Whenever I speak at schools/universities/conferences, etc. I always talk about how passion and networking is just as important as talent! Believing in your dream and working/doing whatever it takes to get there, never giving up, etc. is most of the battle.
As gigantic as the game industry seems, it’s also a pretty tight industry and very easy to get into (unlike film/television, etc.) especially if you know and meet the right people.
Networking and keeping a positive attitude will allow you to achieve anything you set your mind to!
You’ll want to prepare some kind of demo CD (or easily e-mailed links) of your work so that you’ll be able to let people hear what you are capable of.
In regards to game audio specifically, there are a few things you can do to put you ahead.
1. Join the non-profit organization G.A.N.G. (Game Audio Network Guild) at www.audiogang.org. Over 2000 game audio professionals from around the world are involved. There is a student membership which you would qualify for. An amazing resource for anyone looking to get into the industry. The website has a ton of info and it’s like the Facebook for Game Audio folks! If you join the Guild, make sure to check out this story on “How to get a gig”: https://www.audiogang.org/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=How-To-Get-A-Gig.html&Itemid=47
2. Get the following books:
-“The Complete Guide to Game Audio” by Aaron Marks
-“Audio for Games: Planning, Process, and Production” by Alexander Brandon
-“A Composer’s Guide To Game Music” by Winifred Phillips
-“Writing Interactive Music for Video Games: A Composer’s Guide” by Michael Sweet
-“Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design” by Karen Collins
-“Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness: The Fat Man on Game Audio” by George “The Fat Man” Sanger
-“The Essential Guide to Game Audio: The Theory and Practice of Sound for Games” by Steve Horowitz and Scott Looney.
Amazon.com has them all. Incredible resources, advice and insight!
A great place to meet up and coming game developers and like minded people in your area.
4. Check out the website www.gamasutra.com. There is a TON of game audio information and they do a monthly magazine called Game Developer Magazine.
5. Make sure to go to GameSoundCon in L.A. every year! www.gamesoundcon.com
6. Aside from joining G.A.N.G., the BEST advice I could give you is to definitely attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. www.gdconf.com. This is the networking mecca of the entire game industry! Over 15,000 game developers from around the world and nearly 1,000 game audio composers, sound designers, etc. are there. An absolutely fantastic place to meet and network with people. And you’ll learn more in 3 days than you’ll ever imagine! There is special Game Audio Pass for around $700, and as a member of G.A.N.G. there is a $50 discount as well.
7. If you’re interested in being a part of specific standards and practice working groups, have a look at the Interactive Audio Special Interest Group (IA-SIG). Their organization has done amazing work from establishing the Downloadable Sound (DLS) standard, Web Audio white papers, the start of curriculums for game audio degrees and much more!
I hope this helps.
Talent is important, but just as important is “networking”. The above mentioned things will really help you to increase your profile among the people who you need to be in front of.
President, Tommy Tallarico Studios, Inc. (www.tallarico.com)
Executive Producer/CEO, Video Games Live (www.videogameslive.com)
Founder/CEO/Chairman, Game Audio Network Guild [G.A.N.G.] (www.audiogang.org)