A few days ago, I read an article on Ars Technica about burnout and working conditions of gaming developers. For the tl;dr crowd:
- most game developers work on salary and long weeks are the industry norm, with stupid-long crunch workweeks near releases
- productivity and work quality decrease with fatigue, and 40 hour weeks give more output over the long term
- being awake for too long leaves you as impaired as alcohol (hmm, maybe the reason for some bugs)
- burnout may be costing the industry a lot in the long term, in loss of people, lost quality, and lost productivity
I appreciate the "all-hands-on-deck" I've seen from Turbine community crew and server hamster-cowboys when there is a server outage on the weekend, and I've had jobs where I have to do the same in an emergency. But every time I see a dev posting at 9pm, or see some (much appreciated) demo events on Lama run by Thoon throughout a weekend, I can't help but wonder if they're getting some time off in compensation on the other end of the release.
I've worked consecutive 85 hour weeks at a keyboard doing data analysis and writing reports, and I was hugely averse to overtime for a long time afterwards. I got stuff done in that crunch, but I found it way more difficult and mentally exhausting than doing three straight 84 hour weeks in manual labour as a roughneck on the oil rigs.
I would hope that the atmosphere at Turbine is such that this thread won't be deleted, and that devs will be able to post. However, I am curious about what the working conditions are like for the DDO team, and whether the coding on DDO is affected by burnout, or the peer pressure to stay at the office for long hours.