For today's exclusive feature
, Gamasutra Podcast host Tom Kim interviews the ever-alluring IGDA executive director Jason Della Rocca about quality of life, legislation, censorship and more, in this transcript of our original Gamasutra Podcast
In this excerpt, Della Rocca addresses the problem of loss of human capital, with a recent IGDA survey finding that less than four percent of developers surveyed said that their coworkers averaged ten or more years of experience:
"I mean this is a whole conversation unto itself. We bring in these super passionate people, and if we're lucky we get two projects out of them and then they're gone. Physically they're burned out, the rewards were not what they were expecting or don't match the amount of effort that goes in. Things change, projects get canceled and they just check out. And that's just horrible and speaks to the much larger issue of the medium of games. That if everyone working on games only gets to work on them for five or six years and then leaves, how are we supposed to evolve the art form? How are we supposed to advance the craft? All the new people coming in, they kind of make all the same mistakes and do all the same things.
Everyone complains about innovation and lack of originality and so on, this is one of the contributing factors. I know there's business issues and market issues and all that kind of stuff. This is one of them, imagine if you were in the industry for 30 years. I would sure hope that what you are working on from year one versus year thirty has evolved dramatically, just sort of as a necessity to keep yourself entertained and challenged. Whereas if you bail after five years, where's the chance to evolve there if you're only on one or two projects? That's a part of it. Never mind the business issues with what you might call friction costs of losing staff.
So you lose staff, lost production time, you have to spend time to find someone new, cost of interviews, cost of bringing those people in, ramp up time and training on the internal tool sets. You're looking at friction costs at $50,000 to $100,000 per head. If you consider then, in some cases after a project, you lose like half your team and then you have to re-ramp up for the next project, that's a lot of wasted resources. If we were just a bit more sane during the initial process, we would be able to keep our staff and move them on smoothly to another project. "
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, Della Rocca expounding on free speech issues, Super Columbine Massacre
, the Game Developers Choice Awards, and more (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).