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Are you Don Quixote or a video game programmer?

Are you Don Quixote or a video game programmer?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.


Working in the video game industry can feel like a never-ending quest. Developers spend long hours working on their craft, pouring their hearts and souls into every pixel and line of code in their games. They battle impossible deadlines, budget constraints, and ever-changing technology. And just when they think they’ve conquered one challenge, another one appears on the horizon.

Video game developers never give up. When another windmill appears, they charge forward, driven by their passion for creating something truly special. They believe in the power of their dreams and will do whatever it takes to bring them to life.

But how do you survive in this crazy industry?

Streamline’s been at it for over twenty years, and we’ve had our share of meltdowns. But just like in a game, you analyze the problem and find the solution. It’s what we do.

The video game industry has undergone significant changes over the past two decades, and with that change has come a plethora of challenges that workers face today. 

With the industry gathering this week for GDC in San Francisco, we wanted to explore some of the key issues that video game industry professionals encounter and provide recommendations on how to deal with them.

We’d be happy to meet some fellow wind-mill tilters, like the Don Quixote’s of today’s industry. Please stop by our booth on the main floor of the GDC expo at booth number #S742.

Streamline Studios - GDC 2023

Employment Outlook.

Job security is one that plagues many workers in the video game industry. All you have to do is look at the headlines. 

It can be a tough road these days.

But the road has gotten tough before. Things change. You learn to ride the wave.

The video game development industry is highly competitive, and studios and publishers are constantly under pressure to release successful games that generate high revenue, push the limits of interactive experiences, and grow into a large audience of superfans.

This can lead to layoffs, as studios look to cut costs to maintain profitability. The bottom line is the bottom line. Change and growth are destructive processes that sometimes require closing some doors and altering the chemistry of team makeup and culture.

To deal with this challenge, workers in the video game industry must remain agile and adaptable. They should constantly seek to expand their skill sets and knowledge and maintain broad relationships within the industry. This will enable them to pivot to new opportunities swiftly if their current position becomes uncertain.

I know, right? Sometimes life feels like an endless technical manual. But if you keep your mind right, you can absorb tons of new information and put it to good use. Your best way of keeping your prospects bright is your confidence. And the quickest way to build your confidence is to challenge yourself to learn new things. Every day.

We’re not just discussing the latest version of Unreal Engine. We’re talking about new life skills, new habits, new challenges, new vistas.

No matter the pressure, the circumstances, or that feeling in your gut, every day is an opportunity to turn in your best work and live your best life. Work to your own standard, keep your standard as high as possible, and take care of yourself.

Keep up with new technology.

The video game industry relies on technology, and workers must stay up to date with the latest advancements to remain competitive. This can be a daunting task, as new technology is constantly emerging, and staying abreast can feel overwhelming. Heck, by the end of this week, the industry will have nearly reinvented itself.

Change is a way of life in video game development.

To stay on top of new technology, workers should seek opportunities for continuing education, attend industry events, and collaborate with other professionals to discuss best practices and solutions to common problems. This will help them stay current and give them a competitive edge in the industry.

Getting your hands on the latest software and computers must be goal #1. Whatever it takes.

Stay healthy.

The video game industry is notorious for its long hours and highly engaged environments. Workers must often toil late into the night and on weekends, and the pressure to meet deadlines can be intense. The ubiquity of Slack, team messaging, and emails on all our devices and systems means that work rarely turns off. This takes a toll on both physical and mental health.

To maintain good health, workers should prioritize self-care, including getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when needed. Hydration and fueling yourself with nutritious foods must remain important. While we work in sprints, making a great game is more like a marathon.

And don’t forget to dream! Remember what got you into this industry in the first place? Give yourself a good dose of playtime every day.

Manage stress.

Stress is an inevitable part of working in the video game industry. Workers must juggle multiple projects, meet tight deadlines, and navigate complex creative processes. This can lead to high levels of stress and burnout.

At Streamline, we’ve spent years perfecting our project management to build a smooth production pipeline. But video game development is creative work, and creative work leans toward chaos. Chaos is part of the process, so get ready for it. 

To manage stress, workers should develop coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness, meditation, or yoga. They should also practice good time management, prioritize tasks, and seek support from colleagues and supervisors.

Weekends are a sacred space. Don’t forget to take one now and then. If you have a family, then you know what you should do. And if you have friends, spend time with friends. If you don’t have friends, get some!

Manage your time, so you have the time to get refreshed. You’re not doing anybody any favors by emptying the tank and walking like a zombie through the studio.

Streamline Studios - Are you Don Quixote or a Video Game Programmer?

Keep your passion.

One of the key challenges for workers in the video game industry is maintaining their passion for the work. Long hours, tight deadlines, and creative differences can all take a toll on motivation and enthusiasm.

If you drag your feet on your way to the studio, you need to find a park bench and look at that.

To stay passionate about their work, workers should stay connected to the creative process.

Creativity is a positive feed line to your soul. 

Great creativity is like an energy bolt. 

Maybe this feeling you’re having is simply you haven’t broken through to new ground. What does that mean? It means find something that scares you and do it. If you go to a new place, an unexpected solution, you’ll find your feet flying on your walk into the studio.

Working in the video game industry may be a bit like tilting at windmills. It’s a world of endless challenges, setbacks, and obstacles. 

Bugs, crashes, and glitches. Tools that don’t work right. A pipeline that misses critical data in its steps.

Windmills do indeed come in all shapes and sizes. 

 No matter how carefully developers plan and test their games, there always seems to be some unforeseen problem that crops up at the worst possible moment. 

 But instead of letting these setbacks defeat them, video game developers take them as a challenge. They roll up their sleeves and dive into the code, determined to find the root of the problem and fix it. And when they emerge victorious, it’s a triumph like no other.

Streamline. Forged in the crucible of creativity.

We have a long history of trust and experience we can rely on. We are experts in our field and will deliver to exact standards. We understand the importance of meeting deadlines, and we work diligently to ensure on-time delivery.

That didn’t happen overnight. Nothing beats experience. There’s no better teacher than a deadline and an impossible task. Finding solutions, performing under pressure, hitting those milestones. Streamline’s journey has taught us many invaluable things. You build from the trenches of production. You make mistakes. You learn from them, dust yourself off and start again.

And our hard work has built studios all over the world. Malaysia, Japan, Colombia, the US, all focused on a singular goal. To deliver to our partners the best game possible. Our global team is creative and technical and committed to ensure the success of our work. No dream is impossible.

We like nothing more than meeting new partners, hearing new ideas, new projects, new challenges.

Yes, the video game industry is demanding. You need to take care of yourself. But there’s nothing more exciting than the first step toward your dream. And we’ll be with you every step. Call us today. And eat your vegetables!