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Peter Molyneux: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the supertanker-sinks-more-slowly dept.

Microsoft 164

SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Peter Molyneux is one of the most famous personalities in the history of gaming, especially recognized for having created God games Dungeon Keeper, Populous, Black & White, but also the Fable series. After creating the Fable series, Molyneux announced in March 2012 that he will be leaving Lionhead and Microsoft to start another company – 22Cans. During a recent interview, the former Microsoft employee has shared some interesting details regarding the time when he was working over at Redmond. Here's the excerpt from his interview: 'I left Microsoft because I think when you have the ability to be a creative person, you have to take that seriously, and you have to push yourself. And pushing yourself is a lot easier to do if you're in a life raft that has a big hole in the side, and that's what I think indie development is. You're paddling desperately to get where you want to go to, but you're also bailing out. Whereas if you're in a big supertanker of safety, which Microsoft was, then that safety is like an anesthetic. It's like taking antidepressants. The world just feels too comfortable.'"

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Thanks for peptuating (5, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46587957)

the antidepressant myth, jerk.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588041)

You realize that there are people who actually have that reaction to certain anti-depressants, right?

Working for MS is like NEEDING to take PAXIL (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46588097)

Trust me on this one, folks...

Re:Working for MS is like NEEDING to take PAXIL (2)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 7 months ago | (#46588337)

I'll take your word for it, if you acknowledge that there are better choices now than Paxil. It has one of the worst side effect profiles of any SSRI/SNRI, including a surprisingly high chance of withdrawal symptoms.

Re:Working for MS is like NEEDING to take PAXIL (5, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 7 months ago | (#46588743)

at this point, I'd take working for MS over not working at all.

(yes, out of work and not able to find any; and THAT is truly depressing)

Re:Working for MS is like NEEDING to take PAXIL (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46589071)

Good luck, God speed and best wishes!

Re:Working for MS is like NEEDING to take PAXIL (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 7 months ago | (#46589387)

thanks, man. finding work when you are over 50 in the bay area is an exercise in self-torture. if you have a job and are of a certain age, don't lose it!

Re:Thanks for peptuating (4, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 7 months ago | (#46588069)

To be honest, when I was using anti-depressants the world certainly didn't feel happier or more comfortable or some silly stuff like that. Those drugs didn't make me happy or joyous, they aren't some sort of a magical happy-pill. No, they flatten feelings -- both the bad ones, but also the good ones. Sure, they helped get over the worst times since they flattened out the bad feelings I had, but in the end I stopped taking them because they also flattened out the good things.

Not that my rant really means anything or has much to do with Molyneux. Just felt like sharing what it was like for me.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588137)

Mod parent up.

I was on them for a while when I was taking care of my late wife (she was terminal) at the time. I called them "happy pills", but they don't make you happy, they just take the edge off the badness.

After she died, I stopped taking them as soon as possible, because I wanted to *feel* again.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46588139)

Taking anti-depressants were like a heavy weight being lifted off me. I couldn't be happier.

Err.. I'n not implying they are happy pills, only that I am happy to have a range of emotions.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588195)

I think it depends on the type and the dosage, for some I have herd it described as like they got back their ability to feel after it had been turned off.... for better and worse

Re:Thanks for peptuating (4, Informative)

tokencode (1952944) | about 7 months ago | (#46588539)

It also depends on the individual. Everyone's individual brain/body chemistry is different and people have different reactions to the same dosage and substance. Generalizing reactions to drugs, especially mental health drugs, can be misleading.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (1, Insightful)

AudioEfex (637163) | about 7 months ago | (#46588401)

Yeah, I knew there would be offended folks right away when I clicked on comments - and look, it was the first one. Great reply, though.

Don't apologize for the "rant" - you actually explained it perfectly. It's exactly what Molyneux was trying to express - you cannot take away the downs without also affecting the "ups".

For some people, like those that cannot function properly in life because of the "lows", it's worth it or is beneficial even in some cases to limit the "ups" as well. For others, who may feel that dynamic emotions are an important part of life, it may not be worth it.

I think there is also the "over-diagnosed" factor which is what makes some people so dismissive of it in general that other folks get highly defensive over it - just like ADHD, etc. There really is nothing offensive or inaccurate about his comment. Of course there are people who have these things, and severe enough that medication is beneficial. There also comes a point when so many people are being medicated for something that it's hard to argue that we may be not properly judging what is "balanced" when it turns out almost as many folks are diagnosed as "unbalanced" as we deem "balanced" - as in, when we start medicating for the "norm" versus the "exceptional".

But that's another topic, really - the point is, the guy made an analogy and it filled the point of an analogy - it gave me an instantly clear understanding of exactly what idea he was trying to express.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (3, Interesting)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 7 months ago | (#46588425)

Before I started taking anti-depressants there weren't any ups. Now there are plenty. There are still downs but they don't stop me from functioning.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (3, Insightful)

SCPaPaJoe (767952) | about 7 months ago | (#46589281)

Paxil saved my life. I took it for about 18 months. It allowed me time to learn to deal with my issues. That was 10 years ago. I gradually grew to not need it. Don't let anyone tell you different, for some peoples, antidepressants are a huge factor in the quality of their lives.

seriously though, I hate wogs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588545)

I hate them allot

Re:seriously though, I hate wogs. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588573)

I'll allot you one dictionary, you fucking faggot.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (1)

seebs (15766) | about 7 months ago | (#46589437)

Then they weren't working very well, I'd say. "Depression" doesn't mean "extreme sadness", and if pills are flattening out your emotional state and removing the highs, either you're bipolar and that's a really good thing for everyone including you, or something's wrong with them.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588083)

This. If Molyneux really has experience of untreated depression as something that results in a flow of unfettered genius, he is in a tiny minority. People who excel in their field can only do so because their brain is so well-tuned for their particular skillset - this is why it's so awful when someone who is good at one thing thinks they can speak on anything else.

WORKING FOR MICROSOFT (2, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46588317)

Is like sniffing glue, in the alley behind a billionaire's high-rise apartment block.

I don't often work for MS, but when I do.... (4, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | about 7 months ago | (#46588459)

This is the new meme of the week. My turn:

"Working for Microsoft is like being raped by a drunken billy-goat while falling down a three hundred foot high pile of chocolate chips."

Re:I don't often work for MS, but when I do.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588737)

My turn:

"Working for Microsoft is like sneaking up on that gnome that stole your booze while air guitaring on a velociraptor that is precariously balanced on sharks with a laser cannons underneath each foot."

The Perfect Wine Pairing for Working at MS? (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 7 months ago | (#46588747)

Anal gang rape, vintage 1992.

Re:I don't often work for MS, but when I do.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588793)

.....and landing on a statue of Natalie Portman, naked and covered in hot grits

Re:I don't often work for MS, but when I do.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588995)

That sounds like working at Microsoft to me. It's like "Oh wow I just completed this major project and it was successful... but I still work for Microsoft." or "well that project was a flop but its okay this happens all the time at Microsoft."

Re:I don't often work for MS, but when I do.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589183)

That's not nearly as bad as being their customer and having to use Windows 8!

Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589365)

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I've got an open mind here...

Re:Thanks for peptuating (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 7 months ago | (#46588379)

Sounds more like the guy was depressed at MS, not at all like his analogy of taking antidepressants.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (2)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 7 months ago | (#46588271)

Thank you! Antidepressants frequently save the lives of depressed people, and are NOT like anesthetics.

Sure, some people have bad reactions, but they can be invaluable. Some people have been killed by seat belts but you should consider the net effect, not the aberration. What I don't get is the notion that antidepressants can actual cause suicides. Depressed and mentally ill people kill themselves without antidepressants pretty often, so it seems like they just don't work for some people, not like they cause suicide attempts. And of course there are multiple classes of antidepressants, which can not just be lumped together.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (2)

BKX (5066) | about 7 months ago | (#46588835)

There is some thought that those people are so depressed that they aren't even capable of marshaling the energy to commit suicide. When you give them an antidepressant, they start to become less depressed and but are still depressed enough to be suicidal, only now they have the energy to kill themselves, and so do it.

Re:Thanks for peptuating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589165)

certainly people are better off killing themselves then becoming emotionless. have anti-depressants improved that much or is just more of the same numbing bullshit that makes the takers walking shells of inhumanity?

Re:Thanks for peptuating (2)

Vanders (110092) | about 7 months ago | (#46588667)

I took anti-depressants for three years. My first course was Fluoxetine (Prozac to my US cousins): within a week I was a zombie. I would sit and stare at walls, or out of windows, until someone snapped me out of it.

After a month of this I was moved to Citalopram. This seemed better; there was less staring at walls, certainly. I spent over two years on Citalopram.

Then one day I stopped. It was kind of an accident; it was Easter weekend, I wasn't paying attention and ran out without a prescription to get more. So I ended up going cold turkey, which is the thing you're really not supposed to do with any SSRI.

I can tell you now, within three days I felt like I had woken up from a trance. I didn't realise it at the time, but the Citalopram made me feel like I was wrapped in cotton wool and wearing ray-bans. The feeling was exactly like the feeling of a dental aesthetic wearing off, except all over. I hadn't noticed because I'd come from Fluoxetine, which was even worse. So I thought I was onto a good thing with the Citalopram.

So please don't go around calling it a "myth". For some people, SSRI's really do have that kind of effect. In fact I suspect it's more pre-valiant than people realise, either because of long term use, because people think it's "normal", or because most people come down gradually and never really notice.

Oh and for all that, I really do believe I was much better off taking the SSRI's at the time than I would have been without them.

Worst summary title ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46587993)

Very misleading.

Re:Worst summary title ever (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 7 months ago | (#46588383)

And just nonsensical. If anything, they should be equating working at MS to being depressed, not treating depression.

Re:Worst summary title ever (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46588827)

Antidepressants make many people stop getting really stressed out about stuff. That was is point: startups are really quite stressful, working at MS isn't. He's not feeling the motivation and pace that leads to his best creativity. I get that, being the same way. I'm not chasing my muse, so I prefer less stress to my best performance, but that's quite subjective.

That's a rather unclear metaphor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588059)

Is it positive, negative, or just plain hard to understand?

Re:That's a rather unclear metaphor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589069)

It's just wrong. Molyneux has no idea what antidepressants do, or what the underlying condition (depression) actually does to a person's creativity and motivation. (By the analogy, working at Microsoft was an improvement to his normal condition.)

Consider the source (4, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46588065)

It's like taking antidepressants.

Peter Molyneux has probably never taken antidepressants in his life or he would not say this. Antidepressants don't make the "world just feels too comfortable". They make the world feel survivable.

Re:Consider the source (1, Insightful)

The123king (2395060) | about 7 months ago | (#46588149)

In my experience they make the world feel survivable even when you know everything is going to shit. Seems to sum up Microsoft pretty well.

Re:Consider the source (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46588279)

What you describe is "situational depression" as you are being depressed by the actual real circumstances. Antidepressants are not usually prescribed in those situations.

Re:Consider the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588717)

Situational depression can in fact trigger clinical depression due to dopamine depletion caused by stress and lack of sleep.

Re:Consider the source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589191)

Bull. Shit. Antidepressants are absolutely prescribed for situational depression. Here's a recent example:

Lacasse, J., Cacciatore, J., Prescribing of Psychiatric Medication to Bereaved Parents Following Perinatal/Neonatal Death: An Observational Study. Death Studies. DOI: 10.1080/07481187.2013.820229

To examine psychiatric prescribing in response to perinatal neonatal death, we analyzed data from a cross-sectional survey of 235 bereaved parents participating in an online support community. Of the 88 respondents prescribed medication, antidepressants were most common (n=70, 79.5%) followed by benzodiazepines (n = 18, 20.5%). Many prescriptions were written shortly after the death (32.2% within 48hr, 43.7% within a week, and 74.7% within a month). Obstetrician gynecologists wrote most prescriptions given shortly after loss. Most respondents prescribed antidepressants took them long-term.

Re:Consider the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588645)

in my experience they make you feel an ungodly pain you can't begin to explain, strips you of your sense of smell and taste, and make you impotent with feelings that you'd be better off without them.

Re:Consider the source (1)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#46588173)

Spot on - like those clowns who conflate "schizophrenia" with that (uniquely North-American) phenomenon of multiple-personality disorder.

Also, all Molyneux's games strongly resemble the extremely tedious, if novel, Populous; they just got worse with each revision. Microsoft have released some good games over the years, but he wasn't involved in any of them.

Re:Consider the source (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 7 months ago | (#46588291)

Peter Molyneux making sweeping overstatements? Say it isn't so!

Re:Consider the source (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 7 months ago | (#46588339)

Antidepressants [...] make the world feel survivable.

Isn't that exactly what he was saying? He was talking about how being out on his own is like having to paddle desperately while bailing water just to stay afloat, whereas working for Microsoft didn't have nearly that sense of desperation because you knew you'd survive. On one side, you're struggling for survival, on the other, there's no sense of pending doom. Seems like that corresponds to what you said.

Yes, saying it makes the world "[feel] too comfortable" was a poor choice of words to close out his thoughts, particularly after mentioning antidepressants, but given the preceding several sentences, it seems quite apparent what he was intending to say. Let's give the guy the benefit of the doubt (in this at least; I don't trust any promises he makes about his games, since this is a guy who's made a career by overpromising).

Re:Consider the source (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46588653)

The problem with depression is not the impending doom but the feeling of powerlessness to effect that doom. In a depressed person's mind not matter what they do they are doomed so why try. Someone paddling and bailing a leaky raft is not a good depression analogy. A better depression analogy would be a person sitting in a sinking raft doing nothing because they think that no matter what they do they will die.

Re:Consider the source (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46588855)

That's one condition anti-depressants treat, sure, but it's not the only one. They also work for anxiety that's not tied to circumstance (nothing wrong, but you're panicked and stressed out anyway), which is a similar brain chemistry imbalance.

Re:Consider the source (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46589089)

Being someone who has depression and anxiety I have different medications for those disorders. That is why they are called antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. There are a few that cross over but Ativan is an anti-anxiety medication and has nothing to do with depression.

They also work for anxiety

Some, manly SSRIs, do work on anxiety but many do not.

The point is that antidepressants bring back reality and does not make the world feel too comfortable.

Re:Consider the source (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 7 months ago | (#46588911)

It's like taking antidepressants.

Peter Molyneux has probably never taken antidepressants in his life or he would not say this. Antidepressants don't make the "world just feels too comfortable". They make the world feel survivable.

Exactly right. Clinical depression is a life-threatening illness. Antidepressants are as "comfortable" as heart medication.

Almost Famous? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588107)

Never heard of him or any of these games.

Re:Almost Famous? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588349)

Never heard of him or any of these games.

Welcome to Earth. Will you be here long?

Re:Almost Famous? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 7 months ago | (#46588473)

What about Syndicate or Magic Carpet?

Re:Almost Famous? (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#46589245)

Magic carpet 2's engine was way ahead of its time with deformable terrain. Its a shame they didn't keep using it. In mage battles, I found the easiest way to win was to make a mountain, then carve a hole in it and hide for mana regen, then burst people down, and hide in mountain cave again.

Re:Almost Famous? (1)

ewhac (5844) | about 7 months ago | (#46588965)

Fable is by Lionhead Studios, home of longtime auteur game designer Peter Molyneux, who has a tendency to promise the Earth and be ultimately be crippled by his own ambition (see the big fat broken monkey-fest Black & White). During the development of Fable, for example, it was promised to have features like rival NPC characters, plants growing in real time, and a system wherein your every slightest choice and action changes your appearance and the world around you. What we ended up with was a buggy action RPG with a great big stiffy for itself.

-- Yahtzee Croshaw [youtu.be]

So, we hate Peter now? (0)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 7 months ago | (#46588113)

I see that repeating an inaccurate simile that's in common usage is all it takes to ruin a lifetime of hard work. Thanks for perpetuating the Slash-hole myth, my loving, charming fellow /.ers.

Re:So, we hate Peter now? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46588161)

Who says anyone hates him? only said he is being a jerk for perpetuation a myth. A myth that hurts people and prevents people form getting help.

I don't hate people I don't know.

Re:So, we hate Peter now? (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 7 months ago | (#46588479)

I'm not sure that repeating a colloquial joke qualifies as being a jerk. I do agree that colloquialisms can and do perpetuate myths and stereotypes. Unless they're coined on the Internet, in which case we call them "memes" and think they are not only funny, but define a new paradigm of reality that is better than the lives being lived by an imaginary group of non-Internet using folks. I digress. Anyway, my point is that the headline is at fault, and we should criticize the poster for using the comment out of context to get a non-controversial story promoted from the firehose, rather than act like Peter Molyneux is guilty of being insensitive when he simply accuses Microsoft as being oblivious.

Re:So, we hate Peter now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589269)

A lot of people hate him. Not saying you're one of them, but there are a lot of gamers who view him as a huckster, snake-oil salesman, etc.

I personally have some sympathy for the guy. Sure his head is in the clouds and he is somewhat divorced from reality, but we need people like that. For example look at Clockwork Empires [clockworkempires.com] , clearly inspired by some of Molyneux's wacky ideas but they've actually managed to implement some of them.

Re: So, we hate Peter now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588253)

I don't know if you could call it hate. After all, the people complaining are all on antidepressants, I'm not sure they're capable of anything as strong as hate.

Or laughing at what should clearly be a joke, but c'est la vie.

Re:So, we hate Peter now? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 7 months ago | (#46588471)

I see that repeating an inaccurate simile that's in common usage is all it takes to ruin a lifetime of hard work.

I think his notoriety for over-hyping and under-delivering did more for damaging his credibility and ensuring that some here are none too fond of the guy. He does some cool stuff, I'll admit, and I've enjoyed his games, certainly, but to hear him hype up $latest_game, you'd think the heavens would open up with angelic choirs whenever it gets released.

Re:So, we hate Peter now? (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 7 months ago | (#46588707)

Ah. Yes. Well, I'm not going to argue with that. It's not like he's a friend of mine or something. Self-promotion does get old...especially if you're a fan of the work.

Anyhow back to reality (1)

Jason Lane (3594173) | about 7 months ago | (#46588151)

"Steve sometimes walks down the hallways bouncing a basketball. Or if he’s having a really good day he’s swinging a baseball bat. Do you think that sends a signal? Sometimes he brings it with him into the conference room. Is it symbolic? Maybe. I don’t know." Yeah, he probably thought he was this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org] or maybe this one? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Well, that sort of explains Windows 8... (4, Informative)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about 7 months ago | (#46588201)

...although I'd say the devs were on something stronger than antidepressants.

All kidding aside, Win8 does seem to be a product of "Who cares what our customers want, we'll do it our way and they can just suck it", which pretty much defines comfortable complacency.

Re:Well, that sort of explains Windows 8... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588385)

"Who cares what our customers want, we'll do it our way and they can just suck it"

This sums up countless companies. phatlets? check. reverse scrolling? check. flat ui with anorexic font? check. schizophrenic ui with no start menu? check. redefining privacy on a daily basis? check.

Re:Well, that sort of explains Windows 8... (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 7 months ago | (#46588535)

...although I'd say the devs were on something stronger than antidepressants.

All kidding aside, Win8 does seem to be a product of "Who cares what our customers want, we'll do it our way and they can just suck it", which pretty much defines comfortable complacency.

Amusingly when Apple does it, most of their users either don't complain about it, or actually appreciate it.
Hmm - maybe execution and taste matter?

Meaning - Microsoft probably not only ignored it's users, it likely ignored it's own influential employees that were critical of it (especially those who weren't vocal because it would be a CLM [wiktionary.org] ). That's poor taste.

Re:Well, that sort of explains Windows 8... (4, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 7 months ago | (#46588655)

I agree that Win8 is a product where Microsoft didn't give a rats ass about what their customers thought of it, but it also has the feel of a product where the developers own input was disregarded. The entire metro interface feels like a design that was created by committee (that never has used it) and forced on the developers by order of management.

I honestly don't believe developers would have done half of the BS that's in Windows8 if left to their own devices and even if certain features were dictated there would have been settings to reset the behavior to previous standards. That those settings don't exist screams of management dictating behavior.

Re:Well, that sort of explains Windows 8... (2)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 7 months ago | (#46589119)

I think it's pretty clear they were certainly not on antidepressants while making Windows 8.

They were on crack.

Power trip (1)

Animats (122034) | about 7 months ago | (#46588213)

"Nurture and grow a civilisation of reactive, living followers who worship you as a god." - product promo for his current game. Talk about an ego trip...

It's an always-on MMORPG, so managing your piece of the world may be a full time job. The graphics suck, apparently by intent. It makes Animal Crossing look realistic.

Translated (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588221)

Now that I've made soooo much money that I don't have to worry about paying my bills, mortgage, kids college, etc. I'm going to venture out and do something FUN! Yayyy! I'll also run through the grass barefoot every weekend in my paid for in cash Malibu mansion.

Alternately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588241)

I think Mr. Molyneux feels like the prospect of having one's business venture fail is something that inspires him to work harder.

Funding video game development isn't cheap and he could stand to take a huge loss or make a huge gain with investment into his own project.

I took antidepressants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588227)

All they did was make me not want to kill myself while I was in the hospital.

They're not feel-good pills.

Since Turbine isn't doing Asheron's Call 3 (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 7 months ago | (#46588235)

While we're talking about Microsoft and gaming: I wonder why Microsoft doesn't sit down with Turbine and cut a deal to do Asheron's Call 3. World of Wacraft is like over a decade old now, and Asheron's Call 1 is superior in some respects so if you adopted some of the WOW ideas into AC and made a new MMORPG, it could make a fight to take over WOW population base. MMORPGS are big money, but you need deep pockets to make a good one.

have to admit (1)

wavedalton (3530485) | about 7 months ago | (#46588243)

I'm impressed and pleased that when I went to comment on the asinine analogy, several people already had. There are still lots of folks who avoid help they could really use, due to that myth.

Re:have to admit (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about 7 months ago | (#46588437)

Similarly, some people avoid seat belts because they heard a story about somebody getting their guts squashed by one. Never mind that tossed into the roof, the windshield, the steering wheel, the dashboard, or being ejected from a vehicle is almost always worse than being strapped to a seat. Yeah, SSRIs don't work for some people, but they work wonders for many. They're not supposed to make you "happy" - just get you out of bed or off the couch and able to get on with your life, and let you end the hopelessness. Of course the state of mental health care in the US is shameful, so many people forego help they need, or simply can't pay for it.

Re:have to admit (1)

rk (6314) | about 7 months ago | (#46588613)

You could delete the word "mental" from your last sentence and it would still be pretty accurate.

Antidepressants... (4, Insightful)

raydobbs (99133) | about 7 months ago | (#46588259)

I don't know about working at Microsoft being like being on antidepressants (never worked for them, don't think I'd want to), but I know that whenever I hear him talk about his next greatest game - I want to TAKE antidepressants as I know none of the shit he talks about will actually make it into the game at 1/100th the grandeur he describes. Can we say 'Master of the over-sell and the under-deliver'?

If it weren't for Microsoft... (4, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 7 months ago | (#46588263)

..we wouldn't be depressed in the first place.

Game designers need to hear, "NO!" (4, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#46588299)

Indies don't usually have yes men, or more correctly: We're close enough to the programmers that they can laugh in our faces and tell us what zany ideas AREN'T POSSIBLE given the game's canvas -- the technology itself. A good designer can make amazing stuff happen in limited mediums -- They can make the most of what actually is in the engine, rather than banking on that which requires a complete rewrite.

Now the crazy thing is that when some insane idea drifts my way either from my own mind or while I'm being part of the idea reactor for the team, I may actually think on it over night and figure out how to pull it off. However, being an implementor means it's my job to say "NO!" not "Yes, but...". "Yes, but... It'll mean taking 8 times more time or money than we have." "Maybe but... we'll have to try out 20 different implementations to figure out if the feature is workable and meanwhile the other devs and content makers will be waiting to see if its possible, or they may wind up scrapping assets if not." -- Give 'em the TL;DR: "No!"

You get maybe ONE of those "That might be doable" per game, maybe TWO if you're helping make the implementation happen, and have an idea of how to pull it off. Maybe a few more if time or money or a playable release isn't important to you. It's important to try new things, especially for innovation; However, you can innovate yourself right out the other side of, "Yes, but...", into, "Oh it might be possible, but the release schedule better include relocating the asset repo before the sun explodes", and only takes one really bad, "Yes", to make that happen. The bigger the behemoth under you the more wonderful are things that seem they might just be crazy enough to work. This is always folly due to the planning fallacy. [slashdot.org] No game is ever finished (we just have to stop adding features and polishing at some point), so if you didn't hear or say enough "NO" then you'll be bound to have game designers making wonderful statements which seemed wholly plausible at the outset or individually, but are not actually executable as a whole. You wind up with a game suffering from amputations instead of leveraging what was possible to its fullest. You start to sound just like Peter Molyneux.

Sometimes it's not the designer's fault that their plans were just too crazy enough NOT to work out. And, sometimes they just push the hype-drive beyond warp 13. The public really can't tell the difference, but you can help prevent the former by learning when to say, "NO!" Saying, "NO", can leave the door open for a better "Yes!". Smaller guys say more "No", and less "Yes". Indies can't afford to entertain as many pie-in-the-sky prosaic Prozac delusions. Great ideas are a dime a dozen, it's really the execution that matters...

"supertanker safety" (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 7 months ago | (#46588351)

So who forced Molyneaux to take Microsoft's money? I assume he cashed his paychecks.

People who claim to be "too comfortable" to be creative really get on my nerves.

And if risky, uncomfortable circumstances are what it takes to make Molyneaux creative, maybe he should try developing games while swimming covered in beef gravy in a pool of sharks. Maybe then he'll actually finish some games again. What a fathead.

Re:"supertanker safety" (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46588881)

But isn't that just what he's doing? He found his current circumstances "too comfortable", so he's changing them. Indie game development is stressful enough even in a shark-free pool!

Re:"supertanker safety" (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 7 months ago | (#46589407)

People who claim to be "too comfortable" to be creative really get on my nerves.

Dude, you're a barista. [youtube.com]

Ignorant Bigot (2)

turgid (580780) | about 7 months ago | (#46588451)

"It's like taking antidepressants. The world just feels too comfortable."

Spoken like a true ignoramus who's never experienced Depression.

Re:Ignorant Bigot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588787)

Oh bullshit. I've been on both a SSRI and a TCA, and both made me feel so much more comfortable. After all, that's why I was taking them. If they didn't, as you claim, then why would doctors proscribe them. You are calling the entire medical cartel a fraud with your Republican-style broad-brush. We all know you are full of shit,l and antidepressants do work. Why the fuck else would people take them? Please take your right-wing antimedicine crap elsewhere.

Re:Ignorant Bigot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588963)

Maybe you're just a pathetic crybaby who needs to toughen the fuck up and improve your life or kill yourself instead of popping pills. I don't remember Euler needing your prozac.

Wow, all the bi-polar nutbars are pissed... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588521)

Settle down, folks. Take your Zoloft and crawl back into bed. It was a bad analogy, not a personal attack on the Slashdot Loonie Brigade. Sheesh...

Playing Peter Molyneux's games... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588619)

...makes you need to take antidepressants

My ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588685)

Peter Molyneux probably doesn't have to worry about whether or not he gets a pay check every 2 weeks so he can take that supertanker analogy and shove it up his over paid ass.

Idiot. (1)

bmo (77928) | about 7 months ago | (#46588731)

It's like taking antidepressants. The world just feels too comfortable.'"

Spoken like a person who has never used antidepressants or understands or how they work, or just buys into the nonsensical Scientologist bullshit.

Antidepressants aren't magic happy pills and they aren't some sort of metaphorical rose coloured glasses.

They take the edge off. That's it. They give you the chance to back away from the emotional precipice that you would otherwise jump from. Some are better than others (Paxil sucks for many many people, for example) but properly used, they help people restore their lives from what was a bottomless pit.

Depression is the third leading cause of death. Probably the main cause of preventable death since if you don't kill yourself yourself outright, you tend to not give a shit about "healthy living" and shave 20 years off your lifespan with heart disease and other crap.

This article and summary is crap.

--
BMO

Re:Idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588865)

This is sort of a dead horse(beaten to death already) but your reply on the subject impressed me as the most accurate reflection of my experiences with antidepressants.

Antidepressants don't make you complacent, they restore the ability to be a functional human being. They are a life preserver for a drowning victim, not a fucking pleasure cruise of comfort.

Keeping your head above water(barely) is not an accurate metaphor for contrasting leaving a safe & comfortable career because you're an adrenaline junkie.

The poster who said this was meme-ready was right:
"Working for Microsoft is like being on chemo-therapy: you get to the front of the line at Disneyland, but only if you're willing to read old-magazines in hospital waiting rooms." - Peter Molyneux on having Cancer.

Re:Idiot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589059)

>They take the edge off.

In more ways than one. Whatever their benefits, they also seem to slow the mind a bit, at least in my experience. Not helpful when your profession requires high mental acuity for every line of code.

Stack Ranking? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46588821)

if you're in a big supertanker of safety, which Microsoft was, then that safety is like an anesthetic. It's like taking antidepressants. The world just feels too comfortable.

I thought stack-ranking was supposed to make everyone feel uncomfortable to motivate them; but they did away with it recently due to complaints.

Perhaps being threatened by real doom (startup failure risk) has a different feel than doom created by the superficial ill-informed bullshit criteria of a PHB (Dilbertian) ranker. The nature of real doom is relatively clear and knowable, whereas dealing a PHB is like trying to tame a chimp on LSD: too random to strategize around such that you grow tired of trying to guess.

Re:Stack Ranking? (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 7 months ago | (#46589293)

It might motivate you, but not to actually be better: Many things that make you better will be tracked to the team, not to you, and a good team still has to have a poor performer. So stack ranking motivates people to make sure some people are behind you, and to make sure that your manager actually likes you, instead of making your product better. Creating conflict for the good of the application is not great idea in a stack ranking organization, because it'll make the manager work harder, and thus not endear it to him.

I remember the last time I was in a stack ranking org. Our team was way too good: A few developers were quite a bit better at their jobs than the manager even understood. Who was getting the good review? A guy that was pretty darned average, code-wise, but that played D&D with the manager. I at least managed to avoid being called the 'bad one', but it was pretty clear that there was very little future in that kind of organization unless you managed to surround yourself by relatively bad developers.

Other potential titles... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46588871)

"Working for Microsoft is like a Big Supertanker of Safety"
"Working for an indie development firm is like being on a life raft that has a big hole in the side"
  2 points for disregarding context

The upper downer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589041)

If Anti-Depressants make you more depressed with a dose of suicidal tendencies then I agree.

I don't recognize him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589113)

Populous was nothing special. It's bloat. MS is bloat - no need for super tanker analogies. What you think is some big important ship is essentially just bloat..much like your own overrated work..

Re: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepre (0)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46589169)

And using their products is like needing them :-)

Working for Microsoft Requires Antidepressants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589233)

Fixed the headline.

    I can bear witness to my Comment Subject Line. I actually had to change to a stronger antidepressant, and add another medication to boot.

Posting to Slashdot requires antidepressants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46589377)

so many good posts filtered by idiotic slashcode.

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