Introducing the Game: Railed (A Casual Puzzle Game on Steam)

Railedexpress.jpg

Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Last year, I discovered Railed, a railroad puzzle game, at the time, in development by WarGem LLC. I was commissioned to work on the game music soundtrack and was so pleased to learn all about it! It’s an amazingly addictive game which is easy and fun to play but challenging to master. Here’s my interview with the maker of Railed…

Please tell us about Railed Express and what it’s all about!

Railed.jpg

‘Railed is a railroad-themed, casual puzzle game where players connect train tracks between four destinations and a gold/silver mine. Railed is procedural and each game is different. Players start with $30 million dollars and make strategic tile placements with random track pieces. The high scores are tallied on a global scoreboard and players can build rank according to their scores.’ 

Where did the idea for this game come from?

‘Railed is based on an interesting pen & paper game, 30 Rails, by Julian Anstey. Although the gameplay has expanded in Railed, it still captures the original essence of the fun puzzle game.’

How and on what platform can you play the game?

Railed2.jpg
Railed3.jpg

‘Currently, Railed is adapted to the Windows PC. Rolling train cars delivery railway tile pieces that the player places on a 6x6 game board in rows and columns corresponding to the color of the boxcar. These pieces can be rotated and assembled to connect railroads and ore mines. There are bonus track pieces along the way that add to the dynamic gameplay.‘ 

How long have you been working on it and how did you get into game development?

‘All-in-all, the development project took about 9 months, not counting a couple extended breaks. I began learning to program games in 2016 and this is my first release.’

What part does music play in the game and what do you think of it’s soundtrack?

‘Every great game deserves and requires a great soundtrack. Ninichi was able to capture the melancholic mood I had envisioned and set the tone perfectly with her original compositions. The music is relaxing and beautiful and players enjoy it very much.’  

What’s your plan for the game and after it’s release? 

‘After the release of Railed, the plan is to provide a free version of the game, called Railed Express, that could increase exposure to a larger player base. Until then, caring for the game and the customers is my main focus.’

Where can we play it?

‘The Railed storefront can be found on the popular Steam platform. Plans to publish on itch.io and Humble Bundle are also in the works.’

That’s awesome and very exciting. I’m sure that we all look forward to seeing how Railed develops and giving it a go! To check out other interesting indiegames take a look at:


Ninichi.jpg

About the Interviewer: 

Ninichi is a freelance video 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.

Introducing the Game: Arcadium (A Brick & Paddle Retro Game)

Arcadium-new.png

Interview by Ninichi | Contact | Follow

After having worked with William Palma (@Gedorgames) on the game music to his new and exciting game Arcadium, I am really excited that it’s now on Kickstarter! Arcadium is a super fun game and here’s a little interview with William to give us some more information on it…

How do you play your game Arcadium?

Arcadium-brick.png

'Arcadium is played mainly with the mouse to control the paddle. The keyboard is used for the menus. Half of the game is pure brickbreaker action with the goal being to destroy all the bricks in the level. the other half has other goals like destroying enemies, bosses, or competing with opponent paddles & getting the most points or trying to get the ball past them in classic Pong style.

You lose a life if you lose the ball or the paddle gets destroyed. there are 3 different game modes for making the games easier or harder. I plan to have 7 sections of the game with ten levels on each section. the game also has a lot of enemies with their own movement and also powerups that help the player in the levels.'

What made you decide to create this game?

'Well, as a kid growing up in the late 80's and 90's I remember playing Arkanoid and similar games like Traz and Krakout. I always liked those games & i wanted to create something that connected me to my childhood and the retrostyle.

I also wanted to experiment with what I could do with these kind of games to make them more fun & add a little variation to the gameplay.  When I am creating this game i'm always asking myself: "How can I make this game as fun as possible?".'

What did you build the game in ?

Arcadium-boss.png

'I am making this game in a program called Game Maker which is really easy to use and great for both beginners and more experienced programmers. If you don't know any programming language and just want to have a quick start at making an easy game or just try and experiment with it then you can use something called the Drag and Drop (DnD) commands which don't require any coding.

However, I would advise people to learn the Game Maker Language (GML) as you can do so much more with it. I learned how to use the code and at first it was quite confusing since I did not have any experience with any programming language prior to Game Maker but after a while I got more comfortable with it and this game is made completely in the GML.  I learned a lot from trial and error and understanding why some things work and others don't.'

What's the game development process been like?

'When I first started on this game I did not think it would take that much time to finish, maybe a couple of months at most. However, I have learned that making games always takes a lot longer than you think since I have worked on this game for over a year.

I think what most people don't understand about making a game is that all the little things about it like fixing bugs, adding new enemies and bosses, adding new elements and functions to the game is really time consuming, as is the polishing & re-doing of things to make it better.  I constantly see things in my game that I am not happy with or that I know I can improve and doing all these things takes time, but every time I fix something or add new sounds or improve the graphics I always feel really happy about it even if it is just a small thing.' 

What is your plan for the music & what do you think of the tracks?

'The original idea was to have a track for each section of the game and I think I will stick with that. I also want a theme for the boss and a final boss theme as well as an introduction song and a song when you beat the game. 

I have enjoyed working with you and I am really greatful that you showed interest in the game and wanted to help me out with the music. I also appreciate all the help with the marketing and I hope that this article will help make more people interested in my game as well as your music and your talent as a composer. 

I really like the tracks and I think they suit well for the game. It is important to have music that you can listen to for a long time without being tired of it and I think that can be said about the tracks. I have discovered that I actually like the tracks even more now than when I first heard them.'

That's really great! Now a bit more about you - would you want to work in a team?

'Working in a team would speed things up a bit but I think I prefer to work mostly alone with my games since I want to be free in doing the kind of games that I like and not having to compromise on anything.  

I am not completely alone though since my brother has helped me alot with the graphics & making a lot of the sprites for the game and of course now I have you helping me with the music for which I am very grateful.'

Have you had any challenges along the way? 

'There is sometimes the problem of motivation! Sometimes I feel like working and other times I am not so motivated! I guess it depends on what I am currently doing, since some things are really fun to do & others things are boring but they are all necessary in order to make a good game.

Most challenges were in the early process due to the fact that I was a beginner and constantly got stuck on things. The most challenging thing about the game is to avoid getting the ball stuck inside something. Even if I had added a lot of code to fix collisions with the ball there are still things that i will have to work on. However, it has gotten a lot easier and I feel confident that I can do everything in code now. It is just a matter of thinking of a good way to do it since there are many ways to make something.  When I learned how to use variables everything got a lot more easier.'

Tell us more about you & how you got into game development... 

Arcadium-puzzle.png

'I was born in Sweden & grew up there with my mother & two brothers. I have always been quite calm and never wanted to draw attension to myself. I have always liked to play games both board games and video games.

I remember that my oldest brother used to own different computers like the Commodore 64, Atari and Amiga 500 & I loved to play computer games whenever I got the chance. Back then you used floppy discs that contained the games which you input directly to the keyboard. I guess the computer was built into the keyboard since there existed no hard drives then.

With the Commodore 64 however, it was even more primitive as you had all the games on cassette tapes, which you put into this thing that looked like a tape recorder with a three digit number that was always set to 000 and went to 999. You had a cassette tape with games and all the games had different numbers, so if a game had the number 073 for example you had to wait as the tape recorder slowly began rolling from 000 and upwards one number at a time. But, it stopped each time it reached a number where there was a game, so you basically put the cassette tape in and then played the first game it stopped on and then continued on until it stopped again and so forth. I also remember the startup screen - it had a lightblue background and white letters and everytime a game was loaded you had to type "Run" to play the game. I know that all of this sounds like the stone age compared to what we have now but back then that was the reality & no one thought it was slow or clumsy then! 

I grew up before the internet existed & before mobile phones were used. I am quite happy to have witnessed how everything has evolved when it comes to technology - especially the computer & video game industry.'

When it comes to me becoming a game developer it all started when I was on vacation with my family. We bought this magazine called 'Retro and Retro Gaming', which had articles about the gaming industry - how it all started, old games from the 70's, 80's, 90's and early this millennium. I found it fascinating to read about people who founded great companies who made computers like the Commodore 64 and Atari and also people who worked with making games and how the process was and what they said about games.

My interest in game making made me search for programs to make games in and i came across Game Maker, learned how to use it and here I am today making my first game. Thanks to the support of my family I can work on this full-time for which I am more grateful than I can put into words, I have the most fun and best job in the world.'

Arcadium sounds awesome! Let’s all go and support it’s development now on Kickstarter.


About the author: Ninichi is a game music composer and created the soundtrack to Arcadium (amongst other games/films/media). 

If you need some music for your game or project, contact me to explore working together now! Learn more about me (Ninichi) and listen to some of my game music.

Also feel free to explore Ninichi's music blog further for more interviews with game developers and tips/advice on marketing games and creating great game music. Follow me @ninichimusic

Introducing the Mobile Game: Mini Hospital - on iOS & Android!

Do you love mobile games and have you always wanted to run your own hospital? If so, this is a game that you have to check out!

Earlier on this year I, Ninichi, had the pleasure of connecting with Andrea, the Chief Pixel Officer (and much more!) at Twit Games, and I was super excited to learn all about Mini Hospital and to work on the game music soundtrack for it.

Read More

Introducing Fantasy Atmospheres 1 & 2 (Royalty Free Video Game Music)

Fantasy Atmospheres-royalty free music pack.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Do you need some atmospheric background music for your video game or YouTube channel? If so, my Fantasy Atmospheres 1 and 2 music packs might be just what you need! 

I’m Ninichi, and I’m a game music composer. I create custom music for indie games, films, shows and other media. It’s a wonderful feeling to be involved in such awesome projects and to help bring them to life. I believe that music offers something unique which can really help to enhance a game or film and to shine a new light on it. However, not everyone is in a position to commission me to compose music specifically for them, which is why I’ve created these ready-to-go music packs!

That’s why I decided to create various video game music packs (see all music packs) which I hope will enable indie game developers on a tight budget, to still access and have great music for their games. My music packs are royalty free music packs, which means that once purchased, there’s no need to pay any on-going fee for using the music in your projects. So once you’ve purchased it, away you go! (Do note, however, that you are not allowed to create variations of the music or to sell it on in any way).

Fantasy Atmospheres 1 - offers a special collection of 4 ethereal tracks perfect for those magical moments. Tracks included in the pack are: Air, Eternal Star, Frosty and Lullalume. All are designed to create a sense of calm, magic and mystery.

Fantasy Atmospheres 2 - is a follow on and build from the first music pack. It has been created for those needing more variety and a larger collection of atmospheric tracks. This royalty free music pack includes the 4 tracks: Flowers in Spring, Transient, Whispering and Wonderous - all of which will take you on a journey into far away magical lands!

See Fantasy Atmospheres 1 and Fantasy Atmospheres 2 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.

Game Development Tips from the Founder of Indie Game Studio - Rainware

Game Development tips from Indie Game Studio Rainware.jpeg

Interview By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Are you an indie game developer working on a game? If so, do please keep on reading because, today we will be getting to know the creator of TimberTales, a turn-based strategy game brought to you by indie game studio Rainware.

I’m Ninichi, a freelance game music composer and I run this blog! This is meant to be a place for you, the game development and film making communities to come together, learn, find resources and to be inspired as you work on your creative projects. I’m delighted to share this interview with you and hope that you will find Thorben’s thoughts and insights useful…

Please tell us who you are and how long you’ve been in game development…

Rainware.png

‘My Name is Thorben and I am working at my self founded Indie Studio Rainware, since 1st of January 2016 as full time indie game developer. I was able to develop and publish three games in this time already. Before I worked for the gaming company Innogames in Hamburg for 10 years. I am currently working on my next project. I have a strong gaming background and I still play a lot of games.’

What games have you created & what are you currently working on?

Timbertales-indiegame.jpeg

‘My First game was TimberTales a turn based hex field Strategy game. I was inspired by old classic games like Battle Isle or Jagged Alliance. I have the vision to revive games from my past to a new modern era. The theme is what makes Timbertales unique. Unlike other TBS games with world war II settings, I have created a game in a nature theme. It was published on iOS, Android and Steam.’

Space Unicorns-indie game.jpeg

Then, I developed and published FlatFatCat an physic puzzle game with cats for mobile devices. It’s like billiards but with cats and very fast paced. I wanted to try out the mobile market and thought I could earn some easy money. Unfortunately it didn’t worked out as I expected. Space Unicorns is a re-theme of FlatFatCat and was another attempt at the mobile market. 

My current project is a "Mega lo Mania” - Remake. Mega lo mania was the first RTS game I ever played. I started with the development 8 weeks ago and I also do video logging about my progress. This game is targeted at PC and consoles. I also applied for Nintendo Switch development. You can find more information on my YouTube Channel about the project.

What top tips can you share with us and the indie game development community?

- ‘Don’t try your luck on mobile market, if you have no clue about it

- Be passionate about gaming otherwise consider developing for eCommerce or whatever, since the paying is much better

- Find an Engine you like to work with instead of picking the most popular one

- Always create games you would like to play as well. Be your biggest fan

- Keep projects as small and simple as possible

- To finish projects you will need lots of passion, discipline and a reachable goal’

What final tip can you offer that you think will really help a fellow indie game developer?

‘Try to find a partner. Best combination is something like developer & artist. If you need to outsource arts/code and you need to pay for them it will get expensive easily.’

Thank you Thorben for sharing your wonderful thoughts and experiences with us. This is all super useful advice for the indie game community. For those wanting more support with their game development, check out these next:


Ninichi.jpg

About the author: Ninichi is a game music composer and film music composer. She has worked on a number of games and is a great supporter of indie developers and indie games. If you're looking for music that will help your game to stand out contact her now to discuss your game music needs.

Follow her @ninichimusic

4 Ways to Source Music for Your Game

4 Ways Source Music for Game.jpg

By Ninichi | Contact | Follow

Music is an important element to any game. As a game music composer (see more about me!), I really believe that it helps to enhance the overall experience, to bring it all together and to set the general tone of the game. Great music can help to make your game more memorable, more fun to play and can even to make it stand out.

However, it is not always easy or obvious where to find the right music for a game or which approach to take. If you’re wondering what your options are and which way to turn, perhaps this article will help. There are also many other useful tips, articles and resources on my blog so do take a minute to browse through those as well.

In the meantime, here are 4 of the main ways to source music for your game:

  1. Stock music library

  2. Asking friends or a student / amateur musician

  3. Hiring a composer

  4. Making it yourself

1. Stock Music Libraries

These are also sometimes referred to as royalty-free music libraries, production music libraries or simply stock music. For those on a really tight budget, stock music can be a good option as it offers a variety of music available to use on a royalty-free basis, at a very low price. Some music is completely free, sometimes it requires attribution, other times you’ll have to pay but usually a low fee between $5-75 per track. Here are some of my tracks available to license on a royalty free basis.

There are also music packs available from certain sites, which are often even cheaper. They offer many tracks that you can download in one go and which can essentially make up your entire soundtrack. However, there are downsides to bulk packs and stock music generally in that they won’t be customised to your game and so are unlikely to fit perfectly and creating consistency across a full soundtrack can be tough to do.

It can also be quite a time consuming process to go through lots of tracks to narrow down and find something suitable for your specific needs. See the article: Pros & Cons of Using Royalty Free Music in Games to explore this a bit more.

2. Asking friends or a student / amateur musician

Do you have a friend who could help with the music? Is there a student or wannabe composer who might jump at the chance to get involved with your game? If so, this could be an avenue for you to explore further.

Friends are often happy to lend a hand, especially if it’s your first game and there are many student musicians and hobbyist composers out there who may get excited when they learn about what you’re developing. The downside with this option is usually to do with time, quality and reliability/accountability.

If you’re relying on someone to help you out for free, it’s difficult to hold them accountable to you and to make sure that they deliver what you need, when you need it. This can be absolutely fine if you too are a hobbyist and/or are just trying things out for fun, however, if you’re serious about getting your game to market then you may want more ‘serious’ folk in your team.

For composers/musicians starting out, their experience may be lacking and so you may find that the quality of music and the ease with which you can communicate and work with them is challenging. You’ll need to be patient and to be willing to spend time guiding them. You may need to spend time going back and forth quite a bit until each track starts to sound like something you’d like to use.

3. Hiring a composer

This is probably the most ‘professional’ route you could take and so if you want high quality music, which is customised and created specifically for your game, this is the best option for you. It does, however, come at a price, and so you will need to be willing to invest in the music to your game. (See 5 Reasons to Invest in the Music to Your Game).

There are many different types of composers out there, with some specialising in certain styles/types of music and some specialising in certain fields – so not all composers will have experience creating game music for example (they may be a classical composer or a film composer), and so it’s important to learn as much as you can about them and their music and composing experience, before deciding who you want to work with.

This is why I make it easy for people to listen to examples of my game music and to see my credit list and testimonials so that you can hopefully get a sense of what I’m about: - what I’m like to work with, my experience and music. This is the type of things to check out when trying to decide who you might want to hire and work with.

Here are some tips if you want to explore this further: 5 Top Tips for Hiring a Game Music Composer for the First Time

4. Making music it yourself

If you are a musician and feel that you have all the skills needed to create great music for your game, then I’d definitely consider this as an option. The great thing about doing it yourself is that you will have full creative control. You can decide what you want, when you want it and when it’s good enough for your game.

The downside though is that if you take the time to create the music for your game, that’s time taken away from possibly doing something else. So, you will need to have that time to dedicate to the things that you feel are important or you will need to prioritise and think carefully about how you want to spend your most precious commodity.  Making music can be an incredibly fun process if that’s your kind of thing, however, it is very time consuming. So think carefully about what’s right for you.

See Pros & Cons of Creating Your Own Game Music for more on this.

Those are the 4 main ways to get music for your game. I hope this has been useful for you and helps with your decision-making and next steps. It is also very possible to combine some of the above options and so don’t worry if you’ve made a start down one road but feel you might want to explore another.  It’s still all very possible to do. If you want to talk through this some more, contact me to explore how I might be able to help you with your game or project. Good luck! 


NC-small.jpg

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

Check out examples of Ninichi's game music & read more articles like this on Ninichi's blog

Follow her @ninichimusic

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