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Dev Diary #110 - A Study in Black

Greetings!

A few weeks ago we shared our floor plan for the future, and this week I’d like to give you some tidbits from the studio itself. I will tell you a bit about the history of our studio and what we are about - interlaced with random quotes from the team collected throughout the year (courtesy of Wokeg - I think they paint a pretty accurate picture of the minds in our midst).
So if you are eagerly awaiting updates on what’s coming for the actual game, I’m afraid you will have to wait a little longer.

Firstly though, a brief introduction might be in order since I am very much a ‘behind the scenes’ kind of character (and you will rarely catch me writing diaries):
I was the Lead Producer on Crusader Kings III (until after its release in 2020). Having then spent some time with the space faring folks over in the Stellaris studio, I rejoined the CK3 team at the start of this year to create Studio Black - home of Crusader Kings - as the Studio Manager. And here we are.

Quote_pt1.png

Random quotes, part 1

PDS - A Tale of Studios​


The story of Paradox Development Studio goes back more than a quarter of a century - a pretty incredible feat in itself and a testament to the sheer talent, passion and motivation of the people working here. As we’ve added more games and grown the studio over the years, there came a point where we wanted to get the studio closer to to our games again, and at the end of 2020 PDS was divided into three sub-studios: Green (Stellaris), Gold (Hearts of Iron) and Red (Crusader Kings & Victoria). At this point, our friends at Europa Universalis had already set sail to warmer latitudes and set up Tinto in Spain.

As Victoria III was ramping up their efforts (and a big shout-out and CONGRATULATIONS is in order - the release is happening TODAY :D ), it was time to build a castle of our own, hence studio Black was born on February 14th (I’m sure you can figure out why I chose this date).

Quote_pt2.png

Random quotes, part 2

Court Positions​


Having the right people in the right place is of course paramount to any kind of development - in our case, that means we rely on our Programmers, Designers, Artists, QA Testers and Producers to bring our game to life, with the help of central support from Audio, Engine Team, User Research, Marketing and many other departments.
Building a studio around an existing development team is quite a luxury - most often, you would start from scratch; with limited funding, resources and just a great dream (and hopefully a team) to carry you forward. In our case, it was rather the other way around (great game & team = check!), which means we can focus more on filling skill gaps and making sure we have a good support structure in place.

Quote_pt3.png

Random quotes, part 3

Character DNA​


You might think that with the roots firmly planted in the dynasty of PDS, we all share the same culture DNA? You’d be wrong. Something I discovered back in the day (moving from the EU4 team to the CK2 team at the time), was how some subtle, yet noticeable, parts of the team culture seemed to stem from a very central core. This theory was confirmed as I stepped away to the realm of Stellaris for a while; the essence of the project team culture was as firmly rooted around Jeff and other shared moments as CK ever was around… keeping it in the family.
However quirky and meme-friendly each game teams culture might be, there are also some very noticeable similarities that confirms what Paradox is very much about, when it boils down to it: Helpful, Curious & Nerdy (in that ‘Hey, I’m really into cross-stitching medieval tapestry, want to know more?’ kind of way).

Quote_pt4.png

Random quotes, part 4

Keeping the Legacy​


So where are we headed as a studio, you might ask? Well, we are all here to keep the legacy of Crusader Kings alive and well. We have an amazing game at the earlier stage of its lifespan, and a team of highly creative and skilled people to help realize the incredible potential of CK3. I won’t pretend that 2 years of pandemic haven’t had an impact on our work, but we are truly committed to keep making releases for CK3 that we are proud of - and that we hope you will find hundreds (maybe thousands?) of hours of enjoyment from, for many years to come!


That’s it for today folks, next time we’ll have some more game specific updates for you all!

CK3_Team.png

A part of our team, having a royal blast at this year's PDXCON!
 
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Did the development of Victoria III have any impact on the development of Crusader Kings III?
 
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"Can Satan give me my balls back?"
"Wife became a necrophile, should I divorce her ASAP?"
"Is it possible to eat the prophet?"
"My husband keeps committing suicide."
"How difficult is it to strangle an 8 year-old?"
“How difficult is it to strangle an infant/toddler?” is giving me strong flashbacks to every game of CK2 I’ve ever played.
 
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So, Studio Black is based in Stockholm, right? And based on job listings I have seen before, Paradox Thalassic in Malmö is also involved in the development of CK3? I'm curious about how the collaboration works. Do you focus on different aspects of the game?
 
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Meka66

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So, one last question than, if there ever isn't any "crunch" why do we always see messages about taking off after release for a well deserved break? I always assumed that was due to crunch and I agree with that, but if you are still just working your 32 to 40 hours a week, not sure what it is in Sweden like you normally do, why a special break after release?
We may not be in the office until past midnight in the lead-up to a release, but we're still working damn hard to get these games out the door in a state that we can be proud of.

I can promise you, if we adopted the style of development you're advocating for in this post, the only thing that would happen as a result is everyone would be tired, unable to focus, and most likely a lot of our best people would quit. We're not mindless drones tapping away at a keyboard all day, we're human like you and we enjoy what we do. It's not in anyone's best interest to crack the whip on a group of passionate talented people to make us "work harder", that's just not how the world works.

But, you can always roleplay as that kind of boss in our new game Victoria 3 available for purchase now on store dot steampowered dot com!
 
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I don't think there is any doubt that Royal Court missed its deadline last year. Pretty sure internally you planned on having an expansion pack released in 2021. Anyway, that is fine if your culture is no crunch.

I'm 50 years old and I've been in software development for over 20 years. I've never felt crunch to be a "bad" thing unless it was misused e.g. you can't crunch all the time. Maybe its a generational or age thing, but I've always done some of my best work on a deadline. I've always been a burst worker e.g. I like to work 10 to 16 hour days for a period of time, then take off.

The software products we've done usually have a month to three months of crunch. Anything more than that we would determine we need to push the release. After release and the "red zone" "hot zone" whatever you would call it, we give people off and they have very reduced work schedules for at least as many months as the "crunch" went on.

So our dev cycle is low at the start, then ramps up to a steady pace then peaks a few months before release, then after post support craters down low again.

You and I have pretty different values on what makes a game team tick, then, I'm afraid. I've been in this industry for a decade now, and I've seen enough bright and motivated young people with dreams and ambitions of making it in the industry burn out through crunch to never ever be a supporter of it, to say nothing of the people in your situation who get way less of a chance to see their family and young children.

When you institute crunch, you harm morale, long-term productivity, happiness and also quality. If we had crunched on Royal Court it might've been out sooner, but it also would've been worse and the repercussions would still be being felt right now, let alone in a year's time. It's simply not a good way to develop video games.

So, one last question than, if there ever isn't any "crunch" why do we always see messages about taking off after release for a well deserved break? I always assumed that was due to crunch and I agree with that, but if you are still just working your 32 to 40 hours a week, not sure what it is in Sweden like you normally do, why a special break after release?

Because releases are stressful and breaks are important. Even if you're working the same hours, the intensity always ramps up a little towards a release, and it's good to have time to mentally reset. It helps us avoid burnout, makes people happier and more productive, and also gives us some valuable downtime to rejig our processes and make some fun passion project content.

I think missing Royal court in 2021, was less than ideal. I would of thought having some crunch for the last three months of 2021 to make the release hit before year end would of been what I worked towards.

Well, I can tell you for a fact for me at least that would've been incredibly counterproductive. Like I said earlier, it might've been out sooner, but it'd have been worse and it'd have a reasonably high human cost. Some things are just not worth it.

So, Studio Black is based in Stockholm, right? And based on job listings I have seen before, Paradox Thalassic in Malmö is also involved in the development of CK3? I'm curious about how the collaboration works. Do you focus on different aspects of the game?

Thalassic have worked alongside Studio Black as an extension of the game team, the two studios working in tandem but primarily with separated projects. Most recently you'll have seen Fate of Iberia led by Thalassic, for example, made whilst Studio Black was focused on Royal Court. We don't focus on different aspects of the game past that - Thalassic don't only work on intrigue and schemes and Black only work on warfare or anything like that - but depending on what we're developing we do tend to be spending the majority of our time on certain aspects of the game just by default, but that's just software development.

Obviously, having two teams, one larger and one smaller, spread across two different cities presents a challenge. It's not as bad as you'd think given the pandemic has trained us well when it comes to remote meetings and the like, but being able to grab someone and chat face to face remains a really big advantage that you lose when there's the width of Sweden between you and the other office. But that's just life innit!
 
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I would be interested to know, how you got into coding? (wth you meaning the people at the CK development studio)
^^' Dunno if ye're counting designers in that, but personally, I got into scripting after pestering my coworkers about niche content for CK2 too many times. Past a certain point they just said "do it yourself and we'll look it over", and I gave it a bash.
if i learn how to program and come join your studio will i be allowed to sit in the big chair instead of mr oltner sometimes
:eyes: I cannot confirm that the team regularly sits in Oltner's chair and makes grand proclamations whilst he's away.
So, Studio Black is based in Stockholm, right? And based on job listings I have seen before, Paradox Thalassic in Malmö is also involved in the development of CK3? I'm curious about how the collaboration works. Do you focus on different aspects of the game?
That is correct - generally, we've worked very closely together throughout their time with us, but we are different studios and Thalassic grows more independent with time (which means that we do tend to focus on different areas nowadays even though we haven't always historically).
 
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You and I have pretty different values on what makes a game team tick, then, I'm afraid. I've been in this industry for a decade now, and I've seen enough bright and motivated young people with dreams and ambitions of making it in the industry burn out through crunch to never ever be a supporter of it, to say nothing of the people in your situation who get way less of a chance to see their family and young children.

When you institute crunch, you harm morale, long-term productivity, happiness and also quality. If we had crunched on Royal Court it might've been out sooner, but it also would've been worse and the repercussions would still be being felt right now, let alone in a year's time. It's simply not a good way to develop video games.



Because releases are stressful and breaks are important. Even if you're working the same hours, the intensity always ramps up a little towards a release, and it's good to have time to mentally reset. It helps us avoid burnout, makes people happier and more productive, and also gives us some valuable downtime to rejig our processes and make some fun passion project content.



Well, I can tell you for a fact for me at least that would've been incredibly counterproductive. Like I said earlier, it might've been out sooner, but it'd have been worse and it'd have a reasonably high human cost. Some things are just not worth it.



Thalassic have worked alongside Studio Black as an extension of the game team, the two studios working in tandem but primarily with separated projects. Most recently you'll have seen Fate of Iberia led by Thalassic, for example, made whilst Studio Black was focused on Royal Court. We don't focus on different aspects of the game past that - Thalassic don't only work on intrigue and schemes and Black only work on warfare or anything like that - but depending on what we're developing we do tend to be spending the majority of our time on certain aspects of the game just by default, but that's just software development.

Obviously, having two teams, one larger and one smaller, spread across two different cities presents a challenge. It's not as bad as you'd think given the pandemic has trained us well when it comes to remote meetings and the like, but being able to grab someone and chat face to face remains a really big advantage that you lose when there's the width of Sweden between you and the other office. But that's just life innit!


Understood and thanks for the response Noodle! You guys do you! I love the work of the paradox devs. It seems like a truly great place to work. Maybe if I would of started my career there and not where I did, my outlook would be different.

LOL my company actually called me into work on my wedding day :) and I went in...

I'm not in "gaming" but develop real-time software in the oil drilling industry. It is a very pressurized industry. Downtime on rig, can cost upwards to a million dollars a day. Our software products make it safer, faster and more efficient to drill. When we miss dates and/or make mistakes peoples lives can be put at risk. Different industry with different stress I suppose.

We also financially reward people for releases, with very nice bonuses and stocks. Money is a great motivator.

There are examples of crap games made under crunch and very good games made under crunch. I judge the mental health of my team by the turnover of the people we have employed.

My general experience and the limited studies I've read (there really isn't any comprehensive studies on crunch) show that generally less then 1 months crunch is actually beneficial and can be very successful. Usually they say the 3 weeks is really the mark where you stop the gains from crunch. We usually don't do more then 1 month of crunch and as I stated, this is recouped on the backend after release, with less demanding work hours and much more relaxed pace.

We did do 3+ months of crunch one time and it was brutal, I was younger at the time and my child was only a year old. We were at the end of a 4 year dev cycle and had to deploy this software into Russia for a new rig being deployed. It was going to be the first install of this software anywhere in the world and for some reason our higher ups decided Siberia Russia was going to be the place. It was the most stressful time in my life. I barely slept and had little time for my family. My wife had one rule, that I had to come home every night and put my daughter to bed and give her a bath. So, I can see what you are saying that was rough. I'm really glad I had a wife that made me have that "rule" for family or I would of just kept working.

But, in the end it was a success. It secured us a contract and launched our new software into the world. It has made a billion dollars over its lifetime. The company took care of team financially and most of us have a story to tell now. I also bonded with that group of people and to this day the ones no longer here; we still keep in touch.

Stress, crunch and deadlines etc... can be useful if not overused.
 
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We may not be in the office until past midnight in the lead-up to a release, but we're still working damn hard to get these games out the door in a state that we can be proud of.

I can promise you, if we adopted the style of development you're advocating for in this post, the only thing that would happen as a result is everyone would be tired, unable to focus, and most likely a lot of our best people would quit. We're not mindless drones tapping away at a keyboard all day, we're human like you and we enjoy what we do. It's not in anyone's best interest to crack the whip on a group of passionate talented people to make us "work harder", that's just not how the world works.

But, you can always roleplay as that kind of boss in our new game Victoria 3 available for purchase now on store dot steampowered dot com!
LOL, I already bought that game :)
 

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Understood and thanks for the response Noodle! You guys do you! I love the work of the paradox devs. It seems like a truly great place to work. Maybe if I would of started my career there and not where I did, my outlook would be different.

LOL my company actually called me into work on my wedding day :) and I went in...

I'm not in "gaming" but develop real-time software in the oil drilling industry. It is a very pressurized industry. Downtime on rig, can cost upwards to a million dollars a day. Our software products make it safer, faster and more efficient to drill. When we miss dates and/or make mistakes peoples lives can be put at risk. Different industry with different stress I suppose.

We also financially reward people for releases, with very nice bonuses and stocks. Money is a great motivator.

There are examples of crap games made under crunch and very good games made under crunch. I judge the mental health of my team by the turnover of the people we have employed.

My general experience and the limited studies I've read (there really isn't any comprehensive studies on crunch) show that generally less then 1 months crunch is actually beneficial and can be very successful. Usually they say the 3 weeks is really the mark where you stop the gains from crunch. We usually don't do more then 1 month of crunch and as I stated, this is recouped on the backend after release, with less demanding work hours and much more relaxed pace.

We did do 3+ months of crunch one time and it was brutal, I was younger at the time and my child was only a year old. We were at the end of a 4 year dev cycle and had to deploy this software into Russia for a new rig being deployed. It was going to be the first install of this software anywhere in the world and for some reason our higher ups decided Siberia Russia was going to be the place. It was the most stressful time in my life. I barely slept and had little time for my family. My wife had one rule, that I had to come home every night and put my daughter to bed and give her a bath. So, I can see what you are saying that was rough. I'm really glad I had a wife that made me have that "rule" for family or I would of just kept working.

But, in the end it was a success. It secured us a contract and launched our new software into the world. It has made a billion dollars over its lifetime. The company took care of team financially and most of us have a story to tell now. I also bonded with that group of people and to this day the ones no longer here; we still keep in touch.

Stress, crunch and deadlines etc... can be useful if not overused.
I’m really sorry that your work history has been full of exploitation. Your workplace was wrong to treat you like that.

When you talk of the success of crunch and how it’s benefits fall off after a month, you are talking about the money made versus the cost the company pays for … let’s say, wear and tear on its workers.

The company, the bosses, calculate that in money, but what we’re really talking about is people’s lives. Missed family time (as you experienced); the physical, physiological (especially metabolic), and mental damage of stress and exhaustion; the accidents driving home from work exhausted.

But the bosses made money and passed some of that on to you. Maybe you lucked out and are financially comfortable, but for most workers, the money they get is far less than the sum of the value of their work produced and the cost of the damage done to them during crunch. If that’s not you, that’s great, but then the question becomes “if everyone profited even with exploitive work conditions, where is the cost being pushed off onto?”

I have the answer (or answers, rather, a lot of them, some even in my own body) for that, but it is a topic for the Vic3 forums, let’s say.

So, yes. Crunch is bad, I’m sorry you were treated like that.

Absolutely unrelated question to the above, does the Union at PDX’s various studios represent all staff?
 
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Understood and thanks for the response Noodle! You guys do you! I love the work of the paradox devs. It seems like a truly great place to work. Maybe if I would of started my career there and not where I did, my outlook would be different.

LOL my company actually called me into work on my wedding day :) and I went in...

I'm not in "gaming" but develop real-time software in the oil drilling industry. It is a very pressurized industry. Downtime on rig, can cost upwards to a million dollars a day. Our software products make it safer, faster and more efficient to drill. When we miss dates and/or make mistakes peoples lives can be put at risk. Different industry with different stress I suppose.

We also financially reward people for releases, with very nice bonuses and stocks. Money is a great motivator.

There are examples of crap games made under crunch and very good games made under crunch. I judge the mental health of my team by the turnover of the people we have employed.

My general experience and the limited studies I've read (there really isn't any comprehensive studies on crunch) show that generally less then 1 months crunch is actually beneficial and can be very successful. Usually they say the 3 weeks is really the mark where you stop the gains from crunch. We usually don't do more then 1 month of crunch and as I stated, this is recouped on the backend after release, with less demanding work hours and much more relaxed pace.

We did do 3+ months of crunch one time and it was brutal, I was younger at the time and my child was only a year old. We were at the end of a 4 year dev cycle and had to deploy this software into Russia for a new rig being deployed. It was going to be the first install of this software anywhere in the world and for some reason our higher ups decided Siberia Russia was going to be the place. It was the most stressful time in my life. I barely slept and had little time for my family. My wife had one rule, that I had to come home every night and put my daughter to bed and give her a bath. So, I can see what you are saying that was rough. I'm really glad I had a wife that made me have that "rule" for family or I would of just kept working.

But, in the end it was a success. It secured us a contract and launched our new software into the world. It has made a billion dollars over its lifetime. The company took care of team financially and most of us have a story to tell now. I also bonded with that group of people and to this day the ones no longer here; we still keep in touch.

Stress, crunch and deadlines etc... can be useful if not overused.

It is a little telling that you support the idea of crunch as a manager. Your job is to spend other people's time to deliver a product. Yes, you had to make sacrifices too in crunch and I am really sorry about that particularly because many of the example you gave are irreplaceable moments.

The fundamental contract of a worker too is do work get paid and in the US the punishment is not obeying is to be fired and potentially homeless. This is an oppressive system and tends to keep people in positions even if it is bad for them and, quite literally, killing them. This makes turnover a bad proxy for mental health, especially in US deregulated labor markets.

If we're using anecdotes, I can say I have seen projects delivered under crunch too especially since I work in science which is 200% crunch, 100% of the time. I can't help but to think there would be fewer issues with our results, more creative work and happier people working in science if we all collectively learned to chill and take our foot off the gas. All we see instead are distressed, overworked people with no time for anything outside of science and frankly, little passion for science remaining. It is not a good situation, especially when creativity is an essential part to taking new approaches and delivering innovative solutions, which are historically big moments for science.

I cannot agree that crunch is a good thing.
 
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It is a little telling that you support the idea of crunch as a manager. Your job is to spend other people's time to deliver a product. Yes, you had to make sacrifices too in crunch and I am really sorry about that particularly because many of the example you gave are irreplaceable moments.

The fundamental contract of a worker too is do work get paid and in the US the punishment is not obeying is to be fired and potentially homeless. This is an oppressive system and tends to keep people in positions even if it is bad for them and, quite literally, killing them. This makes turnover a bad proxy for mental health, especially in US deregulated labor markets.

If we're using anecdotes, I can say I have seen projects delivered under crunch too especially since I work in science which is 200% crunch, 100% of the time. I can't help but to think there would be fewer issues with our results, more creative work and happier people working in science if we all collectively learned to chill and take our foot off the gas. All we see instead are distressed, overworked people with no time for anything outside of science and frankly, little passion for science remaining. It is not a good situation, especially when creativity is an essential part to taking new approaches and delivering innovative solutions, which are historically big moments for science.

I cannot agree that crunch is a good thing.
Oh, yeah.

Crunch conditions in the sciences, as well as competition (how many potential breakthroughs are lost to labs hoarding data because they may need it to publish one day even though the grad student who was working on that project has left and no one had picked it up since or even remembers it’s there? Haha, the world will never know, but someone probably has the answer in a freezer somewhere :)) are part of what knocked me out for the last decade.

It’s in fact why I asked about how staff managed to professionally survive during the pandemic. I’d like to go back to school for a post undergrad degree (medicine, in fact, which is why I’m not touching The Other Post), but trying to review and engage in critical thinking skills under the added stress of the pandemic has been rough.

What sort of cohesive coding and creative problem solving comes out of days or weeks long boiling of human brains in the juices we evolved to survive life or death situations?
 
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“How difficult is it to strangle an infant/toddler?” is giving me strong flashbacks to every game of CK2 I’ve ever played.
I'd like a feature that lets us choose how assassinations are done. Different options would have higher likelihoods of success, or higher subtlety, or invoke different bonuses for sending a message. Case in point: if my king is a known murderer with high dread, he shouldn't care about being sneaky when it comes to killing.
 
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Absolutely unrelated question to the above, does the Union at PDX’s various studios represent all staff?
Difficult to find unions that are global, I'm afraid, and we've got studios in Sweden, the US, the Netherlands, France, and Finland. I can only speak for Sweden, but here, all PDX-employed staff have the option at least. Sadly not everyone has chosen to join, but our unionisation rates are still fairly strong and the Swedish unions are present across all of the Swedish studios. :) We have two unions available here, one of which is a more sort of general union and one of which is a slightly more technical union that only recently opened up to us.

As far as I'm aware, the only staff here who don't have access to these unions are office support from agencies (e.g., the cleaners). Not actually sure what their union situation is, though naturally I hope they're in one.
I'd like a feature that lets us choose how assassinations are done. Different options would have higher likelihoods of success, or higher subtlety, or invoke different bonuses for sending a message. Case in point: if my king is a known murderer with high dread, he shouldn't care about being sneaky when it comes to killing.
Preaching to the choir! The murder system is flavoursome but it's been set up in such a way that it's actually a bit annoying to add to. I have hopes of overhauling it to make it much easier to add to, as well as some day adding [REDACTED] so that you can [REDACTED] more freely, which should help with the general murderability rate pretty substantially.
 
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Preaching to the choir! The murder system is flavoursome but it's been set up in such a way that it's actually a bit annoying to add to. I have hopes of overhauling it to make it much easier to add to, as well as some day adding [REDACTED] so that you can [REDACTED] more freely, which should help with the general murderability rate pretty substantially.
That's literally all I needed to hear! Just knowing that you guys want to change it is enough for me for the foreseeable future! When the time comes, might I suggest adding the same options for torture/executions, with added sound effects?
 
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That's literally all I needed to hear! Just knowing that you guys want to change it is enough for me for the foreseeable future! When the time comes, might I suggest adding the same options for torture/executions, with added sound effects?
Are you talking about the "Wheel of executions" CK2 had? At the risk of sounding bloody-minded, that was cool!
 
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Are you talking about the "Wheel of executions" CK2 had? At the risk of sounding bloody-minded, that was cool!
Never played CK2, myself. I just like the idea of choosing the methods of assassination, torture, and execution, each with different outcomes and sounds. I remember the delightful sounds of executing prisoners and exterminating populations in Medieval 2 Total War, and I'd love to hear that here!
 
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I don't think there is any doubt that Royal Court missed its deadline last year. Pretty sure internally you planned on having an expansion pack released in 2021. Anyway, that is fine if your culture is no crunch.

I'm 50 years old and I've been in software development for over 20 years. I've never felt crunch to be a "bad" thing unless it was misused e.g. you can't crunch all the time. Maybe its a generational or age thing, but I've always done some of my best work on a deadline. I've always been a burst worker e.g. I like to work 10 to 16 hour days for a period of time, then take off.

The software products we've done usually have a month to three months of crunch. Anything more than that we would determine we need to push the release. After release and the "red zone" "hot zone" whatever you would call it, we give people off and they have very reduced work schedules for at least as many months as the "crunch" went on.

So our dev cycle is low at the start, then ramps up to a steady pace then peaks a few months before release, then after post support craters down low again.

So, one last question than, if there ever isn't any "crunch" why do we always see messages about taking off after release for a well deserved break? I always assumed that was due to crunch and I agree with that, but if you are still just working your 32 to 40 hours a week, not sure what it is in Sweden like you normally do, why a special break after release?

Yes, I'm an American. Yes, I probably work way to much. Yes, I've always struggled with work life balance.

I really do love your games and the work your teams do.

I think missing Royal court in 2021, was less than ideal. I would of thought having some crunch for the last three months of 2021 to make the release hit before year end would of been what I worked towards.
I’m a 21 year old American game design major, and one of the main things they teach us is to avoid crunch. Crunch leads to poor projects and even worse mental health. I’m not even on the industry yet and I already know that the game industry has very high rates of turnover and burnout because of crunch culture. The solution to being behind schedule isn’t to overwork yourself, it’s to plan your next release better— work smarter and more consistently, not more sloppily and, for a brief time, harder.
 
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I’m a 21 year old American game design major, and one of the main things they teach us is to avoid crunch. Crunch leads to poor projects and even worse mental health. I’m not even on the industry yet and I already know that the game industry has very high rates of turnover and burnout because of crunch culture. The solution to being behind schedule isn’t to overwork yourself, it’s to plan your next release better— work smarter and more consistently, not more sloppily and, for a brief time, harder.
slides a paper over

Oh, no, I sure hope the Youths don’t learn about Communication Workers of America. It would endanger the 100% positive crunch culture.
 
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