EnglishMobster
EnglishMobster avatar

EnglishMobster

@EnglishMobster@kbin.social

Hello!

I work as a AAA game programmer. I previously worked on the Battlefield series.

Before I worked in the AAA space, I worked at Disneyland as a Jungle Cruise skipper!

As a hobby, I have an N-Scale (1:160) model train layout.

Democrats have relied on one company’s tools to power its campaigns. They’re now facing a possible collapse. (www.politico.com)

NGP VAN provides tools used by Democrats, from the White House to local school boards, to raise money and mobilize voters. But with new management in recent years, it has been stripping its operations to the bare bones....

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

When you're out in the field and your FOSS product suddenly has a glitch, who runs tech support for you?

FOSS is great for some things but this isn't necessarily one of them.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

Or just use one of the many Ubuntu derivatives that don't force Snap?

Google ditched Omnibox features to meet quarterly numbers (stackdiary.com)

If you haven’t been following the Google vs. US Justice Department antitrust case, you probably didn’t know that Google tried extremely hard to avoid having any trial documents posted online. That was eventually overturned by Judge Amit Mehta, who is overseeing the case.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

Maybe - and hear me out - it's the dogs that are the problem?

"Can't control their prey drive" is a bad excuse. You control your dog or you don't deserve to have one. End of story. A dog barking endlessly is the responsibility of the owner to control or get rid of their damn dog.

It isn't hard to teach your dog not to be a nuisance. I've done it before. Blaming the dog because you failed to teach/control it is not correct, and simply shows that you do not have what it takes to be a dog owner.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

You ask a man how often they think about the Roman Empire.

Every man will invariably answer something varying from "once a week" to "multiple times a day". Women are absolutely mystified by this for some reason.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

Godot is a passable engine. It doesn't have a massive pile of money behind it, but it'll generally do most things adequately.

Honestly - and I may be biased as I'm a AAA dev who works with the engine - Unreal is really the way to go. Reasonable pricing on a powerful engine. The main issue is that it's bloated as hell and there's a learning curve... but if you're an indie, it's just as usable as Unity. Plus if you wanted to get into AAA development someday, Unreal is super popular and used everywhere.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

Hahahahahahahahaha

Prices don't go down for anything that people need to live. Not unless the government makes them do so.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

Stupid question: Why can't journals just mandate an actual URL link to a study on the last page, or the exact issue something was printed in? Surely both of those would be easily confirmable, and both would be easy for a scientist using "real" sources to source (since they must have access to it themselves already).

Like, it feels silly to me that high school teachers require this sort of thing, yet scientific journals do not?

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

So - Twitter has lost $40 billion in advertising revenue?

Sounds about right. Wonder how much more they can lose.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

I have in the past, but I also almost fell over.

Every once in a while I'll just get incredibly lightheaded and I'm not able to talk or even think. I usually lose balance too and need to brace myself against something. It'll last like 30 seconds and then go away. They come on with no warning and I can't even say anything.

I've never been able to figure out what causes it. It happens rarely, like once every 3-4 years.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

I'm a AAA game dev and a number of former co-workers are at Netflix nowadays. Like, a suspiciously high number.

They can't tell me anything (of course), but I can put two and two together.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

Might've been financed on credit - but even still, it takes a lot more than $12k for a down payment.

Assuming the median price for a home is $500k, you'd need $100k for a traditional 20% down payment. Sure, $12k is 12% of the way there... but it's nowhere near what is needed for an actual down payment.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

[1/3]

I've been a gamedev at a couple AAA studios for almost 5 years now. I can say it's a bit of a mixed bag, and very much depends on the studio.

The studios I've worked at have treated me well. I started out working at EA, which - for all its faults when it comes to gamers - does treat their staff very nicely.

We had free snacks in the office, flexible schedules, a generous remote work policy pre-pandemic (one of the best engineers on our team was permanently in Chicago, another was permanently in Oregon), and leadership that would listen to our complaints and respond honestly. We had weekly board game lunches and D&D sessions on the clock, and a comfy place to play all the latest games whenever we wanted.

Deadlines were reasonable, and the choice was always to cut before crunching. Crunch was on the table, but only as a last resort - I only crunched once in the 3 years I worked on that game, and it was for a single weekend when we had live players running into issues. My pay was on par with a traditional tech job. I went from $15/hour at my college job to $25/hour as an intern to $100k/year as a junior. Within 3 years I was making $140k/year, plus stock options and a 30% yearly bonus.

My one complaint is that EA unceremoniously pulled the plug on us. We had started a beta period and player response was... middling. We thought we could rescue the project, but we needed another 6 months to make it happen to avoid crunching. Leadership pitched the idea... corpo execs said "You aren't getting that additional time; we're killing the project." We got shut down and all 150 devs were sent to the unemployment line.

EA's severance package was very generous, though, and even when they were firing us they went above and beyond what they legally were "supposed" to do. I wound up with my yearly bonus, half a years' worth of salary, plus 2 months of being "technically employed" but being paid to look for another job - so plenty of runway (plus unused sick time + vacation on top of that).

While it always sucks being laid off, and it sucks that the project we spent years on got the axe overnight... they really could've been far worse. Some of my former coworkers decided to do their own thing and it seems to have worked out for them, as they were able to get publisher funding well within the "runway" EA gave us.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

[2/3]

Other studios are more, eh. Devs stick together and are honest with one another about the state of different studios. I was in the pipeline to get hired at one studio when multiple people explicitly told me that it wasn't a place that treats their workers well, so I backed out.

I got hired somewhere at the recommendation of a former mentor, who has been in the industry for 30 years and whose judgement I trusted. I don't want to speak as to where I work now, but I can say that he was right and that the place I'm at has been an ocean of calm amidst the chaos that's the rest of the industry right now.

You hear horror stories from co-workers in the office. A friend of mine was ex-Blizzard and told me all about what was happening there well before it became a national news story. There are places which will work you to the bone and crunch you until you can't stand it anymore.

Some people love that stuff. I don't. But you get paid extremely well if you work for a place that works you hard. I could've made triple my salary at one of the places I was in the pipeline for, plus sponsorship for moving to the EU. I just would have to basically dedicate my entire life to that company, and I don't think I had it in me... but I can see why people would.

EnglishMobster, (edited )
EnglishMobster avatar

[3/3]

As far as unionizing goes - it's a mixed bag. I myself am very pro-union; I was a Teamster for years (Local 495). And many gamedevs are left-leaning (but not all! I knew some MAGA/QAnon guys). This in turn makes them supportive of unions on paper.

But when conversations stopped being theoretical and started being, "No, really, why wouldn't you?", the holdouts tend to think:

  • Union leadership is corrupt/greedy, and they don't want to give union leaders money for "nothing" (as they see it)

  • Being in a union means everyone would need to be bound to strict regulations - keeping exact track of time worked, having exact lunch breaks, documenting everything. As-is in the game industry, the "standard" at most places is hands-off, take lunch whenever, stay at lunch however long you want, clock in/out whenever, nobody questions you as long as your work is getting done. People like this and don't want to risk losing it.

  • Being in a union threatens close relationships with management. I can say that when I was a Teamster, management was outright adversarial and conversations with them weren't fun. In the game industry, management is quite literally my friends and people I chill out with. There's a very, very blurry line between "friends" and "bosses" - some bosses are horrible, to be sure, but the general vibe is casual.

  • There's a lot of benefits in the office like free snacks, free swag, a place to chill out and play games at work, etc. People are afraid that this would count as "compensation" and thus being unionized would mean that you'd have to pay for snacks or swag or whatever - or that it could be taken away as retaliation from management.

  • Retaliation is a thing. It's illegal. US government doesn't care. Corpos get a slap on the wrist because of plausible deniability. EA has been downsizing recently and they "coincidentally" cut the contract with a QA team that just unionized. Hmm. That sort of stuff has a chilling effect - EA has no qualms shutting down studios. Why rock the boat and risk being locked out?

There are counterarguments for each of those points. Benefits can be made contractual, union leadership isn't necessarily corrupt (although I did dislike the leadership of my Teamster local - for being too close to management and too soft). Etc. But it is an uphill battle if people are generally already happy where they work - and the jobs are plentiful enough that people can be comfortable moving studios until they find somewhere that lets them vibe.

We'll see what happens if the market continues to tighten.

I can see a place like Blizzard unionizing, just from the horror stories I've heard. Maybe Epic as well. But it's a lot harder to make a union happen in today's day and age.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

This is a third bottleneck, earlier than the 2 we already knew about.

Specifically, this affects the entire human population.

The other 2 bottlenecks were specifically the humans which moved out of Africa - with one being as humans crossed into the Middle East and a second as humans crossed the Bering Strait.

This third one was earlier, and covers all humans, even the ones which never left Africa. These are separate from the more localized "founder events" that we see all over the world.

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

For anyone going through the modlog and wondering why this was removed:

The image itself was harmless (I even upvoted it!), but shortly thereafter Lemmy.world got hit with a wave of CSAM.

To clarify, this image was not CSAM. But the admins deleted all pictures uploaded during that time, and due to a bug in Kbin this image kept trying to load but was failing to. Kbin would refresh and send anyone looking at the feed to a 404 page.

This made it impossible for me to monitor the community as a mod, so I removed it since the image was broken anyway (verified by going to Lemmy.world and checking there).

But OP is more than welcome to repost this image now that Lemmy.world has gotten everything sorted out! :)

EnglishMobster,
EnglishMobster avatar

No problem! I wish I could be more active, but I've been busy with life stuff (damn apprentice). One day I will try to scry once more and return.

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