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Old 22-06-20, 18:58   #3141
CroftManiac05
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However, we can't deny that they are pushing the enveloppe when it comes to storytelling in video games, and also the acting is top-notch. The characters are very lifelike.
I don't know about storyline, but I agree that the acting is perfect.

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Let's hope for better management who can find ways to make game development a less inhospitable environments. I really do think that over a month of crunch is absolutely irresponsible.
Exactly, it's all about management. As you said crunch is unavoidable, but it shouldn't be pushed to the point of emotional abuse. People should come first and the product second.
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Old 22-06-20, 19:03   #3142
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I don't know about storyline, but I agree that the acting is perfect.

I agree. In all honesty I don't believe ND have ever been all that great at story telling. They often have simple stories or stories inspired by others that they polish up well but I wouldn't say they're amazing - their character interactions are always top notch however and I think that can make the story feel more impactful than it is.
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Old 22-06-20, 19:04   #3143
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As for the crunch time, I do think this is required for any sort of hugely ambitious projects. Perhaps, they should avoid having crunch time for more than month's time, but I really do believe it almost cannot be avoided. Let's hope for better management who can find ways to make game development a less inhospitable environments. I really do think that over a month of crunch is absolutely irresponsible.
Here's the thing about crunch, though: it should always be the exception, and not the norm. It might be inevitable, but never expected nor glorified. And when absolutely necessary, it should always be carefully pre-planned so it can go as smoothly as possible.

Speaking from my experience as a researcher: there will always be a set of experiments that will be very time consuming and will need me to be in a lab for more time than what I usually am. And if they seem to appear suddenly, it just seems to take much longer than they need, while also giving worse results.

And here's the kicker: those crunching times are almost never something that appear that sudden. If they do, it is either because you weren't fully aware of your work, or because management itself screwed up. And let me tell you, the latter is much common than the former. A well maganed project will always try to minimize crunch and carefully plan it when absolutely necessary. But this seem rarely the case in the gaming industry.

Again, speaking from my experience: when I can plan my crunching periods, not only they go much smoother and in a less stressful way, but most times I can actually reduce the expected crunching time. Sometimes you find ways to do things without taking so long, just because you could properly think of ways to do it with time.
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Old 22-06-20, 19:13   #3144
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I don't know about storyline, but I agree that the acting is perfect.



Exactly, it's all about management. As you said crunch is unavoidable, but it shouldn't be pushed to the point of emotional abuse. People should come first and the product second.
100%.
Employees should always be the priority, their mental health and well-being.

@Portugalraider; wholeheartedly agree.
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Old 23-06-20, 01:57   #3145
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Speaking from my experience as a researcher: there will always be a set of experiments that will be very time consuming and will need me to be in a lab for more time than what I usually am. And if they seem to appear suddenly, it just seems to take much longer than they need, while also giving worse results.
I worked in research lab for many years and my experience is different. There were definitely those crunch periods. As much as you can plan something some experiments don't work and then you end up with more work repeating them. Making changes to fix one thing may mean you have to redo other bits. I assume it's the same for games so crunches are very likely to happen.

With this instance on TLOU2 though the story that many players have issues over, would have been decided far earlier in the process. A crunch at the end can increase the amount of polish and fix bugs but it won't change if a story is good.
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Old 23-06-20, 02:26   #3146
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I worked in research lab for many years and my experience is different. There were definitely those crunch periods. As much as you can plan something some experiments don't work and then you end up with more work repeating them. Making changes to fix one thing may mean you have to redo other bits. I assume it's the same for games so crunches are very likely to happen.

With this instance on TLOU2 though the story that many players have issues over, would have been decided far earlier in the process. A crunch at the end can increase the amount of polish and fix bugs but it won't change if a story is good.
Don't get me wrong, I also had problems like that when I started, especially for my masters thesis. And that is why I said sometimes crunch because you aren't fully aware of your work.

And that is why I now try to plan my experimental work knowing things might most possibly go wrong and you might need to repeat things. Just that can reduce your stress levels if crunch periods show up, because you are already ready for the eventuality. And if everything goes well, even better: you can start your next set of experiments earlier and possibly have more time left if "those" were also planned ahead.

But this only helps with the crunch periods you expect, not the ones imposed. And that is the big problem with the gaming industry: they seem most of the time imposed, not those instances that we all know might happen. One thing is something going wrong with your work one time and you needing extra time to finish it. A completely different thing is being imposed to work extra from the get go as something that will happen every single day because somehow it became the norm. It should never be the norm, it should the the exception.

And in the case of TLOU II, I think everyone knows crunch came to polish gameplay. But again, it should never have been necessary in the first place. Taking the COVID variable from this, since crunch at Naughty Dog seemed to be a thing even before it: you want that amount of polish in a game? You either make a game of smaller scope or have longer development times and/or higher number of devs working on the game. That seems to work quite well for Insomniac, for example.
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Old 23-06-20, 03:21   #3147
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I googled the word crunch and it gave me something about fitness exercises.
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Old 23-06-20, 06:02   #3148
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I googled the word crunch and it gave me something about fitness exercises.
Search for "crunch time"
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Old 24-06-20, 11:03   #3149
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I googled the word crunch and it gave me something about fitness exercises.
It give me something about chocolate
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Old 24-06-20, 13:18   #3150
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https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articl...layden-gamelab

Uh oh. I don't want Legend-like shortness to return, if his theory means that.
Well instead of making games shorter as a solution, why not focusing of the essential and stop spending millions on the most detailed nail (for instance) of the industry ?
On the other hand yeah I don't need games that are 80 hours long (depend on the genre of the game though), when half of this length must be about unrewarding collectibles.
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