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Are you a game developer? Have you suffered crunch time? We want to hear from you

Wednesday, 16th October 2013 08:53 GMT By Staff

We’re looking at writing a report that examines the reality of development crunch time in the games industry. It follows a recent tweet out of Crytek that has brought the reality of crunch to light once more. We want to get a feel for what this period of deadlines is like, and to explore the human resources side of the matter. We want to hear from you.

You’ll find our report on Crytek’s tweet here for your information.

So if you’re a developer who has experienced a long or disruptive period of project crunch time, either as a solo developer, in-house at a studio of any size, or work-for-hire, we would like to discuss this with you anonymously with a view to producing an insightful and informative look at the realities of crunch time. We’re also keen to speak with HR professionals or anyone with legal knowledge of working practices.

We want to know if this is really just ‘part of the job’, or if it suggests poor project management. We want to share human stories and the real side of crunch.

Why are we reaching out in this manner? Well, we felt that emailing publisher PRs would be futile, while contacting employees of studios via their work email address could potentially land them in bother, so we’re opening up this channel for you to contact us in confidence.

To share your experiences with us, please contact Dave Cook at dave [at] vg247 [dot] com.

Thanks in advance.

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10 Comments

  1. G1GAHURTZ

    You should never have to crunch if your production staff are actually good at doing their job, and other senior staff (studio head, etc) don’t keep moving the goal posts at the very last minute.

    It’s just bad management, at the end of the day.

    #1 11 months ago
  2. Fin

    @1

    Pretty much. With good management, there shouldn’t be any crunch.

    #2 11 months ago
  3. monkeygourmet

    If any game was going to have a ‘crunch’ it was going to be Ryse…

    A Triple A flagship launch title; a game that completely changed from a Kinect game to a third person action game; a game that changed how it handled QTE’s after bad feedback at E3…

    All this on a console that didn’t have specs set in stone and continued to have up clocks and updates all through the games production…

    I don’t know why anyone was surprised?

    #3 11 months ago
  4. Jacka

    @2 “Pretty much. With good management, there shouldn’t be any crunch.”

    Good management and a relationship with your publisher that isn’t toxic. I think that might have happened twice during my games development career of some 16 titles.

    #4 11 months ago
  5. FabioPal

    @1 You’re underestimating the power of testing and bugs found at the latest moment.

    My crunch times were because of:
    a) Crazy management;
    b) Bugs found 1 day before the gold;

    “a” time were mental, “b” were angry!

    #5 11 months ago
  6. BraveLilCrumpet

    I can’t help being reminded of this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RqWkZvjzLA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    #6 11 months ago
  7. Javinator

    Don’t forget about the Chinese “slaves” who built the PS4 at Foxxcom.

    If you are one of those slaves, we want to hear from you too!

    “Just say ‘NO’ to the SlaveStation”

    #7 11 months ago
  8. Ekona

    Every single project ever in the history of the world has a crunch time, be it software, hardware, construction, design. There are different levels of crunch (maybe just an extra hour or two for a week, or full-on 16 hour days), but it always exists due to the client wanting more or something unexpected going wrong or just, as said, poor management.

    It happens. It’s not fun, but it’s consistent regardless of industry.

    #8 11 months ago
  9. klewd

    @8
    I think you’re confusing crunch with overtime. Crunch is an extreme version of prolonged overtime that lasts for weeks or months.

    #9 11 months ago
  10. yeoung

    The first crunch I had ended with a 48 hour lock-in for a school project. We had been crunching for 3 weeks trying to get a playable build ready for an indie event. 3 days before the due date there were major collision detection issues and bits of disappeared code.

    Mad scrambles. Fighting off sleep becomes that much harder when it’s nothing but coding and bugstomping for like 24 hours straight. The lecturer turned out to be some kind of super-gifted codemonkey though, we managed to pull through and deliver the build.

    Definitely a case of bad time-management, we had fun though.

    #10 11 months ago

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