Hi I’m a 2d freelance artist thinking about getting into game development. I’m slightly worried about the horrible news about crunch times and bad work environments. Sexism too. If you don’t mind what’s your opinion of these?
I wouldn’t worry too much about the horror stories you hear. Yes they do happen and avoid those companies if you can, but majority of the studios in the industry are great places to work and have a good (or at least decent) work/life balance. If the whole game industry was the dumpster fire some (usually none industry) people seem to think it is, it wouldn’t exist.
Of course this also depends a lot of the country you’re in. I’m sorry to say but in general the US has a relatively shitty work culture, not as bad as some Asian countries, but still not something people should consider as normal. Though I’ve been hearing is that it’s been getting a lot better lately, and hopefully will continue to do so in the future.
(European) countries, where non-compensated overtime is illegal and there are mandatory vacations, are unsurprisingly much better when it comes to work/life balance. Crunch is a thing sometimes, but good studios compensate it in some way. If a studio says long crunches are a necessary part of game development and can’t be avoided, they’re just shitty project managers imo.
But still, game industry in general is a dream job to many (myself included) and that’s why it’s often easy to lose yourself in an interesting project. I’m guilty of working 8hrs and then 6-7 more on work/my own stuff at home, just because I want to.
It’s hard to say anything about sexism since I live in my Nordic bubble, but I’d say generally the industry is a lot better than the players/fans would make you think. We’re mostly just normal guys and gals who love games. Of course there are idiots here and there but I can honestly say I’ve encoutered just one case of (mild) sexism in my career and it was kinda hilarious tbh. But again, Nordics are kinda special in that regard so I might have an unrealistic view.
Generally speaking: a good workplace attracts good individuals and the other way around so you just have to find the ones you want to work for.