Everything starts with an idea.
Plans for your perfect video-game are rattling around in your brain. Now, you want to turn them from more than just a few mental images into something tangible. Something real.
What’s your big game idea?
And perhaps more importantly…
What’s preventing you from creating it today?
Is it because…
- You want to get more experience by working on smaller projects first?
- You’re having trouble finding the right motivation to get started?
- You don’t have the time to get started because your life is too busy?
- You don’t have the right skills to bring your idea to life yet?
All of these are legitimate reasons why you might feel held back from creating your perfect video-game. Fortunately, there is a solution that can solve all of these problems. Fiverr freelancers can be a tremendous help in turning your perfect game from an idea in your head to an actual product that people around the world can play.
Everything starts with an idea – and it shouldn’t stop there.
A) Create a Roadmap to Success
Before determining which freelancers you need to hire to create your perfect game, there are a few questions you should answer.
- What platform are you developing your game for? Is it for a mobile device, PC, or console? Knowing this in advance helps determine the type of plugins your project needs, gives guidelines on the in-game controls, any technical limitations, and so forth. This is important information for you and your freelancers.
- Is your game going to be 2D or 3D? If it’s 2D then you don’t need to worry about hiring a freelance 3D animator or a character animator, but you may need to look at hiring freelancers for sprite development and a freelance 2D animator.
- Is your game going to be single-player or multiplayer? And if it’s multiplayer, will you require servers for online play or is it strictly going to be couch co-op? The overall complexity of your project will help determine if you need to hire a freelance game programmer or if your skills alone will be enough to assemble various components.
- What is the overall style or feel of your game? Are you going for a cartoony look or more realistic graphics? If your game is highly story-driven and the intent is to make it feel lifelike, you may need to hire some freelance voice talent. If you prefer a cartoony approach, then perhaps you’ll be looking for a freelance cartoon animator and/or a freelance music composer.
- What’s your budget for hiring freelancers? The more you can afford, the higher quality game you will be able to develop. If money is tight but this is still the route you want to go, then consider building a smaller 2D game for mobile devices where you can omit things like freelance voice acting.
B) Make a Game Design Document
Whether you’re working with freelancers, you hire a full-time in-house team, or you’re going it alone, there’s one crucial first step:
Write everything down as clearly as possible.
Your idea may be clear as daylight in your head, but it won’t be to a freelancer who is hearing about your project for their first time. Having everything written, clearly and thoroughly, won’t just help your hired talent understand what you want; it will help clarify thoughts and ideas for you too. Write down answers to all of those questions discussed in the previous section. State whether your game is 2D, 3D, single-player, competitive, co-op, realistic, cartoonish, and so forth.
A big problem for designers – something that is also often the cause of unsuccessful work – is the poor clarity that customers have about their own product(Paolo Vendramini – Fiverr Pro)
Writing everything down this way is the process of making what’s known as a game design document. It’s sort of like your blueprint for the project. And guess what? There are freelancers who can help you prepare game design documents too.
For your project to turn out just as you envision it, having a game design document in place is critical. Discuss the mechanics of the game and jot down story notes. Have a flowchart of areas your players can explore and what they need to do in order to progress. You can even find concept artists for hire on Fiverr who can help bring your game to life on paper, well before it’s even created. Having visual aids helps you and your freelance team get a better sense of what you’re trying to make.
C) Acquire Your Game Assets
Depending on what type of game you’re developing, the game assets you need will vary. For instance, there’s a huge difference in requirements for a 2D game like Shovel Knight or a 3D game like Subnautica. Or, perhaps you’re even thinking of making a 2.5D game, which can have several interpretations but usually means 2D gameplay mechanics with 3D character and environment models. A good example of this is Castlestorm. Of course, it’s also possible to develop a 3D world with 2D game assets like the Paper Mario series.
The odd thing about acquiring game assets is that it’s actually more important to do this before starting for a 2D game than it is for a 3D project. That’s because, when developing a 3D game, you can import generic 3D shapes like spheres, cylinders, and cubes to temporarily represent your characters while you or your freelancer code the basic mechanics.
On the other hand, with a 2D project, you need at least some 2D graphics (ie. ‘sprites’) to begin development. In other words, if you intend on creating a 2.5D or 3D game, you can actually skip this step for now and move right into the next section, if you desire, then come back to acquire your 3D character and terrain models later.
Either way, here are some of the game assets you’ll need for 2D, 3D, and 2.5D projects.
Regardless of whether you’re making a 2D, 3D, or 2.5D game you’ll need some concept art for your game. As mentioned earlier, concept art gives you and your freelancers a visual reference for the look and feel of your project. You can find Fiverr freelancers who specialize in creating concept art.
For 2D games, you need graphics in the form of sprites for your characters, environments, and user interface. There are plenty of Fiverr freelancers who specialize in creating high-quality game art. Having a solid and consistent design helps your game stand out, so decide on the art style you’re going for before finding the right freelancer. For example, are you hoping for something cartoonish, realistic, or perhaps even pixel-based? Know this in advance and then find a freelancer who has a portfolio with a style similar to what you want to make.
For 2.5D or 3D games, you need models for your characters and environments. However, you will still need a user interface (UI), which is typically 2D, so this is a common graphical element for all styles. As for 3D character models, figure out whether you want your game to have a low-poly or high-poly design. While most high-end games are made with high-poly character models, low-poly can have a certain charm to it if that’s the intended design, like with Superhot. Keep in mind that if you intend on designing with high-poly models, it’s likely to take longer and be more expensive.
For the best possible outcome for your sprites and/or 3D character models, you need to find some freelance animators for hire.
While the goal here is to get freelance animators to do the work for you, it’s still a good idea to have a basic understanding of how animating works in order to hire the right person. If you’re making a 2D game then you will need a freelance 2D animator who is familiar with sprite-swapping and bones animation techniques. A freelance 3D animator should be familiar with animating inside your game development software like Unity or Unreal, but should also be comfortable with 3D modelling programs like Blender.
If you have ever flipped through a stop-motion book then this is basically the same thing as sprite-swapping. It simply means you are taking a single frame of animation and “swapping” it out for another, to create the illusion that your character is moving. This means that your 2D artist will have provided you with a sprite sheet consisting of similar poses for your character that you can rapidly swap between.
Bones animation, on the other hand, means that you or your freelance animator can freely move around various parts of a character’s body, such as their head, torso, legs, and arms. This also means, however, that your designer must have created and provided all of these body parts separately so they can be manipulated individually. Bones animation is more work to set-up than sprite-swapping, but it ultimately gives you more control over your animations. If you’re working with a freelance animator then it makes sense to be using bones animation so they can create any and all of the custom animations you want.
Animations can be created right from within your game development software. As long as you have the full game assets then your 2D or 3D freelance animator should be able to create all of your animations simply based off of your specifications.
The other way you can benefit from using freelance animators is by having them create cool cutscenes for your game. These are often more elaborate and time-consuming to put together, so having dedicated freelancers to create these for you is a great way to help your game stand out.
Finding music and sound effects for your game can be a bit easier than obtaining graphics and animations due to the simple fact that there’s already plenty of it available online. However, the downside to obtaining music this way is that there is no guarantee someone else isn’t already using the exact same track for their project.
For reasons like these, you can benefit from hiring freelance music producers and sound designers who will develop high-quality tracks and sounds for you to use. Not only will their work be unique to your game, but you can browse artist’s portfolios in advance to find someone who’s music you like. If you’ve already invested the resources into building your graphics around a certain style, then logically, the music and sound should have the same feel.
On the subject of sound, you can find a Fiverr voice actor who will help bring your characters to life. Again, before picking someone or several people to give voices to your characters, check out an actor’s portfolio and see what they offer. Can a single actor perform multiple voices? Can they convincingly imitate certain accents? And as for their sample voices on their portfolio, what is the sound quality? A good voice actor shouldn’t only provide strong voices but should also have fairly decent recording equipment.
While you can typically get away without using a freelance voice over in a 2D project, you are a lot more likely to need it for a 3D game. Especially if your characters are animated to have their mouths move when they talk.
With sprites, character models, animations and sound covered, you should have the major components in place to start the actual development of your game. Of course, there are always other odds and ends you can add to enhance your project. For instance, you may want to import custom fonts, textures, particles or lighting effects. Some of these you can find online on places like Open Game Art and Google Fonts (again, check licenses). Plus, you can always ask your existing freelancers if they can create any of these for you.
The good news is that these aren’t required to push forward into the next stage. You can always go back and add them in later.
Additionally, pre-made assets can be purchased from a place like the Unity asset store. The advantage here is that you can get what you need immediately and often cheaper than having them custom-designed. On the other hand, other creators are likely already using them in their games too. And finding graphics, sounds, music, and other elements that all fit together can be difficult.
D) Build Your Game
Finally, it’s time to take everything you’ve acquired and program it all together into one cohesive and awesome package.
And yes, there are Fiverr freelance game developers out there who are ready to do this for you. The question is, with so many developers readily available, how do you pick the right one to work for you?
1. Read thoroughly the Gig description
Fortunately, Fiverr gives its freelance game developers plenty of tools to show off their capabilities, helping you ensure that you pick the right talent for the job. For instance, sellers at the bottom of the Gig description, they can outline exactly what game engine they will design your game with, whether they can program 2D or 3D, the plugins they are familiar with, and so forth.
2. Check their level and reviews
Another way of determining the quality of a freelancer is by checking the rating and feedback they have received from previous clients. You can also look for the “Pro Verified” badge by on seller profiles, which indicates that they are vetted and approved as someone who consistently provides a quality service. You can also search Fiverr Pro freelancers exclusively and, while hiring them can cost a little more than a regular Fiverr seller, their services and results are top-tier.
3. Compare their packages
Finally, take into consideration the amount a freelancer is charging for a project, versus what they are offering. Each freelance game developer has the option of offering a basic, standard, and premium package. Their prices and deliverables should reflect these different levels in a realistic way. Is a seller offering to fully design a game for you for less than $100? You should proceed with caution as it may not be an original game they are building, but perhaps a reskin of an existing game. Also, consider how many revisions a freelancer lets you have, and how much they will charge for extra revisions beyond their basic offer.
It’s not unlikely that a qualified freelance game designer will be the most expensive freelancer you hire for your project, so it’s absolutely worth taking the time to make sure you pick the right developer to get the job done. Especially if you intend to have them develop the game for you entierly.
This is also where your game design document, discussed earlier, comes in handy.
E) Publishing Your Game
Unless your game is meant to be nothing more than a work of passion, chances are you’ll want to make some money from it. Depending on the platform you are publishing for, the strategies for monetization can vary widely. For instance, if your game is built for mobile, then in-game advertisements and in-app purchases are a good way to earn some revenue. If your game is meant for publication on Steam or Epic Games, however, then an upfront cost could be the best avenue to explore. You may also want to consider other monetization techniques such as offering a season pass, loot boxes, or even starting a Patreon.
Before you publish, however, it would be a smart idea to do some beta testing and get feedback so you don’t end up launching a product that nobody wants to play. And yes, you can hire freelancers for user testing too. Ultimately, you want to get people to test your game only when you think it’s the best it can possibly be without getting some outside perspective. If your game has glaring flaws that you’re aware of, fix these first or else your beta testers are going to be providing you with feedback about something you already know about.
Along with publishing your game comes marketing your game. Fiverr has an entire section devoted to digital marketing freelancers who can help promote your game. Like with the other steps, you’ll probably want to be involved with this to some extent. After all, no one will understand your game better than you.
Is it entirely possible to build a game from the ground up with the use of Fiverr freelancers, but it’s up to you to coordinate all of these talented people in order to create the best game possible. Or you could hire a seasoned freelance project manager. Video game creation is an art that brings together a wide variety of different skillsets, from art and music, to programming, animation, story writing, and video editing.
If you want to spend your money wisely, consider what skills you bring to the table. What do you do well enough that it would add value to your project? Do you compose music in your free time? Great! Put your time into creating amazing music for your game and let freelancers pick up the slack in the areas you feel less talented. Are you a good writer? Then you shouldn’t have any trouble coming up with an amazing story and dialogue, so let your artists and animators bring your stories to life.
Fiverr freelancers are here to make your life easier so you can spend more time publishing the games you want to play.