When you play a bad video game, interact with a poorly made tech product, or tune into a lackluster movie you don't think that much about it.
In fact, that says it all: you quickly move on and never return.
Rarely do we think about the intense amount of work that went into creating that piece of utter mediocrity.
There were several people employed for months, and they put hours into the end product. Massive investments were negotiated and made. Huge arguments took place. A whole office existed, composed of complex hierarchies and lines of communication.
And yet, the thing came out terrible. So we didn't give it a second thought.
But recently someone on the internet stopped to wonder what all that work looks like. Redditor DongLaiCha asked:
"People who have worked on infamously bad products/games/apps/films, did you know it was bad when it was being made? Did the company? What happened?"
Plenty of people shared their experiences helping to develop video games. The organizational culture and funding circumstances were almost always a mess, and the primary root of the problem.
Dingus at the Helm
"We knew in an early meeting about the video game that it was going to be bad because he screamed at us rather than answer a basic question. Months later the guy released a version to the public when it was hastily put together. We were shocked that he would have ever even considered this ready."
"A review ripped it apart so badly that it went viral. We were sure the guy would strongly reconsider blowing his fortune on making a niche game that he was failing so badly at already."
"He responded by putting in charge several people who where completely ill equipped to manage a game into leadership roles and have them micromanage every step. This revolving door of managers got more out of step, and cruel as time went on. This went on for 3 years with investors pulling out, layoffs, and bailouts."
"I was laid off 2 months ago. Since then they have contacted me to get me to give up my software license info that I paid thousands for while working for them. They are being sued and because they came to me aggressively, it gave me a lot of warm feelings to find out how bad off they are. There is just a skeleton crew left and none of them know if it will every get finished."
Bizarre Alien Behaviors
"I worked on Aliens : Colonial Marines as a tester. It was great, so much fun playing the Aliens in multiplayer, revisiting the really great looking sets/ levels and enjoying the story, with the understanding that it was all a work in progress."
"One day all of the Aliens started freezing. Then big bits of the levels would disappear."
"Some amazing bugs would start popping up (respawning without a head after getting decapitated by the Aliens). And the cutscenes seemingly never got rendered out properly."
"I have no idea what went wrong but my name is in the credits forever!"
Digitized Face Destruction
"My teacher worked on at least one Saw video game. He hated the entire thing and his bosses were very nitpicky about everything. He kinda just accepted the pay and moved on to better things."
"Besides teaching, he now works for a company making VR training simulations for pilots, so he gets to study and create all kinds of planes and machinery."
"We're graduating soon and several people want to buy him a replica of the saw face trap, which is one of the things he created for the game as a goodbye/thank you gift."
Kinda Like That Final Season
"You may remember over a year ago seeing advertisements for "Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming: the officially licensed browser game!"...yeah I worked on that, and it was clear it would be terrible (entertaining overview of the game here: https://youtu.be/m08Z-oDdvlY)"
"Basically, the state of the game when it released and the state of the game a year before release were the same. Somehow, nobody did their jobs, and yet everyone was doing absurd amounts of crunch and overtime."
"There were really obvious things that I would point out and say 'this is a problem we need to fix now, or it will become worse later,' and other people would think I was being picky. Then, sure enough, it would cause a huge problem a couple months later and someone would have to spend several days fixing it."
"That's also separate from the design of the game itself, which I and a few coworkers just watched become worse and worse. There were so many things that we looked at and thought 'that's temporary, right? We're gonna iterate on that feature and improve it, right?' (They weren't temporary, and we didn't iterate or improve on then)."
Others worked on movies that turned out dreadful. It takes a whole lot of people to make a movie, and usually all of them are very aware of how that thing is going to turn out.
Punch In, Punch Out
"I worked on a couple really awful big budget films. Everyone knew they were sh** as we were making them."
"We all were being paid very well. So we didn't really worry about how awful the films were."
Crazy Historical Events That Sound Fake But Are 100% True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"I worked on a movie with a really bad script. The company already got the funding and had to make the film and the producers, director and various writers tried for a year constantly rewriting and changing the script to try and make it work, but it didn't."
"It just wasn't a good concept, had to many single-use characters, jumped around between too many locations to quickly... it was the kind of script that you just throw in the fire and forget about."
"But they ended up making it and it didn't turn out good. Technically it is well made but narratively it is a mess and hard to follow."
"All the crew knew we were working on a turkey, but hey... it's a paying job."
"I worked on Dragonball:Evolution and I knew it was an impossibly unwatchable turd before any of you even knew there was a trailer."
Beef Up That Tomatometer
"I was in a real, real bad horror film. I knew it was bad while we were making it, but hoped it would be edited to at least be palatable. It wasn't."
"It tanked, and the creator paid people to leave good reviews, as well as leaving as many good reviews as he could himself. It was a train wreck."
15 Minutes of *Hulu* Fame
"I worked on terrible indie film, and yes, when I read the script I knew it was going to be terrible. The people making it had no idea. I tried to convince them to let me doctor it, but they refused. It was briefly on Hulu and then gone forever."
Ray Was Right
"I've directed voices for cartoons for over twenty years. I've worked on projects I thought were crappy that turned out to be big hits, and projects I thought were brilliant that got zero traction. The key is wrapping your ego in the creative process, not the end product."
"As Ray Charles said, 'Ain't no sonofabi*** nowhere knows what's gonna hit.' "
And some shared experiences working to create tech products, be they software or hardware. With so many heads in the room, that can be like herding cats.
"My mother helped build Window's Vista and she actually finds it extremely funny. They had such high hopes and really thought it was revolutionary, only to watch it burn almost immediately."
A Cocky Start
"My brother in law worked at Microsoft when they released the Windows phone. Apparently management marched through the building with an IPhone in a small casket while announcing the new phones release date."
"While he liked the phone well enough, he was pretty sure that this moment was destined for ridicule."
Dial It Back, Jeff
"Not my story, but I had a manager who worked on the Fire Phone. Remember the Fire Phone? It was amazon's disastrous foray into the cellphone. Huge rollout. Terrible reviews. Cost about as much as the iPhone but with none of the social or aesthetic credibility."
"Anyway, the way my manager told the story was like this: Originally, the fire phone was supposed to be the anti-iPhone. Super stripped down functionality, basic hardware, easy interface, and very low price point. That was an area in the cell market where they thought they could really dominate."
"Well, when the phone design was in prototyping mode (like halfway through the project or whatever) ol' Uncle Jeff starts coming and sitting in on meetings. And he starts asking questions… Why can't the phone have a better camera? Why can't it have more storage? Why can't it have a better screen?
"On and on and on… and no one wants to say no to him. So they keep 'improving' the phone. The rest is history."
"And by history I mean a huge disaster."
"My dad works at Kodak... Not the camera side but the printing and graphics side.. I remember him saying for years they are going to go bankrupt because they didn't want to get into the digital camera side because film is more profitable.they were wrong"
That's Not a Product. That's 120 Products.
"They had 12o or so customers and they "customized" it for them. This meant that there were 120 (or so) different versions of the same product. Everytime a new feature was added it had to be added to ALL of them. Then they'd phone up and want a change... NIGHTMARE!"
Perhaps next time you quickly delete an app or flick off a movie you'll imagine all the bizarre stories that must have gone on as it was being created.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
It's incredible how much changes over time. For those of us who grew up in the nineties and early 2000s, it's common for us to get nostalgic for what seemed to be a simpler time back then. But there is always hope that our favorite things will make a comeback.
Here's a list of what really needs to make a comeback. A lot has changed in the past decade or so, and it's time that we bring back a few older values.
What needs to make a comeback?
One of the biggest things that has changed over the past decade or so has been entertainment, and how we consume it.
Video games have changed so much.
"Making a single purchase and getting all of a game's content."
"Similarly, develop your next game instead of continually porting your game to yet another next gen console."
These were the BEST.well be right back saturday morning cartoons GIFGiphy
"Saturday Morning Cartoons"
"Just plop on my couch, have some Cap'n Crunch and watch cartoons all morning."
"They may not be Saturday morning but they're certainly all day."
Now we have twelve different series of 90 Day Fiancé.
"Good programming on The History Channel, TLC, Discovery, MTV, etc."
"Those channels used to be so good but they're full of bad reality TV shows now."
Classic Disney is the best Disney.
"Classic 2D Disney films. No not CGI films meant to look 2D, actual hand drawn 2D films."
"Sleeping Beauty took six years and six million dollars to make, that entire film is one beautiful painting."
Societal norms have certainly changed a ton in the past twenty years or so.
We all need more of this.Do Not Disturb Privacy GIF by Juan BillyGiphy
"I hate that the majority of people went from somewhat private lives, to giving it all up via social media in seemingly 5 years. As with most things, it wasn't a well known concern until it was already a huge problem."
They wait that long?!
"This might sounds weird but as someone working in childcare. Early potty training."
"The amount of parents who are waiting until their child is 3-4 to potty train is huge now. When I worked in daycare we were lucky if a child was 3+ and in pull ups."
"When I talk to other daycare workers and nannies they always say the age used to be around 2. Now it seems like everyone is 'waiting until they're ready' then panicking when that moment never comes."
College is way too expensive now.
"An affordable college and graduate school education. I.e Medical school tuition used to be $3000 a year in the 1960s according to some of the older docs. Now it's $72,000 a year at some schools. Even with inflation in mind, $3000 in the 60s is about $25,000 a year in 2021."
Honestly, if people started bringing back the things they were nostalgic for, the world would be a much better place.
Gen Z is bringing back so much.Broad City Reaction GIFGiphy
"Roller skating at skating rinks."
"And perms. Low key 80s kid here lol."
"Perms are back. See all those Gen Z dudes with the curly-on-top and buzzed on the sides haircut, aka the broccoli haircut. You might reconsider your position on that issue after looking though."
Movies used to be so good.
"Making movies/shows/anything like that because they'd be good stories more than just moneymakers."
"Last season of Scrubs, I am looking at you."
Nothing like a good handwritten letter.
"People at my work have seen my cursive and expressed a desire to possess a handwritten letter from me. My handwriting is a mess when I'm just jotting something down, but if they want letters, I'll go get my sealing wax and a card out of my box for that extra fancy feeling."
"And then the card will just read 'Butts.'"
I'm about to show how much of a nerd I am, but you know what really needs to make a comeback? Good musical theatre that's not based on movies. Just like movies and TV shows, I'm craving some good ol' fashioned original content. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for older theatre, but dang, I miss it.
Luckily, older trends almost always circle back around at some point. There's always hope for things to get better, and bring us back to simpler times
There are a lot of great games for all those who spend hours discovering new lands or pretending to be an Italian plumber. But, these are the best for those of us who are new to the world of gaming.
Let's face it, some of us need a new hobby. Ideally, one healthier than looking at your ex's Instagram. Gaming can be that new hobby. But, getting started can be overwhelming.
There are countless games about war and shooting, and starting a google search will lead you to a rabbit hole you don't want to dive in.
So, I gathered some of the best video games for non-gamers. A bunch of games any dummy can master. If I can do it, so can you.
You can choose between a single-player or a multiplayer game. The goal is to get out of situations creatively by using the wormhole-creating portal gun. This version continued the original storyline but features new exciting characters and new challenges.
It's a sci-fi adventure game. What could be better?
Any adventure featuring Mario and Luigi is iconic. This Super Mario Bros. is a perfect twist on the classic. It's two games in one. Your goal is to save the Mushroom kingdom.
Trust me, it's better than board games.
This is a puzzle game for creative people. You get to build anything from a pile of rocks to a giant castle. There is a reason why so many are obsessed with this game. Literally anyone can play.
You can even build mini-games to play inside this game. Actually, I don't think that's true.
Everyone has been talking about this game. The characters are adorable, the animals are as cute as it gets, and it's paradise. You build your own private island from the start. You can customize everything from the home and decor to your landscape. You can also visit other players.
It's as relaxing as "The Great British Bake Off".
Like I said, any Mario game is a classic. However, this is an action-adventure game in 3D. So, like all the other Mario games, but better.
You sail between worlds on an airship powered by moons. But, you still have to save Princess Peach.
This is your chance to be the farmer you always wanted to be. Turn an overgrown field into a farm with animals and crops, and has nothing to do with walking dead plants (yes, that was a Plants vs. Zombies joke).
You can improve one of your five skills: farming, mining, combat, fishing, and foraging.
This is the ultimate outdoors exploring adventure. Plus there are new challenges for anyone who has played the previous classic Legends of Zelda games. This game is full of new creative tools and weapons you can collect.
Some reviews claim that this game alone is worth getting a new Nintendo Switch for.
This role-playing game is for people with a darker sense of humor. The epic dark fantasy starts with a curse and keeps getting more and more interesting. There is a combination of fantasy, magic, weapons, and adventure. The game is so intricate that you can complete it more than once, and it will still be fun.
If you are a coffee fanatic imagine a game in which the main character has a mug for a head. Yes, it's that good. This game is inspired by cartoons in the 1930s, but still, it manages to be packed with adventure and suspense.
Every detail is thought through. If you are into graphic design, this will be the game for you.
Befriend cool bugs, explore new kingdoms, and fight epic battles. This game is expansive and allows you to choose between paths and enemies to fight. Trust me, it's fun.
We all like to think of ourselves as inherently kind and good people. The thing is, we're just NOT. Humans are weird, vengeful and twisted beings - and if you don't believe me, just pick up any video game that gives the player even the slightest modicum of power and choice.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't about to be one of those "video games encourage violence" articles. They don't. Full stop.
What open choice games do, though, is allow us to explore some of the darker aspects of our minds. Games that allow us to choose good or evil, right or wrong, light or dark - those kinds of games let us take a walk on the wild side. It's part of why people love games like The Elder Scrolls series, Dragon Age, Fable etc.
There is no game that lets you play God more than the Sims, though. And it's in this seemingly-simple and innocent little game that we truly get to the darkness of humanity. It's funny, in a way. It's a game without dragons, without demons, without the evil monsters that so many people cite as their reasons for not allowing certain games...
but that's because the monster in the Sims is you, dear player, and you are way scarier and more twisted than anything the game developers could have thought of.
Reddit user Sliced_alt asked:
... and yeah. Thank you to everyone who answered for proving my point. Given some power and no real consequences, the whole thing devolves into madness. Utter despicable madness.
Torture For Entertainment
I had an actual torture dungeon in my house. Stone walls, no chairs or beds, no toilet, no door. One wall was entirely window, and the nice posh room it faced had comfy chairs for the rest of the family to watch as the prisoner repeatedly soiled themselves and lived in squalor.
I put a baby in a crib and built 4-5 layers of fences and walls around it, then set it on fire. This was to see if the social worker would get stuck. Turns out the social workers in Sims can walk through walls and babies can't die.
I made my Sim a sugar baby who turned into a black widow. She'd meet men at the club, bring them home and get it on. Then she'd visit their house later and (thanks to the kleptomania trait) just take a bunch of their stuff, then go home and sell it to make rent.
Eventually she moved in with a rich sugar daddy and made him break it off with his wife and kick her out, then the sugar daddy mysteriously died (someone walled over his bedroom door while he was sleeping and he starved to death) and she inherited all his property. She went from whore to socialite in like 2 in-game months.
On the sims 4 I had a process of getting free houses: move in with someone then evict them
At first I didn't know I could evict them, so I decided to lock the inhabitants in a shed and leave them to starve to death
It was a husband and wife, I gave them one chair, no bathroom, and a radio that played the same song over and over again, then I let them starve to death while peeing the floor and crying.
The game is called: Sim Survivor.
You make a house of 8 individuals, build them a spacious house, truck them all in, delete the doors. Build fireplaces on every wall. Have the sims light them. Build plants all over the house (essentially every square foot where there isn't a sim). The place goes up like a tinder box. The sims then have to put out every fire. Usually you lose about 5 or 6 of them to the blaze. Then the final few must clean up the piles of ash around the house (here is where you lose a couple to exhaustion). The winner gets a beautiful house with a big graveyard in the backyard for them to go and mourn their buds.
Hot Dog Ghosts
I was addicted to the Sims and my husband occasionally plays the game, so he made a Sims family in my game. As a joke, I dressed them all up as hot dogs. He doesn't play often and I forgot about his Sims in the game. I turned the aging on in the game and all but 1 of his sims had died of old age. She was still living in the same house he had put her in and was being mercilessly haunted by the hot dog ghosts of her dead family members.
It was actually really sad. Picture one sad elderly sim dressed as a hot dog sitting on the couch with an exhausted moodlet trying to eat a grilled cheese sandwich while the hot dog ghosts of her dead family continuously made the sink overflow, which she continued to clean up between bouts of crying and passing out.
I had a normal suburban family, nice house, two kids, the works, except they also had a secret child they kept locked in a room in the basement with nothing but a sink. They only ever visited him to bring him a plate of old terrible food once in a while and to make fun of him and taunt him.
Eventually, the kid's sink broke and kept flooding the room. Since he was a kid, he couldn't repair the sink, so it just kept flooding. The kid spent all his time mopping up a never-ending spill and crying.
I decided to run a Masterchef-style challenge with a household of 7 sims and Gordon Ramsay. The sims would partake in various cooking challenges with Gordon presiding as the judge. However, whenever someone got "eliminated", I'd have Gordon lure the poor sim to the back of the lot and stab them to death (sims mods are great). It continued until only one chef was left alive, and then as victory I'd have them kill Gordon and then themselves. It was glorious.
The Sims Cult
Made a cult. I made a handsome sim and had him steal several woman who were locked in an underground facility. He would talk and have little dates to see which one he liked the most. The others were executed by either drowning, electrocution or starvation. They'd then take different children and repeat, on to teenagers then repeat.
This went on for several generations until none of the wives liked the newest head of the family.
I locked the husband in a very small room with a bed and a lamp and kept him for breeding purposes. He was madly in love with my female sim and gladly impregnated her as many times as she wanted. He was always so happy to see my female sim. When he had exhausted his potential I took away the door and left him there die in a puddle of his own pee.
Gaming is a billion dollar industry. The gaming community spans far and wide and includes all ages, sexes, religions and professions. It looks like it's all fun and games but nothing created is ever built easy. The behind the scenes of the gaming industry is just as full of drama as any other.
Redditor u/BackgroundCharacters wanted to hear from the playful tech crew by asking.... Game developers of Reddit, what are your horror stories?