Panel: Getting Started with Freelance Game Development

Panel: Getting Started with Freelance Game Development

Michael Carriere (of Zapdot) and myself were part of a four-person panel on freelance game development that took place at the Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge, MA. I worked with Rohit Crasta (of Playcrafting Boston) to put the panel together.

Topics of discussion included:

– How to find contract work
– How to keep/manage contract work
– Basic business tips (negotiation, pricing, etc.)
– Basic legal tips (have a contract! where you can get basic contracts, how to avoid bad NDAs or NCAs, etc.)
– Possible types of contract work (advergames, serious games, education games, commercial games, etc.)
– Possible types of work terms (fixed price, hourly payment, revenue share, etc)
– How to recognize bad contract jobs/clients and fire them/move on.
– Negative side of being freelancer (no insurance, work from home/coworking space, different distraction like tax preparation, no stability, working on weekends) and how to minimize them.
– How to stay true to your indie dreams while contracting (ie, making time for your own projects)

The panel also included Boston locals Nina Klymenko (a 2D artist freelancer) and Caleb Garner (founder of Part 12 Studios.)

I really enjoyed having a chance to share some of the knowledge I’ve learned over the past ten years of being self-employed. Like most things, it seems you end up sharing more about what not to do.

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