Last week, we began exploring five obvious mistakes in game outsourcing, according to an article in Game Developer. How do these mistakes map to outsourcing writing? If you missed the first two, click here. Now for the grand finale!
3. Changing scope in the middle of the project
I found this point rather surprising, because in my experience, the scope of a game is often up in the air until it ships. Features get added and removed up until the very end. While excessive changes and rewrites do add to the budget, writing is among the most flexible tools you have at your disposal. Reducing story scope could be as easy as editing a transition and hitting the delete key. If the writing content is already hard-coded, that’s another story.
4. Failing to keep dependent files together to send to outsourcers
It’s always a good idea to give the latest build to your writers. Ideally, you will be bringing in your writers early, however, so the only files you’ll need to keep together are the design documents on which you and your writers are collaborating.
5. Failing to let your outsourcer know about hardware and software limitations
While the specifics of the hardware and software generally don’t impact writers’ work, you need to keep your writers up to date on programming and design limitations. We were informed on one project that the programmers and animators wished to avoid lip syncing dialog as much as possible. Fortunately, we found out early enough so that we could adjust the animated scenes accordingly.
While these mistakes are a good starting point, the question remains how obvious are they? Do you see any outsourcing mistakes that were not on the list?
Last week’s game dialog came from PRINCE OF PERSIA for PS2. More Guess that Game Dialog to come!