Cast of Characters pt 1 : the Burnout
If you want to work in the games industry, know that it is filled with geeky guys. Be prepared to put up with a certain amount of ‘eccentricities.’ In this series, I offer up a sampling of the types of people you might meet in your journey.
The first personality I’d like to talk about is the “Burnout”, which technically you won’t meet in the games industry since he has already left it. A Burnout is someone who has worked as a developer for many years and then leaves the industry entirely.
Working in as a game developer can be an unforgiving and thankless job, so some turn over is to be expected, but one group in particular seems to be susceptible to becoming a Burnout, the programmers.
I’ve seen some of the programmers I respect the most quit the industry. The artists seem leave to do other things regardless of their time in the industry, but programmers seems to hit a rough patch after seven or more years in the industry and start dropping out.
As I stated in my first post, I recently quit working at 2K Boston after working in the games industry for only five years. However, I wouldn’t count myself as a burnout, because I still want to continue to make games. I would say one of the reasons I quit was to avoid becoming a Burnout.
Every game I’ve been on has been a step up in intensity and expectations from the previous one. The pattern I saw in people who burn out was an attempt to step back from the pressure but stay on the job, either by working part-time or in a support team. This situation rarely last long and they leave shortly afterwards.
I wouldn’t suggest quitting your job as a good way of avoiding burning out, but I did what I had to. So I’ll avoid giving any career advice, but beware of the Burnout and try to avoid becoming one yourself.
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