November 4, 2023 at 10:37 am

Video Game Developer Had A Noisy Run-In With A Testy Lawyer So He Decided To Get Revenge

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: AITA/Reddit,Pexels

Can’t we all just get along?

You’d think so, but people can be so darn selfish!

And this person who worked as a game developer decided to share his epic story of revenge with folks on Reddit.

Hang on tight and get started now!

Oh my God, we’re so sorry we blocked your doorway. Now go get your ear muffs.

“I’ve had a long respectable career in game development. A couple of years ago I’ve abandoned it for a cushy corporate job, and now spend most of my days missing gamedev.

This story takes place about 10 years ago at the apex of my career.

I was the lead on a AAA project. Our parent company, for which videogames was just one of many lines of business, was going through changes.

It was time for their company to move into some new digs.

We had to move offices three times in one year. Second of the three moves, always intended to be temporary, put us into the basement of an older building long occupied by satellite departments not involved with development.

The basement we were given had been empty for years, save for the most distant office. You entered the basement through a dimly lit staircase. Then, after you snaked through a horror-movie-like maze of corridors and interconnected small rooms, you’d eventually arrive at the farthest room of all.

A golden plaque was on the door.

Trademark Compliance Department.

There was someone behind that door who was about to cause some trouble.

Literally no one I knew was ever aware of Trademark Compliance, even though trademarks were a pretty important part of everything we did. The department consisted of a single elderly trademark attorney and his fresh-faced college grad assistant / paralegal / whatever.

The lawyer flipped his lid when he learned people were being moved into “his” basement. For a couple of weeks, he tried desperately to prevent the move, getting all the way to the CEO. The tiny leathery lawyer amazed everyone with his deep booming voice that would climb and climb and climb in pitch as he yelled and screamed and threatened.

But they pushed on because there was work to be done.

So, all his efforts being for naught, our stuff was moved into the basement over one weekend. We spent the following Monday and Tuesday dealing with all sorts of setup woes, electrical outlets, network connections, breathable air.

This lawyer, though, just couldn’t help himself…

On Wednesday, two quiet 2D artists came into their L-shaped room, the one with the fancy door to Trademark Compliance, and found that all their stuff, chairs, desks, computers, everything, was pushed into the far corner. A walkway of caution tape was set up leading to the Compliance door.

While we were trying to figure out what the hell happened, a demigod VP, as close to the company CEO as it gets, walked into our lowly basement trailed by the beaming lawyer.

The situation was assessed and the VP made it clear he didn’t want to get involved again.

Apparently, our desks blocked his door. He even had pictures. The demigod hadn’t seen them prior to walking down. Once he saw dozens and dozens of close-ups of the desk corner, the VP’s face grew less certain. Our desk was blocking his doorway by less than an inch on the side with the hinges. The door opened away from the desk.

I’m guessing even when open at 90 degrees the edge of the door was about as wide as the protruding part of the desk. In other words, it was “technically” blocking the doorway, but no more so than the door itself.

Non-committal as always, the demigod instructed us to make sure all pathways were clear at all times, and that he expected this would be the last time he had to get involved.

So they took the high road in this situation.

I’m (generally) a people pleaser. I can even maybe sympathize with an old guy freaking out when a gaggle of man-children in ironic T-shirts wreck his long-established way of life.

I figured it was time to modify the seating chart. Two people would be a pretty tight fit for that weird room, and I also didn’t want my quiet flower-child artists anywhere near that loon.

I apologized to the lawyer and told him I was moving two people out and moving just one person in, making sure it was as uncluttered as possible.

I had two potential candidates in mind, and while leaning strongly towards one, I considered a milder option in case the lawyer turned out to be an all right guy after all.

But the lawyer continued to act like a creep.

The lawyer answered my apology with a triumphant “serves you right” and “that’s what you get for messing with adults” and “welcome to the real world” and “this is far from over”. He then ordered me to wait “right! here!” and came out with a tape measure.

We snaked through his entire path from the staircase to his office, measuring clearance from desks and chairs and people’s items, and the lawyer booped desks and monitors and garbage cans, and pushed people sitting in their chairs as if they were garbage cans. He crawled on the floor and marked out no-mans-land in chalk. No one was ever allowed to block his pathway “or he’d have everyone’s jobs”.

Once all the lines were drawn, and the lawyer retreated to his Fortress of Smugness, I knew our slightly unhinged physics programmer with his anime posters and the loud clank of his mechanical keyboard would not be moving to the Room after all.

Then it was time for revenge.

And this lawyer was in for quite a surprise.

My revenge was going Pro.

Now, the issue of sound was discussed more than any other as we were planning the temporary move. Our sound designer had to listen to all sorts of sounds at full volume on different types of speakers, not just on his headphones. If sound was designed on headphones, and you played it on surround speakers, you’d sense it.

Our old office had a professionally soundproofed room. Even then that was a pretty unpleasant thing. Huge sounds could not be heard, but could be felt. Like an inaudible earthquake, it struck you with primal dread.

So we discussed this on and on and on. I wanted a sound proof room. Management wanted headphones. We eventually agreed on a compromise. We’d just have to accept screams and explosions on speakers while we were in the basement. This decision had also been made and approved by the same VP, about a month before the Walkway in Chalk incident.

So they got to work.

You already see where I’m going with this.

We made the walkway semi-permanent with construction tape.

I took pictures and sent an update email to everyone reporting that A, we pledged to keep all pathways clear at all times, and B, the offending room would have the two girls move out, and only have the sound designer move in.

VP replied with “thank you, that’s great”

See how the email listed the sound designer in an off-hand way?

This was not my first rodeo.

We moved the sound designer and all his equipment into the room.

And then the **** hit the fan.

The next morning, explosions started, then stopped.

High pitched screams in the distance.


My door flew open and the lawyer ran in screaming WHAT THE ****?

He dragged me across the street to the VP’s office.

The lawyer, predictably, acted like a little baby…but he was about to get his…

VP was not there. The lawyer screamed and jumped and stomped his little feet, left voicemails, then retreated to write an email to the VP, with CC list possibly going all the way up to President Obama and the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

I quickly replied that 1, sound design issues had been extensively discussed and were deemed a necessary evil; 2, I notified everyone before the fact the sound designer was moving to that particular room, and 3, if I had to keep moving people around every day, I wouldn’t be able to hit my milestones.

VP replied the next morning saying “he’s right about milestones, besides it’s temporary anyway”.

And the lawyer probably wished he’d never even opened his mouth in the first place!

And so, for the next seven months, Compliance Department was subjected to 8 hours a day of non-stop explosions, gunfire, screams, grunts, engine roar, and wet thuds.

Once released, our game’s sound was singled out for praise in multiple reviews.

I put the lawyer’s name somewhere in the midst of the Thank You section in the credits.”

Let’s see how people responded.

This reader could definitely relate to this story.

Source: AITA/Reddit

Another Reddit user was a huge fan of this story.

Source: AITA/Reddit

This reader was simply LOVING IT.

Source: AITA/Reddit

Another reader had another idea of what they could have done to honor this guy.

Source: AITA/Reddit

And this Reddit user said they gave this guy a chance but he didn’t want to play nice…

Source: AITA/Reddit

Now, that is some darn good revenge, right there!

Go ahead and admit it, you were impressed.