The Rise of Global Resources and Remote Work in Video Game Art Production

January 16, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of video game art production, the rise of global resources and remote work has become a game-changer. Explore the transformative impact of outsourcing and discover how to grow your skills to adapt to industry changes!

The Rise of Outsourcing

Video games have become more complex with larger scales and scopes, requiring artists to create immense quantities of assets. However, most internal studios do not have the capacity or resources to create it all—not to mention the budgets to support it. That's where art outsourcing comes in.

The current trend of internal art production teams has become smaller, and studios are quickly relying on art outsourcing to help meet the demands of that project. Outsourcing is now a significant percentage of game development. Everything from concept art and characters to environments, animation, UI, and VFX gets sent out. If you can name it, it can be outsourced.

Global Resources and Remote Work

Outsourcing has now expanded to global resources and remote work. Studios frequently hire external art houses or freelancers all over the globe, in other countries like China, Ukraine, and South America. Everything is fair game if the quality and budget, infrastructure, and production support, are right.

How is all of this work communicated and achieved? New positions have been created to facilitate this art process and are now standard roles in game studios. Art Outsourcing Managers are quickly becoming invaluable to the success of a project.

Required Skillsets

Whether you work for a local development studio or an outsourcing studio, game roles require specific and experienced skill sets where strong knowledge of game art production fundamentals and foundation is required. Studio-specific, non-traditional skills, and specialized knowledge of a practice are frequently merged into one role. Specifically, these 4 components are needed. Any game position requires these to succeed.

  1. Knowledge of your Craft - Understanding how the work is done, how to problem solve, how to envision, create, build, and achieve the highest quality of work seen in your favorite games.
  2. Art Direction - Knowing how to identify visual differences and irregularities and compare or correct those differences to ensure visual excellence in your work.
  3. Production - Understanding how game projects and production works. Knowledge of schedules, milestones, priorities, and effort vs. impact.
  4. Communication - Communicating clearly and effectively is required when you do it all day, every day. You have to talk about various aspects of the job with your team and even people of other cultures as well!

Like all industries, the landscape is quickly changing. COVID, WFH, and Global Markets play a big part in how art is created. Technology and tools have made production faster to create more. To support this increased output, job roles evolve and change.

Working on your Favorite Games

Aspiring video game artists, looking for work on your favorite games? With so much art being outsourced, target studios that work on those games to get your foot in the door. Games like Fortnite have many studios working on them. Remember, strong fundamentals, art direction, production, and communication skills are key to success in the industry.

So now what?

Outsourcing has become a game-changer in the video game industry, and it's here to stay. Aspiring game artists should keep these trends in mind as they develop their careers. Remember, a strong knowledge of your craft, art direction, production, and communication are crucial to success in the industry.

What are your thoughts and experiences with this? Drop us a comment or an email!

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