The Other Side of the Coin

Making games is often a romanticized endeavor - it's often represented to gamers as an extended childhood. You work in offices with a bunch of other fun quirky people and have Nerf battles in the hallway to keep things interesting. The hours might be rough, but nobody's going to give you a hard time about playing the occasional game on the job (hey, it's opposition research, right?).

The reality is, I'm sure, much more mundane. You sit at a desk in a cubicle in an office (or a desk in a bullpen) and you do office type work for long hours. There are bosses who give orders and deadlines to meet, and playing games on the job is almost certainly identified for what it is - slacking.

But say you get into the industry, past the public misrepresentation, and realize that you want to be there because you still want to produce games. What happens when the rolling tide of developer layoffs and closures starts eroding your beach? That's the reality facing game developer Harold Li, and the harsh truth is that making rent is much more important than making games. His most recent blog post is an honest look at how, despite the widespread success stories, it's still punishingly hard to make a living by making games.