Factors to Consider When You Outsource Your Game Development Project

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You’re sure you want to outsource your game development project but just don’t know where to start. You’ve probably typed phrases like “game development companies” or “where to outsource game development” in your search engine and have remained unsure about what you really need from an outsourced provider.

If this scenario feels all-too-familiar to you, we’re glad you found this page. Because in this article, you will find valuable insights and tips that will narrow down your hunt for the most compatible and optimal game development partner you need.

Why Do Companies Outsource Game Development Project In the First Place? 

Due to the increasing popularity of video games, its job market remains to be a highly competitive space. According to research conducted by Indeed, a recruitment platform, the volume of job seekers looking to be hired in the field game development increased by 50% despite a decrease in job postings in 2017. One thing that could explain this trend, Indeed notes, is studios prefer to be staffed with developers who have had years of experience. 

Top Reasons for Outsourcing Your Game Development Project

The reasons for outsourcing game development are pretty much the same as the reasons for the broader decision to outsource. You outsource to delegate work in which another company has experience and expertise. Aside from this fundamental motivation, you want to outsource because in doing so, you reduce costs and get to focus on your core competency.

All these motivations drive companies to outsource. But the last one, honing and expanding a company’s core business, is one of the main drivers. It is also often the haziest concept to grasp. What exactly is your company’s core competency? How do you determine that? Mind Tools, a productivity and management catalog, cites the three tests in C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel’s paper. Prahalad and Hamel are business thought leaders. These tests are:

  1. Relevance. This test asks, “Why does your customer choose your company’s product or service?”
  2. The difficulty of imitation. This test asks, “What value does your product or service have that others in your field do not.”
  3. The breadth of application. This test asks, “What aspect of your business is capable of branching out to other markets?”

After examining these tests, you will have a clearer picture of what your business’s core competency is. This means you can now effortlessly determine the tasks you should keep in-house or delegate to an outsourcing company.

Here’s a helpful outsourcing matrix you may download and use.

Outsourcing Decision Matrix Guide. Download the printable file below so you can use this template to categorize your business activities.

Advantages Companies Get from Outsourcing Their Game Development Project 

In previous blog posts, we detailed the tremendous returns you get from outsourcing game development to highly qualified companies. These companies have professionals previously screened by industry experts. When you outsource to them, you gain access to their talent pool

In this talent pool, you will find artists and programmers who are likely to exhibit the skills you need to complete your game. Outsourced artists know how to use fundamental 3D and 2D software, as well as how to craft game characters, objects, and environments. Outsourced programmers, on the other hand, specialize in game engines and programming languages needed for your game. 

Besides an available talent pool, another advantage you gain from outsourcing your game development project is immediately acquiring important tools. These essential tools include:

  • Programming languages
  • 3D and 2D software
  • Game engines

To learn more about these advantages, visit our blog posts Characteristics You Should Look for When Outsourcing Game Developers and Outsource Game Developers to Get the Tools You Need for Your Video Game or Mobile Game

3D Game Art by NarraSoft

Factors to Consider When You Outsource Your Game Development Project 

Given all its advantages, outsourcing your game development project seems to be the most logical thing to do for your business. However, several companies have reported a common set of issues after implementing this practice, according to the book Outsourcing: The Definitive View, Applications, and Implications. These issues include:

  • Lack of structure in terms of management
  • Lack of trust resulting from a purely transactional perspective on the partnership
  • Failure to set expectations

So, to prevent your company from experiencing similar setbacks, ask yourself the following questions before striking a deal with an outsourcing partner. These are crucial factors to consider, and we’ll explain why.

1. Does the outsourcing company offer the services you need?

Of course, the foremost thing to look into is whether the outsourcing company you’re eyeing offers game development services in the first place. Their offer is their claim to having expertise in the field. But this is only the first step toward determining whether the company is capable of rendering the type of work you want them to do.

2. Does the outsourcing company have the right developers you need?

If an outsourcing company lists down the frameworks and languages they know for game development, you can take it as a pretty positive sign. This points toward them knowing the kind of work game development entails. Make sure they have developers who are experts in the basic game development languages, which are C# and C++.

3. Does your game development project align with the style of the outsourcing company’s artists?

The best way to check this is through the outsourcing company’s portfolio. You can either explore their website to see if they have an archive of their art, or ask them to send over sample art your way. In case you don’t find the style you want to see, you can explain your vision to the outsourcing company. Either they reject the project entirely or send you concept art you can assess.

4. What kind of culture does the outsourcing company have?

By asking this question, you learn the kind of expectations you should set for your outsourcing partner. This is important for game development as it’s a long, tedious — but rewarding — process.

Here, you learn how they work, how they manage, and how they provide value for their clients. Plus, you find out whether your company’s values are compatible with theirs. Do you want an outsourcing partner that only wants to get the job done? Or do you want an outsourcing partner that nourishes the business relationship? Both are equally valid depending on your goals for your game development project.

5. How available are the people at the outsourcing company?

How often do you expect and need your outsourced team to be on-call? If you’re thinking of offshoring, will the outsourcing company be available during your preferred time? Are they willing to accommodate your schedule? Knowing when your partner outsourcing company is available will help expedite the development process of your game. So make sure to ask potential partners if you can contact them only within a certain window or if they have 24/7 availability.

6. Is the outsourcing company’s quotation within your budget?

Many game studios choose to outsource work simply because it’s more cost-effective. And while price should not be the sole consideration, it is still a determining factor. The best way to know if an outsourcing company’s fees meet your budget is by consulting them. Tell them all the work you intend to have done, and they should give you a thorough computation.

7. How open is the outsourced team to revisions?

No first draft is perfect, and the same holds true for programming and art creation in game development. With an outsourcing partner willing to make necessary improvements to your desired output, you can rest assured your project is in good hands and on the way to being completed.

8. Are the projects they have done in the past similar to what you need?

This question should reveal the experience an outsourcing company has in the field of game development. Have they rendered services similar to what you’re looking for? And if so, what was their experience with that kind of project? It’s important for them to reveal issues they had encountered, if any, and how they were able to resolve them. Not only will this be an indication of the company’s dependability, but it will also tell you how well they overcome challenges.

9. Does the outsourcing company offer quality testing?

Whether an outsourcing company provides quality testing is evidence of their dedication to giving you excellent work. Having completed your project, they must ensure first every aspect of their output is how you expected it to be before turning it over. In game development, this could mean the code is bug-free and the game’s user interface works perfectly, or that the art can be properly integrated into the game’s environment.

10. How good is the outsourcing company’s support post-production?

Let’s say your game is a huge success. It has piqued the interest of your target audience, and your newfound fans want more. You’re now considering expanding your game, adding new characters and gameplay that will further your game’s concept. When this happens, you want your outsourcing partner to be there for you every step of the way. Partnering with the same outsourcing company for support will make everything you need after the project’s completion easier to do and implement.

In Summary

When looking for an outsourcing company to help you develop your game, you must give yourself time to consider these questions first:

  1. Does the outsourcing company offer the services you need?
  2. Does the outsourcing company have the right developers you need?
  3. Do the outsourcing company’s artists align with your artistic vision?
  4. What kind of culture does the outsourcing company have?
  5. How available are the people at the outsourcing company?
  6. Is the outsourcing company’s quotation within your budget?
  7. How open is the outsourced team to revisions?
  8. Are the projects they have done in the past similar to what you need?
  9. Does the outsourcing company offer quality testing?
  10. How good is the outsourcing company’s support post-production?

If you find yourself answering positively to these questions in connection with a certain outsourcing company, then you’ve successfully found the outsourcing partner you need.

NarraSoft is a dedicated outsourcing company that has rendered numerous services in the field of game development. This includes digital art creation, software development, and even dedicated staff support.

Found what you’ve been looking for? Contact us today at sales@narrasoft.com or message us on our chat box or contact form. Let’s talk about your project and how we can help you bring your ideas to life!

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.