Blog Archives

My Life as a Video Game Audio Freelancer: What I Wish I Knew Starting Out

ted_wennerstrom_game_audio_composer

Game composer Ted Wennerström got here the hard way. Will you learn from his mistakes?

The following blog post was written by Ted Wennerström, a freelance video game composer, sound effects designer and producer.

Ted Wennerstrom: Having celebrated my first complete year as a full-time freelance composer and sound designer, I looked back at when I took my first stumbling steps in this harsh world of game audio. I decided to put it down as a list to not only remind myself, but to help fellow composers understand what they can expect when starting their own freelancing careers.

Here are the 5 most important lessons I’ve learned in my journey. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Audio Implementer

This interview is part of the Quest for Your Career series. We focus on each specific job in the video game industry by interviewing an expert in the field. Learn what they do, how they got started, and whether it's a good job for you.

“Implementation is such a huge part of the design of the sound that the two are really inseparable.”

The Audio Magic Behind the Audio Magic

If you’ve ever watched a “making of” documentary about video games, then you’ve seen how game audio engineers use fancy microphones and software to turn everyday sounds into otherworldly effects: a dropped coin becomes a laser blast, and a dog’s bark becomes a dragon’s roar.

But have you wondered how those sounds actually get into the game? A video game can have thousands of sounds – who keeps track of them all, and who hooks them into the game engine so they play back at exactly the right time, by exactly the right characters and events? Who makes sure they sound perfect, no matter what the player might try?

I’ll tell you who does it: That’s the job of the Video Game Audio Implementer.

Chase Thompson has been an audio engineer since 2005, and has worked on best-selling game series like Halo, Fable, and Star Wars. We talk with him today to find out how he got started in his job as a Video Game Audio Implementer, and how you can start your own career working in video game audio. Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Careers

Is it better to be a freelancer or an employee in the video game industry?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Mihai, who asks, “Is it better to be a freelancer or an employee in the game industry? I’ve read some articles about this but they didn’t offer me enough information to actually make a definitive decision.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between an employee and a freelancer
  • The pros and cons of being a freelancer, and how it affects your financial stability
  • The best way to successfully start a career as a freelancer

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Podcast

How can I start my career in video game audio?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Ramo, who asks, “I am currently an airman in the navy, but when I get out I would like to fulfill my dream of becoming a sound producer for a video game company. I would like to know what schools could I attend, and what people I should I connect with?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Various educational options for audio engineering and production
  • Why career networking is critical to your future audio career
  • The best way to grow your career network rapidly, so it will be there when you need it

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Podcast

What are the different job occupations in the video game industry?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Dennis, who wants to know what are the all the different job occupations in the video game industry?

In this episode, you’ll learn:

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Podcast

How To Become A Video Game Music Composer

This interview is part of the Quest for Your Career series. We focus on each specific job in the video game industry by interviewing an expert in the field. Learn what they do, how they got started, and whether it's a good job for you.
Brian Schmidt, Video Game Music Composer

What could you learn about game audio from a guy who’s shipped over 130 games?

Meet Brian Schmidt, Video Game Music Composer

You’d be hard pressed to find a more accomplished composer in the history of the video game industry, than Brian Schmidt. Brian has been making game audio for nearly 30 years, and his credits include music, audio, and sound effects for well over a hundred shipped titles. He’s worked on top franchises like The Walking Dead, Madden NFL, BattleTech and more.

As if that didn’t keep him busy enough, he also runs a premier annual game music and sound design conference, GameSoundCon, and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Game Audio Network Guild.

You can learn from this guy. We’re speaking with Brian today to find out how he got into games, what he does at his job, and which skills and talents it takes to succeed as a video game music composer. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Careers

Video Game Audio Engineer Salary for 2016

This article is part of the Video Game Developer Salary series. Read about the annual salary ranges of all video game jobs, and get advice on maximizing your paycheck throughout your career.
Game sound designer works a mixing board

When it comes to game audio, the toughest part might be landing the gig.

Table of Contents

  1. Game Audio salary: Overview
  2. Game Audio salary: Factors
  3. Search for Game Audio jobs
  4. Game Audio salary: Details
  5. Other factors that affect Audio salary
  6. Demand for Game Audio
  7. Should I become a Game Audio Engineer?

Of all the jobs in the video game industry, the audio engineer might be the most rare – there are significantly fewer audio jobs, compared to most any other role. Why? Partly because it’s common to have a single audio engineer to handle all the game projects for a studio. In fact, many studios don’t employ full-time audio staff at all – they contract their audio work to external freelancers.

But even freelance audio engineers can be paid very well compared to other game jobs. How much do video game audio engineers make? And how much could you make as an audio engineer?
Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Sound Designer

This interview is part of the Quest for Your Career series. We focus on each specific job in the video game industry by interviewing an expert in the field. Learn what they do, how they got started, and whether it's a good job for you.

Meet Jaclyn Shumate, Video Game Sound Designer

Jaclyn Shumate, Video Game Sound Designer

Put a face to the audio: Chances are good that you’ve already played some of Jaclyn’s games.

Jaclyn is no video game audio rookie. In fact, chances are good that you’ve personally enjoyed her work: since becoming a Sound Designer in 2006, she’s done audio for major game series including Peggle 2, Plants vs Zombies, Fable Journey, and Kinect Star Wars and many others.

If you thought that creating game audio is an easy job? Well, think again. Jaclyn says that in addition to having audio engineering talent, you must also be willing to put in the time to master your technical chops. But if you’ve got a knack for creating emotion through sound, this might be just the job for you. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Careers

Job Overview: Video Game Audio Engineer

Your sound studio probably won't be this cool. dantaylorphotography / flickr

Your sound studio probably won’t be this cool.

Related jobs: Sound Designer, Composer

There are precious few audio jobs in the game industry, because just one audio engineer can often serve multiple teams. In fact, it’s common to have a single audio engineer covering an entire game studio. Many studios don’t have any full-time audio staff at all, instead choosing to contract on a temporary basis as needed.

On a given day as an Audio Engineer, you’ll do things like: Read more ›

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Careers
Find Game Schools
Find Game Jobs
Powered by Indeed
Free Career eBook
Game Jobs