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Thoughts with Towers

Thoughts on the gaming industry and games.

Author: Lastorres

What will be the future of the industry workers?

Posted by Lastorres Friday August 1 2014 at 5:25PM
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 It is a fluctuating, chaotic industry out there. Difference of opinions clash daily as the ever growing Gaming Industry tries to find it's identity. We've heard the stories about developers hiring, then firing, then rehiring employees. Mainly this happens as projects lose and find strength and funding. This means that the industry is become legendary for its lack of job reliability. I myself thought about getting a degree in an industry related field. However the growing pains going around just didn't seem worth it. Perhaps one day things will stabilize, and the focus will return to the games. However this means a couple of things:

1) Making a game is a hugely stressful process. Deadlines hang over weary heads like guillotines. The smaller the company, the more they have to smartly manage their resources to stay profitable (and keep making games and paying employees). This however raises an interesting issue. If stress is a drive like no other, than the games we see now are better than they have ever been (this baring the vision of the developers. if it’s a terrible idea, no mater how many slave drivers they have the outcome will be a polished terrible idea). So these games are like diamonds, built from the pressure they were created from (theoretically).

2) It is difficult to get the full attention of your employees under these conditions. Working for 8 months on a projects, to then be let go is a difficult place to be in. Having to move literally across state borders yearly (with families), is a miserable lifestyle. I wouldn't want to be in it. As an introvert I take pride in my home. Moving is loath-filled experience, in an industry filled with introverts. 

 So what solutions can we look forward to in the future? For the bigger companies a possible solution is free lance hire. Hire a coder for a project. The contract may be for 8 months. Move him into a temporary living quarter on campus for the duration of the contract. This ensures his family is still stable wherever they may be (kids don't have to move school, ). This also ensures that good talent keeps getting rewarded, and it helps like minded talent gravitate towards each other. 

Another solution will happen over time as development teams grow into tight-knit groups. Technology has had a strong influence on games, both making them and playing them. As it becomes more developer friendly to make games, teams may not have to have the massive teams that they currently require. The scale of these teams can't be sustained, they just can't. As much as development teams benefit from having 400 people working on one project, it is just too expensive. These are specialized workers with higher education. They have worked over the years for their level of pay, they deserve it. However, team sizes come down to necessity and prof margins. In the future I hope that technology allows us to see smaller, long term teams. Currently there are several examples of these already. However as games increase in scale, they are coming more and more under-strain. 

Even now the thought process behind how games are made is being challenged. I am optimistic however in the future of the industry (I love games too much to think otherwise). With an ever growing customer base, the biggest enemy to the industry is itself. If there is a catastrophe, it won't be because we stopped our support. It will be an implosion, as companies try to put more weight under weak infrastructure.