Well, where should I begin?
To preface, this is the first ever convention I ever went to. (Or is it conference, I have no idea.) And to be completely honest I had no idea what to expect. I have always been a gamer, always been involved in the gaming community and so on, but I am completely new when it comes to development. To put it simply, GameSoundCon absolutely blew my mind. I learned so many great things, met so many great people and made some awesome new friends.
So I spent the whole first day in the Basics track. Learned ton of awesome stuff about game sound and composing and such. Stuff that I didn’t even know was a thing. Like I have to worry about my instrumentation because of cpu limitations and such. Streaming, middle ware, compression, etc. To be completely honest, 90% of the stuff went over my head. Game composing and sound is so much more than I thought it was, so much more complicated. I have so much more to learn and that’s exciting! I really want to break into the indie crowd and if I want to be successful I have to be well-rounded. I have to know a lot to be useful to developers, obviously. Anyway, the point is, composing is only half the battle and I am going have leave the comfort of music notation software and move into the big-boy stuff.
Some thoughts on that. I have been very against DAWs for almost a year now. I was fortunate enough to meet with a TV composer who gave me a copy of logic to use. The idea of recording my own MIDI tracks scares me, mostly because I suck at piano. So I have been avoiding DAWs as much as possible. If I want this to be my career though, I have to take the time to learn a DAW, and apparently I can write music on staff paper in DAWs, so that will help my classically trained mind.
Anyway, back to GameSoundCon Day 1: Really cool. The day ended with Chance Thomas’s amazing keynote, “Spoils of War.” Essentially it boiled down to 10 “gems” to be successful in the game industry. All were not only useful for the game industry, it was just amazing all around life advice. The 10 gems are as follow:
- All Puzzles Yield To Persistent Effort
- Money Matters
- Vanguards and Experts Win
- Imagination Trums Technical Limits
- Be Nice and Indispensable
- Rise Through Research
- Face Your Fears
- Protect Your MVP (Your Mind)
- The Great Yes
I will probably do another blog post going into more detail about what Chance was taking about, I just thought it was so important that I at least mention them I had the pleasure to talk to Chance for a bit and he was the honestly the most down to earth person I have ever met. He thought it was a good thing that I attended GameSoundCon when I am young. I am ahead of the game for developing connects and learning what is necessary to be in the game industry. Now the real work starts and I need to get down into the trenches and start learning everything.
Anyway, amazing keynote by Chance, I hope I will get to meet up with him at GDC next year. After that was the GameSoundCon mixer. Met a bunch of cool people there. Some young people just looking to get started and some people with established careers. Some of these people with careers are very young (comparatively), 1 or 2 years out of college. I think this is awesome because it shows that if I work hard enough it’s possible to enter the field right out of college. My worst fear is that I will have to work retail *shivers* or something else just as scary to pay the rent. Hopefully through hard work I will come out of college employed. To wrap it all up, I had a blast and learned a lot and the free coffee was much appreciated
Day 2 was very much the same. Started the day with an awesome omelet from Xpress Crepes near the Biltmore, met up with my new buddy Prin and then went to the Con. Stuff was learned and people were networked. I think the best talk from day 2 was the Business Essentials session from Richard Ludlow, Kole Hicks and Andy Fosberg. Don’t get me wrong, every session I attended was awesome and boatloads of knowledge were bestowed on me. It’s just the business talks was especially important for new guys like me. Sure yeah, the Wwise and FMOD sessions were great for people who already have a career and just want to get better, but it does not matter how good I am at middle ware or even at composing if I can’t figure out how to find jobs and how to get them. Great Q&A panels at the end of day 2. First was the Composers’ Panel and then following was the Audio Director’s panel. Both had some really cool stuff.
I really do not want to get into to much detail, there is going to be a lot more GameSoundCon stuff from me in the next couple of days when I get the time to digest everything (and also catch up on my school work 😅). But I think the biggest take-away from the whole event is this: I had the opportunity to meet the people that helped shape my childhood. I had the opportunity to meet the audio director for Halo, the game that defined my puberty. I got to meet the former Sega of America audio director, the game that defined my elementary years. These people who were just faceless names on a credit reel, I know to be real people. It was amazing to meet the people who helped define my childhood. The fact that I could meet them and talk to them gives me hope that one day, I will be the guy talking on stage and some dorky kid will be totally awestruck by me. Anyway, that’s enough of that. Will post more on GameSoundCon later.