Margot Finds Her Voiceelance_rupa | May 06, 2008
Paul Ranson, Founder and CEO of UK-based Slam Productions, creates computer and video games for game consoles such as Sony PS2 and Nintendo Wii. The company was founded in 2007, and has created many video games - Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Telly Addicts, and Top Trumps, to name a few.
Margot - Lead Character
Margot's Wordbrain Game
When a downturn in the video game industry prompted Paul to streamline staffing from 12 to 4 in-house employees, he turned to Elance to find and hire creative talent to help fill in the gaps of his newly slimmed down team. The in-house Slam Productions team is now completely comprised of programming talent.
To make the new streamlined staffing model work, Paul also changed the type of games produced. “I changed my business model to focus on a more casual gaming product so that the games were easy to explain to outsourced talent and the projects were discrete tasks that did not interfere with our in-house development timeline,” Paul said.
The most recent example of how this new business model worked is with the new game, Margot’s Wordbrain, due for release in the UK on June 27. Paul hired an Elance provider, Leah Frederick (username: lafrederick), for the voice of Margot, the lead video game character.
“Margot is a character meant to sound like a game show host. We were searching for a specific voice – American, bubbly, perky – to explain how to play the game and to interact with the players. I would have found it difficult to commission this project locally in the UK,” said Paul.
“Working remotely with Leah on this project went extremely well. We were in different time zones, which actually worked quite well for both of us. I would assign something to her as my day was ending and it would be ready for me by the time I came back in the morning.”
“If I were to work with someone locally on this, I would have had to manage all of the recording in one pass, primarily because most recording professionals I’ve worked with in the past insist on using a particular recording studio. By outsourcing the voice work to Leah, I was able to get extra voice bits redone more easily,” said Paul.
“I also avoided the logistical hassle of getting people together by outsourcing these projects. I’m getting better quality work, and on top of that, this process is more convenient.”