3/7/2017 8:21:42 AM
Game developers and crunchtime
Game Developer Crunchtime,Fast Game Development,Game Industry,Mobile Gaming
App Developer Magazine

Game developers and crunchtime

Richard Harris Richard Harris in Game Development Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Game developers facing crunchtime should read this interview with Patric Palm, CEO of Favro and Hansoft to get insight into helping the situation.

Lets admit it, game development (for most of us) is far more exciting than working out some business logic problem with databases and custom views - right? But it's not all fun and "games". As with every avenue of programming and design, there are deadlines, and things that keep you at the office late. 

But crunchtime and game development seem to be joined at the hip, especially in these days of continuous release cycles and never being really "finished". So we recently sat down with Patric Palm, CEO of Favro and Hansoft to talk about it all, and what - if anything, you can do to prevent crunchtime.

ADM: Do you think 'crunchtime' is still a problem in the game industry? Why or why not?

Palm: It’s still a problem but less than before. Before it was long death marches at small pay. Still some of the most creative smart people around signed up for it willingly because game development is just so much more interesting, challenging and fun than most other jobs. Today many studios are more professionally managed and the pay is also relatively better. You might work crazy hours, but at least your pay is more on par with other crazy hour industries.

ADM: Do have a sense of whether managers are the ones who restrain their employees from doing crunch? Do employees want to crunch without realizing the cost to their health and well-being? Or are people being forced to crunch when they’d rather not?

Palm: It's no single ones fault. Everyone wants to make fantastic games and every amazing game created has been a heroic journey with plenty pain along the road. Teams want it, managers want it, investors want it. The real winners are the gamers that can sit back and enjoy the results.

ADM: With mobile, it seems like crunchtime could become even more of a problem as updates are happening all the time. It's an always-on environment. Do you agree? How do you think mobile gaming will impact 'crunchtime'?

Palm: I actually think mobile and Gaming-as-a-Service reduces crunch time. In this environment you simply have to manage continuous delivery to survive and you don't have the option to solve problems created by poor production management with a 6 month death march.
Patric Palm
Patric Palm, CEO of Favro
and Hansoft, a project
management software

ADM: What can companies do today to prevent 'crunchtime' from becoming a problem within their organization?

Palm: If you look at the amount of time being wasted and work that needs to be redone because of teams being out of sync you find what to fix. The difference between an organization with teams out of sync, and a studio where development teams are empowered an efficient and aligned with each other is massive.

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