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Ethan Toney
Ethan Toney

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My First Chance With A Game Dev Community And Why I Left

Back in June/July of 2020, I started working with a game dev community called CGDC (Christian Game Developers Conference). I was part of the Combat-Skills team on the development side. My tasks were to make sure all skills/abilities and combat systems could be programmed into the game as simple and efficiently as possible.

The group size originally started out at close to 100 volunteers, but fizzled out to around 40 in under 3 months.

I worked with the group for about 6 months before leaving. Here's why I left:

  1. !bug - I understand that CSS uses !important, but we are using C# and it confused me several times seeing people put !(not)bug on features not fully implemented. "Bug!" Would've done better for actual bugs while "!bug" could've been left to features not fully implemented or mechanics that looked like bugs but weren't. Minor complaint, but it bugged me a lot.

    1. Not using Scriptable Objects - the team asked I redo the ability system for the MVP, so I rewrote the system with the designers in mind a made an easy, convertable script that turned all the abilities into SO. Management hated it and designers complained because "we will have to open up Unity." Apparently the design team wanted .txt files. So someone else wrote over my scripts and made the system into .txt, until the designers found that to be too complicated and wanted CSV. Now, they have issues with too many variables connected, since some abilities vastly differ and loot vastly differ. If they had gone with the SO I wrote for them, they wouldn't be having these issues.
    2. I offered my smooth walking system that I scripted alongside the RPG Course. Management felt that their jittery, floating above ground while moving after the walk anaimation played once system was the way to go.
    3. Management decided to throw out my top winning game ideas that the community collectively voted for and went with their "baby", that is, their project they had worked on for several years as hobbyists.
    4. The team used to have a game developers from around the world who actually built games and worked for AAA studios. I should've left when they left, but I wanted to have my name on a game on Steam. Now, I'm alright with not having my name there if it means my name won't be on a very negatively reviewed game... though is some publicity good, even if it's bad publicity?..πŸ€”
    5. Lastly, I left because there was one dev who would pull all-nighters, plus jump into every team's meetings. When you are being micromanaged by another dev on the team, it gets irritating very quickly.

The whole project wasn't about me, I get that. But I offered several parts that were very useful and was turned down simply because management didn't want to rewrite the terrible systems that someone else dedicated 5 years to build and ran at 15 FPS on gaming rigs. My systems were already built and could've been modified to plug and play, just as other developers had their own systems in other areas that could've done the same. Now I'm curious to see the game come out and see what it is versus what it could've been.

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