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Big Game Project; Soundtrack Ideas


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Okay I'm working on a pretty big video game project. Well... Don't let me fool you; by nature it's not that big, but it's an iso-metric RPG project and the people commissioning me only have one animator, one programmer and two story writers. So... That puts me in an uncomfortable place, here's why:

Battle themes are finished. I have a battle theme for every conceptualized area in the game. Every boss invented so far has his/her own unique boss theme, with a repeating general "Boss" melodic motif to tie them all together. All of the areas that have even been hinted at have multiple themes: One for day and one for night, and one for "being under siege." All characters have a "character theme" and a "dramatic theme" and I made a flying theme in case anything like an airship or giant owl or whatever is introduced, and I made 12 different "minigame" themes of varying style. Item shops, weapon shops, inns, I made it all over the course of the project. And I check in with them, they tell me "Great work!" and that the game code isn't even out of the Proof of Concept phase. This is why I need your help:

If I'm "working on a project" but I'm not actually doing any work, I'm going to lose my mind thinking about it. Can you guys give me ideas for more themes to put in the soundtrack? I would really, really appreciate it. Basically, what else is there in a video game soundtrack? As you can imagine after making that much music for it, I'm very, very loyal to the game because the characters at this point are like my family. The problem is that at the rate we're going the game won't be done for another several years. My brain isn't cutting it as a thinking tool, so I am consulting the greatest game-music community online. Should I...

...Write more music? (With the help of you guys)

...Learn XML coding and help the programmer?

...Find another game project? (Continue this one as required in contract, but find another game to occupy my time so I don't rip my hair out)

...Move to Estonia and start a rare chicken farm?

I very much appreciate your advice, because I think the company might not be making it the same level of priority I am.

*EDIT*

After noticing there is no "delete" button... I realize the "Community" forum would have been the proper place to put this. Sorry for the misplaced post.

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A lot of games like this don't really get finished. They get to a point where it works somewhat, but then the programmer loses interest and the whole game goes poof. It happens. Keep the line open but don't get stuck on this one game.

Or you could move to Estonia. It's a pretty cool place.

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You've done WAY more work than you need to and at this point, I would highly suggest you consider your soundtrack work with this group a work of self-education.

Only put more time and effort into this soundtrack if A) you just really love the project to death, or B) you realize that a fully realized and fleshed out version of this soundtrack will help you get (more) paid work in the future.

Until then, continue to challenge yourself, improve yourself, and always learn, learn more.

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Hmm... You are all saying what my conscience lacks the guts to admit. I think for the most part it has been a "self-education" experience and as much as the programmer talks gloriously about the future with much excitement, I think the group might be leading me on. One reason I've stuck with this project so passionately is because I'm not good at marketing and it's the first (only) project I've ever been hired for... Part of me thinks if I just keep making the soundtrack bigger and better and more substantial, that'll somehow help me get a job for a real indie game company. Y'know what though, I deserve more for my effort!

Look out ladies... This composer is back on the market!!*

*(however the composer is still morally obligated to continue the contract as requested, but it's a backburner deal)

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Yeah, I'd say don't let your heart sink into this one. Chances are if it gets finished it will take awhile, judging from your statements that is. So, you could, as other members pointed out, work on menu music, overworld music, or just even general tunes that you could fit in somewhere when it is all done.

Beyond that, you could find another type of project to work on. And hey, look on the brightest side, you'll have an album's worth of material when all is said and done.

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A freelancer needs to have a contract that makes room for other projects because contrary to what we would prefer, the composer is only needed for a short time unless he's going to be more involved in the design/implementation.

A lot of newb projects don't really understand the development cycle and how and when each of the players get involved.

You should be working on getting more work even while working on actual gigs.

The hustle never stops, honest.

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Is there someone around here I can talk to for advice regarding that? I mean... This game company is composed of people who'd heard about me from school and approached me. I don't know a darn thing about marketing or job-hunting as a composer. We have a contract but it is pretty lenient, however it's set up so that I don't get any payment until the game's release, which is probably not going to be in time for next month's rent. All this time that I've been focusing on improving my knowledge, aptitude, ear and creativity, I've completely ignored a pretty important aspect of the job...

I feel I have great things to contribute to the world of VG soundtracks, but I can't make a game soundtrack by relying on people to come and find me. Joining OCRemix was actually my first (and so far only) step towards accessing the online community. What would you do if you were a single composer and looking? :P

For what it's worth, I am planning on going to Pax East so I can meet some people.

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Is there someone around here I can talk to for advice regarding that? I mean... This game company is composed of people who'd heard about me from school and approached me. I don't know a darn thing about marketing or job-hunting as a composer. We have a contract but it is pretty lenient, however it's set up so that I don't get any payment until the game's release, which is probably not going to be in time for next month's rent. All this time that I've been focusing on improving my knowledge, aptitude, ear and creativity, I've completely ignored a pretty important aspect of the job...

I feel I have great things to contribute to the world of VG soundtracks, but I can't make a game soundtrack by relying on people to come and find me. Joining OCRemix was actually my first (and so far only) step towards accessing the online community. What would you do if you were a single composer and looking? :P

For what it's worth, I am planning on going to Pax East so I can meet some people.

If you want to chat, you can PM me your AIM or MSN address.

I spent the last 6 months as a full-time contract/freelancer.

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