The Hazards Of Making Video Games

The Hazards Of Making Video Games



Despite some popular beliefs,​ the​ people who make video games are not working in​ a​ stress-free environment. Video game companies and their employees have to​ deal with a​ number of​ external and internal issues. These issues,​ inevitably,​ lead to​ various disorders and psychological issues. in​ rare cases,​ they may even develop early symptoms of​ arthritis.

For major video game companies,​ or​ those that already have strong footholds in​ the​ industry,​ the​ stress can come from performance anxiety. Pressure is​ exerted on​ these companies to​ “up the​ ante” since they already have a​ reputation for quality and fun in​ terms of​ video game design. Gamers have become accustomed to​ the​ high standards of​ previous game offerings and,​ naturally,​ they expect a​ higher level of​ quality from new versions or​ the​ latest games. This constant demand for something “new and better”,​ combined with the​ generally unstable nature of​ the​ modern business environment causes performance anxiety from the​ video game developers to​ the​ humble programmers,​ even up to​ the​ producers who call the​ shots in​ game development.

For other companies,​ it​ isn't the​ company's reputation that's at​ stake. Their own “stressor” is​ the​ drive to​ to​ outdo their own previous offerings. Outdoing their own product is​ simply their obsession. a​ prominent example of​ this is​ Blizzard,​ the​ developer and publisher of​ the​ “Warcraft” and “Starcraft” games. Both games were known for making the​ most of​ technology existing at​ the​ time,​ as​ well as​ being some of​ the​ best games in​ the​ Real-Time Strategy (RTS) genre. in​ South Korea,​ “Starcraft” is​ still played heavily despite being having been released over half a​ decade ago. Buckling under the​ pressure,​ some anonymous employees have reported that if​ Blizzard management did not implement an​ open time frame for releasing sequels to​ the​ above games (theoretically,​ to​ ensure quality),​ most employees would have suffered from extreme cases of​ performance anxiety. This has resulted in​ Blizzard,​ as​ a​ company,​ gaining a​ reputation for taking almost a​ decade to​ produce a​ follow-up to​ one of​ their titles.

Of course,​ it​ isn't simply the​ mind that is​ worked and drained by being in​ the​ video game industry. the​ body is​ just as​ big a​ target for a​ number of​ problems,​ as​ the​ mind is. After all,​ games still have to​ be designed,​ the​ concepts have to​ be developed,​ and the​ beta releases need to​ be driven through a​ rigorous quality testing process.

For the​ visual and auditory aspect of​ the​ games,​ the​ most likely problem would most likely be muscle pain and migraine headaches. Some have reported symptoms of​ arthritis. Artwork for video games goes through multiple processes,​ and it​ is​ not entirely unusual for artists to​ be asked to​ rush through the​ art concept for the​ game. For smaller companies,​ a​ few artists might be given strict deadlines for the​ concept art of​ more than one project. the​ rapid pace of​ drawing makes them prone to​ muscle pain,​ while the​ constant thinking and visual analysis can cause migraine headaches.

Another section of​ the​ company that may suffer from muscle pain would be the​ programming team. Games have to​ be coded,​ with every piece of​ art and every bit of​ storyline converted into a​ language that the​ computers and gaming consoles can understand. Most people are unaware of​ just how much goes into even a​ simple video game like “Tetris” much less some of​ the​ 80-hour long epics produced by SquareEnix,​ a​ major Japanese game developer. This is​ further complicated when there are countless possible interactions within the​ game's context,​ ranging from character creation options to​ how specific in-game abilities interact with one another. Now,​ top that off with a​ deadline,​ and you're all set to​ see programmers suffering from symptoms of​ arthritis,​ possibly with migraine headaches as​ the​ sarcastic cherry on​ top.

Migraine headaches are also far from alien when it​ comes to​ the​ quality assurance teams,​ who are tasked with playing the​ beta versions of​ the​ games. Beta versions are unreleased,​ incomplete versions of​ the​ game that require extensive testing to​ see if​ everything works. Apart from that,​ the​ quality team must also check on​ the​ other game elements,​ such as​ difficulty or​ the​ plot. Since the​ beta versions are incomplete,​ there are naturally a​ number of​ graphical flaws,​ some of​ which have been known to​ cause migraine headaches.

For millions of​ gamers around the​ world,​ they enjoy the​ virtual worlds without even knowing the​ enormous pressure and dozens of​ headaches that came in​ designing their favorite video games. For most kids,​ playing video games is​ pure fun. But for the​ game-makers,​ developing video games is​ not “play time” at​ all.




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