OutSourcing

Today’s special guest lecture was brought to us by the highly experienced
Beverley Bright
Freelance Art Consultant

Beverley has worked on countless game, many of which are plat-formers, on the PlayStation One. The main topic she discussed with us is a subject I am unaware of; outsourcing, and how it’s used within the games industry, focusing on the pros & cons.

The lifecycle of a game, requires large and small amounts of people working on it at different periods of it creation span. During the game’s infant stages of pre-production as little as five parents develop its characteristics, with concepts and game design. Farther down the game’s life and it’s given the thumbs up, its production begins, the number of staff shoots up to the hundreds, helping to develop the game to its later life. Towards the end of the game when it hits the beta age of its life, a hand full of only around twenty people such as programmers are needed to help fix bugs, before it’s set off to face the scary big wide world out there.

What do company outsource?
Tasks of which could be difficult to brief, complicated and require high quality are unlikely to leave the company while small, self-contained assets such, vehicles and furniture are often outsourced, There are two main ways to go about outsourcing;

  • Studios that work with individuals, sends out small loads of work. The studio can benefit from this, as the company doesn’t need to supply any equipment, as it is expected of the individual to provide equipment and licenses. However, outsourcing to a large number of individuals can be costly and time consuming as each worker needs to be briefed and updated.
  • The second way of outsourcing is to work with an outsource company, more commonly referred to as a vendor. Vendors act as the bridge between studio and the individual. The studio passes on briefing documents and work they don’t want, and the vendor then passes the work out to either their employees or sub-contractors. Downside to this is there could be a communication issues as the studio does not deal directly with the outsources, plus there’s no guarantee that the vendor has the staff available.
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