So, as I've said many times before, I work as a game designer for Electronic Arts, where I recently helped put the finishing touches on The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age, which was perhaps comperable to a lonely ocean voyage.
Aye, 'twas a long crunch in deed, a six-month r'more. Many a grizzled industry veteran remarked that it were likely the most brutal they'd ever witnessed. But if'n it were hard on us, we who were born with games' salt water in our veins, then it were the very rock of Sisyphus to our loved ones back home. So gather 'round, oh ye wild-eyed young'ins who rush to bed each night in a-hopes of dreams of game development. Gather 'round and ye shall learn the sad tale of one such spouse-o'-a-developer.
From the description of the crunch, I'd say that this was probably the spouse of somebody who worked on TTA. Also, be sure to read the comments. More fun stuff in there, too. The only correction I can make, if this truly is about the development of TTA, is that I believe most of us did actually get some down time afterwards: 2 weeks, plus any PTO you felt like spending. The rest is accurate in my understanding.
In reading this, I suddenly remembered an exchange from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
"Mr Scrooge!" said Bob; "I'll give you Mr Scrooge, the Founder of the Feast!"
"The Founder of the Feast indeed!" cried Mrs Cratchit, reddening. "I wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it."
God bless us, every one.
UPDATE: Here's another one from a former Maxis employee. He posts under his real name, but, of course, is subject to the bitter-ex-employee argument.
MORE UPDATE: Another EA Spouse chimes in.
EVEN MORE UPDATE: Another former EA employee talks about management solutions.