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 isn’t as popular as anybody had hoped. Never
mind the fact that there exists a term “Flagshipped,” 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 it’s depressing. I’m 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 don’t know how any of these
deals are structured, but I’m hinging my hopes for Hellgate’s 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, they’re leaving.
We’ve had programmers, accountants, HR people, and artists leave. The founders
are all still around, but they’ve been floating away from Hellgate to work on
various other projects. The only one still actively on Hellgate is Tyler, but
Tyler’s not programming anymore; he spends all of his time on management
Today was our programming intern’s last day; he’s 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, I’m what’s left after he leaves.
Thing is, the way things are going I’m likely to be the only programmer still
working on Hellgate left from the original crew. I’ve 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 couldn’t
concentrate, and I left work early, claiming illness. I don’t want to leave
Flagship. I’m happy here. I like the people, I like the environment, I like the
pay, I like the location... There’s so much good about it. I’m not considering
leaving. It’s just overwhelming and depressing having all of these people go.
Every time a programmer leaves, it’s more work for me. Every time an artist
leaves, it’s less content that we can create for Hellgate in the future.
Tyler is talking about replacing our programming intern with a designer. I’m
fighting against that, because we need more programmers! We can’t 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; I’m getting burned out on