Game development is a lengthy process that can take several years to finish. So releasing a part of your burden by outsourcing game graphics is a great option to shorten the whole process and focus on other aspects of game development. Before we go through what you should outsource and what you should not, let’s briefly summarize what are the main benefits of the actual outsourcing.
Arguably the biggest benefit is financial savings and effectiveness, as you don’t have to buy software licenses and can focus on just one project instead of several ones. You not only save money, but also time, because it is not needed to do any intensive hiring process to hire competent artists – you outsource directly to a professional outsourcing studio. Moreover, you get access to advanced technologies without actually buying them, thus having the best technology for the fraction of the actual cost.
The best outsourcing material are assets the client has a clear picture of. Ideally, the sketches or artworks of these assets are already done, as if this is the case, there is very little room to misunderstand the client’s request. If sketches are not available, photos can do the job as well. At best though, one asset is already done beforehand as a reference and as a quality benchmark.
Such items are typically hard surface models, vehicles, or weapons – for instance those we did in the Arma 3 Apex DLC. If the assignment is clear, characters can be easily done, too. Moreover, with an easy-to-grasp task, the pricing of the assets can be easily determined.
It is clear that not everything is suitable for outsourcing. If the client wants the company to create a level or even the whole design of the game itself, it may not work out perfectly, as it is very difficult to suite the taste of the client. Guessing the style of the project or the sole purpose of it makes things even less ideal – such things should stay in-house for the internal stuff, as they had witnessed the birth of the project and thus know the intention of the game.
However, even the abovementioned can be outsourced. But the work usually takes more time to complete in comparison with the in-house execution, so agreeing on a flat-rate payment may be the way to go. This applies especially for designing the levels of a game. If the company really wants to outsource it, they should be able to provide sketches, models, and references to get at least some idea on how the company wants it done.
Outsourcing concept art is not perfect either. It is possible though if the client knows exactly what they want. However, it needs to be taken into account that every artist has very distinctive style. Therefore, many versions of the art can be presented and a close cooperation between the client and the outsourcing company is needed to fulfil the client’s wishes.
We are Fanatic Games, game graphics experts since 2000 from the Czech Republic. In our rich history, we have worked on dozens of projects such as Mafia, Uncharted, or Call of Duty. Our artists are professionals who transforms the requirements of our clients into remarkable art. Entrust your game graphics to experiences professionals – contact us here!