Game Jam Tips for Sound Designers Part 2

Hi folks. It’s the eve of Global Game Jam so I have another tip or two left for sound designers to get their sounds into games.

This is another pretty simple tip: Work on multiple games and collaborate with other audio folks.

Not all game jam games are in any way playable by the end of the jam, regardless of whether they have sounds in them. I have a pretty large list of jam games I’ve worked on that are mostly broken if not completely nonworking. Having a hand in multiple games is an easy way to limit your risk. If one game falls apart, there’s still the chance that one of the others works.

To be a bit less calculated about it all, there’s often a bunch of good ideas floating around. Assuming there’s enough work for everyone, feel free to get in on more than one project you find interesting.

That said, I’ve always found it best to collaborate with other audio people. Game jams have limited time, so working with multiple audio people helps to make sure that:

-Each game gets its due

-You don’t burn yourself out too much

-There’s enough work to go around (if that’s an issue at your site). It makes sure you don’t take over the games other people want.

This is a good way to take on different roles (composer or sound designer) and find games that play to your strengths in each.

That could mean the team has a dedicated sound designer and a dedicated composer, which I try to make sure happens with the teams I’m on. I’ve even worked on a few teams where there are three or more audio people and they’ve made it much easier to ensure all the needed audio is completed.

Note, though, that having multiple sound designers complicates using the game in a reel to make sure you don’t end up accidentally taking credit for other peoples’ work.

Collaborating also means you get to work closely with other audio people. You can learn from them, to say the least. In a more idealistic sense, it also helps strengthen the bonds of the game audio community. In my experience,* I’ve found that the game audio community tends to be self-supportive and collaborative.

*admittedly, cishet white male experience

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