Creating a win-win RelationshipThis is a short list of tips for Indie Game Developers who want to engage Independent Creative Professionals such as Audio Designers, Artists, Writers and the like. In this article, I will be addressing common issues from the standpoint of an Audio Designer or Composer. Outsourcing work to contractors can be extremely rewarding and efficient, or it can an extremely painful road, littered with distrust and vague agreements. How can you ensure that your development studio and the freelancers you contract have the best possible win-win experience? It's a two-way street, and here are some things I've learned from my own embarrassing experiences that you can do to get the most out of it.
Tips for Clients1. BE ORGANIZED Make sure that the audio asset list ("brief") is final or close to being so when you send it over to a contractor (if the contractor is not involved right from the beginning). If the brief is uncertain, it will lead to multiple changes and, frequently, wasted drafts or revisions that can strain the working relationship. Remember, since audio freelancers are usually not paid by the hour, every brief change means extra work. Unless you're paying a high fee to begin with, this can quickly result in burnout and a halfhearted end product. 2. BE CONCISE When you communicate critiques or ideas to a contractor, make sure that you have a single point of contact. For maximum efficiency, the relevant individuals should confer and agree on the feedback before communicating it to the freelancer. This will prevent "broken telephones" or conflicting requests from hindering the audio designer in his job. 3. USE MILESTONES Milestones allow a large project to be split up into manageable chunks, allowing both parties to focus on specific goals, and will also create a clearer picture of WHAT exactly needs to be delivered WHEN. This also prevents confusion about the draft versus the revision stage.
- (Contract Signed) 30%
- (Music Drafts Approved, Placeholders Delivered) 20%
- (SFX Drafts Approved, Placeholders Delivered) 20%
- (Final Revisions made and Assets Delivered) 30%