When eagerness is not enough

Some days ago, while having an ice cream with some friends, one of them asked about how much a freelance may charge for some graphics assets, and if it’s viable to hire someone for a game that’s not created to earn money with without a low budget. Most of the time, an indie or a beginner game designer/developer has a huge amount of eagerness and a so much limited amount of resources, including money, time, workers, or even experience and knowledge in some cases, and eagerness is often not enough.

The one-man-band

As a beginner is normal to try to build a game alone, but even if someone is able to design, draw, animate, compose music and code each part of the game, it’s going to be a huge amount of work for our lonely developer and a hard test about how much he wants to end his project. Remember, the goal is always to end the game (as Sergio said once upon a time here…)

For those who still are brave enough to try alone with their project, I suggest them to try something before jumping on any other task:

  •  Think about how much time you want to spend in this project, and when do you think you are going to end it.
  • Create a list of specific tasks, like “creating main character sprite sheet” or “coding move inputs”.  Usually you should have between 50 and 100 different tasks or more.
  • For every task set the time in your opinion is needed to end it. If it’s your first time doing something, mark it with a plus symbol or anything else.
  • For each task, add a 10% to your time estimation, or if it’s your first time, add a 50%. It’s uncommon to get something working and fast enough at first try.

This last step shows how much time you will need to end your game, and usually is even more. If this estimation is much bigger than the time you want to spend, the risk of leaving the project before ending it is real. If not, or you still want to fight it alone, go for it as hard as you can and check some of our old posts if you are new to something like this, or this, or even this!

 How can I end my game?

Don’t throw in the towel yet! That’s not my point. There are many options when it comes to find help to end a game:

Work with someone, build a small team

Adding people to the team is a good choice to end the game on time. It’s obvious that two guys work faster than one even if they have to learn about what they want to do. The problem is there is no easy way to determine if those people will get involved as much as the “main developer” or they will get bored, leaving the project  after a while … but man, everything is funnier as a team 😀

A two man team! @Notion Games

A two man team! @Notion Games

 Hire a freelance

Hiring a freelance for certain tasks is a good way to have some quality music for a project, or some fancy textures for a main character, but it’s only for those with some money to spend, and All that glitters is not gold: you will need to explain as clear as possible what you need, and how you need it. Be sure any misunderstanding will affect freelance’s work, getting something completely different of what you need if the communication is bad enough.

Some places to find a freelance:





Using other’s assets

The web has plenty of resource packs of any kind, at any price or even free to be used, and that’s the main problem:  is not easy to find something that fits with how the game is inside a designer’s wicked mind, and it’s even more difficult to find more than one that fits each other too. Besides this, it usually worth a look over; a single texture means some precious time for any other task.

Where to find resources:





http://www.frogames.net/content-packs.html (comercial)

http://www.turbosquid.com/ (comercial)

https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/  (commercial)




That’s all for now, but remember: It’s dangerous to go alone…

stranded soft dangerous



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