CD Projekt Red orders mandatory crunch for employees ahead of Cyberpunk 2077 launch

BrawlMan

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Jim and many people have said it's a failure of management for there to ever be crunch. But what if the employee's just fucked up? Like what if Bob in sound engineering completely fucked the pooch and now none of the sound systems work which force the rest of the team to stay extra to fix it all?

That's not a mistake in management, it's something completely out of their control because humans work on games and humans can make mistakes that have consequences.

Again these are businesses and there is a cost to everything and at some point games reach the point in which they cannot be delayed anymore. The option then is to release the game broken, and fix it later (which the public has been known to love). Or put the company in overtime mode to try and get things as right as possible before final certification.

I'm just trying to be fair to the context of things. And that's something we never truly get with most of these articles. They almost always just report the crunch as the devil and never address the why of the crunch.

Could be a dev team fuck up. Could be a management fuck up. But the public wants to always blame the people in charge without exception. (see the state of politics) But nothing happens in a vacuum.
All that is well and good. Yes, mistakes can happen that does not involve those at top and upper management. But you know most of those on top in the gaming industry do not give a shit and like the toss to blame. Regardless if it's their fault or somebody else's. We've done this conversation already. I just wish you stopped making excuses for certain companies or trying to say what about these people or what about that people. As if it makes up for all the crap they've done. Enough with the what aboutism. That's just flinging away legit criticism and bad practices going on. @CriticalGaming do not bother responding back to me on this one, cuz this is going to be the same thing over and over again. My stance is final on this.
 
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Houseman

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Jim and many people have said it's a failure of management for there to ever be crunch. But what if the employee's just fucked up? Like what if Bob in sound engineering completely fucked the pooch and now none of the sound systems work which force the rest of the team to stay extra to fix it all?
Then the management has failed to do proper testing or have proper oversight so that such a thing doesn't happen. Normally, someone should have realized that such a thing "didn't work" a long time ago. Bob should have lost a day of work, at most, when he tried to merge his code and the automated integration and unit tests failed, or when the manual QA people tested the build and noticed a problem.

They have also failed to allocate a sufficient time budget for "fixing mistakes".

An employee "messing up" is something that needs to be planned for, nay, ASSUMED. If you expect all your employees to be perfect, then you have already failed as a manger.

Do you work with code? Where I work, when we're scoping a new project, we automatically add a percentage of "buffer time" to the estimates for this very reason.

But the public wants to always blame the people in charge without exception.
That's what it means to be in charge.
 

CriticalGaming

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Where I work, when we're scoping a new project, we automatically add a percentage of "buffer time" to the estimates for this very reason.
What happens when your "buffer time" isn't enough? what happens when the code just has that one error that you can't seem to get rid of and people can't figure out why?

You can schedule and alot for things all you want, that doesn't mean it'll come through in the end.

Look I get that people are upset by crunch, but context matters and frankly overtime is a factor of the workplace no matter where you work.

I've said before that in a perfect world everything would get done, and things would release on time.

But need i remind you all that a plague has been kind of a thing this year. Who knows how much work people on these projects have had to miss because of it. That sets things back. Cyberpunk already had two massive delays, and the company has probably reached the point where they cannot delay anymore. That's the long and short of it.

I am not an advocate of excessive Overtime, and I've said that as well, but what appears to be happening with Cyberpunk and CDPR....well it's just not that egregious imo. I'm sure it sucks to have to do it at all, but let's not all blow shit out of proportion by comparing 6 days a week to 100 hours a week of Rockstar crunch berries.
 
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Houseman

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What happens when your "buffer time" isn't enough?
Then management has failed to give an adequate amount of buffer time.
Alternately, management has failed to vet and hire adequate programmers.

You can schedule and alot for things all you want, that doesn't mean it'll come through in the end.
I recognize that. I also recognize that people can be at fault for planning poorly. Do you recognize that?
 

CriticalGaming

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Then management has failed to give an adequate amount of buffer time.
Alternately, management has failed to vet and hire adequate programmers.



I recognize that. I also recognize that people can be at fault for planning poorly. Do you recognize that?
I do. But you can't plan for everything. Which is my argument. Management are human too....most of the time. And they have to answer to shareholders and executives as to why shit is taking so long.

Also let's be real for a second here. Let's say they abolish crunch, and overtime becomes illegal. You know what happens then? Executives issue a deadline date for a project and every day that project is late the employees are docked pay, or some other such shit.

The devil you know is better than the devil you don't, or something along those lines.

Because really what's the solution here? Other than I suppose simply not announcing the game at all until it's 100% finished. But that still doesn't address the concerns of budgets. Business are businesses and they can't just invest in a project forever, even when they might have more money than God.
 

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I do. But you can't plan for everything. Which is my argument. Management are human too....most of the time. And they have to answer to shareholders and executives as to why shit is taking so long.
In which circumstance you delay the launch, and take a hit. That's a better option than pushing staff to the point that their wellbeing is being negatively affected.
 
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Xprimentyl

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In which circumstance you delay the launch, and take a hit. That's a better option than pushing staff to the point that their wellbeing is being negatively affected.
Not advocating for crunch, but those who stand to "take a hit" are the shareholders/investors. They've money in the project and expect/are promised returns; how long should they be expected to wait beyond initial promised deadlines? It's the way of the world; creditors often have grace periods, but there's inexorably a final deadline, i.e.: delayed launches. The only reasonable alternative is axing projects altogether, and what developer wants to spend 2-3 years on a project just to have it cancelled and all their work to have been wasted and their credibility tarnished?
 
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Not advocating for crunch, but those who stand to "take a hit" are the shareholders/investors. They've money in the project and expect/are promised returns; how long should they be expected to wait beyond initial promised deadlines? It's the way of the world; creditors often have grace periods, but there's inexorably a final deadline, i.e.: delayed launches. The only reasonable alternative is axing projects altogether, and what developer wants to spend 2-3 years on a project just to have it cancelled and all their work to have been wasted and their credibility tarnished?
Unless time allocation has been enormously off-target (which must be a managerial fuck-up), or the contract signed with the creditor is unnecessarily restrictive, then the discrepancy isn't going to be that bad. Producers shouldn't be signing contracts with creditors which might put them in that position.
 

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Not advocating for crunch, but those who stand to "take a hit" are the shareholders/investors. They've money in the project and expect/are promised returns; how long should they be expected to wait beyond initial promised deadlines? It's the way of the world; creditors often have grace periods, but there's inexorably a final deadline, i.e.: delayed launches. The only reasonable alternative is axing projects altogether, and what developer wants to spend 2-3 years on a project just to have it cancelled and all their work to have been wasted and their credibility tarnished?
Normally, this would surely be the case. But as I've said before, as CDPR is both developer and publisher and their main source of revenue is GoG and not their own game releases this isn't an excuse for them. Especially not since we're in the middle of the fiscal year so even a half year delay at this point would see the profit from CP2077 fall within the current fiscal year (in that regard the postponing from spring to autumn was a real kick in the teeth for any investors). CDPR, for all intents and purposes, are their own bosses and the only excuse for crunching now is that they want CP2077 out in conjunction with the new console generation and the Christmas shopping period.
 

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I do want to stress that this is, at least as of yet, second-hand information at best. However, Jason Schreier reached out over Reddit to a couple of CDPR devs, in order to verify claims that they wanted six-day weeks rather than a delay. Their response is...interesting.

Hi, CDP developer here.
Not only this conversation never happened, but this is just the last in a long list of very toxic behavior from the upper management toward us developers.

First of all, I can confirm this conversation never happened, if anything the developers have been crunching no-stop since May 2019, where the management was like "oh shit we need to make the game, we must hurry", mind that we were barely out of alpha at that point and even though most developed pointed out that was impossible to do the whole game ALMOST from scratch in one year.

If anything, people have been dreading the inevitable 2 year death march since long before the crunch started because they know it's just how CDP rolls, dick around in pre prod for ages and then rush everyone and work devs to the bone to make up for the time lost, and none of them was looking forward to it.

We asked "what's the plan if we can't deliver in the set deadline" and up until December the answer from management was "we have to, there is no plan B", so here you go, first year of crunch there, of course, first a 2 month delay and then another 6 months of delay, and - to give a picture of how low is the level of communication between the management and developers - we found out both times ON TWITTER and other social that the game was being delayed, with a mail from Adam following few hours later.

Same happened with the Gold release, and any other announcement since June 2019.

People getting riled up right now about the crunch, just so you know, many people have been spending the week ends in the office and doing 16 hours per day pretty much since June 2019, some departments even as far as a year earlier.
Every time this was addressed you'd get the usual copy paste spiel about "we are fueled by passion, we are rebels, this is not for everyone and other such copy-paste slogans" which was a cool way to say "We have no idea what we are doing but we have infinite cash and we fix everything with more crunch"

Conversations end up mostly like this, the management saying that everything is great and cool and we have to believe in the project, our questions and doubts being brushed aside.

At the end of the day feels like CDP management is completely detached from the reality of us developers.

If you want to read the full response, rather than the part I just copied, it is right here.
 

Gethsemani

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I do want to stress that this is, at least as of yet, second-hand information at best. However, Jason Schreier reached out over Reddit to a couple of CDPR devs, in order to verify claims that they wanted six-day weeks rather than a delay. Their response is...interesting.
Schreier has shared that post on Reddit and says that it is one of his sources.
 
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thebobmaster

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I know. That's why I mentioned him reaching out over Reddit to CDPR devs. I will admit that I missed him saying that he had followed up with them, however, so it makes it more reliable than I had implied, which I do honestly apologize for.
 
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CriticalGaming

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I know. That's why I mentioned him reaching out over Reddit to CDPR devs. I will admit that I missed him saying that he had followed up with them, however, so it makes it more reliable than I had implied, which I do honestly apologize for.
Same here. If the reddit post is correct, then fuck that shit. So yeah this isn't anything I would ever agree with.

Short time overtime is perfectly fine by me. But forced long term overtime can fuck right off.

Makes you wonder why anyone makes video games when these developers could work for a company programming, i dunno, business software or some shit.
 
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Houseman

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Makes you wonder why anyone makes video games when these developers could work for a company programming, i dunno, business software or some shit.
I have a (2 year) degree in game design and development, but I work in normal business programming.
It's great. I very rarely do any overtime, and if I do, I get paid time and a half for it.

I pity the fools.
 

CriticalGaming

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I have a (2 year) degree in game design and development, but I work in normal business programming.
It's great. I very rarely do any overtime, and if I do, I get paid time and a half for it.

I pity the fools.
This guy is doing it right. Fuck making games. That shit is work.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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I do want to stress that this is, at least as of yet, second-hand information at best. However, Jason Schreier reached out over Reddit to a couple of CDPR devs, in order to verify claims that they wanted six-day weeks rather than a delay. Their response is...interesting.

Hi, CDP developer here.
Not only this conversation never happened, but this is just the last in a long list of very toxic behavior from the upper management toward us developers.

First of all, I can confirm this conversation never happened, if anything the developers have been crunching no-stop since May 2019, where the management was like "oh shit we need to make the game, we must hurry", mind that we were barely out of alpha at that point and even though most developed pointed out that was impossible to do the whole game ALMOST from scratch in one year.

If anything, people have been dreading the inevitable 2 year death march since long before the crunch started because they know it's just how CDP rolls, dick around in pre prod for ages and then rush everyone and work devs to the bone to make up for the time lost, and none of them was looking forward to it.

We asked "what's the plan if we can't deliver in the set deadline" and up until December the answer from management was "we have to, there is no plan B", so here you go, first year of crunch there, of course, first a 2 month delay and then another 6 months of delay, and - to give a picture of how low is the level of communication between the management and developers - we found out both times ON TWITTER and other social that the game was being delayed, with a mail from Adam following few hours later.

Same happened with the Gold release, and any other announcement since June 2019.

People getting riled up right now about the crunch, just so you know, many people have been spending the week ends in the office and doing 16 hours per day pretty much since June 2019, some departments even as far as a year earlier.
Every time this was addressed you'd get the usual copy paste spiel about "we are fueled by passion, we are rebels, this is not for everyone and other such copy-paste slogans" which was a cool way to say "We have no idea what we are doing but we have infinite cash and we fix everything with more crunch"

Conversations end up mostly like this, the management saying that everything is great and cool and we have to believe in the project, our questions and doubts being brushed aside.

At the end of the day feels like CDP management is completely detached from the reality of us developers.

If you want to read the full response, rather than the part I just copied, it is right here.
So if his claims are accurate, it would seem CDPR is pro consumer, anti worker? *scratches chin while thinking about how overly long The Witcher 3 is, with way too many pointless map icons and ?’s to chase*

Meanwhile, this story is about half a year old already but I never heard anything about it -


Would’ve never thought Rockstar of all places would be the first to buckle down on these sorts of issues.