“Overtime in games.. different viewpoints” (after the title, he never calls it Overtime (because it isn’t: Overtime is generally *paid*, unlike Crunch); that little euphemism sets the scene…)
A great post if nothing else for the handy table listing how much crunch the team and the author did on various games:
1. Perfect Dark Zero. 12 months, 60-100 hours a week..
2. Diddy Kong Racing. 1-2 month. Couple of hours extra a day
3. Don King Presents Prizefighter. 3 months 60-80 hours a week.
4. GTA / Beaterator. R*. 4 months 60 hours a week
5. LittleBigPlanet VITA. 3.5 months. Staff average of about 2-3 hours per day.
These are used as evidence to justify that Crunch is pretty good, really. I’m not sure that makes sense, but have a look for yourself…
Crunch is – apparently – fine and great if you’re the CEO and winning awards. As a CEO, you apparently don’t have much influence over your company nor do you talk to your staff, apparently you can only “hope” that the staff enjoy crunching as much as you do:
“These crunches lasted 2-3 days and happened every 2 months or so. I believe they we’re all worth it and I would hope the staff involved in them would think they were too. Without the exposure they gave us we wouldn’t be sitting on the awards and recognition that we have now, which is especially important…”
(let’s not forget Lindsey Redding’s perspective on the awards and recognition:
“So was it worth it? Well of course not. It turns out it was just advertising. There was no higher calling. No ultimate prize. … Oh yes, and a lot of framed certificates and little gold statuettes.”)
Also, it’s very easy to crunch. So, um, I guess that makes it OK then:
“It is very easy to get into a situation where you find out that an implementation of something is fundamentally flawed in the dying days of a project and have no choice but to re-write the entire thing in a caffeine induced frenzy. I have witnessed this on a number of occasions and it usually rears its head when you get below 200 bugs and are having to start fixing the tricky glitches that you’ve been ignoring as they are so infrequent that they don’t really bother anyone enough to fix them. You then find to your amazement that they cant be fixed and/or patched and you have to start again.”
(In my experience, you always have a choice … although some of the people you work with / for may have a huge vested interest in ensuring you never realise that fact, it doesn’t change it. But as long as you play naive, they can get you to fix their mistakes for them, while they continue to get paid for making them)