- Benefits of Having a Game Porting Outsourcing Team
- Efficiency at less control
- Access to the diversity of skills
- Reduced costs
- No administrative paperwork
- Tempts/Contract hiring
- Scalability and availability
- Top 5 Criteria for Choosing a Game Porting Team
- Relevant Experience and Skills
- Brand image
- Feasible deadlines
- Various engagement models
- Where to Look for a Reliable Game Porting Team?
- Tips for Avoiding Possible Pitfalls When Hiring a Game Porting Team
- Broken communication
- Not prioritizing legal technicalities
- Vague scope of work
- Lack of flexibility
- Our experience
- My Time at Portia
- Eldest Souls
- Hello Neighbor
- The Survivalists
- The Final Word
Today, game experiences are available on a wide range of devices, from consoles and PCs to tablets and mobile devices. But building a stand-alone game for each of the platforms will burn a hole in your pocket and take thousands of hours' worth of lump sums. But there is a smoother ad more profitable road: game porting. For the uninitiated, game porting is the process of adjusting a game for a different platform.
Many companies are available with their skilled game talent ready to assist you in porting your product. With a choice so wide, how do you find the best game-porting team?
With that said, we’re here today to flesh out the tips for hiring a game-porting team that will aid your game porting process with relevant expertise and terrific results.
But first, what are the benefits of outsourcing a game-porting team? There are quite a few.
Game porting is a surefire strategy that will help you not only accrue cost savings and versatility for your clients but also reach a wider audience across platforms. But the puzzle is not complete when you lack the in-house workforce and expertise to perform the porting.
Therefore, a growing number of companies resort to the outsource model to get a reliable partnership. 45% of service providers have seen an increased demand for external game development services over the last few years. And there’s some solid rationale behind the popularity of outsourced dedicated teams.
Finding a partner to port your game is important if you’re looking to achieve results from processes without shifting your focus from critical business tasks. If you have an on-site team of game developers, they’re likely to have other projects on their plate or are busy perfecting the existing game experiences. Therefore, another porting project may cripple your on-site processes and result in mediocre deliverables. That is why our clients prefer to outsource porting tasks so that their team can prioritize other projects. Besides, a dedicated porting team doesn’t require a great deal of managerial control since the provider assigns a Project manager to supervise the process.
Porting your game to another platform goes hand in hand with a wide variety of skills and requirements for game developers. From adding proper graphics support to optimizing game performance, this migration often requires high-end tools and equipment. Therefore, instead of training on-site talent or shelling out for expensive software and licenses, you can outsource your porting needs to a porting partner. The latter will hand-pick the team with the required skills and top-of-the-line equipment without sacrificing your operating budget.
Cost-effectiveness is one mainreason for hiring a game porting team off-site. However, expense reduction shouldn’t stem from the lower rates. Instead, companies outsource game porting because it expands your core team while saving your from wasting resources on what can be done faster. In particular, outsourcing doesn’t incur any hiring costs and provides fast recruitment (time is money, right?) Besides, the long-term pay-off is ensured by hiring an experienced porting company that delivers the proper result to satisfy your players.
Getting new hires typically results in additional overhead costs and documentation. Thus, besides recruitment hassles, you must also set up records for withholding taxes, go through the full onboarding process, and provide the necessary training for permanent hires. But when you outsource your game porting tasks, all you should take heed of is an outsourcing agreement and an NDA. Fringe benefits, taxes, training costs, and other expenses fall on the vendor.
Outsourced porting is essentially a contractual agreement. It means that you hire an independent contractor (i.e. a game studio) for a specific project or timeframe for a set fee. From a legal standpoint, you won’t have to pay any taxes as they’re all on the provider. Also, unlike traditional hiring, you hire contract labor only for the duration of the event with no strings attached and separate easily afterward. This keeps your company from having to deal with additional payroll responsibilities.
Last but not least, hiring an outsourced porting team will help you keep up with evolving player needs. As is often the case, your game may not be meant for another platform, but player preferences can prove otherwise. In this case, you canhave an outsourcing vendor migrate your game to another platform fast and on-demand. Ramp up your talent wherever you need it most.
But you can never reap the above-mentioned benefits without the right dedicated team. An outsourcing vendor can either make or break your game performance, which is why we’re here to share tips and tricks on how to choose a game porting partner.
The E-word should always pop up first as the main criterion for choosing a game porting team. Although the number of years may not necessarily define the reliability of services, there’s always a consistent pattern - the more a company has been in the market, the more expertise it offers its customers.
So, you will likely be inundated with bids from various game studios. However, you should shortlist a company or two that boast at least 5 years of porting and game development experience. In most cases, game development companies focus on a few flagship services: make sure porting is listed as their specialty.
Besides, a game partner should have a rich tech stack of next-gen technologies that will help to future-proof your game and ensure a winning player experience. In this case, you may rest assured you won’t end up with the PC version of Dark Souls.
A proven track record of completed game porting projects is another pointer linked with experience. A reliable porting partner should demonstrate their expertise with actual case studies so you can directly assess the service quality. But remember that most companies won’t have all of their projects listed in their portfolio. Projects can be showcased only if the client has permitted this. And since most projects in the gaming industry are protected by an NDA, most vendors have only a few selected samples on their websites.
Therefore, the main criterion for a vendor is to have a portfolio with 10+ projects. However, if you have not found similar to your expectations projects on their website, but you liked the rest, reach out to the company directly and ask about a specific project you’re interested in. Ideally, the company will offer a separate presentation on the subject.
Brand positioning and the reputation of a game-development partner are essential requirements for hiring a game porting team. As such, it is a mix of the associations you make based on every interaction you have with the company. Thus, make sure the website contains all basic information about the company and their areas of competence.
A company profile should also provide exhaustive information in the case study for the project, so you can learn it without contacting anyone else. A website itself should have a creative and user-friendly look and feel.
Customer reviews are also a salient part of a company’s market stand. Today, it’s fast and easy to make background checks on the reputation of an outsourcing partner. Specialized platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms, as well as social media will help you check out past clients' reviews.
If you still don’t have a comprehensive image of the company, consider connecting with their past clients and get first-hand reviews. Be warned: if there's no information on the vendor outside of their website, that might be a red flag.
We all love getting the job done as fast as possible. However, it works the exact opposite with game porting. For example, it took more than two years to transfer God of War to the PC. Needless to say, the work of the developers met and exceeded the expectations of journalists. The moral of the story is that a reliable porting team shouldn’t sugarcoat the timelines to win a client.
Therefore, go for a partner that can adequately assess the scope of work and present you with attainable deliverables. We do have some urgent porting projects in our portfolio, but in no case have we ever sacrificed quality for faster time-to-market; instead, we assigned more team members to meet the deadline.
Last but not least is the ability of a porting team to work with your budget and collaboration expectations. Your provider should adapt to the unique conditions of your project and work environment, which should result in a variety of hiring options to cater to all needs. So whether it’s a dedicated team option, outstaffing, or a fixed bid project, a vendor should match your project requirements with a suitable collaboration alternative.
Now that you’re aware of the relevant criteria for choosing a game porting team, it’s time to explore the venues reliable porting partners inhabit.
Luckily, in the digital era, you can choose an external game porting team without traveling to another country. Some of the most popular hunting destinations (you can find us Pingle Studio here as well) include:
- Game development communities
- Showcase game platforms such as Artstation
- Social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram
- Listings and review platforms such as Crunchbase, Glassdoor, and others.
- Gamedev events (forums, conferences, summits, etc)
On this note, Pingle Studio has established a digital presence across different channels so that our client can establish a first impression. You can check out our works on Artstation, follow us on LinkedIn for the latest events, or assess our expertise at game dev conferences.
All of these venues can provide you with actionable knowledge about a specific vendor, including their its team, company-client strategy, and overall business presence. However, make sure you base your choice on both the interior and exterior of a particular outsourcing partner.
When getting bids from outsourcing companies, you will get a slew of promises. However, you shouldn’t be lured by mere words;instead, look for red flags. Consider these wake-up calls:
The lack of communication can single-handedly break your project. Therefore, pay close attention to the vendor’s communication approach. A reliable porting partner will return your queries in time and on point while sharing every possible detail you’re asking about. Also, an ideal vendor offers a single communication channel to keep you updated on the process.
Inexperienced outsourcing companies tend to brush contract negotiations under the carpet or pay poor diligence when issuing a contract. As a result, the negotiation part is glossed over and your company doesn’t obtain full transparency on the pros and cons of engaging with a provider. Make sure you’re provided with a legal contract that covers the full range of services to be provided and is mistake-free.
The devil is in the details. That is why a draft of the service description must have a clearly defined porting scope. The latter will make sure an outsourcing provider achieves deliverables in time and in full.
Your selected porting partner must be flexible enough to address any urgent requirement or problem. Therefore, the company should offer agile engagement that can be changed to some extent in the case of emergency, including exit points that solve any issues in a good faith. Stringent engagement model or provider lock-in is a warning sign.
Now that you’re better aware of how to find a reliable game porting team, let us give you an impression of our company and our services in action.
As an established outsourcing provider, Pingle Studio has 15 years’ market presence and a recognized employer brand. We have been assisting global publishers in extending their audience by providing full-scale porting services and assisting in a wide range of other game development projects.
Game porting is one of our flagship services that has a special place in our hearts and in which we are expertly skilled. Whether it’s a console, PC, or VR migration, our pro porting gurus erase the technological boundaries between platforms, while maintaining key gameplay features.
But enough with bravado, our success stories speak louder than words.
Main challenge: porting multiple updates for an open-world life sim game to PlayStation, Xbox, and switch (past gen).
- The game got certified for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in 1 try
- Migrated the visual and all the related mechanics of the player’s interaction with trees and terrains to consoles by manually testing every interaction
- Successful game testing within a tight deadline
Main challenge: porting isometric RPGs with challenging controls to PS5, Xbox Series S/X (nextgen).
- Successful next-gen console porting despite the lack of available data about consoles
- Optimized available game resources to run well on consoles
- Thorough testing of all updates to make up for lack of available TRC certification requirements published
Main challenge: PC-mobile game porting with procedural level generation and authentic game mechanics.
- Replicated the console-grade graphics on mobile devices
- Designed touchscreen controls for the mobile game from scratch
- Scored high performance for the game on mobile devices
Main challenge: adapting a mobile multiplayer game for the Apple Arcade platform.
- Did a successful adaptation of the coop-multiplayer game to mobile devices by analyzing network usage and removing unnecessary calls
- Replicated network logic on the Game Center framework by understanding the limitations
- Implemented mobile controls with multiple prototypes and comprehensive testing
These are just a sliver ( a few) of our prominent porting projects where we helped our clients get a turnkey game, sometimes with a short turnaround. In all the cases, publishers opted for outsourced porting services as a shortcut to project delivery, knowing that even ‘on-fire’ projects will be attended to.
Outsourcing is a common business practice that augurs well for game porting. Along with extending your on-site team flexibly and on-demand, you get unique access to global talents and the latest technologies.There is a lot to consider when choosing a porting partner and we now hope you’re better equipped with the main selection criteria.In case the selection dread has worn you out, contact us for friction-free porting services and all-in-one game dev collaboration.