Timegate Studios Reviews

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Adel Chaveleh
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13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    Not Much to Complain About.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Current Employee - Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Timegate Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Laid back atmosphere. - Coworkers are the nicest and most helpful people anyone could hope to work with. - Despite what some say, management really tries to come up with ways to keep everyone happy, with surprise activities, free soda/gourmet coffee/dinner, pitchfest, social activities, etc. - Competitive pay. IMO, slightly higher than industry when taking in to account the cost of living in Houston.

    Cons

    - Senior management has unrealistic expectations considering Timegate's status in the industry. Because of that, their attitude seems to be "my way or the highway".

    Advice to Management

    To upper management- First off, come to work. When you are out of the office as many days as you are in, it gives off the message that you don't want to be there, you don't care about the success of the projects, you expect the employees to work harder/care more than you, and that you're just there for the paycheck. If you do happen to come in, try and make it for more than a couple of hours. 12:00 - 4:00 does not count. To mid-upper management- Reality check. Despite what you think it WILL hurt you to lose us. Considering the fact that no one in senior management has ever had a job outside of Timegate, and they really don't have any talent, accomplishments, or skills aside from years ofecterience which ultimately led to their high-ranking titles. Coming in on a weekend during crunch time to ask what you can do to help (or just being seen trying to help) would go a lot further than dropping off food. To job hunters- If you are a self-motivated worker, then Timegate is the perfect place to work. If you get your work done, you can pretty much do whatever you want. If you're the type that needs constant direction, recognition and validation (like the other Timegate Glassdoor reviewers) you will most likely end up unhappy.


  2. Extremely Poor Management and Low Morale

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Sugar Land, TX
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Sugar Land, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Timegate Studios full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    * Because turnover is so high, it was relatively easy to get promoted quickly * Free soda in the breakroom and "free" dinner if you work overtime

    Cons

    * Management is incompetent and refuse to try to improve themselves. Instead, they push all blame onto the employees and others. * The company mantra is "process over people" and they view all employees as replaceable. One underpaid employee was even told after asking for more money that they should "be thankful they just have a job in this economy". * Turnover was approximately 50% annually, which is extremely damaging to the dynamic of the team. * Positive feedback is nearly impossible to receive unless a process was done "correctly" (even if the end result was bad). * The company is constantly in legal disputes with other companies and is often accused of being fraudulent. * Mostly entry level employees are hired (cheaply), which can be fine, but there's little to no training after they join.

    Advice to Management

    * Take some responsibility for yourself and realize that almost every manager underneath you mimics your management style, which hurts the company greatly. * Please don't give yourself $45k bonuses and continue to fly first class and stay in Presidential suites after the company lays off employees.


  3. Only good for getting into the industry. Nothing else.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Former Employee - Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    -The devs. Best and most talented group of people I have ever worked with. If it wasn't for them I would have left long ago.

    Cons

    -Upper management. -No one ever knows anything until a decision is made. No dev input whatsoever. -Majority of management have only worked at TG. Only know the "TG" way. -If you criticize anything you are ostracized and let go. -Kill any chance of there being a "culture". If it wasn't their idea to begin with, it isn't happening. -Have to uproot your life and come to Houston? Don't. There are no other studios nearby and they are notorious for laying off staff in droves. You will have to relocate yourself again. -Moved one dev across the country only to offer them a position that does not involve making video games. (offered position with a sister company) Game industry pay but not making games... -Unless they dump upper management they will always create mediocre products. Unless you are in dire need of a job or really wanting to get your foot in the door avoid this studio.

    Advice to Management

    Open the floor up and let the studio in. Only coming forth when you are announcing something or laying a ton of people off is not acceptable. You will only continue making mediocre products and word of mouth will continue to be "the guys that made section 8 and the hack job Aliens game".


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  5. Only good for getting your foot in the door, if that.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Sugar Land, TX
    Former Employee - Designer in Sugar Land, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Free soda. Free dinner if you work late. Sugar Land is a great city to live in. They promote from within often because of high turn over.

    Cons

    Pay is terrible. This is a production run studio, and what they say goes. Departments don't collaborate much with each other, as it isn't encouraged. Play tests aren't important to the studio (though they say otherwise). Constantly left in the dark about studio progress and development until something good happens. They hire cheap "talent" over actual talent.

    Advice to Management

    Just be open to the employees about what's going on. Don't cover up the fact that the studio is struggling to find income. Let the design team run things and stop promoting QA to fill positions that they aren't qualified for.


  6. Good days and long days

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Recommends

    Pros

    -Free soda! -Free lunch and dinner! -Great coworkers -Get to make video games!

    Cons

    -Crunch time -Communication could be better


  7. Helpful (2)

    Wasted Potential

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Sugar Land, TX
    Former Employee - Web Developer in Sugar Land, TX
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Overall talented peers and individuals - artists, designers and programmers alike Free beverages Due to the turnover rate, one takes on new roles and responsibilities quickly

    Cons

    Management needs anger management, I've personally been threatened 5 times with HR write ups for missing deadlines on tasks that were to my knowledge completed. His attitude successfully robs you of any sense of accomplishment, so it feels very much like a Death March week to week, iteration to iteration. I'm already past burn out. Policy enforcement seems very here-say and voluntary, especially when Management violates the same Policies it enforces - still not out of the woods from that. Or when conflicting to policy orders come from the President himself, such as pushing out marketing changes to the sites and portals. The salary no longer satisfies the 50-60 hour work weeks and the level of drama as of day-to-day.

    Advice to Management

    My folks once told me, if you can't speak in a constructive, positive, or polite and respectful tone, don't speak at all.


  8. Helpful (3)

    The TimeGate Way

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sugar Land, TX

    Pros

    * Overall, full of very talented and intelligent people * Friendly and helpful coworkers * A great place to learn (always new challenges to solve) * Great location

    Cons

    * Very production and email heavy (process over people) * Lots of bottlenecks in the day-to-day process (very little trust placed in developers) * Purposefully little project visibility/direction given out * Direct communication to other departments is prohibited

    Advice to Management

    I think TimeGate would do better if it went back to being a small company making amazing expansions or smaller titles. I don't think they currently have the right process in place for making AAA titles. As a result of this flawed process, I've seen an exceedingly high turnover rate and overall dissatisfaction among the employees. Instead of addressing the problem, the process has simply been updated to account for a high turnover rate. This is not how you keep your talented individuals (of which, there are still many), or how you ship AAA titles. To their credit, I must say that I wouldn't be at the level I am now if it weren't for this great company. I wish TimeGate the best of luck on its next title, and salute each and every one of the amazing people still there, working their asses off.


  9. Helpful (3)

    Not a good place to be for long

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - 3D Artist in Sugar Land, TX
    Former Employee - 3D Artist in Sugar Land, TX
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    -Work along side creative and passionate coworkers. -Laid back atmosphere amongst employees -General low cost of living within the area

    Cons

    -Low employee morale. -Poor salaries and benefits. Worst I've ever seen in the industry. -Over micromanagement. Way too many producers for such a small studio. On a given day, more management updating and task management is done than actual development work by employees. -Upper management is out of touch with its employees and fails to recognize their faults. -Turnover rate is high, it's actually a goal to get out of there eventually. -The passionate, creative, and talented individuals, (even the senior level), are inhibited and suppressed by the management. The general attitude is to break the employees down to demonstrate superiority of upper management. -Management has a heightened sense of position within the industry.

    Advice to Management

    -Keep the owner out of the development process. The only thing he did was bring morale down and belittle others to increase his self esteem. -Trust your employees. Let them do good work. Keep them on track of course, but let them do what you hired them to do. -Pay your employees what they're worth. -Less production staff and more development staff will increase the quality of your titles and in the end, increase the sales of your products. -Recognize that TimeGate isn't competing as a AAA studio, adjust the scope and expectation of the projects, and the quality will rise as well as the studio's renown.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Worst Place I've Ever Worked

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sugar Land, TX
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Skilled and pleasant coworkers. Despite all the negatives below I really enjoy working with the people there. - Cheap place to live - High turnover can mean more headroom for moving up.. it only takes 2 years here to be considered "senior," which may position you well for your next job (though it's a double edged sword.) - If you enjoy corporate gallows humor, you may find Timegate to be very entertaining

    Cons

    - Worst micromanagement you could ever imagine. - If management doesn't like your time estimates, they will replace it with one they like better. The same with any other facts you might have. - You will be asked to rename and move things incessantly because it's not exactly what management would have done. As any veteran knows, this causes things to break and burns a lot of development time. And of course it is your fault when it breaks. - Employees are heavily overworked: You will be asked to agree to doing a certain chunk of work over a period of time (currently 3 weeks.) However, not one day after this agreement you will get additional work and will continue to receive new work until the very last day of this time period, and when you don't complete the full load you agreed to, plus the many things that get assigned to you, you will be seen as a failure by management. - You will be judged by how much overtime you put in, not how much you accomplish - Interchangable parts were invented long ago. I think Timegate is trying to invent interchangable humans. - When any issue arises, emphasis (even obsession) is placed on finding who is at fault, rather than finding solutions. Shockingly, it is never management's fault. - Not getting yelled at is probably the highest praise you will ever receive here. - Low morale and high turnover rate. Timegate shows no loyalty to its people, so its little surprise when its people show little loyalty to Timegate. - You will find it very challenging to care about the quality of your work here.

    Advice to Management

    The difference between Timegate and successful studios is this: Timegate is process driven and successful studios are people driven. Your process at its best can never be as good as the people you can hire. The only reason your process "works" is because at the end of the day, in spite of the process, the people are passionate enough to get the game out the door, and passionate enough to care about the quality of their work. This heavy process removes any sense of ownership or pride for your work and does not scale, because the process bottlenecks at a few specific micromanagers. Also, please quit treating us like children. Layoffs and voluntary job changes are treated in such a clandestine way.. we know when someone is quitting probably before you do. And little certificates that you can use to win "prizes" cannot replace being genuinely appreciated. When coupled with all the abuse you put your employees though, it's like a slap in the face. The way I see Timegate is as a stopover for fresh college graduates. You put in your time here for a year or two and then move to a different job that isn't terrible as quickly as you can.


  11. Overall Very Satisfied

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Production in Sugar Land, TX
    Current Employee - Production in Sugar Land, TX
    Recommends

    Pros

    laid-back atmosphere, top projects to work on.

    Cons

    time constraints can be pretty hectic.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, the system works for me and glad I work here.



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