How to effectively collaborate with an outsourcing team of game developers?
- How to Manage the Outsourcing Team of Game Developers?
- Establishing Clear Expectations
- Encouraging open communication
- What Software is Used to Manage Outsourcing Partners: top 4 tools for video game project management by Pingle Studio
- 2. Microsoft Project
- 3. Airtable
- 4. Kanban
- 5. Smartsheet
- Why collaborating with outsourcing teams is the future of game development?
The outsourcing approach in global game development has been proving its efficiency for decades as game developers look for ways to achieve better results and spend budgets in smarter ways.
Outsourcing game development refers to the process of hiring a team of developers outside of the company to work on game development projects. This can include everything from designing, programming, optimizing, and prototyping to art production and sound design.
By outsourcing game development, game companies can benefit from access to a global talent pool, specialized expertise, and much more smart and flexible budget allocations.
Additionally, outsourcing allows companies to focus on their core competencies while the outsourcing team handles the technical aspects of game development, resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective development process. Working with an outsourcer can provide a set of valuable benefits, including access to narrow-field expertise, flexible staffing, and reduced development times.
In this article, we’ll explore the efficiency of collaborating with outsourcing game developers and how it can help you to create high-quality games on time and within budget.
Putting an experienced outsourcing team on your game development project is often meaningful and empowering, but it only brings profit if you can manage the development team. One of the key factors for successful collaboration with the game development outsourcing company is setting your expectations in a transparent way:
- Defining project goals and objectives – the more countable your goals are – the better result you get – define the number of levels, fps count, a set of target devices and appearance of the game so the outsourcing partner has a clear view of the expected result;
- Setting deadlines and milestones – nobody wants to break the deadlines for the release date, so realistic timing for every milestone is a must-have even in the most urgent projects;
- Clarifying roles and responsibilities – the “divide and conquer” motto works vice versa in our matter – it’s more like “share responsibility and manage the development team.” You’re much more likely to succeed if your outsourcing team is divided by specific roles and responsibilities for specific things. Know who does what and keep track of their progress.
Another key thing in managing the co-development of your game with an outsourcing partner is establishing clear and transparent communication:
- Building trust and rapport – event business relationships should be based on trust. Make sure to set up a reporting process that would fit both sides and provide you with enough information to keep a decent track of the project’s progress but not to flood your partner with unnecessary correspondence, out-of-border paperwork, and not necessary calls. Task-tracking software does a lot of this work for you. We will cover it a little lower in this article.
- Respecting cultural differences – when collaborating with an outsourcing game development team, it’s crucial to be mindful of cultural differences that may impact communication, work style, and expectations. To ensure a successful partnership, it’s important not just to establish clear communication protocols, define roles and responsibilities but also to respect cultural norms and customs. Additionally, it’s important to foster a culture of mutual respect, open communication, and a willingness to learn from one another. By recognizing and embracing cultural differences, game companies can create a more inclusive and collaborative work environment, leading to more successful and satisfying game development outcomes. Treat your possible cultural difference like a strength, a chance to go beneath your way of doing things, nit an obstacle.
- Providing feedback and recognition – a correct way of informing your outsourcing partner of your level of satisfaction with their work can save you months of work and tonnes of money. Define the goals, organize the reporting and work valuation processes, and develop a strict, timely, and transparent way of sharing your feedback on your partner’s work and requiring changes, if necessary. And don’t forget to document it!
- Resolving conflicts in a timely manner – you work with people, not robots, and sometimes you’re very likely to face some kind of conflict, especially in a big team of various people. Avoiding conflicts is good, but if they take place – make sure you’re aware of them, and you know what to do to solve them in a timely manner.
What Software is Used to Manage Outsourcing Partners: top 4 tools for video game project management by Pingle Studio
Thankfully, at this point the developers are free from bothering about the kind of software to use for remote collaborations and progress tracking – there are plenty of options on the market. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones (according to these stats):
Jira is probably the most widely used video game project management tool. It does a pretty good job at planning, tracking, and reporting on game development projects. Customizable workflows, task managing, and progress tracking features in Jira have helped our partners, and us release dozens of games. In game development outsourcing, this creation by Atlassian company can be useful for managing tasks and timelines, tracking progress, and ensuring all team members are on the same page. It can also help in identifying potential issues and bottlenecks in the development process, allowing for timely adjustments to be made to ensure project success.
Price: starts from $7.75 per user for a month for a team of 10+ users.
Microsoft couldn’t leave the niche of planning, tracking, and reporting on projects without it’s presence so they made Microsoft Projects. It provides a range of features such as Gantt charts, resource allocation, task scheduling, and collaboration tools to help teams manage outsourced game development team efficiently. In game development outsourcing, Microsoft Project can be useful for scheduling and tracking tasks, managing resources, and tracking progress. It allows for better communication between team members, stakeholders, and clients, ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that the project is completed on time and within budget.
Using Microsoft Projects for your game development may be reasonable if you’re using many other Microsoft software for making your game and there’s some offer to pay one subscription for multiple Microsoft services.
Price: starts from $10 per user for a month.
Airtable is a cloud-based spreadsheet and database management tool that allows users to organize, track, and manage their data in a flexible and collaborative way. In game development outsourcing, Airtable can be useful as an alternative for Jira or Microsoft Projects. It provides customizable templates, automations, and integrations, making it easier for teams to collaborate, manage data, and streamline their workflows. Overall, Airtable helps to improve project visibility, communication, and organization.
Price: starts from $10 per user for a month, unless your team has 5 or less members.
Kanban Tool is a visual project management tool that uses the Kanban board method to help teams manage their workflow. Kanban is a great development methodology for making games, and Kanban Tool is a great video game project management tool. It allows users to create boards, cards, and columns to represent their work and progress and to move tasks across the board as they are completed.
In game development outsourcing, apart from the standard project management software, Kanban Tool is especially useful for identifying potential bottlenecks in the development process – you can literally see them on a visual board in real time!
Price: free for 2 or fewer users, starts with €5 for bigger teams.
Another decent cloud-based project management tool is Smartheet. With customizable templates and integrations with other tools, Smartsheet makes it easy for game development teams to manage complex projects and maintain high productivity levels. Its Gantt charts, task management, and resource planning will help you manage your game development outsourcing project with ease and enough control.
Price: free for teams of 2 or less, starts with $7 per user/month for teams of 3+ members.
Even with the presence of the most modern game development tools, the challenge of achieving success in our industry becomes increasingly harder each year. We in Pingle Studio believe that the key to winning the hearts of gamers, thus meeting our business goals, lies in surprising them.
Even though it’s not easy to surprise the gamer with some things that would bring you success even a few years ago – like stunning visuals or catching the trendy genre – there’s still plenty of room to impress the gamers with other things.
Innovative game mechanics, adapting games to the platforms of the player’s preference, providing smoother game experience, exploring new ways to socialize inside games – these things, along with many others, could place your game inside the heart of a player, making it willing to pay for it with the precious hours of its life and earned money.
And joining your powers with an outsourcing partner may pay you a great tribute in these matters. Empowering your team with experienced game developers from other companies may create a unique magical mix of professional expertise, unique talent, meaningful hard skills, and creative energy that will result in something a game development industry has never seen before.
But only if your project management for game development is done right. And you have much higher chances of doing it right with a trustworthy game development partner. We at Pingle Studio are proud to have an extraordinary deep experience of bringing games to life since 2007. We’ve been helping companies make their games better since the times when Unreal Engine 3 was a groundbreaking technology, 2GB RAM was enough to run the latest AAA titles on your PC, and games like Team Fortress 2 and Unreal Tournament 3 were trending.
We will gladly help to:
- bring your game to any platform you think it should be on;
- provide our art and animation specialists to make your game look stunning;
- ensure the quality of your game can pass both platform certification requirements and player’s expectations;
- make your game run faster on a target device;
- and basically, solve any game development challenge your project offers.
If you consider us as a partner for your upcoming or released game, drop us a line at Contact Us page and let us show you how we can make your game better!