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Do you enjoy your job in the games industry?


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Theres literally hundreds of studios in norway now.

 

But noone has any money. And they all create small mobile games (which I dont play).
The closest big swedish game companies are in Gothenburg I believe. And thats too far away...

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If you find your job is not fulfilling enough you can try to pursue other interests in your free time, preferably things that have nothing to do with gaming and that you are passionate about. We have

I remember the day I quite my job at the movie theater. The boss was like "get on the floor and scrub under the popcorn machine" and I had already clocked out and it was super late. He was being such

Working in the games industry:  

And  I am not creating games I want to play. Last I did that was with warby. warby made me believe in his game vision. And I was excited to put in 16 hours a da to make it happen. And lately, I've come to terms with the fact that since I have a responsibility to my wife and two kids, I can't move abroad and get a job at the two places who makes games I want to make. Valve or Blizzard.

 

But who am I kidding, I could never get a job at valve. Maybe blizzard... But my wife would never let us move.

meh.. If the company I work for now also folds, then I will probably have to make a huge life decision...

 

Having kids is dangerous in that sense, because it restricts you heavily. I'd never even consider going into such a relationship before I knew I was where I wanted to be career wise.

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I'm just curious, because I kinda feel a bit burnt out at the moment, like I'm not really enjoying my job, and I've felt it at the past 2 places I've worked. Making games has always been a huge passion of mine, but just recently I feel as if I've lost that passion during the hours of 9-5... When I get home I suddenly feel quite inspired to work on my own stuff. Therefore I end up staying up pretty late because I kinda wanna put off the inevitable.

 

I remember that I used to feel so lucky to be working in this industry, I could make art all day and remember thinking that I should consider myself lucky because I could be stacking shelves at Tesco or whatever.. But these days I have actually been considering what I would do if I wasn't in the games industry.

 

Let me add an observation from an outsider:

 

Regardless of what you do or in what industry you work, the novelty of it all eventually wears off. That's why people are constantly looking for promotions or other jobs. Because, after all, variety is the spice of the life. The fact that you just switched jobs and are already feeling that way is quite alarming. You wouldn't be the first designer who grew tired of the industry. That's were a lot of Indie's came from. The problem is that not everybody can take that route because bills have to be paid. 

 

So if I were you, I would do some serious soul searching and number crunching to answer the question:"What do I want to do with my life and is it possible?". Write it down, calculate what you need, do a risk assessment, etc. Life is too short to waste. However, chasing dreams doesn't necessarily mean you have to leave your job. Remember that work is just that, work and lots of people don't like their jobs. It's something you have to do, it's not something you really want to do. Sure, there are people out there that successfully made their hobby their job and props to them. But the reality is that a lot of people can't do that.

 

I for one, have a very good and well paying job which I absolutely don't care about at all. I'm good at it but it's just something I have to do to provide for my family. The time where I could take risks is gone. So how do I keep motivated? Simple, do other stuff that makes you happy. My job allows me to finance my hobbies, plus I have great and fun colleagues. So time spent there isn't horrible, it's actually fun even if the work isn't. During quite times I have the opportunity to prepare interviews or articles for the Core or I'm looking for deals to enlarge my retro collection and so on. 

 

So even if you feel fatigue but decide to stay, motivated yourself with your own projects outside of work. Pump out scenes, start a design blog, start a mod with other Core members, try to make a indie title with people and so on. You get the point. In the mean time you can keep an eye open for a job opportunity at a studio you would really like to work for. But realize that you will eventually grow tired of that job as well. Some people are fine doing the same thing for decades and others need to be pushed, so do that, push yourself. Even at work you can push yourself to learn new things. Find colleagues that can challenge you or projects that are far outside your comfort zone.

 

Anyway, just remember to keep your head up, push through the day by day bullshit and motivate yourself by doing the stuff that makes you happy. 

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I'm not in the industry but, Liam, sounds like you need a break. From the job or maybe more simply working in a small studio, or even on your own.

I dunno your family/sentimental situation, but maybe a change of scenery could do as well. You definitely have the experience to work pretty much everywhere.

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I remember that I used to feel so lucky to be working in this industry, I could make art all day and remember thinking that I should consider myself lucky because I could be stacking shelves at Tesco or whatever.. But these days I have actually been considering what I would do if I wasn't in the games industry.

 

What alternative career are you thinking of?

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Hey all, thanks for the great responses! Really interesting to see how everybody is getting on, and thanks for the suggestions as to what I can do. :)

 

I think the issue with me at the moment is that we haven't really started a project so I've just been kinda sat in limbo for the past 3 months, not really doing much. I'm sure things will pick up eventually, but sometimes it's just a little tricky to see the light through the trees you know? I probably made it out to be worse than it is; the people I work with are great, and the tools are amazing, it's just the lack of a project that is leaving me feeling a little unfulfilled at the moment! I can't really say much more than that.

 

@Frie - That's the thing, I know I'll only ever work in the games industry, I'm not qualified to do anything else! Plus when I'm working on something I love, I feel so passionate about it. I'm a little burnt out but not enough to make me want to leave.

 

@Dux - Hehe, I loved working on NS2, but for me it was all about finding a balance. When I started work on NS2, I really didn't have a good balance of work/life. I spent pretty much every waking hour working on NS2, because I loved it so much.. Then I moved in with my girlfriend here in London, and I realised that we weren't spending any time together, and I wasn't spending as much time with friends as I was before, working was all I did. It just got a little too much in the end, I felt like where I was at in life at that point and at that point in my career, I needed to work with other people. A, because I still felt like I had a lot to learn, and B, I needed the social interaction :D

 

I think one day I will go back to freelancing, but not just yet.

 

@Sprony - Cheers for the great post man, you're such a nice guy. I am actually already working on a side project which I feel really passionate about. It's never gonna turn into a fully-fledged game, I'm just learning Unreal, but I'm really enjoying it at the moment!

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And  I am not creating games I want to play. Last I did that was with warby. warby made me believe in his game vision. And I was excited to put in 16 hours a da to make it happen. And lately, I've come to terms with the fact that since I have a responsibility to my wife and two kids, I can't move abroad and get a job at the two places who makes games I want to make. Valve or Blizzard.

 

But who am I kidding, I could never get a job at valve. Maybe blizzard... But my wife would never let us move.

meh.. If the company I work for now also folds, then I will probably have to make a huge life decision...

 

Having kids is dangerous in that sense, because it restricts you heavily. I'd never even consider going into such a relationship before I knew I was where I wanted to be career wise.

 

That basically means you will never be able to have kids while in the games industry, as its so volatile. if you know you are where you want to be career wise, that is absolutely no guarantee that you are going to stay there for the next 18-20 years. Its not even guaranteed you'll stay there the 9 months you SO is pregnant. In fact, I can actually guarantee that if you are in the games industry you will not work at the same place for 20 years.

Out of curiosity; anyone know anyone that has been in the same job for the same company for 20 years in the games industry?

Edited by Skjalg
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when i worked in the games industry  before i enjoyed it but there were some people that rip you off.. you have to be careful not to be fooled. cause what i mean is you make the work and they can steal all it later closing down your company. that happened to me before.

 

anyway yeah i loved it it was fun but time consuming.. also meeting alot of interesting people.

 

i have worked on many mods too

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And  I am not creating games I want to play. Last I did that was with warby. warby made me believe in his game vision. And I was excited to put in 16 hours a da to make it happen. And lately, I've come to terms with the fact that since I have a responsibility to my wife and two kids, I can't move abroad and get a job at the two places who makes games I want to make. Valve or Blizzard.

 

But who am I kidding, I could never get a job at valve. Maybe blizzard... But my wife would never let us move.

meh.. If the company I work for now also folds, then I will probably have to make a huge life decision...

 

Having kids is dangerous in that sense, because it restricts you heavily. I'd never even consider going into such a relationship before I knew I was where I wanted to be career wise.

 

That basically means you will never be able to have kids while in the games industry, as its so volatile. if you know you are where you want to be career wise, that is absolutely no guarantee that you are going to stay there for the next 18-20 years. Its not even guaranteed you'll stay there the 9 months you SO is pregnant. In fact, I can actually guarantee that if you are in the games industry you will not work at the same place for 20 years.

Out of curiosity; anyone know anyone that has been in the same job for the same company for 20 years in the games industry?

 

 

That's a very pessimistic perspective. I think if you stay open minded and work hard as well as expand your professional profile, you're much less likely to perish in the industry. Or even if you do get fired, at least make sure you can stay open minded enough to take an opportunity with another developer in a different country.

 

There's also a certain point to be made about the life outside work -- for instance, I could never enjoy life to the fullest if I had to live in Denmark forever. That's also why I know I won't stay here for any longer than I have to. But maybe if the living conditions were closer to what I expected from a country like this, I'd be more inclined to settle down here, regardless of possibilities.

 

In the end, we all want a certain stability in our lives, enough to actually live. But as changes are often inevitable, they will happen. It is then up to ourselves to make sure that our situation works best for us as individuals and as families. I know personally that someone who would want to be tied down to a specific part of the planet for whatever reasons wouldn't fare well with me in the first place -- and that is a choice I make.

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I want to make games, I want to be in the games industry, but if you're passionate there is always this burn out you're not working on the thing you really want to. And most people who stick around in the games industry are dangerous levels of passionate.

 

I spent a lot of time while out of work making my own games. I've made about 12 in the last two years, and made a tidy profit of minus two hundred pounds, but none of them are really the games I want to make either. They're mostly released with a "that'll do" attitude for some game jam, and they're not aimed at me but some kind of imagined demographics that like particle-overloaded area shooters, quirkly puzzle games, or artsy puzzle platformers.

 

At my current place the games themselves are pretty cool and there's always something for you explore within them even if you're not completely the target audience, but I think it's fair to say I'm sitting outside our demographic (albeit with a gigantic amount of information about our actual demographic). I do have enough free time that I can still make games outside of work without crashing horribly - this is one reason I would never go back into overtime obsessed AAA companies.

 

The dream would be to sit around in my pants all day making the obscure Japanese-inspired shmups, hardcore-focused fighting games, and strategy focused RPGs I dream about. But fact is that just isn't going to happen, and what I've got is certainly more fun than going back into accounting.

 

Better make sure I don't wear my mapcore shirt for a couple of weeks.

Edited by Taylor
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I do not live to work. I work to live.

 

While I do not have a job in the industry, I make sure to make enough money and have enough time to devote to the life I want to live and the person I want to be. Work life balance is the key (increasingly common as a major factor in people leaving MANY industries). It will always be easier to work on the projects you care about rather than those you have to work on to pay the mortgage. . . but those projects to pay the mortgage do not define you and are merely there to get you to lead your life on your terms in the non-work hours, days, and weeks.

 

Paraphrasing a lot of studies I have read:

 

If your company is not taking care of you for work-life balance, discuss the matter with your superiors. Perhaps they are simply unaware of the effects of current schedules and benefits. If they are aware, perhaps they need to be educated themselves on how to create more employee/employer/owner synergy. There is a reason that first responders (In the states) tend to work 4 days on 3 days off rotations, or why increasing benefits packages while not necessarily increasing base-pay works to attract employees, as well as other programs like ESOP's (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). To increase the value of those non-working hours for you so that you are happy as an employee. Happy employees produce greater quantities and higher quality work than non-happy workers. 

Edited by Sigma
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Indie all the way, being pigeon holed in any job isn't fun. I work as an IT Infrastructure Manager by day, by night I don my cape and take to Unity.

 

Pretty soon hopefully i'll have the cash to dedicate my time to my game, but I enjoy all aspects of making it - coding, level design, even marketing.

 

Sigma had it right, don't live to work - work to live, if you are not enjoying what you are doing you are wasting your life and need to have a condor moment.

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