Sixteen Ton - Whaddya Get?

Sixteen Ton - Whaddya Get?

"The BBS scene had two major commodities: pirated software (warez) and information. The newer the warez, the more valuable it was as a commodity. It was actually possible to obtain one- or two-day-old software that had already been stripped of its copy protection; we called breaking through a program's security 'cracking.' A person earned his 'elite' status by becoming the purveyor of the latest pirated software."

Guy Stevens wasn't always a stand-up game industry veteran. He describes the grayer side of game programming in "Back In the Day."

Sixteen Ton - Whaddya Get?

"'Designer' is the most sought-after position. These are the people who invent games. At their core, designers are responsible for making things fun. Yet, getting there requires a lot of tedium.
'I don't play the game all day long while I'm at work," said Jen Ortiz, a designer on EA Mythic's Dark Age of Camelot. 'Seriously, I'm usually [too] buried in Excel sheets, product quality reports, poll results, team lead reports, emails and document writing of my own to even look at the game at work.'"
Dana Massey chases the myth of game development as paradise in "Working in Games."

Sixteen Ton - Whaddya Get?

"'This subject is bigger than and goes beyond just TOSE. Not knowing who makes our games has been (and I emphasize this) a problem since the Atari days. Warren Robinett's easter egg in Adventure was the only way he could take credit for his work, because publishers back then took sole credit for a game's creation; later on, he formed Activision to combat that mentality. And things began changing slowly: Companies like Electronic Arts originally championed those behind the games. As Trip Hawkins explained, "One of my mantras is, 'Creativity is the rearranging of the old in a new way.' My reference points for EA were Hollywood for product development, and the record business for promotion and distribution. I wanted to treat developers as artists.'" John Szczepaniak asks the question: "Who Really Makes Videogames?"

Sixteen Ton - Whaddya Get?

'For a small studio, with only enough resources to handle one game at a time, "transition" equals "layoffs." The early stages of a new project - concept art, placeholder code, design docs and blue-sky brainstorming - work best with small teams. So the execs fire everyone else, until it's time to ramp up once more. If they try to reassemble the same bunch later, guess what? Everyone has scattered to other jobs. It's just one more way the industry is broken.'

Allen Varney talks to Wideload Games' "Man With a Plan," Alex Seropian, about the future of game development.

Sixteen Ton - Whaddya Get?

"The game industry is alive and well, and it ain't going anywhere. Neither, for that matter, are many of the developers. Some of the best and brightest people I have ever met work - present tense - in the game industry. The golden lure that yanked me away from graduate school and into games had nothing to do with the "glamour" or any idiotic pipe dream about fame and fortune - it had to do with the people.
But we are bleeding talent at a horrendous rate. This is the real bogeyman for the actual development of games."
Erin Hoffman, the writer formerly known as "EA Spouse," explores the life of a game developer in "Why We Haven't Lapsed."