What Game Development Elements Should You Outsource?

By Austin
Jan 15, 2024 Reading time : 4 min

Outsourcing is a specialized tool for game developers that is great for performing specific tasks at different stages of a project’s life. But you cannot build work with remote contractors in the same way as with your own team. Not all work is well outsourced.

When and How to Connect an Outsourcing Company?

You can connect a game outsourcing company to design 2D characters only when you have a good understanding of what the result of the work should be.  In the case of creating 3D or 2D characters for games, it is better to outsource tasks for which the pipeline has already been worked out, there are ready-made examples and a specific technical task. The more research work needs to be done, the higher the chances that the assignment will be delayed.

If you nevertheless decide to delegate the development of style, the development of technologies for the production of assets, and so on to remote specialists, then it would be good to agree on an hourly payment, instead of piecework. Cooperation should be beneficial to both parties, and you can’t just shift your risks onto contractors.

First of all, it is necessary to prepare detailed documentation for the project and tasks. A serious customer is distinguished by the availability of production guidelines and art guides for artists. Spending a few hours preparing documentation means saving a lot more time when you have to accept work.

opensource gaming

Feedback and Acceptance of Work Results

Outsourcing teams often find themselves in a situation where a new iteration on a task hangs without feedback for days or even weeks. Customer representatives can be overwhelmed, they do not respond, and this reduces the transparency of the work. Contractors cannot efficiently allocate resources between projects. Having an outsourcing manager for clients greatly facilitates interaction.

If the work is carried out according to the post-payment system, then an order hanging without feedback increases the risk of a cash gap. This is when a firm does not have enough money, it cannot fulfill all its financial obligations to employees and suppliers. The resources for the work have already been spent, and the payment for it is delayed for reasons beyond your control.

How smoothly the work will go depends on the competence of both the outsourcers themselves and the receiving party. The work should be judged by people who are well versed in the topic. In small teams, you can find a situation where the tasks from the artists are taken over by the game producer. If the work of artists is accepted by a non-specialist, then instead of specific comments, you can get feedback of the “like-dislike” level.

Nowadays, casino game development is also often outsourced to make a high-quality and profitable product quickly.

Work on the Order and Cost

Any order is a request for a cost estimate for any type of work. The estimate itself is already an expense for vendors since we spend the time of managers and leading artists studying the terms of reference. Therefore, before proceeding with the assessment, it is necessary to classify the client.

The accuracy of the assessment directly depends on the quality of the TK provided. At the first stage of communication, outsourcing companies give the client a price fork, and a more specific commercial offer is made after a detailed study of the project. The work is usually piecework, and the final cost is calculated as the product of labor and hourly rate. For example, animation and effects in games are more expensive than 2D or 3D content.

Depending on the pipeline, the work goes through several stages of approval from the client. For example, for 3D objects, this can be the approval of the high-poly version of the model, then the low-poly plus sweep, and then the texture.

Since outsourcers are rarely given access to the technological part of the project, it is not always possible to immediately get into the customer’s requirements. For example, in your 3D editor, everything may look cool, but in the engine, after compressing the textures and with a real game camera, the object does not work at all as expected. If the company acts as a subcontractor, then the number of hosts doubles. But there is nothing to worry about since in the end everything will be redone correctly.


Even if you make a super cool product and paint like in Blizzard, it is not at all a fact that the business will be successful. Doing business in the gaming industry is no easier than making games, but also fun.

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English Hons. From Cambridge University