Skip to content
September 24, 2013 / KingsIsle Entertainment

Music in the Gaming Industry – Getting a Job as a Game Composer

Have you ever wondered who creates the music of Wizard101? Today we have a guest blog from Nelson Everhart, talented composer for KingsIsle games! He’s sharing some really helpful tips about how someone can get a job as a game composer.

People often tell me that I have the best job on the planet: writing music for video games. While it’s not all (ahem) fun and games, it’s hard to argue with that statement. I get to be creative, I get to play with sounds and computers, I get to build emotions and energy, and I get to work with other people to create worlds. Having a lot of people around the globe hear and appreciate my music is really cool too!

How does somebody get a job as a game composer? There are two parts to the answer.

The first is that you have to know and practice your craft. Sure, I studied music composition in school, but I also wrote music for fun pretty much every day. I also played in bands (many of which I started), was the musical director for a ton of community musicals, and composed for anything I could: student films and projects, dances, and plays.

wizard101-composer2

I didn’t know I was going to make a living writing music, I just knew I loved writing it and it seemed my music worked well accompanying other media. Consequently, I practiced writing music for everything. I videotaped (ask your parents what that means) TV commercials and movie trailers, and wrote music paced to the images and messages I saw. I loved when everything came together to create an emotional moment that moved people. If I were doing this again today, I’d be downloading videos and open-source games from the Internet and showing my work to a huge number of people.

The second part of the answer to the “how does somebody get a job as a game composer” is that you have to put yourself in a position to FIND the job you want. A lot of people, some who may be better composers than me, think that the world is going to offer them a job just because they’re good. That’s not the way it works; you’ve got to create something you’re proud of AND THEN get that out there in the world where somebody’s going to see it. Then you have to do that again and again… so you prove it’s not just a fluke. And then do it again for good measure!

Just because a job is fun doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Don’t feel like writing? Well, too bad, because you have a schedule to keep! This applies to any commercial art… writing, illustrating, sculpting, composing: you need to be really good at finding your own inspiration, which can be challenging.

wizard101-composer1

Working with other creative people sometimes means you have to work the way they want you to work. Ideally, this matches up with how you’d be doing things anyway, but sometimes it doesn’t. Artists often get the reputation of being ego maniacs, but if you can learn to work with other people’s ideas, more people will be eager to work with you.

Because I work for myself, I constantly have to find my next job! Even in the middle of a project, I still have get out there and network with all my friends and contacts to remind them I’m out here in case they have any work that could use my music. People like working with those they’ve worked with successfully in the past, but it takes time and energy finding and maintaining those contacts.

But after all the hard work networking, being creative on demand, and collaborating with other creative individuals, nothing beats sitting back, turning up the speakers and seeing your hard work shape how people will feel about a new world!

Nelson Everhart
Wizard101 Composer

96 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. morgrim deathsword yeah buddy / Sep 24 2013 7:01 pm

    I love the music and I want to be a composer:) thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. jeremy / Sep 24 2013 7:03 pm

    nice music… I like the main theme, grizzlehiem north guard theme and the wizcity, krokatopia combat theme. keep up good work and here are some of my sugestions…
    PET101
    ALIAN101 HUMAN101 this many smiles for yaw 😀 🙂

  3. isa / Sep 24 2013 7:24 pm

    lol 🙂

  4. Madeline DawnSmith / Sep 24 2013 7:27 pm

    Seriously you have gotta make an album of you song’s! 😀

  5. Anonymous / Sep 24 2013 7:32 pm

    Epic music! best gaming music i ever heard! 😀

  6. Anonymous / Sep 24 2013 7:33 pm

    The music is epic and can be calm.

  7. Shawn / Sep 24 2013 7:41 pm

    OMG! XD “I videotaped (ask your parents what that means)” I know what it is I have a tape recorder, we have upgraded to digital but man that is a nice line of comedy gold XD. Btw I’m in that age where digital things are replacing tapes XD.

  8. Anonymous / Sep 24 2013 7:55 pm

    the music you made made me keep on going through wizard city and brighten my day your a genius

  9. Anonymous / Sep 24 2013 7:57 pm

    I really like the zafaria and wizard101 them

  10. jose / Sep 24 2013 8:00 pm

    Love the awesome music XD 🙂

  11. ang / Sep 24 2013 8:33 pm

    wow the music is wonderful on wizard101 i like the game to.the best thing is you can play about almost 4 years.this was the game iv been loking for a game with good music and no strategy its so cool.

  12. Gabriel Starcatcher / Sep 24 2013 8:35 pm

    Thank you for writing all this music! My favorite of your scores is the P101 Marleybone regular battle theme.

  13. shekton / Sep 24 2013 8:53 pm

    sweet

  14. Anonymous / Sep 24 2013 8:58 pm

    I think that your music is the BEST!!! Thank you oh ever so much!

  15. Anonymous / Sep 24 2013 9:27 pm

    your music is awesome I love it so much. some times I turn it up 100 percent. I love the Nick Jonas drums of war music the best. please keep adding music. I cant wait to hear the rest

  16. John okamoto / Sep 24 2013 11:26 pm

    There was a dungeon during the Halloween season that didn’t have music. My son said it was ‘too quiet”! It gave me the chance to talk to him about how important music is in setting the mood, not only for video games, but for movies and tv shows. I’ll explain mood music for dating when he gets older! lol Thanks for the blog post! I enjoy your work and admire your skill at crafting the mood for the game!

  17. leeanna / Sep 25 2013 1:48 am

    i love all your songs XD 🙂 🙂

  18. leeanna / Sep 25 2013 1:48 am

    and good job

  19. Anonymous / Sep 25 2013 2:58 am

    Wow XD

  20. Anonymous / Sep 25 2013 3:00 am

    ^_^

  21. Patrick GriffinRider / Sep 25 2013 5:58 am

    If you made the Aquila music (especially the battle theme), I love you…

  22. courtney dragon gem fire wizard / Sep 25 2013 6:00 am

    i LOVE the music in wizard101 its so enjoyable and its so wizard like =P LOL anyways I ALWAYS have my music up FULL volume when I play wizard101 and pirate101 =D keep up the AMAZING work with your music and game =3 oh and P.S kingsisle PLZ PLZ PLZ PLZ add those dragons from the birthday party present into the crown shop D= id do ANYTHING for one!

  23. Anonymous / Sep 25 2013 6:20 am

    You should get epic music maker prize d:D

  24. Anonymous / Sep 25 2013 6:30 am

    My my my! Now i know who makes this amazing music! No wonder my daughter loves this game! The muuuuusiiiiicccc

  25. Patrick silverdust / Sep 25 2013 7:18 am

    😛

  26. Anonymous / Sep 25 2013 9:51 am

    WOW! You are AMAZING!!!!! I wonder how hard it was to fit the music in the game

  27. Chelsea / Sep 26 2013 3:28 am

    I LOVE the music in the game every time I play wizard101 I crank it up to 100% 😛 I also got all my friends too play it and now they are addicted to this game!! 🙂 and they all say the music is cheerful, wonderful and brightens there day! 🙂

    • bluesockwa the 3rd legend / Sep 27 2013 7:42 pm

      I’m a level 89 Ice

  28. Laura / Sep 27 2013 8:08 pm

    Wow, this is really inspirational, or at least helpful, for anyone who is hoping to be a composer or really any job!
    Thanks so much! 🙂

  29. Anonymous / Sep 29 2013 10:59 am

    My absolute favourite W/P101 music is the Avalon Tense theme – truly beautiful, but the ending seems like it’s been cut off.

  30. kevin Blackmore / Sep 30 2013 7:07 am

    i play an instrument and i creat some music can i creat music

  31. robert skybreaker / Sep 30 2013 8:22 am

    I want to be a music composer I love music and I wish that every body could hear what music I could do……….. Good luck for every one and I wish to win love kingsisle bye 🙂

  32. megan / Nov 7 2013 1:59 pm

    love the music so much

  33. Charuka / Dec 9 2013 9:19 pm

    i like the avalon based theme music. i even use the scroll in my wiza house 😀 its brings a feeling of peace

  34. Alura StoryShard - Life Promethean / Jan 15 2014 3:20 pm

    The music composed and played throughout the Spiral is wonderful and grabs your heart! The Winter tusk and Hrundle Fjord is compelling and stirs something in my heart. Your Brilliant! I have music boxes in all of my 6 wizards home. I hope one day Wizard101 will release this wonderful music to a CD or mp3 use because even outside of gameplay anyone who enjoys instrumental music like myself would love to listen to that music anywhere and anytime! Thanks again for your hard work! 🙂

  35. Amanda SilverThorn / Jan 18 2014 10:05 pm

    I enjoy every piece of music that is created for each world in Wizard101 (I had actually wished for KingsIsle to offer CDs of every theme, full-length, for each world. Like, one CD would be each street, building, and dimension in Wizard City. Another would be Krokotopia, then Marleybone, Mooshu, Grizzleheim, and so on). Music composition isn’t my “thing”; as in I would like to try it, but I would never become professional (concept art is more my thing), but I still love to think up melodies in my head to go along with the worlds and characters I create ^-^. Gosh, I am waay off topic XD All I want to say is that I love your music, and can’t wait to hear more magical compositions 🙂

  36. JackLightBane (W101&P101 Fan) / Apr 28 2014 4:17 pm

    I really like the celestia Floating Land theme the best. You can really hear the tone in it 😀 Honestly though, all the music is brilliant. Keep up the good work 😀

    -Jack LightBane, Currently level 92 Life 😀

  37. click here / May 7 2014 7:31 am

    There is definately a lot to find out about this issue. I really like all the points you’ve made.

  38. Anonymous / Sep 16 2014 5:08 pm

    i love you music, whenever i get on, i always hear it and i am always sad when i get off i listen to it and the one that made it, is the best person the i like

  39. angel shadowheart / Mar 11 2015 12:38 am

    I love all the music but the top picks for me mooshu based, zafaria and love khrysalis its a work of art, but the new world I can just taste the inspiration put into it I know it will be like none other and will keep the audience wanting more an more of it until it becomes permanently etched into their wizard brains 🙂

  40. Natalie ShadowCaller / Jul 24 2016 3:05 pm

    Plz release sheet music?

Trackbacks

  1. For New Composers Breaking Into the Game Music Business | Composer Winifred Phillips

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: