Don’t forget to enjoy the journey

When I began my career, I worked as a graphic engine programmer on an XBox game : Tork. It didn’t got a big press, because it came way to late and only got a US release, but it was an nice game.

The computer game industry is like a lure to many people, because it feels so nice to play with games all the day. We used to have hundreds of resumes for an job offer. This is also what allows games to be done despite the engineering beeing way more complex that the usual shop : you have this huge pool of talents to pick up to build a team.

In that pool, some volonteers were great but many were completly disconnected from the reality of this work, because, actually, building games has little to do with playing games :

Engine programmers spend their time with maths and algorithms, tester jumps around maps everywhere for literally months, game developers try every variation of what fun could be, and everyone has some dirty tasks that needs to be done like moving bytes from one format to another. Building a game last for 2-3 years, imagine playing the same game everyday for 3 years and it become hell on earth but if you love the process and your buddies.

So, if I get bored of my idea, because I worked on it too long, I remember myself to enjoy the journey too. Sometimes it’s nice to focus on doing the things, do them just well and forget about the big vision. You might even notice some unpolished details you wouldn’t otherwise.

Take care though, because that’s how all mad scientists began, by doing small things without a vision, you might become evil.

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2 Responses to “Don’t forget to enjoy the journey”

  1. phitsc says:

    I agree. It’s often the immediate problem rather than the ultimate goal that keeps one motivated to go on.

    Sounds like you left the game industry. Why?

  2. Ecaradec says:

    Tork was very late, so late that the set of games Microsoft (our editor ) wanted to see on XBox changed for slightly more serious games (like Halo ). So MS moved on and we were a studio without finance. So they had to fire somes.

    I was a total jerk at the time, I thought I knew everything about programming and I was very critic. When the finance got scarce I had basically designed myself as someone they didn’t want to work with.

    I’m much more polite now ;) .

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