Today we got to visit Glass Egg Digital Media, a video game/3D art outsourcing company. They basically make photo realistic cars for almost every big racing game being produced currently, and they have started to move into making environments as well as cars. They have done work for a multitude of big name video game producers, and also many other types of companies who had a need for 3D modelling.
After talking to the COO we learned about how they got into doing the art for car video games. Glass Egg originally struggled because of the stylization of vague characters varies from person to person. For example, when a game developer asked for them to make a “dark elf” the Vietnamese artist and the video game producer would probably have totally different ideas of what that meant and so Glass Egg had to figure out how to eliminate the creative differences between what the client wanted and what the artist imagined. Thus they settled on realistic cars, which don’t require much artistic freedom to make, a 1962 Austin Healy Sprite is always going to look the same, which means less confusion for the artists and everyone being on the same page.
Glass Egg mainly focuses on vehicles currently, but they are trying to move back towards environments and even characters, and in order to combat the issues with creative development, they require clients to be extremely specific in what they want a character to look like.
Glass Egg’s location in Vietnam is entirely because of how inexpensive Vietnam is compared to China or Japan or even America. There is a downside to Vietnam though in that game makers who wish to outsource would rather go to one place and see lots of firms. For example if they went to China they could go to one city and find ten companies that do video game outsourcing, Vietnam probably has a total of 10 video game outsourcing companies total which makes it a lot less desireable to visit. Even after the game starts being produced often times visits by the clients can assuage confusion or worry, but since a lot of their clients are in the US or Europe, it is a little difficult to fly all the way to Vietnam, but they’re also generally huge companies that can afford it.
Besides currently expanding their product offerings Glass Egg has expanded by moving into new markets, specifically Japanese game development. In order to do that they had to hire native speaking Japanese staff and travel to Tokyo regularly. They are not currently trying to expand into any new areas specifically, their main focus is on expanding towards non-vehicle art.