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The Sixth Annual Interactive Music Conference
PROJECT BAR-B-Q 2001
brainstorming graphic

Group Report:
Game Audio Network Guild

Participants: A.K.A. "The Lone Rangers" Clint Bajakian; CB Studios
Tommy Tallarico

Alexander Brandon; Ion Storm

Steve Horowitz; Nickelodeon Online Steve Ball; Microsoft
Dennis Staats; Dolby Laboratories Bob Starr; Beatnik
  Facilitator: Van Webster; Webster Communications
 

Game Audio Network Guild

Empowering the game audio community by providing
resources, education, and recognition for its members
.

Overview

The group recognizes a widely perceived need for a professional society to address and further the interests of game music professionals. It was the goal of this group to examine the issues and explore the possibilities for creating such and organization.

Organization Structure

A. Charter

Mission Statement: Empower the game audio community by providing resources, education, and recognition for its members.

1. EMPOWER: Empower the game audio community by providing resources, education, and publicity.

2. INFORM: Actively publish and promote information concerning the creative and professional aspects of composing music and sound design for interactive media.

3. PROMOTE: Provide a vehicle for recognition and awareness of members through centralized marketing and promotion.

4. EDUCATE: Support career development and education for existing and aspiring game audio professionals.

5. ARTICULATE: Provide a voice for dealing with issues within the game audio community.

6. COMMUNITY: Encourage the sense of community and the sharing of experience and knowledge among our members and related organizations industry-wide.

7. ADVANCE: Promote the creation of better sounding games, more competitive products.

B. Membership Levels

We propose the establishment of tiered membership levels to accommodate both professionals and aspiring professionals to enable participation by all members of the community.

A possible membership structure:

1. Apprentice Member (Bronze)

  • Anyone can join, pay membership dues (student discount)

2. Associate Member (Silver)

  • Pay membership and requires proof of publication (3 credits)

3. Voting Member (Gold)

  • Pay membership and proof of publication (6 major titles) and/or professional recognition

4. Master (Platinum)

  • Number of Credits (25)
  • Service to audio community (Board, BBQ, Leadership Roles)
  • Aggregate Units Sold (1M)
  • Years in the Business (5)
  • Other Subjective Criteria TBD

The above criteria are first pass ideas. Details will be determined by the Game Audio Network Guild Launch committee and maintained ongoing by the President, Executive Director and Board of Directors with possible input by Voting Members.

C. Administration and Funding

Business Structure

We are currently still gathering information on whether this should be a for-profit or a nonprofit organization. Corporate structure will be determined by the Launch Committee.

Roles

Elected officers will be drawn from membership:

  • President
  • President Elect
  • Secretary/Treasurer

Paid Staff

  • Executive Director
  • Administrative Assistant

Professional Services, Outsourced

  • Legal
  • Accounting / Book Keeping
  • IT / Web Design
  • PR

Board of Directors

An Interim Board of Directors will come out of the Launch Committee. The official Board of Directors will be elected by Voting Members.

Sources of Revenue (estimated)

  Source Yearly Income Assumptions
1 Professional Member Dues $20,000.00 200 x $100
2 Student Member Dues $15,000.00 300 x $50
3 Corporate Sponsors $50,000.00 20 x $2.5k
4 Grants $10,000.00  
5 Donations $2,000.00  
6 Subscriptions $1,000.00 NARAS Member Conversions
7 GDC Co-Sponsorship $20,000.00  
  Potential Yearly Budget $118,000.00  

 

D. Benefits for Members

The Game Audio Network Guild is dedicated to providing valuable services and support for game audio professionals. Benefits include:

1. Professional Support

Guild Appointed Mentors offering Free Advice

Reduced Fees for Other Organizations

Salary and Compensation Surveys

Free periodicals

FAQs

2. Education

Sample Contract(s)

Support Materials for Understanding Negotiations

Entertainment Platform Tutorials

Development Tools Tutorials

Audio Game Engine Tutorials

Sample Audio Code

Best Practices Guidelines

Introduction to Game Audio

Introduction to Web Audio/New Technologies

Scholarly Publications and Whitepapers

Bibliographies

FAQs

3. Publicity Resources and Services

Press Release Templates

Periodical Placement Services

Newsletters

Access to Industry Mailing Lists

Awards and Industry Recognition

Back catalog publishing to web

Soundtrack record deal facilitation

Group NARAS applications

4. Networking

Published Industry Directory

Member meetings to sync with NAMM, GDC (Yearly Meeting), E3, IMX, Plug-In

5. Web Services

General Section:
This is the Public portion of the site, including many of the resources listed above.

  • Application for Membership (PDF)
  • Schedule of Events
  • Member News
  • Industry News
  • Press Release Summary
  • Demos
  • Member Profiles
  • Reflector, Distribution
  • Corporate Mission Statement, contact list

Members Only (PW protected):
This is the Members-Only portion of the site, including many of the resources listed above.

  • Publisher and Developer Contact List
  • Classified Ads (Gear, Jobs, Dating)
  • Boilerplate Contracts and Helpful Hints
  • Industry Links
  • Whitepapers
  • Job links (hotjobs, guru, etc.)
  • Troubleshooting
  • Mentor Contact Info
  • FAQ

E. Benefits to the Game Industry

We will enable the creation of additional revenue streams via promotion of Game Audio soundtracks

Brand Reach: Raise the visibility of Game Audio

Competitive Advantage: vehicle for keeping in-house staff up to date

Client Confidence A: Audio Produced by Endorsed and Qualified Talent

Client Confidence B: Stabilize Business Practices and Documents for Audio Development Agreements

Web advertising and promotion for sponsors

F. Launch Strategy

A Launch Committee will be formed for the purpose of establishing the legal, business, and promotional structure and to actively promote initial membership among the game audio community. Distinguished representatives will be invited to join from game and audio industries.

Potential Founding Committee Members

BBQ Team

First Tier Invitations

Second Tier Invitations

Initial Funding

Initial funding comes from the launch committee and other future members. Additional launch funding will come from our potential sustaining corporate members via a pledge.

Corporate Sponsorship

We have identified a list of potential corporate sponsors.

G. Launch Committee Tasks

At its first meeting, the launch committee will have the following agenda:

Selection and Protection of Corporate Name

Creation and Adoption of Corporate Bylaws

Election of Officers

Secure Initial Funding

Secure Accounting and Legal Resources

Launch Committee will appoint contact person for each target sponsor company

Create and Distribute an Executive Summary describing business opportunity, target audience, and distribution vehicles (logos on brochures, web, etc.)

Strategize and Pursue Web Site content, design and schedule

H. Future Goals

In a five-year period, addition services to members may include:

Promotion of Proliferation Game Soundtrack CDs

Relationship with Music Labels

Benefits such as Group Health and Life Insurance Packages

Referrals

Action Items

Calendar

October 20th: Kick Off at BBQ

Initial funding: $200 Founding membership, Three years membership for the price of two. (one free year). Approximately $1,800 was contributed at the BBQ closing session by interested parties in the form of handwritten pledges. Once the business structure is in place, pledges may be cash executed.

November 15th: Creation of Business Executive Summary, Simple Web Site, and Mission to share with potential Launch committee members

December 15th: Deadline for Calling Launch Committee Members

January 15th: First Executive Committee Meeting at NAMM, Raise Initial Funding ($2,000 to $4,000)

Agenda

  • Name
  • Incorporation
  • Member Applications

March 17th: Launch at GDC

Entertaining Kickoff and Introduction to Mission

PowerPoint Presentation with detailed articulation of benefits

  • Handouts and Support Materials articulating Benefits to be Distributed
  • Membership Application on the back
  • Sign Up Guild Table with Guild Attendant on Site
  • Web Site must have Credit Card sign-up Capabilities at this time.

Promotion

Web

Acquire domain name

Hire ISP

Site design and build:

  • Plan A: Alex and Steve will coerce Tom to build a Guild web-site.
  • Plan B: Tommy will find a volunteer to build a site.

Summary

Audio content and its development have made great progress in the games industry thanks to increased bandwidth, system performance and more sophisticated authoring techniques. We feel that the audio developers throughout the industry have grown in experience and stature to now deserve a focused community centralizing pertinent resources and furthering their professional interests. Our expectation is that members would experience more rapid career growth as a direct result of participating in the exchange of information and networking promoted by the Guild. The first byproducts of such an organization would be community consciousness, morale and knowledge. What would inevitably follow is increased quality in the game audio experience industry-wide. Not only audio developers would benefit, but so would game developers, publishers and the end users.

section 7


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1. Introduction  2. Speakers  3. Executive Summary  
4. Networked Audio Devices Interoperability Standard
5. Towards Interactive XMF  
6. Improve PC Audio 
7. Game Audio Network Guild
8. A Compelling Music-Making System for the Living-Room Console
9. Schedule & Sponsors