Introducing Ninichi’s Royalty Free Game Music Asset Packs

Retro rush-rfm.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

If you’ve been thinking about using royalty free music for your game, you may be interested in these. I’m Ninichi, a freelance game music composer and I create music for games, film and other media. I am usually commissioned to work on game music soundtracks and custom music for game trailers, film and other shows and media. I also offer some royalty free music available to license through my website, since I’m well aware that not all projects have the budgets available to invest in custom music.

My video game music packs are one of these licensing options and the idea behind these is to enable indie game developers on very tight budgets, to still be able to have great quality music in their games. 

The first 3 packs are available now – to purchase, license and use on a royalty free basis. My plan is to release new music packs as they become available – hopefully a new pack every month or so, therefore I encourage you to keep visiting my site for updates when you can.

Let me introduce you to the first three video game music packs:

Chiptune Pack.png

CHIPTUNE PACK– is a collection of 5 great 8-bit style game music tracks designed specifically for use in video games. The tracks loop seamlessly and there are also 3 bonus mini-tracks included that can be used as opening themes or shorter game levels.

Check out the Chiptune Pack

retro rush.png

RETRO RUSH – is a collection of 5 amazing retro or arcade-style game music tracks perfect for puzzle, brick and paddle, or racing games. A bonus intro sting with 3 different variations is included and can be used for menus, ending credits or any other shorter/transition levels.

Learn more about Retro Rush

Puzzle Pack-Music Pack.jpg

PUZZLE PACK – is a set of 5 awesome video game music tracks designed for puzzle games. All tracks are fun to listen and have their own distinct melodies, yet have been crafted to sit perfectly in the background to any puzzle game.

Listen to Puzzle Pack now

I hope that you find these music packs useful and do keep a look out for more.

If you have any suggestions around these or ideas for future video game music packs, do drop me a line. It’ll be great to hear from you! And, of course, if you’d like to explore working with me on some music for your project, don’t hesitate to get in touch now!


NC-small.jpg

About the Author: 

Ninichi is a freelance game music composer & big supporter of indie games. If you need help with the music for your game or project, contact me now to explore how we might work together. 

Learn more About me (Ninichi) and check out examples of my game music here.

Understanding How Much an Indie Game Music Composer Costs

How much an indie game music composer costs.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

If you’re developing a game, at some point you may be wondering whether or not to invest in a custom game music soundtrack and whether to hire a game music composer to work with or not. One big question that I’m sure is on your mind, is how much will it all cost? How much do indie game music composers charge typically?

Unfortunately this isn’t a simple question to answer since every composer is different. However, as a freelance indie game music composer myself (learn more about me!), I can try to give you an overview of what sort of rates you may come across and to help you understand where some of the pricing structures and costs may come from.

What kind of composer rates can you expect?

Across the whole industry, you will probably find a big range in prices offered by various composers. From what I’ve seen that range can stretch anywhere between $50 all the way up to $2500 per minute of music, with hobbyists, part-timers at the lower end and 'stars' at the top end. 

For indie game music composers with a fair amount of experience and a decent credit list, most will tend to have prices within the range of $200-$1000 per minute of music.

The more experienced and in demand a composer is, the higher they are likely to charge for their music and time. Some will charge per minute of music, whilst others will charge per track or will quote you for the project as a whole, and some will charge for their time like any other contractor / freelancer may i.e. per hour of work. 

Most composers will have some flexibility and be happy to negotiate their fee with you but at the same time, they will have their usual rates that they tend to work with and so are unlikely to stray massively from their original quotes. This goes for me as well. If you'd like to work with me on a project but aren't sure about the fees / financial side, just drop me a message, give me an indication of what sort of budget you have to work with, and we'll see if we can work something out! 

If you're hoping to work with a big name in the industry then definitely expect rates to be higher. They will be in demand, their time is precious and they can afford to carefully select the projects that they wish to work on and those that they wish to reject. 

Do some composers work for free?

If you're expecting people to work for free or for 'exposure', then beware who you approach in this manner.  Hobbyists, enthusiasts and those starting out may well be prepared to create a game music soundtrack for you for little or no pay, in exchange for the experience and as a way to build up their credit list and portfolio. This can be a great option if you have the time to nurture them and to work closely with them to ensure you get music you're happy with.

However, if you're looking to work with a professional composer, do keep in mind that this is their profession and hence their skills, talent and time all holds a value which you must be willing to invest in and to pay for if you are keen to work with them and build a strong working relationship with them. 

Read 6 Ways to Pay a Game Music Composer.

What contributes to the wide range in pricing?

There are lots of factors that come into play when composing a track for a game, film or media in general. Just to give you an idea there’s the:

  • composer’s time

  • their location

  • experience & track record / their specialism, if they have one

  • style of music and the complexity of it

  • length of the track

  • number of tracks in the project/soundtrack

  • musical training and talent of the composer

  • sounds / software / production tools

  • terms of use (exclusivity vs. non exclusivity) & licensing fees

  • deadline i.e. how quickly you need the music to be done

  • number of changes / iterations / variations needed

And those are just for starters! 

So depending on what you’re looking for and where you’re looking for it, the quotes you get may vary quite a bit. 

Check out: 5 Top Tips for Hiring a Game Music Composer for the First Time

Now, how much should you be prepared to spend on your game music soundtrack?

Well, only you can really answer that and only you will know what your financial situation is and also how important you feel the music is for your particular game. Music can really help to bring all the main elements in a game together and to enhance the overall experience for the player. See my article on 5 Reasons to Invest in Great Game Music.

As I'm sure you can imagine, large AAA games and films have big budgets (i.e. in the several tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars) when it comes to music. Many are scored similarly to films, using large orchestras and big epic scores and thus - this is no simple or cheap endeavour.

For indie games there is a much wider range in what indie game studios and indie game developers tend to spend on music. Those will small budgets tend to go for royalty free music (also known as stock music / library music / production music or copyright free music). This can certainly be a way forward for you if you’re starting out and aren’t ready to invest in custom music. Check out my royalty free music options here.

However, those with budgets of usually between $1000-$10,000 are more common for indie games seeking a custom music soundtrack and wanting to hire a composer. 

There are many different things to think about and also many elements that you can play around with to help you get the most out of your music funds.

A few things that I’ve found useful to think about:

Track length

If you choose a composer who’s music you really love and who you trust, you will often find that your game music tracks don’t need to be as long as you think they need to be.  An experienced composer will know how to sustain interest in their music even if the tracks are short.  So, if they charge per minute, you can reduce costs by reducing the length of your tracks.

A composer’s experience

Composers with more experience will usually take up much less of your time than someone earlier on in their career. They shouldn’t require any handholding and should be accustomed to delivering high quality work straight away. So, although they may feel a bit more pricey, they can save you precious time which in some ways can be priceless!

Communication

Communication is key. Make sure that you work with someone who understands you and that you understand too. Knowing that you can easily communicate with a composer will make you feel more confident in your working relationship.

So, to sum up, there is no one fixed rate that indie game music composers all work to, however, most will be willing to talk to you about your budget and to explore ways of making things work for you. If you take a look at my credit list, you’ll see that I’ve worked on a real range of indie games, indie films and other projects, which each had different needs music-wise and budgets to work with. We found a way to make it work and to create soundtracks that everyone is super happy with – so keep an open mind, explore your options and talk – I mean really talk, to the composer(s) you want to work with.  If you feel like exploring things further - contact me now.


About the author: Ninichi is a freelance indie game music composer who enjoys creating soundtracks for video games, film & media. She's composes in a wide range of styles & loves supporting indie game developers and indie filmmakers with their projects. Find out more about her game music or royalty free music and contact her to discuss your project and music needs.

Follow her @ninichimusic

Introducing the Short Film: Cirque du Mors

Cirque du Mors Logo 16x9.jpg

Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Cirque du Mors Still 8.jpg

Tell us about yourself and how you got into creating films? 

‘My name is Taylor Walsh, I’m the writer and director of ‘Cirque du Mors’ and I’ve been creating films for almost five years now. I first got into filmmaking when I was in middle school, drawn to the idea of being able to create new worlds to share with others.

Even back then I was filming home videos and trying to find creative ways to make them something different and new. In high school I took part in theatre, pushing me to fall in love with storytelling even more, eventually leading me to pursue an education in film.’

Where did the idea for ‘Cirque du Mors’ come from?

Cirque du Mors Still 3.jpg
Cirque du Mors Still 5.jpg

‘‘Cirque du Mors’ is the first larger scale project I’ve taken on in my career. It is a story I have been working on since I was in film school and has had almost four years of growth.

The film centers around a young girl named Alayna who finds herself transported to a world full of excitement and wonder based in a carnival setting. However, as she navigates this world she discovers that it holds a malicious secret that puts her life in danger.

I hope people will be able to find excitement and wonder in a world full of darkness and death. Like Alayna, we are all in nee of escape from the harsh realities of the world we live in, but must still be aware of the dangers around us.’

Can you tell us a bit more about the film & what lies behind it’s creation?

‘Cirque’ is a film that I have been working on for years now. It has gone through many different edits and developments throughout that time. The biggest challenge has been bringing to life a world that does not exist on a small scale budget.

Taking on a film that requires creating an entire world digitally was a huge undertaking for a debut film, but I believe it was necessary for the visual style and storytelling.

What part does music play in ‘Cirque du Mors’?

‘Aside from the visual effects, the music also had to be a huge aspect. There are very little lines of dialogue in the film, so most of the storytelling is told through music and Ninichi was the perfect fit and final piece of the puzzle!

What made you decide to work with Ninichi and what’s the process been like for you?

‘When we first started talking about the film I remember going to her website (ninichimusic.com) and listening to some of the work she has done. I instantly knew she would be exactly what the film needed. Apart from her amazing talent the genuine interest and excitement she showed towards the project reinvigorated my own excitement. It was like I was a little girl again standing in a candy store anxiously awaiting every piece of music she sent me hearing how it captured the tone and feel of a story I have been living with for years. The way she was able to help me shape my vision and express my story in a whole new way was wonderful and astonishing to experience!’

What are your plans for the film & where can we see it?

‘As for the film, I am excited to announce that ‘Cirque du Mors’ will officially be posted on YouTube on October 26, 2018!

You will be able to find it on the YouTube channel CirqueduMorsFilm.

I can’t wait to share this story with everyone! For any future projects or to get in contact with me you can follow me on Twitter at @TayAnneWalsh.’

How exciting! For now, let’s check out the trailer for this awesome film:


NC-small.jpg

About the Author:

Ninichi is a UK-based freelance composer creating music for film, games and media.

Need help with music? Check out her film music page for examples of her work & contact her to explore working together.

How to Choose & Use Music in Your Film

How to Choose and Use Music in Your Film.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

There are many things to think about when putting together a film.  One key area to think about is the music soundtrack and how to choose music to fit and enhance the film overall. 

As an indie film music composer, I’ve worked on a variety of really interesting films and film projects (see some of the film music I’ve done here and view my credits).  I believe that music plays an important role in films but it isn’t always the easiest aspect to get right. When done well though, the music can really help to enhance a viewer’s experience and understanding of your film and so it’s definitely worth taking the time to think about and to find the right music for your film.

To help you a little bit with this, here are a few things to think about…

1. The Mood or Tone of your Film

Music can be used to set the tone and to create the overall mood or moods across a film. As scenes change, so should the music.  Think about what’s going on in your film and try to be aware of what kind of music might be needed to help create the right mood for each part of it.

2. Emotions

The most important function of music in films is often to enhance the emotion and emotional elements in a film. Identify the key moments in your film and use music to your advantage in those scenes. Use it to bring out the emotions and to help your audience to feel and to connect with what’s going on.

Music touches us in many different ways and it’s important to combine the visual and musical elements in your film to help build a stronger emotional connection with your audience.

3. Silence

Not all of your film may need music or benefit from it. The lack of music can also be quite powerful.  Think about where you want and don’t want music across your film. Make sure that when you have music, that it’s there for a reason and isn’t just filling in the gaps.

4. The Pace

Music can be used to drive the pace and rhythm in your film. It can be used to build up tension, to relieve it, and to create a sense of urgency or not, depending on what you need.  Think about where you may need the music to help move things along versus where you may need it to calm us down.

5. Other Films & their Soundtracks

Which films and film soundtracks do you like? Why? It may sound obvious, but a great source of inspiration and ideas is to watch other films and to listen to the music used in them. Listen to what works and doesn’t work for you when watching the film.

Listen hard and try to identify exactly what it is that you like or don’t like about the soundtracks that you hear. This means noticing things like the instruments, the style, the amount of music used etc. This can be really useful in identifying what sort of music style(s) you like generally and what you may want for your film. Feel free to browse through some of my film music if it helps to give you a better idea of what's possible for your film soundtrack. 

So there you have it! 5 different things to think about when trying to choose and use music in your film. I hope that some of these thoughts are useful to you, and if you’d like to explore things further, I’d be very happy to learn more about your film and to help with your film score. See more examples of my film music here and contact me now to start talking!


NC-small.jpg

About the Author:

Ninichi is a freelance film music composer and game music composer, who's music has featured in numerous films, tv shows, games & more. She has worked on a variety of indie films & would be delighted to help you with your film project. Check out examples of her film music here & contact her to explore working with her.

Introducing the Game: Calico - Out on Kickstarter Now!

Calico Game 7.png

Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

What is Calico all about?

Calico is a cute and cozy community sim game where the player is a magical girl who inherits a cat-cafe. They are tasked with filling the cafe back up with new fuzzy friends, furniture, and wonderful baked goods. ‘

Who’s it for & where did the idea come from?

Calico Game 6.png
Calico Game 1.png

‘Our game is for anyone who loves cuties, pastel, magical girls, or just needs a nice break in a cat-cafe. I was surprised when we started, at how few other games there were like this. The most exciting thing for me is that you will be able to pet and interact with every animal, including play with cat toys, and being able to play with animals you wouldn't in real life, like red pandas! We also have a magical aspect which will allow the player to do things like enlarge the cat to ride like a horse. Who wouldn't smile at that?’

When will we get to play it?

‘If funded, we expect to release some time in 2020, but for those a bit more impatient we have a demo releasing along with the Kickstarter! Check out our Kickstarter page to see how to download it.

Our game is set for PC, but has the potential to be on any platform depending on demand and funds.’ 

Tell us about you! Who’s been involved in creating this wonderful game?

‘Calico is the first game being produced by CatBean games! We're a small team of only two people based in Seattle, WA. The first half (me) grew up in NYC and then Minnesota, coming to Seattle 5 years ago for the game dev scene. Before this, I worked as a freelance illustrator, as well as a community manager at various companies including Microsoft and Holospark. Our other half, Andrew, moved here to Seattle from Illinois and previously worked as a programmer. He switched to learning Unity programming, and is the more technical half of our team.

We've also been working with a few incredibly talented individuals for areas that the two of us can't cover. 

Calico Original Soundtrack.jpg

Freelance Composer Ninichi (ninichimusic.com | @ninichimusic) is our music magician, creating adorable music to to go along with adorable visuals. 

Diego De la Rocha (diegodelarocha.com | @diegodelarocha) has been helping us with animation, creating super cute magical girl movements.’

Why have you launched a Kickstarter & what are you hoping to achieve from it?

‘We wanted to try to avoid relying on a publisher if we can, seeing as our game is centered around themes not generally represented. We're hoping with the Kickstarter that we can raise enough funds for living expenses to allow us to work on the game full time.’

Why should we support you & what rewards are on offer?

Calico Game 2.png

‘I hope that anyone who is like me and has wanted a game like this to exist for a long while will find everything they wanted in Calico. I believe we need way more cute and cozy games, and hopefully people agree!

I'm very excited about our Kickstarter rewards, a few of which involve putting your own pets into the full game!’

Where can we find out more? 

What are your plans after the Kickstarter?

‘Our first plan is a little self reward. We will be donating to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA for the chance to get up close with a real Red Panda! 

After that, it's going to be some intense time at our desks, trying to make Calico the best, cutest, and most heartwarming game it can be!’

Wow awesome! Thank you so much for sharing everything with us. I wish you the very best of luck with the Kickstarter. Everyone please show your support for this heartwarming game now by visiting calicogame.com!


NC-small.jpg

About the Author: 

Ninichi is a freelance game music composer & big supporter of indie games. If you need help with the music for your game or project, contact me now to explore how we might work together. 

Learn more About me (Ninichi) and check out examples of my game music here.

8 Top Tips on Building a Strong Working Relationship with a Freelance Composer

8 Top Tips on Building a Strong Working Relationship with a Freelance Composer.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Are you thinking about hiring a freelance composer to work with but aren’t quite sure about how it might work or how to ensure that it works well? If so, don’t worry. It is a completely natural feeling especially if you’ve never worked with any freelancers before and it’s important to address your concerns and to make sure that you find the right person for you and your project.

I’m a freelance music composer and have worked with clients and projects all over the world – including working with game developers, filmmakers, podcasters, TV producers, marketers and more (see my homepage to get to know me, Ninichi a bit better!). I work from my home office and have never met many of my clients, yet my working relationships with each one feels really strong. There’s a sense of trust, my clients know that they can rely on me to get the work done and done to a high standard, and that I will always do my best to create music that embodies their visions. They also know that I will always be there to respond to their needs whenever they have something to say, ask, explore, feedback on or to work on further.

I can only share what I have learnt through my own experiences but hope that these will be helpful to you in ensuring that you are able to foster strong working relationships with the freelance composer and actually all freelancers that you decide to work with. So here are a few tips and ideas that come to mind but in essence most of it comes down to good communication.

If you aren’t able to communicate effectively with a freelancer, whether that is a freelance composer or any other freelancer, you won’t have any chance of building a strong relationship with them. This may sound obvious but is so critical and important that I believe it’s definitely worth mentioning. So…

1. Be open, honest and upfront

That is about what you want, need and are hoping for in relation to the music you require for your project. The more you can say about what you’re looking for, the easier it will be for your prospective freelance composer(s) to determine whether or not it’s something they can help you with or not.

2. Offer constructive feedback

Make sure that you are clear about what you like and don’t like about what they’ve done and guide them towards what you’re looking for, but don’t be harsh and be sensitive to the fact that they are most likely trying to deliver good work to you, so if it’s not right the first time, try to be patient and understanding. To do this well check out: How to Communicate Effectively with a Composer.

3. Keep your communication channels open

Make sure that you’re there when they need you. They may want to ask you some questions or get feedback from you on their music. Try to be as prompt as you can in offering your thoughts and in keeping the momentum going. If you’re both available to each other when you need each other, working together will feel quite smooth and easy.

4. Make sure that there isn’t a language barrier

It’s a little tough to say but in truth, everyone needs to be able to communicate with a work colleague (freelance or otherwise) at the same sort of level, so if you feel that they aren’t understanding what you’re asking for, then they aren’t the right freelance composer for you.

5. Don’t get hung up about terminology

Your composer is the specialist in music. You aren’t expected to be nor should you try to be as it could end up confusing everyone. Just try to explain in as simple terms as you can, what you’re after – in terms of mood, style, context for the music etc. and you should be fine.

I myself tend to ignore most music terminology. Obviously I know some and have been trained but I don’t find it helps to use it. I believe that keeping things simple is much better for everyone. Music is universal and there are many different ways to describe it – so go with whatever makes the most sense to you and a good music composer should be able to turn that into something grand! Also see: How to Work Well with a Game Music Composer

6. Listen to their music before contacting them

I find that the people I work best with are those who have taken the time to look around my website and listen to a few examples of my previous works. That means – checking out my music show-reels, looking at my credit list, listening to different examples of my music, and generally getting a feel for the type of music I compose.  If you understand what your freelance composer is capable of, you can get a sense of what’s possible for your own project and you can determine this yourself to some degree by listening to what they’ve done already and seeing if you like it. 

It’s also easier to work with people when they pick out certain tracks that they liked from your previous works as it gives me a great indication of the type of sounds, style and moods that they particular like.

Also see: How to Choose a Composer for Your Indie Film or How to Choose a Composer for Your Game

7. Offer reference tracks as a style guide

In order to help your freelance music composer understand what you’re looking for and what you have in mind music-wise for your project, it can really help to have reference tracks.

This can be there to offer inspiration and to help the composer understand the mood you’re hoping for, the musical instrumentation that you like and are imagining for your project and the flow of the kind of pieces you like.

8. Don’t micromanage but don’t be elusive either

In order to build a strong working relationship with your freelance composer, don’t micromanage them. The last thing they want is to be having to report back to you every hour or so. They need time to get into the creative zone and to focus on creating great music for you and your project. So, you need to be able to trust whoever you’ve chosen to work with, to be able to get on with the task at hand and to deliver great music to you when they’re ready to.

At the same time, don’t be elusive. Don’t be hard to contact or slow in responding to them if you can help it. Getting feedback on music quite quickly after it has been done is really helpful for composers since they’ll be ‘in the zone’ and it can be really useful to keep that momentum going and to continue working on your project whilst it’s ‘hot’!

If you're looking for a freelance composer to work with and want to have a chat, feel free to contact me now. I'm more than happy to help and explore things further with you. Also check out some of my other articles in case they're helpful too:

Need help with music?

Let me help! Get in touch now :-)!


NC-small.jpg

About the authorNinichi is a freelance composer and music enthusiast. She has composed the soundtracks and music to several indie games, films, podcasts, web series, commercials and more. Contact her: to explore working with her on your game, film or media project.

Follow her @ninichimusic