Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 29, 2012
Hi guys,

For the last 7 months we've been developing a social word and number game, called 'What it Takes', using developers based in India.

I'm not going to lie, the experience has been pretty horrendous.

However, despite the less than smooth experience (we've had to be extremely resourceful), we're only about a month away from releasing into the AppStore (we're fairly certain that any disgraceful workmanship has been improved / fixed / removed).

Anyway, the complexity of the game is similar to 'Words With Friends' or 'Scramble With Friends', and despite giving the development company an extremely detailed requirements document before agreeing contractual terms, they have consistently been unable to deliver, and as a result, the project is over 4 months late.

We're also releasing the game early without 4 milestones worth of functionality(!) so realistically, the project is actually about a year behind.

Have any of you guys had experiences (good or bad) with outsourcing for cheap devs? I'm interested to hear your opinions and experiences.

Similarly, if there is anyone thinking about outsourcing for cheap devs, i'd be happy to impart some of my wisdom gained by dealing with these morons for 7 months, who certainly don't have What it Takes.



macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2011
There is no joy in outsourcing for cheap developers.

You need to go with an established company and speak personally with at least 10 customers with apps in the App Store.

Any fewer direct referrals and you are cheating yourself.

Call the referral at their listed business not let the software developer hook you up - otherwise you will be talking to uncles and cousins...

Outsourcing can be done, you just need to do due diligence.


macrumors member
May 24, 2009
This is common. If you're going to outsource anything overseas be prepared to work hard at getting what you want on time and working as you described.

Most companies overseas will bid below US companies to get the job regardless of the work involved and because they got you invested; you'll probably continue to pay them to finish what they can.

Bottom line, you get what you pay for. Stay in the USA. I'm a game developer, in the USA (Chicago). If you have another game project you need shoot me a PM and we can discuss it.

Sorry you had a bad experience, but this is really common when going to a cheaper developer overseas.



macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 29, 2012

Thanks for your suggestions and replies. Acquiring a referral list is something i hadn't thought about. I've learned a lot myself from the whole process, which i'll certainly carry forward into the next project (i'm completely undecided whether i'll ever outsource to a non-Western company again - probably not), along with some of these suggestions - these should hopefully enable me to complete the project in the most efficient way possible, whoever i decide to use.

Anyway, the project is finished and we're just awaiting approval from the App Store.

The project has cost us around $13,000 in total (including graphics, development, sounds, video), which is incredible really, considering the complexity of the project.

Our teaser trailer for 'What it Takes' can be seen here:

Have a watch and see what you think. We're extremely proud of the game, and for $13,000 (and a ridiculous amount of effort) we think that it was certainly worth the money!

Of course, if you're into word and number games, give our Facebook page a 'Like' ( news about the game and it's release date - it should only be a week now! The game is free, so everyone's a winner!

Thanks guys ,



macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
Hi guys,

For the last 7 months we've been developing a social word and number game, called 'What it Takes', using developers based in India.

Lolz :)) Well, common wisdom is to avoid outsourcing any IT development to India. They may be cheap - but you get what you pay for.

The Indian devs have even needed to run an ad campaign in the Finnish paper Uusi Suomi some month ago to repair their broken reputation in Finland.

BTW, speaking of Finland, the article at states that outsourcing coding to India have proved to be 35% more expensive than doing the same with Finnish programmers because of the errors, bad communication etc.


macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
Dark Castle
You get what you are paying.
India in the professional world is the major league of over promising and under delivering.
They never say no, and will always say yes, we will do that sir.
Just be sure to have non-compete and the ongoing support ready.
I am very curious to know how are you planning on supporting the app after it is released?
WHat kind of standards you requested them to have a code that is maintainable and transferable to be supported by somebody else?
How they will not ripoff your game and release it as their game?

- rob -

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2012
Oakland, CA
+1 on the get what you pay for. Although, it appears like you have still gotten quite far on the small development cost, I'm curious who did the graphics and how that played into your costs beyond development.

I checked out the trailer, and I recommend having another go at it. Whatever you're game does was not well communicated in the video.

Read the words in your trailer out loud and see if they communicate something easy to understand and fun sounding. For example, "Numbers Rounds: 1 minute, 6 numbers. Reach the Target!" means absolutely nothing to me. "Conundrum rounds: You have 1 minute to solve the anagram!" makes much more sense.

I recommend your trailer spend more time on the gameplay, leave off the trophies stuff (which is expected from games now), and use a simpler words in the gameplay. You use the words "Nutsier" and "Tritoma." People are already trying to figure out what you're game does, have more familiar words used in your gameplay examples.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.