Team Bondi: Another Side Of The Story
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I have been working for more than 4 years at Team Bondi, and I also wanted to post the letter I sent to IGDA. ( Note that I have never been told to send an email to the IGDA, I just realised I could do it when I read Dave's email ).
"To whom it may concern:
( Disclaimer: I am French so my English might not be perfect, but I am working on it ).
I have been working at Team Bondi for more than 4 years now, as a senior gameplay programmer. So I'd like to express my personal opinion about the recent comments on working conditions.
- Yes, we have been crunching at the end of the project, working sometimes late, working during the week end. But I think that I have never worked more than 55 hours in a week, and during my first 3 years, except at the end of a milestone or for a demo, I wasn't working more than 45 hours. I have always been able to leave some days at 5 to go and pick up my kids at the childcare. When we were asked to work during the week end, if I had plans then I was just notifying my lead that I couldn't come, and that was it.
- I was in the office earlier than the rest of the team. I think that by 9 AM, only one third of the team was here. And only one third of the leads. So I have never seen anyone being blame for arriving late. To be honest, Vicky sent once a mail asking people ( including her ) to arrive at 9, but that was way before crunch time.
- When we have been asked to work from 9 to 7, I told my lead that I would do 8:30 to 6:30 ( despite Vicky's email ) to spend some time with my kids, and nobody ever complained about that.
- I had two kids during the project, Team Bondi offered me each time one extra week off ( on top of the required week ).
- I have never heard of anybody not having his weekend paid even if he has left the company before the end of the project. We have actually been paid of some of them before the end of the project. And I had 4 weeks off at the end of the project.
- I have recommended friends from oversea to come and work for Team Bondi. I have seen other people doing it. I have also seen former employees coming back to help finishing the game. Most of the people who left the company thanked Brendan during their farewell speech. And at the wrap party, there were a lot of former artists. So I don't think that Team Bondi is hell.
Of course, I wish we hadn't crunch. Of course, I wish I had spent all my weekends with my family. But that was our first project. We were starting with nothing, and we were not starting on a small project to allow us to build our engine and our tools. That was a challenge, but now we all have more experience, we have done so many mistakes that we can only improve ourselves.
Charles Lefebvre "