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Advice for pro composer moving into games


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#21 bschmidt1962   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1781

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 10:58 PM

When you're talking about "lower-paid" indie games, is it possible to give me an idea of the sort of fees you're talking about?

 

Those are all over the place.  Anything from "zero" to a few thousand dollars.  Kickstarter changed things up a bit--its not uncommon to see music specifically called out as a reason they need funds, or as a specific stretch goal.

I put "zero" in quotes because of course working for nothing is idiotic of course.  But often an indy game developer may be able to offer something besides cash-- i.e. perhaps you need a new logo designed, or a web site refresh.  Sometimes bartering is all they have and if it's something you need, then it may be worth it..

 

An indy game is also one of the very very few places you may ever get offered back end sales royalties.  It is  virtually unheard of in the "normal" game industry.  (Yes, that wasn't always the case, but today it isn't done).  At that point, you have to decide whether you think you'll ever get anything?  chances are, you'll get very little (average game on iTunes makes only about  $4000 over its lifetime according to Forbes).  And that's an average number.  The median is far far less.  (If you have one angry birds, you have 4,000 games that make virtually nothing and that makes the average 4,000 per app).

 

You have a really nice demo-- that its a live orchestra demo is definitely in your favor (Prague?) since most are virtual.  As far as style, developers want someone who can write, produce and create the emotion they want to convey.  I wouldn't worry about it not being 'game music' enough.  (A lot of people think there's far too much Carmina Burana in games anyway! :P)..

 

+1 for hanging out at Unity (virtually).  It is certainly possible to network via forums, etc.  Takes longer to build up trust, etc, but there are some great communities.


Brian Schmidt

Executive Director, GameSoundCon:

GameSoundCon 2014:October 7-8, Los Angeles, CA

 

Founder, EarGames

Founder, Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC

Music Composition & Sound Design

Audio Technology Consultant


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#22 jamiesalisbury   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:42 PM

Thanks Brian.

One more GDC question if you don't mind - do you have any idea roughly how many exhibitors there will be at GDC Next as opposed to GDC?

The GDC Next website mentions GDC Online 2012 having 100+ exhibitors and 2,800 attendees, but I'm not sure exactly what the relationship is between GDC Online and GDC Next.

The GDC website states 23,000 attendees and I can't find the amount of exhibitors.

 

If GDC is that much bigger, I'll probably wait until March.


 



#23 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9108

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:09 PM


If GDC is that much bigger, I'll probably wait until March.

 

GDC is that much bigger.


-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#24 jamiesalisbury   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:27 PM

Ok,I'll wait until March then. Perhaps I'll see some of you there.

Thanks for the help all!

#25 bschmidt1962   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1781

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 09:16 AM

 Perhaps I'll see some of you there.

 

Definitely say 'hi'!


Brian Schmidt

Executive Director, GameSoundCon:

GameSoundCon 2014:October 7-8, Los Angeles, CA

 

Founder, EarGames

Founder, Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC

Music Composition & Sound Design

Audio Technology Consultant


#26 AlexJones   Members   -  Reputation: 116

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 05:47 AM

Hey! 

 

I was also at Game Music Connect...so on the subject of you not playing games for 10 years I heard on multiple occasions their advice was to play games! They all knew each others work and had played games and had to answer questions on what their favourite games were! 

 

But the question is why do you want to write music for video games if you don't play/like them? :)



#27 jamiesalisbury   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 12:45 PM

Hi Alex, I explained earlier in the thread - I love playing games, I've just avoided them for 10 years because if anything I enjoyed them too much and played for too long. Needed to concentrate on composing at the time, didnt occur to me I could combine the two :-)

#28 jamiesalisbury   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 04:30 PM

Hi all, resurrecting this old thread with some more questions and some news! I'm almost certainly going to attend GDC in March. If anyone can answer any of the following questions I'd be grateful:

1. How many days should I allow to be there to take best advantage? I can't imagine wandering around an exhibition for more than 2 days at the most to be honest.

2. Will standard EXPO pass tickets be sufficient for my needs, i.e networking? I'm sure the audio lectures are great, but it's a lot extra and finances are currently tight.

3. Are there any events that I should be aware of while choosing my dates? 
4. Any recommended hotels? Again - budget is reasonably tight.

News is I've just completed a soundtrack for a tablet game for a big name developer. I'm hoping it will be out by GDC time. So that'll be a good conversation starter at least!

 


Edited by jamiesalisbury, 06 January 2014 - 04:46 PM.


#29 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9108

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 05:06 PM

1. How many days should I allow to be there to take best advantage? I can't imagine wandering around an exhibition for more than 2 days at the most to be honest.
2. Will standard EXPO pass tickets be sufficient for my needs, i.e networking?
5. News is I've just completed a soundtrack for a tablet game for a big name developer. I'm hoping it will be out by GDC time. So that'll be a good conversation starter at least!


1. Be there Wednesday and Thursday. Those are the two best days.
2. Should be.
5. Don't start conversations with that. Mostly what you need to do is exchange business cards and be a good listener. Read FAQ 54. http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson54.htm
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#30 jamiesalisbury   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 05:19 PM

Quite right, "conversation starter" was the wrong phrase! I've read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" so I should know better ;-)

FAQ 54 is excellent thanks. No chest hair or neck ties!


Edited by jamiesalisbury, 06 January 2014 - 05:28 PM.





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