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05, Apr, 2024

Daria Holoskokova

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Reliable Game Design Company Checklist: How to Choose Wisely

  • Choosing the right game design company is crucial for the success of your gaming project.
  • Understand the game design industry and its evolution to make an informed decision.
  • Set clear goals and objectives for your game development project.
  • Use essential checklists to evaluate and select the best game design company.
  • Ask important questions related to experience, expertise, and previous projects when considering potential game design partners.
  • Evaluate the game development process, including the game design workflow and collaboration methods.
  • Consider the importance of a diverse game design portfolio and its relevance to your project’s goals and genre.
  • Budgeting for your game development project is essential, so consider cost estimation strategies and pricing models.
  • Understand the legal and contractual considerations when selecting a game design company.
  • Explore the role of AI technologies in game design and its impact on gameplay.
  • Building a long-term relationship with your game design company is vital for ongoing support and future projects.
  • In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of selecting the top game design company for your next gaming project. We will provide key highlights, essential checklists, and important questions to ask potential game design partners. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of a diverse game design portfolio, budgeting considerations, legal and contractual considerations, the role of AI technologies, and building long-term relationships with your game design company.

Introduction

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on selecting the top game design company for your gaming project. The world of game design is dynamic and constantly evolving, with new technologies and trends shaping the industry. Whether you are a game developer or an individual looking to bring your gaming idea to life, choosing the right game design company is crucial for the success of your project.

In this guide, we will provide you with valuable insights and game design portfolio tips to help you make an informed decision when selecting a game design company. We will explore the key factors driving the game design market today, the game development process, the importance of a diverse game design portfolio, budgeting considerations, legal and contractual considerations, the role of AI technologies in game design, and building long-term relationships with your game design company.

By the end of this guide, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the game design industry and the essential criteria to consider when selecting a game design company. So let’s dive in and find the perfect game design partner for your project!

Reliable Game Design Company Checklist: How to Choose Wisely

Understanding the Game Design Industry 

Do you absolutely dream of your game project reaching the same heights of success as Angry Birds or Fortnite? To turn this dream into a reality, it is absolutely crucial to gather a team of incredibly skilled game designers and developers who are wholeheartedly committed to bringing your vision to life! While you may consider local resources, the current landscape provides the incredible opportunity to tap into talent from all over the world, ultimately elevating your project’s potential by outsourcing to a variety of companies. The game development outsourcing sector is booming, offering a fantastic solution to skill shortages and significantly reducing operational expenses.

If you’re searching for a game development company, you’ll have numerous options to consider! How can you reach out to a game development company that truly stands out among the rest? This article focuses on selecting a trustworthy game design company, avoiding underperforming companies, differentiating between freelancers and professionals, and more. Keep this video game design checklist handy when selecting game development partners to ensure top-notch design services in the end! With mobile game development, it is important to take a different approach and consider factors specific to this type of app.

What is a Gaming Studio?

A gaming studio is a company that specializes in creating interactive entertainment experiences for gaming enthusiasts. These studios employ teams of skilled professionals, including game designers, developers, artists, and testers, who work together to produce high-quality games for various platforms. When choosing a reliable game design company, consider factors such as the studio’s reputation in the gaming industry, the quality of their portfolio, their experience working on projects similar to yours, and their ability to meet deadlines and budgets effectively. By following these practical tips, you can select a gaming studio that will help bring your gaming vision to life successfully.

As we know, AI has undeniably become the golden child of the tech world, and its footprint in game design is growing each day.

When choosing game design company, it’s essential to consider their proficiency in utilizing AI technology. With AI being the golden child of the tech world, its role in game design is expanding rapidly. Game companies that leverage AI can create more immersive gaming experiences, personalized gameplay, and dynamic environments. By opting for a game design company well-versed in AI integration, you can ensure cutting-edge games that resonate with modern gamers and stay ahead of the competition.

13 Inquiries to Consider When Selecting a Game Development Company

Here is a checklist of game design questions to assist you if you are still unsure about which company to select and why! Let’s explore the questions you need to ask before committing to any contract.

1. What Companies are Especially Engaged in the Market?

Excellent outsourcing studios are always proactive in sharing their knowledge with a wide audience! Conducting initial market research is essential to gather a list of potential candidates. While Google can be used to find some active SEO players, it may not provide a comprehensive list of partners. Where else can you search for a suitable partner?

The best choice is utilizing independent data-driven platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, or DesignRush! These platforms enable you to filter companies based on rating, rate, country, or number of employees, and also view authentic reviews from real customers. One key benefit of these portals is their thorough verification process for reviews to prevent biased feedback. Once you have shortlisted outsourcing studios of interest, you can visit their websites to explore further details, including navigation ease and comprehensive information on their services. The “About the company” section provides valuable insights on the company’s values, work principles, and strengths, aiding in understanding their ethos, objectives, and project approaches! Let’s dive in and find the perfect game design company for your next project with our game design checklist!

2. For how long has the company been present in the market?

Are you ready to dive into the world of game design companies and find the perfect match for your project? Let’s shake off the misconception that a company’s reliability is solely based on its years in the market! While the length of time a company has been in business may affect project costs, it doesn’t automatically guarantee reliability and quality. However, it’s exciting to see that companies that have been around longer often offer a wide array of services to their customers. Emerging companies, on the other hand, start small and build up their internal capabilities to create top-notch products. As they grow, they bring in more experts to work on bigger projects and expand their portfolio.

When can you trust a company’s services in the market? Typically, companies with over 5 years of experience can provide you with valuable services based on their achievements and results!

3. What is the appearance of the company’s website and portfolio?

The initial point of contact is typically the company’s website. Its appearance and content, or lack thereof, significantly impact the search process. While information can be found on external platforms, a well-presented website is crucial for business success, particularly in the gaming industry where visual branding is key to establishing a positive reputation with potential clients. This is especially important when considering your game idea and how it will be brought to life by the company. Let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of game design companies and how to choose the best one for your needs!

Pay attention to the content and organization of the gamedev company website when exploring it.

First, a concise overview of the company and its team is absolutely essential, typically found on the homepage!

Second, a quality website should showcase the company’s areas of expertise comprehensively in the company profile, enabling visitors to grasp the information independently with ease!

Third, having access to a portfolio showcasing completed projects and a variety of skill sets is incredibly valuable for visual representation! And finally, a professional game development company’s website should exhibit creativity and stylish design – it’s a must-have! Remember to include these points in your game development checklist and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect game design company for your project!

The portfolio should be discussed individually! Examining it is the most effective method to assess the skills, showcased through actual projects rather than words. It’s important to note that the portfolio may not include all projects undertaken by the company. Only projects authorized by the client can be featured in the portfolio. Many projects in the gaming sector are confidential and cannot be disclosed to website visitors due to non-disclosure agreements.

It is absolutely crucial to note that a portfolio cannot be extensive, especially for a game studio with numerous projects. Only selected samples are displayed on the site!

If you haven’t found the specific work you’re looking for in your portfolio but are satisfied with the rest, don’t immediately dismiss this studio! Inquire about the company’s details regarding your area of interest. It would be absolutely amazing if the team could offer a dedicated presentation on this subject. This will help you determine if the team is capable of handling your projects effectively!

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4. The Company’s Team: Who Comprises It?

A reputable company must have more than just a couple of specialists to carry out projects successfully! The number of specialists needed can range from 20 to over 1,000, depending on the company’s size. Game development is a collaborative effort that demands a wide range of expertise and skills to ensure successful outcomes from initial concept to testing and marketing! When choosing a game design company, it is important to consider the size of their team, as a small team of game designers and programmers may not have the resources and expertise to handle large-scale projects.

When embarking on the development of a complete game from scratch, it is essential not to limit your human resources to just a handful of experts! Building a successful game requires assembling a diverse team that typically includes an art director, artists, designers, animators, programmers, QA specialists, project managers, and more development stages! Understanding the game development process and its various stages is crucial in defining the scope of the project and determining the necessary professionals and team size.

The art director plays a pivotal role in overseeing the visual aspects of the game and ensuring that the artistic vision is brought to life! Artists are responsible for creating various assets such as characters, environments, and animations that enhance the overall look and feel of the game! Designers, under the direction of the game designer/director, focus on crafting engaging gameplay mechanics and user experiences that captivate players throughout the entire game.

Animators breathe life into characters and objects within the game world through movement and actions! Programmers are instrumental in writing the code that powers the game’s functionality and interactivity! QA specialists rigorously test the game to identify and rectify any bugs or issues before release!

A project manager oversees the entire development process, ensuring that deadlines are met, resources are allocated efficiently, and communication flows smoothly within the team! Collaboration among these diverse roles is crucial for delivering a polished and immersive gaming experience that resonates with players!

In most cases, the team is supposed to be flexible in accordance with the requirements of the project! So, look for a game development team that is ready to meet the specific business requirements and goals!

As a rule, a trustworthy outsourcing game design company has specialists that can bring ideas to life at a high professional level! Alternatively, HR managers update huge databases of specialists eager to work on new projects to find the best specialist for you quickly!

It is also super important for you to know the technical level of proficiency of the tools for the artists, animators and developers of the selected company! Usually this information is posted in the appropriate sections on the website, but if you did not find it, you can totally request it additionally from the company representatives. This is especially crucial if you need to continue working on an existing project that was started in a specific program!

Reliable Game Design Company Checklist: How to Choose Wisely

5. How are experts selected for the project?

Before partnering with a company, it is crucial to address a key question: how can you ensure successful project outcomes through a well-structured and efficient recruitment process that caters to customer needs? Effective recruitment goes beyond merely advertising on platforms like LinkedIn; it necessitates specialized skills, proven methodologies, and industry-specific insights to attract and onboard top talent in game development. Let’s get excited about finding the perfect game design company that will take your project to the next level!

We are absolutely thrilled to oversee the hiring process and operational management, utilizing our industry experience to provide you with a fantastic pool of candidates for your personal selection or to rely on our expertise. Once you give your approval, the chosen experts will be onboarded and will eagerly begin working on your projects under the direct guidance of an art director or team leader.

6. How is the work process structured within the company?

The organization of workflow significantly impacts outcomes, offering a clear view of business development when done correctly. Without proper organization, chaos ensues. Management responsibilities include task assignment, departmental task grouping, authority delegation, and resource allocation across projects. Managers are tasked with coordinating employees, establishing policies, and implementing procedures to reach business objectives and maintain an efficient workflow.

You should to inquire about the following:

  • The process of communication
  • The potential for altering the team’s composition
  • Frequency of approval and feedback sessions
  • Team standards adherence
  • Project management tools utilization
  • Presence of a designated project manager
  • Ability to reach out to the team outside scheduled calls
  • Method of conducting quality assessment

For instance, this is what the procedural features are.

  1. Efficient project management involves assigning each project to a dedicated project manager responsible for facilitating communication between clients and the team, as well as ensuring the exchange of essential information. Additionally, every project is overseen by an account manager who ensures the company fulfills all obligations to the client.
  2. Complete authority throughout the project life cycle. By conducting thorough checks, the team can operate independently without the need for extra client oversight. Our services include planning, cost estimations, assigning tasks to team members, suggestions for enhancing work efficiency, and enhancing the project.
  3. Flexible recruiting model where the client can pivot the project direction and we commit to sourcing and onboarding specialists as needed.
  4. Stringent internal standards are in place. The art director oversees and evaluates all artists, including top specialists, ensuring a flawless quality of work that aligns with the client’s preferences and requirements.
  5. We create teams based on project requirements, comprising specialists in various art and animation fields and experts in different game engines, all adhering to top standards and the latest trends.
  6. Efficient project development approach. We adhere to the Scrum methodology. The team updates the client on the weekly call regarding sprint progress, incorporates changes, and deliberates on future strategies. Progression to the subsequent phase only occurs post the integration of all modifications. This seamless process allows for transparency, enabling the client to monitor all interim outcomes and maintain complete oversight of the project.

Companies may organize into different departments that influence their operations. It is absolutely essential to establish and implement clear relationships between job roles across various levels! For instance, Whimsy Games divides its workforce into specialized teams such as art and design, game development, sales, finance, HR accounting, and marketing. These divisions are managed horizontally to allocate staff based on project requirements.

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7. What level of communication does the company have?

Effective collaboration hinges on strong communication skills! It’s absolutely essential to ensure seamless and efficient communication with your team. To achieve this, why not kick things off by initiating a test call with representatives from various departments, such as project managers, programmers, team leads, and artists? Unlike sales managers who excel at pitching but lack certainty, domain specialists can offer precise insights on task completion.

The call not only allows you to get to know the team but also provides a chance to evaluate the English team’s proficiency, particularly if they are from a remote location. Clear communication without any language obstacles guarantees full comprehension throughout the project. Interacting with various team members enables you to determine the extent of their understanding and the thoroughness of their responses to your inquiries. Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page and ready to create an amazing game together!

8. Is there any guarantee provided by the company?

Are you ready to find the perfect game design company for your next project? Let’s dive into game design checklist! Think top-notch quality, punctual delivery, safety, confidentiality, and more.

When you meet with a team of game designers, get ready to witness their complete commitment and high level of professionalism. These guys are on top of their game! Before you start working together, make sure to set your own criteria that everyone can agree on.

Our client, who is known for their amazing entertainment projects, doesn’t mess around when it comes to cooperation. They have strict security standards in place to protect confidential information. Make sure to lay out your own conditions to see if the team can meet all your requirements. Let’s get this game design party started!

9. What pricing models can the company provide?

Three primary pricing models exist! Fixed Price is based on the assumption that the team operates within the original budget, making it suitable for projects with clearly defined requirements, goals, workflows, and tight deadlines! It is ideal for short-term projects and for evaluating new vendors! Time & Material is preferable when project details evolve during development, with pricing based on time spent! Payment can be structured according to specific preferences! Dedicated Team is a flexible model suited for long-term projects with evolving scopes, allowing for additional resources and technology utilization!

Make sure to confirm with the company whether they are knowledgeable about these models! If they are not, it is advisable not to proceed with them as you may not understand how they establish the pricing of their services!

Reliable Game Design Company Checklist: How to Choose Wisely

10. How much do the services cost?

When exploring different choices, you will probably assess expenses in relation to your project’s budget. As a result, you can determine the typical fees charged by game developers and adjust your budget accordingly. Nevertheless, these rates may differ depending on the company and market.

For instance, the cost of services offered by a game development company in the United States will vary from that of a game development company in Ukraine. This discrepancy is a significant benefit of outsourcing to Eastern Europe. However, it is essential to consider the average rates in different markets such as America, Europe, and Asia, as they may not vary substantially from other market offerings in each respective country. Refer to the table below to explore potential offers from various countries!

Average Market Rates of Game Development Companies by Country

Before collaborating with teams in different countries, consider the implications of rates below or above the market average. Don’t forget, lower rates may result in subpar outcomes in terms of quality and delivery, while high costs should also prompt inquiries. Remember, the final expenses are influenced by the project scope and the expertise of each team member. 

US – $150-$199 (hourly rate, in USD)

UK – $100-$149 (hourly rate, in USD)

Germany – $50-$99 (hourly rate, in USD)

Ukraine – $25-$49 (hourly rate, in USD)

India – less than $25 (hourly rate, in USD)

Junior developers command lower rates, while senior developers command higher rates, so keep that in mind! In the United States, developer hourly rates vary based on skill level – a senior game developer earns an average of $60 per hour, a mid-level developer earns $45, and a junior developer earns $30. How exciting is that? And don’t forget, these rates apply specifically to programmers, and game development involves the collaboration of numerous individuals. 

Make sure to obtain a comprehensive project estimate to determine if it aligns with your budget and get ready for an amazing collaboration!

11. Is the company prepared to finish the test assignment?

Conducting a test assignment is an incredibly valuable strategy for evaluating the capabilities of individual employees or outsourcing teams! It’s truly amazing to see that major publishers often adopt this method to swiftly assess potential business partners.

The decision on whether the test will be charged or not depends on several variables and circumstances. If the test suits your requirements, it’s absolutely advisable to discuss with the company regarding their readiness to proceed with it and the terms involved. Usually, proficient teams are incredibly receptive to undertaking test assignments unless they are facing a shortage of specialists at that particular time.

Test assignments can provide amazing insights into the skills, work quality, and compatibility of a team or individual with your project requirements! By observing how they approach the task, meet deadlines, and communicate during the process, you can make informed decisions about engaging them for future projects. This hands-on evaluation method helps in ensuring that you select partners who align with your standards and expectations!

12. What are the details regarding the company’s location?

Make sure to research in advance the details of the country where your selected outsourcing company is situated! Doing so will prevent potential misunderstandings and facilitate establishing cooperation. Specifically, inquire with the company’s representatives about any Internet connection issues as prompt communication is crucial for productive collaboration!

Understanding national holidays and weekends is crucial to know when the company will be unavailable. Certain studios may be willing to work on weekends for an extra fee, especially when facing tight deadlines! If you anticipate needing your partners to work overtime, it’s best to discuss this with them promptly!

13. Have previous customers left any genuine reviews?

Feedback from past clients can be a valuable asset in guiding your decision-making process. The reviews section on a website serves as a powerful tool in influencing potential customers to make a purchase. By reading about the experiences of previous clients, prospective buyers can gain insights into the quality of products or services offered by the business. Positive reviews can build trust and credibility, while negative feedback can highlight areas for improvement.

It is essential to pay attention to the feedback provided by past clients and use it constructively to enhance your offerings. Addressing any issues raised in reviews demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews can also help bolster your online reputation and attract new clientele.

In addition to the reviews section on your website, you can also leverage social proof through testimonials, case studies, and endorsements from influencers or industry experts. Building a strong portfolio of positive feedback can significantly impact consumer perceptions and drive sales.

Remember, maintaining a balance between showcasing positive reviews and addressing any negative feedback transparently is key to building credibility and fostering trust with your audience. Your responsiveness to client feedback reflects your dedication to delivering exceptional products or services and continuously evolving to meet customer needs.

Develop a Prototype

Developing a prototype is a crucial step when choosing a reliable game design company. A prototype gives you a tangible preview of the game’s mechanics, visuals, and overall experience. It allows you to test the game’s feasibility and make necessary adjustments before investing further time and resources. By collaborating with a game design company that emphasizes prototype development, you ensure that your vision is accurately translated into an engaging and functional gaming experience.

Balance the gameplay

When choosing a reliable game design company, it’s crucial to consider the balance of gameplay in their creations. A well-designed game should offer a perfect equilibrium between challenge and enjoyment, ensuring players are engaged without feeling frustrated or bored. Look for a game design company that prioritizes gameplay balance, as this can significantly impact the overall gaming experience and keep players coming back for more. The information regarding the company’s skills is in the relevant section. If you have doubts about overly positive reviews, don’t hesitate to reach out to the customers mentioned to inquire about their experience with the company’s services. This way, you can verify the authenticity of the feedback and confirm that these customers are genuine individuals who have used the services. Exciting stuff, right?

Hence, How can you determine if the company is untrustworthy?

Imagine discovering a game design studio but encountering peculiar obstacles. What might these challenges be?

  • Company representatives are not prompt in responding to your requests.
  • Meetings or calls are postponed by them.
  • Your project cannot be accurately estimated by them.
  • They fail to engage with the experts designated to work on the project.
  • They fail to meet deadlines and are unable to provide valid explanations, etc.

This lack of dependability will incur expenses for you and your product, in terms of time, finances, and effort. It is crucial to ensure that you engage with a team of genuine experts who will fulfill your requirements diligently before finalizing the hiring process. In general, select a partner who prioritizes long-term collaboration in the business development sector and strives to ensure that game development products are effectively executed in your project with utmost value and for a long time!

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Conclusion 

When selecting a game design company, understanding the evolving industry landscape is crucial. Establish clear goals and checklists to identify the right partner. Ask about their AI expertise, creativity in past projects, and diverse portfolio. Budget wisely and consider legal aspects like intellectual property rights. Look for long-term support and plan future collaborations. Stand out in the competitive market with innovative gameplay and avoid common pitfalls. For a thriving gaming project, connect with a reputable game design company that aligns with your vision. Ready to kickstart your game development journey? Get in touch today!

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Written by

Daria Holoskokova

Marketing Team Lead

I am an energetic Marketing Executive currently making waves at Whimsy Games, where my path is filled with vibrant growth and innovative strides. In this dynamic world of game development, I lead pivotal marketing strategies that have notably elevated our brand's visibility and successfully attracted essential Marketing Qualified Leads. My involvement is crucial in executing precise digital campaigns and developing compelling content, while also building strong partnerships with vendors and effectively working with various teams within our company.

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