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Ready At Dawn Studios

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Ready At Dawn Studios

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Ready At Dawn Studios Reviews

Updated Apr 7, 2020

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3.4
62%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
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Ready At Dawn Studios Co-Founder Ru Weerasuriya (no image)
Ru Weerasuriya
4 Ratings
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Really friendly development culture

    Apr 7, 2020 - QA Analyst in Irvine, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Excellent development team culture, lots of comradery and passionate. Not too crunch-oriented, very diverse and inclusive. Free work gym courtesy of the Irvine Company, a fully stocked kitchen, and a relatively relaxed PTO/sick time expectation.

    Cons

    Lower than average pay, even for the games industry. Communication between production and the dev team can be strenuous and at times absent. Lots of growing pains between departments.

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  2. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Effort Pays Off

    Aug 1, 2019 - Associate Producer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Making great games with passionate people - The employees of RAD are all dedicated to looking at what makes games fun in a variety of different ways. Sometimes it may come off a little chaotic but they are willing to take their time to insure the quality of the end product. Studio Culture - It has been very clear since day 1 that the admins/founders of the company are fully dedicated to the team. I always rolled my eyes before when people brought up co-workers being like family but the culture they have instilled here is very much a family. There may be some arguments (really just part of the creative process) but at the end of the day everyone is moving toward the same goals and able to hang out after work. Hard Work = Pay Off - Since starting at RAD I have not only looked at my current task list, but other places that I could help out. The idea of a team is very strong here and when people find ways to help one-another it comes through in the final product. By keeping this mentality in mind, I have managed to move up at least once a year. Hard work truly is rewarded at RAD. Pushing the Industry forward - RAD is very focused on finding and bringing in new talent. They may have high standards for those they bring in but that is only because the culture is built around being on the cutting edge. - Everyone who works here takes great pride in their work and wants to not just make the best looking/feeling product for now, but something that also will be the best 5/10 years from now.

    Cons

    Strong Personalities - Feels like, to be fair, I should mention that there are some very strong personalities roaming the halls at RAD. I personally view them as a challenge to improve myself (especially since creation/passion go hand-in-hand). But I can also understand how this fact may be off putting to some.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  3. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Programmer

    Dec 28, 2019 - Programmer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Work life balance is great

    Cons

    There can be a rigid structure and at times hard to bring change

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  4. 2.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Not a fun place to make games.

    Apr 18, 2019 - Artist in Irvine, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    There are a lot great people at Ready at Dawn. Snacks and coffee are plentiful. They make really pretty looking games.

    Cons

    There are also a lot of difficult people at Ready at Dawn that seems to take all the fun out of making games. There are folks there that have been there for 7-10 years and they don't have interest in collaborating with the new employees. Meetings are constant and overbearing and decisions aren't made quickly. This is why you see so many reviews here on long hours and crunch. They wait till the last minute to decide on something and we have to pay for it in long hours. I've worked at 5 gaming companies and this one was definitely the worst. While they came up with a cool game, it was shame how miserable the journey was.

    7 people found this review helpful
  5. 4.0
    Former Employee, less than 1 year

    Great work, but crunch is a thing

    Mar 12, 2019 - QA Tester in Irvine, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great people, great work! Loved working there, the culture was awesome, the environment and office was great. Everything was pretty much perfect when crunch wasn't happening.

    Cons

    Crunch happened, like it does in any video game company unfortunately. I understand that it's a fact of life, but that doesn't make daily 12 hour days + weekends any more fun. They did compensate well with free food and overtime pay though, so that was nice.

    1 person found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Great Game Development Studio

    Aug 18, 2015 - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The team at Ready At Dawn is extremely talented and capable. I've never worked at a studio with as many superstars and as little dead-weight. There's a tremendous amount of respect across disciplines, something I've found literally no where else in the game industry. This has allowed Ready at Dawn to create very efficient art workflows, and very effective content. Top to bottom, Ready at Dawn has the most transparent leadership hierarchy of any studio I've worked at. You can't please everyone, but the owners put a lot of effort into empowering the staff and improving the working conditions.

    Cons

    Overtime is not mandatory, but historically, every game has required tons of overtime to complete. This leads to a lot of voluntary overtime worked with no reimbursement. This problem isn't exclusive to Ready at Dawn, but the gaming industry as a whole. Some new studios are implementing no-overtime policies, but that's a luxury most studios cannot afford. These games are labors of love, and many people gladly put the extra time in, but it's an unhealthy expectation that the industry needs to move away from.

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    10 people found this review helpful
  7. 4.0
    Current Employee

    Great place to work!

    Jun 20, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The Studio allows you to grow and try new roles and challenges over the years (I.E. wear multiple hats). Ready is filled with passionate and very smart/talented individuals. Primary focus is on making great games (not a ton of drama). Many lessons were learned after the Order (Going from PSP to the PS4 was a harsh transition). Pod structures are now formed with directors just providing guidance which allows team members to have a greater sense of ownership. That combined with new blood has allowed RAD to become a better place. It is still a place I'm proud to work at. Work in VR where you can't (and should not) take player control away, has helped prioritize player agency. Improved transparency on where the company is going and what managements thoughts/plans are. Culture club, Coffee club, MTG league, can play computer games at your desk (after hours/lunch), and beer Fridays. Great people and friends who all love games. Stability. Leading the charge in VR games. Serious about making and shipping great games. Strive and push to make AAA games. Swords earned at 10 years.

    Cons

    Crunch and overtime still happen more than it should, but most of the time it can be minimized if you prioritize a work/life balance. It's also better than it used to be, many years ago. Directors often get attached to a concept/idea too early and stay fixated to it for too long (while it is still a con, I feel like they are getting better at listening to non-director feedback). Design team has been understaffed over the years but it seems like that is improving. Reviews and promotions are often very late or delayed.

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    2 people found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee

    I'm proud to work here.

    Oct 5, 2015 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    1. Great tools and tech for artists. 2. Crazy talented co-workers 3. A never ending snack bar (this could be a con if you have no will power) 4. "Culture club" nerdy title but it's successful. From Ultimate Frisbee to Movie nights things are always happening. 5. I've got a great lead and work in a department that collaborates very well. 6. All the full time benefits you would expect, plus birthday's off, Christmas Holiday break, etc. I've read the other glassdoor reviews and it's disappointing. Glassdoor's overall number doesn't reflect what we're doing here. Maybe I'm biased, but as someone that's been here for years... I'm happy here, and I believe people would love working here.

    Cons

    1. Glassdoor says I’m slightly underpaid (but that could also be from my terrible negotiating skills) 2. Bottlenecks in the pipeline. At times it's harder than it should be to push assets through. 3. A never ending snack bar (this could be a pro if you have will power) Overall, most game companies have the same cons. If I had a long list of cons to write out I wouldn't still be here.

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    15 people found this review helpful

    Ready At Dawn Studios Response

    CEO

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about Ready At Dawn. I am really glad that you feel good about what we are doing at our company. We can always be better, but it is good to know that you think we are on the right track! As it relates to the pipeline, one of the top engineers in the company is focused almost entirely on streamlining the tools and the pipeline to make us even more effective and efficient. Thanks for the feedback...every bit of it makes a difference.

  9. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great company with great people!

    Mar 1, 2016 -  in Irvine, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    One of my favorite parts of working for ready at dawn is that the upper management give me the ability to be as creative as I want with regards to how I get my job done. I 'm not told how to do my job as long as I produce. Giving me that freedom has allowed me to develop in ways I wouldn't have otherwise and this in turn has helped me to learn new tech as well as given me a great deal of pride in the stuff I do. As a whole the rank and file programmers and artists are not only extremely talented but also very supportive. A huge part of what gets me going in the morning is looking forward to working the staff at RaD. It's an amazing team to work with.

    Cons

    Ready at Dawn is a gaming studio so it shares are the standard downsides of working for any gaming studio specifically long hours. Beyond that, my only criticism is that RaD is still trying to figure out how to be a larger studio while maintaining a small studio mindset. In general having a small studio mentality is a great thing, but sometimes that bleeds into seemingly inconsistent managerial policies and practices.

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    4 people found this review helpful
  10. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Good studio with amazing art.

    Jun 28, 2014 - 3D Artist in Irvine, CA
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    If you are an artist you will get to create some of the best art in the industry. It can be stressful getting everything up to par but the directors definitely push for you to be the best you can be. There are artists from all over the world so you can learn from the best of the best while here. When you are not in crunch time it is a pretty relaxed studio with good work hours. 1.5hr lunch is nice and their core work hours are helpful for having a schedule that can work for most people.

    Cons

    Lot of time seems to be wasted on minuscule tasks. Lots of time refining things that aren't really going to be seen. Upper management tries to control too many minor things and middle management can be a little disorganized causing you to need to rush on things because they did not assign tasks until hours before they need to be done. Some of this they do seem to be putting a real effort to try and fix. When people are on crunch you can expect to work 60+ hours a week for a week to sometimes up to 1.5 months. Salary is average, leaning on the lower end which can be tough living in such an expensive area.

    7 people found this review helpful
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