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I'm taking the next four weeks off from Kotaku to work on this thing. So as we get into the thick of summer—and as I prepare to lock myself in a room for a while—I wanted to share a couple of quick thoughts about the direction of the book.
Like most stories, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels started with a question: Why are video games so hard to make? Book two asks a darker question: Why is the video game industry so volatile? Why is it that so many people who have worked on video games have "war stories" or trauma as a result? And why is it that for veteran game developers, a phrase as innocuous as "all-hands meeting" can trigger anxiety?
This quote from an IGDA 2017 survey is particularly telling:
The majority of employees in the industry were relatively inexperienced. Just under half (49%) indicated that they have been in the industry for six or fewer years, while 36% had worked in the industry for ten years or more. Almost three-quarters (70%) had had one or two employers in the past five years and, over one quarter (27%) had had three to five employers in the past five years. Industry churn was also reflected in the limited expectation among employees to remain with their current employers for the long term. Most respondents seemed to expect high job mobility (Figure 4).
Who are these people, really? How do they deal with said industry churn? How does it impact their lives? How do they recover? This book is going to tell some of those stories, and if you enjoyed Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, I think you'll get a lot out of this one, too. If all goes well, you can expect it next year.
Now, to go off the grid for a little while... and desperately resist the urge to re-subscribe to Final Fantasy XIV.