One of the rules of blogging is not to write about work. A good example of why not to do this surfaced recently when a Nintendo employee was fired because of comments on her personal blog. I’m not going to the extent she did, and don’t plan to blast anyone personally, but I will give some insight into what’s going on in my work life.
Quite a few people have left the company. Some of the departed I worked with directly, including the creative producer on my project. Another colleague was unceremoniously fired. In all it makes for a very depressed atmosphere at work. When you see people you like leave, it sucks. There’s no other way to describe it. I felt this way at EA too, although the exodus of talent wasn’t as sudden as it has been here. Plus, I’ve only been here nine months; I think at EA most of the people I got to know stuck around for at least a year before calling it quits. Sometimes I wonder if my departure from EA was a letdown to those I worked with. Leaving them was probably the only thing that weighed on my mind when I turned in my two weeks notice — as ready as I was to leave EA, it was really hard to leave the friends I’d made.
But back to current day. Seeing people leave, whether through their own choice or not, is a morale breaker. When it’s a steady trickle of colleagues disappearing from your office life, it’s unavoidable to think about your own future at the same company. The fact is, people leave for a reason, and when more and more people do the same thing, one has to question if they know something you don’t.
It’s starting to sink in that I miss working on games. There were things I didn’t like at my previous job, and they were enough to prevent me from wanting to go back (although it would be pretty funny to rejoin the same team I left), but the medium and the study/knowledge of the industry seem more and more like my bread and butter. The only thing I’m wary of is the outdated mode of working in the game industry: the long hours of unpaid overtime, the design-by-committee approach to projects, and the non-creative people making creative decisions. Sometimes a game’s development involves all three of these, sometimes not. If/when I am to return to gaming I’d be challenged to both accept some of these aspects but also make a decision to only join a team where these issues are, in the best case, minimized. I don’t really believe game development has gotten over its antiquated ways of working long hours.
Where am I going with this? I don’t know, really. Let’s just say work right now is a bit of a downer. On an up note, though, a web page I’ve been working on should be online in the next couple of weeks. I’ll boast about it and provide a link once it’s up, because it’s one of the few things that have seen the light of day that I can point to and say, “I did that.”