The dark side of game development
Hi everyone, great to see you all. Man, lot of familiar
faces here. I brought my friend Norm with me. He's really into games and has
always wanted to be in the game industry. Norm, feel free to look around..
Norm: Thanks bud! You don't mind if I bum around and ask
some of these guys about themselves? No? Great! Everyone around the table,
Chris: My name is Chris, I'm 34, I now do technical support
at a local ISP making $30,000. I spent most of my youth becoming an expert at
how to make Adlib, Sound Blaster and Sound Blaster Pro drives for games. I knew
everything there was about how to do it. My skills became obsolete when Windows
95 came out and I've spent a lot of time looking for work.
Norm: Uh, ok. But you're doing okay now, right?
Chris: Well if spending your days trying to explain how to
do a renew on IPCONFIG to a hysterical grandmother over the phone is doing okay,
then yes, I'm doing "okay".
Bill: Hullo, I'm Bill, I'm 37, I spent my youth working 12
hours a day, 7 days a week all year 'round working on PC games.
Norm: Really? What games?
Bill: Well I spent 4 years working on a Star Trek game that
got cancelled. That was kind of a bummer because I worked incredible hours. My
first wife left me and I gained so much weight from eating pop and fast food
during working on it that I got diabetes.
Norm: That's too bad, any other games?
Bill: Yea, then I spent another 4 years working on "Terror
Force". My second wife left me because I kept having to stay at the office 24
hours a day to make the deadlines.
Norm: Terror Force, hmm, oh I remember that game, I tried
out the demo version for about 10 minutes, not too bad of a game.
Bill: It tanked, GameZoneWorld's reviewer only played the
first level of it and said it lacked "umph." That was enough for the publisher
to basically let it die on the vine. By the time that game was done, I was 33
and had missed out on the prime of my youth working on stuff that had never come
out or was completely forgettable. Now I'm out of shape, single, and don't have
the resume to be a producer but didn't have time to keep up with the latest
happenings in Direct3D.
Norm: Wasn't Terror Force 3D?
Bill: OpenGL and it was kind of hacked at that. Now people
want people that know Direct3D for coding or networking, neither of which I've
learned. I'm trying to learn now but between looking for a job and learning
Norm: Yea, kind of a bummer. How about you?
Steve: I'm Steve, I worked at LightHearted Studios. We spent 5 years
working on DeathKill. It was a first person shooter / adventure game.
Norm: Hmm, I haven't heard of that game.
Steve: Pretty much no one did. It came out, sold 40,000 copies,
LightHearted went under. Now I write scripts for the IT Department at Ford. Wish
I could have those 5 years back during the prime of my youth.
Cliff: I'm Cliff, I was an expert at Real sound, you
remember that? The sound that came out of a PC speaker...
Norm: Brad, I want to go home!