recently I was reading a conversation about this topic in a FB group. One guy, who had several projects as well in music for games said that it depends totally on the developer if they want you to program the sounds yourself into the game or not. He said most likely with independent games it wouldn’t be the case, as they „don’t want you to touch their baby“. I mean, it sounds obvious as you can destroy the whole project. Games can take several years as films. However, it’s good to know how the middleware works. I worked with FMOD, but unfortunately, it’s hard to get excepted somewhere. I’m not sure how many applications I send out. The companies want to have triple A guys everywhere, which is „unreal“ to get any almost, the best ones are just booked out and don’t care about any applications. They already have all the contracts they need to work for the next years. (I will tell you a story later about one major company which actually replied!). All other guys (me included), had just no opportunity to work on a game, but it doesn’t mean I couldn’t do it. But the people behind the “application” process think that way. Every business is that way! (Actually I will tell you two stories about this “application” process.)
Back to the topic: Sometimes sound design is more important than the music. Sometimes it’s the other way around. By “important” I mean, how much frequency ranges each one gets in the project. I saw a cool chart, which shows how different genres of game sound work. (Need to find it somehow…) That said, we as composers need to play “LEGO” with the sound design, so we cover the right spaces with the music and arrangements.
I believe if you work on an independent project with a small team, it’s possible to make all the sound yourself. As the game grows, time won’t allow you to do both. I just give you an example: I get connected with a team, we want music, sound design, mix, whatever…I know the deadlines, etc. I can be pretty sure, “I can make it myself…”, however, if the deadline is so strict, that I see I will just killing myself and probably will make mistakes due to time stress, I rather give one part to you guys, do my part as well as I can (more time to focus on only my task), than delivering “just something…”, I think you know what I mean.
People often forget to delegate a job to make something better, although it can ruin a relationship as well. (But that’s another story…haha :)) “You see I like stories!”