Vicarious Visions Reviews | Glassdoor

Vicarious Visions Reviews

Updated October 24, 2017
45 reviews

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4.4
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Vicarious Visions Studio Head Jennifer Oneal
Jennifer Oneal
6 Ratings

45 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Overall Vicarious Visions is a friendly and fun environment with lots of activities and events to take part in especially in regards to music (in 3 reviews)

  • Friendly group of people, challenging problems to solve (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • Really long hours for extended time periods (in 4 reviews)

  • While Albany has some attractions, it is a relatively lower energy area more geared towards families (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    "Great Place to Work!"

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

    I have been working at Vicarious Visions full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    + Collaborative environment
    + Flexibility (work/life)
    + People are passionate about what they do

    Cons

    - Location (commute purposes) is good for me, but there are few amenities

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing!


  2. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Vicarious Visions full-time

    Pros

    A very strong culture. Great IP to work on. Lots of opportunity for personal development.

    Cons

    The Albany area won't appeal to everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Stay focused on continuing to develop a strong talent base. Stay true to your passions.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "A Relaxed Environment with Room for Personal Growth."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environment Artist in Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Environment Artist in Albany, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vicarious Visions full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    VV has a relaxed vibe with flexible hours and easy-going personalities. As an artist, I was able to work with management/leads to develop the skills that I wanted to. I was able to try my hand at many aspects of game art and didn't feel slotted into just one thing. Communication between disciplines was never an issue for me. Generally, other employees were all to happy to help or even teach/explain what they knew. VV also does their best to maintain their workers even after shipping titles whereas many other studios might be looking to downsize. Compensation at VV was pretty good, especially considering the cost of living in Albany.

    Cons

    Albany is a smaller city and if you aren't used to the climate in the north-east it might be a shock. There is a bit of separation between upper-management and content creators. Most of the games made at VV are part of an existing franchise and the work does have to support that franchise.

    Advice to Management

    Start an original IP!


  4. "Great people, Unique projects, and about as stress free as you can get!"

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

    Pros

    Vicarious is a studio that has collected and grown some of the best talent I've ever seen in the industry. They foster a very relaxed atmosphere, while still encouraging us to push, and SUPPORT each other to become the best we can be. Our projects are actually rather special in that we get to work on unique branches of game titles (i.e. we don't do space marines and shooters). This allows us to spread our wings a bit and foster some experimentation in our work!

    Our benefits package is great, as well as an extremely reasonable time off policy. The only occasion where time-off would be denied would be during crunch time. Speaking of crunch, the studio seems to do all it can to avoid crunch time...understanding that we get our best work from people when they are at their highest levels of energy (not when they're worked to death). Of course, crunch DOES happen...but it's made to be as painless as possible.

    Another benefit, from a developer standpoint, is our tools. The company really takes great pride in our internal tools, taking the pain out of game development so our creative people can focus on what they do best...CREATING!

    Finally, the people are great here. I've never worked in a studio that has such a LACK of ego and inter-competition. Everyone seems to have the same goal....getting better to create better games.

    Highly recommended.

    Cons

    Salary may be lower here than at other studios. It is, however, somewhat less expensive to live in upstate New York vs someplace like southern California...so it balances out. But the pay could use a little boost.

    Advice to Management

    Trust in the talents of the team. Keep fostering creativity, training, and tool development. Maintain confidence in your culture, your people, and your projects.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "One of the industry's best kept secrets"

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

    Pros

    Excellent stability here. Executive staff always busy finding the next opportunity, which leads to unusual stability for the games industry.

    Invests in training and growth of employees

    Incredible tools and tech. Cutting edge rendering technology. Extremely supportive engineering and tools staff.

    Great place to have a family and be in the games industry.

    proximity to NYC and Boston without the cost.

    Cons

    Advancement, while definitely available, is a bit of a confusing process at times.

    Area might not appeal to everyone.

    Pay is only ok for the industry, however, it's not bad for the area.

    Advice to Management

    Clearer incentive programs would be nice.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "It's like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory"

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

    Pros

    This place is wonderful! The studio cares about it's employees and their families. The people who work here have great senses of humor and work ethic. We're all crazy together, but know how to get the job done. I've never felt more at home in work environment.

    Cons

    Sure every company has their things that can be improved upon. I think we could work a little bit more on our scheduling and management of scope, but otherwise the place is amazing.

    Vicarious Visions Response

    Jan 29, 2015 – HR

    Oompa Loompa doompadee doo! It is a crazy place, a good crazy though, we work hard but have fun doing it. Thanks for the feedback!


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Tools Programmer in Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Tools Programmer in Albany, NY
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Vicarious Visions full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Engineering Dept was well run and focused on improving the work of the content teams, not just making 'the next cool piece of code.'

    Training is encouraged, and family is a focus. Most people leave at 6pm every day, when not crunching. Hours are a bit flexible (you can leave as early as 5, and come in as late as 10). Taking time off (I once took 4 weeks off) wasn't really a problem for them, so long as it was coordinated.

    Seems like there's always 'something cooking' in addition to the 'big project,' which is nice if you get burnt out on it.

    Cons

    A little more 'corporate' compared to other game companies. Winter parties are held at clubs around Saratoga with a Jazz band, for example. You wouldn't see a company sponsored trip to Las Vegas for shipping a game, for example.

    Sometimes, getting opportunities to grow (i.e., leading a big 6 month endeavor) are hard to come by, if the project's don't need them.

  8. "Great studio with a great culture"

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

    Pros

    Experienced people
    A stable studio - been around for many years
    Good working environment
    Good studio culture
    Opportunity for career progression
    Opportunity to develop new skills
    Encourages creativity beyond the core products
    Very family friendly with excellent core values
    Good work/balance although there can be some crunch periods
    Located in capital region upstate NY which is excellent place for people with a family
    Are always extremely helpful and supportive
    Good remuneration and benefits

    Cons

    Location of the actual studio has limited amentities
    Albany is a small city with limited nightlife for those people
    There can be some crunch periods


  9. "Awesome Culture, Awesome Games, Awesome Job"

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

    I have been working at Vicarious Visions full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I currently work for VV and I can honestly say that it's awesome! VV spends a great deal of time and effort into maintaining the studio culture. They are very accommodating of employee needs both inside and outside of the studio. They also go above and beyond with free perks such as happy hours, yoga classes, meals and snacks, and swag - especially when a project is in full swing.
    Not only is the culture top notch, their games are fun and innovative. VV encourages its developers to work on things that interest us. Because almost everyone works on things they enjoy, it really shows in the quality of work and craftsmanship.
    VV FTW!

    Cons

    The studio is owned by Activision and working with ATVI can be challenging at times. It's also worth noting, however, that many, many other studios have this same dilemma.
    Also, VV is located in Albany, NY. While the area is actually really nice, the winter months are really cold.

    Advice to Management

    It'd be nice to have fewer meetings.
    It'd also be great to invest more in equipment and hardware like 24" monitors, battery backups, stand up desks, etc ...
    Lastly, we shouldn't ever run out of coffee. We need a more robust coffee station/system like you see at nice hotels.


  10. "A Well Balanced Culture; A Place to Grow and Stride"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Artist in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Artist in Albany, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Vicarious Visions (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    We are always striving to remain in AAA IPs which still exploring unique ideas
    It's a company that supports local colleges, community involvement, and sharing local culture
    Benefits packages are good and promote healthy living with fun competition
    There is a strong mentoring program here that helps us all develop as individuals and leaders
    Fun work environment with lifetime relationships
    Culturally open to a wide variety of individuals
    Everyone can be involved in internal tools development which helps us all grow our quality of product

    Cons

    Heavy creative involvement from the exec team can pose both positive and a negative at times.
    Need for healthier options for food catering and breakfast bar


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