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Monday, 28 November 2011

Should Working in Games be more Fun

The title of this post is the same as the title from the article I just read (http://www.gamedev.net/page/resources/_/business/should-working-in-games-be-more-fun-r866) from gamedev.net. It is written by Francois Dominic Laramee.

Francois seems to be a very experienced developer who has worked in small start-ups and huge international company, in private sectors and government sectors to educational sectors, and, inside and outside of games industry.

What he writes is the reality and the state of the industry. This should be what a games developer should expect when entering the industry. It seems that there is a lot of hype by the media and general public about games developing. They make it sound fun, and makes people wanna come in and be part of the team that develops games, and have some fun doing the job.

Francois does mention about the film industry having the same kinds of demand on the labour and hours involved to achieve the quality that can go on screen. I think this is the best article so far that describes how much work has to be put in behind the scene, for the entertainment we get to consume. 

I feel it has a lot of similarity to the vfx industry. All the media hype it up to become more exciting and glamorous than it really is. In reality, it is a very labour intensive industry. There are lots of low level work that does not involve any creativity. Instead they only only require a bit of technical skill and precision to get it done. Those jobs just need a lot of man hours. Like rotoscoping and matchmove, motion capture clean-up, 3d scans modelling clean-up, etc. 

The games developers do not get paid very much. Instead, the companies and all the people in the publicity/distribution/retail/publishing chain get the money, because the games development pipeline has such massive overheads just to run. This is also very similar to many vfx artists in the industry. Most of the profits go into the running of the facilities, leaving only under-paid and over-worked artists.

Lots of young people go into it for the fun they perceive the job to be. We spend so much effort working on a few seconds (or sometimes a few frames) of material, it will kill off whatever fun you have over time. If the artist does not have hardcore passion and determination to succeed for the job, then its very hard to stay in the industry for very long.

So much work put into the product, and I've even heard of very fully convinced people telling me "Oh those movie artists make their movie magic with plug-in software that produce these in the push of a few buttons". I hope more people become aware of the effort and dedication of the artists working in the games and film industry.