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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinesshow does consulting work?
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marshmonkey
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« on: November 15, 2007, 12:05:45 AM »

I have a fair amount of experience as a games artist, and in the near future I might be considering offering my knowledge and experience for hire.  The only problem is that I'm not really completely sure what exactly consulting entails.  I have heard of people doing it all the time, but I haven't ever seen exactly what tasks or information these consultants provide.  Is it as simple as answering the client's questions for a fee?  Does it require actually completing work for the client?  If so, why isn't it simply freelancing?

Anyone with some experience or knowledge on consulting in the games space that could shed some light on this would be much appreciated.
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frosty
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2007, 12:54:45 AM »

My take as an indie dev who has contracted some work out (music), and also worked on a contract basis as a programmer in the corporate world...

First, there are consulting companies (e.g. Accenture) and there are freelance consultants.  With the former, you'd be an employee of the consulting company working on-site at a client company.  As the latter, you're a business owner.

Second, you'd probably be more of a contractor.  The difference between a contractor and a consultant is pretty well explained here:
http://www.itworld.com/Man/3859/ITW344/

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a Contractor is a self-employed independent businessperson who agrees (contracts) to do work for another usually for a fixed price... The individual hiring the contractor defines the desired results and the schedule... The Contractor generally retains control over the work to be done including the means and methods used to do the job, the scheduling of the underlying work, who performs the work and determines how the work will get done within the standards and time requirements set. A contractor will generally use his own tools and work equipment and may employ others to do the work for them.

As an artist, you will probably always be providing work. As a developer, the only "advice" I would need from an artist would be in the form of UI mockups or concept art.

A bit of advice: Don't let anyone ask you to work for free, or for just "exposure", and don't join any of those so-called contests where they essentially get 10 artists to provide work and only pay for one.  There's nothing wrong with offering indie-friendly rates, but I see too many freelancers offer work for free to build up their portfolio, which devalues the work of all other freelance artists/musicians trying to make a living, IMO. 

You might also want to visit the IndieGamer forum where many freelancers hang out.

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marshmonkey
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2007, 02:11:49 AM »

that sounds synonymous with freelancing then.  What about a situation where a company  might need direction on how to set up a graphical pipeline, or needs to know what kind of people with what kind of skillsets they need to hire to complete a job.  Companies that are new to games space or such.  Something that requires the direction of someone with experience rather than the actual task to be completed.  I've always thought that consulting was dealing more with that kind of thing.
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frosty
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 01:06:05 PM »

Yeah, that would be consulting. 

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that sounds synonymous with freelancing then.

Consulting/contracting describes your relationship with the client (the kind of work to be done).  Freelancing just means that you're in business for yourself.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 01:09:44 PM by frosty » Logged

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