So you know how to make music, and you love games. But how can you as a musician actually make a game, or be involved in the game making process? How does a musician even contribute to a game? How do you get into the game making industry?
It is easier than you would think.
I am a game developer and I love working with Musicians. The best games I’ve worked on, usually have involved a musician.
This is one of my favorites. The music was done in two days by David Wallace. This was his first released game.
How does a musicians fit into the team?
Depending on what you are trying to do, you can get away with a team of all of these, just a team of one, or anywhere in-between.
There are many varying approaches to make a game. Personally, as a Game Designer / Programmer I like to get everyone involved at the start to help design and evolve the idea before splitting up the work. So it isn’t just my idea, but our idea. Everyone unique background and point of view can help with a different influence.
Once everyone agree’s on the big picture it is time to use your unique creative ability to contribute to the game.
The Artist starts making Art.
The Programmer starts making Code.
The Musician starts making music.
These are called the game assets.
And as they make the assets, they give them to the designer to put together. Usually the designer is working in a Game Engine like Unity or Unreal Engine (worth looking into if you want to do the design yourself).
This process can take a few hours, to a few months. But generally the quicker you put what you have together, the better everything works.
Once the designer has something to start putting together, you can validate if you like how it looks, feels and sounds as a whole.
Just because you have given something to the designer, doesn’t mean you cant change it later. So it is usually best to do start quick and dirty, and than improve it through iterations.
What equipment do I need?
If your making a computer game, as a musician you need to be able to record your music to a format the Programmer or Game Designer can use. This is vary depending on how they are making the game, and you will want to talk with them about specifics. But usually any standard music file type will work.
Personally I like to work with .mp3 .ogg .wav .aiff .aif. Which are the supported formats in the Unity Game Engine. If you can make music into one of these formats, I can put it in a game! And usually, as long as you can get it onto a computer, I can convert it to what I need if you can’t.
How do I get into the games industry?
Come to a Game Jam, meet some people, and make a game! Easiest and most fun way to get involved.
Game James are 12 to 48 hours of game making fun! It is where folks from the game industry spend up to an entire weekend with friends and strangers making a complete game!
It is the best place to meet programmers, artists, designers of all levels of experience and other musicians already in the scene.
Not only does this give you industry contacts, but it gives you first hand experience making games, contacts who you have now worked with and a game to claim your own!
There is an awesome one coming up in Bega this weekend. The Bega Gamer Dev Jam! The perfect place to start your career in game development! At least make it along to the free introduction to game development lesson hostd by Devika Learning before the competition.
This is what I made at the last Game Jam in Bega.
It is currently running as an event & venue virtual reality game in Wollongong, Sydney & Canberra.
I would have loved to worked with a Musican on it, and still would love to! So reach out.
by Brennan@BrennanHatton.com – Silicon Vagabond