When it comes to video game co-development, the key word is always cooperation. It is a close relationship entirely built on smooth collaboration, which offer an array of advantages. And there are several key practices and attitudes that our team keep in mind in preparing for and working with co-development clients.
But what can you do for own team? How best can you prepare to integrate a co-dev team into your project pipeline? In our experience, there are many key aspects that create an excellent co-development collaboration. For now, here’s three key co-development practices to get the most out of your project.
1. Communication Pipelines
From before the co-development team even gets involved in the day-to-day, one of the absolute key pillars is communication. The development pipeline is complicated, and it’s not a quick process by any stretch of the imagination. Introducing another team to assist means integrating a whole new set of talent into the project and existing team.
A breakdown in communication can mean jeopardizing the project. But even in situations that aren’t so dire, a slowing down in communication can cause an array of smaller issues. And these issues can and will build up against the timeline.
To combat this, we encourage a strict and established pipeline of communication. From the co-development team’s side, we typically have one or two key project managers or senior staff on hand. They are given levels of communication to deal with, which can be passed up to their superior if needed.
With this in place on both teams, there can be no confusion, no breakdown in communication. A clear direction of order and inquiry, allowing teams to quickly express and solve their issues.
2. Prepare Documentation
A co-development team is useful by its nature of being an experienced team. They are experts in their field and can easily integrate into a project and allow a larger scope to be accommodated. But in the event of custom tools or engines being used, there will always be a period of learning for the team.
To help cut this time down and to expedite the learning process, some documentation is integral. Instead of having to discover for themselves through trial and error or a discovery session, clear documentation will mean they can jump into the project almost immediately.
If there’s no custom engine or tools to be learned, it’s good to establish your own baseline. Make it clear how you want the co-development team to report, to whom, and how you want the work to be delivered. This ties directly into the communication pipeline. From the start, it should be known what format and style each piece of work is required in.
With this in place, the co-development team can integrate and get to work without any interruptions to the project.
3. Know What You Want
For all the levels of communication and collaboration, a game co-development team is ultimately hired for one purpose. To help fulfil your project’s scope. Our team is integrating with yours to ensure that your goals are met.
So, from the beginning, it is key to be clear about what you want. A clear and concise statement will help you in the long run. And development is a long run. It’s a marathon, and it can be easy to lose sight of what you have in mind while diving into the details. Understand your scope, establish a pipeline, and keep it consistent.
That’s why we advise everyone hiring on game co-development teams to establish a clear and concise set of goals and how you want to go about them.
These are just three key practices that can help co-development run smoothly. If you’d like to hear more about our co-development practices, or some of our other services such as game porting or VFX, we’d love to hear from you.