The video game industry is a booming industry now that technology has become part of our everyday lives.
This has created an opening for video game composers to make money in this industry. One of the frequently asked questions by newbie video game composers is “Where do video game composers work”?
The majority of video game composers work remotely from their homes as independent contractors because full time jobs are quite difficult to secure. However, some composers may land jobs at a software companies to work on video games in-house.
How do I get a job composing music for video games?
Send Applications to Software companies
One of the easiest routes to go for a composer looking to get work is to send out applications to software companies.
This will require doing some research on your part to basically find a company that you think would be a good fit for you.
Software companies may have a strict hiring policy which will require
experience on your part in various composition areas such as writing, orchestration and so on.
Plus, a good portfolio of the work you’ve done will definitely come in handy
because essentially you’re going to have to prove your worth and how much value you’ll be able to deliver to the company.
Network and Build connections
Another great way of finding gigs as a composer is by building connections through networking.
Networking and meeting people in the industry can be a great source of knowledge and a way to put yourself out there.
The fact is, the world of music composers is made up of people, the more you can connect with these people, the more you can establish your brand, build relationships, make connections and learn more.
Therefore, good social skills and the will to get deeper into the industry will most likely land you a job or atleast connect you to people that can help you land a gig.
Establish a solid reputation
Through networking, you’ll get to meet a lot of people, that’s why its key to have a demo with you so you can pass it on to them.
If your stuff is good enough, you’ll essentially get your name out there and people will trust your work.
This rapport is what is essential in building a reputation because word about you can easily spread out there.
The more people know about you, the more likely you’ll get hired.
If you do get a client, make sure to over deliver and give tons of value because a client’s working experience with you will determine what they say about you.
You don’t want them saying you’re not a good person to work with.
So always bear in mind that treating a client the right way and doing great work will go a long way because a single client can lead you to other clients that can lead you to more clients.
Find inner circle contacts
Your job as someone looking for work as a composer will be finding your way into the industry.
Networking and building relationships will certainly help but what will be even more important is your ability to identify the “big fish” in your networks.
These are people that have great connections and are high up in the industry food chain such as Software company composers, HR’s and so on.
The more you can get these high profile people to listen to your work, the easier they can help you easily land a job.
Do Video composers get paid royalties?
A royalty is what is paid to a musician when there music sold or performed. For video game music,
there is no public performance and the compositions are exclusively licensed to the video game company therefore there are no royalties paid to the composer.
However, an upfront fee is paid to them because it constitutes work for hire and the fee paid is the work-for-hire fee.
How do I get into composing for video games?
For you to get into the video game music production world, you’ll need to have a strong background and knowledge of music.
You have to be able to not only possess skills of music, but also be skilled in creating music for video, motion picture and images.
This is very important because you’ll be telling a story with the music you compose for video games.
Here are some key elements that will help you:
Knowledge of Music Theory
Most composers overlook music theory because they have the impression that it’s not as important.
This is partly true for people that are only in music production but for video game composing, it is an entirely different ball game.
Music for video games will sometimes require heavy orchestration and compositions.
Therefore having solid knowledge of music theory will make it that much easier for you to work on highly musical and technical aspects of video game composition.
You need to learn how to use a Digital Audio Workstation because you’ll be required to compose music in it.
Software companies that develop games may sometimes require you to work remotely and just send them your work.
Therefore having an understanding of DIGITAL Audio Workstations will make your work easier.
Get into the industry
The way to get into this industry is by building relationships with people that are already and have been in the industry for a fairly long time.
They’ll give you knowledge and show you the ropes so you know how to navigate within this industry.
Therefore the bottom line is this,
If you want to get into composing for video games, you’ll need to learn how to compose music to a professional standard.
Then afterward, you’ll need to start building relationships in the industry that can get you work. The more work you do, the more your portfolio builds.