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Topic: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

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  1. #1

  2. #2

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    I did Horizons: Empires of Istaria. It\'s the only game I\'ve done, but it was 3 YEARS in the making. I made a lot of contacts in that time and have a lot in the works right now. I had some previous experience as an audio engineer. I was in a band, who was signed to an indie label in Colorado. I spent almost 3 years at the studio there learning the tricks of audio production. From some demo material I had done there, I landed a 2nd engineer spot at a publishing company in Hollywood. I spent another year there and learned even more from some highly skilled engineers, including that audio engineering was not creative enough for me.

    So,I made a demo of sound effects and music and sent it to just about every game company that existed at the time. Based on those demos, I landed a job at a start up game company. In the time that I worked there, I made a lot of contacts in the industry. I\'m amazed. Just the 80 people that worked there have fanned out and now they\'re Blizzard, Lucas, EA, Sammy, and Rainbow employees.

    Once you\'re in, and presuming you\'re likable, it\'s a lot easier to land gigs. I think there are 3 crucial aspects to getting jobs in the industry.

    1.) Experience- It doesn\'t necessarily matter that it\'s game experience. The more audio experience you have, the more qualified you appear. Take whatever projects are offered to you (mod community games, like you\'re doing now, are a great start).

    2.) Marketing- You should have a kick-[censored] resume, demo-reel, and web site. These 3 things will be the first impression people get about you, and they should be just as good as any other audio production material. Being likable is a key factor as well. You won\'t just hear that from me, I\'ve heard this numerous times. Business is just relationships, and the better you get along with people, the more help will be offered to you. It never hurts to go to places like GDC and E3. You might strike a conversation with a guy who happens to be a producer, and who happens to really dig your demo. BLAM, you\'re in! When I first sent out my demos, I was straight up with people. My cover letters always included statements like \"People keep telling me I don\'t have enough experience, but they don\'t realize how talented and dedicated I am.\"

    3.) Persistence- If things don\'t happen right away, it doesn\'t mean they won\'t happen. You should always send your stuff everywhere, but don\'t expect to land an in-house job at a big place like EA with no industry experience. So, focus your efforts towards the opportunities that might pay off. Find those start-ups. Start-ups are way more likely to hire someone with less experience.

    I\'m not an industry giant, but I\'ve found some success and those were the key strategies I employed in doing so.

  3. #3

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    Thank you!

  4. #4

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    just one thing to add about the mod scene:

    choose your teams well and just don\'t do music for every team which is asking you for music or sfx. if they don\'t give you forum access or some working space and you never meet all people are working in the team - forget it.

    most of these mod and hobby projects break after some weeks or even some month or years. what it needs is a good leader, somebody who can overwhelm and convince the people WHY YOU are needed for this job.

    when you stay in this scene you get a lot of experience and you can train your skills and you get first experience and views of other people checking your music. most of them say, that your work is just great and cool, but they are just happy to have at least some music for their mod, but if they start to give constructive criticism and comments, then you know that these guys care about at least everything - because it is still like this (but changing) that 3d or graphics generally are much more important than sound (i mean, in the eye of the developers) if they care about your work, great. when you did a good job and you see that your developed mod - or your music - found attention etc, you see the people coming along to ask you.

    use all this music to get your reel done and start to write to and contact all companies on this planet [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    i just did JoWoods RailRoad Pioneer, so not the biggest and best game, but at least an officially released game, currently doin a mod (www.nuclear-dawn.net) and scoring a movie etc, so its getting up with me all the time, but it\'s really hard, because the big jobs will never come to you.

  5. #5

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    Hi... I just completed music for the upcoming EA game Second Sight, and am currently doing music for TimeSplitters 3. I think I got into the business a kind of untraditional way in the sense that many do what I did, but I suspect it only seldomely bares fruit.

    I simply contacted the developers, displayed my work and when an opening came they contacted me to test me for a specific assignment. When that worked out they hired me... even offering an in-house position (stayed freelance though)...

    So there you have it... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    Agree with Waywyn in the mod issues. Been working a couple of years in mods, one of them went retail with Atari (Tactical Ops) and it is very important to choose carefully the teams.

    As a newbie myself, I found quite useful the interviews with Tommy Tallarico or Jeremy Soule, for instance ( http://www.northernsounds.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=UBB6 )

    And above all, it\'s great to be able to hear opinions here in this very forum from ppl I highly respect, it keeps me composing in the hard days when I think that I should give up and earn money programming java [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    [ QUOTE ]
    Hi... I just completed music for the upcoming EA game Second Sight, and am currently doing music for TimeSplitters 3. I think I got into the business a kind of untraditional way in the sense that many do what I did, but I suspect it only seldomely bares fruit.

    I simply contacted the developers, displayed my work and when an opening came they contacted me to test me for a specific assignment. When that worked out they hired me... even offering an in-house position (stayed freelance though)...

    So there you have it... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]


    If it\'s not too personal of a question, may I ask why you didn\'t accept the in-house job?? I don\'t want this to turn into the \"freelance vs. in-house thread\" (because I truly need all the \"how to get into the games biz\" advice I can get), but I am interested, since you mentioned it.

    Also, THANKS to everyone who has replied so far! I have carefully read every word.

  8. #8

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    ofcourse you may ask.. there are several reasons. The most important was due to complications moving my family to another country.. you see I\'m from Denmark and the job was in England. Had I been alone I would have done it, but sometimes the world jut isent like that [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Secondly staying freelance (if you can keep getting work) has many percs aswell... deciding when you work, when you get up, how you work... you dont have a boss breathing down your neck.... So in many ways Freelance suits me quite well... The inhouse job would ofcourse have been quite an experience.

  9. #9

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    [ QUOTE ]
    \"Marcussen\": I simply contacted the developers, displa......

    So there you have it... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Where did you find EA(actually get in touch)? telephonenumber, e-mail or? In details how?

    I remember when you got the job, you were very happy(on the vsl forum) I was really happy for you too. Do you have any of those EA songs somewhere?

    Let me have a listen...

    Kind Regards
    AJ

  10. #10

    Re: THE newbie question--- seeking advice

    I contacted the developers by email, not EA... EA just publish the game...

    I cant show any of the music yet, since one game isent set til late 2004 release and the other in 2005. Even the music I did for their test will be used...

    I do however beleive my music will be featured in their E3 presentation...

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