Characteristics You Should Look for When Outsourcing Game Developers

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Despite the hurdles COVID-19 set before businesses, the gaming industry unrelentingly thrives. Reports from early this year forecasted the global video game market would accumulate a revenue of $159 billion by the end of 2020 — and a foreseeable revenue of more than $200 billion in 2023.

While new gaming consoles significantly add to this growth, mobile games contribute the most to the market’s spike, garnering more than $77 billion.

What do these numbers mean for your business?

For one, it entails a high demand for video games. Because many public places have closed down, people have resorted to finding entertainment indoors. Video games, aside from online streaming channels, are the first on people’s minds.

Another thing this data tells us is this — now is a good time for your business to develop either a mobile game or a video game for consoles

If you have everything you need, from infrastructure to budget to human resources, then congratulations! You have the privilege of immediately building your game.

But what if you have a brilliant video game idea with no team to execute your vision? 

Then, congratulations still because you have found the blog post that will detail the traits you should keep an eye out for when you’re hunting for good game developers.

Image credits to Pixabay

What Is A Game Developer?

Video games’ spike in popularity this year shows how much we enjoy and value them during this very difficult time. And we owe their existence to the creative minds of their developers.

These people are the reason why games exist. They form a game’s concept, flesh out their ideas, and bring their vision to life through numerous processes.

However, you should know game developers don’t typically work solo. The tasks required to build a full-fledged game are so specific and so varied that it’s rare for one person to do everything alone.

Let’s say you need a triple-A game, complete with hyperrealistic characters, an impeccable user interface, and an enthralling storyline. All of these are formed and executed by game developers, who are preferably professionals with solid experience. But one person may not be able to do it all.

So, for a game to be successfully developed, it will need artists, programmers, designers, and so many other people with specific skill sets. This is why it’s important to segment game developers into their respective expertise.

In this blog post, we list down the characteristics according to two types of people in a game development team — one who designs the art and one who develops the code.

We also enumerate all the characteristics you should be looking for once you start outsourcing game developers for your company.

Characteristics to Look For When Outsourcing Good Game Developers for Art

A game developer for art is essentially an artist. This is not to be confused with game designers, who are the main creatives behind a game’s mechanics, gameplay, and experience. A game artist’s job is entirely different. 

Artists are the visual world-builders of a game. They’re the group responsible for the appearance of characters, objects, and the game environment, generally guided by the directions in the game design document.

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So, what exactly are the characteristics you should be looking for in a good game artist? To determine whether they’re good for your project, you must take note of the following:

  • Knowledge of basic 3D and 2D software, such as:
    • Autodesk Maya
    • Autodesk 3ds Max
    • ZBrush
    • Substance Painter
    • Adobe Photoshop
  • Well-rounded experience in modeling and sculpting 3D assets
  • Capacity to render diverse types of assets, such as characters, objects, and environments
  • Knowledge of your preferred game engine, which can be:
    • Unity
    • Unreal
    • Godot
  • Enthusiasm for collaboration
  • Flexibility, in case there are changes in the project
  • Investment in and passion for video games

Characteristics to Look For When Outsourcing Good Game Developers for Code

If a game developer for art is an artist, a game developer for code is a programmer — or more specifically, a game programmer. A game programmer is tasked to make sure a game works the way it’s intended to. Usually, these programmers work on different parts of a game, and their tasks are divided into its front-end and back-end features. 

Clearly, technical knowledge is an important thing to look for. So, if you’re looking for game programmers, be sure to search for the following:

  • Specialization in the game engine you want
  • Expertise in the right programming language your game engine uses, such as C# or C++ for Unity
  • Proactivity when it comes to determining a game’s feasibility and seeking out solutions to make sure the game works
  • Capacity for collaboration
  • Excellent communication skills, which will help you complete your game faster

Check out the list of programming languages your game development team should specialize in on our blog post 5 Game Development Languages Your Team Should Know Right Now

Image credits to Unsplash

How and Where Can You Find Good Game Developers?

We’ve established how high the demand is for video games today, which has directly influenced the market’s sales. But can the same be said about game developers? Can we say the industry’s growth has positively affected an interest in game development-related careers?

The truth is video games have remained popular ever since the 1970s. So, aside from the market and the industry’s recent growth, no other factor indicates a major shift in people’s interest or love for them. The same goes for the job market in game development — it has always been competitive.

The Job Market for Game Developers

According to the popular recruitment platform Indeed, fewer companies and studios had been looking for game developers in 2017, with job postings dropping to 65%. Meanwhile, job seekers who search for game development openings had increased by 50% in the same year.

Given the volume of people searching for game development jobs, it’s safe to say recruitment channels are a good place to start when you’re looking for game developers to join your team. If you want your company to specialize in all aspects of game development, then building a whole team might suit your business model best.

However, we should also examine this trend — why was there a decline in game developer listings in the first place?

In the same article, Indeed says:

These studios tend to be staffed by veteran game developers with many years of experience

— Indeed —

You’re probably asking, “Where can I find these experienced game developers?”

You can still find them in recruitment channels, but you won’t get them immediately. And if your project is urgent, this means you will need a faster approach. This is one of the reasons why outsourcing game developers is a common practice in the industry.

Outsourcing is the smart solution for gaming companies that either want to optimize their operations or need solutions that will give them a competitive advantage in their field.

Earlier, we said there are different aspects of game development. Let’s say you want to specialize in one or two but don’t have the expertise for the rest. Or let’s say building your game is a one-off project. What you need is a strategic alliance with a company that has a talent pool with years upon years of professional experience.

Checklist of Traits to Find in a Good Outsourcing Company for Game Developers

What constitutes a good company from which you can source experienced game developers? The first thing you need to look at is a prospective partner’s portfolio. You need to know what their work looks like and if their work resonates with you. 

Once you’ve figured that out, you need to know whether the company’s culture matches your own. Are you looking for a company with a highly collaborative game development team? Do you want to partner with a company that encourages consistent communication? Or are there other traits you’re looking for?

By reflecting on these, you can come up with a checklist of your own. But to make things easier, we’ve listed down a few general characteristics and items you can jump off from:

  • Key specializations in game development
  • Expertise in relevant game programming languages
  • Years of experience
  • A proper portfolio
  • Exceptional communication skills
  • A clear and efficient project management process
  • An easily scalable team
  • Flexible availability 

In Summary

The characteristics or experience you should be looking for in a game artist are:

  • Knowledge of basic 3D and 2D software
  • Well-rounded experience in modeling and sculpting 3D assets
  • Capacity to render diverse types of assets
  • Knowledge of your game engine of choice 
  • Enthusiasm for collaboration
  • Flexibility
  • Investment in and passion for video games

On the other hand, the characteristics or experience you should be looking for in a game programmer are:

  • Specialization in your game engine of choice
  • Expertise in the right programming language your game engine uses
  • Proactivity 
  • Capacity for collaboration
  • Excellent communication skills

Finding the right game developers to outsource doesn’t have to be a long and winding journey for your company. In fact, you’re only one click away from getting the right game artists and programmers you need.

NarraSoft’s outsourcing services range from game development (especially in Unity) to asset creation. You can also expect services involving data entry, technical support, 3D art creation, software development, and so many more. 

Want to partner with NarraSoft? Send an email to sales@narrasoft.com or send us a message using our chat box or form. We’re excited to elevate your game to greater heights!

Justine Jordan

Justine Jordan is a content and copy writer. She has written for a popular business daily in the Philippines and for various startups across the globe before transitioning to work for NarraSoft. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a bachelor's degree in journalism.