Hes speaking 1337.
I thought I'd use Wikipedia to help translate your infernal suffering.
Crunch time, or crunching, is another term for extended periods of consecutive overtime. The extra hours worked during crunch time are often unpaid, although some companies give the time back in the form of extra holiday time (often called "comp time").
During crunch periods, project managers often provide:
- Temporary local accommodation for commuters
- Meals on site
- Administration staff to field calls and run errands
- Extra staff (transferred from other projects to help)
In the short term, crunching can increase the productivity of a team. But the increase in productivity is not normally proportional to the extra hours; twice the hours is unlikely to produce twice the productivity, due to diminishing returns. Adding extra staff is also not guaranteed to significantly increase productivity at this stage, and can often actually decrease productivity, as noted in The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks.
As crunch time continues, productivity drops. Frequently, productivity at the end of a crunch is less than would be expected from normal working hours. Quality also suffers as tired developers make more mistakes. Extended periods of crunch time also raise health issues such as: stress, fatigue, exhaustion and poor diet (some company-provided meals are junk food or fast food take-out and developers often increase their consumption of stimulants such as caffeine due to lack of sleep.)
Crunch time is frequently misused in game development projects. Many projects are scheduled with overtime throughout. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) surveyed nearly 1,000 game developers in 2004 and produced a report to highlight the many problems caused by bad practice.