Engaging a Game Studio

 

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Once you have finalized “Game Studio” you wish to work with, you may also need to finalize the engagement model. Engagement model defines collaboration between yourself and game studio, building your game. There are various engagement models that varies based on your commitment, control, payment terms and project scope. Selecting and understanding correct model, helps you prepare for optimal project execution. Following engagement models are widely recognized in the industry

  1. Virtual Team
  2. Project based Assignment
  3. Hybrid Model
  4. Near Shoring
  5. Time & Material

Virtual Team:-

There are various terms used for this model namely agile teams, remote dedicated resources, staff augmentation; which in nutshell allows you to build cross functional team from a pool of experienced game developers. As a project owner, you drive game development and setup directions. This model is most appropriate when you need idea validation and prompt market feedback to drive product development.

You are billed monthly costs for resources and provided with hours/ tasks sheets at month end, explaining tasks performed by individual team members on the project. It’s your responsibility to provide directions for next tasks and manage product vision. This requires higher involvement but can provide cost advantage. The model relies on “Agile Development” methodology, where the product evolves iteratively.

Project Based Assignment: –

There are various terms used for this model namely fixed cost, time & cost; which in nutshell allows you to get precise budget required for the project forthright, however only works if you have clearly drafted requirements, i.e. Game Design document. Few game studios may work with you to refine scope to help you build ballpark. The more refined the scope is, the more reliable estimates you will receive for your project.

The model keeps you and game studio, disciplined on schedule and allows you to manage your budget properly. The model success is dependent upon detailed documentation, requiring all communications between game studio and client to be thoroughly documented.

The payments are divided amongst milestones. You pay a small token to start the project, and then pay further installment on receiving and accepting the milestones. Most studios give definite time for the feedback. You can expect studio’s to share progress based on milestones.

The model may have higher hourly rate, but that justifies game studio’s risk for miss-calculating the project cost. However, you also get the freedom to only pay for the milestone that meets your documented requirements.

6

Both models are widely used in industry

Factors

Virtual Team

Project Based

Project Requirements Evolving Well defined and documented
Cost Flexible Fixed
Time Flexible Fixed
Control on Tasks Priority High Low
Client Responsibility Drafting product features, explaining sprint features to team, validating output Validating milestone
Payment Terms Monthly billing Milestone based billing
Hour logs Available Not Available

There are few small variations based on above models that are tailored to customers needs

Hybrid Model / Product Development Services:- 

This model allows you to engage experienced game development studio to develop “Game Design Document” on hourly assignment. The studio work on R&D tasks and removing ambiguities from the project on your behalf creating detailed game design document. The document is then  passed to various vendors / game studio’s for project based assignment.

On-Site Deployment:- 

If you prefer to work with the team members within your office, the model allows you to augment your team. This model is extension of virtual teams, and includes logistic and travel cost for the client. This may be ideal, if client needs to add complimenting skills within existing team and doesn’t want to expand team.

Time & Material:- 

The model is variation of virtual team, allowing you to engage the studio for each sprint or smaller tasks. The model allows you to hire expertise for shorter duration, and get a smaller output without long-term commitments. You are build for hours spent on the tasks. This model can be utilized to build sprints / milestones and paying for each milestone only. This model is gaining popularity.

Conclusion:-

We understand, choosing right model may be tricky and depends upon various factors including client’s personal preferences and time commitments. However, accessing the suitability of various engagement and making informed decision helps in improving project ROI and a smooth relationship with vendor

GenITeam is award-winning game studio serving clients globally. We support all the models listed and can tweak the model based on client requirements. You can contact us to discuss your next amazing game idea.

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