The games industry is a weird area to be involved in no matter what job you perform. You might be a developer working incredibly long hours during 'crunch-time' or you might just be a very lucky games journalist who continually marvels at how great it is to play games for a living. Either way, the games industry is a funny old place and weirdest of all is the way that exists both on the cutting edge and in 'the olden-days'.
Free Radical Design, developers of TimeSplitters
, are keen to change that though and have announced that they will now start paying their developers overtime in order to create a more fair working environment.
Many game developers work incredibly long hours and in unusual conditions which have somehow become accepted as the norm for the profession but would still be recognised as inappropriate in other lines of work. Not many people know that the Test Chamber Sequence from the original Half-Life
, for example, was designed in a solid 48-hour stretch in which one of the developers had only a wooden sawhorse to sit on which was affectionately dubbed 'The Throne of Woe'
Free Radical Design has long been pushing for a re-imagining of how game developers in the UK work and David Doak of Free Radical has repeatedly called for the assistance of the government
Steve Ellis of Free Radical Design has said that the idea to start paying people overtime is just an attempt to "start paying people for the work that they do -- even when that work is outside their normal hours...the days of bonuses that pay off your mortgage are long gone
We know a fair few of our regular readers work as website designers or developers of one sort or another, so why not drop by the forums
and let us know exactly what you do for a living and how your company treats you. Before you do that though, why doesn't somebody go poke Tim and make sure he reads this article too?