2 Important Points To Consider When Outsourcing Work


Let your outsourcers, work!

I can’t stress this one enough.  Let your outsourcers actually do the work, don’t try and do their job for them, or give them so much direction that you stifle their creativity.

For example I recently came up with a “candy” related theme with a “Charlie and the chocolate factory” scrolling background idea and passed it onto my artists for comment.

Now I didn’t say go build this, I said…

I am thinking of a candy related theme with a Charlie and the chocolate factory” theme for this scrolling game, CAN YOU COME UP WITH SOME SUGGESTIONS on things that come to mind.

See how I put them to work, I didn’t just say “go produce this”.  When you employ people make sure you employ them for their creativity – put them to work  🙂  Chances are that an artist is going to have some great ideas on the right colors, etc to use and the style if you give them a general idea, because that’s their core skill.

Candy Land Dash Screenshot

For the record I was well pleased with their result.

Now there is no way in a million years I could have created that myself, that’s why I let my artists creativity loose by getting them to come up with the actual graphics.  Put it this way, I gave them a spark and left them to come up with the details.

If you are interested, you can download this game for free in the app store.


Another great idea (works really well for artists/designers) is to ask them to submit a sample drawing for you.  But here is the key.  Give them an obscure picture that is not easy to find on the internet so you know the work you are getting back is going to be unique.

I mean, if you ask them to draw you an alien, chances are there are a million pictures someone could find of an “alien”.  That’s way to generic.  What about an alien, drinking a coke while riding a uni-cycle.  Much hard to find online, meaning you are more likely to be getting their real work.

Asking for details of their previous work with proof that it is there’s.   Can they supply details of their previous clients?  If so follow them up and ask about the resource.

Look, the thing here is that this is your hard earned money, are you willing to just throw it down the drain by not ensuring the person you are looking to get to do your work is actually up to the task?

Another trick to finding resources is to start with a smallish project.  Maybe you don’t want to give your “best” work to someone until they have proved themselves.

So start small and as they give you good results reward them with more work.

For example, as I type this, I have just given two new artists a small (60 images) game project to each work on, to assess their ability, and check their work.   If they do a good job, they will move up the chain to a larger project.

This ends up being less risky for you.

Keep in mind this point about these “contracting” sites.  The people on the sites are “in it for the money”.  And there is nothing wrong with that, because lets face it, money makes the world go around.  But you probably won’t get a lot of loyalty out of them.

It’s not that common actually to find someone who ends up being a long term resource. 

What tends to happen is you find someone who is very good at what they do, and they do a good job for you once or maybe twice, and then word spreads and they get busier and busier, and might actually disappear altogether (I’ve had people literally fall off the face of the earth mid project) or you may find their results start going downhill because they have taken on so much work that their attention to detail takes a major nosedive.

That’s one of the negatives about sites like odesk and freelancer, etc.

If you find a great resource you should reward them and try and figure out a way to  employ them full time, or just give them a lot of work so that your work is always a priority fort them.

Sometimes (I dare say usually) it’s worth paying more for the right resource.

Some of the best resources you can find are NOT on the consulting sites.  Our first programming team in 2012 for Funky squid games were basically straight out of university, hand picked and trained up for the role.  We had an advantage that I had all this software development experience and could put that to good use.

Some of these we found by word of mouth.  None of them were found on these “contracting” websites.

Word of mouth is another good way to find good resources, but generally speaking you will people in the game e.g. other people reskinning apps, will be reluctant to give you names of their current resources for fear of them getting overloaded and not performing for them.

Sometimes a good old Google search is an excellent way to find resources.  Ask around.

A lot of this depends on what you are looking to do with apps.  Are you looking to go big and scale up quickly?  Then you probably want to find resources you can trust to continually send work to and know it’s going to get done.

On the other hand if you are doing a single reskin its maybe not so important to look at the best long term team.

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Getting ripped off

So yes, it’s going to happen.  You are going to get ripped off at some point by an outsourcer.

At least to some capacity.   It’s the nature of the beast.  It usually won’t break the bank, but it probably will annoy you.


Try not to worry, you will learn from it.

Some of the “rip offs” wont be that bad.

You may find a resource suddenly disappears for days at a time or permanently right before the job is due to start or mid project.   Perhaps they will contact you and advise their “Grandma died”  (again). 

Yes, I actually had a writer I hired (for a non gamer project) who two months after asking for time off for her Grandma who died, asked again for time off for the same reason.

When I (innocently) queried her  (We were chatting via “text chat” in Skype) there was a delay, before she just went off line, and never came back online.  Obviously I had caught her out.

Other “rip offs” might be that you have asked for a specific quality of images or for a particular function to work in an app and they are unable to deliver.   You may have paid them already (fully or partially) and as a result stand to lose that money.

In rare cases someone might take your money and not deliver anything.  This is where references and not paying up front unless you are comfortable is important.

Bottom line it will happen, it just the nature of the game.

And you get used to it, and get better at spotting the cheats, if you take the time to do those interviews before you hire resources.

This is another type of rip-off that hurts.

You buy the source code and it’s crap, or does not work properly, or is out of date, or it’s not the same app as you thought you were buying, or even the person you bought it from found it on the street after it fell off the back of a truck (a virtual truck of course).

Depending on the situation it may not be a huge issue for you, or it could cost you every cent you paid.

References are good here, take a look at the website, an the person or persons behind it.  Are they reputable?  Have they been around for a long time?  What procedures are in place to ensure you are buying what you think you are buying.

Is there any warranty?  Is there a refund offered?  Cam you find another reskinner who bought the source code and can vouch for it?

These are good questions to be asking before you invest.

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About the Author Tim Buchalka

Tim and his team completed over 500 reskins for himself or clients, and is an expert in the field.He has written 3 complete games, and has two complete video courses on Udemy that are about reskinning (as well as an Android development course with over 16,000 students!). You can find out more about Tim’s video courses here. He has also written a 110 page ebook about reskins that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed with reskins which is available on this website. You can get a complimentary copy of this ebook as well as discounts to his video courses by visiting this link. To contact Tim, visit this sites contact page.

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