has the text of a blog post by Flagship audio and gameplay
programmer Guy Somberg revealing some of what's going on behind the scenes at
the Hellgate: London
). The post was quickly removed, but a
is keeping this horse from getting back into the
barn, something we felt some qualms about linking to based on that writer's
regret, but stories about all this on
have no such reservations (nor credits to the original
sources of this news), so here's the post:
Work is depressing right now.
Never mind the fact that Hellgate isnít as popular as anybody had hoped. Never
mind the fact that there exists a term ďFlagshipped,Ē meaning where a company
basically overpromises and then screws you. Never mind the fact that the forums
are totally populated by people who do nothing but complain and talk about how
much the game sucks. Never mind the fact that people do the same thing in the
Yes, Hellgate is not a big success. That sucks, and itís depressing. Iím keeping
a positive attitude about it because of Korea and China. The Koreans really love
the game, and the Chinese have yet to see it. I donít know how any of these
deals are structured, but Iím hinging my hopes for Hellgateís future on the
So why is work depressing? (Other than all of those other depressing things,
that is.) The reason is that people are leaving. In droves, theyíre leaving.
Weíve had programmers, accountants, HR people, and artists leave. The founders
are all still around, but theyíve been floating away from Hellgate to work on
various other projects. The only one still actively on Hellgate is Tyler, but
Tylerís not programming anymore; he spends all of his time on management
Today was our programming internís last day; heís leaving the company for the
world of academia to get his PhD in computer science. I also learned today that
another of our programmers is leaving in a couple of months (he gave lots of
notice, which is very nice of him). With him leaving, I am basically the senior
developer on Hellgate. Tyler, Dave, and Peter (the founders) are the only other
programmers who were around beforehand, and I was the first programming hire
after that. With Dave and Peter on other projects, and Tyler basically no longer
a programmer, Iím whatís left after he leaves.
Thing is, the way things are going Iím likely to be the only programmer still
working on Hellgate left from the original crew. Iíve heard rumours that other
programmers and artists are thinking of leaving.
I was so disturbed to learn that all of these people are leaving that I couldnít
concentrate, and I left work early, claiming illness. I donít want to leave
Flagship. Iím happy here. I like the people, I like the environment, I like the
pay, I like the location... Thereís so much good about it. Iím not considering
leaving. Itís just overwhelming and depressing having all of these people go.
Every time a programmer leaves, itís more work for me. Every time an artist
leaves, itís less content that we can create for Hellgate in the future.
Tyler is talking about replacing our programming intern with a designer. Iím
fighting against that, because we need more programmers! We canít just put it
all on me.
Bah. Listen to me whine. It could be much worse, of course. At this point,
though, what I need is some fresh projects; Iím getting burned out on