The growing number of video games on all platforms creates a vast amount of career opportunities within the creative industries, including audio and sound producers, composers or songwriters.
As a composer or sound producer, there are many career paths that you can take, either within the Music industry, Film & TV Industry, and of course in the Game Design industry. As creative industry experts, we work closely with Game Design and Sound Production professionals. Therefore, we have written some tips to help you find your perfect audio job in the gaming industry.
Learn the differences between the film & TV sound production roles and the Game Design sound production roles, as they each have their own quirks. Play a wide variety of video games to get an idea of what sounds make a game better, and what the most popular games are doing. Be ready for a potential employer to ask you "What do you think is one of the better sounding games out there right now?".
Create a quality demo reel
Portfolios and showreels are important in pretty much any creative industry role, but they are all presented differently. To make your demo reel stand out, swap current game music with your own, to demonstrate the strength of your gaming audio, rather than just mp3 files. Make sure your demo reel is readily available online and demonstrates a variety of different gaming formats and sounds to showcase your abilities as a composer.
Want to study Game Design at JMC?
Network, Network, and network some more
As Ram Castillo said in one of our previous blogs 'How to get a job in the Creative Industry', "It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you."
Don’t just walk up to someone with your demo reel and shove it in their face. Build connections, build relationships. One of the best places to start is right here during your course at JMC. Mix with the game development students, after all, it will be games like theirs you will be wanting to work with in the future. They are readily available connections.
Work for free
As you are learning, you can’t expect to be paid as much as the professionals. Offer your services to get your name out there and known. Again, talk to current game development students to assist with the music on their games. Not only do you get the practice of working on the music for a new game, but once it is finished, you will have more work for your demo reel.
The two most widely used game audio design tools are WWise from Audiokinetic and FMOD studio from Firelight technologies. Download them (they’re free) and start playing around with them.
You are not only creating a linear soundtrack. You are creating a soundtrack that needs to be able to react to what the gamer is doing. You are not creating a piece of music that someone will sit and purposefully listen to, you are creating a sound track that enhances the players experience. This includes the ambient environments they will explore, the items and entities that they will encounter and interact with and all the sounds that they would hear in the virtual world.