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The Essential Questions to Ask Game Developers When Outsourcing A Project

As the game industry continues to thrive, game outsourcing has become more common and practical for many companies. An important thing to remember is that there are many important questions to ask a game developer before you start working with them. You’ve probably typed phrases like “game development companies” or “where to outsource game development” in your search engine, but haven’t found satisfactory answers or guides online.

If this scenario feels all-too-familiar to you, we’re glad you found this page. 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 so outsourcing video game development becomes easier.

Essential Questions to Ask Your Outsourced Game Developers

Given all its advantages, outsourcing your game development project seems to be the most logical thing to do for your business. After all, there are many benefits of outsourcing game development. 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

A good way to avoid this is by asking key questions that are specific for an outsourced game development company. These inquiries often set a baseline in one’s decision making and creates a better understanding of what a company has to offer.

The following questions are always important to ask an outsourced game developer in your consideration:

two recruiters and one interviewee sitting and facing each other

What is in your company portfolio?

A company’s portfolio tells a lot about them and their quality of work–which is why it’s an essential question during the consideration process. If you’re still not sure what to ask game developers, consider this as a good first question. Not only will it show you if your style and needs match, you can also see a brief overview of their process and style. Whether they’re experts in cloud gaming, 3D animation, or something else entirely different, asking for their portfolio is a pivotal step in your consideration.

What are the services you offer?

Of course, the next 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. You might even get a clue if they’re ready for trends in the gaming industry in 2023!

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++.

six corporate employees facing front

What kind of culture does your outsourcing company have?

This may seem unnecessary or trivial, but this is one of the best questions to ask a game developer. 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.

How do you work on your video game development projects?

Similar to company culture, a company’s working process may also determine just how compatible your partnership will be. This is one of the questions to ask a game development company where you can expect different answers and that’s okay! Some companies will be fast-paced, others will be incredibly detailed–it’s all a matter of finding the right balance for you.

When asking this question, make sure to have follow-up questions such as:

  • What are the stages of game development in your company?
  • What information and resources do you need and expect from us as a client?
  • How do you deal with deadlines and urgent work?

The questions above dig in deeper and give you a better picture of how a company will respond to possible situations in your project.

yellow smiley card being passed to someone

How do you communicate with clients?

Communication is a key part of video game development, even more so if you’re working with an outsourced company. Knowing how easy it is to reach them and open communication lines is necessary to ensure a functional relationship. Of course, much like their work style, there is no one-size correct answer to this question! If you’re thoroughly impressed with a team’s portfolio, background, and process, this is the next question to ask the game development company.

How open is your team for 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.

man typing on laptop as it shows a hologram checklist

Do you 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.

What is the company’s post-production support?

Remember that your relationship doesn’t necessarily end with a launch. 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. This is one of the most important questions to ask a game developer as it opens a door for further projects together. 

What are your rates?

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.

corporate woman and man shaking hands

Build the Right Partnership and Ask Away

Any masterful partnership begins with a conversation. For game development, this is especially true. Being able to ask the right questions for your outsourced game developers is an essential part of building rapport.

If you find yourself considering working with an outsourced game development company, make sure to ask the questions above and give yourself the best opportunity to get to know a potential partner. At NarraSoft, we’re very open to such discussions to help you make the correct decision.