ctor.xyz

My time at Cat Code Games LLC working on WANTED

UPDATE: My friend that joined the project ended up not even working for them, because he was scared that they would do him the way they did me.

Cat Code Games LLC

Hm, there’s not much to say about them other than they pay per task and no percentage up front.

Nathan the project manager was great when we spoke for the first time. Everything was well and I even said to him as a joke “You’re really nice man, you’re making me want to do free work.” We eventually spoke again, this second time he told me about what I was going to be doing and then he sent me my contract. I was going to be paid $500 for 4 tasks that had smaller subsequent tasks.
Easily this was work that could be done in a 1-1.5 months and would be ~$5,000 worth of work. (I just became unemployed so I needed to make some money) So I was given a contract (as contractors usually get lol) and I began my work quickly. Infact I went through my first task within 2 days (~8 hours of work).


Work

Most of that time was debugging since I was running into some small yet annoying issues. Such as using a TActorIterator to get all players in the level and incrementing a uint8 to have a reference for how many players are alive. This method worked fine when I was storing a TMap of PlayerState and Kills, I know it’s not ethical to do this when an int will suffice. The TActorIterator kept setting the uint8 to 255 which made no sense, I even tried to set the uint8 on map load which still set to 255. /shrug Originally I had everything working as my contract said and I even went out of my way to add a health/damage system and a kill/death system so I could test my work easier.


Going into it

When I originally spoke to Nathan he told me he doesn’t pay any percent up front and he doesn’t do hourly. I’d have to commit code, have it checked by the lead programmer Ewan (he’d give feedback), and then I’d have to refactor, and submit again for review. So it’s just an endless cycle of work being checked (I understand why), but it’s a very annoying thing when I’m not doing hourly work. All of this was certainly a big red flag to me, but I was gullible since I needed money and wanted to work on a professional game project to put on my resume.


WANTED

My time working on WANTED was pretty nice at the beginning and I didn’t think it’d get bad at all. Obviously I can’t say anything about the project since I’m under NDA still, but the project is well organized from what I saw. They have a GDD and some other documents explaining design decisions for specific things.

So after I completed my first task I got it reviewed and I fixed the issues, but I noticed at the last minute that it was broken so I started to fix it. Right before I started to fix an issue I found Nathan accepted my work (unfortunately I didn’t record voice chat so it’s his word against mine) for payment. I began talking in the dev chat on discord to Ewan about the issue to get his feedback and to see if he could think of a solution. This ended up pissing me off.

[5:40 PM] Russ (trdwll): I'd like to move on and get paid.
[5:40 PM] Russ (trdwll): My work is done
[5:40 PM] Russ (trdwll): You both verified that
[5:41 PM] Ewan (Moshy): we need to do things cleanly.. There's many ways to program something, but it doesn't mean it's ideal
[5:41 PM] Russ (trdwll): You fix it then dude
[5:41 PM] Ewan (Moshy): and I think you know that. You've put a comment stating "this is a bad way to do it"
[5:41 PM] Russ (trdwll): @Nathan (MeowMiau) Can I get paid now?
[5:41 PM] Russ (trdwll): You both confirmed my work was complete earlier.
[5:41 PM] Ewan (Moshy): I wouldn't call it complete, I'll have to refactor a lot of it
[5:41 PM] Russ (trdwll): bs
[5:42 PM] Russ (trdwll): My contract says minor adjustments
[5:42 PM] Russ (trdwll): I did a major refactor
[5:42 PM] Russ (trdwll): Added health/damage for free
[5:45 PM] Nathan (MeowMiau): @Russ (trdwll) I did not approve your work and Moshy gave you input earlier on how to get it to a point where it's acceptable for what we're looking for. We are not trying to made things hard for you. We want things done in the best way possible so that it reflects good on everyone's work on the game. I think it's best if we remove your work and cut ties at this point. I'm going to remove you from the dev chat here.

Code

So the code in the project wasn’t well documented, was poorly written, and was just a complete mess. The project was apparently in development for 9 months iirc and at this state I call bs. In my contract it said that I had to comment code to explain what things did (which I always do), but the code base wasn’t commented much at all. The only thing I really saw were a ton of UE_LOG throughout the code. lol


Final words

I had the task working fully and Ewan had me refactor (which goes against my contract, it says minor adjustments not major) and they denied my work, kicked/banned me from the discord, and didn’t pay me. I have a friend that joined WANTED also and he’s afraid that they won’t pay him and do him the way they did me.

Until next time