As a video game composer and author of the book A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, I’m frequently asked for advice on how a young composer can gain entry into this business. I dedicated a chapter of my book to this topic (Chapter 14: Acting Like a Business and Finding Work), so I’ve certainly thought a great deal about the issue. From my very first project (God of War) all the way to my most recent game (Homefront The Revolution, pictured right), one thing has always been abundantly clear: landing gigs can be a complex journey. That’s especially true for newcomers, and there are no easy signposts pointing the way. While I tried to use my own experiences and insights to provide useful guidance in my book, I know that everyone’s experience is different, and multiple points of view can be very helpful. So in this article, I’ll be offering resources from articles and community discussions on how to face down the awesome challenges of breaking into the industry as a composer of music for games.
First, I’ll be sharing a video from my presentation at the Society of Composers and Lyricists seminar, in which I answered the question about how I got my start in the games industry. Then, we’ll be exploring highlights from a collection of online articles that offer helpful tips for how to break in and establish a career as a game composer. Finally, at the end of this article I’ll be including a full list of links for further reading and reference.
I’m often asked for the secret to breaking into the business of composing music for games. I dedicated a chapter of my book to that topic, so I’ve definitely given the issue a good deal of thought, but I’ll admit that it’s a complicated and difficult road for every newcomer to traverse. The toughest aspect of the journey is at the very beginning, when those initial efforts to secure work don’t immediately pay off. Patience and faith are both important virtues, but they don’t offer a lot of comfort at the beginning of an aspiring game composer’s career. While in my book I tried to supply as much useful information on the topic as I could glean from my own career and my experience in the business, I know that everyone has a different path to tread, each with its own unique challenges. So I’m going to dedicate this blog to a list of articles and community discussions about how to break into the business of composing music for games, written by a lot of smart folks with experiences to share and hard-won advice to impart. In the ensuing heap of game industry wisdom to be gathered from these articles, I hope that a few newcomers will find some helpful guidance, and a modicum of comfort as well.