Ready At Dawn Studios Reviews | Glassdoor

Ready At Dawn Studios Reviews

Updated March 8, 2017
21 reviews

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3.1
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Ready At Dawn Studios CEO Paul W. Sams
Paul W. Sams
7 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    "Talented and motivated team dedicated to making great games."

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

    I have been working at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I'm always motivated to do my best because I trust everyone else is as well. It's evident through daily updates and day to day production conversation.
    Most of the production staff have their eyes set on making great games and not just benefiting themselves.

    Cons

    It seems that management leans on beaurocracy more times than not. With the amount of time, effort and energy spent on making games collaboratively (most work long past the mandated core hours) the studio seems to lack trust with it's employees.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees and put more effort into showing more appreciation for the hard, dedicated work that is put forth by your very talented staff.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "...you will learn a valuable lesson here!"

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

    I worked at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    ... Great studio for entry-level/go-getter type people. The studio facility is great, with wide open floors and natural sunlight. There are a few very talented people around in tech and art (they are getting less these days, though).The studio space is fairly new (2 yrs) and most of the tech and furniture setup are brand new with a smooth European-designed look. Management has a high bar for aesthetics and company presentation.

    Cons

    They told the team to write positive reviews on Glassdoor, which should tell you a lot about the type of mentality coming from upper management. The studio is poised filled with dishonesty and has a heavy testosterone driving work culture. Best ideas always win? Unfortunately that's not the case here. During The Order 1886 the core team didn't want any team members to bring in ideas to the IP and its ongoing development. Directors were (and still are today) out of sync with each other lacking a true vision for their current games and the broader future of the studio. Leads are filled with arrogance (since both owners are super-rich and like to show it) and mainly stick around because they have weird personalities incompatible with other dev. teams. One of the owner wears many hats (CEO, Creative Director, HR) which makes it impossible to understand a clear direction for the games developed there. The actual CEO (off-site) is never at the studio and only shows up at Christmas parties! Review and performance cycles for employees are missed and or delayed most of the time.

    Advice to Management

    You're not as big of a dev. studio as you would like to be ... Your egos are in the way! Calm down, focus on the people you work with and value their input and ideas... Rethink your company philosophy! You make game not because you like to play games that your passionate about, but because you want to make money! Oh, and please realize that not everything your Art and Design Director is telling you is gold! Generally, improve leadership and mentoring among directors and leads if you want to keep good people around that can produce great games for you...


  3. Helpful (8)

    "on of the worst"

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

    I worked at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Clean studio, good kitchen, Irvine is a clean area

    Cons

    no respect for their employees, they are so rude and they really don't value their employees as humans, you are just a part of their business.

    Advice to Management

    stop abusing artists and engineering


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great company with great people!"

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

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Like I stated in my con's list above consistency is important to me with regards to managerial policies. And whether or not the policies have stayed the same or not the perception is not there.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great company to learn and grow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time

    Pros

    There are extremely talented programmers and artists working here. Everyone is passionate about making a great game and push each other to do the best. Because of this you will learn and be pushed to grow yourself so you can push the boundaries of your discipline. RAD has a track record of making each game one of the most artistic and technically impressive games on their platform and that is what makes it great to work there.

    Cons

    Because of the passion to push and go above and beyond people will work late to do what they feel will make the game be better. That being said there is no mandatory crunch so if you are not passion driven you don't have to stay late.

    Advice to Management

    Postmortems are great and the more we do the more efficient the team will become.

    Ready At Dawn Studios Response

    Jan 6, 2016 – CEO

    Thank you for this feedback. The kind words and support are much appreciated. Please know that we are committed to making our company and our games even better. If you ever have thoughts on how we ... More


  7. Helpful (10)

    "Great Game Development Studio"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time (More than 5 years)

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Ready at Dawn's has proven itself as a formidable game developer, but it's also important to establish a culture with a healthy work/life balance (as some newer studios have done and still many others must do too). This is a beneficial to the health of the employees, and in turn will help with employee retention and moral.


  8. Helpful (14)

    "Great artists, terrible directors and producers"

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

    I have been working at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time

    Pros

    Some of the best artists and programmers in the industry work here. Employees are friendly and helpful, all passionate about making great games.
    The founders are talented, nice people who are pleasure to work with.
    Great location and facility.

    Cons

    Their “no BS” policy is, ironically, BS. Lot of implied rewards, but you will but most likely be laid off, or leave on your own empty handed when your project is done.
    One of the worst grinds I’ve seen 7 years in the game industry, due to the management’s poor planning. No overtime pay. Salary is on the low end of the industry norm depending on your position.
    Some of the directors are pretty terrible. One in particular can’t delegate work and tells artists to “self-supervise”. People have been fired for not being able to read his mind, or not participating on his “non-mandated” OT.
    Details are nitpicked forever causing delays and burnout.
    Producers are not straightforward with artists and cause of unnecessary politics. Shady and dishonest.

    Advice to Management

    Get more directors and producers, or replace them. Do not rely on single person’s opinion. Do not let just one person to run departments.


  9. Helpful (24)

    "Great Artists, TERRIBLE leadership. The Absolute worst job you could have in this Industry."

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

    I worked at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pros: ready at dawn is an art focused studio. If you want to spend months on one asset or texture, that's the studio for you. No mandated crunch. But you will. ;). Extremely transparent feedback, for the most part. Most of the "regular employees" are awesomely talented individuals.

    Cons

    Cons: Leadership is comprised of amazingly "talented" individuals. I'm talking genius level intellects. However, they are very junior in their leadership skills. They lack the fundamentals and job experience needed to work well with others and lead responsibly. Most every lead at ready at dawn has never worked anywhere else. This is literally their first "real" job.

    There's too much focus on perfection and not enough focus on people and team building. Leadership does not inspire people to go out of their way to work hard for them. Instead, they use fear tactics and thuggery to scare everyone into doing a good job. Even worse, they know this and don't care. They actually think it's normal. There's absolutely no joy in the job.

    The system is built to tear you down, depress and oppress you rather than lift you up. Imagine your boss is a 4 year old kid who never listens to anyone about anything, but if you let them be, they'll figure it out for themselves. There's a huge political agenda in place specifically designed to support the leads. While production advertises a transparent policy, they are far from balanced and care very little for regular employees. Additionally, management lets a great deal of incompetency slide. Especially when individuals are tied to close friendships with higher ups and studio directors.

    One art lead in particular often pitches a fit and storms out of meetings when they hear information contrary to their opinion. Its always overlooked and regarded as "oh that's just that person and how they are". This behavior has lasted for over 6 years with zero reprimand.

    Ready at Dawn leadership fosters an extremely compliant work force that offers no room for professional growth. They want yes men. They want zero feedback. They don't want to hear your thoughts. The only thoughts and ideas given must come from the lead. Any additional thought is perceived as a threat and squashed and/or recycled later as their idea.

    They often promote based on compliant personalities who do what there told. Some of the art leads are junior or fresh out of school and were promoted based on a compliant personality. "Easy to control."

    You will work hard with very little positive feedback. You will never know your doing a good job until your review. Which may or may not come until the first or second year. Any mention of a need for positive feedback is immediately met with the phrase, "that's just how it is here." There is very little interest in change.

    There is a strong culture of negativity and a aura of stress that sneaks into the sub-conscience when working at ready at dawn. The leadership is EXTREMELY egotistical. They Don't inspire others to go out of their way for them. This problem reaches all the way to the top. They respect those that massage the ego.

    If you want to work at Ready at Dawn, know that you'll need to butter up the boss, comply with every directive and kiss the bosses boots to climb the latter. Leave your personal creativity at home. If your fresh out of school, that's the place for you. If your a seasoned professional, you WILL see the all of the above very quickly.

    Best to avoid either way.

    Advice to Management

    Remove your self from management. You are ALL Amazing, intelligent, great artists, but terrible leaders. You don't inspire people to go out of there way for you. Put your expertise to better use as Senior artist rather than leaders. Leave leadership to those with people skills. You have NONE. Read books on interpersonal skills. Learn how to inspire others to go out of their way for you.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Great, artist friendly studio"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA

    I have been working at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun studio to work at, good pay. And decent benefits. Quality bar for artwork is very high, and it's a great place to learn and enhance your artistic skill sets. Very ambitious team and projects. Scheduling is getting better, it was kind of rough at first.

    Cons

    Expensive location to live, it would be nice if they paid full spousal and family benefits.


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Good studio with amazing art."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - 3D Artist in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - 3D Artist in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Ready At Dawn Studios full-time (More than a year)

    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.


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