Outsourcing game development is a great way for small to medium-sized game development studios to tap into more talent, expertise, and resources at a lower cost. Mobile games are poised to earn a whopping $167 billion from consumer spending in 2022, and outsourcing mobile game development is becoming a trend. However, hiring an outsourced service provider also presents its own set of challenges, including: managing a remote team, coordinating with different time zones, and ensuring final product quality.
Outsourcing game development is a gateway to access more skilled people with modern technology that may be lacking if you choose to develop any project in-house. As a result, you can explore more opportunities and, at the same time, get the best price-performance ratio.
Let's discuss some key steps to take while outsourcing game development to ensure the success of your future project.
Define Design Target and Requirements
Before searching for any outsourcing game development team, we must have a clear vision of what we have planned and what the game has set out to achieve. This includes defining game features, functionality, general design aspects, and specific technical requirements. A clearly defined product scope will assist you in finding a spot-on outsourced team and helps in the evaluation of project progress.
Searching for Potential Outsourcing Partners
Once you clearly understand desired project goals and requirements, you can look for potential outsourcing partners. Look for a game production business with experience, skill in the genre of games you want to make, and a track record of producing high-quality work on schedule and within your budget.
Check out review platforms like Clutch, which has over 1800 reviews of B2B service providers/outsourcers. Another similar service is Good Firms, which has a more diverse review list of outsourcing services from which you can make a more definitive decision.
Communication and project management experience are very useful when working with remote teams. Be sure to check out the team's portfolio and customer reviews.
Steps to choose a game development outsourcing partner:
You can take several steps to research potential game development outsourcing partners. First of all, identify the particular skills and experience required for the project. This helps narrow the pool of potential partners to those with relevant experience and qualifications. So if you want an online puzzle game made, look for candidates with previous experience in developing puzzle games and so on.
Research companies online by looking at websites, portfolios, and social media profiles. This will give you an idea of their skills and the types of projects they have worked on in the past. Check reviews and ratings on sites like Clutch, Good Firms, or other reputable customer review platforms.
After you are done with short-listing your desired teams, contact companies of interest and ask for references and case studies. Then, contact the referrer and ask about their experience with the company.
Review contracts and service level agreements (SLAs) carefully before signing. Ensure the terms are clear and fair for both parties and that the company is willing to provide ongoing support and maintenance. Full-cycle development companies usually offer after-sales maintenance, and partially outsourced projects have separate conditions for any such service.
Not to mention, any firm you are considering must be financially stable and have a reputation for making it work within time limits while doing quality work.
Last but not the least, consider potential partners' time zones and locations to ensure minimal time differences and language barriers. Because no matter proficient a team you will hire, if you cannot completely convey your idea to them with ease, the project will ultimately fall short.
Effective communication is another highly essential thing for successfully outsourcing any project. Establish clear lines of communication with your outsourcing partners, set up regular check-ins, and track project progress. To keep development going, you also need to be able to respond quickly when questions or problems arise.
Read More: 13 Benefits of Game Development Outsourcing
Create a clear project management plan
A clear project management plan is essential to keep the development process on track. This should include detailed milestones, asset and code deployment timelines, and testing and quality assurance plans. In addition, make sure your project management plan is clear to you and your outsourcing partner and that everyone involved knows their roles and responsibilities.
Choose The Correct Outsourcing Structure
With a few development models to choose from, you can utilize the one which benefits you the most while outsourcing game development.
Full-cycle outsourcing involves handing over the details and ideas behind your project to a specialized company that can handle the entire game development cycle, from inception to post-release game updates.
Outsourcing certain tasks are intended for parts of the game, especially those parts that an in-house team cannot create. You can allocate resources only to parts of the game (programming, game graphics, etc.) and get the final result after assembly. It's a smart way to leverage the expertise of an experienced team.
Collaboration is a mixture of outsourcing and in-house. A hybrid development model where a team works with an outsourced developer to create a game.
In the last scenario, the entire product must be processed and finished in-house, employing suitably experienced personnel for in-house development.
Each of these models has advantages and disadvantages, and which model you choose depends upon the needs of your idea/project. For instance, a fixed-price model is best for small projects with a clear scope, while a dedicated development team model is best for larger, more complex projects.
Safeguard Your Property
Securing intellectual property is important while outsourcing game development. You must clearly agree with the outsourcing company as to who owns the rights to your game's code, graphics, and other assets, as well as all intellectual property rights related to your game's branding.
Test Your Game Thoroughly
Finally, testing your project game thoroughly before publishing it is important. This includes functional testing, ensuring it works as expected, and playtesting to establish that the game is fun and engaging. Be sure to include a feedback mechanism so the game can be revised based on the player's likes and dislikes.
Suppose you are looking to outsource mobile game development from a reliable company. In that case, we suggest looking at reviews for your particular game niche.