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Employee Rewards

What's the best way properly reward your employees?

The Problem

Facepunch has enough money. As long as we’ve got enough money to cover the bills and have a safety net for the future we’re happy.


People working for a monthly wage aren’t motivated to do great things. They aren’t motivated to make money. They’re just motivated to turn up. This is something that I have thought about for years. Why work for a company and make them money when you could go alone and make a million times more money?




The Solution


Pay people bonuses based on their contributions to the project. People work harder to make money because they can see that this directly affects the money in their pockets.


They don't have to leave to seek their fortune because they already have it set. They have a team around them that enables them to make the game that they want to make and they have no risks of going broke.

How much

How much money should everyone get?

  • Bonuses would only be paid when a project is in profit (prior development costs have been redeemed)

  • Bonuses based on how much profit the project makes

  • Out of the profit of the project, 40% would be allocated for bonuses. With the other 60% going to Facepunch to bankroll other projects, create a safety net and build Garry’s swimming pool.

  • Profit would be minus the wages of the people that worked on that project - so if it didn’t make more than the wages (of the people that worked on it that month) then no bonus would be paid.

Determining Bonuses

One of the problems with this idea is that the money might go to the wrong places. How do we decide on who gets paid what bonus? Should it be anonymous? Should we all decide? Do people’s bonuses drop if their contribution turns out to have a negative effect on the project?


  • Everyone that has contributed get to nominate other people’s bonuses.

  • Bonuses are averaged between the votes.

  • [problem] Corruption. Members might team up and reward each other higher than they deserve.

  • [problem] Buggers. Members might complain that it isn’t fair, they deserve more etc.


  • The project lead determines who gets paid what

  • [problem]  Project leader paying themselves lots. This could balance out because people would realise they’re a dick and won’t work on their project with them.

Points Based

  • People would be given points based on their role on the project.

  • The points would be multiplied by the amount of months spent on the project.

  • The points would be normalized and a bonus would be paid based on that

  • [problem] We don’t want to reward people based on time spent on a project. We want to reward them based in their impact on the project.

  • [problem] We don’t want to have to hire Stephen Hawking to work out bonuses.

Customer Satisfaction

  • A system that allows people who play the game to award bonuses every month

  • A list of employees and what they’ve done that month

  • Customer chooses which % of the bonus they think should go to who

  • [problem] Would customers bother

  • [problem] Would this be fair

  • [problem] Some work is very important but invisible to customers


Lets say for example that Rust has made $100,000 profit in one month. 60% of that goes to Facepunch. So $40,000 would be paid in bonuses.

Somehow it’s decided who has done what, and who needs to be rewarded.

Homer (project owner)



Bart (programmer)



Marge (modeller)



Maggie (animator)



Lisa (programmer)



Lenny (concept art)




I’m sure this could cause a lot of arguments and bad blood, so we need to step back and be mature about it. We need to keep in mind that this money is a bonus - it isn’t owed to you. It’s a gift to reward your hard work.


Would mouthy moaning aggressive people get paid more than others because they will kick up a fuss if they don’t? Dock points if they bitch about their bonus?


Some people like Lenny (concept artist) who are doing an important job might not be appreciated as much as other people whose impacts are a lot more apparent.


But maybe this would balance itself out in other projects where his impact would be a lot more visible (like a 2D game where he does all the artwork).


But at the same time - this is probably wrong because he wouldn't ever want to be a concept artist.


Percentages would have to be balanced every month, or every quarter to make sure it was all still up to date.


People not working on a popular project might get jealous, annoyed and lose morale. But this is meant to empower them to make their own money on their own project. They have the power to make their own project awesome and make their own bonuses. So this might give people morale instead of taking it away.

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