Getting freelance work

edited in Jobs
I'm curious to find out how profitable the freelance game market is both here and internationally. I need a bit of work to pay for college and want to market Knife Media to potential advertisers/businesses who need game dev done. RED is released and will begin selling on iOS in a month or two, which should bring in some cash - however, I need some sort of fallback just in case.

Have any of you managed to secure work in this manner? How easy/difficult is it?

I'm keen to get a better grasp of this.

On another note - we are going to be on the Tech Report in a couple of weeks AND Expresso next Wednesday at 7:00! Tune in to see us talk about our game and the OUYA...


  • It's been a while since I've taken on freelance work. @TheFuntastic and the guys from RetroEpic are currently freelancing, so they'll probably have much more current advice - although I know they're doing a lot of work for international clients, which is a different kettle of fish.

    I still get the odd request for game work from local companies, and I try to send them here as often as possible. In my experience the most important things you need are the ability to really understand what a client is looking for (as with any design-based field) and being good at figuring out how long that's going to take you to produce. The best thing that will help you stay alive while freelancing is a certain bloodyminded attention to charging more than you probably think you should, otherwise your first few projects are going to bankrupt you as you can't afford the down-time between projects.

    You're going to have to chase your first hundred or so leads (not really exaggerating there) hard before you build up a reputation that brings people to you. Make sure you're not spending forever working on things that are "just about to pick up" or constantly driving out to clients that aren't actually clients yet and thus can't pay you.
  • edited
    I think it helps to point out freelancing comes in two flavours.

    1. Being a hired keyboard (what I do, basically). Your role is to augment an existing team already working on a project. 100% of my freelance work/leads comes from referrals from my network of contacts (generally people I've worked with in the past). Also it's usually "agency" type of work, so think games supporting marketing campaigns. There is some demand local demand for games, but (in my experience) it's almost always a case of an advertising agency who's has to sell the idea of a game to a client within a larger marketing campaign.

    2. If on the other hand you're building games for clients, then this means you are responsible for project planning, budgeting, design, conceptualization, developement. The whole shebang. I would call this building a business. It's hard work! And something I don't know all too much about.
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