GameSoundCon’s Brian Schmidt Interview

1) From the folks new to the game industry, a common question we hear is “Will going to this conference get me a job?”

That’s a great question. GameSoundCon has a couple of main goals. One is to prepare people so that when they do get that one chance to make a first impression, they are well equipped to knock it out of the park. A second goal is to give them information on the industry to help get their foot in the door. GameSoundCon has some great networking opportunities as well. That said, of course no one can guarantee attending any kind of conference, class or seminar will lead directly to a gig But getting to know others in the industry and having a full understanding game audio can make a potential employer more comfortable taking a chance on you.

2) From the folks who’ve been around a while, a common thought might be “I’ve been around, is there really something new I could get from this?”

GameSoundCon is aimed at composers/sound designers & others who want to better understand the creative, technical and other issues associated with game audio. The person who will get the most out of it is someone who knows traditional media (music, Film, TV), but doesn’t have much direct experience doing games.

Another type of attendee who will get a lot out of GameSoundCon is someone who has maybe created some wave files (music or SFX) for a game or two, but then just handed them over to someone else, without really understanding what happened from there. In this biz, there are a lot of great composers & sound designers, so the more you understand how everything works (presuming you’ve got the chops), the higher your “stock value” can be in the industry, not to mention being able to add more to the game itself.

If you’ve been in the industry a few years and are familiar with the tools, concepts and issues surrounding game audio, you probably won’t get as much out of GameSoundCon. (That said, I had an LA guest who’s been in the biz about a dozen years who, after the first day said “wow, I didn’t think I would, but I learned a lot of stuff today.)

3) Will there be any specific discussion of iPhone games (or other mobile platform games)?

We do have sessions that cover casual gaming and non-console platforms, though not iPhone/mobile specifically.

4) Will you be doing these on an annual basis?

Based on last month’s GameSoundCon LA, I’m certainly lining up next year’s LA GameSoundCon.

5) What were some of your favorite moments from the LA conference?

Marty’s keynote on “Be Nice to the Goose” was great; Having legendary producer Nile Rogers sign up as an attendee and then agree to be a panelist at the last minute was pretty cool as well. Seeing it all come together after all the planning was also very rewarding. Favorite topics? There were lot of very savvy questions– a high-caliber crowd. One thread that seemed to run through the conference, which was re-iterated in the closing sentence of the Business panel by Attorney Jim Charne was “be passionate about games.” When your Attorney starts to talk about the importance of being passionate, it’s good to listen to them :).

7) Will GameSoundCon be traveling to any other parts of N. America?

I’m looking carefully at 2010 right now, and right now the map’s wide open.