Last week I was given a homework task to create a wolfenstein clone. I put around 50 hours into it over the long weekend, making a self-generating map and making it look as pretty as I could, all for a game that wasn’t even going to be assessed. The teacher was impressed, which made me happy, and I put it up on itch.io, however while I got 400 people to look at the game, the only feedback I received was along the lines of ‘this is not a game’.
We are not the same. The creative industries require people to work more hours for less pay, as a labour of love. I have worked 80-hour weeks for a pittance, trying to sell donation subscriptions to people just trying to get the shopping done. Luckily, I was able to keep that job for as long as I needed it, unlike in the creative industries, that have very minimal job stability, owing to the project like work that is on offer.
The creative industries expect you to have a passion for your work, almost as though it were a lover. I have worked desk jobs, as IT support or as an admin assistant. These jobs were most often seen as an end to a means, just a way to pay the bills, which is fine, but this was their entire career and was treated as some dull grey place that they spent approximately a sixth of their lives.
So here is the gist; to work in the creative industries, you have to be insane. Here are a couple of video’s by extra credits on the working conditions of and information about working in the games industry:
Here is some information about salaries in the games industry hosted on gamasutra:
In our face to face, we went over the internal nature of the industry, and its social aspects; mainly that jobs are not particularly advertised and instead jobs are attained through who you know, your connections. While this may be prevalent in positions of power in other industries, it is not the only way in, nor is it as widespread. One of the most significant things to realise is how close the community actually is. The people you are studying with and under are the people you will end up working with and for, providing you don’t piss everyone off of course. So what we find is that as you are in such a small community of people who were all brought up to work in such harsh conditions, not only are you expected to work like that by your boss, but also your co-workers, who all have a part in ensuring whether or not you get another job.
We briefly spoke about the lack of unions, but what I understand now is the need to temper oneself, socially and with my work.