Original Post — Direct link
about 2 months ago - /u/RobotHavGunz - Direct link

Speaking only for myself - and I have a very different job than Hideouts - I will say that it's really just a matter of hours in the day. I try to *read* Reddit a lot to keep an eye out for issues that are specific to me and my team, but I also sometimes think it can be more frustrating for y'all if we can't actually take the time to engage. I.e., reply once, but then never follow up. So I try to only engage when I know that I have the time to actually commit to a real conversation, which is hard. Because I think that most of the time, it's probably better that I work on the game itself.

Overall, my experience on this sub has been overwhelmingly positive. I try to always treat people here with respect, and that's pretty much always been reciprocated. Just read through this thread - I think it's almost entirely civil.

I really do wish that I could spend more time here. But between work and family and other commitments, it's just hard. I think overall this is a great community. And I know I'm super proud to work on a game that so many people care so much about.

about 2 months ago - /u/RobotHavGunz - Direct link

Originally posted by ToxicAtomKai

Thank you for your insight and what you've done for this game and community. When I made this (honestly pretty low-effort) post, I knew the hatred wasn't the full story, and I wholly understand not having the time for Reddit. Studying Medical Imaging full-time on top of being an "on-call freelance tech support agent" (Or, so I say, it's really more just like Doordash for tech support lol), it really is a fight to make room for anything that's not directly work or uni, and when you do find that time, I can understand it being hard to want to spend it engaging in one-sided conversations on Reddit.

I think it's important to call out toxic behavior, but I also believe it can be self-fulfilling. Like, if everyone here just thinks the sub is full of trash, people will start to hold themselves to that standard. And, likewise, I think if people think that this is generally a pretty positive place - as I do, then I think people also hold themselves more to that standard.

I haven't worked on many games, but I think the community engagement we have is pretty amazing by any measure. I don't know of any other game that does something like the community-driven prize tracks we've been able to do with content creators.

And, of course, the internet is pretty rough in general. So I also think you need to balance that sense of despair with a bit of, "Hey, the world can be pretty great too..."

about 2 months ago - /u/RobotHavGunz - Direct link

Originally posted by Zykxion

In all honesty is Respawns team not big enough?

I’m sure this will be seen as me being “toxic”, but I feel like a lot of issues would be quelled with enough man/woman power behind it?

Are people in the industry just not being hired? Or does this go higher up to where the budget is set for a specific sized group over at Respawn? Have you guys tried outsourcing to maybe fix issues quicker?

Kinda like how there’s a completely different team working on the mobile side of things that have so many great features that we’ve been dying to see on the Main version of the game.

Definitely not a toxic question. The team has grown a lot and we continue to have quite a lot of open roles. But additional man /woman-power in software development is often less clear than it might seem. If it's of interest, the legendary "Mythical Man-Month" by Frederick Brooks (written in 1974!) is still probably the seminal work on the topic - https://www.cs.drexel.edu/~yfcai/CS451/RequiredReadings/MythicalManMonth.pdf

Yes, there are some problems that can be solved by simply throwing more people at the problem. But it's often less than you'd think. I *personally* believe a PTR / public-beta program would be fantastic, but that's way above my pay grade to decide. But that's like a whole tangent in and of itself. But putting that aside, it is really hard to hire people right now. Software developers are very much in demand. It's a job-seekers market. And while we are hiring and growing, it takes time to onboard people, and then there's also processes that need to change as the team becomes that much larger. More people to fix things also means more people to break things... And - I think most importantly (and probably the key takeaway from Brooks' essay) some problems just don't actually lend themselves to "shared work." We definitely outsource. Both for specific features and for more major work - e.g. Panic Button was a major partner in delivering the Switch port, which is why their logo is on the intro video on Switch. But outsourcing adds yet another layer of complexity onto this topic...

The mobile game is interesting. Some of those features are the result of just having the simultaneous curse-and-luxury of starting from scratch. And also using an entirely different tech stack. There's no real "porting" of features from one to the other. Every feature in either game has to be built from scratch. Which basically takes us back to the paragraph above re: hiring, onboarding, etc.

about 2 months ago - /u/RobotHavGunz - Direct link

Originally posted by Zorreau

Yeah, I understand this completely. It sucks that people would react that way without realizing that devs are PEOPLE who also have a family, job, and friends that also enjoy hobbies. They can’t possibly work on the game all day everyday. Also, you can’t assume that any dev can fix any problem since there are different dev teams. That’s why If there is a bug or anything that affects gameplay that is being overlook, I would ask if it was possible to relay this information to the specific dev team who is responsible. For example, Xbox Game Chat has been an issue since the next gen update that came out last season. People are unable to hear players on the series s/x. I’ve submitted reports but I’ve never demanded very dev I see to fix it. I’ve only asked them if it would be possible to relay this problem to someone that can.

Specific problem posts are often the most challenging. Big issues we're almost always aware of pretty quickly. And overwhelmingly the focus is on figuring out WTF is going on - which is sometimes easy and sometimes very hard and sometimes (worst of all) seems really easy at first but then turns out to be much harder. And it's not clear if, "we are aware of the problem and are working on a solution..." type of responses are appreciated or just feel patronizing. Probably both, depending on the audience. Add in the fact that there's apparently a viable business model in scraping Reddit posts - especially Dev posts - for content and spinning that into (often mischaracterized) "news stories," and I'd say that posts about bugs can be are often super unappealing to try to respond to.

about 2 months ago - /u/RobotHavGunz - Direct link

Originally posted by Zorreau

And if you don’t mind me asking, what are the responsibilities of a technical game designer? I would love to work on a game. I have a BFA in Computer Art & Animation and am trying to figure out if I should get a MFA in Animation or Game Design.

It varies widely across studios. Within Respawn, technical designers are generally more akin to software engineers because of the nature of our tech stack, but their primary focus is still on "design." The lines are very blurry. Historically, it had to do more with which language you worked in - C++ or our scripting language - but even that line has blurred. I actually switched roles - to software engineer - in April, though it was more of an acknowledgement of the work that I do than an actual shift of any kind in my day to day. At least in my specific case, I work largely on meta game systems design. Not so much the "what" of them but the how. Like, I do a lot of the work on our stats and challenges. Not what they are, but how they work under the hood.

But at other studios the "technical" might refer more to technical aspects of systems design (e.g. the math underlying progression systems). Game designer is probably one of the least clearly defined roles within the industry. And the technical add-on doesn't necessarily help make it any clearer.

Animation is a great degree. I'd say probably more useful as you could do TV/movies or video games. I'm still not necessarily sold on the game designer degree, though I think it's getting much better (at least at certain places). I also think you could perhaps more easily make the switch to game design (if that's where your heart is) if you had the animation degree than vice versa. But this is all so new - game design degrees are pretty recent - so my opinion here isn't worth much.

about 2 months ago - /u/RobotHavGunz - Direct link

Originally posted by StupidFatHobbit

Big issues we're almost always aware of pretty quickly. And overwhelmingly the focus is on figuring out WTF is going on

Are you guys aware of the fact Loba's bracelet is still completely broken? It's been busted since the start of the season and a lot of us are just waiting on a fix.

If you are aware, could you please give us a little transparency on why it's taking so long to fix such a gamebreaking issue? Can we even expect a fix before the split ends?

All I know is that for sure the right folks are aware. But as a prime example of specific skill sets, I know barely anything about how Loba's bracelet works - other than that it is a mix of both her specific ability and the map itself working together, and that it's among the more complicated gameplay systems as a result. But that's literally all I know. So as far as the rest of your questions, I just have no idea. I'm sorry I can't help more.

about 2 months ago - /u/RobotHavGunz - Direct link

Originally posted by BlobGuy42

Unexpected factorial and it’s a big one.

I had no idea this was a thing. And now that I've discovered it, i am literally laughing out loud. Thank you.