Friday, May 20, 2011

Deadline Rant

I've been watching a lot of Netflix crap lately and one of the shows called Street Customs reminds me a lot of the video game industry that I'm a part of.

Street Customs is a show based around the West Coast Customs company that is ran by a guy named Ryan Friedlinghaus.  They basically customize vehicles for people.  Not really hot rodding them but more like they "pimp" them by lowering the cars, adding tons of electronics, big wheels, and fancy paint jobs you know, nothing to do with speed at all just flash and bling.  Their customers are generally the rich and famous that can't stand owning a car that might look like somebody elses.

So anyway this show completely pisses me off because the management style Ryan displays is ridiculous!  Generally speaking what happens is a celeb walks in and says I want something outrageously custom and I want it in a week.  Ryan says, "No problem." and at that point he has shrugged the responsibility of getting it done off onto his employees.

From that point on he spends the rest of the project yelling at his employees to work late nights and weekends to finish in the insane time frame that he himself created and if it doesn't happen he blames them instead of himself.  As a manager and owner of the company it is completely his responsibility to create realistic deadline that allow his employees the time they need to not only finish but complete it at a level of quality that is expected.  If they truly are the "world famous" West Coast Customs that they claim then even celebrities can have the patience to wait for their high quality products.  If not then go get crappier quality from someone else.  Go tell Bugatti that you want a Veyron in a rush and they'll tell you to stuff it.

The same thing happens in video games.  Publishers want ground breaking innovation in a ridiculously short time period which forces everyone to work insane hours to complete it.  For the publisher it's all gravy because the employees are all salary and don't get overtime so they get the product out faster and cheaper.  They have no motivation to make realistic deadlines other than a higher level of quality which they expect anyway.  It's all simply an insane circle.

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