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As Cyberpunk 2077 development continues, CD Projekt Red promises to be "more human" to workers.



Video of upcoming role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077 So far I've blown up my fan, but combining it with the hype is a burning question. Are the people working at CD Projekt Red, a studio in Poland playing games, ruining your life?

The best known developer magician The series has earned a reputation for crisis – we've asked employees to work night or weekend at once, for weeks or months, but studio management Kotaku They want to improve work-life balance, even if the crisis is inevitable.

"We are well known, for a moment I am modesty, and I am famous for treating gamers with respect," said Marcin Iwiński, co-founder, Kotaku this week. "This is our hard work, [like] I hope we are known to treat developers with respect. "

Iwiński said that the company plans to build a new "non-obligatory crunch policy", not a brand, but plans to push Warsaw-based CD Projekt Red further. He wants to make it clear. Cyberpunk 2077The developers of the studio ask Working for them at night and on weekends is not mandatory.

"We've already been working on it for a while," Iwiński said.

"We have clearly communicated to people, there are certain moments in which we need to work harder, as the E3 Demo is a pretty good example, but we want to be human and respect people. If they have to spend time, they can spend time. If this is required, no one will frown. "

Of course, somewhere I know that requests from the president do not have to be "mandatory" to be what you need to do.

Upon investigation, Iwiński did not promise that the CD Projekt Red employee would limit the crisis to a certain period or to a specific number, saying he hoped the CD Projekt Red staff would help inform the manager when they did not want to speak to the manager. Additional time.

"I think this is ready for us to do today, and we will hear people," he said. "We have opened a lot of conversation here, and we want to start it."

I booked an E3 appointment. Cyberpunk 2077 When a spokesperson for CD Projekt Red contacted Iwiński and Adam Badowski, the studio head and director CyberpunkI talk about working conditions at their company.

They said they are having a conversation today in the video game industry and have read recent research. Kotaku It provides information on company labor practices such as Rockstar and BioWare.

Crunch is ubiquitous in the video game industry, and CD Projekt Red wanted to take at least one position. They were listening, improving, Cyberpunk 2077Development will be less painful than pain. Weak 3As a result, most of the company has invested a lot of time.

Perhaps they also wanted to preoccupy the potential story. After our publication anthem Last month, four former CD Projekt Red employees documented a turbulent development marked by mismanagement, crisis and anxiety, and they said they had a similar problem in Warsaw.

"I felt there were hundreds of parallel lines that could be drawn between stories of rock-like development. anthem Story of rocky, and more rocky Cyberpunk 2077"One of the former CDPR employees said via e-mail.

"Sometimes I feel like I can replace the studio name and game title, it looks pretty much alike."

Following last year's disappointing performance, there was a rumor about the financial problems that swirled within CD Projekt Red. throne Campaign for studio virtual card game Gwent. Iwiński and Badowski denied rumors. "We have a big heart of war," Iwiński said.

In developing countries Cyberpunk 2077 It may not proceed smoothly.

For example, as a contact person told me, this year the company told their employees to work through Polish holidays and said that vacation periods are fixed. Developers of CD Projekt Red should limit their holiday to a specific time in 2019, rather than leaving it at any time. One winter will be right after E3 and the other will be in summer.

The manager confirmed a lot when I asked. "We are working to better organize our holidays and streamline our efforts," Adam Badowski said. "It's a general rule in the studio, but if there is a special case, we will definitely take care of that kind of people, and this year we have it.

"And we'll see – maybe it's good, maybe it's wrong, then we'll do the survey and take care of people … If production takes five years, it's normal for four years, Next is the last year and there are special rules for this period. "

"I felt that there are hundreds of similarities between Anthem's rock-solid development story and the developmental story of Cyberpunk 2077, which is rocky and more rocky." – former CD Projekt Red Developer

CD Projekt Red first announced Cyberpunk 2077 The development of the game in 2013 did not actually start until 2015. Weak 3. Then the difficult pre-production ( At least one major redirection), the studio has a full development team Cyberpunk Before the project can support that many people.

You can prepare for disaster by adding key technical inspections. "It's always the same story throughout the industry," Badowski said. "It's a nightmare for most companies at the same time as changing technology and making games."

It has been a difficult time for companies that are marked with turnover and unclear direction. " Weak 3 on CyberpunkAt first it was the hardest part. Because many of these things have to be defined. "Iwiński said," We have a demonstration to prove that the vision is concrete. "

The demo, a spectacular 45-minute deep dive into a shabby street Cyberpunk 2077, Stole the show at E3 2018. For those of us who had heard so many stories of excessive developers, it felt like an intense crisis.

The hypothesis was confirmed by several people who participated in the game. Some of them embraced the "culture of crisis" last year when Rockstar reported CD Projekt Red felt the pressure of employees working overtime.

Perhaps it will depend on the department. In conversation KotakuSome people who have worked or worked Cyberpunk 2077 They said they have not worked many hours yet. One person said this is the best time for the company this week.

Others said the opposite. According to the story, some departments, such as QA (test), audio and technology teams, had to go through a particularly long period of time, such as two E3 demos of the game.

CD Projekt Red pays employees over 150% at night and over 200% at weekends, unlike many other game studios that avoid employee overtime work.

Many people are not enough to compensate for family history, mental and physical problems caused by overwork. In Poland, the cost of living may be lower than in Western Europe or the United States.

This is a problem acknowledged by CD Projekt Red, but studio management continues to argue that crisis is a necessary part of creating games. Weak 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 As good as possible. (Weak 3 It is widely considered to be one of the greatest RPGs of the decade.)

"From a broader perspective, we have to remember that the whole production is four years, sometimes five years, and there is no crisis like most three years," Badowski said.

There is no additional time. Sometimes before E3 [we crunch], But most of the time the production is normal and normal. We are talking about the final round for the release. It's always difficult to manage, but I know there are some complications. It's really hard not to use all the power at the very end.

"Sometimes there are unique fields of expertise, very unique people, sometimes not able to replicate, we need to work on very specific things to them, and because there is no other way, You need to spend more time, mostly very special requests such as R & D or tools. "

Iwiński and Badowski said they put a buffer on the schedule to account for unknown variables that could occur during development. When I asked if they had planned overtime in their schedule like games Cyberpunk 2077, They are demurred.

"We are not trying to make a plan," Iwiński said. "But sometimes it takes more time as a result. The internal planning of the game is really difficult."

They were also humble about the idea of ​​union formation. Iwiński said, "By country, there is no clear answer," Iwiński said, asking how CD Projekt Red's employees would respond if they decided to organize. "We do not know, we have not thought about it, and we will consider it," he said.

CD Projekt Red has come to me because I want to make a commitment to the health of our employees. A pledge of wanting to make it public so that employees can make it public. If a developer wants to get out of the crisis or draws time and the manager has resistance, Kotaku It was okay. Maybe that'll work. Or it may not.

"We have created many power functions that can be improved," Iwiński said. "We want to keep this promise and show that we are dealing with this problem very seriously."

"We have a private life," Badowski said. "We are getting older, and most people who are responsible for the crisis have families and little children, and feel the same feeling."

The promise they made when they pressed Cyberpunk 2077The last time is less than the last time. "We think we can promise that it will be better. magician"He said.

CD Projekt Red has never been told yet. Cyberpunk 2077 2020 is a safe guess, which means that next year will play a pivotal role not only in the quality of the game, but also in the quality of life of its employees.

Not everything has gone smoothly, based on testimony from former employees and CD Projekt Red's new vacation policy. We'll see. By this time next year, we will better understand how seriously Iwiński and Badowski treated their developers as humanitarian and famous.


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