Ready At Dawn Studios Reviews | Glassdoor

Ready At Dawn Studios Reviews

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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 (4)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 (8)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 (10)

    "on of the worst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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


  4. Helpful (11)

    "Meh"

    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 Ready At Dawn Studios full-time

    Pros

    Good location. Nice office. Good equipment and tech

    Cons

    It was entertaining to read the positive reviews on this page. Some are so formal, it almost seems like it was written by the management. Hmmmmm…. If they were, you'd think they would have better things to do than care about some Glassdoor reviews. Anyways, there were some ridiculous, unrealistic expectations from the company, while not meeting many of their own promises. Layoffs and firings seem to come suddenly. Maybe these are rantings of a disgruntled employee. maybe not.

    Advice to Management

    Don't care about them enough to give advice.


  5. Helpful (14)

    "Poor leadership and low morale, don't believe the fake positive reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - 3D Artist
    Former Employee - 3D Artist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They have good tech. Their developer tools and pipeline workflow is maintained. Good health care plan.

    Cons

    After a lot of talented developers left the company after The Order tanked, a flood of bad reviews came out that accurately described the problems that still plague the company today. To any prospective employee, I would read those first before committing to this company. When those reviews came out, the employees were told to go and write good reviews for glassdoor. So I wouldn't trust any of the glowing the reviews that are published on this website.

    Also the leadership and vision is terrible. Negative criticism on people's work is prevalent

    Advice to Management

    Acknowledge that you have real flaws and implement leadership training to all leads and directors to improve their social and communication skills.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Great company with great people!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  7. Helpful (13)

    "I'm proud to work here."

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

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

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to take in feedback and suggestions. Nice to see post mortem concerns actually addressed and improved.

    Ready At Dawn Studios Response

    Jan 6, 2016 – 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... More

  8. Helpful (16)

    "Not quite what I was expecting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    The programming team was amazing at their jobs. The whole reason The Order even looked as good as it did was because the programming team could somehow keep delivering on features that other games would have said were impossible. You could make requests to them and they were always willing to help out and improve the engine for both art and design. This includes functionality and workflow. they would also explain things to you in the sense of how it worked and not just what to do so you could have a better understanding of how the system worked under the hood. I have no idea why more people didn't take advantage of this team.

    There were a lot of people to learn from. Clearly The Order didn't look as good as it did without learning a lot in the process. especially for art assets.

    There were a lot of really clever features you may not even think to add to a game that Ready at Dawn did. the way they achieved that cinematic look was brilliant in the end and they deserve a ton of credit on pulling off those seamless transitions.

    Studio look was a pleasant place. it had a bright wide open feel which made it a lot more relaxing to work in rather than the dark rooms most game studios do. It's also in Irvine which is a nice neighborhood.

    Cons

    The art team seemed to dictate a lot of decisions at times even if they weren't fully educated on the topic. Even if people were wrong they would never admit it. It became difficult to work with some of them and at times frustrating knowing you couldn't make parts of the game live up to it's full potential. In the end there was a ton of micro managing by this department.

    Deadlines seemed almost meaningless. Work was constantly being redone, touched up, changed, etc... it got to the point that the game had to be perfect looking but at the cost of getting things done. seemed like no one could make the tough call and just move past small simple changes.

    i'm not sure anyone knew how to build and play the game to make sure they didn't break the build on The Order. A lot of the bugs could have been avoided and a lot of work would have gone a lot smoother had people just built their work and tested it but no matter how many times the game broke it just didn't seem important to people.

    Design is questionable. It should be no surprise that The Order didn't perform well and I was a bit worried when it sounded like management didn't want to take responsibility for that. I understand time was tight and the engine was hardly fleshed out but with how cut scene heavy and linear the game was when you were playing it didn't seem like they knew what made games fun. Especially when the one thing being pushed so hard was the story and that wasn't even very good.

    This company plays the blame game and even with perforce are still not capable of understanding who is responsible, even when some people know. When something goes wrong people are quick to pass the buck. At times there may have been a bug in the engine but in a meeting instead of saying they'll look into the issue people are more likely to say which person they think broke it. with that person immediately taking the blame regardless if it was a bug in the system or not. this quickly turns into a negative experience that yields no results. it happens around the office too, it's not limited to one department. I don't know why this is like this but that's the way it was when i got there.

    lots of crunching. i don't know why this is an industry thing. a catered dinner is not good compensation for staying 3 hours late every night for months.

    It seems a bit cliquey. Started to feel like they wanted yes men and buddies to play games with more than they wanted people who could do good work. if you ever were to question decisions being made the seniority card would be pulled out pretty fast and when a game flops as bad as The Order it's hard to fully trust the decisions of people in charge. A lot of people wanted certain higher ups let go or at least not in such positions of power but no one could possibly bring that up as not only would it never happen but i can't imagine them keeping someone on who voiced a concern like that. It seems like the company is focused less on what makes good games and more on who they want personally in a company.

    I know i wrote a lot of cons in this review but i did so in hopes that management honestly attempts to fix things. regardless of what happened at Ready at Dawn i really appreciated the time i spent there and learned a lot. I made some good friends and am sad that things turned out the way they did. It's just very demoralizing to crunch and work so hard on a game and not only see it fail but to think that your bosses might not see why.

    Advice to Management

    Accept that not everything is going to be perfect, conflict can be helpful, micro manage less, focus on fixing problems rather than placing blame, and learn to trust your team when you may not know enough on a specific part of the game process.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Good long term future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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

    Pros

    I am a current employee and a pretty happy one. RaD is not perfect but having been at small and big studios in the past, the effort is made here to keep workers productive and content. There are many studios in the Irvine area but I consider RaD to be one of the most stable ones around.

    1. Owners have a long term plan that make job security a big pro here.
    2. Transparent about publisher negotiations and company goals (wasn't always this way and credit to them for listening to employee feedback and changing that).
    3. Great projects that challenge you as a developer and leave you with a nice portfolio after shipping.
    4. AAA studio that doesn't operate at the AAA size so you have access to leadership about game feedback.
    5. As the company grew, there were growing pains which resulted in lackluster onboarding process but they've turned that around by actively pushing company outings and the typical perks of the industry including beer Fridays, weekly game tournaments, movie outings, weekly frisbee, and special events (family bbq's, trampoline dodgeball, etc.).
    6. Rarely are there end of project mass layoffs. There is always underperformers that are let go at the end of projects but a layoff here is rarely for a financial reason.
    7. Flexibility in your own personal schedule. Employees with families or personal chores are given a certain amount of flexibility to set their schedule and as long as you are getting your tasks done on time, there are no questions asked.
    8. I've never been outright told to crunch. They appreciate and reward extra time spent on improving the game but I've never seen mandatory crunch days requested.

    Cons

    1. Still need to work on more collaboration among depts. That is continuing to improve and leads must drive that more and make it part of the work culture.
    2. Too detail oriented on the less important things sometimes. Before fleshing out key systems, too much discussion/work is put into the small details before finding the fun of the system.
    3. All companies have some kind of communication challenge and RaD is no different. Milestone deliveries within depts. can be blurry and because of that bottlenecks in delivery of assets can push a dept behind.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to keep the communication avenues open and the employees can see your efforts in improving transparency. Departmental check in from time to time might help to clear up the cons mentioned above.

    Ready At Dawn Studios Response

    Jan 6, 2016 – CEO

    Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it. While I love all of the Pros you listed, I am particularly happy to hear that you have seen an improvement in transparency. That is a big deal to... More


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Fantastic Studio with Passionate Talent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    The talent inside the walls of RAD is unreal, your colleagues are friendly and cross disciplines work hand-in-hand passionately to make games they all are excited for. Management fosters transparent communication values and keeps everyone informed to the best of their ability. Speaking for myself I have been able to grow into a position that would normally have clear-cut duties but by always seeking new projects and challenging the preordained process I have been able to highlight my best abilities and flourish. Your hard work and attitude does not go unnoticed.

    Cons

    Everywhere you go, no matter what field you're in there will always be gossip. It's like playing telephone, it's never what it initially started as. With that said, management does it's best to control and resolve any concerns or problems anyone may have.


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