music for computer games

Hey guys

Do any of you got experience with game makers? I've been trying lately to establish some connections with various game makers over the net. No success yet. Any of you got tips? I really want to set foot in this sphere but I've sent dozens of mails to people and almost none replied. 

I got a website with my work and a growing portfolio that includes several apps soundtracks, so I have something to show

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  • I don't have experience with game makers so bear this in mind when you read what I have to say.

    I checked out your website and your sound clips.  Perhaps the jack-of-all-trades impression that I got from them isn't so appealing to game makers searching for a specific sound.  Also, the fact that they are all less than a minute probably wouldn't entice me if I were in such a position.  I'd want to hear the composer's ability to create a piece that lasted a few minutes, and I know you have your portfolio they can look at but you have to take into account that if they aren't interested by the time they reach your home page, they're less likely to take the time to check out your portfolio.

    You haven't said what specific types of games you are looking to compose for but I'd assume you're up for any type judging by your home page.  If I were searching for a composer for my video game, I'd be more likely to choose someone who specializes in the type of music I'm searching for, rather than someone who can do any style - of course if that composer made an excellent song in the style I was looking for then that would be the exception.  Your samples seem to be mostly TV oriented, as not many films or games use Lounge, Holiday Music, Oldies, etc.  Most game soundtracks have an "epic" feel to them and you only have one short sample of that style, which doesn't help your cause in searching for game producers.

  • Hey Andrew

    There is some logic to what you say as my samples on the website are for generic purposes and not only for game makers. 

    I guess it's not focused enough. The problem is that I usually write to the contact mail some company have, without knowing anyone there or who will read it. It's one in a million shot 

  • Hi,

    Just a suggestion as I am in a similar situation with film & game connections. See if you can get in touch with students that are close to finishing their degree in areas of game making. Indie games are becoming really popular. If you look at the game "Dear Esther" that made a profit in 5 hours. Most of these games are being made by people fresh out of uni, who build all their connections whilst in the degree. That is what I am doing at the moment in my course, I compose music for all the honors and 3rd year students, because when they leave and start their new projects. I want them to think of my name when they want music and for the most part this has worked. Sometimes you have to do some free work, but it does build connections.

    Best of Luck,


  • Thanks for the advice, 

    I did my share of free work, to tell you the truth. Now I'm running a business and it's more difficult to spend hours, composing something voluntarily. But yeah, it's like investing in stocks. Hoping that one day, their value will rise. 

    I'm exploring the indie games world during the past weeks. Sending emails. From what I see, most of them work on low budget projects and trying to cover everything themselves, not to spend an extra dollar on luxuray like professional soundtrack. 

  • I've had some success with games for the App store (both iPhone/iPad and Mac), purely by contacting developers by e-mail.  I've done more projects for free than I've been paid for, but I have managed to get up to a few hundred pounds to do an app on a few occasions.

    I don't think that doing these small projects will ever amount to a full income due to the low price of the apps; the developer would need to sell several hundred in order to recover just the cost of hiring a composer to create bespoke music, and the chances of recouping are relatively slim in such a competitive market.

    It's a foot in the door and a way to establish connections with developers who might go on to work for bigger budget games in the future though, and there is the opportunity to earn some money along the way, so you could always just hold out for the paid projects, even if the money is not great.  I haven't personally had any success in establishing any meaningful contact with larger development companies.

    I my experience you also need to be prepared to do sound effect work for smaller games as they do not have the budget to hire two separate guys, so if you can do both then you're far more likely to get the gig.

    I had a look at your website by the way and I'm not so sure I agree with Andrew.  I'm very impressed with your music and I think that your diversity is great.  I think if you pigeon-hole yourself to much then you'll miss out on more opportunities than you'll gain.  Perhaps something like a video showreel for computer games in addition to your current work would be more helpful in convincing developers to try you out?

  • Hey Steve. Thanks for the elaborate post first of all. A dedicated showreel might do the work better, I agree. 

    Regarding the budgets, I know that indie game makers are budget limited. But the music is usually rather simple and doesn't make much time to create.  I think they're purchasing a lot in the royalty free market

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