• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Cattle Calls

0 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

Here are a few helpful (hopefully!!) tips regarding cattle calls, but first let's make sure everyone understands what a cattle call is:[i] It's when a project offers up an open ended invitation to have everyone compose for their project and then they pick the selection(s) they like.[/i] There are more cons than pros, in my opinion and I'll briefly outline them all below:

[b]The pros:[/b]

- you can get your music placed in the game, although it could be a long shot.

- you can potentially get heard by new clients and create a new working relationship.

[b]The cons:[/b]

- it puts all of the work/effort on the composer/sound designer.

- it strips out the negoitation process, instead you have to sign on to their terms regardless if they're reasonable or not.

- the odds are you'll be creating work that will not be used. This is especially true if it's a higher tier project as music libraries literally have thousands of cues they can submit. It's very easy to get lost in the shuffle.

- it perpetuates the notion that a composer/sound designer's time isn't worth anything, only the content.

- it removes any collaboration between the client and the audio provider. Instead the client just browses through the files and picks what they want. Personally, I love game development because of the team effort across all disciplines.

[b]Some tips:[/b]

- if you have some pre-existing music that is available for non-exclusive licensing, then it might not be a bad thing. After all many of us submit cues to placement libraries.

- ALWAYS read the terms very closely. I remember a cattle call by the WB not too long ago where the terms listed that ALL submissions would be owned by WB regardless if they were picked or not. That's really not cool. In that case, cues not selected would basically be free music for WB. In some cases "cash prizes" for selected cues may only be paid out after (or if) the project reaches a certain revenue goal. In other words there's a chance a winning cue might not even get paid if the project sells poorly.

- consider the situation. If you're up for a shot at composing the next Star Wars[i] thing[/i], then it could be an awesome chance! But if this is a small company that you're never heard of, then it could just be a lazy developer. Remember to always look at the terms offered and decide if the property, client and rates are worth it enough. Remember that for all of your work, time and passion, you could walk away with nothing.

[b]The ideal situation:[/b]

In a perfect world a client would seek out several composers/sound designers who's work inspires [b]them[/b]. This client would then chat with each potential audio dude and see if the timing, content and budget works for both sides. They'd then pick who they want to work with, draw up a contract and work begins. During production the client and audio folk(s) would work closely together to keep everything on budget, schedule as well as on the mark.

Cattle calls are not this kind of situation for all of the reasons listed above. It takes all of the work/effort and places it on the composer while putting all of the power (regarding time frame, rates paid, usage) and puts it in the hands of the client. Instead of a negoitation and a mutual understanding, the audio folks are forced into these terms if they want to take part. My advice would be to practice extreme caution when you see one of these things.

Hope that helps,

Nate Edited by nsmadsen

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0