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Jonah-B

Well into my first full game soundtrack. Any advice for advancing after this project?

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So I've been working on this original soundtrack lately:

 

http://jonahsmusic.leadhoster.com/index.php?sel=01Game%20Soundtracks/Specter#content

 

This is my first full game soundtrack. Up until this point I've had some success licensing some commercial stock music, but this game is by far my biggest project yet. The game is still pretty far from completion, but my side of work is fairly caught up and track requests are coming at a slow pace. This down time has got me thinking about what to do after the project's release. This is a pretty solid project and I'm happy to be on board, but right now it's a spare time kinda thing because the project is currently unpaid. They are working on no budget but hoping to see an eventual commercial release via steam, but until (and if) that happens I'm receiving no compensation. That's fine with me as I understand that I have to start somewhere, but this stuff is very time consuming for being something that's tantamount to being a mere hobby.

 

I'm hoping that adding this project to my portfolio will finally open the ears of some more established game developers that can actually afford audio resources. Is this a realistic expectation? I know the soundtrack isn't perfect and I still have some learning to do. I also feel that it kind of hurts my chances not having any fancy arts degrees to tout. Regardless, I would like to start making more of a presence in the game developer community in the hopes of getting some paid jobs. What should I be focusing on to advance my career in the right direction? I understand that I'm not likely to be leaving my crappy nine to five anytime soon (if ever), but I would like to at least continue heading up the ladder after this.

 

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I can't give you any advice on this. Just dropping by to say I really enjoyed the music! Well done!

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1. I'm hoping that adding this project to my portfolio will finally open the ears of some more established game developers that can actually afford audio resources. Is this a realistic expectation?
2. I also feel that it kind of hurts my chances not having any fancy arts degrees to tout.
3. Regardless, I would like to start making more of a presence in the game developer community
4. in the hopes of getting some paid jobs.
5. What should I be focusing on to advance my career in the right direction? I understand that I'm not likely to be leaving my crappy nine to five anytime soon (if ever), but I would like to at least continue heading up the ladder after this.


Hi, Jonah.
1. It's a small Steam game that hasn't been greenlit yet, by an unheard-of developer (I googled Zepp Games and turned up no website). I'd say no, not realistic.
2. As a rule, you shouldn't trust "feelings." This isn't Star Wars, Luke. But yes, not having a degree can be bad -- depending on what country you live in and what kind of work you're trying to get. You're trying to get work as a game composer, I take it. You may not need a music degree to get that, for reasons I'll get into with your next questions.
3. To make more of a presence, network and work on more games. See the FAQs: http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16
4. By your use of the word "jobs" it sounds like you're aware that game musician is usually a freelance thing rather than a full-time job with one company. Freelance work is more like going into business for yourself than getting a job. As such, some questions that you might ask as follow-ups might actually better be asked in the business forum. Or the Music and Sound forum. And the process of selecting a vendor is different from the process of selecting an employee (thus the degree, a Human Resources filter, is less of a factor since vendors are selected by producers or music directors rather than HR).
5. Keep doing what you're doing. In a sense, your question #1 is, "is my portfolio good enough now," and the answer to that is no, because (as one of the FAQs says) nothing is ever enough. You need to continue building your portfolio and your contacts and your business. Edited by Tom Sloper

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Thank you for the reply, Tom!

 

I understand the game I'm currently scoring is far from being a big release and it's not likely to turn any heads my way. I'm more or less thinking of it as being something I can point to when putting together a pitch for a developer. Up until this point I've pretty much done nothing but stock audio. I wasn't sure if having something more relevant in my portfolio would help developers take me more seriously or not. Guess your answer is it's probably not enough to make a difference. :D

 

 

 

And the process of selecting a vendor is different from the process of selecting an employee (thus the degree, a Human Resources filter, is less of a factor since vendors are selected by producers or music directors rather than HR).

 

That's an interesting point. I certainly understand that a good portfolio and a presence in the right place makes all of the difference. Try telling that to someone that's bidding on a job at Freelancer against a bunch of people flailing their degrees around. I know you're right though. A music director cares a lot more about portfolio and experience than anything else. I just need to stick it out and continue building my portfolio and networking.

 

Again, thanks for your reply. That link you posted seems particularly helpful. I'll read over it. Thanks!  :)

 

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