Blind Squirrel Games Reviews | Glassdoor

Blind Squirrel Games Reviews

Updated April 12, 2018
30 reviews

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3.6
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Brad Hendricks
24 Ratings

30 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Squirrel life is good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Tech in Santa Ana, CA
    Former Employee - QA Tech in Santa Ana, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blind Squirrel Games full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They are a growing company, full of talented and hard-working people, with exciting projects and opportunities for growth. The personalities they hire are people who are extremely helpful team players. Work gets done efficiently and you won’t be a slave to the overtime grind. Work and life balance is the best I’ve ever seen. You will feel respected and, in turn, find yourself actively engaged and interested in the company’s success.

    Cons

    Though it’s a good-natured intention to have a kitchen fully stocked and provide meals, I think those expenses could be cut back a little with some of the savings going back into growing the company.

    Advice to Management

    I’d evaluate the expenses used to keep the employees engaged and present after hours. These are fun and appreciated, but not everyone partakes and I believe it adds up quickly.


  2. "Good Long-Term Home"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Lead Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blind Squirrel Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -A stable work environment in growing company with many different projects.
    -Many talented engineers and artists with a wealth of experience.
    -Management is always actively working on incremental improvements for employee QOL (increased vacation time across the board, improved review practices, many extra-curricular activities, better feedback channels, and more).
    -Room to grow as a new hire with many teams in-house.
    -While it does creep in occasionally (less than everywhere else I've worked in games), crunch is the exception, not the rule and there is a company-wide philosophy of valuing individuals and avoiding overtime.

    Cons

    -Internal game projects have historically been smaller scale compared to many AAA contract projects.
    -Contract projects can be less creative on the gameplay side but for an industry veteran can offer many new challenges.
    -The company has had healthy growth so it is no longer for those looking for a small/indie studio. Production is a bigger part of the day-to-day.

    Advice to Management

    -Continue on the path of making employee needs a priority.

    Blind Squirrel Games Response

    Mar 7, 2018 – Community Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to write this review and we are thrilled that you enjoyed your time with us. Your feedback is very important to us and we will make sure it gets in front of the... More

  3. "Great Company with Immense Opportunity for Growth and Awesome People"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior UI Programmer in Santa Ana, CA
    Former Employee - Senior UI Programmer in Santa Ana, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blind Squirrel Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Everybody is friendly (I like pretty much everybody I met there)
    - Very communicative management team who legitimately care about their employees
    - There are always new projects coming their way (they've had to turn some down, even)
    - Exciting projects. I was thrilled to work on every game I was involved with
    - There is tight cross-disciplinary interaction, which enables faster, more effective iteration
    - Good team leadership allows junior and mid-level developers to focus on skill development
    - Great work-life balance. They were very flexible and happy to work with my schedule, which changed somewhat frequently while I worked there.
    - Great mentors. I got to work with a lot of very intelligent people who helped me become a better programmer and all-around game developer.
    - Strong opportunity for career progression. If you step up to the plate, you will be recognized.

    Cons

    - Although I was lucky enough to only be on projects that had barely any crunch, it is true that some projects had some intense crunch.
    - The lights in the main part of the studio are always off. This is not a con for many people, but I personally prefer light.

    Advice to Management

    - Do your best to mitigate crunch.
    - Keep doing what you're doing. It's working.

    Blind Squirrel Games Response

    Mar 7, 2018 – Community Manager

    We are thrilled that you enjoyed your time working with us and we very much appreciate you taking the time to detail your thoughts. We will make sure to pass on your feedback and we wish you the best... More


  4. Helpful (1)

    "A Great Studio for Career Growth"

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

    I have been working at Blind Squirrel Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    BSG has a family feel that comes from the top down and is enjoyed and nurtured by the employees, with clubs (programming, board games, tea tasting), activities (volleyball, walking, movie nights, potlucks) and great camaraderie. It is a growing company with plenty of opportunity for personal growth and advancement for juniors and seniors. Management is dedicated to growth of employees and employee-retention, with people and processes in place towards that end. The talented people that work here have built a reputation for solid on-time work-for-hire projects, and the company has leveraged that into now developing IP's from ground up, including original IP. They have a great IT staff that keeps everything running smoothly. The kitchen is stocked with real food plus a large variety of snacks and drinks!

    Cons

    The quality of your experience can depend on which project (and its publisher) you land on--some are harder than others in terms of overtime and type of work. Sometimes you have to take one for the team, but management tries to balance that when teams are formed for new projects, and they reward the hard work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep on building relationships with new publishers to get away from the tougher cases, or at least use expanded options as leverage to negotiate more favorable contracts with the difficult clients.

    Blind Squirrel Games Response

    Mar 7, 2018 – Community Manager

    Thanks so much for taking the time to write out detailed thoughts on your current time as a Squirrel. We will make sure to pass on your suggestions to the Executive team so that they can take a look.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great people terrible middle management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Blind Squirrel Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Some of the smartest most driven talent you can find in the industry when it comes to engineering and art.
    Working there was generally a joy, great benefits, challenging problems, lots of opportunity to grow and learn and work on big AAA projects and get a lot of titles under your belt.
    Generally feels more like a family/friends than a bunch of coworkers.
    Very few disagreeable employees in terms of personalities.

    Cons

    Original IP is a black hole for the studio with high turnover and bland ideas, process is getting better but very slowly.
    Everything is on a shoestring budget with bad prioritization of funds and behind schedule.
    A bunch of employees are underpaid (even for the games industry), especially considering a lot of them are on multiple projects so the company is getting 2-3x profit on some employees.
    A section of management/production aren't interested in the day to day quality of life of the employees, exception for the CEO who really cares and is often on the phone yelling at external clients to stop working employees too hard.
    CEO is great but needs to take a hard look at the state of things as a lot of people are getting burned out due to people saddling them with bad decisions they had no say in.
    New hires come in confused why basic things aren't in place at the studio in terms of workflows and best practices.
    A lot of the middle management was hired when the company was smaller and haven't scaled well.

    Advice to Management

    Take a hard look at the management structures/practices/people and work on trying to clearly communicate long term goals so everyone can better align their work.
    Encourage more bottom up solutions to meet top down road-maps.
    Better communication, less telephone game.
    Get systems in place to better manage people/resources.
    Spend more on support staff and automation/tools to better multiply the productivity of your devs and to help them not get burned out.

    Blind Squirrel Games Response

    Mar 7, 2018 – Community Manager

    We appreciate you taking the time to write out your detailed thoughts on how we can improve here at Blind Squirrel Games. Please know that your feedback has been received and will be passed on to the... More


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Bottom of the barrel."

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

    I worked at Blind Squirrel Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    * Decent kitchen with Freestyle soda machine.
    * Some decent folks there

    Cons

    * Lies about the work from the start
    * Bad communication from management
    * Severely understaffed, don't be surprised to be working on two projects with a full workload each.
    * Sketchy management, told to not mention to clients about splitting time on projects.
    * Lots of unpaid overtime.
    * Forced shutdown for 2 weeks during holiday but we are only given 4 holidays, so we must use our own vacation time to fill the rest since the studio is closed. Also no sick days specifically, have to use vacation time again.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck keeping the ship afloat...

    Blind Squirrel Games Response

    Mar 7, 2018 – Community Manager

    Thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts on how we can improve at Blind Squirrel Games. We would like to address your concerns about “sick days” directly. Here at Blind Squirrel... More


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Producer in Santa Ana, CA
    Current Employee - Producer in Santa Ana, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blind Squirrel Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The quality of talent at the studio is incredibly high. People are passionate and dedicated to their work and growth. An amazing assortment of snacks, drinks, and coffees are available for free. There are several clubs to join depending on your interests. Several times a year we go to a new movie, or have a studio event. Overall, it feels like a family.

    Cons

    Hours can be long sometimes. This can cause stress and frustration on occasion but people are rewarded for their hard work.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Keep thinking about the teams who are putting in all the hours and keep rewarding them!

  8. Helpful (5)

    "Run don't walk, this place is a mess"

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

    Pros

    - Cool Kitchen
    - Fun developers (excludes draconian management)

    Cons

    - Self absorbed CEO that is chasing out talent at every level
    - Disappearing leads, managers, and executives
    - Revolving door of projects
    - No focus or direction (To work for hire, or not, this is the question).

    Advice to Management

    Hire a professional set of executives, focus on something other than self enrichment, fulfill some of the many promises that you have been telling staff for years (401K matching, Stock Options, Bonuses, Original IP, and, and, and).


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Not recommended"

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

    I worked at Blind Squirrel Games full-time

    Pros

    You may get to expand your skillset.
    There is a stocked kitchen

    There are genuinely some good people there.

    Cons

    People doing the absolute least possible to collect a check. (on facebook all day)
    Unqualified management.
    Unwarranted egos.
    No consistent pipeline.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of the blizzard egos, focus on talent and managerial skill rather than who's friends with who.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Poor decisions every which way."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Blind Squirrel Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - An amazing group of developers that truly cares about one another.
    - Snacks
    - No one looks over your shoulders.

    Cons

    - Good at porting games and helping other studios. That is it.
    - Not a creative place.
    - Production driven studio. Does it work? Did you close your Jira task? OK good. You've done your job. Pat on back.
    - Crunch for every project.
    - Underpaid and barely any perks compared to surrounding game companies.
    - Subpar vacation and sick days.
    - Incredibly naive management thinks they can develop their own game. Everyone sees the failing of the IP team. No foresight and no passion.
    - Only talks about money and some game that no one knows about.
    - No one is allowed to give input.
    - Work hard, get laid off.
    - People are afraid to talk about their ideas, because upper management will own your idea.
    - Millions in business as told by management, weeks later layoffs. Liars.

    Advice to Management

    Stop telling everyone how much you care about money and not about games. Stop lying to everyone about earning more money and how it benefits everyone. We know it benefits no one but the people speaking.

    Stop creating an environment where employee opinions do not matter. Look at your hires and how it affects other people. It's more damaging than your lies.


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