Developer Update - March 20

Heroes,

Welcome to another Developer Update. As a studio this past week has been taxing beyond belief. Sending home around 100 people on short notice presents a unique set of challenges that we’ve never had to face until now.

The first challenge is one of ‘understanding’. Having the sharks understand why these changes are happening gives the process of shipping them home a head start and thankfully this wasn’t a problem.

Logistically there have been heaps of challenges that our IT team can no doubt attest to. Every shark needs to be equipped with hardware and software in order to do their daily duties. Every shark needs a different set up. Some sharks have capable PCs at home that can be repurposed from entertainment and home use and turned into workhorses. Some aren’t equipped in their home office to do their nine-to-five, so IT has been ordering in new hardware every day. Then there are licence issues. Sure, something like Steam lets you install your games on 100s of different PCs without concern, but software like Maya for example, is much more limiting and requires licences to be either transferred or replaced, costing time and/or money. Our IT gurus have been putting in some fierce overtime in ensuring each shark’s unique situation is catered for with minimal downtime, and hats off to them as they have risen to and overshot any and all expectations. Big up Frank and Co.!

The next challenge is ‘process’. Switching from office work to remote working presents real changes to daily work flows. Gone are the morning stand-ups where teams huddle in the office, talk about the day ahead and share progress over a coffee or by the water cooler. Now everything you do is behind closed doors, and each and every shark needs to up their game in communicating how and what they’re doing. So far this has been going well and folks have really upped their game. Our producers and team captains have been invaluable in laying out new processes and procedures that keep everyone up to date and clued in on what their colleagues are doing.

One other key challenge is mental health, in fact this is really the most crucial one during these times. At Fatshark we genuinely take pride in doing right by our colleagues, limiting crunch, offering flexibility, and respecting the work/life balance everyone should be afforded. With the current timeline being uncertain, and with the media (both social and journalistic) running overtime, it can really wreak havoc on people and their mindspace. With worries about friends, family and society at large at a potentially all-time-high, we need to take that extra time and caution in making sure our remote sharks are staying healthy in both body and mind. Collectively we have all come together, albeit the furthest apart we have ever been physically, to research and share our tips and experiences with remote working. We’ve scheduled countless base-touch meetings to check in on each other, and we’re getting together in the evenings (remotely of course!) to play different games together, from Tabletop Simulator to Warzone, from DayZ to Minecraft. Obviously this challenge is an ongoing one, and one that will evolve as the situation evolves around us.

As for development turnarounds, we are doing everything we can to make this temporary upheaval have as little impact as possible. We’re still on track to release Chapter 3 of the Curse of Drachenfels adventure for Vermintide 2 next week.


Developer Invasion

At 14:00 UTC today , to end the week on a light note in the various shark tanks across Stockholm (and beyond in the case of even further remote employees!) we’ll be invading the lobbies of Vermintide 2 to hang out and play some games with you all!

It’s a good time to jump into the game and get buddied up with a shark. We’ll populate all the difficulties with bodies and we’ll be found on Xbox One and Playstation 4 (as well as Steam of course!).


Dreadlands

On a side note, we want to mention that we’ve been working in a publishing capacity with Blackfox Studios who have been developing a new title - Dreadlands - a turn based skirmish game in which you control a gang of misfits and mercenaries, battling for survival and supremacy in a lush post-apocalyptic setting. It just went into Early Access, and owners of Vermintide 2 get a nice loyalty discount so if you’re stuck at home and want to get involved in some turn based tactics fun and add to it’s evolution through the Early Access phase of development (and of course beyond!) then it’s right here on Steam:


Lastly, we want to wish you all good health and positive vibes. The situation’s you’re in are likely all very different depending on where you are, but follow advice given by scientific bodies, and do what you can to make positive changes in your communities, be it through isolating or shopping for only what you need!

Big love, folks!

/Fatshark

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I’m very glad to hear that you guys are doing great during these hectic times! I didn’t even consider the fact that you’d have to issue new hardware and new licenses to work for home, that’s tough.

Fatshark def seems like a good company to work for, it always looked like a very healthy enviroment and I’m very glad you guys work in proper conditions. There’s far too much abuse and crunching in the games industry.

I N T E R E S T I N G

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This is not The End Times.Everything will be fine.

Be strong Fatshark.

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Thank you, hedge, for keeping us updated and thank you, FatShark, for taking care of your employees. You guys are among the best, it sounds like, and I’ll hope to see you in the field!

Much to my dismay I’ll have to miss your invasion altogether as I’m also at my little home office plugging away for the next 8 hours, but I am so excited to hear that you’ll be brawling with us! Stab a few rats for me, eh?

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@Fatshark_Hedge don’t worry, in this scenario it’s totally secondary.

(the important thing is that you don’t remove Vermintide 1’s traps and darkness from the map :p)

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The foul Plaguevermin will never triumph over the will of Sigmar’s chosen! Stand firm against the tide of pestilence! Never will this be the year of the rat!

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Can totally relate, am part of the IT staff myself.
Just happy we were well prepared. Usually at max 30 people would be working out of the office at the same time. Well now it’s about 400. Tough week but now it’s Friday!

Stay healthy! and have fun for the weekend!

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Nice that you got back to the question from last week. I am impressed that you got the licensing issues solved this fast. Then again, the situation is easily to be explained to everyone and maybe we all have a chance to show our better side.
Also cool, that you have this after work mesh-ups to keep your heads clear. I am just back from my “vacation”. Have to see monday how the situation is at my workplace.

On a sidenote: Player numbers have increased strongly this last week. Even more so than other comparable games. Not sure if this is something to celebrate -_-

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This is everything for me.

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Hey, just wondering if the double XP weekend was missed in this blog post.

Will we finally have the new map tomorrow? Or will we have to wait more?

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Sweet! Can hardly wait.

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