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Brenon Holmes confirms ongoing "crunch time" before the EA Play/E3 2018 events


Once again, Brenon Holmes provides some insight to Anthem's development! This time he confirms what is commonly known as "crunch time", to have taken effect on Bioware's employees, trying to get everything ready for EAPlay/E3 2018.


So what is Crunch time? Essentially, a sudden spike in work hours, as many as 20 a day, that can last for days or weeks on end.

There’s no easy way to define Crunch. It comes in thousands of shapes and sizes, varying based on  the type of game, the schedule, the deadlines, the scale of a team, the contracts, the publisher, the leadership, and many other factors.

Sometimes Crunch time happens because a young team thinks that passion means working extra hours. Often it’s the direct result of ruthless upper management making unreasonable requests of employees.

During my research on the subject this reddit comment stood out for me:
Crunch time exists because the belief that working twice as long at half capacity is somehow better. In short, crunch time fucks your life up. When you're young and green, it's no big deal. 70 hours per week for a month, no sweat. But then your 20s end and crunch time becomes this soul-crushing toil that you dread. Dating? Nope. Dinner with family? Nope. Kid's soccer game? Nope. Gone, for weeks or months at a time.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/6vp1pj/what_is_crunch_time_really_like/dm29xju/
And if any of you think it only happens during the last stages of a game's development cycle - you're in for a big surprise! That's usually the way gamers think of it and it's always wrong.
Sometimes confused with the occassional overtime work, Cruch happens during any stage of a game's dev cycle.

It could be that a milestone review is coming up and X,Y & Z features need implementation/polish before that.
There might be an event the game company is attending -like Anthem in June at EAPlay/E3- and everyone is trying to make sure the current build iteration corresponds to their expectations.

This sounds normal at first glance, but there's a dark secret to working overtime. It's one thing to do it for a few days or a week and a completely other issue when it suddenly becomes the normal thing to work 60 or 80 hours per week for months on end.

It exhausts the people who make video games. In a sense, video games are destroying the people who make them!

The next part is directly quoted from a NYTimes article from 2017:
The designer Clint Hocking described suffering memory loss as a result of the stress and anxiety of crunching on a game. Brett Douville, a veteran game programmer, said he once worked so long and for so hard that he found himself temporarily unable to step out of his car.

As you surely understand by now, this is what every Bioware employee who's currently working on Anthem is most likely going through at the moment.
They want us to enjoy what they are going to show to us during the EA Play and E3 2018 Anthem presentations as much as possible!

Be respectful and show these developers some well need support. Let them know we understand.
Let them know we appreciate what they are willingly going through to offer us a good time during the events, for both attendees and those who'll watch them online.

From the Anthem Insider team, to all the Bioware employees working on Anthem:

Thank you guys. Stay strong. We can't wait to see Anthem again in June!

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