Video game productions differ heavily in team size, budget, channels of distribution, involvement of publishers and other factors and are therefore difficult to put into categories that cover the complete video game industry. Nonetheless it is necessary to make a reasonable categorisation in order to be able to conduct a meaningful data analysis. For this study, four categories were defined:
1. Retail/download title with large budget (dependent on/financed by a major publisher)
2. Retail/download title with smaller budget (dependent on/financed by a major publisher)
3. Casual game (dependent on/financed by a major publisher)
4. Indie game (not dependent on/not financed by a major publisher)
This categorisation cannot represent all possible types of game productions. Participants were asked to resemble the last project they worked on to the category that fits the most.
AUDIO TEAM SIZE
For the purpose of homogenous data, participants were asked to only count composers, sound designers, audio directors and audio programmers to the audio team and not external people like live musicians, voice artists etc.
For casual, indie and smaller budget games, the core audio team mainly consists of 1 to 3 people. Teams in big budget productions can differ in size tremendously. Teams of 4 to 12 people are not unusual.
In 50% of the big budget productions, the participants worked more than 12 months on the project. Audio production for casual and indie games usually took less than 3 months.
COMMUNICATION (visible in full report only)
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GAME MUSIC OUTSIDE THE GAME (visible in full report only)
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SPECULATIVE DEMOS (visible in full report only)
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FMOD (20%) and Wwise (17%) are the most used audio middleware solutions in game productions. In 20% of the game productions, a custom solution of the developer was used. 25% of the games didn’t use any middleware. 14% of the participants said they don’t know if or which middleware solution was used in their last project.
PLACE OF DEVELOPMENT
For the last project they worked on, 62% of the pure freelancers worked with a studio based in the same country they live in. 25% of the participants worked with a developer based in another country. 12% could not give a clear answer, for example when the developers were located in different countries without a joint office. Possible reasons for the preference of working with a studio from their home country might be better local networks, no language barriers, or simply personal preference. These reasons should be subject of future research.
For most casual and indie games the music was done by the composer alone, either with samples only or with self-played and self-recorded instruments. 70% of the big budget productions had at least some of their music recorded live by hired musicians.
In 91,4% of the productions, there was no separate budget for live recordings (54,8%) or the participants did not know if there was a separate budget for live recordings (36,6%). If there were any separate budgets available, they varied tremendously between 300€ and 80,000€. The mean budget was 13,190€ (median: 3,269€).
The most named places for live orchestra recordings were Budapest (Hungary) (5x), London (United Kingdom) (3x) and Sofia (Bulgaria) (2x). Because of the low number of responses, this has only very limited informative value.