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Questions from composer to developers

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I'm a freelance composer with some experience in the game industry, but still in a starting point.

I'm in a process of professionalize myself, so I want to gather lots of information.

I have various questions to developers that could hire a composer, here I go:


1- Do you receive a lot of e-mails of composers? usually you feel they send copy/paste mails?

2- How you would like a composer to present himself on a mail?

3- Do you usually work with a composer that you've collaborated before and you have confidence with? or you don't mind hiring a new composer because his style fits in?

4- If you meet a composer in an exhibition and he gives you a pendrive with his work so you can check it out, is this a plus point (if you like his work) to hire him? in another scenario, he just give you his business card.

5-  When you are working with a composer and he is doing his task on his studio (outsider), how do you keep the communication fresh and the confidence in the relationship growing.

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1) No, but I also have spam filters. I suppose it is possible they could be sending me things I'm blissfully ignoring.

2) Everyone should present themselves professionally.  I expect that if I have a need to hire a composer, I would be the one contacting them.  I don't expect to have a steady stream of composers marketing themselves through spam or other email in an attempt to get business.

3) I've worked with people we have worked with in the past. It is rare to need someone new.  Note that we're talking about composing a small amount of music perhaps only a single time every year.

4) I would almost certainly not listen to it. If I get a business card I might file it.  If I get a USB drive I'm probably just going to format it and use it for temporary, throw-away storage.

5) When I am working with them I engage in a steady stream of email and video chat meetings. Depending on where we are on the project that can mean anywhere from daily face-to-face meetings to weekly face-to-face meetings, and email messages as needed but at least weekly in the most extreme case.


One key thing to remember is that most games don't have a steady need for original composition. It is a rare event, and when it is needed the job is almost always filled either by people who've been used in the past, or by people who are connected by friends or friends-of-friends. I've never heard of people reaching out to unknown strangers as music composers, that has ALWAYS been through existing connections, or through reaching out to known composers, or with friends-of-friends as the most distant for the hunt.

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No pen-drives. They are a way of delivering viruses. Business cards are fine.

Regarding communication, I don't think it has to be "fresh" - it has to be effective. The developer needs to be as clear as possible about what they want, and the composer has to check in regularly to make sure they are hitting the brief. Produce short samples or rough overviews to make sure you're on the same page - don't disappear into the studio, write a whole track, present it, and then get sad because the client doesn't like it. Ask for reference pieces if necessary. Confidence comes from repeated success - so focus on delivering that.

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Just realized I forgot to mention:  Instead of distributing a drive with music, give links to your YouTube / SoundCloud / Whatever account that features your music.  I don't want to directly plug in anything that you've got, but I trust the major web sites to give me a stream of your recordings.

I won't look at them from a spam, but if I'm in the market and looking for you, I'd expect some way to hear some demos of things you've created in the past.

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1 - No I don't, but I guess its pretty common because I am not a renowned producer neither company xD

2 - As any on-work-seeker should do. Introduction, CV/Resume and portfolio.

3 - I would give the opportunity to my well-known contacts before "risking" to a new candidate. However, if their style don't fit, I would look for a new one for sure.

4 - I prefer the business card, but I hope your website/portfolio appears there. I wouldn't contact you before getting attracted by any of your work.

5 - If he is in the same city I will meet him during the development as a any team member. If its online Skype, Slack or whatever.


In my opinion your questions are pretty weird. I would never wonder any of them to try to find a job, I mean, giving a pendrive with your work or writing each of your emails individually won't make great difference.

I am spanish, currently working in Spain, and starting your professional career in games is really hard (jodido pero es asi :(). I would recommend you to make some compositions for those webs which sells your music, maybe someone could discover you and order few songs/sounds (and who knows what could come afterwards). Also I would give a try to indies/universities projects, there are some Sony Playstation featured projects which are being released in digital format (you have to know pick the right one).

Getting visibility thanks to your work is the key imho, the other stuff is a plus.

PS: Writting customized CVs and emails for each position/vacancie is totally recommended (I always do it), but remember, the content is much more important than the continent.

Edited by NajeNDa

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