Do your employers know that you are writing a game?

Hi guys,

A thought occurred to me - I’m reluctant to tell my bosses at work that I’m developing a game. I dont really know why. I think perhaps its because I know if the game succeeds I’ll most likely resign.

What do you guys think? Do you tell your employers? Part of me thinks it would be nice to discuss because are all software developers, and it would be nice to have some expert advice for some of the architectural decisions.


  • You’ll fail and you’ll be a made a mock of.
  • The game will be too simple or lame and you’ll fail which leads to the first statement.
  • You’ll succeed now and later on things will get more difficult and most probably lead to not giving a fuck anymore.
  • Resigning your job and hoping on a 1 - 2 in a life time shot thing (game in this scenario) is a idiotic thing to do.

    Also there are other cases, like actually talking with a game developer and he’ll be like " lol java" or “lol open gl”.

    So it would be better if you just keep it to yourself, get some talented guys and also a decent amount of money to spend on advertising, and when you see the “chance of success” go for it. >.>

    (Look at minecraft >.> it gave what ppl always wanted… build stuff and mining… and carts… yeah)

Well I’m not planning to quit my job at all, not until the game has actually made it (if it does).

The first two are quite possible though.

I agree to @Setekh! First take a breath and wait what will happen. Actually I don’t know your relation to your boss, but

if it is a good one I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t tell him that you are creating a game. My (ex)Boss liked it when

I told him about my gamedev-passion. You should skip the part with resigning…

As I said, resigning is only an option for me IF the game makes it, and of course I would not even mention that.

You know that this forum is public, right? ^^

I do. But its highly unlikely that my employers would be able to trace it back to me. How would they know to look here?

However, you do raise a good point. If I tell my employers which engine I’m using, and which project is mine, it would not be difficult for them to find this thread. Oh well.

Well, I’m really curious about first screenshots…

You can see some early screenshots and a description here.

Its not much to look at right now, it will be at least 2 months before it starts resembling its final form in my estimation. Currently I’m working on the game framework side of things, such as input, networking, controls, appstate. So things that are not really visible right now.


For me this ends up reading as Do your employers know that you are writing a game (while at work)? :stuck_out_tongue:

No and I’d like to keep it that way! I’ll just blame it on writing more reports :stuck_out_tongue:

Now I leave it to you to decide whether or not I’m kidding.


I’d say it really depends on how you present the idea of you working on a game. Do you present this as something that you’re thinking about as a career move or more of a “I’m a gamer that’s always been interested in games so I’m doing this as a hobby”? If you present it as the later the nice thing is that if your game doesn’t gel then no harm no foul. If it does become something that you’re turning into career then you can worry about telling your boss you’re leaving then not before.

Also as for Setekh’s comment I moderately disagree (fortunately that’s allowed in a free society. :P). It really depends on the person you’re talking to. I find that when I talk to people about the miscellaneous projects I do in my spare time they’re more interested in the content and ideas less about the implementation (ie the “LOL Java” or “LOL OpenGL” is less of a focus in a topic about a game really as most people are more interested about the content. As an example you don’t ridicule people for their choice in camera’s for making a movie you just care about the end result. Unless you’re one of those weirdo’s that actually like 3D movies I suppose.). Again though this depends on the people you talk to sadly. I haven’t told anyone at work about my game ambitions beyond mentioning there’s this neat engine that’s Java based that’s all open source etc. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to. I just know that the people I work with aren’t generally gamers so they’d find the conversation dull.

So ya. I’d say overall it depends. Do you work with people you consider “chums” that you can just make small talk with? Or are they super critical nut bags? Your call really.

Setekh said:
Also there are other cases, like actually talking with a game developer and he'll be like " lol java" or "lol open gl".

Obviously a lot of people make fun of Java, that we all know. But OpenGL?

When I was first looking into jMonkey, I looked around the site and saw the section about projects that are being developed with it; one of them I saw was Poisonville, and when I looked at the owner's website I saw that he was canceling the project with various excuses, one of which being that OpenGL was not good enough. HAHAHA! Joke's on you buddy.

So to both of you: How can you possibly bash OpenGL? It is the industry standard! Heck, you barely even have a choice unless you're developing for Windows and don't mind being locked into that OS with DirectX. OpenGL is to graphics programming (especially 3D) what Windows is to operating systems.

If anybody makes fun of you for using OpenGL then it is only because they don't have a clue.

Back on topic though...

My coworkers already know that I work on games, as I have been doing hobby game making since long before I was working age, let alone working here. I even show them, including my boss, some of my stuff I do. However, I do have a good relationship with my boss and consider him a friend now, so maybe my opinion does not count.

I have talked about my game dev stuff with my boss' boss too though. Not much, but enough that he knows about it.

If you do end up doing it, just don't make it sound like it's competition. It's not really a big deal after all. There are millions of people out there that tinker, but hardly any of them do well enough to quit their jobs. No offense intended to you, but you probably won't get to the point where you can quit anyway. I'm in the same boat; I'd like to be able to make it big, but I know that if I want to make a career out of it I'm most likely going to have to switch jobs to a game dev studio and work for someone else, not hit it big on my own. You need more than just imagination and programming skills, you also need art, business/marketing skills and startup money. We are like the millions of high school kids who all think they can be an NBA pro; they don't stop to think that 10 million other people want it just as badly as they do.

I don't mean to squash your enthusiasm, by the way, rather to keep reality in sight. After all, if I didn't think it was possible I wouldn't be trying to work toward that goal. Don't get your hopes too high, but set your goals as high as you want and work accordingly.

In my performance review recently, I did mention that I had looked into Java and Python (I was considering using Python-Ogre for a while). They were happy with that actually, that I had done some self study. I didnt mention why!

Yeah I realize that, thats why I havent quit my job! I mean, it is quite an ambitious game that I’m making, so it may never be completed. But you know, the journey itself is part of the enjoyment. I do plan to use what little money I have to license artwork and hire modellers, if the project gets to a stage where I think a release is actually possible. Or maybe I need to start brushing up on my blender skills.

Totally agreeing with you @thecyberbob. It really depends on the person.

@loduwijk I was saying that from personal experience… now days im always told that direct x is the perfect renderer on the planet, and “whos still using openGL, old valve’s source engine?” but i aim to prove that opengl is awesome and java is more then its thought to be, thats why i am on this forum on the first place.

I was generalizing the average Joe in my previous post maybe too much, didn’t meant to insult anything or anyone :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the same people who bash OpenGL are also the ones who think that the PS3 is already a dead platform. I’ve been listening to the “this is the month Sony will fold it up” for like two years now.

Back on topic: if they don’t ask me what I do in my off time, I’m not inclined to provide the information. If there are no legal concerns with contracts, conflict of interest, etc… then as Admiral Hopper is attributed as saying, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness then permission.”

My current employer would probably be ok with it right now but I don’t get any benefit from telling them, either. When you are excited about something, you want to tell everyone you come into contact with but that’s not often the best strategy for a variety of reasons.

Plus, those of us who’ve gotten old and jaded have come to see a pattern where people who talk about doing something all the time are rarely the people who end up actually doing it… so some percentage of your audience would be more impressed with something working.

Get coding! :slight_smile:

I think anyone who disses either DirectX or OpenGL is a little ignorant. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and you should use whichever fits your application. Obviously, this means if you want to run on a platform other than Windows, you have only one choice.

I hear that no one uses OpenGL ES on the PS3 because of speed concerns. They use a native library, libGCM if I remember correctly.

I think my boss would be interested in the architecture side of things, but perhaps concerned about doing something that obviously has nothing to do with work.