GameDev and Sound Designers, Composers

Futuresalt Entertainment
13 min readSep 20, 2021
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tainted_blue_studios_control_room.jpg

Hi, I’m Łukasz “Luke” Klejnberg — just call me Luke, you can find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/lklejnberg — Game Designer with love for action, adventure, puzzle games. I’m also a member of Indie Legion — a P2P support network for #IndieDev focused on marketing & publishing #IndieGames, and there you can find me in the Indie Legion Red Team the great place for all Indie Devs.

Some time ago, as a part of our Solomon Snow — First Contact and Lea’s Chronicles — The Crystal Drive games, we were looking for Sound Designers and Composers who could make the right soundtracks and sound effects for us.

As a part of Solomon Snow game, we have already cooperated with one of the great composers “Sławek ‘chafer’ Zając ” (you can read here about him a bit later), who prepared a great guideline for the main theme and the final fight with the ultra boss. He is currently working on patterns in various areas of the game.

However, we needed to do some research on epic music for Lea’s Chronicles and special effects for Solomon Snow like opening the doors, bouncing grenade, first aid kit, flying robots, and much more. That is why we started to look for Sound Designer, Composer.

A lot of people responded, mostly I contacted on Twitter.

Of all those who were asked to send me examples of their works, they provided almost immediately wonderful stuff! I listened to them all, it took me a lot of time and energy, I took notes, it was worth it. I contacted to everyone with different feedback, but I invited to talk about cooperation few of them. Don’t understand me bad, everyone was great as an Indie Composer, Sound Designer, but I was looking for the star who likes to work with Indie Dev people, with great achievements, positive character, great feeling, style what I was looking for, with similar values and prices fits for Indie Game Dev, for example, sometimes there were great composers, but the price was too high for us.

Some of them you can find here https://twitter.com/i/lists/1424317957161824256 (Indie Composers Music/FX list).

I had a few requirements which outlined what exactly I need. I also sent relevant links to the project pages in the hope of analyzing the game, as well as I did by listening to the soundtracks, sound FX.

Two advices for GameDev and Sound Designers, Composers:

What I can advise for GameDev, be honest, speak to things as you see cooperation and describe exactly what you need so that the interlocutor knows and feels if you can cooperate together on the same project.

And

What I can advise to Sound Designers and Composers is first and foremost to get know with the project, there is no excuse that you did not have time for that— what can we talk about then?

During the conversation, the issue of the pandemic, lockdowns (because of covid-19) and how this affected cooperation with others. It turned out that for many Sound Designers and Composers, these were positive changes due to the possibility of cooperation not from the studio, but from the home studio, where it was faster to communicate using online messengers like Meet, Discord or others. I mean not only from the GameDev side, but in general, even creating for movies.

In the end for Solomon Snow — First Contact we chose Giovane Agapito (you can read about him a bit later) who is a Sound Designer and Composer, but in case of that game he takes care of Sound FX side. Sławek is continuing work on soundtracks.

But as I promised, I present here and now the great Sound Designers and Composers that I spoke with them. Not everyone completed this form, however it was one of the requirements to be published in this post.

I prepared a form in which I asked a few questions and collected answers from several people who wanted to fill it in. I present Sound Designers and Composers in the order of the form date completion.

Have fun, and GameDev you get a great information to collaborate with Sound Designer, Composer. Just read it :)!

  • Milo Giraldo
  • Zak McNeil
  • Stuart Honeyman — HoneymanMusic
  • dorm room ambiance
  • Samantha Foster
  • Giovane Agapito
  • Charles Wolf Music
  • Tom Bennett
  • Sławek “chafer” Zając

Milo Giraldo

Tell me about yourself and your experience

Hi there! I’m Milo and I enjoy making and crafting appealing air vibrations (what we call, “music” haha). I fell in love with the chip sounds of my first gameboy, and since then I’ve been discovering and experimenting with different styles and genres.

My experience with games started with GameJams (which I still do sometimes), then developing for Playstation Talents and finally for all platforms I can! I also make some filmscoring, which gives a good narrative sense for making cinematic scenes and cohesive soundtracks.

🟢 You can contact with me via emgproyects@outlook.com.

What are your styles?

Electronic influences fusioned with rock, folk, bossa and orchestral music.

What are your favorite styles?

Funk & Modern-Jazz are HYPERFUN (also I’ve been listening to a lot of Russian HardBass lately).

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

First of all, meeting interesting people that share my passion for video games! It’s always lovely to be able to talk and expand my mindset thanks to new interactions.

Also, as a video games composer, it’s good to be in contact with developers and potential clients.

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

http://milogiraldo.com/

Best examples from your portfolio for indie GameGev

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

Social Media

  1. Twitter: https://twitter.com/milogiraldo
  2. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MiloGiraldoMusic
  3. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_milogiraldo/
  4. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpK4ozIiRzKNYasYbgFkZiw

Zak McNeil

Tell me about yourself and your experience

I am a multi-instrumentalist and LA-based composer from Hans Zimmer’s studio. I write music for projects ranging from big-budget to indie games and films.

🟢 You can contact with me via mcneilzak@gmail.com.

What are your styles?

Orchestral, Hybrid, Synth, Acoustic, Fantasy, Adventure.

What are your favorite styles?

Orchestral, Hybrid, Fantasy, Adventure.

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

I’m looking to collaborate with new developers who are passionate about their projects, and to explore innovative and unique ways to make game music.

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

www.ZakMcNeil.com

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

You can hear my music in the game Star Citizen, in addition to several films including Disney’s Maleficent 2, Christopher Robin, and Pirates of the Caribbean 5. I enjoy bringing the cinematic aesthetic into the world of video game music, using my experience in the film music world.

Stuart Honeyman — HoneymanMusic

Tell me about yourself and your experience

I’m a composer and musician. My performing background is in jazz and blues, but my composition are primarily evocative, orchestral compositions. I like to run the gamut from quiet, quirky or sensitive pieces to absolute, all-out bombast. Also, if given the chance, I will put prog rock in to your game. I must be stopped.

🟢 You can contact with me via stuarthoneymanmusic@gmail.com.

What are your styles?

Orchestral and a variety of pop/rock styles.

What are your favorite styles?

Dramatic orchestral music (see: Tchaikovsky) and jazz (see: George Benson).

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

What really helps me as a composer is when a developer who has a clear vision for their game. It’s my job to help realize that vision through music, but it has to start with dev’s ideas. If you don’t know how your game should feel, I’m going to be bringing my own feelings, rather than reflecting yours. And you know the game way better than I do!

Specifically:

  1. Communicate regularly
  2. Already know what you want from your music (How much? When? Why?) but….
  3. Be open to things changing as the game/score develops

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

Best examples from your portfolio for indie GameGev

Orchestral:

Pop Styles:

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

The Kobolds Left Behind

Paid work, but not yet released:

Castles to the Moon

Title theme for upcoming RPG

Social Media

  1. Twitter — https://twitter.com/StuartHoneyman
  2. SoundCloud — https://soundcloud.com/stuart-honeyman-951970357

dorm room ambiance

Tell me about yourself and your experience

I am a university physics student, and produce music (in many, many styles) for indie games as a hobby. It’s just amazing to me that I’m able to make money from it! In the past, I have had my best experiences with game devs when they give me creative freedom and a clear deadline. It also helps greatly when they provide concept art or demo videos for the level/scene I am scoring.

🟢 You can contact with me via dormroomambiance@gmail.com.

What are your styles?

Orchestral, 8-bit/retro, electronica, rock, world music, trap, ambient, synthwave, and more.

What are your favorite styles?

Orchestral and electronica.

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

I look for opportunities to form connections within the game dev community, and to build on my experiences. I expect them to provide me with some degree of communication in terms of what they’re looking for from me, as well as fair compensation and/or credit within the game.

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

Best examples from your portfolio for indie GameGev

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

Swords and Sandals, Ultimate Reality, Metal Swarm Infinity.

Social Media

  1. Twitter — https://mobile.twitter.com/dorm_official
  2. SoundCloud — https://soundcloud.com/dormroom-ambiance
  3. Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/dormroomambiance/

Samantha Foster

Tell me about yourself and your experience

I am Samantha Foster, a freelance composer for video games. I’ve scored numerous indie game projects. Some of my recent scoring projects include Builderment (simulation game) and Where Did the World Go? (visual novel). I love scoring unique games!

🟢 You can contact with me via samanthafosterinc@gmail.com.

What are your styles?

Many styles: Orchestral, Hybrid Orchestral, Ethnic, Electronic, Chiptune, Solo Piano, Classical.

What are your favorite styles?

Orchestral and Electronic.

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

I am always on the lookout for new indie game scoring opportunities and love scoring indie games. I like scoring games that are different and innovative. I love working with indie devs who have really original, unique game ideas that are different than other games out there.

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

Best examples from your portfolio for indie GameGev

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

The Yellow Ladder

Biplane Racer

Scrub Ninjas

Social Media

  1. Twitter — https://twitter.com/sjfostersound

Giovane Agapito

Tell me about yourself and your experience

Sound designer and composer for games. Worked on Power To The People, NERVE, Unboxing Simulator and others. Working on Solomon Snow — First Contact Sound Design too.

🟢 You can contact with me via giovaneagapito@gmail.com.

What are your styles?

When you believe in the project’s potential, the willingness to experiment and hard study always make the job possible.

What are your favorite styles?

Sci-fi; Adventure; Shooter; Puzzle-Platform

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

Working on projects done with great dedication and commitment.

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

Best examples from your portfolio for indie GameGev

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

NERVE (Gunfish Games); Power To The People (Hermes Interactive).

In progress:

Sound Design for Solomon Snow — First Contact.

Social Media

  1. Twitter — https://twitter.com/giovaneagapito
  2. SoundCloud — https://soundcloud.com/giovaneagapito

Charles Wolf Music

Tell me about yourself and your experience

Hello, I’m Charles Wolf, a freelance composer of music for video games. I’ve been writing music for over twenty years, and have scored over ten indie games this year alone. I hold a Master’s degree in Music Composition from Texas State University. “My goal with every track I write is to capture the emotional core of the game, elevating the experience for the player.”

🟢 You can contact with me via charleswolfcomposer@gmail.com.

What are your styles?

Game Styles: Roguelike, Metroidvania , RPG and ARPG, Platformers, Shooters, Fighting, RTS, Sandbox, Visual Novels, Endless Runner, Puzzle and Party Games, Sci-fi, Horror, Fantasy, Westerns, Adventure and more. Music Styles: Retro Chiptune (8bit and 16bit), SNES/GBA style, EDM, LowFi/SynthWave, Ambient, Classical, Cinematic Orchestral, Romantic, Hybrid Orchestral, Trailer, Rock, Metal, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Solo Piano or Guitar and more.

What are your favorite styles?

I love writing orchestral music of any kind, as well as synth heavy soundtracks with a slightly retro vibe (16–24 bit music).

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

You can hire me in three simple steps:

1. Contact me via email or DM on Twitter, tell me about your project, send me a few musical examples from other games similar to the sound you are looking for.

2. Sign my standard music contract on my website’s pricing page and send it to me.

3. Send me your $35 deposit (Venmo, PayPal), and I will start working up some demos for you for feedback.

It’s that easy!

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

Best examples from your portfolio for indie GameGev

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

Boulder Mage | Awakening the Light | Last Stands | No Body | Mouse Adventure | Runes Domain | American Dreams Comic Book Series | The Island of Spirits | Gem Trek.

Social Media

  1. Twitter — https://twitter.com/CWolfMusic
  2. SoundCloud — https://soundcloud.com/charles-wolf-composer

Tom Bennett

Tell me about yourself and your experience

Hi I’m Tom! I’m a freelance game audio sound designer, with experience working in Unreal/Unity with FMOD.

🟢 You can contact with me via Contact — Tom Bennett Audio website.

What are your styles?

Sci-Fi, VR, Action-Adventure

What are your favorite styles?

Sci-Fi, Robots, Cute/Low-poly aesthetics, Creatures, Weapons, Abilities etc.

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

To work on interesting projects in need of sound design/audio implementation and help be a part of the process of bringing games to life.

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

Best examples from your portfolio for indie GameGev

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

More about projects you can read here https://tombennettaudio.com/projects.

Social Media

  1. Twitter — https://twitter.com/TomBennettAudio
  2. LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/tombennettaudio/
  3. Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/tombennettaudio/

Sławek “chafer” Zając

Tell me about yourself and your experience

Making music is my beloved hobby. I love creating for Indie GameDev because it gives me great freedom and satisfaction.

I created the first several dozen tracks in the old Impulse Tracker. Many years later I started to use, among others, Reason and Reaper.

If you want to make music, here are some tips:

  • Learn to play the keyboard. This makes composing songs much easier.
  • No plug-in will magically make your track sound better. You can create fantastic songs using free or cheap instruments. Don’t buy plugins for mixing and mastering. In the beginning, free plugins for compressing and changing EQ are enough. It is better to spend money on e.g. keyboards or better listening sessions
  • Learn music theory. The more knowledge, the better! You can start e.g. by watching this movie — music theory in 16 minutes:
  • Don’t take too long to create one song. Better at this time to create 3 songs that are not perfect than one that … will not be perfect anyway ;)
  • Grow. Try to make music in a variety of genres — including genres that you don’t like.
  • Have fun :)

🟢 You can contact with me via muzyka@poradnik-budowlany.com.

What are your styles?

Orchestral, electronic and piano music.

What are your favorite styles?

Orchestral music (Thomas Bergersen, John Powell), psytrance, Prodigy style electronic music.

What are you looking for in cooperation with Indie GameDev, and what do you expect from them?

Music is largely responsible for the atmosphere of the game, so close cooperation between the Indie GameDev and the Composer is essential.
Overall, I expect 2 things:

  • Guidelines. Game information, graphics, gameplay. What style should the music be made in? Are there any reference songs? The more information, the greater the chance that the prepared piece will meet expectations.
  • Feedback. Do you like the proposed piece? If not — why? Does it not match the atmosphere of the game? Is it too happy or too sad? Are there elements that are good?

If you have a website with your portfolio, please share it

Example of games where your music, sounds were used

Matches Cup, Paper Frui, Cross Equations, Toymmandooo, Icicle Ride.

In progress:

Solomon Snow — First Contact

Social Media

  1. SoundCloud — https://soundcloud.com/chafer

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