Scythuz

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So I'll start this off by being 100% frank and transparent, my music pack sales for the Action & Battle Themes pack aren't good, and the Cyberpunk pack isn't doing much better.  It's making me seriously reconsider continuing to make store pack content, but I don't want to give up without knowing I've given it my all.  That being said, if things don't improve, I will be switching to doing commissions only as I don't want to waste my time or anyone else's.


With the above paragraph in mind, I'd like to ask the community for help, I would mainly like feedback on what I could do better, but I also have some more specific questions if people need that sort of structure:


1. What usually stops you from buying a music pack?


2. Do you feel there is too much variety in music packs or not enough?


3. What parts of my packs do you feel could be improved?


4. Do you think I should continue making music packs?


5. Do you feel there are specific areas/themes/genres I should try to specialise in over others?


Feel free to be as blunt as you like towards me and try to reply even if you think the same things as other people do, every opinion counts towards an overall impression, just uh... try to remember I'm a human being too okay? :)


Also, bear in mind that there are many things I can't change/don't have much control over e.g. pack themes. 


@Lunarea - If you feel this thread is inappropriate, please feel free to delete it :)  
 

Bored Soul

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I think the reason why people aren't buying your music is not that it is bad.It is because 


1.They can't pay.


2.They can make music


3.They could just sound record it (if you don't let them listen to the music then you've got a serious problem because nobody buys what they don't know about).


Also,giving up isn't bad.I've been trying Unity and CTF and so far I'm making an RM game and it's been tough.75 plays in 5 months.Not many people like it.


The hard truth is that you need to be incredibly lucky to sell or give stuff out for free and make it a success.But that is not a reason to give up.Make them anyway.Even if people cheat the music,it'll be nice to know your hard work has helped somebody.
 

Calvynne

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As someone who loves music in all kinds of forms and styles, I want to do what I can to help you out.


I listened to everything you've got posted on your website, as I haven't purchased any of your music packs yet. I have your soundcloud running in the background as I write this.



1. What usually stops you from buying a music pack?
-Price. Hands down, the price is what is going to stop me the vast majority of the time. While I would like to delude myself into thinking I will be producing commercial games at some point, almost everything I make is a personal pet project, and will never be seen by anyone else. Your packs appear to be competitively priced on steam (and from what I've heard so far, well worth the purchase), but even then I tend to wait for the discount days to make my music purchases.



2. Do you feel there is too much variety in music packs or not enough?
- In your packs, I'm not sure, as I haven't purchased them. I can't objectively answer this question. From what I've listened to, you have a diverse range, but thematically it all seems to flow together.
- With regards to all music packs available, I think there are lots of packs that have jammed way too many different styles together for the appearance of value. While purchasing a huge pile of music is great to listen too, it's hard to build a game when everything is vastly different in style.


3. What parts of my packs do you feel could be improved?
- From what I've heard you have a lot of talent. I don't want to give you a thorough review without listening to a complete pack, but I like what I've heard so far.


4. Do you think I should continue making music packs?
- Never stop doing what you love. If you don't love doing it, then it's time to ask yourself if its something you want to continue to do it. Please don't let a forum poll influence your hobbies or passions. I write, and if I let everyone who told me I was terrible get to me, I'd never touch my keyboard again.


5. Do you feel there are specific areas/themes/genres I should try to specialise in over others?
- Focus on what you are passionate about. If you like fantasy stuff, work with it more. Delve into what you love about fantasy/adventure music. If you want more cyberpunk stuff, modern stuff, go for it. Your passion for what you do matters. If you aren't in it, we'll hear it when we listen to it.


Here are some other thoughts:


Your piano work has some amazing stuff in it. Again, you have a lot of talent. On occasion you let the music swell a bit too much for my personal taste. My view is that videogame music is largely in the background, the music supports the visuals, the story, the characters, it should be memorable, but not dominate a scene unless its intended, and that's a difficult thing to balance without collaboration with the game creator.


Cyberpunk sales might be bad because there are only a few high quality resource packs supporting cyberpunk and future games. Worse, many of them graphically clash with one another.


I hope this helps you out a bit.
 

Susan

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This is my personal opinion structured in your given format:


1. What usually stops you from buying a music pack?


- I don't like previous tracks made by the composer - i.e. style, pitch, instruments, etc.


- The sample tracks do not pique my interest.


- Too many packs of the same or similar theme.


2. Do you feel there is too much variety in music packs or not enough?


- If you mean variety of music packs, there is more variety these days, than before. But if your theme is niche, then it's likely that not many people will purchase them.


- If you mean variety in a single music pack, it depends. The Action and Battle themes suit your intention to produce a variety of battle themes for different genres, but at the same time, not everyone is willing to pay for 25 tracks, when they intend to use maybe only 1 of 5 tracks from the 5 themes provided. In this case, it might have been better to split them up into 5 smaller packs while offering the entire collection as a bundle at a lower price than the individual packs added together.


3. What parts of my packs do you feel could be improved?


- I can't really answer this question. I'm one of those half tone deaf people who doesn't really know what I want, and I choose random tracks that interests me or suit a particular scene I had in mind.


- If you want a response anyway, all I can say is that, like pack in the store, there is bound to be something lacking in some tracks. I don't expect much, since the packs are meant to be 'generic' in essence.


4. Do you think I should continue making music packs?


- That's not really something anyone can answer for you. It's really your call.


5. Do you feel there are specific areas/themes/genres I should try to specialise in over others?


- Try something unusual like the recent Magical Music Box, Heist and Emotional packs. The first two are a bit niche as well, so you might want to reconsider sales expectations. Atmospheric packs like Soundscapes might help. It'll certainly be easier to use when you consider credit issues.


- JRPG style. I know it sounds generic and easy to just throw this term in here, but there's something about authentic JRPG music that makes it recognisable as such.


- Maybe Rock & Roll. ;)


As a side note, if your sales were better before than now, it could also be because of the removal M+ that allowed members all-year-round discounts (thus nullifying the need to wait for sales, because not many people pay full price), and the sudden loss of the forum store that still has people wondering where their previous packs will be sent to, and where should they buy their packs from in the future. If they're anything like me, I prefer to have my packs in one neat place under one account.


Hope this helps. :)
 

Scythuz

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Thanks for the replies everyone, I'll reply to some of the more specific points now:


@Calvynne - 4. I do love what I do, however I do it for a living and I always have to wrestle with the financial side of things as a result.  It's a fine line between doing what I want to do and doing what's good for the community.  5.  Unfortunately I don't really get much in the way of choices with the themes, for music packs it's pretty much first come first serve when it comes to themes. 

On occasion you let the music swell a bit too much for my personal taste. My view is that videogame music is largely in the background, the music supports the visuals, the story, the characters, it should be memorable, but not dominate a scene unless its intended, and that's a difficult thing to balance without collaboration with the game creator.



This one is always a problem as some people think like you do, whereas others have the complete opposite opinion.  I try to do the best of both worlds, but pleasing everyone is difficult to say the least. 


@Susan - 2. I might see if it's possible to start doing smaller packs from now on, it's occurred to me that having too much variety not only makes people less likely to buy packs, as you've said, it also makes the packs much more challenging to create.  The modern and miscellaneous part of the battle theme pack were much harder to create than the retro part for example.


5. Niches are a bit too risky right now unfortunately.  I struggle to make things sound JRPGey, particularly battle themes, it's hard to put my finger on why but whenever I do it, it never seems to work out, on the one hand, I understand how to do it, on the other hand, I have trouble with the actual execution.  Before anyone says "just practice it more", please bear in mind that I have been trying to do JRPG style music ever since I first joined the forums, it's not for lack of trying but not everything can be done through sheer determination unfortunately.  That being said, I'm still gonna keep practicing it anyway, not being able to do it consistently has been a huge problem and source of stress for me.   
 

AwesomeCool

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1. What usually stops you from buying a music pack?


A: To many songs that I will not use or to high of a price.


2. Do you feel there is too much variety in music packs or not enough?


A: To much, the packs should be more focused in theme imo.  Allows a person to use more of the pack.


3. What parts of my packs do you feel could be improved?


A: Focus on a genre over specific areas/themes.  Basically make a Orchestra pack that can all be used for the same game instead of a battle theme pack which can only use 5/20 for a game max.


4. Do you think I should continue making music packs?


A: If you are not making any money and/or have no drive to make them, then no.  I think you will get more sales/views if you focus on genre packs and popular types of music, but probably not a much higher number.  It doesn't help that there is a ton of other music packs to choose from already (and the bias for not caring about anything but the art itself).


5. Do you feel there are specific areas/themes/genres I should try to specialise in over others?


A: Orchestra and/or JRPG like songs.  Mostly due to the two being the most popular from what I can tell (since you need more interest).
 

slimmmeiske2

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1. What usually stops you from buying a music pack?


Price and theme mostly. I'm still just a student, who has had some low-pay weekend job and currently a temporary job, so I pay a lot of attention to the price. If I like a pack and it's too pricey, I just wait for a sale. However, the theme of a music pack is also important. 


2. Do you feel there is too much variety in music packs or not enough?


I wouldn't say too much, but there's definitely more variety nowadays. 


3. What parts of my packs do you feel could be improved?


I don't have them (I think), so there's not much I can say. Besides like Susan I'm one of those half-tone deaf people who just pick whatever they like. ^^;


4. Do you think I should continue making music packs?


This is totally up to you. You definitely have the skills for it, but if it's not bringing in enough money, perhaps you should just focus on commissions.


5. Do you feel there are specific areas/themes/genres I should try to specialise in over others?


I have no idea. I assume Luna has some idea on what themes sell better? Though considering most people make fantasy RPGs here, I assume those sell the best.


Hope this helps you out a bit.
 

mardin

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1. What usually stops you from buying a music pack?


- The simple fact that there is a ton of royalty free music out there, often released under CC-BY 3.0 or even CC0-Licence. Lots of creators that either release their stuff for free on opengameart or will give you some parts of their soundcloud portfolio for free if you give them credit in return.


2. Do you feel there is too much variety in music packs or not enough?


- Too much. I would only consider buying a pack if it is very specific. (An example would be: Retro 8Bit Horror theme pack. This pack includes: 6 Theme songs for normal Background music, 5 Battle Theme songs and 2 special themes for a dream sequence and a scary scene. This would be a music pack I would definetly consider buying)


3. What parts of my packs do you feel could be improved?


- My english is too limited to explain that correctly, I don't really like JRPG music and that seems to be your focus...so I am not the right person to tell you...and I haven't bought your packs.


4. Do you think I should continue making music packs?


- Who am I to tell you that? The important question is: Do you think you should continue making music packs?


5. Do you feel there are specific areas/themes/genres I should try to specialise in over others?


- Maybe focus on more marketing first. I don't know much about the gamemusic marketing game, but by the way you present your banner in your signature I can tell you haven't really focussed on marketing.
 

Richard John S

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Never give in to the sales amount. I can understand how you must feel though. I have been composing since 2005, and I have created music for iTunes and have tried to sell albums on my own. There wasn't much success. Sure, I made a few bucks here and there, but nothing big. Even though I didn't make a whole lot of profit, I still enjoyed composing the pieces anyways. I listen to my own music quite often. Joining the Rpg Maker music team is a nice experience for me. I don't expect to make as much as Hans Zimmer, but I like being a part of the team and making music that others can use in their projects. So, don't give up and keep the tunes flowing! :)  I listened to some of your tracks, and they sound just fine.
 
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