Dave Heironymus is the Lead Gameplay Programmer at Team Bondi and has written a blog over at Gamasutra addressing the concerns raised by IGN’s story on mistreatment of workers at the Aussie studio. According to Heironymus “recent coverage on working conditions has been very one-sided” and he wants to clear some things up.
You can read the entire piece over at Gamasutra, but an excerpt from a letter, which was also sent to the International Game Developers Association, reads as follows.
Towards the end of the project I was probably working (on average) around 65 hours per week. Apart from a few isolated cases (various demo builds) this was the highest my regular hours ever got to, and at no time did I ever work 100 hours per week. If you think about it, that’s 14 hours per day, 7 days per week, which is huge. I can’t say that no-one ever worked 100 hours per week, but those sorts of hours were not encouraged. In fact, if someone on my team was working that hard I would have done my best to stop them.
I never (and in my experience, neither did any of the other managers) expected anything from my team that I didn’t expect of myself. The management team at Team Bondi was not ensconced in an Ivory Tower working normal hours while everyone else crunched. Brendan himself worked very long hours and few of us here in the studio are aware of how grueling the DA and motion capture shoot in LA was.
Saying all of this, no-one at Team Bondi is under the illusion that crunching is a good way to work and we’re actively working to learn from our mistakes for our next project. The people at Team Bondi are great to work with and I’m confident that we can make Team Bondi a leading game studio on the international stage.
It’s an interesting situation. There has been a lot said about the harsh working conditions at Team Bondi, and it’s very difficult to simply discount the collected information that 11 ex-staff members discussed in the original article – in addition, the piece featured an interview with Brendan McNamara himself, so it’s probably unfair to claim that the article was one-sided.
That said, it’s good to hear the opinion of someone involved in the development of the game from the beginning.
Team Bondi: My Side Of The Story [Gamasutra]