@KDR_11K: For UT3, it's pretty easy to make all the bad guys robots who don't bleed, so we did that. We had no interest in removing major gameplay features from Gears of War (chainsaw kills, hostage taking, etc.) from Gears of War for any reason. Euros are nice, but staying true to your artistic integrity and making the game you want to make is even nicer.
@KDR_11K: Okay, really, "artistic vision bullshit"? What other reason is there to play our game except to experience that "bullshit"? That's all a game is, an experience we've created to share our vision, that we hope people will enjoy.
@Tenmar: Wow, that's a pretty complex question, and it's difficult to answer. It's so situational -- there's not always a clear path for advancement, right? Epic, for example, is very flat. If someone wants a leadership opportunity, the opportunities come up quite rarely. Thus other rewards for volunteerism and high productivity become more important. A poor manager can make that process really painful, by not mentioning the efforts of a strong performer, not wanting to lose them to a different department/position, etc. We don't increase base wages for standout employees, because our salaries are tied directly to market forces and their experience. That works for us because bonus income is significant, so we can use that to distinguish by merit. For employers without non-salary income, absolutely, you want to pay people what they're worth *to you*, not what they're worth to someone else.
For example, nothing makes me madder than, when we make someone an offer, the company making a counter-offer. That's saying, basically, "Well, you were worth a lot more money than we were paying you all that time, and that was awesome! For us. But now we can't get away with it any longer, so, um, you want a raise?" Bleh!
I bet you know the basic answer, and maybe you just need to hear it again, so I'll oblige. If you're working somewhere that doesn't notice your volunteerism, extra effort, higher productivity, etc. and you don't see a path upwards, you have two choices:
1) Go someplace else, which involves taking a risk.
2) Stay there, because it's stable, your friends are there, etc.
The trick is, with #1, you might not necessarily seem the same financial situation, but you will likely be happier. With #2, the hidden risk is that you'll slowly lose your volunteerism and extra effort, as you spend more time with a bunch of "why bother" people. And it's really, really hard to get it back...
PS Escapist Rules KTHXBYE