Are you dreaming of becoming a freelance game developer? Well it’s easier than what you think. Let’s see how to achieve your goal and become a freelance game developer.
Build your portfolio
If you want to work as a freelance game developer you need to be able to show your client what you can do. The first thing to do is to build your portfolio with all the games that you’ve made. If you have none, then it’s time to start making one. And remember to publish your game even if you think it’s not beautiful.
Build your network
If you want to work as a freelancer, you need to build your network. This is one of the most important investments that you can do in your life. Go to events, meetings, co-working and to whatever event that can help you create a good network of contacts.
Be an efficient freelance game developer
If want to work as a freelance game developer, it’s better that you start to manage your time as best as you can because time is money. The more you’re able to manage your time, the more money you can make. We made a series of articles that will help you to improve your productivity in game development.
Find your clients.
There are basically three ways to find clients. The first is to meet them at some events. The second is to contact some recruiters, you can find a lot of them on LinkedIn or around the web. Recruiters will look for companies that need profiles with your skills and abilities.
Another way is to use websites like Monster Jobs or indeed to find companies that are looking for a contractor. Furthermore, once you’ve loaded your cv in one of those platforms, there is a high probability that you’ll be discovered again by some other companies/recruiters in the future.
You can use other platforms like Upwork to find a lot of jobs. You can be hired directly through the platform, but usually the work is underpaid, so I suggest this platform only for beginners that don’t have a lot of experience.
If you’re working with a specific platform like “Unity” for example,, you can use the community forum to find clients or collaborations.
Be aware of the taxes
If you want to work legally you’ll need to open a company or whatever is the best for you. This mostly depend of the country that you’re leaving in, so the first things to do is to be aware of the costs and the taxes to pay before you start to find your first job.
Be aware of the clients
Before to start the collaborations with your client, be sure that is trustable. If you have a deadline for a project, ask the 20% in advice and the rest before to deliver the finished project. If the proposed is a long term collaboration, ask to be paid every 2 weeks or so.
How much money do I ask?
The first thing to find out is how much money to ask per one day of work. The daily price depend on your experience and the place where you live. Let’s say that for example that your average rate is 200$ per day. When a client ask you to develop a project, the first thing to do is to estimate the amount of days needed to complete the job and based on this you’ll have an idea on how much to ask. I usually add on top of that costs of the taxes.
- Estimate time to complete the task: 10 days
- Cost per one day of work: 200$
- Taxes: 20%
- Total amount to ask (10 x 200) = 2000$
- Total amount with taxes = 2000 + 2000 x 0.20 = 2400$
The cost per day can change based on various factors, such as:
- Do I have to work on the code written by someone else?
- Is a long term project or a short term project.
- Is the deadline too short?
- Is the client an indie studio or a big company?
Working as a freelance game developer is not easy at the beginning, but with a little bit of effort and patience you’ll be able to find what you need and start to work as a freelancer.
I suggest you have a look at following talk made at the 2015 unite:
You’ll have different and complete points of views about what it means to be a freelance game developer.