COGconnected Writes: George Broussard, the co-creator of Duke Nukem, had a scathing response to a Kotaku article about crunch, telling the author/site to 'f*** off.'
I don't understand why people keep trying to defend crunch in the industry when we've had articles here and there of the mental toll it's taken on some people, Nobody would want to work under bad conditions. He made Duke Nukem Forever, it was in development for so long and went through multiple game engines so he really shouldn't be talking about game management.
It's still a job though. I had plenty of times at my last job where I had to work 20-30 hours of overtime. It wasn't a volunteer thing, it was expected of me. And I was getting paid for it. At the end of the day, you are able to quit and find work elsewhere. Granted, there are some extreme cases that very much need attention called to them. It's just a tricky situation when you have a deadline put in place by publishers breathing down your neck. Either way, it still boils down to being a job. One that you choose to work.
It's not just easy to quit a job and go somewhere else unless you really don't care what you do, but a lot of people know what they can do and what they can't so finding a job that suits their skill set would be difficult. You wouldn't get a gaming developer wanting to go from a studio, doing work he got a Uni degree for only to go and work in a garden centre or a Hospital receptionist. Studios are so far apart from one another, it's not like retail or a chain where you can find them all over, you might have one gaming studio in your city and the next one is two cities over, this means you've got to look at moving / relocating, again not an easy thing to do these days. The fact is at the end of the day, you are getting people within the industry suffering, they are speaking up about it along with so many others and instead of us going "Jesus, that's awful, this shouldn't be happening, lets find a solution" you're getting people telling them to "shut the f*** up, stop complaining and get to work". You know even in Hollywood when actors are on set their are a bunch of rules, along with unions, to protect them. It stops actors being forced to do something they see as dangerous, do too many hours on set or having the director burn them out, and this is for a business where actors are getting big money.
Yep. You get a decent job and often it comes with expectations and responsibilities. Sometime that means needing to do more work for the job to get done.
I don't believe we need to be worked to death. We stress all through our one life and in the end it doesn't really matter so I do think we should set a new standard when it comes to jobs. Its unfortunately just part of many, and most don't speak out in fear of losing their source of income. I agree we shouldn't slave through work but sometimes it's necessary and hey you get paid even more. Also I wouldn't use Hollywood as an example. Fucking the director to get the role is the disgusting reality in that business. I do hope it changes and people start to realize that we don't hafto live life in a rush or stress through everything we do
It’s part of working in an industry with deadlines. This isn’t just exclusive to the gaming industry. I’ve done my fair share of crunch.
I feel like the vast majority of people that criticize crunch have never had a real career. Most jobs require extra work around deadlines. Working over 40 hours for a deadline isn’t abuse! It’s usually optional, you get payed time and a half, often get bonuses and sometimes double time. I’m an RN in an ICU and even during non covid times I was required to pick up some extra hours during winter when influenza and respiratory illness picks up. Most jobs have you work over 40 hours occasionally. It’s not abuse like people make it sound. It shouldn’t be mandatory for the whole year but occasionally working over 40 with pay isn’t such a terrible thing. Gaming journalist just love talking about it because they know it gets people worked up.
Yup, same here. I work 55hrs a week, and I'm not really complaining. Sometimes 60hrs. I have enough time over the weekends and paid holidays, plus a good healthcare and a sufficient compensation package.
I worked a part time job about 5 years ago where we watched kids, ran programs and such. For kids who have parents who work unfortunate hours so almost like a very structured daycare for up to grade 6. I generally worked with Kindergarteners and Grade ones as I'm great with kids and they naturally cling to me. Because I worked with younger ages, despite my job being parttime I was actually required to work about 60 hours a week during the summer as there was no school, I had to be there for about 6am and leave 6pm and sometimes longer as I ran a art program to teach kids to draw who like art but wanted to get better. That was a extra hour or 2. Then somedays because some people had 2 jobs or had other things to do. They'd require me to lock up the place which can take till 9pm if Swimming lessons have late classes. This was mandatory so I'd leave downtown and go home which took about 1hr 10 mins. Sometimes 2 hours if the train stopped for some reason which was common. at times 3 hours if unlucky (these happened multiple times a month). Always got home after 8pm, sometimes as late as midnight, to take a shower sleep 2 hours and go back. This was suppose to be part time but because the type of job. It's just how it went in the summer. We didn't even have breaks. It was to the point, you had to specifically see if someone can take over a bit for you to get a breather. They were nice so they let us. Even our boss will watch our groups for about an hour if you needed a reset. But it's nothing new. This is really just how real work can be. Every job has things that ppl don't agree with. Even freelanced jobs give extreme mental tolls because to make a decent living off it generally you're essentially on a 24/7 crunch
I just got done working mandatory overtime , it’s a part of my job but I also got paid double time today. Sometimes it interferes with my life but I knew what I was signing up for. Sure there are some instances where it goes too far with some jobs or studios but they can be penalized for it if it isn’t within the labor laws . Generally they knew what they signed up for and so did I .
I agree with you, the only thing I hate with the jobs that I have had, they don’t pay overtime when they ask you to work overtime. Maybe got some comp but still not worth it to me. Now if I got double pay and it didn’t happen all the time that would be okay and fine. So there is two sides to it but if done right, yes agree overtime is not the worst especially if they give you double time or at least time and a half and a nice bonus through out the year if you have to do a bunch. Sadly my last job didn’t do any of that and treated their employee like poo. Balance is the key I think, these company’s have to understand that you have a life and shouldn’t kill you with work 24/7. Plus in my experience of course the jobs that I have had that don’t pay you right for working overtime also seem to be horrible places to work even in the 40 hours, so it hits you twice as hard, they treat you poorly during the normal 40 hour work week and than compound it with over time and not even time and half pay, and basically say your fired if ya don’t. I also have friends who have jobs where the atmosphere is so nice and good, that they don’t mind working extra hours and actually want them because they pay double time. So goes both ways.
Cooperd I feel you, that's actually how my current job is. They don't pay overtime hour rates of time and a half. They'll give us perks sometimes but it sucks because specific jobs can get away with it. Good thing is I'm in a position where I can kinda bully the company into doing what I want because they know my value though, so now they give yearly pay raises. For now. I'm sure they'll cap eventually, but it's a nice trade off I guess
I’ve said this before but the idea of crunch is ridiculous. It is a job and the employees that do not like this ‘crunch’ are completely free to find employment elsewhere. I have worked 50 hours a week for close to ten years now. 90 if you add in that I’m on call evenings after work basically mon-sat. I don’t have anyone to complain to. No entitled ‘fans’ crying out at my misfortune. If I complained to my boss about feeling overworked? Ha. He would tell me there are 1000 other people willing to work and sustain their families. Literally, and not figuratively, millions of people all over the world work in far, far worse conditions, likely for far less pay. Get over it.
If a job is taking a serious mental toll on you, then you find a new job. You don't expect the job to cater to your feelings unless you're in a position to change things for the better. There's so many careers that are more mentally taxing (military, emergency services, etc.) than crunching a video game. Funny how you never hear those people complaining about it. Also, congratulations on being the 76357869th person to mention his work on DNF.
I'm not trying to sound mean. But the truth is, you get what you ask for. This comes with the terrortory. There's reasons why all kinds of jobs take mental tolls on people. You can't apply for a job that has crunch then cry they're not treating you right. It's literally going to be in the documents you sign. I'm for people being treated right in the workplace. I've literally risked my job on multiple occasions to speak up for people who weren't in a position to do so because I believe everyone deserves a certain amount of respect and should be allowed to speak and be treated fairly. But I'm sorry I can't see why they wouldn't. It's apart of the industry. Don't join it if you don't like it and they'll be desperate enough to change. You think NBA players wanted to be in the bubble for weeks to months to finish the NBA season? It took a mental toll on alot of em. But as much as it did and all. They have signed a contract that allows it to be done. So they do it and while people understand the struggle they endure. It isn't going to make ppl rally to stop the season. Why? Because it's still their job, like how people still gotta work at the Costco's and Walmarts with lockdowns and such
Crunch is not a video game exclusive thing, but people think yammering on about it will ever magically fix it. People are attacking him under the pretense he's supporting it, and regardless if he is or isn't, just being against it does absolutely nothing for anyone. Complaints and boycotts can not fix this because it is connected to many different parts of a game. You either have a publisher with a deadline, a contract with a deadline, funding with limited budget, shareholders, or you have to time the completion to be at the perfect time. If all those aspects are altered and expectations from audiences are changed, then maybe we can talk about relaxing crunch only in the video game industry. It will still be in other industries because everyone needs to cut it close with work because otherwise you're spending more money and time. People are too naive to think just complaining and protesting on Twitter or anywhere for that matter will just somehow fix it. Being indifferent to it is fine considering how ingrained it is. They are also complaining to one studio or publisher, instead of a collective. Which does nothing again.
What people are forgetting is that in an interview Naughty Dog mentioned they literally tried to bann overtime and staying late and their employees got angry and threatened to quit!! They hire OCD workaholics that pump out masterpieces.
Worker’s rights have improved over the decades and every time somebody says “that’s the job, get over it” before more rights are gained. well the rights weren’t gained by saying that shit. It takes the same energy to call for better and more worker’s rights as it does telling workers to accept what’s handed to them, so why choose the later? Especially when you aren’t even in a position to benefit from labor. YOU are also a laborer. Worker solidarity, people.
Try working in the health or restaurant industry lol. A good friend of mine is a paramedic, and she regularly works 24 hour shifts, and has to sometimes watch people die in front of her. Doesn't get paid as much as any dev. Or cooks/restuarant managers, where normal shifts are easily 12 hours on your feet with very few, if any breaks. Or manual labor in general, literally back breaking work. Someday, hopefully, automation will make it so humans have to work far less, but for the moment, you know what they say about death and taxes.
imagine comparing medicine to bideo game development some of you guys truly live in a bubble.
Crunch is crap but it is part of the field unfortunately, I know American has horrendous to non-existent workers rights compared to almost every other developed country though, so maybe most of the outcry comes from there which would be more understandable.
I imagine that the higher up you go, your responsibilities may change but you become more and more 24/7
I am a teacher, my brothers: CPA, Data Analyst, Power/Cooling Engineer...My girlfriend is a lawyer and I have friends in theatre, finance, etc. etc. etc. If there is one thing I have learned, it's this: Everyone has crunch, and even those that LOVE their job will tell you (myself included ) that there are really tough parts of the job. There are times where the pressure is on and the hours, days, even weeks seem long. But we all do what we do because of the particular pay-off. I stopped performing a while back, and I can tell'ya" Crunching a rehearsal for 4 weeks to put on 3-4 shows was worth it...until it wasn't -- then I adjusted. If the crunch does not suit you, if it is unfulfilling once the dust settles, find something new.
Ive worked in the game industry for over 10 years, I've worked on shipped AAA titles and yeah crunch super sucks. You can't avoid crunch in this day and age unless you have a near unlimited funding base with no pressure on a set release date. Crunch happens because publishers and execs set a date or timeline without paying attention to the actual progress of development or state of the project. Honestly people bitching about crunch need to just shut the fuck up because most of them have never actually worked on a shipped game worth a damn. Crunch is not just something you can choose not to do. So easy to sit there on a computer and bitch about crunch when most game journalists especially those at Kotaku are just rejects or folks not good enough to make it in the game industry, those who can't do write and then judge.
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