As a well-paid developer in a country that has seen many jobs travel overseas, you wouldn’t expect me to be a fan of outsourcing, but I am. First, outsourcing doesn’t always mean the work goes offshore and, second, from a business perspective it can make sense.
The main driver is the diversity of our global economy. Developers living in countries where it’s far cheaper to live can, via the Internet, easily undercut Western developers, who have considerably higher expenses.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the economic conundrum presents opportunities for Western developers and investors to locate good people overseas and hire them to either develop software or sell their services online. Pay rates for Indian freelancers have risen over the past few years, and now the Chinese have entered the space, and now techs from several African nations are beginning to appear, as well.
A few years back, I took a small risk and got a lovely Flash widget created. I’d written a extremely detailed spec of what I wanted, then placed an advertisement on a freelance marketplace and got 36 replies. The quotes ranged from $50 to $5,000 (!). I shortlisted the group to ten by asking them to point me to examples of their work. The winner had a detailed and diverse portfolio, and did an excellent job.
That’s one of the advantages. But bear in mind that if you outsource your game development, be aware that you’ll be the producer, designer, investor, technical coordinator, tester and overall chore-doer. That’s a lot of work but there are a variety of freelance marketplace websites like Guru.com, where you’ll have plenty of talent to choose from.
If decide to dip your toe in the outsourcing waters to help you build your online game, you’ll need:
- A Web designer with knowledge of CSS and game art
- A musician/sound person.
For each of these, you’ll need to produce a detailed spec of what you want. This is by no means an easy job, and you’ll have to provide your potential employee with enough details for them to give you a realistic quote and time frame for them to complete the work.
Please don’t insult any of these highly skilled people by asking them to work for nothing by promising a percentage of future riches or share options. It may be a tradition for artists to starve in a garret, but as a game development technique it leaves a lot to be desired.