As the Pacific Northwest was caught in the throes of a dangerous and unprecedented heat wave (more of a “heat bubble,” actually), the high temperatures impacted the ability of some game developers to continue working. In the face of extreme record-breaking temperatures that the region was not prepared for, developers started shutting down their rigs. High end computers already generate a lot of hear themselves, but it’s also very difficult as a human being to continue working in those kinds of uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous conditions.
Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier noted that he had received texts from AAA developers saying they were having trouble continuing work in the face of the ongoing heat.
Got a bunch of texts from an AAA game developer in Seattle saying it’s so hot that nobody can get any work done.
Gamers, I hope you’re hearing this. Climate change is preventing games from being made
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) June 28, 2021
Bungie Community Manager Dylan Gaffner (dmg04) said that his computer locked up twice thanks to the heat.
Laptop has literally locked up from overheating twice today.
This is not good.
— dmg04 (@A_dmg04) June 28, 2021
And finally we began hearing word that Bungie halted operations as high temperatures impacted every aspect of development.
Bungie is shutting down all the things because of the heat. Guess that’s a wrap on work today.
— James is fully vaccinated (@ArcaneRoboBrain) June 28, 2021
Bungie was also one of the first studios to transition to a work-from-home environment as the Covid pandemic began, so it’s not unusual to see the company taking care of its employees in the face of extreme and sometimes dangerous conditions.
Hot temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit aren’t unusual in many parts of the country, notably those further south, but the difference is that Seattle and the Pacific Northwest as a whole aren’t built to withstand temperatures that high. Air conditioning is not common in the area, so people’s homes and offices have been heating up with no efficient way to cool them. Since 1896, Seattle has only reached 100 degrees a total of three times. This week, Seattle has already seen three consecutive days hit well above the 100 mark, breaking records made just the day before.
One Bungie employee noted that the temperature inside his office had reached 92 degrees Fahrenheit at one point, despite fruitless attempts to cool it. Along with the heat emitted from high-end PCs used for development, the heat wave is making game development exceedingly uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous. It’s unclear if Schreier’s tweet was explicitly referring to Bungie, or if the numerous other developers in the Pacific Northwest were also impacted.
Those temperatures are finally be cooling somewhat now, and developers are getting back to work, still trying to find ways to beat the high heat, even if it’s not quite breaking those newly set records. But this is not the first time this year we’ve seen unusual weather events grip areas not prepared for them (the deep freeze in Texas comes to mind), causing impact to regular functions of daily life and business. One day of shutting down business isn’t likely to cause any kind of delay to Destiny 2’s next expansion, The Witch Queen (which itself was already delayed to early 2022 from a fall 2021 date), but repeated and unexpected weather events can have both physical and psychological effects that can and will be seen in the development timeline.[Via: Forbes]
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