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Thread: Star Wars Episode 7: A New Attack of the Empire Strikes Revenge of the Return of Jedi

  1. #561
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    You don't need malice to explain why George Lucas would bungle a game studio. Film is surprisingly plastic, especially when it's shot the way Lucas does it. Computer games are complex software systems that just need to have a lot more rigidity to them. Lucas invested in an industry where all his professional experience told him to work against the best practices of that industry. This sort of thing happens all the time in business, and tbh it usually turns out a lot worse.

  2. #562
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    I mostly blame Jar-Jar Binks. Think about it. Look at the timeline of the release of TPM and when things really started going downhill for LucasArts. Lucas has made comments in the past year that indicated that he was very crushed at the negative reception that TPM (and the prequels overall) received. I think that lead to some really bad business decisions.

  3. #563

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    I'm sure whatever "downfall" of LA came before the Prequels.

    Working under LA and probably EA now, I'm sure the first thing that goes is "love for those classic films," despite what developer house diaries state otherwise. The next would be "appreciation for open-air offices" I guess.

    On this tangent, what's it like to work in an open-air office? How do you actually get work done?
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  4. #564
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECHOMAN View Post
    On this tangent, what's it like to work in an open-air office? How do you actually get work done?
    Headphones and work-from-home days.

  5. #565

    "Has it won yet?"

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    Fascinating
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  6. #566
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    I'd love to have a huge effortchat about productivity metrics and the effect of open-concept offices, but honestly it'd be hard to without sounding like a big, whiny baby about working in one (which fyi is what your entire staff needs to be in order to get any benefit out of them)

  7. #567
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    I would be an awesome ceo but I would never be allowed to become one because I think maximizing shareholder value is a stupid idea from garbage people

  8. #568
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECHOMAN View Post
    I'm sure whatever "downfall" of LA came before the Prequels.
    Also, let's not pretend that LucasArts was some kind of end-to-end ****up factory for the past 15 years.

    LEC made or published a bunch of solid games well after TPM was released. Rogue Squadron 2 and 3, JO, JA, and KotOR stand out for me. I had a lot of fun with some others, like Battlefront 1 and Episode I: Racer, even if they weren't strictly speaking "good". I've heard great things on here about the RotS adventure game, Republic Commando, Empire at War, and TOR. And then there's LEGO Star Wars.

    Yeah, they made a lot of mediocre crap, a lot of it maybe-not-coincidentally based on the prequel trilogy, but their year-over-year success rate was never much better. When was the last time any of you played Rebel Assault? Shadows of the Empire? Masters of Teras Kasi? My god, those games were terrible, even for the time. How about Rebellion? I still can't believe they shipped that one, pretty much the textbook example of what happens when you don't prototype your game ideas. And how about Star Wars: Behind the Magic and Star Wars Screen Entertainment? The only thing more astonishing than the fact that they released some of this **** is that we [our parents] actually paid money it, but hey - we were kids. What was their excuse?

    I'm not trying to say that LEC has always been a **** company, and I'm also not trying to defend the way they mismanaged things since the prequels came out. I'm just saying, they were always the LucasArts we knew, they were LucasArts until the end, so what ultimately happened to them shouldn't have surprised any of us.

    Edit: fyi the cool kids figured this all out when they rebranded Dark Forces 3 as "Episode 1: Obi-Wan" in mid-development.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-27-2015 at 09:28 PM.

  9. #569
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    What do you mean by vertical elements? Marathon made use of height, and System Shock had sloped surfaces and 3D models you could walk on. Dark Forces had deep pits but that's really the Star Wars aesthetic rather than anything specific they were trying to achieve.

    Well, heres the thing:

    LucasArts only ever made Star Wars themed clones of whatever happened to be popular at the time. I agree, this was fine as long as the clones were good, but it's been a very long time since they have been.
    Well, either way you want to spin it, Dark Forces and many other Star Wars games, while not exactly genre defining, incorporated new features and gameplay into solid games that stood on their own. Bringing together successful technology and gameplay elements from several other games is generally how games move forward. It's the difference between being a straight up doom clone with some new textures and sounds, and making the effort to take a step beyond. The trouble is, toward the end, they simply stopped making that extra effort, if they even made the game at all.

    Most of the games you've listed were made by third parties:

    KotOR series - Bioware/Obsidian
    Rogue Squadron series - Factor 5
    X-Wing series - Peregrine Games (later Totally Games)
    Jedi Knight series - last two by Raven
    I honestly don't care who developed them. LEC could have been a successful publisher be simply authorizing studios to continue to develop popular profitable franchises. They could have been mediocre and still been extremely successful. And that's really what makes LEC's failure so huge.

    I have heard, also, that GL's constant indecision was to blame for a lot of this. It wouldn't surprise me at all.
    Last edited by Obi_Kwiet; 04-27-2015 at 10:49 PM.

  10. #570
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I honestly don't care who developed them. LEC could have been a successful publisher be simply authorizing studios to continue to develop popular profitable franchises.
    But what I'm saying is that they couldn't. You can't develop popular, profitable franchises, when talented studios and employees will not work for you. For whatever reason, LucasArts consistently ruined every business relationship within two games.

  11. #571
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Yeah, they made a lot of mediocre crap, a lot of it maybe-not-coincidentally based on the prequel trilogy, but their year-over-year success rate was never much better. When was the last time any of you played Rebel Assault? Shadows of the Empire? Masters of Teras Kasi? My god, those games were terrible, even for the time. How about Rebellion?
    Never, 2014, never and 2005 most likely (last of my back-in-the-day annual playing-a-massive-Rebellion-campaign-at-least-once-a-year-athons).

    I still kinda wish 1313 had been at least leaked in some form (or maybe it just didn't have enough familiar to be leaked). Oy!

  12. #572
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    But what I'm saying is that they couldn't. You can't develop popular, profitable franchises, when talented studios and employees will not work for you. For whatever reason, LucasArts consistently ruined every business relationship within two games.
    I'm not disagreeing with you here. The fact that they couldn't say, "Hey guys, keep making those successful games, the royalty checks go to the usual address." is just pathetic. A single person working weekends could have replaced all of Lucas Arts and been more profitable than they were. We're aren't talking about passive sucking. They had to try to be this bad.

  13. #573

  14. #574
    (Still) On 13 week vacation
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    Rebel Assault 2 was the first pc game I ever bought.

    I remember thinking it was so awesome.

    I'm sure it would even still have some nostalgic value.

  15. #575
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    When was the last time any of you played Rebel Assault? Shadows of the Empire? Masters of Teras Kasi? My god, those games were terrible, even for the time.
    First off, apologies if this is a bit of a derail.

    While Shadows of the Empire certainly did not age well, I'd argue it was not terrible for the time, at least on the N64. Early 3D console games were notoriously going through growing pains, and given the time, I think Shadows of the Empire actually tackled its attempted genre relatively well. The graphics and controls now are, of course, awful, and at the time, I recall having a lot of fun feeling like a part of the Battle of Hoth, exploring the Hoth base, fighting Boba Fett and IG-88, and exploring a part of the trilogy previously unexplored, even if it was with a Han Solo clone. Even today, I still think the final space battle was neat in that you had complete freedom of movement.
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  16. #576
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I'd love to have a huge effortchat about productivity metrics and the effect of open-concept office
    I'd love to hear it for my own validation
    "Nulla tenaci invia est via"

  17. #577

    "Has it won yet?"

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    Forgive my ignorance since I never worked for a firm that had more than 5 people (including now), I'm just curious..

    In a company of thousands, what real evidence is there to support whatever performance metrics idea over another, besides general employee discontent? Willing outflux of workers? Whatever set, made-up targets suddenly being met or not?

    I mean, a by-the-numbers metric system on something like productivity would most likely have the bottom of a company be the burden of proof for the top's intentions, I assume? And the bottom always try to save its a**, so wouldn't they just conform to the tinted reality of those above? After demoting/firing some guys, "hey look the system works, check out these numbers."
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  18. #578
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECHOMAN View Post
    Forgive my ignorance since I never worked for a firm that had more than 5 people (including now), I'm just curious..

    In a company of thousands, what real evidence is there to support whatever performance metrics idea over another, besides general employee discontent? Willing outflux of workers? Whatever set, made-up targets suddenly being met or not?

    I mean, a by-the-numbers metric system on something like productivity would most likely have the bottom of a company be the burden of proof for the top's intentions, I assume? And the bottom always try to save its a**, so wouldn't they just conform to the tinted reality of those above? After demoting/firing some guys, "hey look the system works, check out these numbers."
    You misunderstand the point of metrics. Metrics exist to fake results. IE, look how things have changed due to my new policy, the project is on time, the project is profitable, ect. Measurements are chosen that can be easily manipulated to have a particular result, and imply some conclusion that they don't actually support at all. "Manipulated" usually means externalizing and ignoring anything you don't like, but can also be as blatant as telling your employees to lie their asses off.

  19. #579
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    You misunderstand the point of metrics. Metrics exist to fake results. IE, look how things have changed due to my new policy, the project is on time, the project is profitable, ect. Measurements are chosen that can be easily manipulated to have a particular result, and imply some conclusion that they don't actually support at all. "Manipulated" usually means externalizing and ignoring anything you don't like, but can also be as blatant as telling your employees to lie their asses off.
    I think you're generalizing, probably from experience with a past or current employer(s). Any analysis can be twisted to justify whatever conclusion is desired, but at the end of the day, money talks, and sooner or later a flawed analysis will cost the company money, and someone will need to correct course.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

  20. #580
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    Quote Originally Posted by SF_GoldG_01 View Post
    I think you're generalizing, probably from experience with a past or current employer(s). Any analysis can be twisted to justify whatever conclusion is desired, but at the end of the day, money talks, and sooner or later a flawed analysis will cost the company money, and someone will need to correct course.
    "capitalism works"


    lol

  21. #581
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    I dunno, it looks like capitalism is very good at concentrating capital to me

  22. #582
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    "capitalism works"


    lol
    Don't know why you would find this amusing, its just a fact. Wrong decisions bleed a company unless corrective measures are applied before a point of no return.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

  23. #583
    Right, it's not a neoliberal talking point, it's "just a fact"--Q.E.D.!

  24. #584
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    Quote Originally Posted by SF_GoldG_01 View Post
    Don't know why you would find this amusing, its just a fact. Wrong decisions bleed a company unless corrective measures are applied before a point of no return.

  25. #585
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I dunno, it looks like capitalism is very good at concentrating capital to me
    tru dat. note, tho: concentrating it and protecting it, not creating it.


    SF_GoldG_01:

    Perfect competition is a prerequisite of the long-run consequences of inefficiency. Perfect competition is impossible; it exists only when the cost of entry is zero, when there are an infinite number of firms all competing over an infinite number of perfectly informed consumers. Absolutely no markets today operate anywhere near this level of competition, not when firms are routinely protected from their own diseconomies of scale by government-granted monopolies, or when multinationals are allowed to grow so large that they can freely extract rents by creating moral hazards. And even if this weren't the case, the market signals are so skewed by the ultra-rich that all companies optimize for secure storage of wealth rather than profit, which undermines basically any point you will ever have to make about the free market pruning away the dead weight. Because it's all of it. It's all dead weight.

    step off scrub, this isn't even my final form
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-30-2015 at 02:27 AM.

  26. #586
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECHOMAN View Post
    Forgive my ignorance since I never worked for a firm that had more than 5 people (including now), I'm just curious..

    In a company of thousands, what real evidence is there to support whatever performance metrics idea over another, besides general employee discontent? Willing outflux of workers? Whatever set, made-up targets suddenly being met or not?

    I mean, a by-the-numbers metric system on something like productivity would most likely have the bottom of a company be the burden of proof for the top's intentions, I assume? And the bottom always try to save its a**, so wouldn't they just conform to the tinted reality of those above? After demoting/firing some guys, "hey look the system works, check out these numbers."
    Above a certain pay grade it's impossible to understand all of the responsibilities of your direct reports, so you have no choice but to use metrics. For example, a CEO may not have a good understanding of marketing, but simple metrics like 'impressions' and 'conversion rate' give reasonable and easily understood approximations of how a marketing effort is working over time. Ideally towards the bottom of an organization you'd have a closer relationship between manager and employee, since the roles are much more similar, but **** rolls downhill so all employees in an organization are ultimately evaluated by metrics to which, frankly, a single employee at a large business is unlikely to have a statistically significant effect over. A particularly transparent example of this, for example, is the MBO process as it is popularly used. Originally the process was designed for planning the personal goals of senior managers, but in practice it's extended to all employees, with their boss's boss's personal goals whimsically rebranded "organizational" or "departmental".

    Believe it or not, these are usually still the good kinds of metrics. Hours worked is a bad one, but quite often optimized for. Things like lines of code written, bugs filed, bugs fixed, or number of support tickets closed, are all so obviously bad that I don't think I even need to explain them. Unfortunately if you're working under these sorts of 'in the small' metrics it probably means your boss has absolutely no idea what you're doing. Pro dev is a huge responsibility of any manager, and one who can't/won't take the time to understand your contribution also can't/won't help you advance your career. Also, small metrics are trivial to game, so unless you're the Team Sociopath you're probably not going to look that great on your review. Find a new job now.


    Anyway, back to open concept offices


    Basically every business has office management / facilities siloed off from product development and sales. The metrics the two are optimizing are fundamentally opposed: the facilities people are generally tasked with reducing employment costs, while the product development people are tasked with increasing employee productivity. You end up in this tug-o-war where product dev wants bigger quieter workspaces, and the facilities people want to tear down all walls and pack people in like cordwood. Unfortunately the facilities people have won the debate. The reason? Not to save money, but because of the metric CEOs optimize for. The sole business operations role of a CEO is to establish the communications infrastructure that allows so many people in so many different roles to collaborate. The argument is that open concept offices allow people to overhear conversations and jump in with their own ideas. This is an easy sell to a CEO, whose main concern is maximizing exactly this behavior. It's mainly become ingrained in business culture now because, although they're clearly terrible if you've ever worked in one, CEOs 1.) don't, and 2.) haven't been given any hard evidence that they damage productivity more than the increased collaboration benefits it. And they'll never be given that evidence, because the people in organizations with a vested interest don't have access to the capital budget to conduct their own experiment.

  27. #587
    It's Stuart, Martha Stuart
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    "Hey guys, look how munch money we've saved by forcing our engineers to do CAD work in MS Paint!"

    I wish that were a hypothetical scenario.

  28. #588
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_welfare and so on and so forth

    More invisible hands plz

  29. #589
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_welfare and so on and so forth

    More invisible hands plz
    This is sort of my point, if these companies were not as important, nobody would have bailed them out, and they would have fallen, others would have taken their place. Some day, if course corrections are not made, there won't be someone there to bail them out.
    Nothing to see here, move along.

  30. #590
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    Quote Originally Posted by SF_GoldG_01 View Post
    This is sort of my point, if these companies were not as important, nobody would have bailed them out, and they would have fallen, others would have taken their place. Some day, if course corrections are not made, there won't be someone there to bail them out.
    That neither makes sense nor at all is in any way related to what you originally said.

  31. #591
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    Quote Originally Posted by SF_GoldG_01 View Post
    This is sort of my point, if these companies were not as important, nobody would have bailed them out, and they would have fallen, others would have taken their place. Some day, if course corrections are not made, there won't be someone there to bail them out.
    Okay, but government intervention is just one check on a list of things that make free markets not work

  32. #592
    Quote Originally Posted by SF_GoldG_01 View Post
    This is sort of my point, if these companies were not as important, nobody would have bailed them out, and they would have fallen, others would have taken their place. Some day, if course corrections are not made, there won't be someone there to bail them out.
    If you even re-read what you wrote here, I can't imagine how your next course of action couldn't have been to laugh at yourself, or at the very least follow up with

    ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H

    to prevent logic more slippery than soap from escaping out of your PC and into the interwebs.


  33. #593
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    SF_GoldG_01, serious question: what happened here? There's no shame at all in asking questions or admitting you don't understand something. Why make positive statements that you can't defend to people with much more knowledge in the subject? If you had just asked why your first post was wrong, this all would have turned out much more constructively for all of us

  34. #594
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    If you even re-read what you wrote here, I can't imagine how your next course of action couldn't have been to laugh at yourself, or at the very least follow up with

    ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H

    to prevent logic more slippery than soap from escaping out of your PC and into the interwebs.

    logic has rigor

  35. #595
    Child's Play CharityBlockyness Rocks!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Headphones and work-from-home days.
    Jon is right. I work in an open environment office where I can see all of the employees at my company if I stand up in the room. Granted, we're a small company of 70 but I'm sure you can imagine how unproductive the majority of the people are. Especially with a bunch of interns straight out of college, and the majority of them being female. Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous but welcome to the way a business is run.

    Cost savings are obviously the number one reason for the open environment. Also, lack of privacy means people are less likely to be surfing the Internet, watching YouTube videos at work, etc. However it makes for a less happy workforce and people chat with everyone around them and efficiency suffers quite a bit as a result.

  36. #596
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    logic has rigor
    more like rigor mortis

    L
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    L
    Last edited by Nikumubeki; 05-02-2015 at 01:19 PM.

  37. #597
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    70 people doesn't seem like a small number to me, DK... Sounds like a massive nightmare. My company is just me and my boss, and I already go a little bonkers whenever he's having a loud phone conversation with speakerphone turned on. Maybe having separate, private offices in a two-person firm is silly, but lord, sometimes I wish...

  38. #598
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    I love all the new office design trends. Take a look at this hot ****:



    I guess those ceiling tiles were interfering with collaboration? Nothing screams high tech bay area social media startup like taking design cues from Costco.

  39. #599
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Dear Dropbox: Just because China Basin used to be a warehouse doesn't mean you still need to decorate it like one.

  40. #600

    "Has it won yet?"

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    Geez that's a lot of white lighting reflecting off of white paint in an open space. Maybe it's just the exposure of the camera, but that place looks immediately uncomfortable, almost unsettling, to work in. I assume you can get use to that over time (like the people there ofc), I still work under incandescent lighting.

    Funny you mention Costco. I wouldn't be surprised lighting that bright white is "good" for a place like a shopping center since it probably urges people to move around.

    Old warehouses, with their generous heights, lack of good climate control and weird means of egress, are like the exact opposite of what offices like those need. It really is a square peg in a round hole situation.
    Last edited by ECHOMAN; 05-02-2015 at 08:27 PM.
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