Hey I'm in my 4th week of studying design here in Australia and I'm quite frankly amazed you have been able to do so much. I wouldn't know where to start in this career if it hadn't been for this course.
Thank you for posting your ideas, it's inspiring and informative.
Great post bro. Very valuable indeed. One thing I would like to add here..once a designer who used to always look at pics and then start drawing the character or design asked me on advice on how to lessen development time of concept art..i told the designer study art styles and anatomy references an hour a day and develop a visual enclyclopedia in the head. Told the designer that this helps when say u have to draw a concept of a viking in a battle pose or a pig playing golf or a gothic queen within 10 mins and mail the client. I mean if u dont have the image in yur head its not possible, u cant possibly go to google, look for a perfect pic that matches client requirement and then look at the pic and draw..tht will kill the valuable repsonse time. So yeh tht artist did heed to it and feels more confident in delivery. Sorry for the blabbering here, but I thought I should share my experience with you.
- insightful mantra - I only have trouble with being a social person. the majority of clients like my designs & artistic perspective but they find it hard to relate to me personally. I've been freelancing in the film/hd industry for over 5 years working has a Grip (Setting up Lights, Stands, Equipment etc) All of my employees love the fact that I am punctual, professional and never make any excuses. Now that I am starting my own production company I am having problems with prospect clients fully trusting me. Even smiling is a huge effort. Any advice?
Though, bug tracking software, that's also quite handy to look into, especially if the website is quite interactive or has a sales element. There's plenty for free, bugzilla works pretty well. We use Element Tool at work though because of the scale.
Another consideration is setting up an NDA in case clients don't want anything shown or announced before a certain date etc.
For large projects, you might want to consider milestone payments, 1/3 up front, 1/3 for design and basic functionality, 1/3 for when live or whatever seems appropriate for the size of the task. Something like this is far more prudent in my line of work at least.
Envious of those willing to risk the freelance track, as I'm far to conservative and prefer the stability of a steady pay cheque and not have to worry about running a business...and who'd thought stability and games industry would be in the same sentence *l*