BioWare actively puts a cap on how many hours staff can work each week – just one of the numerous rules and guidelines the studio has in its fight against the toxic impact of crunch.
Speaking during a keynote session on the second day of the Develop Conference in Brighton, BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk admitted that the group – like what seems to be all developers – has wrestled with crunch.
”We’ve had tough times with it,” he said. “There have been timers where we’ve stumbled.”
He added that BioWare now has a list of rules and guidelines that the group has put in place to ensure that its developers won’t be deprived of quality of life.
”For example, if [our staff] have to work extra they get something in return,” he said, adding that there have been times when overworked staff have been asked to leave and rest up.
But Zeschuk, now the general manager at BioWare Austin, had one key piece of advice on how studios on tight deadlines can survive.
He said: ”The most fundamental thing you can do is trust the responsibility of a group and allow them to make their own decisions.”
The team is responsible to achieve its objectives, he said, and adding pressure on that is a pointless endeavour.