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5 Top Tips from a Freelance Game Programmer

1 min read

I recently reconnected with an old friend who’s been a Freelance GameProgrammer for many years, I asked him what advice he could give tosomeone just starting out and here’s his toptips:I particularly like his ethos: “value-for-money & minimum hassle”, because contractors/freelancers have a general reputation for being otherwise (Expensive & demanding)Rhys Twelves, 12 Code Monkeys Ltd, UKhttp://uk.linkedin.com/in/rhystwelvesHere’sRhys’ reply: The only real tips I have are:- 1. If you can, try to avoid VAT registration due to the overhead ofquarterly returns, and the VAT man being able to audit you morereadily.(unless you employ someone to sort this all out) 2. Get a good accountant, they are worth their weight in gold, as theyknow what you can/cannot claim for as a legitimate business expense, andgive could advice as to where to invest your profits. 3. Make yourself as flexible as possible. Making games is still a blackart (in terms of production especially) and so plans will almostcetainly change from milestone to milestone. For a contractor/freelancerit is important that you can adapt with the project (within reason). If5 days/week becomes 6 or even 7, then you should already have plansafoot that can support the change. It’s a second-guessing game, but it’sworth it. 4. In my experience, being flexible can be more valuable to productionthan being fast/excellent at your work. If a producer knows they canrely on you to be in the office on any given Sunday, they’ll take thatover having to find work for you from somewhere because you finishedyour milestones early. 5. To be honest Simeon, I’m still learning as I go along, and differentcompanies have different needs & expectations, but my ethos (if you cancall it that) is to be “value-for-money & minimum hassle”, and onlybecause contractors/freelancers have a general reputation for beingotherwise (Expensive & demanding).Rhys is a top bloke and I highly recommend him for any programming taskyou’ve got. You’ll be amazed at the knowledge Rhys has, how insightfulhis views are and just how quickly and well he solves problems. Rhys isworth his weight in gold.