Video Game Music Albums

Video Game Music Careers

Guide to Video Game Music Careers

Billy Johnson started early in the video game music business. When he was 5 years old, playing the Legend of Zelda.

Most who get a job in music videos do start early with their love of video games, but find that a well-rounded college education, with courses in music theory, traditional instruments such as pianos, guitars, hey even a full orchestra are useful. A background in computer programing is a must. A literature background with an appreciation of story development, classic themes of good vs evil, archetypal heroes, quests, tragedy and comedy is great. You should know about film, video as well as business issues such as licensing and copyright

Some tips from those in the field:

  • know the history of video games and even earlier of pinball machines
  • know the latest trends in games
  • be a positive participant in video game forums, it's a great way to network with the video game community
  • get an education from a top notch university
  • start a blog to test out your ideas, provide samples of your work and get critiques
  • make your own mods to games to see what works and what doesn't
  • build your own original game with a remixed and with an original soundtrack
  • attend trade shows be sure to have cds/dvds and online info for where to download your work
  • be an intern in the video game industry

Like most entertainment careers, video game music is tough to break into. You need to be persistent, make good contacts, be open to new opportunities. A low paying job working with an industry leader is better in the long run than a gopher position that pays better. It's good to get your foot in the door, so keep in mind that a game testing position, digital artist, game producer or designer are avenues to a music career. Other positions in the video game industry are art director/supervisor, concept artist, levels artist, scriptwriter, voice over actor, composer.

Some schools should you consider:

  • DigiPen in Redmond, Washington.
  • Westwood College in Chicago, Denver and LA.
  • Information Technology Program at University of Southern California
  • Full Sail University offers campus and online degrees
  • DeVry has degrees at various programs at different locations in the United States


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