I imagine if half the staff left a nursing home, it would be forced to shut down.
A friend of mine went to work for a small game studio in Oklahoma that'd gotten some acclaim for their quake mod pack. They took that momentum and started on their own novel IP as a quake licensee. They made a ahem mildly successful game named Medal of Honor.
Some time down the road, the owner of the studio didn't want to share the wealth.
As a result the top programmers, designers, etc, grouped up and negotiated a deal to become a 2nd party dev studio with a competing publisher. Nearly the entire company left with them. They couldn't take the IP with them so they rebranded their new game franchise as Call of Duty.
That studio owner literally made a billion dollar mistake by not simply being fair early on to the team. Never, ever, treat a team that has achieved rare success as replaceable cogs. If they've shipped, they can find more money people any time they want.
What prevented them from offering bad deals that are common today? Some examples I've seen:
- give lots of equity, but vesting over long timelines
- give no refreshers, if people leave, they lost lots of unvested
- stay private for a long time...equity is almost unsellable and theoretical only
- give lots of equity, but lag on salary and save big
- give lots of equity, but leave people with huge unfunded tax liabilities if they want to leave company
- give "lots" of equity which is worthless if people actually saw the cap table
I dont feel any of the above are good practices, but they are common practices for equity theatre
That wisdom applies to that specific industry. In gaming, the people you hire are the asset. However the same doesn't apply to all industries. Sometimes people are more and sometimes less replaceable. If you are running a fast food chain and manage to piss all your employees, yes, it is likely a problem, but if you hire new people and fix your behaviour it is likely that the business will continue to run as usual.
Sometimes people are simply forced to take jobs that are not adequately compensated.
Does it matter if a lot of folks have different definitions of gravity?
In the most general sense of "market", this is not wrong. However, you're talking from the point of view of a rather specific market theory. That market theory is not a fundamental force, it's just one of many ways of doing things.
It also has a very narrow definition of "fair", which makes sense within its own world, but I would argue is not generalizable outside of that world.
market, noun, often attributive
mar· ket | \ ˈmär-kət \
Definition of market (Entry 1 of 2)
a(1) : a meeting together of people for the purpose of trade by private purchase and sale and usually not by auction
(2) : the people assembled at such a meeting
b(1) : a public place where a market is held
especially : a place where provisions are sold at wholesale
a farmers' market
(2) : a retail establishment usually of a specified kind
a fish market
2. archaic : the act or an instance of buying and selling
3. : the rate or price offered for a commodity or security
a(1) : a geographic area of demand for commodities or services
(2) : a specified category of potential buyers
the youth market
b : the course of commercial activity by which the exchange of commodities is effected : extent of demand
the market is dull
c(1) : an opportunity for selling
(2) : the available supply of or potential demand for specified goods or services
the labor market
d : the area of economic activity in which buyers and sellers come together and the forces of supply and demand affect prices
Read David Greaber.
There are circumstances outside of the price which affect the fairness of the price.
Could you clarify a few things? I don't think the story adds up.
Wikipedia has the followin information.
Medal of Honor was made by DreamWorks interactive. [..] Filmmaker Steven Spielberg Spielberg founded DreamWorks Interactive in 1995. 
Danger Close Games (formerly DreamWorks Interactive LLC and EA Los Angeles) was an American video game developer based in Los Angeles. 
This doesn't sound like 'a small game studio in Oklahoma'.
It seems you were talking about the acclaimed: Medal of Honor: Allied Assault.
Made by: 2015, inc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Games
Edit 2: Spelling
The first two Playstation only MoH games were not exactly failures, but they were little more than Goldeneye clones with WW2 themes.
The first PC game is really the start of what we think of as the Medal of Honor franchise proper.
The team that bailed founded Infinity Ward, which was the origin of Call of Duty, or at least the first like 8 games in the franchise.
So yes, my story does in fact check out. Which is because I lived it. My friend tried to get me to join the team for 2 years because he knew they were onto something, but I'd fled a childhood in Kansas to build a life on the west coast and wasn't looking to move back to Tulsa of all places. That proved to be a bad career decision but I'm ok with it as a life decision.
Can you have some self awareness of how annoying it is for you to adopt this skeptical fact checker tone when you have so little familiarity with the events and people involved you don't even really understand what to google for and which wikipedia articles to read?
Edit: I'm annoyed because if you tell someone their story doesn't check out, calling me a lair in this case as the story is direct personal experience, you probably need more of a basis for that claim than googling a wikipedia article about a story you'd never heard of 5 minutes ago.
Not enough detail in someone's response? Here are some ideas:
1. Ask moar polite. Not, "I don't think the story adds up."
2. Assume the story is yet true and go to prove it to your satisfaction. Post the links and thank op for the interesting nerd snipe.
3. Enter the proposition into your mental database with some lower level of confidence and move on.
> They took that momentum and started on their own novel IP as a quake licensee. They made a ahem mildly successful game named Medal of Honor
... makes it sound as if the studio started the franchise—which is not helped by the fact that it says "Medal of Honor" (which is apparently a thing), not "Medal of Honor: Allied Assault" (which is apparently the thing they actually meant). Anyone interested who tries to follow up based on these breadcrumbs is going to run into an issue. That is anyone—it doesn't take someone with a predisposition to being an asshole to end up here; even someone who read the initial comment and though, "wow, that's cool; I'm interested in learning more", and then proceeded to try to learn more would have gotten tripped up this way. (It's only by starting at the opposite end—with Call of Duty—and working backwards to its origin story that you're going to be able to resolve this.)
To make out as if someone is being automatically uncharitable and then airing emotion-driven grievances about it is, perversely, the most uncharitable thing (and, for the reasons just mentioned, perhaps only uncharitable thing) to have actually happened here.
"Call of Duty founders" -> first link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity_Ward -> 3rd sentence: All of the 22 original team members of Infinity Ward came from the team that had worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
When I read something where the author sounds rude, I try to step back and think if there is another way to interpret it.
It’s unlikely that strangers will accept advice on writing styles, so I try to adapt my reading style while I wait for a perfect world.
Not really. GP straight up accused the OP of lying, under a thick but transparent layer of euphemisms. Coming at someone out of nowhere with accusations that "your story doesn't add up", specially after failing to do their homework, is the opposite of politeness.
Storytelling does not require that one cites their sources. Especially when that source is, "I lived it"
Wow cool! Can you tell us more about the story?
Instead it's a wikipedia dump.
I agree OP could have been a bit less confrontational, but...
> The first PC game is really the start of what we think of as the Medal of Honor franchise proper.
> They took that momentum and started on their own novel IP [...] They couldn't take the IP with them
That may be your opinion, it certainly isn't mine, having played both the Playstation games and none of the PC games. I very clearly remember the splash screen for Dreamworks on starting up the first Medal of Honor game. I'm still not sure how the third game in a franchise could be considered 'novel IP', especially as it seems they were approached by Dreamworks, so it's not surprising they couldn't take it anywhere else.
Without the explanation above, I would have dismissed your comment as nonsense out of hand without bothering to engage.
However, OP questioned, you clarified, and I learned something. Choosing your own definition of when the franchise started made it very difficult to accept your comment as it stood initially though.
Perhaps you could also have some self-awareness of how often people post about 'my friend who told me this anecdote about this big thing' with red flags in their story, and how much it's important not to believe everything you read?
1: Wikipedia mentions this on the 2015 page with a reference to https://www.tulsapeople.com/tulsa-people/july-2009/powering-..., but unfortunately I'm not able to open that link to verify its contents. https://venturebeat.com/games/the-making-and-unmaking-of-inf... seems to indicate as well that Dreamworks approached 2015, https://www.ign.com/articles/2009/11/06/ign-presents-the-his... suggests EA 'employed' 2015 which sounds about right (Dreamworks Interactive was sold to EA)
If your suggestion is for people to not question, or be curious at all then I think you're in the wrong place...?
In my opinion the original story was a bit misleading though, reading as if the small game company's novel IP was the original Medal of Honor, so I do think the follow-up was warranted:
"They took that momentum and started on their own novel IP as a quake licensee. They made a ahem mildly successful game named Medal of Honor."
I also think the response to the questioning was a lot more hostile than it needed to be but ultimately that there was rudeness on both sides
Then, you'll be reprimanded for pointing it out, asking you to "not do that here."
I wish moderation would curtail this obnoxious behavior, because I see HN as a place where experts can detail their experience, and over the years I see more and more amateur butt in or sealioning behavior take place, and people I know have left over it.
Whatever happened to assume positive intent?
I dunno if it does any good, but these days when I smell ill intent beneath the surface of a "just asking questions" post I just flag the bastards rather than trying to help them by answering. Responding is simply feeding trolls, and HN threads are full of that sort of thing. Argumentative jerks who are just trying to argue, while staying just civil enough that they don't get slapped down (not too quickly, anyway).
My kingdom for sigs and blocklists.
And I often wished I could specify “please read this comment in literally the way I wrote it and don’t try to find a non-existing message between the lines”. Alas.
This is definitely a problem, and while typical on the Web more broadly, there are a few flavors of it that are more common here than other places. You have my sympathy, and I do try to be aware of my own limitations and don't just run around flag-happy for anything I might be able to read as having a bad tone. Though I'm sure I mess up sometimes.
However—there's a certain kind of needling, brash posting style that's nearly always just someone trying to tee themselves up for some usually-idiotic rant or series of needlessly-aggressive arguments they have prepared but don't yet have an entry to post without being off-topic, that's often initiated with a question that looks kinda innocent but's just a little off. That's the "smell" I mean, and it's the kind I've learned to just flag without trying to "help" (due to assuming good faith), and I'm pretty sure I have a low false-positive rate on those. This is, from what I can tell, an extremely successful approach to trolling HN (I'm quite certain a few posters do it for that express purpose, though I do think the typical motive is different and not purely aimed at creating chaos and bad feelings), and one that HN has no good defense against except cleaning it up after the fact, which is often after the whole discussion thread's mostly dead, anyway.
It's not unusual for half the posts in a thread to stem from these kinds of premeditated argument-prompts that were never intended to curiously explore the problem space (though they may, for a time, masquerade as such) and to end up acrimonious and/or in massive wheel-spinning flame wars—as there's no other way it could have gone, because the instigator was looking for a fight, even if they weren't trying to troll per se, and were relying on assume-good-faith engagement to let the embers mature into a full-blown fire so they could embark on their righteous crusade or whatever it is they think they're doing, rather than being ignored (again: for god's sake, give us user ignore-lists—that and making poster identity a little more prominent so we can more easily recognize patterns, rather than instances, of behavior would help so much and I bet those flame sub-threads would get a lot quieter) or instantly called out and told to fuck off as they might on other sites that lack strong adherence to the "assume good faith" rule.
To avoid just shitting on the site (I'm not here because I hate it... though I do think some parodies and unkind criticisms of HN are closer to the truth, than its own collective self-image is), if I could pick out one cultural thing I really like about HN, it's the relative lack of value-free posts about obvious typos or accidental word omissions or that sort of thing. You see occasional corrections of actual usage or spelling mistakes, where the poster seems not to have slipped up but to actually have a poor idea of what's most-correct and to have done the wrong thing unknowingly, but on purpose, but those are usually polite and at least convey potentially-useful information. But, very little "did you mean X LOL?" where every single person reading it can tell that yes, they meant X, and simply made a mistake. That shit's really common on some other corners of the Web and it's just the worst. I think that quality's mainly a consequence of HN being pretty decent at policing blatantly low-value posts in general.
There is no semantics challenge in a random coming at someone out of the blue with accusations of being a liar. The only lawyering involved is determining if it would represent libel or slander.
I think positive intent is different from truth.
To make good decisions, I need to drill down to the truth of the situation. People can be super honest and be wrong or conflate ideas.
So for me, I work on being politely skeptical and assume it’s false until substantiated.
Sorry, found the typo funny. Not trying to antagonize anyone this morning.
>Yet 2015 would never get the chance to make another Medal of Honor. EA decided to take all development for the franchise in-house. Morale was low amongst the team and they were looking to start up on its own.
>We had bonded as a team, but decided we wanted to work with new management. Many members of the team were actually going to leave to find new jobs, regardless of potential royalties coming in from Medal of Honor.
>After leaving 2015 we were working with a major publisher. For legal reasons I will say things didn’t go as planned with it. We were left in a situation of unpaid milestones that were delivered and no finances to operate on,” says Thomas.
>The company was potentially going to disband. In a last ditch effort our then president, Grant Collier sent out a signal to all the major publishers in the industry letting them know that the majority of the Medal of Honor: Allied Assault team was available. Within days of closing the doors on the studio, Activision responded immediately with an offer.”
Those are very different things. One isn't a "simplified" version of the other.
Quotation of the month. Devs should have this knitted into a pillow in their cubicles.
Under the boss they would have made more Medal of Honor, and maybe the next MoH's were not billion-dollar products.
Maybe had they gotten equity, we would never have a billion dollar CoD series!
It's very similar with tech startups. Once you've been around the washing machine loop a couple times you realize just how much of this stuff is arbitrary and luck dependent. Unicorns born upon butterfly's wings. Having a certain background lets you buy more chances at the luck part. It's not fair. It is.
Personally my read on this is we should have some humility about how unpredictable this all is.
The good timeline xD
An entire company 'quits' and just 're-does the thing' is almost assuredly theft of know-now and IP, but more than that theft of the operating modality.
It takes in incredible amount of work, risk, investment etc. to 'get something up and going' - with all of the parts working.
Any time you walk into a company you'll see what looks like 'things working' on some level, usually that took incredible trials and travails.
It's a bit like 'decent code' - it takes iterations, after which, it's 'obvious in hindsight'.
Every coder knows it's 'figuring it out' that's hard, whereas doing it a second time is easy.
Employees who tool 100% salary to start, without higher risk equity, and then wanted to 'trade after the fact' shouldn't be miffed - they just shouldn't have taken the job if what they wanted was equity.
It could entirely be the case of cockroach management giving horrible terms to everyone including underpayment etc. but these stories are often one-sided.
I'm working with a company right now that I've discovered has a seemingly 'simple' product. It took this young girl 4 years of struggle (and failure before) that, to get this thing where it is and establish all the sales relationships. I'm sure I could duplicate it quickly with minimal resources (I wouldn't do that to her), but it has dawned on me how much effort it takes to move things forward.
Here is the story, and it doesn't really speak to some kind of greedy action by 2015, the original game devs. More subtle than that. More like the original team, which was assembled by EA, liked working together, and were lured away by another studio as a team.
FYI the founders of 'Call of Duty' were eventually fired on bad terms again.
I would reserve judgment on these situations.
Especially in entertainment and creative things, there are a lot of personality issues.
So.. it's fair if the people who did all the hard work ask for some form of participation? If all it takes to duplicate a product is money and the people with know-how, than the capital is a rather marginal contribution?
And I am deliberately talking about know-how, and not IP here. You cannot apply copyright to the knowledge of your employees.
"You cannot apply copyright to the knowledge of your employees. "
? Absolutely you can, legally.
But the issues is just as much moral one.
The owners put it together and paid for the employees to make all sorts of mistakes etc..
It would be shameful if they did that.
All of that said I don't think that's the case.
The lesson to take away here, for management, is that you can't get away with everything forever. Whether you view the actions of 2015 as IP theft or just desserts, the fact remains that it wouldn't have happened if the team had A) gotten paid and B) gotten the terms they asked for. I'd be demanding a better deal, too, if my publisher mysteriously forgot to pay for a milestone.
Item 'A' is a bit more reasonable, people not getting paid is bad.
But item 'B' is not. Sorry, you don't just get to ask for a better deal after the fact, because it finally worked out and now in 20/20 hindsight you want a cut.
Imagine any software company CEO nowadays saying that out loud, no matter what they privately thought.
A daughter of my friend was not very happy in her job: a Silicon Valley company hired her as a security pro, but was using as a coder, which she hates. She was going to leave, but decided to wait ten months or so until her stock options vested. She and a big group of other engineers were fired right before the vesting moment.
All this time the CEO was generating absolutely politically correct sounds: people are our best capital, diversity is our strength, etc. She would be better off if he was honest.
I'm not an expert in the Silicon Valley ethos, but to me it sounds that both your friend's daughter and the company were playing the same game: trying to extract the most value from the other party without actually having a long term commitment. I suppose she was not going around saying how much she hated the company and that she would have left as soon as it was convenient.
The company had the upper hand, but can she really complain?
She is a bright girl, so she is not actually complaining, she knew the risks and trade offs. It was her first job after a college, btw. It’s me who is a bit bothered by her story. You see:
1. She was hired to improve diversity targets (her estimate).
2. After she was hired, her brains were ignored - a rather painful situation for a person with brains.
Would have this bright girl been better of if we as society put less pressure on companies to hire girls?
Honestly rarely pays and is also unthankful. There is only a little benefit and lots of downsides, such as people getting seriously pissed at you. It is not a wonder that corporate leadership roles are filled up with people who see no problem of talking bullshit all day.
Comarch CEO famous quote: "any developer could be replaced with finite number of interns"
This is Polish software company (quite big, one of the biggest) and since this quote went public, they don't have best reputation among developers. You go to work there only if you are actually intern fresh after uni.
Sadly only in Polish.
But she was just being charitable, because they were into so much more that just that!
>The company has been accused of breaching human rights by arranging several illegal rendition flights for the CIA between 2003 and 2006, which also has led to criticism of shareholders of the company, including the governments of Norway and Britain.
>The company has engaged in a number of activities that have resulted in legal action against it. These are:
>Its so called WorldBridge Service (Visa Services), which processed and issued millions of visa applications to enter Britain, did not involve British authorities.
>CSC was one of the contractors hired by the Internal Revenue Service to modernize its tax-filing system. They told the IRS it would meet a January 2006 deadline, but failed to do so, leaving the IRS with no system capable of detecting fraud. Its failure to meet the delivery deadline for developing an automated refund fraud detection system cost the IRS between US$200 million and US$300 million.
Or just being exposed to a architecturally dysfunctional organization breeds negative behaviour and mentality.
Privately I consider this kind of behaviour espoused by executive management to clearly qualify as harmful to society surpassing criminal threshold. This needs concerted study however to form the basis of anything more than a grizzled opinion.
At the same time, it really depends.... I'm pretty confident that there are very few engineers at FAANG that can't be replaced. I'd also expect there are very few engineers at Epic, Activision, Blizzard, Naughty Dog, Sony, Rockstar, Ubisoft, Valve, etc... that can't be replaced. Sure, if 30%-70% of the team left on any particular project it would probably die, but at least for AAA titles, there's usually no one person responsible for that title's success? Or maybe there is but it's limited to a few key people and not every person on that team.
IF you're at some indie firm with 5-15 people that's probably less true.
I mostly made this comment because in 1983 most games were made by 1 to 3 people max. By the end of the 80s there weren't many games that had more than 20 people on them and usually they took less than a year to make. It was only in the mid 90s that we started getting 30+ people teams trying to fill a CD with data and it arguably wasn't until the 2000s that we had games that it was common to teams of 30-100+ people multiple years to make.
Otherwise, get rid of any engineer and the minimum impact is 3-6 months code and culture familiarisation before they get up to speed with your particular application/code base/equipment. Can easily be more than a year - especially with some of the big systems.
So yes there is an impact on business performance, and a highly damaging one, far more often than is realised. Companies compete - and companies go under and get replaced, all the time.
On a big project, say 100 devs over 3 years, 6 man months is 1/600th of the work, so a single person is replaceable and it's not even noise. If the replacement takes 6 months to get up to speed the replacement is certainly not a very good developer, even on the biggest projects. At that size, there's lots of small side projects, testing groups, and the like, so there should be plenty of smaller pieces to work on, and some on those small projects are always happy to jump into the main work, not needing 3-6 months to be useful to it.
This is not highly damaging on any but the smallest, shortest projects. And even there people move around all the time and don't destroy projects.
I think you're mistaking 'becoming a contributing member of the team' for 'contributes at the level of the developer that left'.
On a big team, people fit a bell curve, and most likely those leaving are not going to cause much harm (otherwise no big project would get done - all have people coming and going over the lifespan of the codebase).
The thing is these two things are linked - one engineer leaving and 30-70% of a team leaving. The quantity of who leaves does not matter as much - a project may be able to handle 70% of consultants, interns, junior and regular programmers leaving, but might die if the 30% (or 25%, or 20%) leaving is entirely senior/staff/principal.
One of the lead programmers who has been at the company for many years leaves. He is friendly with some of the other senior programmers and says he thinks the company is slowly going downhill, and he got a new job with better money, and with a saner schedule, work environment and work-life balance. Maybe one of the other senior people leaves for the company he left for. Then other senior people start leaving.
It's like Steve Blank's essay about how a company deciding to start charging fifty cents for soda led to an exodus of its best senior programmers. One lead leaving can be a catalyst for others leaving. So they are in a sense irreplaceable.
If a company is an oligopoly like Verizon/AT&T or the like, then they are privy to revenue and profits they don't have to compete for, and for companies in that situation people are more replaceable. Not for companies that have to be competitive though.
But oftentimes management ask if the project will be completed at all. And yes, the project will be completed.
But the real question to ask is often:
Will it be completed on time? On budget? With the same quality level?
And this is a complete different story.
You need to find a developer in the specific niche he was competent. Not easy because there is a shortage of developers. Then he needs to get up to speed with the stack and the processes used in the company.
So in theory yes, engineers can be replaced. In practice it's costly, with no guarantee of getting the same productivity, and the process to find someone will leave you with one person less for many months. When you have competent engineers that you want to keep, the last thing to do is to play the "I don't need you anyway" card.
Large game companies have now essentially become casinos.
Some of them probably get 50 applicants for every position they advertise. It's a meat grinder.
Video game developers don't have terrible conditions and relatively low pay because of some anomalous lack of bargaining power which can be fixed by unionization. They have lots of bargaining power, most of which they use to choose the industry they work in. There are lots of young men who want to work in games, and far fewer who want to work in financial software. So pay and conditions are far worse in games, to the point where supply meets demand in each type of development work.
Many game devs are fungible cogs, implementing a well-defined blueprint. Especially Activision games like Call of Duty. It doesn’t help that there’s just so many devs these days that they can seemingly abuse them for decades and nothing has collapsed.
Even simple boilerplate is done differently by people. Some will automate them, some will do them manually forever. Some will naturally organize to discuss how to limit or improve them, some will stay with the status quo ad vitam. Some will document how to do things, provide templates to limit mistakes and mentor new comers. Some will just do their job.
And that's not even touching the fact some are simply bad at what they do.
In all the successful projects I've seen, hiring the right people or replacing the one leaving were critical processes, not just swapping.
This idea you foster is probably half the reason 2/3 of IT projects fail.
It's also an area where there's more and more outsourcing happening these days.
I mean, I'm sure they wouldn't implode, but I bet they pay their core engine devs a more than decent wage.
I once left a company quickly after a senior leader had left. That proved to be a good move since the company was going under and sold a few months after.
Once a particular domain of software becomes sufficiently mature, there is no real opportunity for heroic programmers to emerge who become too valuable to replace. Eventually more people emerge who are just as good.
I... have you played games at all recently? Have you seen the recent major releases? BF2042, Cyberpunk, etc. Even the highest quality game studios (not the aforementioned) have trouble making good high quality releases, especially with consistency.
Games are certainly not a solved problem.
we see the same attitude in software industry - somethin' that has existed since the 60s that software is solved problem. yet everyone has difficulties in shippin' software that actually works whether that's titans like Apple / Microsoft to small mom and pop shops.
Games the difficulty is two-fold. 1: games are an art - and making art to good taste is a complex problem. 2. games are software - thereby suffering from problems encountered by the regular software industry etc lack of labour / resourcing etc
But games are not a solved problem. There are multiple overlapping reasons why.
One is that gamedevs often just don't do the research. Why would they? The deadlines loom, the milestones have to be delivered, nobody cares if it's a hacky mess right now, surely management will give us time to fix it once they realize that it's broken--but if we don't deliver anything, the publisher cuts our funding.
This overlaps with scheduling and management issues. It turns out that writing good software takes up time, and the problem with games in particular is that they don't make money until they're released.
You don't write games like you write business software, where the other company paying for your milestones is the company that's going to use the software; that company usually has a revenue stream even without your software, so they don't have to care as much. For a game, though, there IS no revenue stream until the game launches. Every year that a game is in development without a release is a loss, and that pisses the board of directors right the fuck off, so that means the game needs to be out ASAP.
Because of this, games are often not given enough room in the development schedule to be made correctly. There's no time for research, testing, planning, or any of the other important parts of software engineering--we have to write this code NOW, or it doesn't ship. And if you read that source I linked in the footnote, you'll know that this produces rotten software.
This is compounded by the kind of one-upsmanship that is created by such an environment--leading to a phrase I've heard from friends in other companies: "Very optimistic people who are no longer with the company made this decision". You get into a situation where people made promises to impress the publisher, claiming that they can turn out a game in an impossible timeframe, and that got them fired--but now you're stuck cleaning up the mess, and the publisher has already wasted a lot of money on the years spent thinking it wasn't a mess.
Mix in the siloing of information (because all of this shit is proprietary) and, despite all of the problems being solved on paper, nobody's solved video games.
I could be out of loop, but the last time I played Dwarf Fortress, it still used terminal graphics and white I believe in gameplay > graphics, my brother and the majority don't and probably won't even touch the game. (Not to mention the _menues_)
That is why we have so many bland but technically impressive games. Studios want safe bets, an FPS game is easy, making it interesting to play is still very hard.
Game engines and graphics is "solved" if you stick to popular concepts (which are those that are easily available in commercial engines).
Game design/mechanics is an unsolved problem imho - unless you consider it solved when merely taking an existing game design (like an FPS) and add nothing new to it (aka, those yearly COD military shooters).
Consider a game like https://store.steampowered.com/app/1141580/Taiji/ (inspired by the witness). This game is quite unique, and cannot really be recycled in to another game (without it being just a clone).
As they say: All good things must come to an end.
And: You either die a hero or live long enough to become a villain.
Wow,that's one hell of a successful investment.
In 2018 I met Frédéric Chesnais in NY, and learned about the latest things related the company. Here's an interview I found from 2019. .
It seems that the current CEO is now Wade Rosen. 
Company is still up and running.
So no, Atari doesn't exist today, what exists is a company wearing Atari's skin as a suit, in order to fool you. Don't be fooled by names without the organisational continuity to back it up.
Better example is AKG which used to be well respected for making high-quality headphones, until Samsung bought their parent company and started just using their logo from 2017 on cheap crap.
The original engineers formed a different company Austrian Audio (no article on wiki apparently)
There is “atari NFT” and “atari blockchain casino”
Anyway no relation to the original Atary.
turns out I was wrong!
If anything, other companies making good games for their platform aided them, and they were famously bad at seeing that. Engineers leaving to develop Atari software didn’t move the needle in terms of their collapse. Not giving individual credit on games is a tiny footnote in the book of things Atari management did wrong.
Just that it's not always the job some people think it is.
You can chat and converse idly, or with an agenda. Not demeaning at all, just descriptive.
Demeaning isn't the right word, but it sure seems condescending. Like calling programming "button pushing".
Only one of the two killed the company.
A few dumb (or malicious) decisions by an assembly worker can cause enormous damage and incur enormous cost.
I think that the world's, or at least the US's, teachers are a glaring counterexample.
Part of his thesis is that society undervalues the labor of caring workers, because they get so much "job satisfaction". Teachers and nurses are examples of caring work.
I lean towards Graeber's thesis, mostly because I haven't read any other explanation for this pathology, so Graeber wins by default.
parents paying for private schools seem to be willing to pay that for their children
Exactly—people aren't willing to pay for someone else's education, but everyone needs an education, so teachers who care enough that they are willing to teach for minuscule pay wind up squeezed between societal apathy and societal need.
You'd think that losing key staff would kill the company overnight, but even in this situation, it took 4 years between being doomed and actually dying.
my understanding is that this gave rise to nintendo's tight control over developer licensees while atari was sold off and pivoted to home computers (specifically the st line) under jack tramiel.
"Video game crash of 1983 - Wikipedia" https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_crash_of_1983
Well, that says a lot.
My take is that these are the people that herald the western civilization. The misfits, the weirdos and the, yes, assholes.
They have almost zero chance to convince everyone of their twisted views of Eugenics or what have you.
I am afraid, we've created a society where these people are shunned and IMO it is an overall net-negative. A lot of people in GNU org can be borderline fascist/communist/insert-extremist-movement.
So perhaps there are communities smack dab in the heart of Silicon Valley startup ecosystem that do tolerate even the most extreme assholes, still. It seems personal asshole-like behavior is tolerated or ignored in lieu of their "other contributions".
People didn't leave over equity, or pay, they left because he was an asshole. Without him being a jackass, his company might have invented the things later invented at Fairchild.
He didn’t have to intend for them to leave to get credit for being the asshole that made them leave. :)
It didn’t kill the company for several reasons, but primarily because:
1) The company had enough momentum, revenue, and cash in the bank that they could go on hiring sprees to replace everyone. The new hires had a lot of churn when they realized what was going on, so they just kept hiring until enough replacements stuck around.
2) Many of the employees who didn’t quit saw this as their opportunity to rise through the ranks and fill the voids. They weren’t wrong and it paid off for many of them in the form of rapid promotions and advancement. The CEO became more hands-off as he realized his micromanagement wasn’t helping, so they basically inherited a slightly better situation.
After this experience, I don’t really see a developer exodus killing any big company with good momentum and decent cash reserves. As long as a company has cash flow they can spend their way into hiring replacements as long as it takes.
When I lived in the UK, I saw one company that was like that. When I moved to Berlin, it's pretty much been like that at most companies. Various reasons from the tech being crap, the culture being crap, or managers being crap.
While the company normally survives for a while, since if you have the cash you can survive for a while no matter what. The company never really reaches it's true value. Most do end up being acquired by a competitor for very little money or going out of business.
I, being Deaf, would have been forced to stay with the mediocre ones because interviewing is difficult for me.
I am lucky that I don't need a job now.
Interviewing is hard. Notably Google’s digital interviewing where they insist that they call you for an interview. I aced all their backend questions so they kept trying to call me until I insisted that I call them. Then it went silent. Their loss.
This approach doesn’t leave us Deafies a whole lotta time to arrange for an American Sign Language interpreter to come and sit with us before the phone rings.
When I was working in companies I just lipread and talked German, and it worked mostly fine except meetings. But a few years ago I realized that lipreading is too hard for me, so I now avoid that. Recently I got interrogated by the police but they put up an additional computer monitor for me to follow the notes. I declined the offer of a Signed Language interpreter because I was not sure whether the interpreter really knows the correct legal terms. The monitor was very helpful. I caught many little misunderstandings this way like I said, he wanted to void the ticket himself, but the minute taker wrote, he wanted to buy the ticket himself.
Anyway, I am lucky that I don't need to work in companies anymore being semi-retired.
I imagine this situation comes up frequently and not only with hiring.
It becomes a bonus for the company if HR finds out, but not necessarily for the line management.
Problem is Google does not segregate such sensitive info (race, sex, handicap) between the hiring team and its HR.
Google, however, elected not to use email and I am unwilling to reveal the real reason for me calling them directly … much less by email.
Also not sure how google HR could firewall obvious disability from the hiring team if they are at all involved in the interview.
Of course, I am unwilling to find out because my priorities lies elsewhere but if and when I learn of the next Deaf applicant that got turned away because of lack of direct call support, then my priority of my legal team will change.
Federal law says accommodation must be made … after the hire. No need to tip your hand earlier.
>when the design team of Google hiring are not made up of HR personnel, it could be construed as a violation of Federal labor law.
There is nothing illegal about the design team participating in or even running the hiring process.
>HR design team and hiring (non-HR) team are one and the same playing fast and loose with privilege info, many lawyers will be all over this.
There is nothing illegal about this either. You have to show discrimination took place. Many companies separate some roles simply for additional legal protection.
>Of course, I am unwilling to find out because my priorities lies elsewhere but if and when I learn of the next Deaf applicant that got turned away because of lack of direct call support, then my priority of my legal team will change.
You weren't turned away. You refused to tell them you needed direct call accommodation, and then act like a victim when they didn't know. Do you expect them to read minds? Do you expect them to accommodate every possible request from applicants without need for explanation?
If you go to court, google will show it's HR policies and process for accommodating applicants that notify HR of their needs. They will point to applicants that asked for accommodation, and all the times HR provided it. They will then point out the fact that you or the next similar applicant did not inform them, and explain to the court that they are not mind readers.
That … was on the advice of my lawyer.
You, however, probably need to consult your legal team.
It seems there is something like an impedance mismatch between Deafies and Hearies and sometimes the sparks fly furiously.
C'est la vie.
If the intent of hiding your disability is to prevent possible discrimination during the process, you are defeating the intent staying quiet and guaranteeing the application fails.
IMO they did nothing discriminatory.
Granted, I don't know where you're situated, and from what I hear the hiring process in the US is sketchy, but this sounds like an easy problem to fix, if it's even a problem at all.
The continued success or longevity of an organization doesn't say much about how it's functioning, mostly because it doesn't address how much better it could have been doing or who is not in the organization.
I've personally been involved with more than one general contractor going under. When I was a young carpenter, I followed my best friend from job to job and contractor to contractor. When he walked off a job, the rest of us followed. He and I and a group of Dominicans (from Dominica not the DR) put more than one GC out of business because we'd walk and then we'd tell everyone we knew that they shouldn't work for said GC.
When I became older and my friend moved away, I took his place. It was so satisfying leaving a job and then receiving a phone call from the client a few days/week later asking me and the crew to come back and finish with promises that the GC would be out of the picture.
It's incredibly difficult to find skilled tradesman in the Caribbean that will show up sober each day and perform quality work. We always had the long end of the stick.
Sounds like the archetype of "being a manager means being angry at people. business knowledge optional"
There's a lot to unpack in that sentence. Care to elaborate?
workers show up sober, that's not the problem. Problem is they are not trained in the trade.
Never heard of vibrating concrete. Or curing times.
Setting pillars by 'eye', not even using a plumb line.
Carpenter delivers the doors unfinished. These are outside doors.
Door lock mechanism installed wrong, such that the door locks (once) but cannot unlock.
The painter was decent, but his background was as a Venezuelan helicopter mechanic. Left Venezuela for economic reasons.
Workers showing up without the basic tools for the day's work, so had to supply them myself. Obvious stuff like blades for the angle grinders.
Oh, and coordinating supplies and work, nah, not really a thing.
The biggest challenge I've had is that trade schools and certifications are inconsistent, so it's not easy to vet candidates; a lot of hiring is intra-island, requiring significant up-front investment in people without knowing that they'll work out; and equipment and regulations (especially electrical) are highly variable, making it hard for a crew to deliver consistent quality.
That context gives a lot of room for crews and contractors to take advantage of inexperienced project managers and investors, and since the corrupt teams aren't brought back they tend to be the ones which are available for the next gig. When you find a great team you treasure them and even find work to keep them busy and happy between projects.
It's actually a remarkably similar dynamic to H1B engineer mills in the US. Many H1B engineers are brilliant, the best of the world looking for a challenge in America. But many are pawns in outsourcing meat markets.
FYI, that’s a trap. If there is a jobsite accident that afternoon, you are liable for allowing someone who’s been drinking to work.
On all the islands I worked on, it was rare to find people actually from that island who were capable of that kind of work.
The Dominicans and the Haitians were fine, but the US and European guys mostly treated it as one big vacation. They would stay out all night partying and then come to work and do just enough to not get fired.
As another commenter mentioned, those guys knew they could always find work elsewhere even if only temporarily because skilled trades were in high demand. So they could quickly move on until they burned another bridge.
I was on one job in Antigua where the project managers were able to avoid this completely. They flew in hundreds of people from Indian and had them live in a “tent town” where they never left except to go to work each day. No alcohol or drugs allowed.
Myself and two others were flown in to install all the cabinets and other mill work. With the except of the stone guys from Turkey, we were the only non Indians on the entire project.
I don't believe it should be compared to slavery since they chose to be there and they were paid well for their time. I don't imagine there was any other way to house that many individuals on Antigua. There certainly weren't enough hotel rooms or condos available during the tourist season.
They had quite a bit of authority as well. I was on site for less than 5 minutes when one of the safety guys made me leave because I did not have steel toed boots.
What was the name of the project management firm? I am curious how you determined that they seemed eager and happy to be there.
> I don't believe it should be compared to slavery since they chose to be there and they were paid well for their time
How much were they paid?
I determined they were happy and eager because I spent each evening with them eating and watching soccer. I was down there during Christmas, and Liat airlines happened to go on strike so I was stranded there for 3 additional days. They made me feel very welcomed. I would spend the evening with them and then walk the ~2 miles back to the small house that was rented for me.
I don't know how much all of them were paid, but the framers were making a weekly salary of $750 IIRC (or so they claimed) and that was beyond a decent wage 15 years ago. Especially considering all of their expenses were paid. I flew down there on my own with all of my personal tools, did most of the work to secure a temp work visa on my own, and I only pulled in about $1250 per week back then for work that required quite a bit more skill than rough framing.
In my opinion, this reminds me of a course I took about ethics. Slave owners and slave traders would say their slaves were happy because they would sing while working and play games like jump rope and hopscotch. The owners would also say their slaves loved them, especially the ones that were 'house slaves' that tended to be young women. A good example of that would be Thomas Jefferson and the underage child, Sally Hemmings who had his children. More recently Qatari companies caught using indentured/slave labor to build the FIFA stadium made similar remarks about their 'workers'.
Thank you for sharing your experience. It convinces me that people can easily find ways to convince themselves everything is fine.
Im from the Caribbean.
Railway operation has huge start-up costs and large economies of scale. I think a long term solution depends on the nationalization of track or at least the separation of train and track ownership, with track operators required to provide nondiscriminatory access. Not gonna happen but one can dream.
Again, all guesses, but I'd like to hear what someone more knowledgeable has to say