The Rob Bridgett Special has come to the end. We will have 10 tips for sound designers, by Rob Bridgett, plus answers to questions readers made to Rob. If your question has not been answered, you probably find that in the 10 tips or the general interview.
10 Tips for Game Sound Designers
1. In-house or Freelance?
Perhaps one of the most fundamental things to decide is whether or not you are looking for a full-time salaried position within a game development company, or if you are more comfortable with offering your audio chops to the game industry as a freelancer. Composers usually fair better in the freelance realm than an in-house situation, where they would be expected to do more than just compose. If you are a talented all-rounder, you may be equally in demand for in-house or freelance positions. The decision may come down to a work-life balance. Once you know what you are looking for, you can more effectively target employers or clients.
2. Always Treat Your Clients With Respect
Whether you are in-house or freelance, the people you work with should be treated as your clients. As a sound designer, composer or sound implementer, you NEED your client as much as they need you. They may sometimes come up with suggestions that sound crazy, but listen to their ideas, explore them, work on a few examples and try those suggestions out yourself – you may be surprised, something that sounds crazy at first might just work. As a result, the people you work with will feel included in the creative process and you will be happy with a job well done.
The demo reel is perhaps the single most important piece of work you will present to your prospective employer. So much info about your work and communication style will be communicated through how your show-reel is edited, structured and presented. Don’t send out the same general reel to lots of companies if you can tailor specific footage or examples to a particular company. Include a cover letter explaining specifically why you are interested in that position or company. Keep it simple, clean and always focus on your best work. Also, if you worked on a specific area in a clip of game-play or a movie, such as only the helicopter sounds in a game, make this unequivocally clear at the outset.
4. Make Connections and Contacts Already in the Industry
There are many platforms for this kind of interaction available to people entering the industry, such as GDC. Meeting and chatting with audio talent that is already established in the industry is a great way to make a connection and get some feedback to better hone your job seeking talents. As ambassadors for their companies and for audio in general, people who are presenting lectures, round tables and workshops at conferences are great and approachable contacts to make. Everyone who is successful in game audio now was where you are now at some point in their past.
5. Supply and Demand
There is currently a huge market for composers in video game sound. Look into an area where there is a shortage. Currently, audio programmers, sound effects designers, sound implementers, dialogue designers are all in much shorter supply than composers, so it makes sense that you are more likely to find ways into the industry via these fields. Once inside the games industry you will get ample chance to prove your talent and move into a role in which you are more comfortable.Read More