My company just got bought

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AdamM

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My company just got bought
« on: 12 Oct 2007, 08:37 am »
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/stories/2007/10/08/daily69.html

10 years at EA
Moved 11,000 KM away
Now i'm back with EA!!


JLM

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #1 on: 12 Oct 2007, 08:51 am »
Hope you left on good terms.

Wonder what this might do for any retirement benefits (anytime companies merge it normally is not good for employee retirement benefits). 

Can you link back to previous service time to help with senority benefits?

Hope this isn't one of those buy the competition just to shut them down moves.

ooheadsoo

Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #2 on: 12 Oct 2007, 09:26 am »
My friend went back to work for EA because they have a good work environment/benefits, although the product isn't always the most exciting.  Good luck with the transition!

Woodsea

Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #3 on: 12 Oct 2007, 12:43 pm »
Can you do me a favor, and make sure your new parent company doesn't start dumbing down or mass producing sequels. 
Thanks in advance, I am sure you will do it for a fellow AC gamer!!!

Toka

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #4 on: 22 Oct 2007, 04:06 am »
If Mass Effect gets ruined by EA, there will be hell to pay. Hey, that rhymed.

mihilli

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #5 on: 22 Oct 2007, 05:06 am »
Yeah, me too.

I joined a small company trying to get away from the multinational machine.

8 months later, we're bought by Fujitsu, something like 300,000 employees worldwide.  We just had a preso from the local management, they swear in this part of the world there's very little bureaucracy.

I sure hope so, I don't want to go back to filling out 10 forms and waiting 2 months to get signoff to spend a few hundred bucks..........

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #6 on: 6 Dec 2007, 03:57 pm »
So Adam, how are things going?

AdamM

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #7 on: 4 Jan 2008, 02:06 pm »
Slow to respond here!

Things with Pandemic are great.  We're raiding EA's massive and comprehensive tools selection.  When i left EA, i thought to myself.."How am i going to do X without tool Z?"  and voila, now we have access to them all.

EA has been great with some stock purchase plans, and other assorted 'golden handcuffs', which are in addition to whatever people had with Pandemic.  It's just gravy.  People are pretty happy about it.

Some people, only on the outside, are crying doomsday with EA buying out Bioware and Pandemic.  Years ago, i would have agreed.  EA would buy companies out, parachute in management and generally mess things up.  That's not the case anymore.  They've got some very strong new leadership which 'get's it' and are leaving their acquisitions alone because it's not broken

I was at EA for 10+ years.  I have more bad things to say about them than most people should i choose, and masses of baggage, however, i see it as only upside for Bioware and Pandemic. It's good.

Videogames are now like Hollywood in the 1930's.  A handful of giant studios run everything. That's going to be the way it rolls, until someone comes out with 'Easy Rider' which is a box office smash, on a paltry budget.  That game won't happen for a few years... the hardware is still too new and complicated... but it will eventually.

I wish i could tell you what we're working on.  Still secret... but it's going to be big!

If you're into the tech, here's a talk that the Art Director and i gave about making visuals for next-gen hardware:
http://www.sumea.com.au/snews.asp?news=3729





Bob in St. Louis

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #8 on: 4 Jan 2008, 04:01 pm »
Dude! You're COOL!
Via the link you provided, I found myself following 'your history trail' so to speak. I found a developers forum where you describe "Specular extraction from differential cross polarization". Your explanation of that process was clear for even a novice photographer and gamer.
{ http://forum.sumean.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4757 }

I see you've worked on Need for Speed, which versions did you work on? The ongoing NFS 'saga' is one that my son an I have played a great many times on several different consoles. Kudos to you on that! Great games Adam.
So from what I gather, your the man in charge of giving a game it's visual realism with shading, shadows, etc...? Basically it's dimension?

I've also played a few Pandemic games, Full Spectrum Warrior is the only one that comes to mind. Good stuff. More kudos to you if you had a hand in that one.

Regarding your current secret project; Will it be for Xbox360?
Can you tell us the genre?....Shooter...Sports....RPG???? Any tidbits of information?  aa
When you say you're working on next gen hardware, you really mean hardware....Like the next gen consoles, or the next gen hardware for software development?...........If that makes sense. :scratch:

Glad to hear things are going well Adam, that's good to hear. Big companies can suck sometimes. It always seems they're doing things with the only regard to the almighty dollar as opposed to what's "right" for a given circumstance. Of course they're not a charity, but at least with my industry it sure seems they lack passion during the decision making process, you know?

Bob

AdamM

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #9 on: 4 Jan 2008, 10:51 pm »
Bob, you're too kind! :)  thanks!

Need for speed - i was on the early ones.  #1 and #2 - Way back on the PS1.  The recent NFS's are impressive indeed.  A few friends on those teams...  After leaving NBA Street, i thought about going back to NFS, but chose Pandemic and a few years of sunshine and surfing instead :)  Yes, i too love the recent versions.

The Sr Tech Artist (or CG Supervisor at EA - same role, different title) bridges the gap between the Art Director, and the Lead Programmer / Technical Director.  Art Directors are notoriously untechnical.  They'll say things like  'Make it feel like a wintery kiss'.  Programmers are notoriously un-artistic.  They'll say things like 'You get this much memory and this much GPU (graphics processor).  Guys like me need to act as translators between those two, and to help figure out the tech for all the art and how it's going to work.  Lighting, shaders, postFX, cameras, characters, animations, etc.

Secret project is Xbox 360 and PS3.   Our official line is  'AAA Action Adventure title based on a comic book hero'  There may be a movie coming out soon too..

Boy the PS3 is a pain in the ass! SOOOO complicated.  Yes, next-gen hardware, but that's now an incorrect term!  It's 'this gen' technically :)

You're bang on about big companies...  Especially publicly traded ones.  Releasing things before they're properly done to get revenue in for a particular financial quarter, etc.  Sometimes it sucks really hard.   I've not seen Pandemic do anything like that, which is awesome.

You know, for all the power of the 360 and PS3, i'm having the most fun with the Wii !

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #10 on: 5 Jan 2008, 11:53 pm »
Good information Adam, thanks for the reply. I love the tidbits of inside information. When I tell my 9 year old son that "I know the guy that 'made' this game", it'll raise my cool rating by a factor of 10.  8) :lol:

Regarding the "Action Adventure title based on a comic book hero", that'll be one my son will want. I'm not the Super Hero type. If I can't shoot bullets at you, out-race you at high speed, or out-fly you in some form of air/spacecraft...it's not my type of game. His newest "fav" is Ultimate Alliance. Personally, I can't stand the game or the genre. But if you need a 9 year old American boy as a beta tester.... aa :rotflmao:

Good point about next-gen being "now"-gen, you're right. I find myself telling my customers that their 2007 automobile is a year old when they insist it's a "new" car. But I've seen the '08's for several months now. It's all our perspective.

The Wii...... My son wants one. (I'd have to check how many more inputs my HT receiver has!  :o) I don't know man. I suppose the emphasis was put on the movement of the controllers as opposed to the graphics quality? I've not been impressed with any Wii demos I've seen. They're all cartoonish. But that's the target audience I guess.

Now, that being said....If a game console (like Wii) puts a realistic "gun" in my hands that will work with a 140" front projection screen and drops me in a jungle, or a desert and incorporates a very real 6 channel surround (so I can hear the bad guy sneak up behind me), THEN I'll buy one. And I don't mean some cheap cheesy orange plastic gun thing.  :roll: If I'm going to be immersed in a song, or a movie or a shooter genre game, then I want to be immersed, You know? But the Wii having a younger (non "M" rated games) audience, I assume they'll never have a serious shooter game. But, you gotta' admit, the Wii is build for this type of interactivity.  aa

Good description of the differences between the technical and art members of your team, that's funny. I can picture the "Odd Couple" like discussions.  :lol:

Thanks Adam,
Bob

brj

Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #11 on: 6 Jan 2008, 12:33 am »
Sounds like you have a fun job, Adam - although probably ripe for frustration at times!  It really is amazing how almost every technical discipline develops their own language (acronyms, new words, "verbing" of nouns, etc.) in an effort to make communication more efficient.  Translating between "tech speak" and a natural language can be every bit as difficult as translating between two natural languages.

I've never been much of a console gamer (preferring the PC for the limited gaming I manage to squeeze in), but I have to admit that the Wii is intriguing, especially since it allows so many possibilities for hacking and growth into unexpected directions.  I saw an article the other week about a guy that developed a head-motion tracker for the Wii by using glasses with an IR LED on each side.... one step closer to that truly immersive (yet affordable) environment you mentioned Bob.

The other seeming attraction of the Wii compared to other consoles is the unbounded entertainment provided to spectators.  Watching someone wiggle a couple of joysticks and press buttons doesn't hold a candle to watching someone wave their arms around trying to get the character on the screen to behave, and otherwise act like an lunatic.  The friend whose system I was experimenting with was laughing so hard while watching my brother and I play a game on the Wii that I thought he would rupture something.  When he finally gained enough control, he even went for his video camera.  Probably not one of my better moments...

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: My company just got bought
« Reply #12 on: 6 Jan 2008, 12:49 am »
:lol: Yea, I've heard about the cow racing game on the Wii. I'd hate for that to end up on YouTube with me as the star.  :roll: :lol:

Interesting about hacking the Wii. I've been so un-interested in the console I've not searched for any cool stuff.
I firmly believe that in my lifetime (I'm 37), that I'll have my wish of having a truly immersive game. I've thought (daydrempt) of a 360 degree projection system where the user/gamer could stand in one place and move his head to see what/who's behind him. Not having to move a stick mounted on a controller until your character 'spins' around. By then, you've been shot. It's as close to the real thing and still have a pause button as you can get.
Hell, if the technology were available, I'd have build my room with round walls and a couple more projectors and done this very thing.
Head mounted sensors. Gun mounted sensors. Torso mounted sensors.....   aa    :icon_twisted:

Adam, how close is the gaming industry to something like this?

Bob