A [computer] game is not a great game unless it has music and/or sound effects, I think we can agree on that one. Even though it might be important to be able to mute the game immediately.
Business as usual nowadays: you whip up a short document and call it a “specification”, and then you e-mail 6-7 completely unknown people and ask them for a quote. The list of persons you gathered primarily from social media using only half a hunch and a gut feeling.
This is what I did to get someone to do the audio part for Oggipital. And not a bad process: in about 2 weeks I had great samples in my inbox and after some thought and review with a bunch of people, I picked one and we managed to get a great deal – I’m getting all the music and sound FX for Oggipital, and he is getting nice, cold, cash for it. Good old business.
It’s funny how deals like this are made nowadays without even talking to the person, live. An old-fashioned person would probably cringe and think of all the possibilities to get screwed. After all, how much do you know about the other party who might be on a whole another continent, even? But then again, you kinda do not know the person, but internet kinda gives you a lot of information about the person. A nice web page, great Twitter reputation, and so on.
Well, this is actually yet another great side of indie game development. Being two small companies, or even just persons, working on exactly what they want to work on, paves for easy contracts. The possible contractual problems or issues become secondary as both parties only aim to build something great. Even monetary compensations become secondary especially at build time – but there’s naturally the hope that monetary compensation comes in all abundance when the game is finished.
Quite the contrary to, say, corporate salesmen who only do it for the commission, you know, shitty salesmen. There are theories on how monetary commissions (bonuses) are actually bad in most business transactions, and all this audio contract making made me think of this. I can see how small businesses get their upper hand on big corporates by building on exactly these situations – starting small, building on the will of people wanting to do great things because of the will to do, not a secondary compensation. You get a different kind of commitment from such persons.
Anyway, I think I digressed a bit there. It’s Ryan Davies, http://www.ryan-davies.co.uk/ who’s producing the audio for me – an overall great guy, but stay away – he’s mine for the foreseeable future! 😉