# 1: Everything under controlAfter delegating your entire project or its fragments to partners, you can be sure that the development process will go as scheduled. Given, that you are working with a reliable game outsourcing studio that will inform you about every minor detail, success, and failure. From the moment the contract is signed, this third-party organization takes care of everything from setting deadlines to assigning tasks to departments and individual creators. Most studios provide regular development reports to keep employers updated.
#2: Organized teamEvery outsourcing company knows the strengths and weaknesses of its employees. It gives them an edge when it comes to sorting out and assigning tasks to achieve maximum efficiency. Therefore, you are dealing with a bonded team of programmers, designers, artists, QA engineers, and other specialists with particular skills and knowledge to do any job. Besides, game companies that have worked in the industry for years have established communication and streamlined processes, thus making development less troublesome. Sure, you can always form your own in-house team of testers or concept artists but don’t forget to factor in the time needed for them to unite and know each other. On top of that, you will have to evaluate specialists individually and learn their traits.
#3: Scalability without limitsWhen time is of the essence, outsourcing at least some parts of the semi-finished project can make a huge difference and let you complete it before the deadline hits. Outsourcing companies have a knack for planning and desire to satisfy the employer in every way imaginable. For example, if during the coding phase it becomes clear that more programmers are needed, an outsourcing studio will solve the issue much faster. Such organizations always have a dedicated HR/HH department that makes personnel hunting a breeze. In most cases, they can pull an extra workforce out of the hat like a magician in that famous rabbit trick. There is no magic here, only clever management of internal resources.
#4: High-level expertise onlyOutsource game development companies are filled to the brim with all kinds of hardware and software that can be used for game development (mobile, console, desktop, VR, etc.). Your studio may lack some of those or just find it unnecessary to buy at the current stage. Hiring an experienced studio gets you unlimited technical and human resources. Skilled game designers and managers that have been through dozens of projects have perfect understanding of the most common development strategies and issues that usually occur. They will help avoid most mistakes and suggest tested, effective solutions. This might save you time during the testing-and-fixing stage.
#5: Save bigAt first, hiring a dedicated third party to work on your project might seem too expensive. However, if you take into account all primary, secondary, and operational costs, it turns out your initial assumption was actually wrong. First and foremost, you will stop spending funds on hiring and training new staff and renting bigger offices for them. You also reduce the costs associated with paying legal fees and taxes. And don’t forget about saving on:
Mind studio specializationAfter checking the portfolio of your outsourcing partners, it should become clear whether they are the right choice for the job. So if you are doing a simple project in the three-in-a-row format, then it would be logical to seek a studio that specializes in casual games. Likewise, don’t go to casual game makers with a plan to make a realistic shooter like Tom Clancey’s Rainbow Six Siege.
Arrange quick tryoutsIt is normal for companies to give small test tasks to candidates that would like to join their ranks. If you are not sure about an outsourcing studio’s expertise, ask for a quick personal demonstration of the core skills. For example, a few concept arts or simple animation for a character based solely on your description. This way, you will understand how creators “feel” the job and what standards they have.
Be mindful with full-stack developmentDevelopment of the entire project by the third-party hands is not something unusual. However, it requires specific preparations. We recommend you divide the project into several key components and present them to the implementors. When you have a clear understanding of the individual tasks, you can plan ahead accordingly and set up more accurate development estimates. Keep in mind that some game studios may lack expertise in certain areas, so clarify such aspects before signing a contract.
Сommunication mattersThis aspect is often overlooked, but it can reveal enough information about your potential partners before you even get to know them. Most likely, your inquiry will end up in the manager’s mailbox, and you should keep track of response time. If you don’t get an answer in 24h or receive an automatic general response without specific you have been asking about, then consider it a red flag. It is highly likely that this type of attitude will be preserved throughout the project. It is better to abstain from rush decisions and not pick the first studio that gets in touch. Take your time, chat with the business representatives, browse portfolio, and ask questions!
Inform your teamIf you have an in-house team working on the project, let them know that some parts of the project will be outsourced to a third party. Make sure that team leaders and managers have the means to contact the outsourcing studio and stay on the same page throughout the development. Outsourcers will need a lot of specific information to do their part, so managers must be able to provide it within a reasonable period.
Full-cycle developmentOne of the most popular outsourcing scenarios. Your team presents a concept, provides storyboard drafts, and shares pre-production elements with the hired team. External specialists will take care of coding, art, sound design, polishing, and testing. Furthermore, when the game is released, they may continue working on it if you need them to (patches, content updates, etc.). This is the most expensive (but hustle-free) way to make a video game, so if you have enough funds to cover the full development cycle, go for it.
Co-developmentWhen you want to have strict control over every detail, then collaboration in this format is the best way to go. Both your internal and external teams will follow the same workflow plan and won’t waste a minute on approving things. Co-development is for companies that have solid but limited technical expertise, so they would hire more employees to assist the core project team(s).
CodingLet’s imagine you have an awesome team of top-class programmers working in your company. Their time costs A LOT. But some tasks for the new gaming project are way below their expertise and can be done by junior coders. So why not outsource some primitive tasks that are not tied to the game’s core mechanics directly? Beginner programmers will gladly take on such tasks, and you will save a hefty sum. Besides saving money, it is a very logical move that will allow you to redirect senior developers on really challenging tasks. Code outsourcing is usually limited to writing game components according to the set specifications.
Art outsourcingApart from code, games also need art, tons of art. Any game world contains thousands of different elements – weapons, vehicles, props, characters, equipment, and many other things. Some companies just don’t have enough designers and concept artists to cover the need for art on big projects. Then again, outsourcing comes to the rescue. Just write a list with assets you would like to have, specify the art style, give your partners general guidelines, and wait. Be sure to check that this external company specializes in digital art creation or there might be some unpleasant surprises along the way.
VR simulationsThe VR niche is peculiar, and we can even say underrepresented in the gaming industry despite trying to make its way to the mainstream. VR games require unique graphic assets in rather extensive amounts. In addition, not all developers and designers are familiar with the peculiarities of VR. Going to a studio that has a bunch of released VR projects for consultation or outsourcing would be a good idea.
QA supportEven before your project is done, you need to test its components individually first, then in the complex. Not once, not twice, not even thrice. When the game is ready (or so it seems), it still requires thorough testing because a bug-ridden product will destroy your reputation. Small game studios usually have a few QA engineers, which is not enough to cover at least one version of the game. If there are multiple versions for different devices, then you definitely need to outsource testing duties to a company specializing in these processes.