The Alternative Places To Look For Outsourcing

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Another option outside of the contract sites is using local companies or professional companies who offer their services online.

Now I will openly say there is a little conflict of interests in this chapter, so I’ll get that out of the way before giving you some important things to think about here.

My company, Intrinsic Services Pty Ltd provides reskinning game services.

You can check out the corporate (read boring) website at http://www.intrinsicservices.com

There you will find details of the past work we have done, and a how to contact us for more information, etc.

Enough with the blatant plug Tim, lets move on.     There are of course  other companies offering similar services so lets talk about some things you need to keep in mind when dealing direct with companies or people.

The thing is, you more or less get some hand holding with the contract sites like odesk.com, etc.  Although they don’t guarantee that you won’t get ripped off, there are some checks and balances in places, such as an open ratings system,  an attempt at least to ensure both parties are protected against each other party, escrow (money is held by a third part and only released at certain points).  Most even have a conflict resolution service where a third party can step in and be (hopefully) neutral and resolve the situation.

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When dealing with a local company or company online, you don’t have these checks and balances.

I mean they are in control of their own website so they can literally put whatever they want you to read on their website.     No one is confirming the information is correct.

All I am saying is some due diligence on your part is needed.    No doubt, the content on their website is positive and engaging, because lets face it they are not going to advertise any bad projects, right ?

If they had a project that went bad, it’s not going to appear on the website for you to see 🙂

Disputing a project may be harder if there is no third party to adjudicate.  And so on.

So what you will want to do is some digging to see that they are a legitimate company and have the experience you are looking for.   Ask for proof of apps they have worked on, get them to prove they have worked on a game.  A credits screen of a game in the app store is a good idea.

Can they give you the details of a customer who they completed a project for, so you can contact them?  And if you do get a contact, make sure you take the time to contact them and discuss the company involved.

It has surprised me in the past when I have used companies like this, that they have provided references, and when I contacted the reference they did not always give a glowing reference.  In many cases they did.  It’s worth taking the time to do this in any event.

Really what you are trying to do is protect your interests by assessing their ability to do the job.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.  There are advantages to this method.

I’ve found that many of the top resources do not use the “contracting” sites like odesk, etc.  Or they may have early in their startup phase, but now deal direct with clients.  So often their skills and experience exceed those of the resources on the contracting sites, so you can often be more likely to get a better job done.

Also, chances are that they have other contacts, so if you need more than one job done at once, or want a “one stop shop” for everything relating to your project, they can often help.

Its also possible that can negotiate a better price for your project as the resource does not have to pay the fees the contracting sites typical take out of payments resources receive.

And a big one is that many of these companies focus more on quality and building a long term relationship with you.  They want you to come back and work with them in the future so will often bend over backwards to help you.

Also, a company can often complete a project for you, where you are working with the project manager, and not the actual programmer or artist.  You pay a price to get the job done, and the actual programmer or artist is not something you have to worry about.

For example, with the contracting sites you have to find a resource and if that resource turns bad and is not performing you often have to start from scratch again (possibly losing money in the process).

When you are dealing with a company you are relying on them to deal with the resource hiring.  So if a programmer or artist leaves the company, then the company will put another programmer or artist onto your job.

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Of course, it does not always go smoothly like that.

A few years ago, I employed a company in India to develop some software (a plugin for WordPress). 

I negotiated an hourly rate, due to me not really knowing exactly what I needed – I had a broad idea and was happy to pay a premium price knowing I had the flexibility of not having to have it all specified up front.

I used a company who claimed to have 20 programmers and the first resource I had to sack after about a week, when it was clear he had very little knowledge.    The second resource proved to be the same.

At this stage I was told I needed the “Senior programmer” and you guessed it, at a higher hourly rate.    

My point is, some people (even the larger companies) will try it on with you, so you need to keep that in mind.

The best course of action in my opinion is to work to a fixed price contract, where the details of the work are known up front.

The good news is that with reskinning this is very possible because the deliverables for the project are easily identifiable up front.

For example you know that the graphics, sound, and music needs to be replaced. 

You know that the ASO and upload to the app store needs to be done (and should know if you want to do this yourself, or get the company do it for you).

The company also has a good idea of what is required, and hopefully has had actual experience reskinning the game you are looking to reskin.

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Where it gets difficult for a company to provide a fixed quote is if they have not reviewed the game, or the graphics.  Sometimes with source code you buy, the programmer is very thoughtful and included a special file that outlines all the graphics, names, sizes, etc to give someone a good overview of what needs to be done.

If a list is not available, usually a company will ask for a copy of the source code so that they can review it, and check the number of images, etc.

I would be wary of a company giving you a fixed price for a reskin if they have not seen the source code.

Because the amount of work in a reskin varies enormously.   Because pretty well all the work in a reskin is “human” work, the only way to be sure of a price would be to look at exactly what is required (literally check every image file, etc) or to just guess and put up a large padding in the quote to cover themselves if the project is bigger than expected.

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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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