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Gta Online - Behind the scenes - & an insight into R* production


sweetbrother

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sweetbrother

I'm creating this thread here to give the people of gtaf some insight as to what actually happens within the business and gaming companies.

 

glassdoor.co.uk is a website where Employees review their business workplace. Its is essentially a repository of information on companies by anonymous staff that have or are still working their.

 

I have seen many of gtaf members here make suggestions towards them knowing how the production should go, the time it should take to release projects and comments on R* development in general.

So I bring you some reviews and information quoted from a R* staff member (mostly developers it looks like), for gtaf to look over if you are ever wondering about what goes on behind the scenes.

 

So before you post something about the development of Gta online in the future, have a think about it first after reading a few of these:

 

 

"Organized chaos," written by a former employee on July 9, 2011."

 

Cons – * There is a feeling of "perpetual crunch". Lots and lots of milestones with fancy names. Each one is treated like it's the most important milestone ever. Except it's not, and when one is over, it's on to the next one that is coming up in a month's time.

* Chaotic production pipeline. Changes are often made on things that you thought were already done, resulting in old work being scrapped. This can be very demoralizing.

* Rockstar likes to focus on one game at a time. That means if you're working on a project that's not coming out soon, it is left to meander aimlessly for 2 to 3 years. When whatever other focus game is released, attention will finally be brought to your project.

* Work environment can sometimes be too casual. You can disappear for a 1 hour smoke break and no one would care. Very rarely do people get called for it, and bad habits are left to grow worse.

* New York controls everything. If they want something changed, you have to do it. Decisions made by local management will get overruled. Something that was approved by your boss 6 months ago will all of a sudden have to be redone because of New York.

* Multiple bosses on one project. Too many cooks in the kitchen with clashing opinions, resulting in work having be redone over and over again.

* The game engine is buggy, and lots of things can and do go wrong. When they do, it can tack on 2 or 3 extra hours to your workday.

* Develop a real-time game editor. The way game levels are being created right now is simply too time consuming.

* Recruit senior staff. Stop relying on junior hires just because they're cheaper. Some of the departments are under-performing because of lack of experience amongst the workers.

"Pros- Friendly people

- relaxed atmosphere
- great games
- freedom to grow into different roles

Cons – - The tools. The reason why the games are constantly delayed is because of the tools. Rage is a very artist unfriendly engine. As an artist, expect to suffer through tools issues on a daily basis. The tools department is stuck in their ways, unwilling to admit that their pipeline is inefficient and contributing to poor productivity. Band-aids are issued to patch up issues in the short term, without any long-term plan on how to fix things. No artist should ever have to see a maxscript error pop-up. Ever.
- Lots of artists with outdated skillsets, and unqualified people who come from other departments (often QA) simply to fill seats.

Advice to Senior Management – All the management laundry has already been aired by others.

Advice to TOOLS: Scrap the current pipeline. Go study Unreal or Cry Engine.
Give us a real-time game editor, one that doesn't require hours of exporting time. Our games would be out in half the time.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend"

Other reviews from staff found here: http://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Reviews/Rockstar-Games-Reviews-E20887.htm

Please note this is not ALL to do with gta:online but some could be related as a review was posted recently on the 17th of June.
Edited by sweetbrother

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I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

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sweetbrother

I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

Can you have some more common sense and read glassdoor.co.uk terms of use before posting. Or just think about things in general

Now a bunch of dumbasses are going to like your post. Thanks

Edited by sweetbrother
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Furry_Monkey

I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

 

That definitely sounds like someone with experience with the software development industry. It's pretty much spot on from my experience.

 

Edit: Whoaaaa!!! I am shocked by the salaries. For the games industry I expected double that.

Edited by Furry_Monkey
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Relative007

Would expect no more or less from almost any multi-billion dollar business.

 

Provided the money is rolling in and the (plentiful) Senior Executives are happy with the overall performance targets being achieved, things will not necessarily change even if a better/more efficient way to do things exists.

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I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

 

That definitely sounds like someone with experience with the software development industry. It's pretty much spot on from my experience.

 

Edit: Whoaaaa!!! I am shocked by the salaries. For the games industry I expected double that.

 

Where do you find the salaries?

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RoyalRedXIII

This has certainly put things into perspective for me, even tho you don't get the full picture just from reading this; but then again, I was never one to complain about what R* is or isn't doing to begin with -.- I just play the game lol.

 

But to be honest, I think people are still gonna say all the same things they would have said before reading this, good or bad.

Edited by RoyalRedXIII
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Furry_Monkey

 

 

I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

 

That definitely sounds like someone with experience with the software development industry. It's pretty much spot on from my experience.

 

Edit: Whoaaaa!!! I am shocked by the salaries. For the games industry I expected double that.

 

Where do you find the salaries?

 

 

There's a salaries tab on the page that was linked. Put it this way, software engineers average £36-40K which is normal for any high level software engineer. I always thought games development paid a lot more.

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RoyalRedXIII

Would expect no more or less from almost any multi-billion dollar business.

 

Provided the money is rolling in and the (plentiful) Senior Executives are happy with the overall performance targets being achieved, things will not necessarily change even if a better/more efficient way to do things exists.

 

Tru dat.

 

I deal with that mentality everyday at my job....

Edited by RoyalRedXIII
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Edit: Whoaaaa!!! I am shocked by the salaries. For the games industry I expected double that.

I remember reading something about their salaries, they're highly underpaid and have very little job security, all focus goes to marketing departments or something.

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Furry_Monkey

 

Edit: Whoaaaa!!! I am shocked by the salaries. For the games industry I expected double that.

I remember reading something about their salaries, they're highly underpaid and have very little job security, all focus goes to marketing departments or something.

 

 

Yeah, that also sounds familiar. They (the "bigwigs") basically don't care about their product. They just want the money you give them for it. It's a shame because I can guarantee that the majority of the developers really do care, and would do so much better if untethered.

Edited by Furry_Monkey
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Yeah, that also sounds familiar. They (the "bigwigs") basically don't care about their product. They just want the money you give them for it. It's a shame because I can guarantee that the majority of the developers really do care, and would do so much better if untethered.

I couldn't have said this any better myself.

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sweetbrother

what conerns me is the "bad planning/management" that keeps being mentioned. Also the RAGE engine being brought up twice saying that it was buggy and increases problems and fixes, delays, working hours etc. That is just not good enough, if something is causing this many problems you spend money and change hardware, software, whatever.

Edited by sweetbrother
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Furry_Monkey

what conerns me is the "bad planning/management" that keeps being mentioned. Also the RAGE engine being brought up twice saying that it was buggy and increases problems and fixes, delays, working hours etc. That is just not good enough, if something is causing this many problems you spend money and change hardware, software, whatever.

 

Until profits drop by enough to get the attention of the people running the show, nothing will change. They get their employees to do what they're told and we buy it. Why on earth would anyone who's into making money change that at all? Please don't use common sense. That goes out the window when your pockets are full of money.

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Edit: Whoaaaa!!! I am shocked by the salaries. For the games industry I expected double that.

I remember reading something about their salaries, they're highly underpaid and have very little job security, all focus goes to marketing departments or something.

 

Yeah, that also sounds familiar. They (the "bigwigs") basically don't care about their product. They just want the money you give them for it. It's a shame because I can guarantee that the majority of the developers really do care, and would do so much better if untethered.

 

 

Yeah, the developers make the games, but are trampled upon by these "bigwigs", and after checking around for that article I read I found it, it's on cracked though so a pinch of salt wouldn't hurt, but they do reference their sources and while they sometimes spice things up, they don't make things up.

 

http://www.cracked.com/article_20727_5-reasons-video-game-industry-about-to-crash.html

 

Check out the last point, but here are some interesting references

 

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/37700/LA_Noire_Dev_Team_Bondi_To_Officially_Shutter.php

No job security; when a project ends so does their employment

 

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/RockstarSpouse/20100107/4032/Wives_of_Rockstar_San_Diego_employees_have_collected_themselves.php

They're working conditions have driven their wives to take action

 

http://www.develop-online.net/news/industry-outrage-at-brutal-team-bondi-crunch/0109678

Crunch time, is the weeks and days leading up to release and it means 12 hour work days, weekends and sometimes no overtime.

 

Anybody who thinks that this doesn't affect the final product has no idea what a burnout is, and it seems the only motivating factor for game devs is a passion for video games, so while everybody gets mad at the devs for being lazy and not fixing glitches, I honestly believe they're doing their very best.

Edited by D3ViOU5
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xoC18H21NO3xo

Kind of off and kind of on topic: What the hell happened to Alexander Roger? He was senior programmer from III to IV and all in between. I didn't see his name in the credits for neither story mode nor online.

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Whiskey, Cocaine, Whores. In that order. Then in the mornings the play a bit of FIFA and then sober up enough to code enough to keep the share holders happy and the cash rolling in.

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I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

Can you have some more common sense and read glassdoor.co.uk terms of use before posting. Or just think about things in general

Now a bunch of dumbasses are going to like your post. Thanks

Considering I'm on my phone and there's no mention of ToS on the mobile version, thanks.

 

Also the majority of posts are regarding the management style and peoples experience with the employer, not what what they actually do. I wouldn't call this "behind the scences".

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sweetbrother

 

what conerns me is the "bad planning/management" that keeps being mentioned. Also the RAGE engine being brought up twice saying that it was buggy and increases problems and fixes, delays, working hours etc. That is just not good enough, if something is causing this many problems you spend money and change hardware, software, whatever.

 

Until profits drop by enough to get the attention of the people running the show, nothing will change. They get their employees to do what they're told and we buy it. Why on earth would anyone who's into making money change that at all? Please don't use common sense. That goes out the window when your pockets are full of money.

 

Well then gta will become Call of Duty but with a 5-6 time gap. Maybe

 

 

I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

Can you have some more common sense and read glassdoor.co.uk terms of use before posting. Or just think about things in general

Now a bunch of dumbasses are going to like your post. Thanks

Considering I'm on my phone and there's no mention of ToS on the mobile version, thanks.

 

Also the majority of posts are regarding the management style and peoples experience with the employer, not what what they actually do. I wouldn't call this "behind the scences".

 

Wtf do you want me to do everything for you and give you a link or something? So you just happened to close your eyes when reading about the management planning and buggy engines. Try again

Edited by sweetbrother

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every industry has these types of websites where all the moaning assholes of the company can let off steam. Only a small percentage are genuine assessments, the rest are sore losers, people who are let go, on temp contracts or people who think they know better than the management when most of the time they don't and don't see the bigger picture outside of their little work station and assume everyone else is doing something wrong for the hell of it.

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Also the majority of posts are regarding the management style and peoples experience with the employer, not what what they actually do. I wouldn't call this "behind the scences".

Anybody who has had a job knows that management has a huge effect on both quality and the time it takes to get things done. So yeah, I'd say it gives a good idea of what goes on behind the scenes, as it directly relates to how the company operates.

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what conerns me is the "bad planning/management" that keeps being mentioned. Also the RAGE engine being brought up twice saying that it was buggy and increases problems and fixes, delays, working hours etc. That is just not good enough, if something is causing this many problems you spend money and change hardware, software, whatever.

Until profits drop by enough to get the attention of the people running the show, nothing will change. They get their employees to do what they're told and we buy it. Why on earth would anyone who's into making money change that at all? Please don't use common sense. That goes out the window when your pockets are full of money.

 

Well then gta will become Call of Duty but with a 5-6 time gap. Maybe

 

 

I'm not defending R* here but it looks like anyone can post a review.

 

Id take it all with a pinch of salt.

Can you have some more common sense and read glassdoor.co.uk terms of use before posting. Or just think about things in general

Now a bunch of dumbasses are going to like your post. Thanks

Considering I'm on my phone and there's no mention of ToS on the mobile version, thanks.

 

Also the majority of posts are regarding the management style and peoples experience with the employer, not what what they actually do. I wouldn't call this "behind the scences".

 

Wtf do you want me to do everything for you and give you a link or something? So you just happened to close your eyes when reading about the management planning and buggy engines. Try again

Someone sh*t in your coco-pops today didn't they? So the loud minority post about a bad experience and how the engine has some bugs and you jump on it as the behind the scenes look at Rockstar. Go take a camera into R* and film what they do then come back with your behind the scences that actually shoes what happens "behind the scenes", not what some disgruntled employees posted on a website.

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sweetbrother

Someone sh*t in your coco-pops today didn't they? So the loud minority post about a bad experience and how the engine has some bugs and you jump on it as the behind the scenes look at Rockstar. Go take a camera into R* and film what they do then come back with your behind the scences that actually shoes what happens "behind the scenes", not what some disgruntled employees posted on a website.

 

 

Yeah you did. Didnt you just say a while ago "anyone could have wrote those" now its some disgruntled employees. If you click the link - some give pros about working there. Are you just going to troll, or say anything of any substance?

 

So see yourself out if its not contributing anything to you. Like most people on forums you're about to debate on something you don't know what you're talking about and isn't worth it. I will not.

Edited by sweetbrother
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Furry_Monkey

Someone sh*t in your coco-pops today didn't they? So the loud minority post about a bad experience and how the engine has some bugs and you jump on it as the behind the scenes look at Rockstar. Go take a camera into R* and film what they do then come back with your behind the scences that actually shoes what happens "behind the scenes", not what some disgruntled employees posted on a website.

 

 

That is exactly my experience of the software industry, and I'm not some disgruntled employee shouting about it. None of what I read there sounds new to me - it's just like that. Software development is, despite what many people may think, a very creative and artistic process, and that type of endeavour will always be hindered by the cold pragmatism of business. Not being in the games industry I didn't expect it to be so similar to what I've faced for most of my working life, but since it is then I believe what I read. How could I not?

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All I am disputing is the legitimacy of the claims and your use of the term "behind the scenes". No matter if I refer to them as employees or bananas, the claims made could still be illegitimate despite the fabled "terms of service" that everyone fully reads, all the time.

 

I work in the web industry. I write code for applications and websites on the daily and I know how the upper levels management can be pains in the asses. I've gone far and beyond a clients need in favour of a better system but shot down as it's not done how they want it.

 

However a few quotes by people on a website can not be used to sum up the whole objective/atmosphere of a company.

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Furry_Monkey

All I am disputing is the legitimacy of the claims and your use of the term "behind the scenes". No matter if I refer to them as employees or bananas, the claims made could still be illegitimate despite the fabled "terms of service" that everyone fully reads, all the time.

 

I work in the web industry. I write code for applications and websites on the daily and I know how the upper levels management can be pains in the asses. I've gone far and beyond a clients need in favour of a better system but shot down as it's not done how they want it.

 

However a few quotes by people on a website can not be used to sum up the whole objective/atmosphere of a company.

 

Of course not, but the fact that they so closely match my own experience, and it appears some of yours as well, must mean something. If nothing else it at least makes it more plausible than just some comment on some website.

 

I'm not saying it's true or that that website only has facts on it - it's the internet. I think you can lie on the internet :p

 

(and it wasn't me who posted this - I never said "behind the scenes")

Edited by Furry_Monkey
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sweetbrother

All I am disputing is the legitimacy of the claims and your use of the term "behind the scenes". No matter if I refer to them as employees or bananas, the claims made could still be illegitimate despite the fabled "terms of service" that everyone fully reads, all the time.

 

I work in the web industry. I write code for applications and websites on the daily and I know how the upper levels management can be pains in the asses. I've gone far and beyond a clients need in favour of a better system but shot down as it's not done how they want it.

 

However a few quotes by people on a website can not be used to sum up the whole objective/atmosphere of a company.

Yes I work in the web industry too as a developer. And where you work I have no knowledge of and visa versa. So wouldn't you giving me information about how your projects and work practises go be "behind the scenes"?

 

None of you here work at R* so this is some insight. Don't pick on every single word and phrase, term...my god. Like I said educate yourself and read the link I provided. I am not going to breast feed you on it.

Edited by sweetbrother

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I don't need breast feeding on it. I read it, as I said all I'm questioning is the legitimacy of those comments.

 

And I'm sure as you work in web you'll appreciate the importance of NDAs so I'm not gong to give you that information. The same with R*, we don't truly know what's it like and these comments are the closest we can get. I appreciate what your saying. I'm just wondering about the legitimacy.

 

No hate to anyone in this thread.

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