It seems to me that all of those choices are a way of saying nothing or zero.
"100% of royalties in all arrangements outside of the game itself (for instance Spotify-streams)"
100% of nothing is still nothing.
I'm interested to know how people who write for games can charge in one-off payments.
Per song, per minute or hours of work?
I think game developers will also expect computer musicians to have some knowledge of coding so that the music and SFX can change with the gameplay. For example, entering a new area, picking up a new item. I read somewhere that a guy was using Pure Data for this.
Although if incomes turns out “zero”, at least the percent of each circumstance is specified in the deal. What the outcome of the game and/or the music will turn out in reality is unknown, and therefor beside the point. Or what do you mean?
As for your questions, yes, the deal can specify whatever. In this case the working hours are irrelevant, as long as the final products are delivered and approved.
Regarding the sound effects, correct again, we were talking about some assistance in that department as well. For example, some SFX can theoretically be musical notes so either the music has to be adjusted to that or vice versa. And so on…
Basicly what you want is 10 minutes of audio (game music).
That goes for $500-$1000 on the market, with plenty of examplary 5 minute country songs made for customers being provided starting at a $250 budget range.
When you need 10 hours of work for each song of 2 minutes, that would mean payment of between $10-$20 per hour, depending on that $500-$1000 price.
You would also need to have the equipment already available, and these are not represented in the costs. Also, any extra people needed for instrumental or vocal or remastering parts would add up to the final bill.
For overnight success, make sure you use a workflow you are familiar with, and limit yourself to a few characteristical stylistic choices.
Musicians mostly are unable to make a sustainable income out of music only, and do not make a fortune when they do make money out of music.
Make sure you enjoy your work as musician. Don't do it for the business side of the deal only. See it as an investment in your career, knowledge and good times.
edit: if you think you still want to make money yourself from the final delivered music product, you can always sign a "non-exclusive" deal.
Turning out even on spotify requires a lot of listeners you will be unable to make without a lot of promotion (costs) and/or a big label with a lot of fans supporting multiple artists on the label already.
Thanks for your input and some good points there. Still, I think the current stage of the negotiation-process covers all this.
As for exclusive or non-exclusive this is probably something in between. I would never sell the music to another party without the developer in question to take apart of such a request. In the meantime, the basic rights belong to me while he can earn as much as he wants from his own products using these pieces during a timeframe of 7 years.
So were this arrangement is heading is a mixture of 1) and 2). I keep all the basic rights and he will collect all the gamesales, and potentially use the music during 7 years.
I'd say it depends on how good it is. I mean if you made an iconic tune like Super Mario bros or something, you probably would like to protect it.
I'd give it away for free, but only for use in this specified version of the game and promotions for it. Not for use in any sequels or any other game or context and that includes the audio itself and its melodic arrangements.
This way, if the game and iconic tune becomes a success they are obviously going to make a sequel and they most likely want to re use that tune. Now you're in the position to make a much better deal.
Super Mario Bros kinda hit; I suppose that’s why a deal is always prepared beforehand. Also, for him to avoid a new position of a potential hit with planned sequels / new projects, that’s why he want a long timeframe to use the music without additional payments. But yes, an eventual “remix” of a main-theme in a sequel would mean a new deal but that’s another story. The recordings belong to him, the music / compositions (basic rights) still belong to me.
In this particular case, I’ve offered around 100$ for each 2 minute piece.
An “opposite-opinion” (from yours) at Gearslutz thought another zero is justified to that considering the workload to expect in worst-case for this project.
Still, there are mitigating factors and maybe a middle-way (between ‘free’ and ‘too business alike’) is the best. Which is also what I’ve already offered.
Either way, I hope the game will sell a lot no matter what this deal will look like.
Edited by Chris Edberg, 29 October 2017 - 20:07.