RDI Studio Blog

Three C's of Working as a Remote Designer

Posted by Todd Rivers on November 20, 2015

If design is an expression of an individual’s and/or a team’s collective experience, then, in today’s world, great design can be created anywhere and by anyone...reliant upon three important factors: collaboration, creativity, and communication.

It is for that very principle that I am motivated to become a part of Toptal’s Freelance Game Designer’s Community...a community that I only recently stumbled upon...yet one that appears to understand what it means to find good and meaningful work as a remote, freelance designer.

In 2003, I had returned to my home state of Montana; and, I had found a home...a place to live, work, and play...that I absolutely loved. I was finally content with where I lived and the design work I performed. I also had fifteen years of product design work under my belt...collaborative, creative work performed for employers, large and small.

In 2009, after a few more years of working for a casino gaming company, located in Bozeman, I felt secure enough financially to start RDI Studio, my own freelance, interactive design studio. At the time, I was eager to start designing and selling my own interactive products and helping others to do the same.

Holding firm to the belief that great design could be done anywhere, I courted employers and clients that would allow me to work remotely from my home studio. I concentrated on designing casino games, an industry that I had grown to know quite well.

During the first few years of operating as RDI Studio, some employers and clients were receptive to the idea of remote work, once they had seen my design work; and, I am very grateful for that. But, to this day, I still encounter corporate and private head hunters that appear to have no appreciation for remote work. Going forward, I will continue to ask them if remote work is possible; but, I am afraid that those individuals and companies are still mired in an old-fashioned world of resumes and an employer / employee dichotomy.

I believe all is not lost, however. Within the last two years, I have personally witnessed what I believe to be a new era for remote workers. There appears to be a whole new breed of businesses embracing remote communication...instant messaging, video teleconferencing, and online project management...tools that break down the communication barriers that once existed for remote workers. Now, diligent, responsible, creative, and collaborative individuals have an opportunity to take part in great design projects, remotely. Perhaps the last hurdle for remotely located designers is getting potential clients to put down the resumes and start looking at the portfolios.