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*The below information is based on my personal experiences.*
I have been working in game audio for over five years now, and I would like to share the type information that I wish I’d found when I started. Please keep in mind throughout this that these are my personal opinions and that other audio professionals might have different ones.
Getting StartedGet on twitter
Some people don’t like twitter but it works for me. Every time I play a fun game, see some great artwork, here some good music/sfx in a game, or find an interesting devlog, I find them on twitter if I can and follow them. #gameaudio on twitter is the go to place online. You’ll be able to find out all sorts of relevant information and be able keep up to date on what is happening in the game audio world (Please don’t spam this hashtag.)
Twitter helps me to converse with my peers and heroes, know what important conversations and events are happening in the industry, and it helps me be accessible for those who want to find out what I am up to. It’s also a nice promotional tool when you are working on something cool. So this one is BIG. Especially if you don’t live near a large game dev scene.
Continue working on your craft.
Obviously when you start out you won’t have a ton of work rolling in through the door, but you should still create something new everyday. Set some time each day to work on a personal project, be it writing music, field recording, sound design or learning to implement audio better.
Whatever it is, try to be constantly learning and creating something that was not there the day before. This will help you build a good portfolio while you look for work.
Set up a website.
Now is the time to figure out if you are going to use a company name (Power Up Audio), a pseudonym (think Disasterpeace) or your real name (think Danny Baranowsky).
Figure that out, register for a domain name, and keep it simple and memorable. While you’re at it, reserve that name on any social media you feel you might use. Then find some affordable or free web hosting and get someone to set it up, or set it up yourself. I use WordPress with Theme x and its pretty easy to navigate.
Choose an email through your site or from an email provider and pick a professional and simple email address to use. There are plenty of good wordpress themes that you can use to make a nice portfolio site and plenty of other services where you can make a simple web site. Find out what works for you.
The basic pages that you should put on your site would be.
- A portfolio page. Links to your past work. Video is best but audio will do. Vimeo is classy for your reel, and Soundcloud is pretty standard for steaming audio, or you can use your web host to handle hosting the audio.
- A short Bio or about me page. Its hard to write about yourself but do your best.
- A contact page. Links to all of you social media and email address or a contact form.
- Projects page. Past projects you have worked on and any thing you are proud of and want people to see.
The rest is up to you. Some people add blogs or their other endeavors, but nothing else aside from the above is really necessary.
Create a portfolio.
Make something that showcases your abilities and creativity.
Be it a video reel of your past work, a sound or music replacement video, a playable game portfolio piece (which is awesome!), or some sfx or music tracks. From what I have heard audio + video is much better than just audio tracks, so try to do that.
I have a video reel of my music and sfx in games then audio tracks below for people that want to hear more.
Get business cards or whatever you feel will help people remember how to find you.
My business card has my name, website, email and twitter handle on it. There is a debate on whether business cards are necessary or old news. Personally, I use them and enjoy having my little icon on them but they are not for everyone. So just have something so people can easily find how to reach you or collect other people’s info you meet and get in touch with them.