When To Start Looking for Music/SFX

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  • Hey everyone,

    Just an opinion related question here. Where in the development process do you feel it's time to start looking for music/sfx to put in your game? That is of course assuming you end up going the freelancing route.

    I am currently in the alpha stages and getting close to a beta. I had originally planned on taking care of things towards the end of my beta, but now I'm starting to wonder if I should take care of it at the start of beta, so there will be plenty of time for whichever composer I end up working with.

    What do you guys think?

  • Well, music and sfx are probably the easiest thing to add in. There's plenty of free game music out there, and people who will sell you game music, including (probably) the Scirra store. The problem with spending money on such (and graphics) is if your game isn't profitable - and most aren't - then it is down the drain.

  • I considered going the free route, but also wanted to give the freelance crowd a try. The funny thing is, I don't plan on charging any money for my game, or making much of any profit to be honest. It's my first full-length game so I'd like to build up some experience before trying that. That being said, are rates for freelance composers generally high? I'm sure it depends on the composer, but just in general I'm wondering.

  • I started with a post on a musicians subreddit and got around 20 replys within a few hours many of which wanted some set rate but others were more flexible and a few just wanted their music in a game. If you are in the alpha/beta stages of the game you should put yourself out there and find something.. without any money to give incentive for their work or any planned income from the game your choices are going to be more limited but you should still have some options.

  • Very good insight, thank you!

  • If you want to collaborate with artists, I would suggest freelance sites. There are some sites where you can listen to the music and buy them if you think they are appropriate.

  • As a composer myself, I always prefer to get involved sooner rather than later. It gives me more time to find the 'sound' of the game. There are plenty of royalty free sites for music, but if you can find somebody looking for 'experience' or even find the budget for a composer, then you'll get something unique and more suited to your game

  • Well, music and sfx are probably the easiest thing to add in. There's plenty of free game music out there.

    you can try to refer in comments.


  • I'm adding basic sounds early and some music, however that will change before completion, I just got fed up of testing it in silence.

  • dude i'm using FL studio to make me music loops for my games. it's so easy, so funny, and so free -- the demo versión that is, which dont allow you save your projects... a bit like improvising innit.

    music gets you the atmosphere. depending on the game, that can be crucial. i like to add some drafty soundtrack rather early.

  • I actually try to find the music/composer first, then listen to them while working on my games.. This way I build my entire game to fit that mood, and it's less trouble to find it later.

    For instance, I listened to this song all the time when working on this game:

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  • Some composers like myself like to have some material to dig into. Visual, narrative, descriptions. Once you have something solid that can direct the composer would start to be a good time. In the film world the composer is usually one of the last people that is brought in. In the alpha stage you can use temporary music to set the mood if you want to. It is a testing phase anyway, For the beta I feel it would be appropriate to have the music finished since it is not only the production team that tests the game.

    Regarding the free music/paid music part... Once the composer starts to get more serious about his/her work they like to get rewarded for the time they give. Especially if they have professional goals. I understand it is a dilemma when your game is going to be free to get and play, Some paid composers are good. Some free can surprise you, In the end it comes down to where you draw the line with your own goals and ambitions.

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  • Megabeard I second taistelusopulis reply: "Some composers like myself like to have some material to dig into." Although, some composers such as I COULD write music with nothing more than an idea of what you want, having visuals such as concept art or actual game play really helps. It really does depend on the preference of each composer. Everyone is different. For price, it's not hard to find composers who would write music for a free game, you just have to look in the right places. Many musicians make a living off of writing music so an incentive of sorts would help convince some one to write music for your game if you were looking for a professional composer.

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