Outsourcing game development has become a necessity turned trend these days. This is due to the increasing demands and quality of games. With each new game, there is a constant improvement in the gaming standards. Earlier, a game developer would perform all the game development related tasks alone, but now its hard and critical. This is so because the games these days incorporate high end technologies and require each aspect to be done at its best.
Many game developers have a great gaming idea, and require resources to execute it. Game concept creation, designing, coding, testing and many other activities definitely require a team work. Many of the game development studios have a dedicated team who just work on finding outsource partners. They handle all the outsourcing related aspects for each new project.
What makes Game Developers to Outsource
The game development outsourcing is done to cut down on cost and finish the task in time. On an average, almost half of the game development companies outsource to achieve the following:
- To focus more on critical tasks: As the game development process has various modules to work on, some of less technical yet required aspects may take a longer time. The game development companies outsource such tasks to focus more on other important development phases.
- Better cost structure: When a part of game is outsourced at an affordable price, there are opportunities to put that spared time to earning more revenues by focusing on multiple projects.
- Reach out to technology experts: The technology keeps on changing every now and then and there could be some technology that the gaming studio is not much known to. In such a case, game development companies explore for experts in that technology and outsource to get the best results.
- Innovation: When two different teams at different locations are accomplishing a single task, then there is probability of new ideas booming in for a creative and innovative workflow. Different minds think in different ways and this is why there could be a better way on putting up a task that both shall decide upon.
- Timely deliverables: A game development project has vivid phases and more complexity can hinder timely deliveries. To reduce complexity, many game developers outsource a part of development to speed up for timely deliverables.
It has also been observed that the game developers who outsource a part of game development process, cut down around 50-60% of the development costs.
Outsourcing challenges and ways to overcome
It seems a simple routine to outsource, but in fact has many obstacles. You can’t outsource to anyone anywhere. The most important and critical parts of a game development process need to be taken care of and monitored as they progress. While you outsource, undoubtedly you have more time to focus by saving a lot of money too. A few challenges while outsourcing are:
- Contract not properly understood: A legal contract has its own language, that might not make you understand the picture clearly. This may lead to problems and misunderstandings after the project has started.
Solution:take some time and expert advice to understand all the terms and conditions before complying.
- Unsatisfactory talent: The team at outsource may not be talented enough to handle the work assigned. This may also deteriorate the quality of final product.
Solution: before giving away the project, you should thoroughly interview the team that you are going to hire and work with.
- Lack of communication: Many a times, there is a conflict on the difference between requirement and the actual results. The basic reason behind this is lack of routine communication and reports on status from the partner. It’s very important or you to stay active and promote more communication in order to keep an eye on the progress and process.
Solution: keep daily or weekly status report meetings to guide and monitor the project.
- Poor knowledge transfer: Its not always a problem at the client side, instead, there could be a possibility that you were not able to explain or give the complete requirements, which affected the game development.
Solution: while giving away the knowledge transfer, make a document that has all the information, so it can be used as an evidence of the actual work and work done.
- Lack of transparency: This is one more hurdle in smooth outsourcing. Many outsource partners will not give you access to accounts where you could fetch details. As an outcome of this, you may face issues later.
Solution: Feel free to ask for the access to various accounts where your project team communicates.
There might be many more situations that could be non technical, but the key to successful outsourcing is to have a well planned and judicious outsourcing strategy. The requirements document, well laid communication plan, progress reports area few key points that will help you get the best outsourcing experience.
Also, an important point is that before you start to outsource, you must at least have basic knowledge of what you want to get done.
A few important tips for better results from outsourcing
- Keep a clear and transparent process
- Interview the outsourcing partner before signing the contract
- Understand the contract and each of its terms and conditions
- Document each and every change or updation
- Focus on a good communication strategy between your team and the outsourced team
- Monitor progress and success closely
- Refrain from sharing any internal documents or your client’s information
- Motivate with good incentives and perks