According to some, one of the key components of working with contractors is “visiting external studios for training or on-site meetings.” Writers, however, boast an added benefit: they come to you, laptop and all. Working with writers onsite overcomes many of the hurdles of outsourcing by helping the writer “get” your game.
For some developers, however, having a contractor on-site may seem like a hassle with the added work of managing a new person and taking him/her to lunch or dinner. It may seem like dealing with a new employee every time the writer comes. But therein lies the secret to bringing a writer on-site: treat him or her like an employee.
1. When the writer first comes on-site, have someone in a different department introduce him/her around.
2. Encourage people from design or programming to take him/her to lunch. On one project, we brought our contracted writer out to dinner with us — and the heads of the company. While great networking for the writer (who’s still on the project), it didn’t really help the writer “get” the game.
3. Include him/her in any informal gaming groups or formal company events.
In the end, the more often the writer comes on-site, the more the writer will begin to form, with your encouragement, his/her own informal networks, the kind that will help make the game its best. Plus, you won’t have to worry so much about entertaining the writer.
Does your company have success with other new employee procedures? If so, share!