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PythonBlue

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PythonBlue    151

It appears there is no forum meant for introductions, so I may as well start here.

 

I am a game composer, but my problem is that I'm not being considered for paid work after nearly two years. While I admit the production quality could've been much better in the earlier part of that time, I'm not sure whether it's the quality of my music now (I have improved, thankfully), or whether I'm just looking in the wrong places (which would include Gamasutra).

 

Therefore, I would appreciate a critique on this piece I wrote, which is for a mod of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and the only project I was on that has received benefits.

 

http://soundcloud.com/sgtyayap404/the-great-work-the-cavern/s-q4jSf

 

It may seem to end suddenly because it's meant to loop. The mod itself includes the looped version.

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nsmadsen    5578

Hey - welcome!

 

From the one track I've heard of yours, I don't think it's a quality issue. So if you're not landing any work in a number of years, I would reevaluate how and where you're networking. So much of being successful in this job isn't actual audio creation but interacting with fellow devs, creating a good rep and being able to promote yourself, and landing work. With any kind of freelancing job, there's going to be dry spells. It happens to everyone. But if it's been multiple years, then it is a sign that something is wrong.

 

I enjoyed your loop and definitely felt it could work well within a surivival horror video game.

 

Best of luck to you,

 

Nate

Edited by nsmadsen

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PythonBlue    151
First of all, thank you for the response. I deeply appreciate it.

Yes, I think it might be a networking issue, in retrospect, though I don't know how I can promote myself any further without risking spamming people. The places I have been most active for the purpose of promoting my work and/or looking for positions are below:

Gamasutra (out of the question; it seems reserved for AAA composers with lots of experience, whereas I've only been paid once. In addition, the only job offer at the moment under audio and music doesn't even relate to audio in general!)
IndieDB (sort of the opposite problem: there are some rare opportunities, but none will pay you unless, in rare cases, you're willing to gamble with royalty-based income)
Unity3D forum (a little better than IndieDB, but not by much; my only paid project was conceived here)
TIGSource forums

Then again, to clarify: when I said I haven't been paid in nearly two years, it's been that long since I started trying to get serious with my music.

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nsmadsen    5578

Yes, I think it might be a networking issue, in retrospect, though I don't know how I can promote myself any further without risking spamming people.

 

This is the tricky thing about networking, and something that I had to learn over several years. It's so much less about the "hire me!" approach and so much more about getting to know people. This takes more time and effort. I've gotten more work by getting to know people when discussing food, games, sports, books and movies than I ever got by cold emailing or spamming. Take part in local and major conferences and events. Put a face to your name and be more concerned with getting to know people right now. Then when they need audio, they'll reach out to you.

 

Networking isn't an overnight or even over one-year kind of deal. It's a slow pressure cooker but once it gets going, it almost maintains itself (so as long as you do great work and are a pleasure to work with. :))

Best of luck!

 

Nate

Edited by nsmadsen

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MoritzPGKatz    1066
Hey there,

I think we already met over at the TIGForums? Welcome! :)

Can't add much to what Nate said, he's pretty much spot-on.

Cheers,
Moritz Edited by Moritz P.G. Katz

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PythonBlue    151
Yes, we did meet on TIGSource, MoritzPGKatz. Nice to see you, here, too!

Dan Mayor, I appreciate the honesty when it comes to my profile, reason it's not exactly interesting yet being how recently I joined combined with my time commitments.

As for the example track, I acknowledge that one track is not enough to show how much I can do. However, I only shared one at the time because I didn't want to do what you also agreed I shouldn't do: spam others, especially since it was my first post, here.

If you insist on me sharing more so soon, though, then the complete soundtrack for the mod spoken about is available for listening, here:

http://sgtyayapproductions.bandcamp.com/album/the-great-work-complete-soundtrack

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Calum Bowen    304

Hey Python Blue. I've seen you around many places. :   ) This business can be a slow burner and then all of a sudden just take off! Hold in there and maximise your chances for success! (That sounded like business spiel!) 

I've enjoyed reading through the responses here. This is a particularly interesting thread. 

I've got to echo Dan - personal relationships with devs and putting yourself out there with clean and quick links to your work is vital. In my own experience, most of the best paying work I've had has been through personal relationships. 

I'll share 2 stories which attest to this:

I worked (dare I say it) for free as one of my first projects with a guy who was making a short radio play around 2 years ago. We chatted a lot about it and enjoyed working together. Subsequently, we went on to work together on a short film he was doing - after a little miscommunication I ended up doing this for free again. Sigh, sigh, same old getting nowhere, huh? Then all of a sudden I get an e-mail from someone saying she's putting on an outdoor theatre show and she's looking for someone to make the music since their previous composer dropped out. I guess there's not much suspense in this story - of course, it was the guy I worked with previously who suggested that I work on this theatre stuff. So, because of maintaining a good personal relationship and (although this isn't amazing advice) working for free, I was able to bag a gig which flew me to italy and paid me more than I'd been paid for anything before. This year I'm touring with them again and it's all thanks to just making a friend and doing a little work.

Other story, I chatted with another composer from a game I saw on a devlog somewhere just about composition in general. We had a lot of fun conversations about composition and showed each other our work. We continued to casually chat on facebook every now and then. One night, he offered to paid me to sequence one of his compositions. Now we're going to be working together on the company's next title for some precious dollars. Just really through friendship with the baseline knowledge that the other person can do the job!

 

I think the concept that other composers are your competition is only really upheld by insecure ones. We all want everyone else to succeed really. :  ) 

 

So, for me, it's been a while but I feel I'm slowly getting towards a more steady income and this is largely due to gigs which came out of forming personal relationships with people.

So really there's been very few cases where a dev has lined up all the composers they can find and asked them to prove their worth. They know a guy or maybe they heard this guy was good from someone who worked with them previous. Equally, they may just be browsing some forums and if your profile is quick, easy and full of content, you'll be noticed. So back to the maximising your chances for success wink.png ... i guess it's just maximising your presence and the accessibility of your portfolio.

I wish you the best of luck my friend.

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