Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Happy Birthday!

While working one day on a moribund cross platform licensed AAA title, my concentration was broken by the sound of a raised voice coming from the design corner. “Settle down!” was the command shouted over the cubicle by a worried looking senior designer. It was directed at a fuming mid-level, heavy with the stress of broken zone boundaries, a looming milestone and compounded by an upcoming WoW guild performance review for his level 80 Healer.

No big deal, but I decided to leave one earphone off just in case things did escalate. No sooner do I glance back at the code as my attention is broken again by a blur of producers running full tilt over to the troubled designer who is now brandishing two of the studio’s birthday-cake-cutting knives. He’s absolutely fuming as he stabs one of the knives into his desk and stands up. Now he has undivided attention.

“Just put the knives down. Put the knives down and we’ll talk. Let’s go outside.”

Luckily our studio is the kind of place that hires producers with previous experiences in pub management. Our stressed out designer made one feeble swipe before being escorted from the floor to wait for the arrival of police and ambulance.