Outsourcing Game Development: How to Manage Communication, Collaboration, and Quality Control
Outsourcing game development means having an external contractor in the form of a studio or individual specialists contribute to the production process either by providing full-cycle development or doing specific game development tasks such as programming, 2D and 3D art, animation, VFX, VR simulation, UX/UI design, testing, etc.
Outsourcing game development can be beneficial for many reasons, such as:
- Saving time and money: Outsourcing can reduce the overhead costs and headcount of a company, as well as free up their internal resources and staff for other core activities. Outsourcing can also speed up the development process by leveraging the expertise and experience of the outsourcing partners.
- Accessing diverse talent and technology: Outsourcing can enable a company to access a wide pool of skilled and talented game developers who can offer different perspectives and ideas for the game project. Outsourcing can also allow a company to use the latest technologies and tools that may not be available or affordable for them otherwise.
- Enhancing quality and innovation: Outsourcing can improve the quality and innovation of the game project by ensuring quality control and assurance, managing risks and challenges, and incorporating feedback and suggestions from the outsourcing partners. Outsourcing can also help a company to keep up with the latest trends and demands of the gaming market.
Outsourcing game development can be a smart and strategic decision for a company that wants to create high-quality and engaging games for its target audiences. However, outsourcing also requires careful planning, management, and communication to ensure a successful collaboration and outcome. Therefore, a company should choose its outsourcing partners wisely and establish clear expectations and guidelines for the game project.
One way to find reliable and professional video game outsourcing companies is to use online platforms that facilitate the connection between game developers and outsourcing partners. For example, there are free and powerful project management tools that offer enough flexibility and customization features to suit the needs of any game development project. These tools also allow game developers to find and hire video game outsourcing companies that meet their criteria and budget.
Communication is a vital aspect of any collaborative endeavor, especially in game development. Game development is a complex and creative process that involves multiple teams, disciplines, technologies, and platforms. When game development is outsourced to an external contractor, such as a studio or individual specialists, communication becomes even more crucial to ensure a successful outcome.
Communication in outsourcing game development can help with the following points:
- Establishing communication channels: Communication channels are the means and methods of exchanging information between outsourcing partners. They can include email, phone, chat, video conferencing, project management tools, etc. Establishing clear and reliable communication channels can facilitate communication and collaboration among the teams, as well as prevent misunderstandings, delays, and conflicts.
- Setting expectations for communication frequency and response time: Communication frequency and response time are the measures of how often and how quickly the outsourcing partners communicate with each other. They can vary depending on the project scope, complexity, stage, and urgency. Setting realistic and mutually agreed expectations for communication frequency and response time can help manage the communication flow and workload among the teams, as well as ensure timely feedback and updates.
- Providing clear and concise project briefs: Project briefs are the documents that outline the project goals, requirements, specifications, deliverables, milestones, budget, timeline, etc. They are essential for defining the scope and direction of the game project. Providing clear and concise project briefs can help communicate the project vision and objectives to the outsourcing partners, as well as avoid ambiguity and confusion.
- Utilizing project management tools: Project management tools are software applications that help plan, organize, monitor, and control the game development process. They can include task management, file sharing, version control, bug tracking, testing, etc. Utilizing project management tools can help communicate and coordinate the tasks and activities among the teams, as well as track progress, quality, issues,and changes.
Communication in outsourcing game development can enhance the quality and efficiency of the game project by ensuring alignment, integration, and innovation among the outsourcing partners. However, communication also requires careful planning, management, and execution to overcome the challenges posed by outsourcing, such as different time zones, cultures, languages, and expectations.
Collaboration is a key factor for the success of any game development project, especially when it is outsourced to an external contractor, such as a studio or individual specialists. Collaboration in outsourcing game development can help with the following points:
- Identifying team roles and responsibilities: Team roles and responsibilities are the functions and tasks that each team member performs in the game development process. They can include design, programming, art, animation, testing, etc. Identifying team roles and responsibilities can help clarify the scope and expectations of each team member, as well as avoid duplication and confusion.
- Establishing workflows and processes: Workflows and processes are the steps and methods that each team follows to complete their tasks and deliver their outputs. They can include planning, prototyping, developing, testing, debugging, etc. Establishing workflows and processes can help streamline and standardize the game development process, as well as ensure quality and consistency.
- Conducting regular check-ins and progress updates: Check-ins and progress updates are the meetings and reports that each team conducts and provides to communicate their status and issues. They can include daily stand-ups, weekly reviews, milestone reports, etc. Conducting regular check-ins and progress updates can help monitor and measure the progress and performance of each team, as well as identify and resolve any problems or risks.
- Encouraging open and transparent communication: Communication is the exchange of information and feedback between the outsourcing partners. It can include email, phone, chat, video conferencing, project management tools, etc. Encouraging open and transparent communication can help foster trust and rapport among the teams, as well as enhance creativity and innovation.
Quality control is the process of ensuring that the game project meets the predefined quality standards and criteria. Quality control is essential for any game development project, especially when it is outsourced to an external contractor, such as a studio or individual specialists. Quality control in outsourcing game development can help with the following points:
- Establishing quality standards and guidelines: Quality standards and guidelines are the benchmarks and rules that define the expected quality level and performance of the game project. They can include technical, functional, aesthetic, usability, and compatibility aspects. Establishing quality standards and guidelines can help communicate the quality expectations and requirements to the outsourcing partners, as well as provide a basis for evaluation and measurement.
- Conducting regular testing and reviews: Testing and reviews are the methods and tools that verify and validate the quality of the game project. They can include unit testing, integration testing, system testing, user testing, code review, design review, etc. Conducting regular testing and reviews can help detect and correct any errors, bugs, defects, or inconsistencies in the game project, as well as ensure compliance with the quality standards and guidelines.
- Addressing and resolving issues promptly: Issues are the problems or challenges that arise during the game development process that affect the quality of the game project. They can include technical issues, functional issues, design issues, compatibility issues, etc. Addressing and resolving issues promptly can help prevent or minimize any negative impact on the quality of the game project, as well as ensure customer satisfaction.
- Utilizing feedback and iteration to improve quality: Feedback and iteration are the processes of collecting and applying input and suggestions from various sources to improve the quality of the game project. They can include feedback from customers, users, testers, reviewers, etc. Utilizing feedback and iteration can help enhance the quality of the game project by incorporating new ideas, perspectives, and improvements, as well as ensuring alignment with customer needs and expectations.
Quality control in outsourcing game development can improve the quality and efficiency of the game project by ensuring the reliability, functionality, and usability of the game product. However, quality control also requires careful planning, management, and execution to overcome the challenges posed by outsourcing, such as different technologies, platforms, and expectations. Therefore, a company should choose its outsourcing partners wisely and establish clear quality control guidelines and protocols for the game project.
The Bottom Line
Outsourcing game development can be a great way to leverage the skills and expertise of external teams, reduce costs, and speed up development time. However, effective communication, collaboration, and quality control are critical to ensuring a successful outsourcing experience.
To manage communication, it is important to establish clear communication channels, set expectations for communication frequency and response time, provide concise project briefs, and utilize project management tools to facilitate effective communication.
Collaboration is also key, and involves identifying team roles and responsibilities, establishing workflows and processes, conducting regular check-ins and progress updates, and encouraging open and transparent communication.
Finally, quality control is essential to ensuring that the final product meets your expectations. This involves establishing quality standards and guidelines, conducting regular testing and reviews, addressing and resolving issues promptly, and utilizing feedback and iteration to continuously improve quality.
In conclusion, outsourcing game development can be a viable option for game development projects, but it requires careful planning, communication, and management to ensure success. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can help to mitigate potential risks and maximize the benefits of outsourcing.