January 18, 2024

Continuing the topic of the usual game design workflow in our game art outsourcing studio, today we would like to focus more on the typical stages that we go through when working on a new project.

As you might already know from our estimation approach, the first and foremost step for us is to collect as many relevant data on your project as we can. Feel free to use our outsource project brief example that you can use as a reference point to make the process easier. Once we collect all the visual references and agree upon details in the technical brief, our video game designers proceed to the following stages.

Step 1: Art style research

Imagine that you're planning to outsource a large game art project that should have, let's say, 150 pieces of character art and the corresponding number of backgrounds for your mobile game. What we should do in order to ensure that the workflow of game art outsourcing studio will go as smooth as possible and won't be slowed down by the increasing number of adjustments and re-works?

The answer is – Style Guide. There can be one or several reference assets included that represent a distinct and detailed guide on the visual style and pipeline that the artist can use to achieve the required result. The key point here is to create the Style Guide before we proceed to the main stage of production. It is even more important when you work with a distributed team of a game art outsourcing studio and need to ensure that all the artists will perform in one defined style.

In the very beginning, we create a mood board to run by you all our ideas and confirm our interpretation of your vision. In our opinion, the Style Guide is an essential asset that can make a difference between a successful project and a production failure. And what is more important – you can give this guide to any other artist in future instead of explaining them your requirements again and again.

Step 2: Proceeding to the first milestone

Working on it we are constantly getting in touch to collect your feedback on the progress. We can even add you to our Slack channel or use your preferred method of communication. This first milestone not only allows our artists to implement the ideas outlined in the style guide but also helps us to adjust the workflow and prepare the more detailed estimation of the whole future pipeline required for a large project.

Applying internal quality-control at all times

During our work on the project we adhere to the strict quality-control routines. All the work-in-progress art comes through the row of internal quality checks by our lead artists and art director before it is approved for being demonstrated to the client.

Creating initial sketches

Now we proceed to create first sketches based on the defined visual style. At this stage the sketches are pretty rough, depicting the overall directions of the process. At all time, you get to check the progress and give us your feedback so that we apply the needed adjustments to the art. If we created a style guide or at least defined the visual style of the art from beforehand, such as designing a board game or any other game, it won't take long till we move further.

Step 3: Developing detailed sketches

Here you can already see how all the pieces of art and elements will look. Their shape, colour and light are almost in place, requiring just another polishing run or two in order to finalize the art. As usual, communication is very important, therefore this stage will take some time more to adjust the art according to your feedback and requirements.

Step 4: Presenting the final art

After we confirmed and implemented all adjustments, we can finally demonstrate you the completed look of the art and make sure you are 100% happy with it. What if you aren't? Then we will be glad to discuss the specific moments and track down what could go wrong. But most of the time this is something that never happens, given that we were moving consecutively through all the game design workflow stages above and had to hear the feedback on each stage.

Step 5: Exploring the art

The final assets can be exported in the format of your choice defined from beforehand and handed in together with the original files.

What's next?

Now, when we defined the visual style, handed in the first pack of the assets ("milestone") and confirmed with you the price on the whole upcoming production pipeline, we are ready to bring your amazing game project to life.

Are you ready to proceed? Then don't hesitate to reach out through hello@rocketbrush.com and tell us more about your project and we will do our best to become the best game art outsourcing studio and production partner for your team.

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