This is a tight knit community where your opinion matters which keeps you inspired, stretching your skill sets and growing in new areas all the time. I am relaxed, comfortable to collaborate beyond my department, and experience a healthy work life balance being at Sucker Punch. The people here are highly skilled and down to earth.
None that I can think of.
Advice to Management
Thank you for the acknowledgement, advice and attention you give all of us.
I worked at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than a year)
Suckerpunch has been the best studio Ive worked for in my career.
The staff are welcoming and a pleasure to work with. Upper management has made sure that the people who really know their stuff are in leadership roles. Ideas and brainstorming are encouraged. The quality of art is top notch and I feel privileged to have worked here.
Usually, wherever one works, there are negatives, but in this case I really cant think of any.
I have been working at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than 8 years)
SP has a big focus on productivity and pushes itself with respect to quality.
Everyone can have a positive effect on the quality of the game.
Cooperation is a big focus, with fairly tactically minimal management intrusion.
SP has less crunch compared to most of the industry (pretty minimal).
There are lots people with families at SP and that is reflected in the games we make (have not made an M rated game).
You have to be able to get over your ego to succeed here (pro for me).
Requires constant effort to learn and improve quality of work (pro for me, but not for everyone).
SP is not averse to cutting under-performing staff if things can't be improved. This is painful, but seemingly unavoidable in a competitive industry.
SP has increased in size over the years and communication across the team has sometimes suffered.
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I have been working at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than a year)
- This is a small, tight-knit team for a AAA studio, and it shows in the trust developers place in each other. New employees get big responsibilities, and it is rare (though not completely unheard of) for a single person, even a senior one, to be overly possessive of a feature. At other studios where I've worked, it's been common for certain employees to "own" certain features or systems, and it's difficult for anyone else to get in and work on them. At Sucker Punch that's almost nonexistent.
- Studio culture is very collaborative. Anybody passionate about a discipline other than the one they were hired into is encouraged to contribute there if they can, and offer feedback if they can't. Feedback is well-received by every department, from every department. That doesn't mean every employee is great at receiving criticism, but many are.
- Almost to a fault, the studio is dedicated to making quality games: they are willing to throw away months of effort if it's not working, almost all the way to release. If the game isn't fun, the employees take it personally, and won't settle for shipping it the way it is. For some people this might be a con -- early iteration on a project can be difficult, before it comes together, especially when ideas fail. That time can feel rudderless, and like wasted effort. But for me, it's a pro, because it shows a willingness to keep trying and an unwillingness to settle.
- Higher-ups are open about decision-making, hiring, and production processes, and keep the whole team up to date weekly. At other studios I've worked for, this would be unthinkable. The small size of the studio allows everyone to meet in one place on a regular basis.
- The studio has a very family-friendly culture (and a late-thirties average employee age), and it shows in the incredibly generous paid time off. Work-life balance is encouraged and expected, and sustained crunch (especially by comparison to other AAA companies) is nonexistent.
- Studio-wide events are scheduled every month or two. There's a big focus on everyone spending time together that contributes to the tight-knit feel of the office.
- Pay is good, and leadership is dedicated to sharing the success of the studio in bonuses and raises.
- The studio was founded by engineers (as many game companies were) and it still shows. For all the cross-disciplinary cooperation at day-to-day and milestone levels, the upper leadership and final decision-making is dominated by engineers. Some non-technical employees feel they have less influence than they should.
Advice to Management
Encourage employees in every discipline and at every seniority level to be educated in other disciplines. It's already a strength of the studio, but there's room to grow, and rough edges, especially for people who are non-technical. Provide resources and push them to learn new skills, if they want, and find other ways to expand their influence if they don't.
Brilliant people. I have tremendous respect for everyone in this studio. I had the opportunity to be creative, learn, and interact freely with any team member. Overall, the greatest group of people you'll find in a game studio.
Positive work environment, great culture. Friendly and fun.
I honestly have nothing to note.
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