Cryptic Studios Reviews

Updated August 24, 2015
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30 Employee Reviews

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  1. A good place to work and learn.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Test Analyst in Kirkland, WA
    Former Employee - Test Analyst in Kirkland, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Cryptic has some really great people working for it, some of the best I have ever worked with. They support each other, are welcoming to new people, and often socialize together. The office regularly reverberates with laughter, jokes, movie quotes, etc. When under pressure, the entire team jumps in to help each other. It's amazing what this company can accomplish as small as it is. Everyone at Cryptic learns to be able to wear multiple hats (for some this is a con, but I see it as a pro). QA is valued and a strong part of the team, regularly interacting with producers, designers, and artists to make sure what goes live is as good as it can be. There is a great deal of knowledge among employees, and so it's a great place to learn. There's good work-life balance, and the HR team is top notch. Casual atmosphere, regular morale events.

    Cons

    Pay is low for Silicon Valley (primary reason why I left). Project management is a bit lacking. Cryptic has pulled off some near miraculous things (check the development time for Star Trek Online, or how quickly they got Neverwinter onto Xbox), but this has led management to believe that the teams will always pull through. As such, release schedules are often more ambitious than they should be, and only work if no one gets sick, takes vacation or leaves. When one or more of these appear, management is slow to adapt and adjust the schedule. One needs to be outgoing, and willing to ask others to teach one things to get the full benefit of learning opportunities at Cryptic as there is little formal on the job training. As I saw this as bothering people who had a lot to do (see above) I didn't get the learning and training I could have if I were more willing to impose on others. There can be unconscious discrimination against female designers. It's not overt, nor intentional, and is less than what's been reported in much of the game industry, but it's there.

    Advice to Management

    Get a hard-core Project Manager for each game, and give that individual the authority to set and adjust the schedule as needed, and to be able to override the EP, and Design Lead. Implement some more training programs, classes, etc. rather than expecting that people will just impose on others to learn. Schedule time to fix old, pre-existing bugs.


  2. A good place to work

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Cryptic Studios full-time

    Pros

    - The people there are creative, intelligent, and an all around great bunch to work with. - Management is relatively open about the state of things (as much as they can be regarding certain topics). - Great HR Department

    Cons

    - Compensation can be a bit low (but this is offset by the benefits). - Dealing with the parent company can be a nightmare.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Lead artist

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Artist
    Current Employee - Senior Artist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The work life balance is great, I am able to spend time with my family. Cryptic is only been in crunch a hand full of times since i have been here. Crunch time at Cryptic is either work at least an extra hour or it has been work your normal 8 hours and come in on Saturday for 8 hrs. Cryptic expect people to wear multiple hats. As an environment artist you are expected to do everything from level design, light, asset creation, and work with and support the Design team. this leads to a gather sense of ownership to everything an artist makes.

    Cons

    As I put in pros: Cryptic expect people to wear multiple hats. the negative side of this is that people don't specialize and don't get extremely good at one specific thing. It is so expensive to live in Silicon Valley. With Facebook, Apple, and Google paying people ridiculous amounts of money it is caused a negative effect on every other job. The pay isn't greatest versus the cost of living in the area.


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  5. Great Company, so-so publisher

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great wages, good community, good people.

    Cons

    Perfect World (their publisher) is not the best around. Their studio in Redwood City is an inefficient mess, and it tends to impact Cryptic employees more than it should.

    Advice to Management

    Work to further shield employees from PWE's mistakes.


  6. Helpful (4)

    Was good at beginning, and then....

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - great employee benefit, a lot of company outings and holidays - got work around some very talented people - co-workers in the same team or department often become friends for life - pet friendly, gamer friendly

    Cons

    - poor management. - poor planning, poor communication, and despite many company meetings and post-mortems to address the issues, they were never improved. Same mistake will keep happening over and over and over again. - horrible management personnel and is very clique-y, if someone doesn't like you on a personal level for any reason, you have no advancement opportunity even if you've done great work and has helped the development on multiple levels (even with people from multiple disciplines to back your work). It's often one way communication and it will stuck somewhere and never goes through. It somehow felt very unprofessional. - blame games happen way too often.

    Advice to Management

    please improve your communication, and be professional doing it too.


  7. Helpful (5)

    Been looking rather grim

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    It's a non-mobile, PC (and to some extent, console) game company that's been around for quite a while despite the tough times. The atmosphere is casual, gamer-friendly, pet-friendly, and people often take on cross-disciplinary responsibilities (it's a pro if you want to be more involved, but a con when it results in being forced into a role you don't want for a very very long time like it did for some people).

    Cons

    Poor management, very outdated tech, frustrating proprietary tools, as well as the attitudes from management that makes mediocrity thrive. Also, lack of leadership within each department--especially art and production. Being a game studio, it's understandable that there are crunches every now and then. What's frustrating is that most of the crunches could have easily been avoided, and those who crunch aren't rewarded. Despite post-mortems, same thing happens over and over. Some of the managers are terrible when it comes to performance reviews; they just don't seem to care or appreciate all the extra time and effort you've put in to meet their demands. Needless to say, compensations aren't great.

    Advice to Management

    Pay attention to the people. Reward the ones that are talented and work hard, and promptly get rid of people who are not. Listen to what people are saying. Holding post-mortems won't change anything if you don't listen.


  8. Cryptic Art Department

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time

    Pros

    Very friendly, low stress, highly collaborative environment. Great area, talented team, fun work place.

    Cons

    Sometimes the project scope can be mismanaged, but this isn't usually a problem. Tools are pretty dated, lots of technical debt.

    Advice to Management

    Try to listen to new opinions, and don't be afraid to take chances on new projects or new ideas.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Problems at the top..

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Cryptic Studios full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Reasonable salary/benefits Great co-workers Hardly any crunch

    Cons

    Upper management/leadership lacks vision and/or has repeatedly failed to communicate it. Frequent ground-shifting decisions are made by management with no clear justification or transparency. Executive leaders do not take ownership and responsibility for decisions they've made.

    Advice to Management

    Set a clear vision, communicate it regularly, and rally your employees behind it. Trust and empower your employees to execute on that vision. Make yourselves more accessible and transparent. If circumstances change, recognize the need to communicate the what and why to your employees. Own up to and take responsibility for your own mistakes.


  10. Helpful (4)

    A comfortable place to work but liimiting

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -comfortable environment with space to relax and get away from your desk if you need to -everyone is pretty relaxed and pleasant to be around -barely any crunch

    Cons

    -doesn't spend the money to get the best talent or keep their best talent -management bottlenecks all decisions -people want to make great games at cryptic but management is too focused on what is doing well in the marketplace and not in creating something truly unique...its a business I know

    Advice to Management

    you play it safe too much, hire up some talent with a vision and make something great


  11. Helpful (4)

    Awful Company

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Developer in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They have an office I guess?

    Cons

    Worst management I've ever encountered Terrible project planning and foresight Knee-jerk style development driven by invisible heads without accountability Lied about office location, salary/bonuses, genre of game, etc. Overall just a greedy, untrustworthy organization

    Advice to Management

    Leave the company



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