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LESSONS LEARNED: Outsource

February 23, 2015


Greetings

One of the lessons learned early in the production process was not to wear every hat. Something very quickly became clear: it’s important to know when to hand off an assignment or task to a more skilled professional.

Art, music and sound effects are obvious cases. But with Cookie Caper, the best example is really the level design.

Designing the levels sounded simple to us before reaching that phase. However, once we arrived, it was another story entirely. Even using Tiled – a really great bpiece of software that did simplify the process a lot – coming up with more than two or three creative puzzle designs became a daunting and seemingly hopeless task.

It was clear that I needed a person with more experience with this type of work.

Ultimately, we hired a former co-worker of mine who worked on the Cartoon Network game, FusionFall. He was able to pump out the levels in a extremely efficient and timely manner. In addition to that, he included ideas we never considered, such as trapping enemies and taking advantage of players’ tendencies to travel right rather than left.

Everything about his service was great. We believe the game is much better for hiring him.

Although I focused on level design in this blog, we at Tiny Ogre Games remain of the mindset that outsourcing tasks that are outside our area of expertise is always the best approach. Time is a resource that is at least as valuable as money – but finding a balance between the two usually isn’t as tricky as one may think.