If you are interested in outsourcing the graphics for your project or simply want to learn more about our company, we prepared a brief interview with our founder Jiří Huňa. He is a professional in the videogame graphics business and has a lot of experience with various projects, i.e. ARMA 3 or Mafia 3. We hope that we might help you with deciding whether or not to outsource your graphics and if so, what is the best way of going about it.
Hello, Mr. Huňa. Could you first introduce yourself, please? What is your position in the company and what is your experience with creating videogame graphics?
My name is Jiří Huňa and I am the CEO of the company. Paradoxically, I started with videogame graphics in 1997 after the big flood in Opava when I was forced to sort of restart my whole life. I found a company in Brno called Illusion Softworks (renamed to 2K Czech) with which I cooperated as an external employee. I then moved on to Pterodon where I worked internally as a 2D artist. A year later I founded my company in Opava. It was a wonderful time when videogame graphics was young and mostly a thing of enthusiasts.
At what point is it more cost and time effective for a client to outsource graphics for their project?
Generally speaking there are two kinds of clients: clients who have the budget and idea for a project but not a team big enough for its realization, and then there are clients who have a big enough team but who need to increase their capacities for a short duration of time, i.e. to meet a project’s deadline.
What should a client begin with if they are looking into the option of outsourcing their graphics?
They should know what they want and what they expect for the outsourcing to take care of. They should know whether they need a creative team or to simply increase the capacity of their artists. It is also very important to prepare all the materials necessary to bring the external studio up to speed with the client’s situation, design, and style of their project. Technical information which the graphics needs to fulfil is also paramount. We can then help with the way the project is handled through feedback and our own experience.
What kind of expenses can a client expect from outsourcing and what advantages lie in it?
The main advantage is the same as with other kinds of services which you only rent (such as operative lease). You can pay for what you rent for the duration of the rent. The client will also save money on the equipment and space which would otherwise be a necessary expense if they were to hire an artist internally. So, even though the cost of outsourcing might be higher than hiring an artist directly, in the end the client saves a lot of money, and I am not even talking about the fact that there are no training expenses or taxes paid by the employer on behalf of the employees. There is also the great advantage of being able to start practically immediately at the beginning of the contract and end as soon as it expires, meaning less administrative work.
To what extent can a client influence the graphics development and alter it?
The client can influence the development to a notable degree. It is them who should give us their concept of the graphics. It is, then, ideal to have references to their current graphics and as detailed references as possible so as to what they require. However, if the client decides to pay a set price for an asset, the references that had been presented at the start of the development are considered binding. Should the client need to alter anything that wasn’t based on the references it is then counted as carrying out more work and billed appropriately. If the client isn’t sure about the artistical direction they want to go, they can opt for hiring the designer on a time-basis instead of paying for an asset. Doing so allows them to become involved with the development even after the graphics is finished.
What sort of a deadline can a client expect?
This varies a lot. It depends on what is being developed, how complex the asset is and the requirements for it. We are talking about a time frame of between 2 to up to 30 days for a single asset.
Are there any drawbacks to outsourcing that a client could prepare for?
Well, the time necessary to become familiar with the client’s project and their requirements could be seen as a drawback since it can take up to several days. Another drawback might be the fact that the client should appoint an employee who supervises and analyses the work done by the external studio. Our experience dictates that that’s the most effective way of cooperation.
What project are you most proud of?
One of the best-known projects, that we worked on, was Mafia III and all it’s DLCs. That project was close to me as I loved Mafia I. It was a huge boom back then, at least in the Czech Republic, and a sort of a return to the beginnings where I started. However, if we are talking about the amount of work and complexity a project has taken, then I am most proud of a project that I cannot name right now. We are creating graphics for it from the very beginning, starting with concept art, and shaping it into fully fledged 3D graphics.
As you can see, we are studio capable of tackling various projects no matter the size. If you have any other questions or would like to see and hear more from us, do not hesitate to contact us! We would love to hear about how we can help you with your particular project and we are afraid of no challenges. Fanatic Games is a studio you can depend on with anything graphics related.