After a dalliance with fan service, episode 10 of New Game!! returns to the series’ roots. Gone are the meandering subplots, rampant fanservice, and drama for drama’s sake. Instead, this week’s episode shows the reality of games design, and Nene learns a lesson programmers know all too well.
Narumi is becoming frustrated at the constant specification changes to the mini-game she’s creating. She seems to be concerned that the Eagle Jump management thinks she’s making mistakes, although that’s not the case. Hajime reassures her that this is just the way that this industry works and that nobody is going to get into trouble for improving the game.
Meanwhile, Nene attempts to exceed expectations on the game Umiko had her create. However, by the time it’s due, although the core features of the game are done, there are many additional features still incomplete. Umiko appears impressed that Nene has done so well, but reminds her that there’s no time left. From this point on, Nene will be debugging for the main project. It’s going to be interesting to watch her progress as now she has some programming experience, she’ll have a better understanding of why certain bugs are occurring.
The office is working through what’s known as a “crunch” period. This is where everybody works harder and longer than usual to complete a project on time. As such, there’s a real sense of urgency around the workplace with both Aoba and Umiko forced to multi-task. Crunch is a hot topic in the industry: there have been high-profile cases of workers quitting and even being too busy to go home – hopefully, the show will address this topic further as it is a real problem that most of the industry’s workforce faces.
After everyone else goes home, Kō and Rin discuss the project. Kō is beginning to adapt to her role as a manager. Until recently, she was always busy and had to do everything by herself. Now, though, she delegates tasks and has to find work for herself to keep busy. This could be an interesting plotline – will she still be willing to get her hands dirty as the game’s release date approaches?
This week’s episode was a welcome relief after the fanservice heavy episode nine. The audience is beginning to see how a game takes shape, but the main attraction is still the characters and how they interact as a team. With the pressure upon them increasing, it’s probably not going to be long before relationships begin to fray.