Why fixed 9-5 working time is bad for video game

Why fixed 9 5 working time is bad for video game

I often wander between favouring and hating the idea of a 9-5 culture at work. On the one hand it fits in nicely with a family life where we work to enjoy ourselves, we turn up, do some work, go home and disconnect and plug ourselves into an entirely separate life.

On the other hand, what we do as game developers is a creative process, it requires thinking, passion and creativity that simply cannot be turned on and off at preset times of day.

Imagine a day like this:

  • 9am – be creative and passionate when you punch in
  • 12pm – stop being creative and thinking about your art.
  • 1pm – start being creative again, now, you’ve only got 4.5hrs remaining
  • 5.30pm – stop thinking, park your creativity, go home, disconnect
  • rinse and repeat.

What happens if I’m on the brink of a brilliant discovery at 17:15 and I need that extra bit of time but I have to leave at 17:30?

I would argue that this simply suits a certain time of person and that person isn’t into making games they love, they’re looking for a job churning out mundane average “product”. Something to do to get paid for and keep them off the streets, something they don’t have to think about and get emotionally invested in. Maybe they’ve been burned out and are looking for an easy life, 9-5 does have it’s appeal sometimes.

A corporate culture like this will ultimately mean that the business itself becomes a function of it’s indoctrined staff, a reflection of the people who work there and the ones who made the decision to make it like this. This may succeed for a time but I can only guess that it won’t last forever.

Now, I am absolutely not advocating disregarding Working Time Regulations and forcing people to work every hour of the day. I’m not saying to over-burden people so they have no choice.

What I am saying is that people don’t think and contribute in this prescribed manner, people change, some people are so into what they’re doing that they want to work weekends anyway, you just can’t stop them. Sometimes you have an off day and haven’t got an idea in your head. You’re fundamentally being told that caring about what you do isn’t what your employer is looking for and the consequence of this is that you will find another outlet.

I think that flexibility is the key here and enabling people to contribute as much as they can to their art, in a way that suits them (within reason) can only be a good thing for the game and the business. We should be results focused and not get hung up on whether someone clocks in at a prescribed time.

We demand a lot from our developers and we need to recognise and reciprocate the gift of time and effort.

Do I support hard 9-5 working hours? No, for all the reasons above

Do I support developers making games with passion and creativity, whenever that may be? Yes

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Victorian Video Game Production

Victorian Video Game Production

Is middleware replacing talented, creative developers? Is everything becoming mass produced?

Our industries echos the early days of the industrial revolution where machines replaced talent and workers were inter-changeable, the cheapest people worked.

During the industrial revolution businesses replaced highly skilled but slow workers with machines and cheap labour. The products were technically better and more cost effective but the skill was driven out of the business and interchangeable workers were brought in. New mediocre products appeared at a phenomenal rate as they were churned out and ultimately mass produced. At one point, almost 50% of cars on the planet were one specific model!

In today’s world, you could take this further by documenting the process and ship it and the machinery over to where the labour is cheapest. After all, anyone can do that job can’t they? Non-native customer support call centres ring any bells?

Echo’s of this are happening now. Game Engines like Unreal Engine 3 are the Victorian machines, drone artists who can produce 3D facsimile of concept art, level designers following tried and trusted methods, managers who follow methodologies, anyone being trained in how to do one specific interchangeable job without thought. It’s an easy life but ultimately there’s a lot of people who can get that far up the career ladder very quickly, and for much less pay.

This all comes crashing down when things change. Where are the people who think for themselves? Where are the ones who can come up with new ways of doing something? Who’s looking out for the future?

This is all very sad if we destroy the creativity that we all claim to have by churning products out by the numbers to satisfy some demographic.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely get that some of this is necessary but I would ask : Where do you fit into all of this? Are you, your business or your game an inter-changeable cog?
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How To Improve Your Video Game Developer CV

The way we apply for roles is still baked into the tradition of a paper CV along with the formatting that goes with it. Stop, think about it.

Imagine your Resume sat in a pile with the recruiter shuffling through them at high speed, what makes your CV stand out? Do you get your key message across in the 1st few lines?

Does the recruiter need to know your address and education first? Do we care about what you did 10 years ago? What are you offering? How do you fit the role you’re applying for? Does it communicate you?

If you’re an artist or designer, show your creativity in your CV.

Remember, if you’re CV passes through an agency they will inevitably strip it of all of your contact information and ultimately re-format it.

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Recommended Read – Small is the New Big – Seth Godin

For me, even though this book is a few years old the title of Seth’s book “Small is the New Big” sums up the changes that are happening throughout the Games Industry and the global economy where new, small companies are stealing the march on the bigger slumbering giants and making a real difference.

This book is a collection of the best of Seth’s blog posts that really capture the essence of what was going off in the world where people were people have more choice and ways to spend their time & money.

The series of short stories make this easily digestible and great for filling the odd moment or too.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading through the myriad of short stories in this book and I have learned a lot from it. It has changed my perspective on a lot of aspects of business and truly opened my eyes to how things should be in the 21st century.

A highly recommended read.

I’d suggest you also take a look at Seth’s other work including his blog and other books.

Visit Amazon via the link below to check out more details including synopsis, ratings and other reviews.

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10 Incredible CSS Resources

CSS is becoming a very popular part of web design these days. Most designers now offer CSS design as a part of their services, and even amateur designers are learning all they can about CSS. The best part about Cascading Style Sheets is that the pages load quickly and the layout it very easy to change. So if you are looking for some tips, tricks, and cheats for CSS, the list below should help you out.

1. CSS Level 2 Revision 1

For those who feel they can tackle the technical language, this site is the place to learn all you need to know about CSS. Those who are new to CSS can still benefit from this, although it might take a bit of work. Reading over the sections a few times, then attempting to complete CSS designs, and then re-reading the instructions is a great way to become familiar with the language. Just keep in mind when reading through this site that it also gives instructions on how to use CSS for other media designs, such as posters or brochures.

2. CSS Tutorial by w3schools.com

If you are not interested in learning CSS by deciphering the technical speak, this site is a great place for you to learn the basics as well as some more advanced tips. W3schools.com also provides CSS colors, a reference section, web safe fonts, and more.

3. CSS Reference by SitePoint.com

SitePoint.com provides a wide range of CSS references, including CSS properties, selectors, AT-rules, concepts, and examples. This website also has HTML and JavaScript references if needed. You can also check out blogs, articles, books, kits, videos, and more while on this site.

4. 50 Extremely Useful and Powerful CSS Tools

Need some tools for your CSS design? Smashing Magazine provides an extensive list of sites on which to find CSS tools. Plus, the links are divided up into organized sections, making it easy to find exactly the tool resources you need. Find CSS Typography, Online Tools, Handy Kits, In-Browser Tools complete with Firefox Extensions, Coding and Programming, Frameworks, Bookmarks, and Layouts in this very helpful article.

5. Web-developer’s Handbook

This is an amazing site for both beginners and advanced users of CSS. It has everything from getting your creative juices flowing to tools and services to usability and accessibility. Although this website also contains information for XHTML, JavaScript, and more, much of the resources are related to CSS. So whether you need some daily reading or CSS navigation menus, this is the place to go.

6. Listamatic

Do you need some ideas or inspiration for CSS lists? Listamatic provides plenty of links with examples of CSS list designs for your inspiration. Plus, there are also some layout generators as well as a browser support chart to help with your list design.

7. CSS Layout Techniques

If you need some help making the switch to CSS layouts, this site will help you out. The layout techniques listed are cross-browser and all sites listed have been stripped down to their very essential codes, making it easy to see exactly how a layout was created.

8. Position is Everything

If you are frustrated by trying to figure out the browser problems encountered with CSS design, this site will help to end your troubles. The creator of this site, Big John, explains about common bugs found in browsers as well as gives CSS techniques that work with any browser.

9. CSS Tutorials from Html.net

This site provides free tutorials for building a CSS website. Plus, it gives an explanation on how CSS works and what it is. Don’t want to wade through English instructions? Choose to read the tutorials in your native tongue with translation options that include Dutch, Arabic, French, Spanish, and much more.

10. CSS Layouts: 40+ Tutorials, Tips, Demos, and Best Practices

Another very helpful article from Smashing Magazine, the resources for CSS layout found on this page are sure to contain what you need. Sample page layouts, step-by-step layouts, best practices, templates, and more can be found to aid you in your CSS experimentation and design.

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Hi, my name is Simeon Pashley and I'd like to introduce you to my blog. I've been professionally developing software since 1986. After an extensive career in Game Development, I switched to Web Development in 2010.

I work full-time as CTO, CIO, CMO for food ecommerce business Approved Food and I'm an acting Director for web developer Ring Alpha.

I also own & operate WriteDaily View my Speakerfile Profile