Skip to content

Crunch & Random Tidbits

May 23, 2008

We’re rolling up on finals week here, so stress abounds. My students have to ship 5 non-digital, fully functional RPG systems in 4 days, and a group of students in another design class have to deliver four flawless rule sets as well as the games they make.

In my own dev work (month three of crunch), I finished two of my three festivals of stress over the last couple weeks, and I’m presently wrapping up my third and final stress-production machine.

In other news –

We had a fire alarm go off in the building today. I stood up and looked out of my office to see other faculty heading toward the stairs. I turned back into my office and without a lot of thinking first, here’s what I did:

  • Unplugged my Xbox debug kit
  • Closed one laptop
  • Put the other open laptop under the desk, but on top of something in case the sprinklers went off.
  • Grabbed my iPhone and the debug kit and left.

I am *positive* that there are other game developers who would have done exactly what I did. Instead, people looked at me as if to say, “Wow. You left the pictures of your kids behind, your purse and wallet, for goodness sakes. What else? Your car keys.” It was all back in there the office which, for all I knew, could have been burning to the ground.

Fortunately, it was a false alarm (fortunately for everything I left behind, I suppose).

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    May 25, 2008 7:54 pm

    Holy crap, how long have they had to work on their RPG systems? And is it just the fighting system, or is there additional components such as a job system or weapon building system?

    Honestly, I’ve actually been working on a battle system for a couple of years now. I don’t do it all the time, and in recent years I’ve had so many other projects to deal with this thing just went into the back of my head. Maybe once I’m done with my most recent project I’ll go back to it more often.

  2. JCaskey permalink
    May 25, 2008 10:10 pm

    While I suppose I don’t count as a developer, that’s definitely what I’d do. Leave the xbox, leave the hdtv, leave the 20+ games, leave the camera, leave the clothes, but grab that laptop and that external backup drive!

  3. May 27, 2008 11:57 am

    I’d grab my phones (yes I have two cellphones) and car keys.

    I’ve taken to using buzzwords like “crunch” and “death march” to describe certain projects I am on even though they are not game related. It appears that the pressures aren’t exclusive to game projects so maybe we will see those terms become more mainstream.

  4. Chris permalink
    May 27, 2008 9:36 pm

    Terms like “crunch time” are common in the Santa Clara/Silicon Valley. Don’t be mistaken – for sure it is not something limited to video game development. Any kind of software out there, especially popular software like Apple and Adobe products, when a deadline is set, it is set; and you have to get the product out the door on time. Google is well-known for offering free food in their cafeteria, but I’ve also heard it said that they also offer free bedding as well…

    Yes, video game development is hard, but software development in general is hard. Then again, it also boils down to the type of company you’re working for, and the frequency of those crunch times, and the management capabilities of the leadership (or lack thereof…)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: