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24 Jan, 2021
How To Make A Mobile Game That Won’t Dissolve in Millions of Analogues: Topical Trends, Development Stages and Pricing
First, let’s once again pay tribute to the great and ever-expanding segment of mobile games. It has long overtaken PCs and consoles, which will not be able to catch up with it even if they join forces: the 55% share speaks for itself. Almost every person today has a smartphone, which means there is open and hassle-free access to millions of games. Making mobile games is faster and less expensive than developing large titles for consoles and PCs, and the mobile audience is much broader and more supportive of even the simplest and seemingly primitive hyper casual games. But there is one but. You are not the only person who has noticed all this. The tremendous boom of mobile games has made their development a tasty morsel for many who want to hit the big jackpot as quickly as possible. This has created fierce competition and oversaturation of the market with virtually identical entertainment products, unsuccessfully trying to copy the most successful pioneers of different genres. Seeing that they were being offered more than they asked for, the players became much more demanding and capricious. Now they are ready to give a verdict to the game based on the first 10 seconds of gameplay, and it can no longer be changed. Without understanding what the players need, you can create dozens of games one after another and waste huge budgets, but none of them will bring you the desired results. Disappointed with mobile development, you simply leave it, leaving competitors to celebrate. But this will definitely not happen today. Today in this article we will tell you how to make a game app that can work its way into the eyes of players through hundreds of analogues. We will tell you the secrets of building a game app with the most relevant and interesting design for players. We will educate you about the best monetization models, the cost of creating a game app, and, of course, choosing the best vendor to create a game. Let’s start, there is a lot to do. Three Technical Sides of Mobile Development: What You Should Know About Before diving into the classic swirls of ideas, genres, target audiences and platforms, it’s important to understand some key points. Firstly, the technical side of development. Before making a game app, you need to decide on the engine. Note that not all engines allow you to deploy the same code to multiple platforms. So you need to understand in advance what operating system your programmers are running on. Engines such as Unity, Corona and Cocos2d are cross-platform. Secondly, the technical side of testing. In order to guarantee the viability of your application, the best option would be to test it on several smartphones of different generations. Not all people have ultra modern devices that just hit the market. Many people have been using one smartphone for about 5 years and this must be taken into account. Thirdly, the technical side of publication. You can’t just go to Google Play and the App Store and say “hello, here’s my application, host it, and I will receive income from monetization.” Stores have their own policies for accepting and approving apps. There are special rules that you will be familiar with. Also, in order to publish in these stores, you need to purchase developer accounts, thanks to which you will get access to various goodies like the SDK. App Store subscriptions come with an annual price of $99, and Google Play charges a one-time payment of $25. Types of Mobile Engines The engine is the foundation that provides the tools and capabilities to build on any designs to create a game app. Three types of game engines can be roughly distinguished: Drag-and-drop game engines. Often these engines are about so-called drag-and-drop interfaces where the right elements are moved to the right places with one click. They are great for beginner programmers as they allow them to avoid a lot of cumbersome code. At the same time, the games created can be complex and colorful and not at all primitive. For example, Blueprints visual scripting from Unreal Engine gives you the ability to manage all the gameplay elements without writing a single line of code. GameMaker and GameSalad are other examples of such engines.Visual scripting game engines. This is another category that allows developers to avoid complex code work. The point is that they create a kind of graph by dragging and dropping nodes into it that display the necessary logic and actions taking place in the game. Thanks to this approach, even designers can independently test their ideas and make changes to the project. Everyone’s favorite Unity, as well as Game Maker and Construct 3, fall into this category.Coding-based game engines. You can also always choose to code your game from scratch. This is the most difficult option, as the programmers will have to do every little detail themselves. But the result, with a successful outcome, can exceed all expectations, since the game will be absolutely unique. The most popular languages among game developers today are C ++, C # and Java. Sometimes Python and PHP are also used to implement specific elements of game code. Since we are talking about how to create a game app, we cannot ignore the indication of the absolute leader in the direction of the engines. At this stage, no engine has managed to knock Unity off its pedestal. It is considered one of the best game engines in the industry. Unity currently supports over 50% of mobile games and 60% of all AR and VR content. Types of Gaming Applications in General and Those You Should Pay Attention To Google Play and App Store has a special classification of game types that allows players to better navigate the genres of interest. There are 17 game categories on Google Play: Action.Adventure.Arcade.Board.Card.Casino.Casual.Educational.Music.Puzzle.Racing.Role Playing.Simulation.Sports.Strategy.Trivia.Word. In the App Store, they are slightly different and there are 18 of them: Action.Adventure.Board.Card.Casino.Casual.Dice.Educational.Family.Music.Puzzle.Racing.Role playing.Simulation.Sports.Strategy.Trivia.Word. The variety of genres often brings confusion to the developer’s head: which one to choose, which one is more popular, which one resonates better with the players? Statistics for 2020 show the following genre leaders: Data source: Statista Since the classification of stores lacks the division of casual and hyper casual games, they count as one category. However, it is important to note that it was hyper casual games that led their category to an unconditional victory over all other genres. In our detailed research of hyper casual games, we have already said that 2020 was a record-breaking year. In the first quarter, in March alone, the number of installations of hyper casual games in the world grew by 103%, and the session length – by 72%. Keep in mind that this was the start of another impressive year – hyper casual games made up 78% of all mobile game downloads in 2019. The hyper casual market is worth over $ 2 billion and has brought 100 million new mobile gamers to the gaming ecosystem. Four of the top 5 grossing mobile games for December featured real-time multiplayer gameplay from PvP battles, co-op to MMORPG, proving that the genre can be as popular on smartphones as it is on PC. What’s more, MMORPG, MOBA and Battle Royale games will continue to show increased resilience in 2021, and we already talked about this in our extensive study of game design trends for the current year. Puzzles and arcades also perform well. The trends in preferred genres will not change much this year, so you should also pay attention to them. Remember how popular puzzles like Sudoku or Dots are and how hard it is to turn away from arcade games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. The revenues of the developers of the most popular games are amazing. For example, Tencent, the creator of PUBG Mobile, one of the top downloads of 2020 and top mobile game by income, has earned over $ 2.6 billion from its highest-grossing mobile game worldwide for 2020. Honor of Kings from the same Tencent almost caught up with its counterpart with almost $ 2.5 billion spent by players. The legendary puzzle Candy Crush Saga, which has been on the market for over 8 years, brought its developer King over $ 470 million in 3 quarters of 2020. Strong Crew For Mobile Game Development Even one person can make a kind of game in one day. But do you really need this? After all, we are here to discuss serious pressing issues: we are creating a game that will stand out and be profitable. So, what should be the composition of the team in order to infuse the game with all the necessary juices? Game Designer This person thinks over the whole game concept. He or she draws up a special game design document where absolutely all the details regarding the future game are prescribed. There are a huge number of areas of responsibility: game world;characters;game mechanics;dialogues;plot;scripts;quests and tasks;gameplay;rules and restrictions;victory and defeat conditions;user interface, etc. Sometimes game designers are divided into separate teams responsible for one of the above areas. The lead designer coordinates the work of everyone else and polishes the final version of the game design document in order to approve it with the customer. Artist If the designer thinks over the idea, then the artist visualizes it. There are 2D and 3D artists whose workflows differ due to the different approach to creating 2D and 3D graphics. 2D artists are most often involved in concept art, environments, sprites, and user interface. 3D artists are focused on creating 3D models of characters and assets. But the objectives can vary depending on the goal. This category also includes animators who bring the drawn art to life and bring dynamics to it. The team of artists is led by an art director who makes sure that their work matches the game design document. Developer Not to be confused with the definition of the entire development company. A developer or programmer is a person who makes a game playable. This team deals with the logic of the game and turns a set of visual components created by artists into an interactive world where the player can create anything and reap the consequences of their actions. Programmers can also be divided into categories, each of which is responsible, for example, for physics, gameplay or network communications. The team leader will make sure that all the disparate components can ultimately be combined into a harmonious canvas. Level Designer As the name implies, a level designer deals with the design of the structure of different levels, as well as the tasks and obstacles on them. Dedicated software and upfront work by programmers save them from having to work with code. A level editor can be composed of special high-level scripting languages for interactive environments or AI. Also, designers work with prototypes and placeholders, striving for consistency and clear layout before the required illustration is completed. Sound Engineer Sound designers are responsible for sound effects. They make sure that the right sounds correspond to certain actions or events in the game. It may seem that this is not so important and the players do not pay attention to the sounds, but if the slightest problem or dissonance arises, it will immediately come to the fore. As for the game soundtrack, this is usually done by a dedicated composer who is hired separately through an outsourcing scheme. Tester The finished game could have been an unexpected surprise for the team if there were no testers. Their task is to protect players from possible errors and shortcomings that arose during development. They thoroughly check the entire game up and down to timely document defects, check compatibility, localization nuances, and more. Their verdict is the final point, after which the game gets to the players. Project Manager Despite the fact that we have already listed the core of the team, it would be unfair not to mention the project manager. Most often they are also involved in the development of the game since they are the link between the customer and all teams. They oversee all processes, form milestones and structure work processes so that intermediate results are in line with the set deadlines. The absence of a project manager can significantly delay the process, because if no one is breathing down the necks of artists and developers, they may start working a little slower than they could. Don’t Miss the Profits: Monetization Strategies For Mobile Games Successful monetization is delicate work similar to the work of a jeweler. Aggressive or, conversely, passive methods of promoting paid features lead to a drop in gamers’ interest in the game or lost profits. Much depends on the optimization model. If you decide to design a game app, then you should know that mobile apps have several monetization paths. There is no precise and approved classification, but the following directions can be distinguished: Freemium. The bottom line is that the basic features of the application are provided for free, and for the advanced ones you need to pay extra. Most often, advanced levels or additional missions are provided as extensions. This model usually does not give players the opportunity to complete the game without completing a single transaction. In this model, it is very difficult to balance the functionality and game mechanics so that the players are interested in buying and do not produce negativity for the fact that the game does not allow them to fully enjoy it without constant reminders of the possibility of buying something.Free-to-play. This is the most requested business model in mobile gaming. At the moment, it accounts for 90% of the market revenue. As part of free-to-play, players gain access to all game levels, but the gameplay includes in-app purchases that make it easier to complete the game. The big advantage of the free-to-play model is that such payments are optional. This keeps players loyal and helps popularize your app.Premium. This is a model in which for unlimited game possibilities you need to pay a fixed amount in the store. This model is popular among business applications and educational programs, but in the gaming industry, it generates less than 10% of the revenue in the mobile market. The reason is simple: a large number of users are not willing to pay for a game before they are convinced that it is worth it. Therefore, this model is more often used by large brands, whose name guarantees the quality of the manufactured product.Advertising. A popular model for hyper casual games. Users of applications with embedded ads pay for the extended functionality with their own time – the application offers an in-game bonus for watching the video. The advantage of this approach is the relative technical ease of implementation and the fact that users are used to ad integrations on other services and are tolerant of a moderate amount of such content in the application.Subscription. The user pays a certain amount once a month/year and gets access to all game content for this period. The model is popular for services that integrate into the daily life of users – music services, access to software, educational or entertainment content. In the gaming industry, the subscription model is suitable for loyal gamers and games that are able to retain users for a long time. Many developers use several monetization models at once so that different segments of players can be profitable. For example, someone views an advertisement, and someone pays to turn it off. Someone unlocks an improvement in the game by watching a commercial, and someone prefers to buy it. How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile Game? Estimated Prices & Examples of Famous Titles We have already discussed the cost issue of building a game app in one of our previous articles fully devoted to factors affecting prices and clear estimates. Let us briefly recall what stages the development consists of, how long it will take and how much it will cost. So, gaming app development often includes the following stages: Market research. You define your target audience and competitors. (1 week)Game design document. It describes all aspects of the future game from platform and storyline to monetization and online opportunities. (1 week)Platform selection. The question of how to make iOS games and their Android counterparts is important, so you need to decide on one of them or a cross-platform option, as well as the game mechanics. (2 weeks)Prototyping. This is a rough draft of the game without art, allowing you to assess the vitality and fun of the gameplay. (1 week)Art creation. Artists draw 2D / 3D assets, characters and environments, work on the interface and form the visual image of the game. (3 weeks)Development. Programmers make the game playable by introducing graphics and other necessary elements. (2+ months)Sound design. Creation of sounds and music. (1 week)Testing. Troubleshooting and detecting bugs. (1 week)Publication. Placing the game on the Google Play Store or App Store. (1 day) Total: on average, development takes 4 months, while complex projects can take 6+ months. The cost is influenced by many factors, in particular, the platform, type and functionality, the professionalism of the performer, testing and marketing policy. Note that it costs 10-20% more to develop a game for iOS than for Android. So if your priority is to answer the question of how to make an iPhone game app, then be prepared to pay more. Why is such an injustice even here in mobile app development? Working with the iOS system is more expensive due to the integration of the payment system and the admin panel, as well as due to a large number of restrictions on applications allowed in the App Store. Thus, if an Android game costs $ 25,000, its iOS counterpart will cost about $ 30,000. The approximate cost of developing different types of mobile games is shown in the table below. It will not be difficult for an experienced company to estimate the price of your game. Kevuru Games knows how to make a game app for iPhone and how to build a game app for Android so that players don’t want to stop playing. Our team has developed 50+ mobile games of various genres from match-three to quests and is well versed in modern trends and players’ expectations. Drop us a few words and we will quickly and accurately calculate the cost of your future game. FREE COST ESTIMATE A few words about the big titles you know and the cost of their development. The world-famous colorful birds from the game for Android and iOS Angry Birds, invented by the Finnish company Rovio, were created in 9 months and cost $ 140,000. The game topped the App Store charts for over a year and ended up making nearly $ 70 million in sales including stuffed toys and other merchandise. At the moment, the application continues to be modernized, gaining new functionality and captivating players. Considering that the first game was released in 2009, such skillful retention of an interest in such a competitive environment is respectful. More complex games involving augmented reality like Pokémon GO will cost more. It took over 2 years and $ 600,000 to create the game. Released in 2016, the game has generated over $ 4 billion in revenue since its inception, with $ 1 billion in 2020 alone. It is also the # 3 mobile game in terms of money spent by players in 2020, which once again demonstrates the power of constant updates, exciting events, tracking factors that can affect game performance, and fast action to stay on top. How to Choose a Mobile Game Development Company? Choosing a bad contractor is a waste of time and money. And among a large number of people willing to sell their services to you, the problem of choice may be much more acute than you expected. But we will not leave you here either: catch 5 tips that will help you to make a mistake: Mobile development experience. You must view the experience through the lens of mobile development. The studio should have a separate section dedicated to this service, a detailed description of it, a list of platforms with which they work and the composition of the team that deals with mobile games. Pay attention to the number of years on the market: the older the company, the more it has seen and the more it will be able to offer you.Mobile development portfolio. The company can talk about itself in words as much as it wants, but the most eloquent will be its portfolio of mobile projects. Look at what the team has already worked with, what genres they are familiar with firsthand, how it approaches the implementation of graphics, game mechanics, monetization, and more.Mobile development cost. An experienced company with a portfolio of mobile projects will be able to make a rough estimate of the cost of your project during the day. The figure should not be too low, because most likely it will mean poor quality. But the inflated amounts are also suspicious: be sure to find out on the basis of what the company is asking for a price above the market average.Mobile development terms. Be prepared for the fact that a good result does not come quickly. A large team will work on your project with a clear structure and sequence of necessary procedures. If you get a suspicious response like a month or less to a question about the timing, think about how the team is going to accelerate so much. Maybe by depriving your game of important functionality or by using pre-built constructors to create games.Mobile development communication. A company worthy of your project can provide clear and clear communication. You will immediately understand this at the first contact when you explain to the team what exactly you want and what are the features of your future game. Interest, clarifying questions, interesting suggestions met and the ability to concisely and concisely formulate the most important thing are important indicators of your contractor’s management and communication abilities. You can also learn a lot from previous customer reviews: there is often useful information there. At Kevuru Games, we have been engaged in mobile development for over 8 years and we understand well the requirements and desires of the players. We know an unconventional, fresh and authentic answer to the question of how to create a mobile game and we are ready to share it with you if you are ready to create beyond the limits. Even though it is becoming more and more difficult to please players, we always have a few secret tricks and tactics up our sleeve that will allow us to make a game with simple uncomplicated mechanics a real catcher for the eyes, mind and hands. We will advise, help, prompt and implement: do not postpone the implementation of your project until tomorrow, because tomorrow we could already start bringing it to life. Your market-changing gaming product is waiting for the go-ahead! Get a free consultation
14 Jul, 2020
How to Choose a Reliable Game Design Company? [Checklist] – Practical Tips!
Want your game project to become award-winning, like Angry Birds or Fortnite? You should find a reliable team of game designers and developers who will be ready to bring it to life in full. You can try the internal resources available in your country, but today you are not limited to only internal teams. Due to access to global expertise, you can significantly expand the capabilities of your business by outsourcing projects to different companies. Game development outsourcing services are growing rapidly to eliminate a lack of skills or qualifications, meanwhile reducing operational costs. When you are looking for a suitable game development company, you will likely to have many options to choose from – company #1… company #2… company #150… So, how to contact a game development company that really deserves your attention? This article is devoted to the questions – how to choose a reliable game design company, how not to get into an unstable company with poor performance, how to distinguish freelancers from true experts, and so on. Have the checklist on hand when choosing partners for game development and ultimately get quality design services! 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a GameDev Company The following checklist will help you out in case if you’re still hesitating – which company to choose and why? Let’s see what questions you should ask before signing any contract. 1. How long has the company been in the market?It is not always true to believe that the more years a company has been operating in the market, the more reliable it can be considered. Indeed, 20 years in business may affect the final project cost, but nor the level of reliability and quality. However, there is a consistent pattern in this issue – the more a company is on the market, the more services it may offer to customers. Most starting companies do not quickly turn into large enterprises that can cover any aspect of successful game development. For this reason, most of them are initially relatively small teams that build up the internal potential for developing competitive products in the industry. As a result, the company can bring together more experts to work on large projects, a richer portfolio for a considerable period of time. What is this suitable period of existence in the market when you can fully rely on the services of a company? In general, companies with more than 5 years of experience can offer you highly valuable services. During this time, they may have specific achievements and results, with which you can get familiar and make the final choice. 2. What do the company’s website and portfolio look like?The first thing you can come across is the company’s website. The way it looks and what it includes, moreover, if there is any website at all, will determine the search progress. You can read a lot about the company on external platforms, but without a proper presentation on the website, any business will not win out. This is especially true for the gaming industry, where corporate visual image plays an important role in gaining an excellent reputation among potential customers. But now it’s not about giving advice to business owners so that they have well-designed websites to inform clients about the company. Instead, you, as a seeker of reliable partners in game design companies, should look at the website of the respective company if any. What to look for on the gamedev company website? Pay attention to what it includes and how everything is organized there. First, you need a brief description of the company and its team. Secondly, a good site should present you with all areas of competence in which the company specializes. A company profile should provide you with details that allow you to read and understand without contacting anyone else. Thirdly, it’s better when you can explore the portfolio with completed projects, which serves as a visual display of works of art, games and other products. Last but not least, a website should not lack creativity and stylish design when it comes to professional game development companies. VIEW OUR PORTFOLIO 3. Does the company have an office?In the age of technology, it will not be difficult for you to contact a company representative – via Skype, Zoom, or any other software application. Nevertheless, make sure that there is an office where you can come any minute and see the working atmosphere, or non-working. Face-to-face communication with a CEO, art director, designers, developers in the office will allow you to make a final decision – to outsource a project to this company or not to outsource. But it doesn’t mean that you need to visit all the offices around the world. Just make sure that the company has an office with well-established business processes, qualified teams of experts, etc. One of the options is to visit the chosen company’s office in the final stages. This works when your own list of preferred outsourcing game development companies contains several companies that are hard for you to choose from. 4. What is the company’s team and who is there?A company with a well-deserved reputation cannot have 2 or 3 specialists on board to implement projects. Depending on the company size, the number of specialists may vary – from at least 20 to 1,000+ specialists. Game development is a fully teamwork requiring a lot of knowledge and skills to achieve positive end results – from concept development to testing and marketing. When you’re planning a fully featured game from scratch, you can’t limit human resources to several specialists. You may need the core team of: Art director, Artists, Designers, Animators, Programmers, QA specialists, Project manager, etc. 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. 5. How are specialists recruited for the project?This is an important question you should find an answer to before cooperating with one or another company. For successful results in the project, the recruiting process must be well-organized and effective from the standpoint of a customer. Successful recruitment requires more than just posting a job advertisement on LinkedIn or any other job search engine. Finding and hiring the right specialists requires special skills, tried-and-true hiring methods along with inside knowledge of game development. By managing the hiring process and operational management at Kevuru Games, at the same time using our extensive experience in the industry, we are creating a group of candidates that you can select personally or rely on our expertise. Once the experts are approved by you, they will be hired and ready to work on your tasks under the direct supervision of an art director or team leader. Kevuru Games has a dedicated recruiter in the HR department who is ready to find the most suitable candidate from a 60,000 database of artists, designers, developers, project managers, business analysts, etc. Your market-changing gaming product is waiting for the go-ahead! Get a free consultation 6. How is the work process organized in the company?Most outcomes depend on the way the workflow is organized. The proper organization provides a comprehensive and dynamic picture of business development. Otherwise, it will look like a mess. Management behavior covers assigning tasks, grouping tasks by departments, delegating authority, and allocating resources throughout the projects. Managers must coordinate employees, create policies, and provide procedures to achieve the business goals and smooth-running workflow. Companies can be structured in various departments that may determine how they work. But the relationship between job positions that exist at different levels must be clearly defined and put into practice. For example, Kevuru Games is divided into smaller teams by specialty (art and design, gamedev, sales, finance, HR accounting, marketing). These functional areas are managed horizontally, which allows assigning employees in accordance with the needs of the project. 7. Does the company give any guarantee?What do you need to get from a reliable game design company? These may be guarantees of: High quality, Timely delivery, Security, Confidentiality, etc. When you address the team of game designers, you expect to see total dedication to the project and high levels of professionalism. Both conditions are included by the tacit agreement. But before starting a cooperation with a company, set your own standards that will be covenanted. For example, one of our clients that offers world-famous entertainment projects imposes special conditions of cooperation – the highest security standards to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing confidential information. So, discuss any of your own condition to find out if the potential team is able to meet all the demands. 8. What is the cost of services?While considering several options, you’re likely to compare costs from the perspective of your project budget. Right? Thus, you can find out the average rates of game developers and plan your budget accordingly. However, they can vary from company to company, from market to market. For example, a game development company in the United States will differ from a game development company in Ukraine in terms of the ultimate cost of services. This is a key advantage you can get when outsourcing to Eastern Europe. But keep in mind the average rate in each market, be it America, Europe or Asia. They cannot fundamentally differ from most other market offers in each country. Let’s see what some countries may offer you below in the table! Average Market Rates of Game Development Companies by Country Country Rate, $/hr USA $150 – $199 / hr UK $100 – $149 / hr Germany $50 – $99 / hr Ukraine $25 – $49 / hr India < $25 / hr (Data taken from Clutch.co – 2020 Reviews: Top Mobile Game Product Designers – through filtering by location and analysis) What does it mean for you? Think twice before working with a team in each country that sets lower or higher rates than the average market rate! If it is lower, you risk getting unsatisfactory results in relation to the quality, delivery, and other points that we mentioned above. If you are faced with the high cost of services, there must also be questions. But then again, the final cost depends on the scope of work anyway and the level of qualifications of each specialist. If you’re ready to work with junior, the rates will be lower, and vice versa for senior game developers. In any case, you should get a detailed estimate of your project and decide if it is within your planned budget or not. We’re ready to offer you a free project estimate at Kevuru Games. FREE COST ESTIMATE 9. Are there any real reviews from previous customers? What previous customers say about the company can also help you with the choice. The section with reviews is an integral part of any website as this is one of the factors that influence the decision of the client to place an order from the company. So, don’t forget to look at what is said about the company’s expertise in the corresponding section. Even if you are skeptical of some very ‘positive’ reviews, you always can contact the mentioned customers and find out their impression about the services provided by any company. At the same time, you’ll identify if they are real, existing people who turn to the given services. 10. What is the company’s reputation on third-party platforms?You can double-check whether the preferred company suits you as a reliable partner – visit platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, LinkedIn, ArtStation, Behance and scroll through additional pages with comments, reviews, descriptions. So, How to Understand that the Company Isn’t Reliable? Imagine you find a game design studio but face some strange challenges. So, what are they? Company representatives don’t react to your requests quickly; They put off meetings or calls; They can’t estimate your project precisely; They don’t connect with specialists who are supposed to work on the project; They miss deadlines and can’t explain reasonable reasons, etc. In any case, this unreliability will be costly to you and your product. It wastes time, money, and energy. First of all, you need to make sure that you will work with the team with true professionals who will come to work and do what you need. You must be sure before making a final hiring decision. Overall, choose a partner who values long-term cooperation in the field of business development and does all the best to ensure design products are successfully realized in your project with full value.
17 Mar, 2020
Proven Ways to Choose the Best 3D Animation Company [+ Our Top 5 Picks Worthy of Your Project]
Transforming statics into dynamics is always a spellbinding action. After all, starting from the first movement, it is no longer possible to predict what will happen next: what remains is to watch. From hand-drawn legendary projects of the last century to cutting-edge CGI technologies, animation invariably attracts our attention with its liveliness, spontaneity and proximity to reality. The most vivid animated characters and stories remain in our memory for many years, charming and leaving an unforgettable emotional aftertaste. But let’s put aside lyrical conversations: the reason wherefore we have met here is more specific. So, you are looking for a decent 3d animation studio that will not only take on your project, but also whip it into shape and bring it to the forefront of the animation space. You are in the right place: we are ready to show you the right path and provide you with all the necessary knowledge to choose an animation excellent contractor. Moreover, we have a fresh list of top 3D animation companies that will not cost you a fortune, but whose talents and trend-ahead approach are definitely worth giving a shot. Well, let’s dive in! Choosing a Decent 3D Animation Studio: Nuts and Bolts When it comes to 3D animation, you need to be prepared for extensive analytical work. Look at the right balance of skill and creativity alone: very often it tends to one side to the detriment of the other. Think for yourself: excellent technically savvy teams who do not have a creative flair and do not have a good eye for artistic direction are unlikely to be able to demonstrate a result that satisfies you. And given the high cost of 3D animation compared to 2D or motion graphics, trial and error is definitely not the best method. And in the context of a limited budget (which is the most likely option), there can only be one attempt. After we scare and frustrate you, it makes sense to let you relax. Grab the key tips that will help you tune in to the analytical mood and choose a decent studio. 1. Look at portfolio for longer than 10 seconds The first insider tip boils down to the need to be careful and thoughtful as opposed to quickly glancing over the pages of interest to you. Studying a portfolio is, of course, the first thing. Here everything happens according to the principle of window dressing: you see the best and brightest works according to the studio, reflecting its expertise and creativity. But just running eyes over previous projects is not enough. See how they correlate with your current request, how they meet the quality requirements, how well the main idea is conveyed. Evaluate the animation with the viewer’s eye – is the video moving smoothly? Are there any rough edges that spoil the perception and overall impression? To understand all this, you need to spend some time examining the portfolio of the studio. An excellent option would be to request more information from the company from the area of 3D animation that interests you. Perhaps they have something else to show. Remember, the more completed projects a company has, the more impressive its experience appears, which is of paramount importance for choosing a 3D animation studio. This is also a good sign from the point of view of potential cooperation, as you can already judge how many other clients have chosen this studio. Approach this task creatively, be open to artistic perception and appreciation of aesthetic combinations. In the next stages, everything will be much more mundane and rational. 2. Read reviews from real customers Real clients are not a slip of the tongue or even a certain prioritizing adjective. This means reality, existence in nature – oddly enough, but everything is simple. But the fact is that, unfortunately, there is the practice of falsifying reviews in the name of a perfect company image. They are ordered from third parties or written by company employees themselves. Some statistics: according to BrightLocal research, 82% of consumers have encountered fake reviews over the past year. And although circumstances often try to convince us that everything in this world is bought and sold, let’s not lose heart and get down to business. More precisely, to the recognition of fake reviews. Here is a small but essentially powerful list of signs of a fake testimonial: A similar writing style for several reviews in a row. Text style, characteristic phrases, presentation, word order – if you had any doubts when reading the second review, then most likely there is more in it than meets the eye. Pay attention to excessive artistry, an abundance of comparisons and metaphors, this is also not typical for real reviews. After all, they are written by customer representatives, not writers. General phrases and lack of specificity. “Great job, keep it up!” – it is a standard option for evaluating work on platforms like ArtStation or Behance, but not for the testimonials section on the 3D animation studio website. Even if the real client initially preferred discouraging brevity, the company would most likely have insisted on more detailed comments for the site. Feedback from a non-existent company. It’s an amazingly impudent trick, but quite real. There is an immense number of companies in the world, and not everyone will go to Google to check another name that conveys little to you. It is unlikely that the studio will allow itself an invented review on behalf of famous giants: it can get caught red-handed on this. But to come up with an imaginary client and write an enthusiastic comment – why not And one more thing: check out additional sites that may contain reviews about the company and where it’s more difficult to fake them. This may be Clutch, The Manifest, DesignRush and others. Methodically study all feedback information about the company that you can reach. And with the possibilities of the Internet, you can reach almost anything, you know. 3. Seek passion for animation No matter how trivial and anti-technical this tip may look, do not rush to roll your eyes. Enthusiasm is the main driving force of any project, especially a creative one, which can be achieved only with a sincere, genuine passion for craft. The most memorable authentic things are created by people who love what they do. The ideal team of the animation studio you are looking for is active motivated artists who believe in themselves and their skills, grasp the idea of the project on the wing and are perfectly tuned for team work. And this is not a utopian picture, such teams exist. Try to make sure that the studio you have chosen is burning with the desire to bring your project to life, and not sluggishly considers it as plus one in the portfolio. The recommendation sounds rather vague, but there is no formula for determining the presence of passion, this can only be understood on an intuitive level. Do not be afraid, you will definitely feel whether enthusiasm exudes from the team: this is partially visible from the portfolio, the questions that they ask you, the presence of counter offers and suggestions. Ten Years on the Market vs One-Year-Old Novice Very often the question arises who better to turn to: a seasoned animation industry veteran with an impressive number of years of professional experience, or a promising newcomer whose fuse is still in full swing. The question is reasonable and there is something to reflect on. However, for the most part, all reflections are likely to converge on the analysis of the three points indicated above. Most likely, considering a portfolio, customers and passion, a novice will show the best results in terms of the latter. This is the most obvious option, because the studio needs to expand its portfolio and attract customers, which is possible only by its enthusiasm. For the time being. The sadness of the situation is that passion, even for a beginner, is not at all a predetermined condition. It is possible that the guys came to the market just to make quick money – after all, animation requires large resources and therefore is an expensive pleasure – and they are not very interested in the idea, mission, goals, and even their image as such. On the other hand, a hard-boiled old-timer with an immense portfolio and well-known clients who have collaborated with them once (the uncertainty of the time frame is important here) can also either retain its enthusiasm for the next anniversary or lose it along the way. Thus, we observe a double-edged sword. That is why, at the very beginning, we talked about the need to find a reasonable balance of skills and creativity. Of course, years of professional experience are an indisputable trump card in the aspect of mastery improvement. But they should not be a decisive factor in your final choice of the best professional 3D product animation studio. Choose it guided by a set of criteria, and if they are all equally balanced, then everything will work out. 5 Top Picks of 2020: The Best 3D Animation Companies to Hire Well, now it’s time to move on to our super bonus: a magical list of cool 3D animation companies, experts of reasonable price-quality ratio and gurus of putting a wide variety of ideas into effect. Pixune Studios Headquarter: Poland Year founded: 2018 Pixune calls itself a combination of gaming and 3D animation studio. 12 of its 18 animation projects received prizes in various categories. A small but enthusiastic Polish team follows all modern gaming and animation trends, keeping pace with the times and all the current achievements of the industry. Despite its young age, the studio has already managed to work with many clients and create an impressive portfolio. Zatun Headquarter: India Year founded: 2007 This is an experienced Indian studio providing a wide range of gaming services, including 3D animation. Thanks to a large team and experience, Zatun managed to work on 3D animation of characters, vehicles, various objects and the environment – you can find a lot of things in their portfolio. At the same time, prices remain very attractive and affordable, and the quality pleasantly surprises. Starloop Headquarter: Spain Year founded: 2011 The Spanish company Starloop is very fond of bright colors and prefers a creative approach to all tasks – this corresponds to the temperament and worldview of its founders. In 3D animation, it specializes in characters: breathing life into wandering knights, robots, military and athletes, the Starloop animation team invests a piece of itself in each project, making the result lively and juicy. iByte Infomatics Headquarter: India Year founded: 2013 A confident player in the web development market, iByte Infomatics invites you to pay attention to its 3D animation skills. They have the necessary resources and capabilities to create 3D animations of various types for a wide variety of industries, not limited solely to gaming. At the same time, their 3D game animation is at a high level, because they always clearly follow the wishes of customers and focus on the goal that needs to be achieved. Kevuru Games Headquarter: Ukraine Year founded: 2012 This is a Ukrainian company, proving that it is possible and necessary to create beyond the limits. Engaged in game development and game art production for 8 years, Kevuru Games is well-versed in 3D animation: its portfolio includes many projects related to the most difficult kind of this direction – 3D character animation. The creative essence in combination with technical skill allowed the studio to gain the trust of such giants of the gaming industry as EA, Epic Games and FoxNext. The Best 3D Animation Services Close at Hand Each animation project is a separate and unique story, which should have a colorful visual interpretation that displays all its details and nuances. Anyone who sees only the technical specification, who has long forgotten the words “initiative” and “enthusiasm”, who follows only a clearly defined plan and indifferently presents the result to the client will not be able to become a good animation storyteller. At Kevuru Games, we used to be based on stories. This helps to achieve results that significantly exceed customer expectations and remain in the memory for a long time. This is our mission and we are pleased to have succeeded in achieving this level. You can look through our portfolio and, of course, feel free to drop us a line about your project – we will be happy to delve into it and share with you our thoughts, initial estimations and counter offers.
22 Mar, 2019
How to Find Game Artists for Hire? – HR Tips
How can you find game artists for hire today? It is as easy as one-two-three – just go there where many specialists are! There are hundreds of talented and skilled game artists out there waiting for your job offer. The only thing is to find the best ones and start collaborating with them for the benefit of your business project. No idea where the artists hang out? You’re offered such types of hiring workers as: 3 Common Ways to Hire Game Artists Today 1. Freelancing platforms like UpWork or Freelancer Many professionals are ready to connect and collaborate remotely. Affordability, flexible time schedule, freedom, and independence are just several advantages of hiring freelancers. On top of all that, you have the chance to shortlist specialists based on your own needs – all you need to do is to try your luck. Don’t hope that the first available freelancer is your dream worker. 2. In-house employees working on the company premises In this case, take into account the expenses of this employment – the price of hiring each specialist (there should be a recruiter who you need to pay for searching the necessary worker quickly), the cost of office services, including rentals (if the office premises aren’t bought out) and many others. You or your accountants will only find time to settle accounts for everything in brick-and-mortar offices and outside (various team-building activities and parties). But there is another side of the story – you’re guaranteed your team will be physically present in a company. The constant face-to-face communication will contribute to the final results enormously. 3. Outstaffing/outsourcing services It is a rapidly growing tendency and it is no wonder – a professional team of workers is gathered and ready to work on the tasks they specialize in. Many large organizations of various activities from around the world appreciated the convenience of this hiring method: software development companies, customer service firms, travel and hospitality studios, and this is far from the limit. So what is offered in particular for this type of hiring game artists? For example, our company, Kevuru Games has all the necessary specialists of all levels and skills to deal with a gaming project /projects. You as a client can hire us to help with your specific needs. All the requirements, terms and conditions, guarantees of cooperation are put in a contract so that you and we can be sure in the effective work later on down the line. Contact us anytime. Average Salaries of Game Artists If you’ve never hired a game artist before or have no slightest idea about the cost of their work, the next information is for you. According to PayScale, game artist salaries start from $39,000 annually when it comes to entry-level art positions. This number can increase to $75,000 per year for senior and lead positions. The average salary for a game artist is around $57,000, but it’s not limited to only this number. The rule that more experience a specialist has, the more they’re likely to get paid doesn’t always work well. Outside the expertise level, there are many other factors affecting the final cost of a game artist’s job: A particular game style and genre may affect how much an artist is paid; The scope of work also determines a game artist salary; The salary of game artists varies by the country where they work. For example, artists have higher salaries in the USA than in Ukraine. ZipRecruiter offers some numbers for consideration. Rates of Specialists Involved in Game Art Art Services Avg salary in USA, $/hr 2D artist $30 3D artist $33 2D animator $30 3D animator $36 Concept artist $30 Game designer $58 Key Requirements for Game Artists To be a well-paid game artist, it is supposed to fulfill specific requirements set by the customer or employer. Having experience of creating games and art is usually enough to be hired as a game artist, especially if a candidate has an impressive portfolio with artworks. Most employers prefer those with experience and great work samples rather than with degrees. Well, what is required to get a job offer? 2D Art Course completed in 2D game art, game design or a related areaExperience of working with 2D illustration software (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, SketchBook Pro, etc.) Full understanding of 2D art mechanics and art production processes Are you looking for proficient 2D artists to hire? Read more information about it in the article. Just for the record – we provide full-cycle services in 2D art. So, you can find it very useful at the moment. 3D Art Degree in Art, or relevant experience Complete understanding of 3D art techniques and art production cycleHigh awareness of all the contemporary 3D illustration software, such as 3DsMax, Maya, ZBrush, Marvelous Designer, etc. Work in 3D art requires creativity and technological skills. We offer full-cycle 3D art services and focus on long-term collaboration. If you have a great project idea but experience troubles with implementation, be sure our skilled professionals will select the most optimal solution in each case. 2D Animation Completing an animation training program Good drawing and sculpting skills backed up by extensive experience in the field The ability to create 2D animation and graphics with the help of software (Spine, After Effects, Moho (Anime studio), Toon Boom, Adobe Animate) Work experience plays a crucial role in an animator’s career. Our experts in 2D animation can provide high-quality services based on their valuable experience of working with state-of-the-art tools. 3D Animation Deep understanding of 3D animation production Practical experience in 3D modeling and animation In-depth knowledge of computer software like Maya, Moho, 3DsMax, MotionBuilder, and more In general, animation is extensive to learn and practice, but 3D is a fast-growing field to start progressing today. That’s what our team is concerned with when offering 3D animation services to many projects. Concept Art Education in fine art or game art Proficiency in drawing, painting, and 3D modeling demonstrated in a portfolio that proves these skills Ability to work with Maya, 3DsMax, Painter, ZBrush, etc. In fact, the talent, creativity and exceptional taste are the primary job requirements for concept artists. But most employers look for original art with a unique style. When you come to selecting the right concept artist for your project, strive to find the right balance of soft and hard skills. Wrapping Up About Hiring Game Artists To wrap it up, to hire a good game artist is half of the battle which you can win eventually. All you need to do is to determine the best way of hiring specialists for yourself. Remember about freelancing, outstaffing or outsourcing services? You can collaborate with artists on an hourly basis or fixed price model. You can hire the whole team of 2D/3D artists, animators, and game designers. Alternatively, you can resort to the services of only one professional from a team. It’s up to you but keep in mind the specific features of each hiring model. Do you intend to work with game artists in an office? Include all the expenses needed for team building in advance to become profitable finally. Your team must be quite motivated to go to work every day. Want to work with freelancers? Assess all possible risks – the incompetence of that person on that side of a screen, poor performance, considerable delays in delivering a product and so on. Avoid such risks beforehand by thoroughly conducted interviews via Skype or face to face meetings. Sometimes, it may be hard to do without recruiters’ assistance. In this case, you need to pay for this work as well. Do you still on the fence regarding hiring our dedicated team of game artists? All the costs, risks and benefits are taken into account. The benefits outweigh the risks since experts are working on your project. They do what is required of them – eye-catching illustrations for any custom project.