formula without good reason might make the money-givers butts pucker a bit. So yeah, Indies have much more room to play about.

AI has stagnated a bit, which has been a topic at the GDC ai roundtables and ai summit for the past few years. Essentially the last major breakthrough was with behavior trees; right around the time halo (2?) came out.

Thereís been some improvement to procedural generation since then, but nothing crazy. Most of the stuff coming out now in that realm are follow-ons from deep learning and other well funded initiatives.

Itís just a hard problem, and academia isnít terribly interested in game ai, which has timing constraints not present in general decision management or planning. Not many organizations are interested in a multi-year effort to improve on the state of the art with no guarantees of success for results pretty much no one will care about.

Complexity has mostly been increasing with the number of nodes in behavior trees. Essentially more cases and granularity of the same thing.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Chernabog posted:

Are Facebook/Web games still a thing?
Or has that moved mostly to apps?

Still a thing but the big money is mostly in apps.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Downs Duck posted:

More "games" than "games industry" question here, but maybe it can set off some good talk points about game development and the industry anyway.

Been following this thread with great interest and wanted to cross-post two questions I posited in the "Recommend me a game" thread (got some great feedback already and thought maybe people posting here had some more insight/recommendations):

The inventory progression and puzzle balance in Shenzhen I/O is very good and very interesting.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


KRILLIN IN THE NAME posted:

Hello gamedev goons - I'm an indie solo gamedev with one commercial title under my belt (if you've played it, apologies in advance) and have been doing gamejam stuff mostly over the last few years. I've never worked in the game industry for a AAA/AA/III company or anything like that so I have a question for those who do.

What's a designer's day to day like? I get the prototyping/hashing out different concepts and mechanics bit in the pre-production stages, but during production what role does a designer fill? Do most designers tend to do additional stuff when there's less gameplay-specific design work to do on a title (e.g. filling in for level design).

Same thing for sound (assuming you're a studio with a sound person, rather than a contractor) - are you continually tweaking stuff, or is it a "once it's done you do other things" type scenario. I imagine it's going to be vastly different from studio to studio but I'm interested in your day to day, in case I ever get sick of making dumb jam games from home in my underwear

Design is writing proposals and mucking with excel. Also fielding questions from anyone confused about how something is intended to work.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


daslog posted:

I have a question about Hackers. I love FPS games like Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, CS:GO, Battlefields, etc. It seems like every popular twitch multiplayer gane like these all attract hackers as they grow in popularity. Cheating players will pay hundreds of dollars per month to access to these hacks (which is just insane). It then turns into a never ending race to the bottom as developers release new patches and hackers develop new hacks.

Valve has been trying a community rating system, but that's far from perfect. Is there any hope?

nielsm posted:

The best protection against cheating in multiplayer games is to have a zero-trust model, where the server assumes every client packet is malicious and verifies that everything follows the rules, and additionally gives the clients as little data about the world as possible, so the client can't know things the player shouldn't (e.g. what's behind a solid wall.) The problem with doing that is latency, you simply can't implement client prediction in a good manner if you don't trust anything. The other alternative is to force players to only use consoles with strong hardware DRM, and encryption on the network data to prevent spoofing from external devices.
One other possibility could be to add heuristics to the servers that verify actions against what should be reasonably possible, e.g. a player with a ridiculous turn-rate that hits headshots every time is suspicious, even more so if it's against cloaked players. But any heuristics like that massively increase the risk of false positives.

I'd say it's not a battle that can be won with technology alone. But the right mix of less trust in the client, together with community voting reinforced by server-side heuristics, could help somewhat.

peer based systems are also cheaper to run than an authoritative server. so no, there's no escape.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


ShadowHawk posted:

People already cheat at online chess, adding a random element doesn't make it that different unless the randomness determines the game almost entirely. And then you've just re-invented online poker.

The random element determines individual hands, but not sessions or tournaments in poker. There is a nontrivial amount of skill in the game. Not the least of which involves vigilance, since itís such a boring game to play well.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Sindai posted:

I'm really curious to know what games you're thinking about here.

There have been a number of games that gate content off of lower difficulties. I think cuphead did this?

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Gerblyn posted:

This can be true, but there is another reason. When you do game balancing, it takes time for the "Meta To Settle". For example, if you increase the DPS of a popular unit by 20%, then a lot of people will immediately say it's OP and ask for it to be changed, but there are probably a bunch of other changes in the patch which compensate for the DPS rise, which people at first glance aren't really taking into account. You won't actually know that the unit is truly OP for a few weeks, when people have had time to really play with it and to search for units and tactics which can counter it properly.

If you release balance patches too frequently, then you'll be basing your balance decisions on incomplete data, and you'll probably end up wasting a bunch of time and doing incorrect things.

Apple forbids code patches to sidestep their cert process. There is a built in system in unity for doing this (asset bundles), but everyone (most.. Iíve seen some cavalier behaviour from Korean and Japanese studios) limits their use of them to data (keeps initial install size down) to avoid the ghost of stebeís wrath.

Separately; balance data, store offers, and the like is usually served over HTTP.

Basically, you skirt around the edges as much as you can while avoiding things that you know will get your game booted or will make Apple mad at you to the point of not featuring your game again.

Appleís requirements are also vague and whether you will pass is subject to the phase of moon and time of day.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Lork posted:

"Bad frame pacing" has become a bit of a buzzword lately, popularized by entities like Digital Foundry to describe a phenomenon in which despite running at a high framerate, a game delivers frames at inconsistent intervals, leading to the perceived effect that the game is stuttering or running at a lower framerate than it actually is. Are there any programmer types in this thread who can speak to why a particular game would have this issue, architecturally speaking? Is it a sign of a game that has decoupled its physics timestep from rendering, perhaps?

Inconsistent frame rate is usually caused by garbage collection or varying graphics loads (lots of FX and the like).

Decoupling physics timestep from the render timestep has been SOP for a long time, and ensures that any frame rate issues donít result in altered physics. If they werenít decoupled, you could spawn explosions or lots of mobs, jump, then vary your jump height by rotating things in/out of view (assuming frustum culling).

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Lork posted:

I'm not talking about inconsistent framerates. "Frame pacing issues" as described by Eurogamer refers to a phenomenon where a game appears to stutter despite running at a constant framerate.



I'm aware of the benefits of a fixed physics timestep. I wouldn't say it's SOP for everyone though, considering there are still plenty of games that are fully fixed, as well as engines that run at a variable rate but don't fix their physics timestep (like UE4). I'm not arguing against its use, just speculating.

That problem sounds like they messed up a triple buffering implementation. Iím unfamiliar with that engineís internals though.

UE4 has physics substepping. Unity has separate update functions for fixed time. A lot of proprietary engines also implement some sort of decoupling physics updates from frame update.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Sylink posted:

Are there any coding exercise sites similar to leetcode/codewars specifically towards game dev?

http://www.onegameamonth.com ?

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


GC_ChrisReeves posted:

Genuine question. What is your commute like and what do you do on lunchbreaks?

For myself, I can walk the whole eight minutes down the road into work no big deal as I live city centre, but how far out are you all commuting? Does this mean you have to stay in a more expensive city hub or is living further out in the burbs an option for you?

As for lunches, we don't have any on-site catering and I'm lazy so more often than not I'm off getting lunch in the centre of dundee, coffee shop, baked potato, Boots sandwich, I could probably save a lot of money packing my lunches. But some of y'all work in these huge office campuses and often have on-site catering and food courts and stuff.

Tell me about the not-work related aspects of your job.

30 Minute commute. Office is in the burbs, so Iím considering reducing my rent and commute by moving closer.

Thereís a cafe in our building, but itís not great. Have to drive for something better.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Cactus posted:

Sometime back I was looking into why Splatoon 2's matchmaking system was so seemingly quirky and counter-intuitive and I came across a Reddit thread where a Western dev working in Japan posted an article describing the difference in culture, and the conception of what games are. It makes for a fascinating read:

https://www.rollingstone.com/glixel/features/splatoon-2-hideo-kojima-nintendo-japanese-games-w501322

There are a number of interesting quotes but this one caught my attention:


As you can imagine the reddit thread got very salty and entitled about that, but I found myself agreeing with him. It's your game and you have the right to design it the way you think is best. I changed my opinion on Splatoon 2 after reading that, and I've been having a lot of fun with it to this day. Immediately after:


Do devs ITT agree or disagree with this? With the quality of recent games released by, for example, Nintendo, I'm inclined to give their views on these kinds of things a lot of merit. Could Western studios benefit by taking a leaf out of the Eastern way of doing things?

edit: This also reminds me of when I first got my Switch and spend a few days decrying that Nintendo had swapped the a and b buttons on the pad that traditionally serve as the "accept" and "cancel/back out" functions that have become standardised across the industry. Why are they trolling me?!? Then after a while I got used to it and it clicked: When I pick up a switch controller my brain goes into "Switch mode" and when I pick up the 360 controller to play a PC game it reverts back. It's subtle but really clever IMO - I don't think Nintendo were being belligerent and swapping them just because they could. They are making their product take a slightly different space in your mind; you know you're playing a SWITCH so you use a different... I dunno, neural map? I'm not explaining what I think they did very well, but succinctly, it's a way to differentiate theirs from everyone else's in a more subconscious way.

Microsoft swapped a and b when they made their controller. SNES predates it by quite a long time.

Circle is the button typically used in Japan for accept on PlayStation controllers. Also on a lot of ps1 games. Itís where A is on Nintendo hardware.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Haifisch posted:

This makes me wonder if there's a feedback loop going on here.

People 'know' that most people only play the first parts of the game(assuming a game with a definite beginning and end, or at least a state where you've done basically everything there is to do), so that part is designed to be the strongest & less attention is given to later gameplay, which makes the game more boring as it goes on, which makes people quit playing before reaching the end, which reaffirms the common knowledge that relatively few players will reach the end of any given game.

I'd honestly be curious to see if there was a big difference in big studio games vs indie games when it comes to people reaching the end. Although you'd have to control for differences in expected game length, too.

We actually do know that though and it isnít a new phenomenon. Scrape trophy data for 360 games for example. Or steam . The data absolutely backs it up, or at least did ~10 years ago and thereís no reason it should have changed.

A good number of people wonít get past the title screen.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


CommieGIR posted:

I'm curious about what sort of software development strategies do game devs use? Agile, Scrum, Waterfall?

Do you guys do test driven development? What about code reviews?

Varies greatly by org. Agile is common, as is agilefall.

Code reviews are pretty common. Tests in game code are sadly uncommon. Lots of architectural practices abandoned elsewhere years ago, like extensive [often exclusively for all state] use of singletons, is prevalent.

Jira looms over dev just like everywhere else in software.

Git is coming into wider use. Iím currently stuck on perforce; our rep seemed surprised to learn that our code was still managed by p4, so I expect a bunch of other groups have switched to a hybrid versioning system with p4 handling art and git handling code (p4 rep went into a whole thing on their solution at me, as they do).


So basically itís broken in similar ways as every other software shop. With the addition of perforce being the Ďlegacyí vcs instead of cvs.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Fano posted:

Does git have issues handling non-code asset files? I'm a developer but I don't work in games, the few Unity projects I have done on my off time are all on git and it has never complained about large assets/textures. I imagine it's a little complicated handling your code and your other assets in separate version control systems.

Git-lfs has made it much better, but it still has issues handling lots of large binaries.

For small/medium size projects itís not a big deal.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Doctor Soup posted:

Question for US game devs:

How common are binding arbitration agreements in employment contracts, and how often are they successfully negotiated away when youíre discussing employment terms for a new position?

Extremely; never tried and I imagine very infrequently.

Depending on the state, the enforcement of that clause varies. Talk to a lawyer.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


RazzleDazzleHour posted:

I'm looking to get into game development as an artist, but I'm not sure what a good/correct approach is. I have a BFA in Studio (heh) Art, but I don't have any industry experience or even really a portfolio of digital art. Right now I'm more concerned with getting a job than having my dream job, so considering I'm at ground zero, what would be a better course of action - double down on a digital art portfolio and try to apply at a larger company as a concept artist, or self-teach myself some of the modeling programs like Zbrush and Maya and open myself to work at smaller companies that don't hire dedicated concept artists? My other consideration is to go back to school somewhere where a bunch of my credits transfer and blaze through a program as fast as possible with hopes of an internship and a more career-relevant degree.

(for the record, I have a second degree in art education and just quit my teaching job)

Iím an engineer, but my understanding for artists is that your portfolio is the only thing that matters.

Youíll probably have an easier time getting a job doing UI or character art or props than pure concept.

Make sure your portfolio shows your best work; maybe target portfolios to positions the way you would target a resume (cut landscapes or props for character positions, etc).

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


bob dobbs is dead posted:

What bug/issue trackers do gamedevs use? Do they have special issue trackers like they have perforce and poo poo for vcs?

We use JIRA, and I really wish we didnít use perforce for code.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


GC_ChrisReeves posted:

To add to this they've roughly stayed that way since the 80s/90s, inflation be damned.

Complaints would get awful spicy and sales would drop off a cliff if those prices adjusted properly to like 90-100USD for a game for inflation alone let alone the adding the hugely increased cost of development nowadays.

Yes, because market size is still the same as the NES days. There are forces that work in the other direction, too.

Last I checked, the big publishers arenít hurting for profitability. In 2010, ATVI was trading at $10/share, now itís sitting around $70. EA was around $15 and now over $100.

The large players can clearly play in the current market. I doubt any massive upward change in revenue would help the non-executive staff at any reasonably sized org.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


GC_ChrisReeves posted:

Well yeah, volume of sales have increased dramatically, in fact as dev budgets have skyrocketed that increased volume has been absolutely necessary for big titles to make money.

Which is one reason you're seeing other monetisation methods nowadays, higher dev budgets, the rise of gaming as a continuous service, the margins from the box price alone are getting ever smaller.

My understanding is that margins are improving dramatically with the move away from boxes. And the timing on cashflow has also almost certainly gotten better as well.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Greyarc posted:

Alternate contender: gamers talking about social issues involving women and minorities, both historically and in modern day.

May not be as loudly widespread as games, but all the creative industries deal with their share of overly optimistic, obliviously spoiled consumers. I once read a comment from a pro-pirating book reader who claimed digital copies of all books should be free because the only cost and effort involved in making a book is the printing process. Writers, editors, publishers, lawyers, agents, so on -- all non-existent or working for free, apparently.

There is probably a monetization strategy where free books would make sense, and pay for the support staff.

As an example, http://www.gameaipro.com is a series of books consisting of mostly academic (or in that style) articles on artificial intelligence in games. The digital version of the book is published for free ~year after the physical release. There are many other similar arrangements (that one tied to games, but https://www.deeplearningbook.org is also quite good)

Fiction could probably work as free, but I expect you would not like the way that would look. Games certainly work as freely available media.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Arbitrary Number posted:

I saw this article where game industry people talk about their favorite game of 2018, so I figured I'd ask goon devs for their opinions. There was some discussion upthread about how making games makes you see games differently, and I think it would be interesting to hear.

Exapunks. It isnít even close.

And as much as I love Zachís games, I really donít want a lot of clones showing up. The niche is fairly small, and Iím not sure the market would support more than a handful of them a year.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


ETPC posted:

i understand *why* matchmaking had to become the default ("joe dipshit mashes his entire rear end on the controller the moment the game boots up and if that dosen't immediately get him into a match then he will yell at us") but christ at the very least give us matchmaking *and* server browsing/community servers. and let us have server files, holy poo poo. or release server files for your old games!

Server browsers expose that you have less than 100 people playing.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Stick100 posted:

Wow, that's brutal. Looking at Programmer jobs (North America) it appears to pay about 40%-60% of the industry norms. Guess I'll stick to working on boring software for financial companies.

Pay seems roughly in line with my expectation of industry norms. Games programming has been traditionally noted as below average. If youíre looking from the perspective of finance, remember than finance is typically above average.

You definitely trade some salary for the environment. Whether itís worth it is very individualized. I very much enjoy working in games/entertainment; though almost all of my experience is between that and government contracts using games tech.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Roman posted:

I'm curious how devs/studios, especially who make bigger AAA titles and live service games, feel when they see streamers and other people who do nothing but play games for 8+ hours a day for years complain that "there's nothing left to do, game dead."

How much can you really cater to those type of people? Is it worth it? How much influence do they really have? How big are their numbers compared to the majority?

Live games are a content mill. If the game has been running for any length of time, that group will just need to wait ~2-4 weeks for the next content drop.

If itís shortly after launch, maybe the game got pushed without the endgame fleshed out thinking it would be in place before most people got to it. Itís not a good look, but thereís not much to do about it other than to churn out the content at the fastest sustainable rate.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


happyhippy posted:

I know of a few AAA publishers that only list front facing dev and manager names in the credits if its a collab on two or more companies.
So the lower peons who QA and CS another company's game don't get any credit at all on that other game.
Must be a tax or payment dodge going on.

No tax issues with a credit. Could be corporate politics from the dev, or the contractor may not ask for it.

Itís unusual in the states and Europe, but some Japanese contracting agencies specifically ask not to be credited (either as an org or individually), as well.

leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Beachcomber posted:

I like open world games. Are there people whose job it is to design the landscape and manually put trees and rocks in?

Slayerjerman posted:

Level designers and/or 3D environment artists do this job, either from a 3D package or in-engine after assets have been created, imported and configured typically. They are also the ones that setup lighting and usually things like collision boxes for world objects and nav meshes/paths for AI and NPC placement.

Specifically placing and filling out props in environments is one of the roles on the chopping block. AI based approaches are getting much better. Eventually the role will transition to working with a tool that automatically does 90+% of that work and then doing some touch ups.

See also:
this paper from 2002
this paper from 2011
Etc


Apologies to artists for sounding doom/gloom. Robots are also coming for texture painting. 🤖

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leper khan
Dec 28, 2010
Honest to god thinks Half Life 2 is a bad game. But at least he likes Monster Hunter.


Slayerjerman posted:

To be clear, asset or code theft is very much a different issue than working for your competitors and recreating or doing similar work or using your skills and non-confidential knowledge, which is why they would hire you and get you to change companies in the first place. The real issue is leaking proprietary or confidential information and it really doesn't matter very much if that's tomorrow or 2 years down the line after the non-compete expires, you shouldn't share sensitive information regardless.

It reminds me of the whole VR debacle with Occulus and Zenimax over Carmack, because hes doing the same work. Hes not stupid enough to steal code and knows he better not even attempt poo poo like that, but it's hard to prove that when you're recreating similar work you did previously and of course the temptation to reuse stuff is strong. He could have waited out a 10yr non-compete and they'd still come after him and Occulus.

Also Zenimax was butthurt that he left, but that's another matter because they can't fill his shoes. Bad blood.

I still hate the ruling from that case. He did prove he didnít steal code and it didnít matter.

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