11 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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MIss Managed: The Man Handler

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - QA Analyst  in  Redwood City, CA
Current Employee - QA Analyst in Redwood City, CA

I have been working at Crystal Dynamics as a contractor for less than a year

Pros

Small Company with Friendly Employees
Bagels every Friday

Cons

Maintains a Skeleton Crew, outsourcing a bulk of the work to smaller studios
Tight budgets and a lot of overtime due to mismanagement
Too many producers and assistant producers
Higher positions are currently filled with individuals who aren't going anywhere any time soon

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Plan your projects
Prototype designs and stick to what works
Plan your projects
Don't stretch your employees thin, hire who you need to get the job done
Plan your projects

Recommends
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Other Reviews for Crystal Dynamics

  1.  

    great people full of passion on making great AAA games

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA

    I have been working at Crystal Dynamics full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    a lot of talented people.
    super nice and willing to help.
    passion on making great games.

    Cons

    salary is a bit low

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Fantastic, family-friendly environment. Great Games!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Designer  in  Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Designer in Redwood City, CA

    I have been working at Crystal Dynamics full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Highly collaborative environment.
    Amazing tools, level editor is best I've ever used.
    I get tons of creative flexibility and decision making power in the moment to moment gameplay. Management could be better, but I've never felt like I couldn't go talk to them about any issues, they are very approachable, especially considering how busy they are.
    Feels like a family, everyone in the company (from dev to HR to facilities to IT, etc...) is committed to making the best games we can.
    Yearly performance reviews can sometimes be a little late, but they will happen and merit increases have always been pro-rated to where you should have gotten them.
    Mandatory crunch doesn't happen often and isn't for long, you've got your tasks for the week and if you don't finish them in the normal 40 hours, then it is on you to work more hours to complete your tasks.
    Employee is part of the scheduling discussion each week to figure out how long each task should take, so if weekly crunch happens, the employee is as much to blame.
    Little to no office politics, either that or I'm just really good at staying out of crap like that.
    Great benefits structure, especially if you have children.
    I've often been told by upper-management that family comes first, not just lip-service either, they've been great at working with me during family crisis to ease my mind of work matters so I can focus on my family.
    Big support of outside sports activities, company sponsors multiple athletic teams for leagues at the complex's gym.

    Cons

    Lots of the original Tomb Raider team has indeed left, including some very key to the success of that game.
    Crystal likes to higher very junior employees and give them 3 months of contract to see if they'll work out or not. I'm fine with this practice as 3 months should be enough time for everyone to know if it'll work out or not, I just would like it if the employee would be made more aware of that fact. They'll hire 4 jr. designers this way even though there are only 2 permanent roles available, makes it feel very gladiatorial.
    Bonus scheme isn't very good.
    Heavily controlled brand messaging. Employees aren't allowed to breath a word about announced projects without getting approval from the Brand team first. I understand why this is, still kind of annoying though.
    Not sure if my experience with Promotions is shared by others, but this is what I'm dealing with now. At last year's performance review, I received a promotion. Yay! Wasn't sure what my new title would be because they were about to start an initiative to change all job titles to a new scheme (so instead of Associate Designer, we would have Designer I). That's fine, except a year later and with performance reviews in full swing, I still don't know what my official title is.
    Just moved into a new office a month ago. It has 1 men's bathroom that only has 1 urinal and 2 toilets. There are over 100 men in this office. It is a serious problem and one that we voiced loudly from the moment we heard the company was looking to move (our old office only had 2 urinals and 2 toilets, we thought that was bad). They failed to listen to us in that regard and effectively downgraded our bathroom situation.
    On the new office topic, we are on the top floor and have high ceilings, large windows surround the upper level. This lets in a ton of natural light, some people think its great (non-artists) some people hate it (artists). The big problem is at certain times of day, the sun shines directly in the windows and makes it so some people can't see their screens. This affects a large number of people actually

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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