Work in the game industry long enough and you'll come up against it. Hell, work in the game industry for 3 or 4 months and you'll probably come up against it. It's the term used to describe the soul-stealing period of time just before an important project milestone or the end of a project where lots of people are staying late, working 15 hour days, working on the weekends, etc.
It's tough. It's hard on people Hard on relationships. I haven't had more than 3 days off in the last month and I'm exhausted from it. I miss Amanda. I haven't really seen her much lately. These days I come home after she's asleep and sleep in while she's getting ready in the morning. We just sort of share a bed these days, not much else.
The thing is, it's not the whole company that's going through this right now. It's not even any particular team that's enduring it. The Audio Department, though, because we service almost every project that comes through the building, is slammed with what people keep referring to as a "perfect storm" of crunch times. We're fighting for time in the recording studio in order to record voice, music, and SFX. We're struggling to keep pace with the audio needs of 13 different projects, all of which are at different stages. However, milestones seem to be lining up into these ugly staggered messes that keep us going from crunch to crunch.
On top of that, I'm having band practices again. The LucasArts Band (as we're being called now) is being asked to play at our up-coming All Lucas Company meeting. So, this week it's been recording sessions, production work, and music supervision all day followed by band practice at night. My eyes are so bleary that I can't really read what I'm typing right now. It's all too blurry.
Anyway, I guess the point I'm making is that this is the hard part of the industry. You make a lot of sacrifices during crunch time. Personal life, sleep, health, hygiene - and in return you're supposed to take comfort in the successes of your work. It's probably just that I've been at this for a month, but that's seeming like a pretty lopsided rate of returns for me right now.
Luckily it looks like I don't have to work this weekend. I can't wait. I want to relax and spend time with Amanda. Not to mention, we have tickets to go see Bjork in concert Saturday night. Crunches make you treasure your weekends. I plan on treasuring every second of this one.