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Larian General Discussion Thread

Joined
Jan 14, 2018
Messages
50,754
Codex Year of the Donut
Larian has always been infested with crunch,
god I love swen
The only reason why it hasn't blown up in their faces yet
nobody besides game journos give a shit

ask gamers which one of these they'd prefer:
games done in a timely manner instead of taking 10 years to make a 20 hour long game
OR
gamedevs being chained to their desk and regularly whipped

The cost of removing 'crunch' will be passed onto gamers btw.
Whether you like it or not, DOS2 is perceived to be one of the best games ever made and passion-driven people, who want to play a part in CREATING games, not manufacturing them, are going to be more prone to joining the company due to that. Once they enter, however, they will also be quickly disillusioned that they are
yes, this is another reason crunch is good: it gets rid of people who ruin your company because they join for prestige reasons
Not only does this break people's dreams of working in the industry
Jesus works in mysterious ways.
Effectively, at the start of BG3 production, these people (and Swen himself) would be more comparable to like mid-level employees expertise-wise than actual industry veterans
oh no not my heckin industry veterinos who make quality products like outer worlds!
 

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
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Messages
97,675
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth


Not everyday you see a wanted ad for a studio general manager. They're looking for somebody to head up the Quebec office.

The senior world designer role is for BG3.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Staff Member
Sawyerite
Joined
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Messages
35,906
:butthurt: from a likely-fired employee on glassdoor

Pros

A joyful culture exists among colleagues fighting in the same trench. This place is a good starting point for your career, but otherwise, it should be avoided at all costs.

Cons

- Larian routinely hires toxic leads and directors without conducting any background checks. At one point, the game (BG3) allowed players to knock out characters and steal their underwear. A high-ranking individual lauded this feature. When the decision was made to remove it, this person was genuinely baffled, asking, "What's so bad about it?" This person is a manager. Let that reflect on the type of people this company hires for high-ranking positions and who they reject any notion of discharge.

-The public persona is nothing more than a façade. The company you see on live streams is not as jovial or fair as it appears. Nepotism is a huge problem in this company. In a company-wide meeting, Swen declared with conviction, "This is the time we finalize the game (BG3); no more modifications or additions." However, this commitment was inconsistent with his subsequent actions. He would make changes based on a whim, which would inevitably result in delays for other tasks in the pipeline. Subsequently, overtime was authorized to compensate for these delays, further highlighting the capricious decision-making process. This is called "The Larian-way!" It is the idea that everything can be iterated on ad nauseam. I do agree that if an idea is not good, it should be iterated on, but pushing hard into data and content lock to the point of tears is abuse. They justify it by pointing to feedback from a single playtester, a Reddit post, or an increase of a Metacritic point. The bizarreness to this is that there is competition among the directors and leads to see who can exert the most influence over Swen. In various meetings, different directors have boasted about their ability to sway Swen's decisions. They announce this proudly during syncs, seemingly oblivious to how unprofessional and immature it sounds. However, it raises suspicions when they seemingly lose control over him in critical moments, such as when he mandates further iterations despite an impending data lock. This is the company culture.

-This company likes to pretend it is AAA-tier while it isn't. They demand work as if they are a AAA company but compensate like an indie studio.

-The company's tools are woefully inadequate, and the resource management system is laughable at best. We suffer from multiple red builds (broken builds) daily, resulting in significant delays as the data update via Perforce has made prior builds obsolete.

-Certain producers are clueless. They fail to understand the difference between a senior and a junior employee. I've witnessed seniors having to resolve issues created by juniors, problems that could have been avoided had the tasks been assigned to a senior in the first place.

-The company relentlessly pursues a 90+ rating on Metacritic to the point of causing mental exhaustion among its employees. A score below this threshold signals, "We're in trouble." This is despite the fact that glowing reviews do not often translate to sales. While Swen's frank feedback is appreciated, he often simply states, "This isn't good enough." and other none helpful tips. When asked for suggestions on improvement, he expresses frustration, tells you it is "Unacceptable!" and tells you to figure it out on your own. He's also proven to be vocal against anyone who disagrees with him. I've heard him say, "Do it anyway." despite logical protest.

-The company continually hires contractors to address the burgeoning demand for tasks. Unfortunately, these contractors often lack substantial experience, necessitating frequent iterations of simple tasks. This approach proves costly in the long run, especially when high-level tasks are assigned to these contractors, requiring in-house staff to refine the end product. There is a prevailing concern among full-time artists that they may be replaced by contractors on account of Swen's unpredictable and impulsive decisions. While Larian reassures its artists that such an action would contravene EU regulations, the company's history of questionable practices, as documented in other Glassdoor reviews, casts doubt on these assurances. The fact that they reference EU regulations suggests that they have investigated the possibility at some point.

-Employees are prohibited from expressing on social media the inherent difficulties of working on video games or hinting at the strenuous nature of game development. This policy was communicated to all staff via the #gen-general Slack channel. While the current enforcement of this rule is uncertain, it was certainly in effect during the hiring drive for BG3 and is likely to be even more stringent when the company expands to work on multiple games simultaneously.

-If they do not like you, they start denying pay raises, among other things, to get you to leave of your own volition. Keep in mind that their dislike of you can make no sense as it can often be narrowed down to a single feedback about you where they offer no examples to help you improve.

-The CEO and high-level managers all hate remote working. It's a nuisance to their obsession with on-site creative alchemy. They use it as a scapegoat for all problems, refusing to accept that an issue has any other context. This is because they are armed with time, money, support, and resources to tackle things like childcare, school, endless commuting, etc., which many in the company are not equipped with. They are simply inoculated from any consequences due to their privileges. Yet, they simply cannot see the hypocrisy of their ways as they push for the hire of a contractor the majority of the team will never see nor talk to.
 

S.torch

Arbiter
Joined
Jan 4, 2019
Messages
951
It calls my attention the first point. So the person who left this review is not only complaining because a feature that it wasn't to their liking was going to be included, but also because when said feature ended up being excluded, someone happened to have the opinion that this was bad because he liked said feature? That's a very narcissistic complain, that amounts to "someone had an opinion I didn't like".
 

Drakortha

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It calls my attention the first point. So the person who left this review is not only complaining because a feature that it wasn't to their liking was going to be included, but also because when said feature ended up being excluded, someone happened to have the opinion that this was bad because he liked said feature? That's a very narcissistic complain, that amounts to "someone had an opinion I didn't like".
The person was obviously a bigot and shouldn't have been in a high ranking position at Larian. Stealing peoples underwear is basically rape.
 

Orud

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Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming!
From what I gather of that post it seems like he and the company just had completely different mindsets, and that he's extremely naïve or new to the industry.
  • Getting offended over some underpants, my dude have you even played any of Larian's games before?
  • Wishing he was allowed to spill his work related bile on social media? Good luck finding a company that allows that. He also seems the kind of airhead that would be surprised when he'd be confronted at work after using social media to publicly shit on co-workers.
  • Not having a clue about what nepotism is.
  • As for poor wages and terrible work hours... welcome to the gaming industry. There's a reason I chose a different career path.
 
Last edited:

Roguey

Codex Staff
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Decided to take a glance at Swen's old blog today. Interesting stuff in one of his final entries https://web.archive.org/web/2015091...rian-plans-for-20152016-and-beyond/#more-1002

And even if we already said it a thousand times, I’ll say it again – we couldn’t have achieved this level of success without the help of all our Kickstarter backers, the people who made suggestions during Steam Early Access and forums like RpgCodex, RpgWatch and of course our own Larian forum. It deserves to be said over and over and any dev not listening to the hivemind yet really should be paying attention.

These days it seems like he's listening more to the discord hivemind. :M

In one paragraph and unsurprisingly, my biggest issues with the game are the same things most people had issues with. I think the main story can be told a lot better and has more potential than is apparent, that combat falls a bit flat after act 1 and that crafting,inventory & trade UIs could use a bunch of improvements. Certain dialogs should be done better, there’s still a lot of feedback missing from tooltips & skills, and at higher levels character progression isn’t as cool as it should be. Our loot system doesn’t behave as hoped for, and the companions could use some work.

Funny how he puts in the effort into fixing these issues and yet they don't seem to be making much progress?

Luckily we can now take that last option and so we’ve been increasing headcount. There were 42 of us when we finished D:OS, there’s 53 of us now and the number is set to increase throughout 2015.

From 40 to over 400 within just a few years.

You’re not going to see huge animated movies with barely interactive worlds from us in which millions of dollars go to cutscenes. Instead, you’ll see dense, highly interactive worlds where the amount of possible interactions continuously increases and your freedom to do as you want approaches that of a pen & paper RPG. That too costs a lot, but it yields gameplay which is much more up my alley and thankfully, there are a lot of you who enjoy it. As long as that is the case, we’ll keep on making games like this.

Instead we saw a huge animated movie with a dense, highly interactive world.
 

0wca

Learned
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My prediction is that WotC is going to choose Larian as the lead developer of their D&Done virtual tabletop. They're a perfect match for the modern-day zoomer/coomer and will undoubtedly make heaps of cash on the backs of feminized beta males.
 

Orud

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Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming!
My prediction is that WotC is going to choose Larian as the lead developer of their D&Done virtual tabletop. They're a perfect match for the modern-day zoomer/coomer and will undoubtedly make heaps of cash on the backs of feminized beta males.
Sorry to bust your dreams but its already been in development for years.
 

0wca

Learned
Joined
Jan 27, 2021
Messages
527
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Not here
My prediction is that WotC is going to choose Larian as the lead developer of their D&Done virtual tabletop. They're a perfect match for the modern-day zoomer/coomer and will undoubtedly make heaps of cash on the backs of feminized beta males.
Sorry to bust your dreams but its already been in development for years.
What dreams? I wasn't gonna play that shit anyway lol
 

scytheavatar

Scholar
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Messages
449
My prediction is that WotC is going to choose Larian as the lead developer of their D&Done virtual tabletop. They're a perfect match for the modern-day zoomer/coomer and will undoubtedly make heaps of cash on the backs of feminized beta males.
Sorry to bust your dreams but its already been in development for years.
What dreams? I wasn't gonna play that shit anyway lol

WOTC's plans for VTT includes AI DM, and that is something which is beyond Larian's capabilities of delivering. Nor would they want to come close to it in a million years.
 

Space Satan

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