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    #46
    Originally posted by JOSHHx View Post
    Well, taking sides in the argument aside, I still think people should still have interest in the project because not everyone who works for the team is corrupt or whatever. Wouldn't you feel shorthanded if you have spent years developing a game and because of some disputes not involving you your work never reaches the public eye? Think of it like this: You are working on some project for work (Which for them it is), you spend all this time on it because it is for a major client (The customers), then your employer informs you that because of some random matters your work was all pointless. Now would that be fair?
    Welcome to the Gaming Industry.

    I didn't mean that comment to be rude, it's just, sadly, the plain truth. I've just entered the Industry in the Triple A professional side, and not everything goes down like how everyone would imagine. Sometimes **** happens and that kind of stuff does occur, just like with IW, and I'm sure this won't be the last on the Indie side, nor on the big "professional" side.

    I support the fact that people should take an interest, but not at the expense of Developers. I recently read an article on Gamasutra, that basically stated, there are about 70-80k Content Developers, and 120k extraneous employees (HR, Marketing, etc..) in the Gaming Industry. We're a god awful small community in the world. I think it's really important to have good Publishers, Developers, and also leaders/worker relationships.

    You should take heed of BlvdNights' comment here:

    Originally posted by BlvdNights
    I think its important to let people know when there is shady business going on with a mod team, especially when they are posting for positions they want filled. People spend so much time on projects that sometimes never get off the ground because of issues like this. It's a shame when work sometimes goes to waste like that.
    It's very true, and the one thing that makes Indie developers stand out from the Triple A developers out there.


    On a side note:

    I worked on Orion's PAX 2010 Trailers as a "Tech-Artist", but I chose to quit a month into it after realizing I would never get the chance to be a "Designer" on this project the way I was "promised" after joining up.

    Thankfully I work as a Professional Game Dev already (just trying to transition into Design :P), so I don't really harbor any resentment, only sadness that I had warned David about this ages ago...

    However, I had friends (and ones I made during my short time on the project) who got completely taken advantage of during their time pouring their heart into this project.

    Regardless of the legal situations that occur, Orion, as a project, is decent. However, I can't stand silent anymore and not voice my concern that Spiral Studios' leadership (aka David) is woefully in need of a rude awakening to the fact that they aren't a Triple A studio, nor are they gaining the respect of the Indie community.

    I'm not here to badmouth anyone, but simply warn ANYONE who wants to work on this project to be extremely wary. You are very likely going to be tossed aside like all the other content developers on this team.

    Comment


      #47
      I agree with the industry guys - i also do AAA work and i regularly get to sit on the sidelines of major ****storms. *shrug* we're all extremely lucky that we're in a field where we have so much passion and love for what we do, that occasionally it boils over and becomes very personal and dramatic.

      to all the noobs watching this drama unfold, i would like to say that It Doesnt Have To Be Like This, and nobody should feel like our whole community is full of people trying to rip eachother off.

      we're still in the field with the most intelligence, creativity and teamwork on the planet. I became a game dev because i love the meritocracy - its quite easy to see who's worthwhile and who's not, especially on the content side. managers and team leaders are often the weakest link because in an industry where results are king, its hard to see any from them until the whole product is finished i guess.

      my team sometimes hate me, cos i throw my weight around to try and get stuff done, and because there will always be disagreements about how we work, but i dont think anybody would say that our team uses people - we're a family. but just like a family, we sometimes throw plates at eachother.

      this issue has become somewhat clouded with spiral's pretty mild-seeming responses. but then there are those saying that many people have problems with them. I think spiral have the same amount of issues as any major team, but theyre obviously not dealing with some of them very well.

      on the flip side, i'm also a team leader, and its very very difficult to balance the need for people to act professionally (like meeting deadlines) and the need for them to feel like theyre not being a total drudge for no payback whatsoever (and i dont include cash in that statement. many just want a stake in what theyre doing). I try to keep a perspective on the emotional wellbeing of my team, interspersing drudge work with fun stuff, encouraging people's input etc. its not hard to have some empathy for your staff, and try to limit what you're asking of them to the realms of the comfortable.

      Comment


        #48
        If I can add my 2 cents.

        I volunteered as a level designer and environment artist. With no expectation of immediate compensation. I thought it would fun to be just a level designer again for a project then go make to my indie efforts afterwards

        It was almost immediately evident that David was unwilling to even share the basic in game assets they had created for levels. He would ignore my request for the content and just tell me to work on his map "reactor" which he wanted to be a centerpiece for his demo project.

        All I can surmise is that he didnt want anyone using "his" assets and stealing all his glory..So I called him out in a thread and he refused to give reason or come clean. Even suggesting that we needed to go into a private chat to discuss it. (yeah right. so much for transparency you fraud..lol)

        In short I quit before he fired me and he also fired a close friend of mine for what I can only guess. (note: He is stil using the trex that my friend modelled for him last time I checked.. can you say theif?)

        Honestly. This guy is red lights and ringing bells from top to bottom. Egotistical, self centered glory seeker with very few actual skills.

        I am delighted to see the ball unravelling as we knew it would. Hopefully we can get word to the kickstart people now that the flood gates have opened and get his fund retracted. There are 1000's of teams that deserve that money more than he does.

        the time has come david. another tyrant falls.

        Comment


          #49
          The original Polycount thread has been removed, but you can read the OP and some of the thread here:
          http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...hp%3Ft%3D81931

          The OP is as follows:
          Originally posted by Daniel Doerkson
          Hey guys i have a bit of a conundrum to sort out more on a moral level, then anything else, im looking for some industry opinions or just well thought out ones.

          Im going to be as honest and exact as possible.


          Ive been working on a Orion a mod which turned into a game with the release of udk which is planned to be released publicly. Ive been working on it for over a year, in my spare time. I was the main environment artist. i use that term loosely since i have been responsibly for 90%+ of the environment to date in that game, to add to that i also created first person hands and a few weapons. All vegetation models including about 40 different meshes a modular set to create abandoned green house style buildings and 3 larger complete structures, and more which i wont go on about. i still have all raw files, i didnt give that out. Recently, David Prassel, the guy who is behind everything, the "boss" so to speak. created a kick starter fund. for those who arnt fimilar with it its a way to let people donate to your cause. so in the past month and a bit he has managed to get around 20k from the world, to aid in production of Orion. This has never been about money for me, i feel i need to make that clear, i did it to learn and put my work to use at the same time.

          So heres where the conflict i have is, I was recently removed from the team. without warning. no heads up. Nothing mention to me that i was doing anything wrong. i maintained a consistent pace. i kept David informed of my life whats going on.

          The amount of time i donated to the cause was limited. based on me improving in the Arch Viz industry, and trying to secure my job. there were meetings at 9am on Sunday which i could rarely make, but yet read the .pdf outlines on the missed ones.

          It was never mentioned to me that this was a problem or was causing any frustration.

          Im left feeling used and frustrated. and recently got word that the entire sound team has been removed with out warning aswell, and they are quite fumed. Of which the main sound producer Marcus Zuhr. was logging more hours then anyone else next to david prassel, and his work is "Professional Quality"

          So whats going on here?

          My work feels like it has been taken from me to be used commercially and i wont get recognition or pay for it. i have signed a NDA in the beginning, it specifies nothing related to my work being his. only stuff about
          pre releasing media.

          Ultimatly its a moral issue for me it feels wrong, and very unsettling. I have no problem giving my work away. but this isnt right.
          There is also a Spiral recruitment thread on GameArtists with some discussion:
          http://www.game-artist.net/forums/hi...s-mechs-2.html

          including this guy (who incidentally JUST posted in this thread above me):
          Originally posted by IronTaxi
          I can Confirm that myself and another close friend were put in a similar situation by David. Having worked on Project Reality (for bf2) and several other modding projects it only took me about 2-3 weeks to see what was going on.

          I actually called this young man out in his common skype chat thread and he promptly fired both myself and my associate. (who had nothing to do with the situation.)

          He wants to be successful and he wants control. We were very sad to see the kickstart campaign do so well but the ball of yarn is starting to unwind as we knew it would.

          Anyone else who had similar experiences don't refrain from chiming in.

          There is no "I" in team, a lesson learned hard by some.

          edit: I want to make sure everyone understands as well. that the guys who are currently working for him are pretty good guys. I still chat with a few of them
          There is also a reddit thread:
          http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comme...lude_receives/

          which archives this quote from the now-deleted thread on polycount (author unknown):
          Just noticed this thread, My name is Javid and I've worked on Prelude as an animator, I kept hearing about all these promises especially about getting paid for my work David would mention this countless amounts of times every day which aroused suspicion for me

          After submitting the work I had created I was immediately canned from the project without any warning/notice along with Curtis and Marcus Zuhr, the main sound guys. He forgot to remove me from the skype group chat however and he basically lied and told the rest of the team members that we found jobs or something came up.

          I personally don't care about the money or anything as I just do things as my hobby and I wanted to get the word out there as well about David Prassel, It's hard to believe someone such as himself would exist, I'd say he's the worst.
          another redditor posted this:
          Originally posted by whatcomesaround
          I am a former spiral game developer, and I will try to keep this as general as I can because I don't want to get dragged in to any name calling or personal attacks.

          Personally I do not really care that I did not get paied, but what bothers me is that he now sits with 20K dollars, which he was enabled to collect because of OTHER peoples work. Non or very few now remaining at spiral games. THAT bothers me. Without us slaves there would be nothing to show and spam the internet with. Yes spam! you don’t FORCE it out there, if it is good it will find its own way. In my honest opinion, those not seeking accolades are those most worthy of it. If you get the drift… interviewing your own employees and asking them how it is to work for you and describe you. Now that one I laughed out loud and hard at when I saw that. ( http://www.game-artist.net/forums/hi...tml#post132589 )

          I have very little insight into the legal stuff, but I feel that it is wrong to take advantage of busy and talented people, collect a lot of money by showing their work, then firing them without a single coin. Furthermore now casting some unwanted trouble on indie developers name.

          If I am a spiral game developer right now I would be mindful of getting compensation BEFORE turning in your final work on your next task, or the one after that, or the one after that… be on your toes, I know most of you and you are good guys. Even if you think you are on good terms with Mr. Dave. As a former spiral developer I can say that David and Daniel had a very good working relationship - which makes this even more surprising that he would back stab his only real ally and by far the hardest worker in the team. That is just really low.

          About the NDA, I can provide a copy of it if it can help clarify any legal issues for my fellow colleagues. Unless it places me in some kind of legal trouble for publishing such a document??? I seek nothing else than karma served for all parties, nothing more.

          / A new believer of karma
          another reddit user:

          Originally posted by kinjutsu
          I worked on this team for a very brief time before getting a real job offer. It was my impression that David was a bit egocentric, like many mod leaders I've talked to, but I'm surprised at something like this. As far as I know he is quite young and has no experience in the gaming industry outside of the mod community. It seems to me he is simply trying to masquerade as a studio head with little understanding of professionalism, and no real world experience. He had very grand visions for the game, which I can admire, but ultimately if you're only after profit then you shouldn't be making a mod, and promising future compensation to your mod team without any kind of contract. Modding should not be treated as a form of slave labor to create an indie game.

          I wish Daniel and the other guys the best, his work was great and if it's used then he deserves his fair share for it. I hope David realizes that treating your team this way is not how you start a company, emulating the worst practices of the corporate gaming world is not the way to go.
          and another:

          Originally posted by zinklesmesh
          I've worked for David, everything here about him I can confirm.
          That's all of the "involved parties" testimony I've been able to find other than what's in this thread right here.

          I personally have been familiar with David Prassel / Praz for many many years, since I have worked at a major Half-Life 2 fansite (Halflife2.net) for many years, and have interacted with him in a PR capacity (most recently alpha testing his Orion: Source build a couple of years ago). Also played a couple rounds of L4D with him at one point.

          I've never been a huge fan of the guy, but I dunno what to think exactly. He does seem to have an awful lot of enemies, and if what these people are saying is true I think this is dodgy as hell to say the least. Praz has always seemed really egocentric and a bit slimy to me, so I'm inclined to think there is a good bit of truth to these smears.

          I do remember there being some kind of controversy with him many years ago, back when Orion was called Incoming: Source. Something about him stealing concept art or model renders from another team and claiming them as Incoming: Source media. That doesn't really speak too well for his integrity.

          Comment


            #50
            Someone needs to pm the epic staff because everyone who is posting regarding this other than party involved is just gossip mongers. This is a recruitment thread show some respect to hard work.

            Comment


              #51
              Originally posted by Hboybowen View Post
              Someone needs to pm the epic staff because everyone who is posting regarding this other than party involved is just gossip mongers. This is a recruitment thread show some respect to hard work.
              No offense intended.. but what this is.. is truth telling.

              Comment


                #52
                Originally posted by Hboybowen View Post
                Someone needs to pm the epic staff because everyone who is posting regarding this other than party involved is just gossip mongers. This is a recruitment thread show some respect to hard work.
                Hard work on the backs of others is no work at all. The truth in matters like this are often ugly, and judging by the amount of spin control thrown into downplaying it, there is obviously some merit to the intial complaints. Granted there may be some that are adding fuel to the flames, but they didn't start the blaze. All team leaders and potential team leaders should observe, learn, and heed the warnings of something like this as it could easily be your team in this situation one day.

                Comment


                  #53
                  Originally posted by Hboybowen View Post
                  Someone needs to pm the epic staff because everyone who is posting regarding this other than party involved is just gossip mongers. This is a recruitment thread show some respect to hard work.
                  Uh, that forced me to post reply

                  This whole drama is kind of warning for future employees of Mr Praz.

                  I "worked" for him at very beginning when they moved Orion to UDK, i quit his team by myself. I disliked his way of managing project and people, so i quit before i invested many hours of my free time. I believe those unhappy former employees, they wrote about many things that i suspected may happen in Orion team.

                  Comment


                    #54
                    Originally posted by Nawrot View Post
                    Uh, that forced me to post reply

                    This whole drama is kind of warning for future employees of Mr Praz.

                    I "worked" for him at very beginning when they moved Orion to UDK, i quit his team by myself. I disliked his way of managing project and people, so i quit before i invested many hours of my free time. I believe those unhappy former employees, they wrote about many things that i suspected may happen in Orion team.
                    hiya nawrot. you made the right choice back then by leaving.
                    i'm sorry i didn't support your side of things vs praz at the time. i was in my own set of problems with the game at the time too, and i left soon after as well.
                    i know that's really not a good enough excuse and i should've pulled his reins back more, but i guess he's the one who lost out most not you by you leaving.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      Originally posted by Ezekel View Post
                      hiya nawrot. you made the right choice back then by leaving.
                      i'm sorry i didn't support your side of things vs praz at the time. i was in my own set of problems with the game at the time too, and i left soon after as well.
                      i know that's really not a good enough excuse and i should've pulled his reins back more, but i guess he's the one who lost out most not you by you leaving.
                      Well all I lost is weekend or two when i invented (or learned for myslef) that workflow for massive cave system. But it is not lost time since i learned some nice tricks in max. And I have no bad feelings about all that, just wanted to be fair and post warning here, since all that was already openly stated.

                      Comment


                        #56
                        Originally posted by Dregoloth View Post
                        Dan claims that he was responsible for the majority of the environment art shown in the GDC trailer, and that he had been expecting some form of monetary compensation because the game had gone commercial. He later says that the work which he failed to get in on time was added after he completed his assignments, and was expected to get it done before he could feasibly do so. His original post was asking what he could do to remove the art from the game. According to him, he wanted to donate his work to another indie project/mod (he had no particular one in mind).
                        that's interesting. praz told me he built the majority of the environment for the trailer himself... i'm not siding with anyone. just saying what i was told

                        Originally posted by Nawrot View Post
                        Well all I lost is weekend or two when i invented (or learned for myslef) that workflow for massive cave system. But it is not lost time since i learned some nice tricks in max. And I have no bad feelings about all that, just wanted to be fair and post warning here, since all that was already openly stated.
                        fair enough. - i also came away from orion with new tricks and skills and experience with working in a team, etc.
                        it's just a shame all the tricks and skills people've learnt from orion haven't been able to be used IN orion itself to their full potential.
                        time lost is time lost, for some that's more than for others.

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Closing this one. The parties involved need to discuss this off forum.

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