With your host, Rob Remakes

Tag: Mental Health

The 50% Rule

A screenshot of No Man's Sky. A blue "squid" ship flies through the atmosphere. A planet hangs in the distance in a blue night sky. Orange and purple clouds ripple over an orange sea.

“I’ve seen so many fellow devs voice discontentment about being unable to do it as a hobby or pursue their actual passion (game dev) after exhausting their mental energy 40 hours a week, basically every week, to be able to afford the basics.

I’d argue the real problem isn’t learning to divide your time spent on your hobby but rather the impossibility of dividing your time in everything.”

Nat, the 50% RULE (COHOST)

For lots of reasons, this is a post I’ve needed to reread fairly often in recent weeks because I’ve got so much going on (still) that I need to go easier on myself when the most I can manage to do right now is lie down and watch a film in the down time.

(Incidentally, Cohost has been an absolute beacon of peace for me too. I forgot how much I missed longer form posts and braindumps, and more importantly not feeling the need to post at every interval. It is obviously very early Tumblr in vibe and you know what? That’s more than fine)

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Ori And It Gets Results

“Was the feedback given in constructive ways? No. Was the feedback ultimately constructive? Yes,” said one developer, who felt the behavior of the leaders was atrocious but felt mixed in his opinion of the founders because they got results.

from this article on the studio behind the Ori games.

This is the most ass backwards way of looking at what happens when bosses and toxic workplaces damage the people that work there.

I’m not willing to concede that traumatising, upsetting and otherwise abusing workers is worth it if you get a decent videogame at the end of the process because there hasn’t been a videogame yet worth all that. There will never be a videogame worth all that, sorry.

Aside from that…

It is unnecessary. Nobody needs to treat people badly – nobody needs to be cruel – to make a videogame happen. Nobody needs to be broken to make something wonderful. If something wonderful is made, it is made in spite of the cruelty not because of it.

The repercussions, the results, go beyond the one game.

Every time we burn one person out, that’s one person less able to contribute their best to games. Every talented person who leaves games is a loss to videogames future, every person we break or traumatise we leave them less able to bring their “results” to future videogames. We take from videogames more than we gain when we burn through people. For the sake of one game, we jeopardise an unfathomable amount more.

The results are stolen from the future. They’re stolen from somebody’s future. The results are stolen from someone’s health, physical and/or mental. They’re stolen from the relationships, the families, the friends of the people we burn out.

“On balance”, the cruelty just breaks people. That’s never worth it.


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