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games software seems to [encourage|request|require|demand] considerably longer hours at considerably worse pay – overall – than the software industry in general.[/quote:bb67b8b7b6]we should probably not generalise as widely as we are. Not all companies in the games industry operate like this, ane even when they do it’s rarely all the time (although, like many of you I have experienced and have heard of places where it can be). It’s changing, but much slower than many of us would like. Simple answer is to check the QOL (Quality of Life) policy with your perspective employer. If they don’t have one, or worse, don’t what it is, then you might want to re-think your position

However, developers made bad estimates, and strive for perfection, in other industries which appear to have much more reasonable working hours than the games industry does.
So there must be something else that’s different?[/quote:bb67b8b7b6]sure there is – the economics.

Like all entertaiment industries, games are very, very competitive and increasingly so. Some companies exploit their developers in order to be competitive or to make a ridiculous movie release date (for example). Getting your developers to work 10/12 hrs per day, gets an extra 10 – 20 hrs out of them per week. Shite, I know, but it does go on.

I have turned down projects (and would do so again) rather than try and make a ridiculous deadline.

There is one other side to it though… re: the quote above re: developers and bad estimates – many of these bad practices have simply become entreched in the industry over years and years of mis-management, i.e. developers stepping up to manage teams and projects when they have no training or experience in the area. This legacy still affects the industry today, although it has been changing over the past 5/6 years

For example:
Recently while speaking to a 20+ year veteran of the industry (name omitted to spare his blushes) about planning/managing his workload he refused to cooperate on planning out his deliverables or provide a rough timeframe, saying: “the games industry doesn’t work like that”. It’s that kind of immature crap that created the mess in the first place

The three ingredients vital to mitigating excessive overtime, etc, are:
1 – good, expereinced producers
2 – solid, repeatable and scalable dev process
3 – whole team buys in to QOL