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How to start "from zero"? What steps to do to get into game music composing?

Haakond

Active Member
That's great advice. How did you/would you go about reaching out to developers and companies without coming across as needy while also trying to outshine the hundreds of other emails they likely get? Would you include a link to your music for them to listen to?
I usually start with checking out their game and if they have released something before. Then I always start with something like "Your game looks great, I love the.....etc". But I never write something I don't mean, I am always honest. I also always link to my website, Soundcloud, and a demo reel from YouTube so they can check it out with as few clicks as possible. I might even link to some stuff that I have previously done that could fit in their game.

It is really hard to stand out. The devs I know could probably get 10-15 requests from different composers each week, even more. I try to be as polite as I can, without forcing myself to them. I never write "I will make your soundtrack", but more like "I want to use this opportunity to offer my services". Then I write something about me, what style I usually do. I might also offer to make a free test track, to test stuff out.
 

fourier

Member
It is really hard to stand out. The devs I know could probably get 10-15 requests from different composers each week, even more. I try to be as polite as I can, without forcing myself to them. I never write "I will make your soundtrack", but more like "I want to use this opportunity to offer my services". Then I write something about me, what style I usually do. I might also offer to make a free test track, to test stuff out.

Is this the case here in Norway, too? My frame of reference is more than ten years old, but back then it would be hardfought to come across a multitude of gaming composers.
 

Haakond

Active Member
Is this the case here in Norway, too? My frame of reference is more than ten years old, but back then it would be hardfought to come across a multitude of gaming composers.
Hey, a fellow Norwegian! :2thumbs: I actually dont have much experience with the Norwegian game industry. It seems that the biggest games have composers from outside of Norway, but the smaller collaborations often come from game jams. I have a friend that is leading one company on Trondheim, I can ask him on where he finds his composers
 

karelpsota

send nudes
Randomly reading college bulletin boards!

One note said: "we're a small team a video game designers, any help welcome."

Sent an email. Ended doing a lot of music with them. No budget of course.
But later... after working on 3 games that never saw the day... The ball got rolling, and I started getting paid.

As others have mentioned, doing sound design on the side definitely is a plus.

@AlexRuger probably has some good tips too. I always see him with video game gigs.
I think he got a Wwise license at one point too.
 
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node01

New Member
If you collaborate on a game from the game jam and that game gets a release or somehow is making a profit out of it, what happens to the copyright to your music? Will the programmer keep all of your rights?
 

Haakond

Active Member
If you collaborate on a game from the game jam and that game gets a release or somehow is making a profit out of it, what happens to the copyright to your music? Will the programmer keep all of your rights?
This varies from project to project. Some devs like to do a full buyout, and get all the income from the soundtrack after release. This is not a very popular solution for composers, so if you do this, raise your rate so you get compensated for the loss of income after game release.
However, most devs are cool guys, from my experience. They totally understand that YOU made the music, and let you have the ownership of it yourself. I usually give them exclusive rights to use the music for anything related to the game, and they pay me per minute of music and I keep 100% ownership of the music and earn streaming and soundtrack sales money.
 

Henu

Senior Member
I usually give them exclusive rights to use the music for anything related to the game, and they pay me per minute of music and I keep 100% ownership of the music
Yeah, this is definitely the way to go if it's possible. Bigger companies want in 99% of the cases a full buyout to avoid any legal problems in the future, but smaller devs should have no problem with that.
 

Haakond

Active Member
Yeah, this is definitely the way to go if it's possible. Bigger companies want in 99% of the cases a full buyout to avoid any legal problems in the future, but smaller devs should have no problem with that.
Yes, it seems as bigger the company gets, the more control they want over the outsourced services.
I think things like the licenses from GTA games, and especially Super Meat Boy scared a lot of devs, thinking giving the composer the full ownership will potentially go wrong
 
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