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Finding projects to work on

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I have been looking a lot lately to find composing work, sometimes not even paid but just contributing a few tracks to a project to get credited but I'm not sure where to look, I've made some posts on reddit but couldn't find much recently. I love making music but don't really know a lot about the industry but from what I can imagine its quite a small community of composers that get the majority of work and projects to work on and directors and developers will keep coming back to these composers time and time again.

Which is fair enough, they don't usually want to take a risk with an unknown, it just seems theres a lot more supply than demand with composing work, although any insights would be appreciated. I mainly like to do transcriptions and piano arrangements of videogame music but would also like to compose some music for original projects too if I get the chance.

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Getting work is a long process that can require a good bit of focus and effort. What you have to do is put together a demo reel and a website that captures someone's attention. Then you need to start becoming active in various game dev communities, both in person and online. 

Since you do transcriptions and arrangements, take a look at some of the successful Youtubers that do the same thing. Study their approach and how they're marketing themselves, both on Youtube directly as well as their own websites and other forms of social media. It is very normal to throw out 10 inquiries and only get about 1-2 bites back. And those bites may not even end up working out!! 

Networking and PR is all about the slow burn, long game. Don't expect to land work right away but rather slowly build up a presence and a solid reputation. There's a ton of stuff about SEO and such to consider and learn. Do some homework and start figuring out ways to market and make yourself known. 

I hope that helps! 

Nate

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All I can add is that the issues identified in your initial post are exactly right. The amount of audio work per game is small relative to the total amount of code, art, and design work, so it's possible for the whole industry to be adequately served by a relatively small and elite set of composers.

It might be possible to get your foot in the door by looking at games currently under development - e.g. by browsing the Indie Projects forum here, or even looking at Kickstarter - and seeing if your work would be a good fit for these games. These games are much more likely than most to have no composer lined up yet, so they may be more open to suggestions. The downside is that they may not ship at all. :) (Ensure all your rights revert to you, in that event.)

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