Well, I came back from that second interview from that game company. I told them I had already made commitments to graduate school, they were really nice about it and agreed I should finish school, and may skip the interview process a bit should I apply again next year. Also gave me some free swag, including their most recent game for PS3 (here’s a hint: it made over a billion dollars within the first few days of its release). Great guys, couldn’t ask for better people or location to work. UPDATE: Although, every other student I talk to says I’m an idiot for not holding out to try to get the job… but they don’t know my plans for indie development, my need for a “break,” my plans to use graduate school research for other means, or that the company agreed I was probably better suited for another position that was already filled. I might be making a huge mistake, but I think I know what I’m doing…
Also thought about game deadlines. One of the reasons I like game development is that there is a set product at the end, a final stage, at which point you ship out the final product, take a break for a few weeks, start fresh on the next project.
With games, or any other software, Internet has allowed developers to make “patches,” and “dlc,” and “updates” to the product months, or even years after finishing. Not bothering to truly finish the product or even make sure it’s bug-free. And how do developers feel? After years of hard work, and months of crunch time, they have to keep working on the same project months later to extend its lifespan?
As I imagine it, deadlines today are when you are dead exhausted. Your boss will squeeze you out for as long as possible until you are on the verge of cracking, before setting you on another project to keep your mind from breaking in two.
I’m not saying the game developers I talked to are like this, although working long hours when necessary was a concern that came up. Such is another perk of indie development. You choose when to stick with a project and when to move on, because money isn’t as important, and demand for an extra chapter in “Goat Simulator 2” probably aren’t in high demand.