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Game video trailer in need of music, 2-3 min (paid~ $150 ? )


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Hi,

We're working on a demo video/trailer (not a playable demo- mostly art and stuff) for an adventure game. Of course, the game may or may not be made, pending a number of factors (public response, investors, etc). We're in pre-production, and there are a lot of unknowns at this point.

We'd like to put a theme to it (a full piece, partly for the trailer, partly to inspire our artists), and some composition for the voice presentation that precedes the art part (little bits of dramatic music). The trailer is a little campy and dramatic, kind of like Doctor Who; the humour is generally inspired by a Douglas Adams.

As for the game:

Think Zelda, kind of Twilight Princess style art, or Darksiders, if it were based in a Tesla-punk universe with space travel and some mystical and horror overtones instead of in Hyrule (Or post doomsday Earth, respectively).

(Genre-wise, Think Dune, Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, Farscape...)

Lots of Parkour, jumping around ancient alien ruins and derelict space ships searching for artifacts while being attacked by weird alien gremlins, bugs, and automated defense systems gone haywire. A bit of sneaking, some nice swordplay, six shooters, and the occasional lightning gun.

3d. Unity.

Beer money (that is, paid, but low budget).

Edited by SpookyStatic
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What exactly do you mean by "beer money?" You need to be clear about what you're willing to pay.

Frankly, I'm not sure what people want to charge. I guess I could say: Make an offer. I'm willing to negotiate.

I don't have a big budget for this, but I can budget whatever it will take to get it done.

I saw somewhere somebody mention $10 per song. Seems a little low to me, since it can take a few hours to make a piece, and I may need several revisions to get the right sound. $1,000 would really be pushing it, since I've seen a lot lower for good work. I may have just been lucky before, though.

I really don't want to pay $1,000 for this.

If the price is too high, I'll have to shop around more.

If you want to twist my arm for what I expect, my wild guess is that I can probably get something pretty good for $50.

I know you get what you pay for, and I don't want to ask anybody to work for free (that's just douchey), I just mean not to expect a big budget. This job is probably better for a student than a professional (particularly as I expect it will take a fair bit of back and fourth to figure out the style).

That probably doesn't help much to clarify, sorry. I would love any advice on how much you think I should be offering.

Trying not to put my foot in my mouth. Although I probably will anyway. :mrgreen:

Some other questions:

Q: Would doing this get me hired as a paid composer for the game?

A: Like most projects, please assume the game will never see light of day. I'm not green enough to say "We're 100% committed to this project!". If projections aren't good, it just won't happen. I'm like 42% committed to this.

That said, if this doesn't go anywhere, then I guess you're free to keep the rights to the music... probably. I would have to confirm that, but I don't think it would be a problem.

In the small chance the game happens: Still, probably not. You'd be a candidate, but I still have to take bids on the project and see other resumes. If this project is greenlit (not steam greenlit), it will have a lot more exposure than a forum post, and as a bigger contract there will be a lot more talent applying, and we might hire somebody full time to do all of the sound. Chances of you being the best person for the job (unless you're seriously awesome) are what they are. I can't make any promises, sorry.

Q: What's the deadline for the piece?

I would like to have it completed in four or five weeks. Beginning of August at the absolute latest.

Q: Do you have any examples of the type of piece you want?

Not exactly. It should sound a little old school and dramatic, but a little spoofy; 1950's radio show style is close.

I'm thinking a little campy old school synth along with more spooky and dramatic orchestral work, and possibly vocals and effects. The spooky music in Doctor Who whenever they're on about Bad Wolf is in the right ballpark, though I'd like to see a little more cultural flavour, a little more Jazzy with Western (wild west) and subtle Asian themes in the tone and instrument selection would be great. Not entirely sure it's possible to convey that.

This is meant to portray the general concept, so it will probably take a bit of back and forth.

I'm intrigued.

But I don't drink. :sad:

Hm...

I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm flexible... how about root beer?

Edited by SpookyStatic
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How many minutes of non-looping music will the video require? That helps give potential composers an idea of how much time they're going to have to put in. 10 minutes of original music is a huge amount to ask for $50, for example. Most people will charge you $50-$100 per minute (though I'm not a font of experience).

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How many minutes of non-looping music will the video require? That helps give potential composers an idea of how much time they're going to have to put in. 10 minutes of original music is a huge amount to ask for $50, for example. Most people will charge you $50-$100 per minute (though I'm not a font of experience).

Thanks!

Probably about two or three minutes of music.

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How many minutes of non-looping music will the video require? That helps give potential composers an idea of how much time they're going to have to put in. 10 minutes of original music is a huge amount to ask for $50, for example. Most people will charge you $50-$100 per minute (though I'm not a font of experience).

If anyone told you $50-100/min they themselves were inexperienced.

While the indie marketplace can be all over the map with respect to pay for composers, the earlier mention of $1000/min is a bit closer to the map.

In the professional world, for advertising, you could be expected to make anywhere between $3,500-15,000 for a trailer.

So the developer is willing to pay, that's great, but wants to shop for a lower price--of course, s/he's committed to getting the most for their buck. S/he didn't say that the COULD NOT pay $1,000, they said they WOULD NOT.

It's not that there isn't a budget for this, it's that s/he doesn't WANT to pay.

Well, unfortunately, s/he's in luck, because composers are stupid gits who will also do whatever it takes to get the job, even if that means undercutting the shit out of each other.

So to SpookyStatic, I will score your trailer for more money than you're willing to pay, but not more than you can pay. I'm more expensive than just about anyone else in this thread and I'll hit it out of the fucking ballpark.

But you have to want it.

And to the other composers desperate to attach their name to anything that moves, you have to want it too--success requires self-respect. You can charge less, you can charge less until you're free, and that's fine, you might do great work, but at some point it stops being called work.

Good luck, SpookyStatic--I hope your game does very well.

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Well, unfortunately, s/he's in luck, because composers are stupid gits who will also do whatever it takes to get the job, even if that means undercutting the shit out of each other.

Uh, isn't that the market in action? Unless you're proposing that home musicians unionize. :lol:

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While the indie marketplace can be all over the map with respect to pay for composers, the earlier mention of $1000/min is a bit closer to the map.

In the professional world, for advertising, you could be expected to make anywhere between $3,500-15,000 for a trailer.

Well, unfortunately, s/he's in luck, because composers are stupid gits who will also do whatever it takes to get the job, even if that means undercutting the shit out of each other.

"Hi. I have very little street cred, as I'm new, but I've been a musician for 20 years. You'd be my third client in the history of my professional career. Pay me $15,000."

No.

Taking low jobs is called paying your dues. You do it in everything. An indie designer approaches you with the idea for a concept trailer, you don't puff up your peacock feathers and tell him that musical dignity requires that he pays you $1000 for it. You establish your credentials and get some experience - the kind of experience that makes someone say "Hell yeah that guy is worth 15k for a trailer, and I have money to burn."

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Uh, isn't that the market in action? Unless you're proposing that home musicians unionize. :lol:

Yeah it is, and it's a sad thing to watch.

Lots of indies can't afford to pay top rates and I understand that, we all should, but it's like paying for some kid in China to build you a pair of sneakers for a dollar.

Yeah, you got a great price and that's fine, do it, but you should feel embarrassed--especially if they did a great job.

My problem is when people learn the wrong information and then use that to guide not only their actions but set a precedent for the actions of others who don't have the experience to know better.

So I am compelled to say something when I see this happen.

$50/min is ridiculous and its even more ridiculous if they do a good job. You can't even properly equate that to a professional rate structure and it's totally obfuscating the reality of how low that is by using a rate structure based on quantity.

I allocate myself between 6 and 20 hours per minute of music, which is a large margin, but no two minutes of music are alike.

Am I going to work for $7 to $2.5 an hour respectively? Fuck no.

You want to be a professional? Act like one, think like one, work like one, and charge like one.

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the problem as I see it, is that there is a lot more supply of music than demand for it. so it's a buyers market for game developers, and aspiring game composers don't have a whole lot of options available to them.

add to that that we're in the age of music piracy, where people don't even want to spend 99 cents on a song.

it's a tough row to hoe.

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"Hi. I have very little street cred, as I'm new, but I've been a musician for 20 years. You'd be my third client in the history of my professional career. Pay me $15,000."

No.

Taking low jobs is called paying your dues. You do it in everything. An indie designer approaches you with the idea for a concept trailer, you don't puff up your peacock feathers and tell him that musical dignity requires that he pays you $1000 for it. You establish your credentials and get some experience - the kind of experience that makes someone say "Hell yeah that guy is worth 15k for a trailer, and I have money to burn."

Everyone has to pay their dues, even the clients.

Money is not the only way to value a job, absolutely not, and I laude the OP for not trying to get shit for free right off the bat.

But I had to speak in the face of misinformation:

$50-100/min is by absolutely no means what "most people" charge and the problem is NOT your fault, XPRTNovice--it's every one else's. No one wants to say what they charge, they keep it a secret, because they don't want other people undercutting them.

The problem is that the composer/client relationship is skewed to the benefit of the client, because they shop composers and search for the best price they can get away with (and why the fuck not? they're creating a product, they need to keep their development costs as low as possible).

See, the thing is that the new indie client doesn't necessarily know how much stuff costs, you teach them.

When you say "most people" charge $50-100/min you're teaching him how much it costs and when you do it in a thread like this, you're teaching a community of eager and novice game composers that those rates are the usual.

They're not.

They are absolutely not.

My first indie gig, 6 years ago, I charged more than that. There is no "most people" there is only what you charge.

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the problem as I see it, is that there is a lot more supply of music than demand for it. so it's a buyers market for game developers, and aspiring game composers don't have a whole lot of options available to them.

add to that that we're in the age of music piracy, where people don't even want to spend 99 cents on a song.

it's a tough row to hoe.

I agree, and there will always be under-cutters.

I remember I did a spec demo for a gig years ago that claimed they were going to pay $400/min for music--they advertised that as their rate. They loved my demo so much that they just started showing it around to other composers asking if they could do that style for less money--they eventually found a composer who would do the work for free/credit.

A buyer's market, indeed.

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As I said, I'm not a font of experience. That's what I'd been told I should charge by some other people, and it appears I've been mislead. You (Dan) and I have never talked, but if you have as much professional experience as you seem to say, I'd love to talk to you about it and learn. As I've expressed, I'm new; I've had 2 music clients in my life. Both of them loved what I did, but both of them paid me not so much for it. Both of them also touted me as amazing and advertised for me.

However, in the example you provided, you ended up not getting the job, so I'm not sure how your position helped you, there. You made zero dollars instead of $2.50 an hour, and your name didn't get out there in the credits. How does this advance your career?

I absolutely understand the idea that musicians need to sort of band together and not undercut each other...but it's basic supply/demand economics as well as someone saying "I could either make $7 an hour, or I could make $0 an hour. I'll take the $7." It might be sad, but it's also true.

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If anyone told you $50-100/min they themselves were inexperienced.

Yes, which is why I posted here rather than contacting Danny Elfman directly ;)

For the most part, you get what you pay for, obviously. I've seen plenty of offers for free music from kids on game development sites who just want to contribute to something (green enough that they haven't been burned 20 times by putting their hearts into failed projects yet)- there are a few diamonds in there, though, if you have time to search for them.

But then, that's the issue- how much time I have to search for quality at a low price, vs. how much money I have available. How much time do I have to give feedback and do multiple iterations, dig up samples, and more or less teach a very novice musician about music from different cultures and eras they may not be familiar with?

There is something to be said for experience- it certainly saves me time as project manager (and time is money). When it's a question of $100 or so, it's not worth my time- I will favour experience. When it becomes a question of thousands, I have to ask myself- Do I really need to watch Game of Thrones this week? No. Do I really need seven hours of sleep? I can get by on five or six.

As the number climbs, it's also an issue of shifting budget from other concerns (such as art and promotion) to music- which is one of diminishing returns. OK, I probably would pay $3,500 if Danny Elfman would work that cheap- but it would cost dearly in terms of art and advertising. Better music is going to give better results- but not better than devoting that $3,000 or so to better art and advertising.

It's not that there isn't a budget for this, it's that s/he doesn't WANT to pay.

It's more that it doesn't make sense to. Diminishing returns. More of that budget is, and should be, going into art.

Does the public at large have no taste and greatly undervalue music? Probably, and that sucks. If we lived on a different planet, things might be reversed. But it is how it is, I'm afraid.

I'm more expensive than just about anyone else in this thread and I'll hit it out of the fucking ballpark.

Please, then, make me an offer and show me that it's in my interest to divert more funds into music. If it really makes sense, I have no problem with it.

Yeah, you got a great price and that's fine, do it, but you should feel embarrassed--especially if they did a great job.

OK, now the asshole who got you to make a demo and then shopped it around- he should feel embarrassed. But there's nothing to be embarrassed about making a contract, getting a really good deal, and sticking to it. It's not like under-tipping at a restaurant where there is an implied social contract of a 10%-15% gratuity that you've violated.

I'm coming out of art, and we've all worked for peanuts too, to get experience and build up our portfolios- we just get hired more easily once we do (due to greater demand).

But as far as hiring out work goes (rather than getting hired), all of the same things apply to art.

You can get a free album cover from some artist on Deviant art (or absurdly cheap- many artists there work for between ten cents and a dollar). You'll spend hours searching and contacting people, they'll spend weeks, and some of them will just get busy or give up due to lack of interest, so you'll have to repeat the process several times, and after a several months you'll end up with something mediocre that looks more like a coupon for a laundromat than an album cover- but it'll work if that's all you need.

Hire somebody like me, and you'd be out a few thousand dollars, but I'd have it to you by the end of the week and it would kick ass. But that kind of quality is completely unnecessary unless you're trying to get people to buy your album from off a rack in Walmart (which you probably paid out the ears to get the realestate for anyway). If you're an indie, you'd be wasting your money. Find somebody to do it free, or for like fifty cents, on Deviant art- it's not like you're in a hurry.

the problem as I see it, is that there is a lot more supply of music than demand for it. so it's a buyers market for game developers, and aspiring game composers don't have a whole lot of options available to them.

Absolutely. Most musicians never make it. Meanwhile Activision and EA will hire pretty much any artist who can use 3d software with any competence. A good concept artist can be instantly recognized (it takes a really good ear, and some free time, to recognize good music- it takes me hours to listen to a bunch of people's tracks vs. minutes to skim portfolios of artists).

Art also takes so many man hours you wouldn't believe for even a small game, and there's so much demand these studios have to outsource during peak production to India, where they get mostly crap art back (there are some good artists there, but really poor oversight) which they have to spend so much time fixing in house that it was only barely worth outsourcing it at all (and costs MORE than hiring locally, even in the states). It's absurd how much the big studios make.

Not so with music. Music studios make good enough bank with industry connections, but it's not a growth market.

If you want in the game industry, go into art- it's a sure thing as long as you put in your time to get some experience and do good work. Even for very talented musicians, it's nothing of the sort.

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First of all, Spooky, I appreciate your candor.

For the most part, you get what you pay for, obviously.

Yes, but you can't appreciate the meaning of that sentiment until you fully understand the scope of the product. $100 can seem like a lot when we're talking about a plate of food. This relative perspective of value is mutable and informed by experiences.

I've seen plenty of offers for free music from kids on game development sites who just want to contribute to something

And I encourage that behavior on student projects, on learning projects, on portfolio projects--but if the client is making money on the product, be paid SOMETHING. Negotiate back-end, sure, do it, if they don't have an upfront budget or if they've spent all their money on art assets, then by all means negotiate back-end--but never, ever sell your music for nothing.

But then, that's the issue- how much time I have to search for quality at a low price, vs. how much money I have available. How much time do I have to give feedback and do multiple iterations, dig up samples, and more or less teach a very novice musician about music from different cultures and eras they may not be familiar with?

You shouldn't have to teach them about anything but the game--you're hiring an EXPERT.

As the number climbs, it's also an issue of shifting budget from other concerns (such as art and promotion) to music- which is one of diminishing returns.

Not necessarily. The biggest problem I see with indie game developers and music economy is that they don't know the best solution for music implementation for their project--they assume a model based on other games, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it's best for THEIR game.

OK, I probably would pay $3,500 if Danny Elfman would work that cheap-

Try $350,000 for the Fable II Main Theme (and nothing more).

Better music is going to give better results- but not better than devoting that $3,000 or so to better art and advertising.

I can't tell you how to manage your budget and I am biased toward the value of music (obviously), but my feeling is this: If there are segments of your game where the quality of the music is not important, then maybe those segments would do better WITHOUT music. So many developers are driven by conventional design practices, that they forget that they don't need to have everything going all the time.

More of that budget is, and should be, going into art.

This is about your priorities and design vision, not about consumers.

Does the public at large have no taste and greatly undervalue music? Probably, and that sucks.

My problem is not about the general public's undervalue of music, my problem is with composers undervaluing music.

If we lived on a different planet, things might be reversed.

I have had clients make the active choice to prefer quality over quantity when negotiating with me, and I think it's worked to the benefit of the game's production value.

But it is how it is, I'm afraid.

It is how we make it.

Please, then, make me an offer and show me that it's in my interest to divert more funds into music. If it really makes sense, I have no problem with it.

If you're serious, I'd be happy to talk to you about your game. Email me, if you're serious.

OK, now the asshole who got you to make a demo and then shopped it around- he should feel embarrassed.

He was, that's how I found out about it--AIM confessions--my life is a showtime original series ;).

Hire somebody like me, and you'd be out a few thousand dollars, but I'd have it to you by the end of the week and it would kick ass.

This is not just about money, resource allocation, etc; this is about you, your creation, making something not because it sells units, but because you're proud to have lived that creation through. My biggest problem with Indies is that they think small instead of elegant. They're obsessed with selling units and trying to appeal to as many people as possible instead of just creating something beautiful that they're proud to fucking say is theirs.

I don't know what kind of game you're making, but if you charge thousands for your art, then you're like me--you're going to make sure that your creation is the best it can be--you're giving up your favorite shows, you're sacrificing sleep, you're working your ass off because it's important to you and sacrificing your own quality of life to make it happen.

Why would you expect anything less from any one else on your team?

You hire someone for $50/min, they're not going to be missing sleep, they're not going to be skipping Game of Thrones, especially if they're adults. For someone like me, that's like an hour (maybe two) of my time, right? It'd be the same for you. That's bullshit.

How could you put something out there that is totally out of balance in quality and be proud of it?

Thank about that, man. You want to have every piece of your final production to be on par with every other piece of your production. Quality and consistency IS value.

But that kind of quality is completely unnecessary unless you're trying to get people to buy your album from off a rack in Walmart (which you probably paid out the ears to get the realestate for anyway). If you're an indie, you'd be wasting your money.

If that's how you feel about your game and development process, then whatever, who wants to work on a game where quality is only addressed when unit sales are a factor. Fuck that. Who wants to work on a project where the development leaders assume quality is unattainable for an indie--there's no creativity there, no passion--that's boring. I didn't become a composer so I could work on boring shit.

Absolutely. Most musicians never make it. Meanwhile Activision and EA will hire pretty much any artist who can use 3d software with any competence.

That speaks more to a lack of appreciation for art than a strong appreciation for it.

A good concept artist can be instantly recognized (it takes a really good ear, and some free time, to recognize good music- it takes me hours to listen to a bunch of people's tracks vs. minutes to skim portfolios of artists).

I will agree that the temporal aspect of music as an art form does request patience from the evaluator but I think that you and I can both agree and DeviantArt will stand as evidence for the fact that there are a ton of really shitty artists out there, and a ton of really shitty artists doing 3D art who have no fucking foundational sense when it comes to creating models. And some of those people get hired.

I would argue that recognizing decent to good concept art, like music, takes little insight--recognizing GREAT concept art requires insight, just like recognizing GREAT music.

I would submit SWTOR as a great example of fantastic music and really lackluster character/armor design.

Art also takes so many man hours you wouldn't believe for even a small game,

It takes a lot of work and man hours to design sound effects and produce music as well. Purchasing assets from a sound effects library is like purchasing a DAZ model. Sure, you can do it, but don't expect it to look good.

and there's so much demand these studios have to outsource during peak production to India, where they get mostly crap art back (there are some good artists there, but really poor oversight) which they have to spend so much time fixing in house that it was only barely worth outsourcing it at all (and costs MORE than hiring locally, even in the states). It's absurd how much the big studios make.

All I see is an argument for quality over substandard results--to go with the premium because in the end it'll turn out better--but I will say that a lot of the oversight issues that I've seen when it comes to outsourcing like that have to do with both standards of quality as well as lack of insight into the tools and implementation practices of the internal studio.

Not so with music.

Music is always outsourced and is constantly substandard and ignorant of internal implementation practices.

Music studios make good enough bank with industry connections, but it's not a growth market.

Where are you getting this information?

If you want in the game industry, go into PROGRAMMING- it's a sure thing

Fixed.

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First of all, Spooky, I appreciate your candor.

Likewise.

Thank you for your insight.

Negotiate back-end, sure, do it, if they don't have an upfront budget or if they've spent all their money on art assets, then by all means negotiate back-end--but never, ever sell your music for nothing.

Unfortunately, since this is just a demo- and the project may not be greenlit if there's not a lot of interest- that's not something that makes sense here.

Though, that's true of every lofty promise from any developer, whether they intend to go through with the game or not, since most fail.

I could offer to pay a larger balance IF the project gets the go ahead. And it's fair to say that the quality of the music will have an influence on how people perceive the trailer and concept as a whole. So, if the musician does a better job, there's a better chance of that... but that all seems overly complicated, doesn't it?

Bit of a catch-22.

In order to get greenlit, the trailer needs awesome music. But in order to be able to afford awesome music, it has to be greenlit. :-?

I'm doing the best I can with what I have.

I have passion for the project, but I don't expect a musician to, and to put themselves out there on the chance of this getting the go-ahead for pay later.

You shouldn't have to teach them about anything but the game--you're hiring an EXPERT.

IF I were hiring an expert. I don't think I can budget that. I have peanuts to make this trailer, and if most of those peanuts go to music in the form of a 3k contract, the rest will be stick figures.

I anticipate having to put in some hours here.

I might end up having to score this myself, though I'd really rather not, because I'm not very good so in order to make something decent I would probably not be doing anything else for the next month. Like you said, it might be better to just not use music. A trailer without any music would be pretty lame, though.

Try $350,000 for the Fable II Main Theme (and nothing more).

Sounds about right (I didn't mean to imply I thought he would- rather I knew he wouldn't).

I do not have that kind of budget for a trailer.

This is about your priorities and design vision, not about consumers.

My priorities are driven by consumers. We all have to eat, after all. :whatevaa:

More so, some of us have to worry about feeding other mouths too. If it were just me working on my own, not worrying about paying salaries and health insurance, etc. then things might be different.

All I can do is put my all into the art, because that's what people are going to see first.

This is not just about money, resource allocation, etc; this is about you, your creation, making something not because it sells units, but because you're proud to have lived that creation through.

Absolutely, but before it can be about those things, it's about food, rent, and healthcare. And flea and heartworm medication for your pets... holy crap that stuff is expensive.

There's also responsibility to investors to get them a reasonable ROI in a reasonable time frame (it's easy to say screw the rich guys, but I believe I have a moral responsibility to spend their money wisely- not just to the investors, but to the game market, rather than being another money sink that shows games are not good investments).

I want to make something great, but I clearly don't have enough money to with this trailer, so I can only do my best.

My biggest problem with Indies is that they think small instead of elegant. They're obsessed with selling units and trying to appeal to as many people as possible instead of just creating something beautiful that they're proud to fucking say is theirs.

Well, that's just bad business on the part of the indies. If you don't have a big budget, you have to have focus and go a little niche. Trying to copy and compete with games with budgets in the hundreds of millions when you only have a couple million to work with max is just not smart.

Why would you expect anything less from any one else on your team?

Jaded by experience?

It's hard to find good help. Passionate, motivated people- they tend to be used and chewed up by life. And I'm an optimist. :grin:

I would be overjoyed if I could find somebody with the talent and experience to make this happen, and the passion and drive for the project, who could work with my budget.

For someone like me, that's like an hour (maybe two) of my time, right? It'd be the same for you.

Yeah, pretty much.

Who wants to work on a project where the development leaders assume quality is unattainable for an indie--there's no creativity there, no passion--that's boring. I didn't become a composer so I could work on boring shit.

I don't think quality is unattainable- particularly for the game, when there's a more reasonable budget (hopefully) than the trailer- but we all have to play our strengths. I need to put most of this budget into art.

That's why I posted here: Hope against hope that there might be somebody passionate with some raw talent but a little lacking in experience who I can work with on a low budget to make a diamond.

and a ton of really shitty artists doing 3D art who have no fucking foundational sense when it comes to creating models. And some of those people get hired.

Yes, because of the very high demand, which exceeds even the supply of shitty artists (as large as said supply is).

It takes a lot of work and man hours to design sound effects and produce music as well.

Sure, but there's a lot less of it- so less demand. Music budgets in games represent only a small fraction of art budgets. I'm not saying how it is is how it should be, but that's what drives the market.

Music is always outsourced and is constantly substandard and ignorant of internal implementation practices.

Sorry, did I imply something else? Not sure what you mean here.

Where are you getting this information?

Ohh, I shouldn't say. Pretend I didn't say anything please.

Not important to the topic at hand anyway.

Fixed.

Ah, yes, that's also true- if you're willing to work cheap enough (e.g. only slightly above artist wages, which aren't great). A lot of programmers end up in web development or e-commerce stuff instead to pay bills. It's hard to resist 2-3x the salary, even if the job is boring as hell.

An artists' position comes with less stress, though, with the lower salary.

To each his or her own. :)

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I'm not going to post anything new here, but I do feel compelled to wonder what this attitude is with $50-$100 a minute being chump change. If I made that kind of money on my tunes, I'd never have to increase the price ever. This time last year I lost a job to VIRT of all people for that kind of money.

And this attitude always comes from people who have actually "made" it in the industry. I never see anyone who has no game credits to their name ever telling people never to charge less than $500/minute. I feel like it's extremely indicative of whatever the fancy word is for forgetting what it was like for you struggling to get work back in your early days and I hypothesize the real reason game industry musicians balk at the idea of people like me with no chance of real industry success getting far less than that is it cheapens what you can ask for from the client. If the new generation starts taking $50-$100 a minute, soon everyone will.

Let me put it out straight - this is a greedy, jealous industry, even more than most. No one wants to really help new people and everything is motivated to keep you down because everyone sees you as an obstacle to their own success. If you haven't "made it" by now, you never will. The positions filled by Virt and Zircon and Danny B are going to be filled by them for life. God forbid even if you do find someone with the money for it and impress them, you're going to get passed over for a celebrity anyway for brand recognition. Act like a professional? This isn't a profession anymore, it's a joke. It's a joke on anyone who ever listened to Final Fantasy VI OST, wanted to do that someday, and found FL Studio not long after that.

You only have one hope of getting anything out of this line of work and thats to be thankful for what little you get. I have a listing on VGMdb as a composer and what I get from that is the thousands of $ I spent on getting where I am, not to mention wasting 10 years of life, means it wasn't all in vain. That's likely all I'm going to get from this. I have a better chance of winning the Powerball than I do making it in the industry.

So you can talk about professional this and academic that, but it changes nothing for the reality of indie composers everywhere. I'll go out and post resumes around charging $500/minute and guess how many jobs I'll come back with. 0. Same as now.

When ringers like Virt are willing to snatch jobs from indies for $30-$50 a minute, it means the game's over. The gates are sealed and the ship is sailed. No one else is getting on. Might as well throw your own wrench into the mess with $10 a track prices - at least then you might get enough money to take your girl out to a slightly fancier restaurant than TGIFridays.

Edited by Meteo Xavier
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I wouldn't mind giving this a go, as a fan of the material you've posted for similarities sake. :)

We can PM about this if you'd like. I'd just like to make sure that this is still open.

Also, this thread has way too much butthurt and/or douchyness, Spookystatic here was pretty darn kind given some of the content and such thrown at him.

And I completely agree with Meteo. <3

________________________________________________________________________

^That is the douche line, do not continue douch-inating above this line. :)

Thank you. <3

xoxoxox

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I'm not going to post anything new here, but I do feel compelled to wonder what this attitude is with $50-$100 a minute being chump change. If I made that kind of money on my tunes, I'd never have to increase the price ever. This time last year I lost a job to VIRT of all people for that kind of money.

And this attitude always comes from people who have actually "made" it in the industry. I never see anyone who has no game credits to their name ever telling people never to charge less than $500/minute. I feel like it's extremely indicative of whatever the fancy word is for forgetting what it was like for you struggling to get work back in your early days and I hypothesize the real reason game industry musicians balk at the idea of people like me with no chance of real industry success getting far less than that is it cheapens what you can ask for from the client. If the new generation starts taking $50-$100 a minute, soon everyone will.

Let me put it out straight - this is a greedy, jealous industry, even more than most. No one wants to really help new people and everything is motivated to keep you down because everyone sees you as an obstacle to their own success. If you haven't "made it" by now, you never will. The positions filled by Virt and Zircon and Danny B are going to be filled by them for life. God forbid even if you do find someone with the money for it and impress them, you're going to get passed over for a celebrity anyway for brand recognition. Act like a professional? This isn't a profession anymore, it's a joke. It's a joke on anyone who ever listened to Final Fantasy VI OST, wanted to do that someday, and found FL Studio not long after that.

You only have one hope of getting anything out of this line of work and thats to be thankful for what little you get. I have a listing on VGMdb as a composer and what I get from that is the thousands of $ I spent on getting where I am, not to mention wasting 10 years of life, means it wasn't all in vain. That's likely all I'm going to get from this. I have a better chance of winning the Powerball than I do making it in the industry.

So you can talk about professional this and academic that, but it changes nothing for the reality of indie composers everywhere. I'll go out and post resumes around charging $500/minute and guess how many jobs I'll come back with. 0. Same as now.

When ringers like Virt are willing to snatch jobs from indies for $30-$50 a minute, it means the game's over. The gates are sealed and the ship is sailed. No one else is getting on. Might as well throw your own wrench into the mess with $10 a track prices - at least then you might get enough money to take your girl out to a slightly fancier restaurant than TGIFridays.

I agree with you for the most part.

Also, my main problem with doing indie stuff is really not money. It's the whole: Give person you want to compose music a description of what you think you want and then after musician spends hours and hours working on it, give some vague ass description of what you really want and expect them to revise it. It's like for christ sake, I can't dive into your head and figure out what you're hearing; give me a chance to have my own style at least 10% of the time.

/rant

Edited by AngelCityOutlaw
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Also, my main problem with doing indie stuff is really not money. It's the whole: Give person you want to compose music a description of what you think you want and then after musician spends hours and hours working on it, give some vague ass description of what you really want and expect them to revise it. It's like for christ sake, I can't dive into your head and figure out what you're hearing; give me a chance to have my own style at least 10% of the time.

Yeah... I know what that's like. When I was doing freelance, I'd get that sometimes. I hate asking people to change things- not only because it wastes time, but because an artist needs to have influence over her or his work. That's why I try to find somebody with style I think fits. Not always easy, though.

It's safe to assume I'm going to be a pain in the ass too- the only difference being that I have personal experience with pretty much the same thing, so I'll feel bad about it and apologize rather than acting like it's your fault for not reading my mind.

I wouldn't mind giving this a go, as a fan of the material you've posted for similarities sake. :)

We can PM about this if you'd like. I'd just like to make sure that this is still open.

Somebody offered to give it a try, though didn't ask many questions and kind of ran off without discussing anything conclusive. No idea what's going on there. He may reappear from out of the blue in a few days with an amazing piece having read my mind?

You're welcome to try, though I don't hear much that's not 8-bit in your albums. I'll PM you and we can chat about it.

[awesome stuff]

That was awesome. Didn't think of it that way.

I don't think I've ever criticized artists for working cheap, because when they do they're usually not good. And if by some miracle they were good and cheap, I'd hire them instead. Yeah... that'll teach them.

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I'm not going to post anything new here, but I do feel compelled to wonder what this attitude is with $50-$100 a minute being chump change. If I made that kind of money on my tunes, I'd never have to increase the price ever. This time last year I lost a job to VIRT of all people for that kind of money.

And this attitude always comes from people who have actually "made" it in the industry. I never see anyone who has no game credits to their name ever telling people never to charge less than $500/minute. I feel like it's extremely indicative of whatever the fancy word is for forgetting what it was like for you struggling to get work back in your early days and I hypothesize the real reason game industry musicians balk at the idea of people like me with no chance of real industry success getting far less than that is it cheapens what you can ask for from the client. If the new generation starts taking $50-$100 a minute, soon everyone will.

Let me put it out straight - this is a greedy, jealous industry, even more than most. No one wants to really help new people and everything is motivated to keep you down because everyone sees you as an obstacle to their own success. If you haven't "made it" by now, you never will. The positions filled by Virt and Zircon and Danny B are going to be filled by them for life. God forbid even if you do find someone with the money for it and impress them, you're going to get passed over for a celebrity anyway for brand recognition. Act like a professional? This isn't a profession anymore, it's a joke. It's a joke on anyone who ever listened to Final Fantasy VI OST, wanted to do that someday, and found FL Studio not long after that.

You only have one hope of getting anything out of this line of work and thats to be thankful for what little you get. I have a listing on VGMdb as a composer and what I get from that is the thousands of $ I spent on getting where I am, not to mention wasting 10 years of life, means it wasn't all in vain. That's likely all I'm going to get from this. I have a better chance of winning the Powerball than I do making it in the industry.

So you can talk about professional this and academic that, but it changes nothing for the reality of indie composers everywhere. I'll go out and post resumes around charging $500/minute and guess how many jobs I'll come back with. 0. Same as now.

When ringers like Virt are willing to snatch jobs from indies for $30-$50 a minute, it means the game's over. The gates are sealed and the ship is sailed. No one else is getting on. Might as well throw your own wrench into the mess with $10 a track prices - at least then you might get enough money to take your girl out to a slightly fancier restaurant than TGIFridays.

Bullshit.

I have never seen you at the Game Developer's Conference.

I've seen Zircon (Andrew Aversa), I've seen BustaTunez (Will Roget), I've seen BigGiantCircles (Jimmy Hinson), I've seen Danny B there, I've seen Virt (Jake Kaufman) there--I have never seen you there.

There are three things you need to get work as a composer in the Game Industry (and really, any of the media industries):

1) The Ability to Deliver a Product on time and of high production value.

This doesn't mean creative, it means you deliver product that is appropriate. You could be a genius composer, but if you can't meet a deadline, you're useless. Your product has to demonstrate high production value, not high creativity--though, for self-respect you should aspire to high creativity, but it's not necessary.

2) Apparent Talent

To the potential client or employer, you have to appear as though you're talented. When it comes to AAA shit, this usually comes in the form of a credit list. But all you need is for the potential employer to believe in you and be willing to stake their job on hiring you (which is no small thing to ask unless you're a superstar already).

3) A Great Professional Network that works for you.

You could be the best composer on the fucking planet, but if no one knows who you are then you will never, ever "make it." You HAVE to network, you have to network for YEARS. You have to demonstrate the first two items every time you network, but you have to do it in a way that is sociable, amiable, and accessible--in other words, they have to like you.

If you're missing any ONE of these items, you will NEVER get hired.

I have never seen you at a professional networking event and I have never seen you at the most important professional networking event: The Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco.

You have to TRY, man--otherwise you're leaving your shit to the whimsy of dumb luck.

And two things: if what you said about Jake is true, that's a shame, it really is--it's a shame he worked that cheap and it's a shame that everyone knows it now. My contracts have Non-Disclosure Agreements because posting your rates is an absolute mistake. You will NEVER be able to increase your rates if someone is looking you up on a forum and finding your rates on some old assed thread.

If any of you have posted rates, take them down--I have talked to composers who posted rates and years later still get new clients trying to hire them at those rates.

My thing: I HATE per minute rate structures. It doesn't respect the budget, it doesn't respect the project, it doesn't respect the music. It's shit and it treats music like it's fast-food in a mall food court.

I have worked on low budget games, but when the client trusts me, I've consulted on the design of the music for those games (from an overall project fee perspective)--creating a musical design where quantity is not a relevant hindrance to a good soundtrack that works for the game and fits.

I would much rather a potential client approach me by saying look, here's the game, this is the budget we have for audio, what can you do for me?

That allows me to use my creativity to design an audio vision that works for their game and within their budget constraints.

That is a much more appropriate and rational method of determining whether or not a creative professional has the IDEAS you want them to have.

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