Welcome to the first post in our How To Earn Money As A Game Dev Freelancer series. Industry veterans, Rick Davidson, Tim Ruswick and Richard Salyniuk are here to walk you through the pros and cons of free vs not free game dev freelancing.
Rick Davidson has more than 14 years experience in the game dev industry, working on IP's that include Mario, Transformers, Captain America and Mortal Kombat. He's done it all, from Game Designer, Producer, Creative Director and Executive Producer to GameDev.tv's very own Instructor extraordinaire. Tim Ruswick is a successful YouTuber and indie dev, who's created more than 30 games in the last 5 years (wow!), and joined GameDev.tv as their marketing monster. Richard Salyniuk is from Cantankerous Games, a boutique studio bringing creative and development expertise to games and their marketing.
Like we said, industry veterans!
Listen to them offer advice on whether to accept free work vs paid work in this 6 minute audio post... The 'F' Word, Free Vs Not Free As A Freelancer.
Sometimes your experience can play a role in this decision. If you're asked to do a task for a client you have no experience in, it may be a good idea to do it for free - to get your foot in the door.
On the flip side, you need to make sure the project doesn't get out of hand and you don't find yourself doing hundreds and hundreds of revisions for $0. It's important to put a guideline on the amount of work you do, a simple agreement between you and the client.
"The way to do something for free is putting guidelines on it"
When doing work for free make sure you get something out of it, whether that's experience or something you can put in your portfolio.
Of course you also want to get paid for doing work. (who doesn't, right?). Consider starting with a much lower rate than you'd normally expect (make sure the client knows this) so they can get to know you and your work. They may be willing to pay 'normal rates' for future projects.
Hope that's helped with your game dev freelancer questions. Join us in part two where we'll cover 'Write Down What You Are Expected To Do As A Game Dev Freelancer'.
Can't wait? Catch the whole episode in the Devology Livecast course - it's free to join. Click here to listen in full, and Learn How To Earn Money As A Game Dev Freelancer!
Until next time, happy game dev'ing.