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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  Warhammer Online (Moderator: tazelbain)  |  Topic: Interview with a former CSR 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Interview with a former CSR  (Read 14729 times)
Tmon
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Reply #35 on: August 05, 2009, 06:22:46 PM

Hell I would have been happy with a few CSR war stories about dickwads and how they were handled/tortured and maybe an anecdote or two about clueless newbie mistakes he made dealing with live customers  during launch week.  Capping it off with the story of how he and the intrepid band of CSRs he was part of finally convinced the developers that contribution points were in fact busted would have been icing on the cake.  Instead he chose to waste a 1000 or so words on a story that could be summed up with "I got a job at a game company, it was cool until they laid everybody off."
Modern Angel
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Reply #36 on: August 05, 2009, 06:45:49 PM

Exactly. Nobody knows what's going on at ground level more than QA and CS. Nobody. Nobody else stares at the game for a straight eight hours a day. Nobody else plays it more as an actual game in order to do their jobs. There was a great story to be told, he squandered it and we got a piece of shit.
tmp
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Reply #37 on: August 05, 2009, 07:21:21 PM

It's not an unrealistic expectation.
That's what makes it so why so serious?
fuser
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Reply #38 on: August 06, 2009, 02:07:59 AM

Given that CSRs are the people who know the game the best it's also not a bad place to look for new content developers, assuming they are otherwise qualified.

No doubt plus its a great for management to see how committed someone is to their product and the company's lifestyle. But there was delusions of grandeur
"we all knew we would be promoted to development within a year"

The CSRs I knew had a *very* realistic appraisal of the games' faults and virtues, far more so than anyone else on the development team.

I have no doubt there are very smart people there that fought for the game and i'd rather hear postmortem stories. That was my major problem with his article that he totally whitewashed the product. He blamed gold farmers/cheaters/wotlk for his job demise without mentioning any faults and how the front line tried to resolve it, or even mention why they were bleeding numbers
Triforcer
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Reply #39 on: August 06, 2009, 03:37:04 AM

Of all the problems that led to the game's failure, gold farmers would have to be about 29th on the list. 

All life begins with Nu and ends with Nu.  This is the truth!  This is my belief! At least for now...
Ashamanchill
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Reply #40 on: August 06, 2009, 04:40:31 AM

I still say the article had the feel of a writing exercise along the lines of 'explain working in the gaming industry to someone who has no idea'.  Someone like me.  In that sense, it worked.  Had I only read it and no other source, I would have said, cool article.  It's only after I read all your comments that I said, they're right, this dick was trying to pull the wool over my eyes.

Of all the problems that led to the game's failure, gold farmers would have to be about 29th on the list. 

Lol.  It's funny you should mention that.  In one way they were the last straw in this game for me and my roomate.  While were were getting spammed by gold (which by itself was harmless), we said to each other, is their anything in this game worth buying with gold?  Any gold?  Ohhhhh, I see.

A poster signed by Richard Garriot, Brad McQuaid, Marc Jacobs and SmerricK Dart.  Of course it would arrive a couple years late, missing letters and a picture but it would be epic none the less. -Tmon
Modern Angel
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Reply #41 on: August 06, 2009, 09:58:57 AM

I read the "we would all be devs in a year" thing as a tongue in cheek, almost wistful throwaway. As in "I'm going to be homeless but my friends and I were all bright eyed and innocent this time last year even though deep down we knew it was a sham". Because that's what EVERYONE on the lower rungs of the gaming industry feels like when they start. Read in that sense it's the only rhetorical flourish in the entire piece that works.
schild
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Reply #42 on: August 06, 2009, 04:32:45 PM

Quote
Because that's what EVERYONE on the lower rungs of the gaming industry feels like when they start.

Speak for yourself, hombre.
Sheepherder
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Reply #43 on: August 06, 2009, 07:27:41 PM

Speak for yourself, hombre.

Have you been building stills in your cubicle again?
Modern Angel
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Reply #44 on: August 06, 2009, 08:16:41 PM

Alright, EVERYONE may be hyperbole. But there are a ton of fresh faced young turks chomping at the bit to do the whole elbow grease rags to riches thing while the old hands knowingly nod to them... "Oh, wait until crunch time. Wait until the rumored layoffs." And then the old hands kill themselves or leave to do something else or shoot their families in fits of madness only to have those young guns become the grizzled vets. The cycle starts anew and the industry continues to eat its own young in a smorgasbord of terrible MMOs and retread shooters.
schild
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Reply #45 on: August 06, 2009, 08:46:41 PM

That's not even cynicism. It's just ridiculous.
Modern Angel
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Reply #46 on: August 06, 2009, 10:27:48 PM

I am being completely serious at all times.
schild
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Reply #47 on: August 07, 2009, 01:39:27 AM

Don't pretend like that post wasn't serious until I pointed out how ridiculous it was. I know exactly the type of people you're talking about. They don't belong in the industry and neither would the ones that follow in their footsteps.

Look, everyone that's been around here a while knows you've got some serious fucking bad blood worked up over injustices in the industry - particularly given recent events. Fine. Great. Now get over it. Shit happens in the gaming industry and every single other industry.
Modern Angel
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Reply #48 on: August 07, 2009, 07:09:23 AM

My intent was serious but the tone wasn't. It was hyperbolizing. I'm not as worked up as the character I play on television.

But since we're talking about it, the lower and middle tiers of the industry are driven by it. I'm not sure how anyone could say it's not or that it's so controversial a topic that industry work standards haven't been written about before, at length. Whether we're talking about crunch time horrors or a constant churn of ex-Gamestop employees with enough coding knowledge to do simple scripting most companies are horribly broken. This isn't about Bioware or Blizzard; this is about Mythic or whatever horrible budget deer hunter studio is down the street. It's an industry where the head of the organization in charge of developer advocacy publicly said that if someone isn't willing to work 80 hours a week they can fuck right off.

So if something is wrong and part of that wrongness is that a lot of companies give a wink and a nudge to the new meat that of course they'll be on the dev team in a year and of course CS is a great way to run your own dev house someday when the new meat has a journalism degree then, yes, that's worth mentioning.
Soln
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the opportunity for evil is just delicious


Reply #49 on: August 07, 2009, 12:11:58 PM

he has a point
Pendan
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Reply #50 on: August 07, 2009, 12:31:00 PM

Really what you describe, Schild, is true of any CSR job for any industry.
My previous software companies 30+ CSR's got full medical, 401K, vacation time, and other benifits. Sometime after I left the company they got rid of all of them and hired workers in India. So is this a post India CSR thing?

My current software company has only 1 CSR who gets full benifits but I guess that is also a special case.
Lantyssa
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Reply #51 on: August 07, 2009, 02:49:08 PM

There are always exceptions to the rule.  Mostly though, the rule holds.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
waffel
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Reply #52 on: August 07, 2009, 04:35:01 PM

There are always exceptions to the rule.  Mostly though, the rule holds.

Insightful.
schild
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Reply #53 on: August 07, 2009, 05:00:52 PM

My intent was serious but the tone wasn't. It was hyperbolizing. I'm not as worked up as the character I play on television.

But since we're talking about it, the lower and middle tiers of the industry are driven by it. I'm not sure how anyone could say it's not or that it's so controversial a topic that industry work standards haven't been written about before, at length. Whether we're talking about crunch time horrors or a constant churn of ex-Gamestop employees with enough coding knowledge to do simple scripting most companies are horribly broken. This isn't about Bioware or Blizzard; this is about Mythic or whatever horrible budget deer hunter studio is down the street. It's an industry where the head of the organization in charge of developer advocacy publicly said that if someone isn't willing to work 80 hours a week they can fuck right off.

So if something is wrong and part of that wrongness is that a lot of companies give a wink and a nudge to the new meat that of course they'll be on the dev team in a year and of course CS is a great way to run your own dev house someday when the new meat has a journalism degree then, yes, that's worth mentioning.
Somewhere, on that doll, someone touched you. My first experience had a bit of crunch, but who cares, I wanted to be there. On top of that, no one promised anything. Sure, it probably happens here and there and sure, absolutely, I'm not as much a naive fool as 90% of the lower level game dev folks probably are, but at the same time you're evangelizing for the little man. Yea, they're put through shit, and unfortunately 90% of the ones encountered are shit. If half the QA/CSR industry had their shit together, they'd have demanded something better from companies a long time ago. It's a case of reaping what you sow.

Also, no one in the history of Work has ever put 80 hours of ACTUAL work into something. Maybe something they loved - but labors of love tend to be the OCD focus of people who can do 80 hours of work. But your average employee? GTFO with that. They can say to expect to work 80 hours, but at least 25 of those are dicking around.
Modern Angel
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Reply #54 on: August 07, 2009, 06:54:26 PM

This actually isn't about me. I was treated extremely fairly from a labor standpoint when I was working in the industry. I didn't work 80 hour weeks. Trite dig about dolls and touching does not a point make.

Let's look at the phrase we love to jump on in the WAR forum. The one about the three star talent with five star drive. That frame of mind ONLY works in an industry where you're willing to drive away five star talent. It was revealing not just for Barnett's little Napoleon complex but because he said what a lot of devs think: give me a dude who can do 85 hours of work in 80 hours silently instead of a dude who can do 100 hours of work in 80 loudly.

That's fucked. And it's widespread. There are well meaning people who paid their dues with promises of one more title being the thing that would get them out of the crunch hangover only to never get the carrot and burn themselves out. This isn't some mystery. And I'm going to bat for the little guy here knowing they're mostly not deserving; it takes two to do this and it would be nice if there weren't some seat filler in the next mall over willing to start the whole cycle over again but there always is. But there always will be and at some point someone in a position of power might figure out that maybe it would help cut down on the increasingly buggy games if you had reliable, experience low to mid range QA, tools coders, CS, etc instead of constantly churning.

As to the point about actually putting in 80 hours of WORK, that's irrelevant. At some point the guy in the office that 80 hours is going to want a family. What if the guy is a girl and wants to start a family? Are we going to essentially tell everyone over 30 or with a real life not to apply? If so what does that say about the industry? Because it's one thing to be a hotshit banker putting in the 80 hours willingly to make enough to secure those things on his own terms but it's entirely another thing when it's 25k a year and threats of firing when the entire crunch time cycle could be prevented if everyone stopped playing Quake in Year One of development. The former is real life with real choices, the latter is a kids' industry made to be staffed by kids. If everyone agrees that it's high time the industry grew up maybe we should expect a little better instead of excusing those sorts of dysfunctional relationships.
ghost
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Reply #55 on: August 07, 2009, 09:14:46 PM

Any industry with a chance for advancement is going to have heavy hours for newbs. 
HaemishM
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Reply #56 on: August 07, 2009, 09:23:05 PM

Yea, they're put through shit, and unfortunately 90% of the ones encountered are shit. If half the QA/CSR industry had their shit together, they'd have demanded something better from companies a long time ago. It's a case of reaping what you sow.

The video game industry is completely fucking dysfunctional. Management treats the QA guys like the casting couch whores and the idiotic QA guys take it because they one day hope to be video game rockstars. The industry produces things that gamers dream about, and as such, management treats the naive little tits like cumdumpsters.

schild
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Reply #57 on: August 07, 2009, 09:53:33 PM

Yea, they're put through shit, and unfortunately 90% of the ones encountered are shit. If half the QA/CSR industry had their shit together, they'd have demanded something better from companies a long time ago. It's a case of reaping what you sow.

The video game industry is completely fucking dysfunctional. Management treats the QA guys like the casting couch whores and the idiotic QA guys take it because they one day hope to be video game rockstars. The industry produces things that gamers dream about, and as such, management treats the naive little tits like cumdumpsters.
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa not really.

It's more like the QA knows they're replaceable, the management know they're replaceable and every time they post an entry level position, they get flooded.

They're really not treated poorly in a social sense, they're just not paid well enough - mostly because they'll never band together and ask for more because right when they do, a bigger group will band together and take $8 an hour.


What bothers me is how many inept people get hired.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2009, 09:55:07 PM by schild »
HaemishM
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Reply #58 on: August 07, 2009, 10:19:04 PM

I wasn't talking about socially. I was talking about how QA is expected to work.

Chockonuts
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Reply #59 on: August 07, 2009, 10:40:59 PM

I hate to see intelligent people rip each other for no reason. Here:

Praag folded.

If that's not enough of a distraction, you can yell at this noob for double posting. I put that in another thread too.
Modern Angel
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Reply #60 on: August 07, 2009, 10:58:41 PM



because right when they do, a bigger group will band together and take $8 an hour.




I thought this was my entire point?

And we're not ripping each other. We're having a debate. Sort of.
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Reply #61 on: August 09, 2009, 05:59:21 AM


Goreschach
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Reply #62 on: August 09, 2009, 05:13:44 PM

Ratman_tf
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Reply #63 on: August 09, 2009, 08:23:43 PM

I wasn't talking about socially. I was talking about how QA is expected to work.

I'm doing my work for companies that make "casual" games nowadays. Less bullshit rockstar mentality, more stable hours and a decent wage.

No gamer is going to be impressed that I worked on "Jizz Mopper 5", but it's better than working QA on some big title anyday. Better being defined as "I'm not going to get shitcanned next week because the funding dried up, or the manager OD'ed on coke over the weekend and now no one knows what the hell to do next..."

My new worries are about outsourcing and the casual bubble bursting.   undecided
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 08:27:07 PM by Ratman_tf »



 "What I'm saying is you should make friends with a few catasses, they smell funny but they're very helpful."
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Slyfeind
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Reply #64 on: August 09, 2009, 08:41:17 PM

Ride it while it lasts! I'm sure by the time casual games dry up, there will be a new thing called something like e-Web, everybody will flock to it, and it'll be all about the synergy!

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
pants
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Reply #65 on: August 11, 2009, 09:23:13 PM


No gamer is going to be impressed that I worked on "Jizz Mopper 5",

 ACK!  I'm not sure if I want to know if thats the real name, or something that just spawned in your imagination . Especially with the previous linking of porn stars with game devs. ACK! 
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Reply #66 on: August 11, 2009, 09:59:50 PM


No gamer is going to be impressed that I worked on "Jizz Mopper 5",

 ACK!  I'm not sure if I want to know if thats the real name, or something that just spawned in your imagination . Especially with the previous linking of porn stars with game devs. ACK! 

It used full mo-cap technology and the Wii version was particularly interactive.

schild
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Reply #67 on: August 12, 2009, 12:19:44 AM

I'm doing my work for companies that make "casual" games nowadays. Less bullshit rockstar mentality, more stable hours and a decent wage.

Every part of the industry has that shit, including the casual part.
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