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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessYet another reason to go indie
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joshg
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« on: November 19, 2008, 06:43:06 AM »

Prepare for a tale of vile and repulsive HR evil.


Quote
...a correspondence obtained by Gamasutra suggests that some Montreal-based companies may be attempting to collude on salary caps, under the auspices of benefiting the economics of the industry in a given region – and at the expense of competitive wages for development staff.
...
"I sincerely believe that a collaboration would eventually allow us to better provide for our needs in forming a workforce, and avoid a bid for higher wages which would only benefit the employee, and which would end up harming the industry in the long term," Tremblay’s message continued.

"I know that all of us face the challenge of employee retention, but I sincerely believe that salary augmentation does not represent a long term solution."

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2008/11/indepth_montreal_game_biz_sees.php

I don't know about artists and such, but programmers already make less on average within the game industry than they would if they were doing something else.  This is pretty pathetic.
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Don Andy
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2008, 06:48:14 AM »

I absolutely fail to understand the quote, it's like it isn't english Sad

I think I got that someone is trying to cut someone's salary though.
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Valter
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2008, 09:36:15 AM »

Basically, the bosses are all trying to figure out some way to cut employee wages, to "benefit the industry".

You probably can't understand it because that entire paragraph was written in "bullshit-ese", the secret language of CEOS.
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brog
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2008, 11:35:41 AM »

I absolutely fail to understand the quote, it's like it isn't english Sad

Here's my attempt to translate.  I don't know business-ese terribly well myself though so if anyone can do better, go ahead.  It's seriously evil stuff, I hope you can understand that much.

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I sincerely believe that a collaboration
conspiracy
Quote
would eventually allow us to better provide for our needs in forming a workforce,
cheap, obedient workers.  slavery, ideally.
Quote
and avoid a bid for higher wages which would only benefit the employee,
paying someone more is good for them but costs us more.  we place the good of the industry (i.e. our wallets) over the good of employees (and their families, incidentally our customers and society as a whole as well)
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and which would end up harming the industry in the long term
bullshit
Quote
I know that all of us face the challenge of employee retention
keeping people working for us,
Quote
but I sincerely believe that salary augmentation
paying them more
Quote
does not represent a long term solution
i'm a greedy fuck

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Don Andy
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2008, 04:00:25 PM »

Aah, thanks for the translation. That's sounds a lot like the stuff I get to hear everytime we have a "company meeting" at work. It's much easier to understand when they show you pretty graphs of your salary going down and theirs going up.
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Lurk
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2008, 02:21:18 PM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand  Roll Eyes
It's funny how some people only believe in capitalism when it's to their advantage.
Scarcity of ressources=higher price, else you fall into the 'cartel' model, which is illegal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collusion
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 02:24:31 PM by Lurk » Logged
ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2008, 03:51:11 PM »

Well, I'd estimate that only about 0.1% of indie game developers make as much as the average game programmer's salary, and it's a lot more work and takes a much more varied skill set, so it's not really a good reason to go indie. A good reason would be being able to create the games you want to make instead of working on a tiny part of some game you don't like.
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Alex May
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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2008, 11:36:14 PM »

Everyone upped sticks and went to canadia because of the videogame tax benefits. So now you've got a few publishers posting losses and a few going out of business, so there's probably a bit of a surplus over there now.
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Don Andy
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2008, 03:35:09 AM »

It's funny how some people only believe in capitalism when it's to their advantage.

Isn't that the whole idea behind capitalism? :D
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2008, 03:38:40 AM »

Capitalism just means the freedom to trade with who you want, unrestricted. So that statement is equivalent to saying that most people believe in freedom until it comes to the freedom to do something they really dislike (which is also a true statement).
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joshg
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2008, 12:49:17 PM »

Capitalism just means the freedom to trade with who you want, unrestricted.

Hey now, keep the libertarian definitions to a politics thread.

Mr. Dictionary says:

Quote
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

Nowhere in there does it say that capitalism means unrestricted trade.  It simply means that private capital is the foundation of the economic system.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2008, 01:25:12 PM »

That definition says basically the same thing: if you have freedom to trade with who you want, there's also going to be private ownership of the means of production etc., there's no contradiction between the two definitions, it's just what each chooses to focus on.

It's like if I said "candy means it has a lot of sugar" and you said NO! The dictionary says candy is s sugared treat often given to children and often brightly colored!
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moi
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2008, 08:31:11 PM »

That definition says basically the same thing: if you have freedom to trade with who you want, there's also going to be private ownership of the means of production etc., there's no contradiction between the two definitions, it's just what each chooses to focus on.
I prefer to focus on the "capitalism cures cancer" definition because, surely if you have freedom to trade with who you want, someone will manage to get a cure for cancer invariably. That's just inevitable manifest freedom of being cured from cancer.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2008, 08:33:20 PM »

I think cancer would be cured either way, technology is usually outside of the realm of economics. Both the USSR and the US were about equal in technological development, with the USSR even ahead in some ways. China is also currently a leading technological power.
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GregWS
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2008, 11:27:10 PM »

To bring this back on topic, I wonder what Fish thinks about all this.  Looks really bad for the Montreal games industry if you ask me, and I'll bet he's really glad he went indie now.  Funny this news came to light near MIGS too.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2008, 11:33:55 PM »

I'm not really sure how it's relevant to indies anyway -- most indies would and could not be professional game developers if they weren't indies, and most professional game developers lack the skills required to be an indie. The two professions are about as closely related as tenured college professors and private tutors. They both "teach" but that's about all they have in common.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 11:45:49 PM by rinkuhero » Logged

GregWS
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2008, 12:02:34 AM »

I think the comparison being made is between being an indie designer or a cog in the machine of the industry.  Big games don't necessarily have more designers than small indie projects, they just have more coders/artists/modelers necessary to make games of that size.  So in light of that take Fish, he's his own man now with Polytron and not tied to A2M (and possibly a wage limit  WTF).  He actually gets to design games, as opposed to just working on them.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2008, 12:05:32 AM »

I think they can have more designers, depending on how you define design -- larger-budget games usually have more level designers for instance. Of course, designing a level isn't as creative as designing an entire game, but there's still a fair amount of creativity that goes into that.

I don't think mainstream game developers are just "cogs" or anything. They're just in a very different profession. Most of them are good at what they do but wouldn't survive a year as an indie developer. And vice versa: most indie developers are egoistic and not team players, and wouldn't survive a year with a large company.
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GregWS
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2008, 12:12:57 AM »

I guess I wasn't so much referring to the designers/level designers and more to the coders/artists/modelers that do the actual making of the game and very little design work.  And I generally agree that a lot of long-time industry people would have trouble being indies, and a lot of indies would go crazy in the industry.
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Lurk
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2008, 09:43:15 AM »

Quote
I don't think mainstream game developers are just "cogs" or anything. They're just in a very different profession. Most of them are good at what they do but wouldn't survive a year as an indie developer. And vice versa: most indie developers are egoistic and not team players, and wouldn't survive a year with a large company.
Rinkuhero: It's a lot more complicated than that. You have your 'cogs', who are very happy to do what they're asked to do, get the paycheck, and leave at the end of the day. They are usually ranging from adequate to passable in ability, and really would'nt be able to function without the big company structure looming over their every moves. Many of them come from other backgrounds, where they either failed at, or were'nt making enough money, so they read in the news that the gaming industry was the next big thing; they took a basic course in their 'field' and then got hired. Not to generalize though, sometimes you get one amazingly talented cog who manages to escape the rule.

Then you have your employees who are passionate about games, and have been playing forever and have always dreamed of being a part of the industry. But the dream turns sour as they too often lack the necessary business skills to take the harsh decisions to get the product out in time for the big sale, whether it's christmas, or more recently, black friday. They also generally have no heart to digest the horrible truth about how the product will end up being bastardized in the end to fit walmart's sales policies. But everytime they give it their best, because it's what they do...until they quit in disgust, or are fired over their perceived bad attitude.

Finally, you have the decision makers, the movers and shakers, who the press is very fond of, the stars; they sometimes have so little to do with the actual game creation it's sickening, but still, they get the credit, the big money and they take the bottleneck decisions that eventually screw everyone on the production floor. They're consumers though, and you have to acknowledge grudgingly that they understand the mainstream market, and how to sell.

I believe in the indie scene, I think one day soon it's going to find a profitable business model to allow every passionate game maker out there to live independently from the fruits of his/her labor. And I think it's going to be a team effort; I see that while people are often individually working on their own baby, they cheer the others on, they help whenever they can and overall keep a real sense of community that you seldom find within big companies.

 
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