In this 24th edition of The Compressed Interview, Jazmín Giolito talked to me about her experience working in sound design, audio implementation, and music composition. I first met Jazmin at the GDC’19, and recently got back in touch with her through the Game Audio LATAM community, which she co-founded. Jazmín is also a member of the board of directors of Rosario Game Devs and co-organizer of the Women Game Jam.
This is what she shared with me:
Threshold: Getting Started
J: How did you get started in audio? What was your first job and how did you get it?
JG: I got started in audio production as I was studying for a degree in Music Composition. I wanted to have the knowledge and skills to record and produce my music, so I decided to pursue a career in Technology and Sound Art. One day, I saw a flyer on one of the walls of my University; it said “Rosario Game Devs” in big orange letters, and it was advertising a meeting of the local community of game developers. My surprise was HUGE. I had no idea that people were making video games in my city, but I had a sudden urge to know everything about it. I was very excited.
I went to my first meeting, and everyone was so welcoming and generous that I started attending all of the reunions and partaking in every possible game jam. As months and jams went by, I met people with whom I enjoyed working, and it was together with them that I assembled my first team and got money-in-exchange-for-music-and-sounds for the very first time. We developed a prototype for a small project and, with that and a game design document, we applied for a public grant. We won, and for over a year, we were able to re-invest that money in work hours for that project. It was a great experience and, what’s even better, is that, with that project as a portfolio, I was able to get my next job as a sound designer for the studio Bird Pals.
Attack: Things to discuss
J: How did you know this was the industry that you wanted to work in?
JG: During my first year submerging into the game dev universe, I discovered games I didn’t know about before. I started playing more and more of those games, and, at some point, a member of Rosario Game Devs suggested that I could contact my new favorite audio professionals.
I was about to apply for a scholarship, and I needed some feedback. “Give it a try!” said my friend: you have nothing to lose.
I went back home from the meeting and, with my hands shaking a bit, I sent a message to the official contact email of Supergiant Games. Later that same week, I opened my mailbox, and there it was! An email from Mr. Darren Korb himself, being respectful, generous, and very encouraging. We exchanged a few emails and, in March the following year, we met at the Game Developers Conference and went out for tomato soup.
Darren’s sweetness was so heartwarming that I knew I wanted to be a part of this industry and, hopefully, someday do something similar for another young professional.
Release: Talking about the good stuff
J: What’s the next step in your career? Any project you are working on?
JG: These days, I’m finishing my first project alongside the team at the Polish studio Plastic, directed by Michał Staniszewski. The project is a game for the permanent collection of a brand new museum of science and technology called EC1. It’s a game about game development, designed around the IP of The Witcher, so we had the joy of working together with CD Projekt. Being a part of this project was very enjoyable, and, as always, I learned a lot in the process.
In the future, I’ll join Plastic on their next project. For me, working with them is an absolute pleasure. Their game Bound is among the list of games that confirmed my desire to be an audio professional in this industry, so learning from this team is an honor.
In parallel, I will continue volunteering as an international producer for Women Game Jam and co-organizer of the community Game Audio Latam.
J: What would you say is the most important thing when composing music or creating/implementing sound?
JG: One of the most valuable lessons I learned over time is the importance of taking breaks. As audio professionals, breaks are a physiological need. We need them to recalibrate our ears — the most important tool we possess — and stay sharp, knowing that we can trust our perception.
That aside, breaks can genuinely help when facing a challenging problem or a creative block. My policy is: if you can’t find the solution, move on to the next thing and come back later. The answer might arrive when you least expect it, so why hit your head against the wall? Have some tea, work on the next task. Take a break!
J: What are the biggest life lessons learned in your personal life and professional career?
JG: Stay curious, be social, and take care of yourself. Spend time with your loved ones. Don’t let adversity discourage you. Learning from others and being generous with our own experiences is fundamental. Be humble and respectful, but never hesitate about asking questions. And, about those questions, do not ask them only to your colleagues. Getting to know your teammates, bonding with them, and understanding what they do is very important. It will not only make you a better professional but also lead to better and more meaningful relationships.
Above all, remember that things take time. Be patient, do not overwork yourself. Doing activities other than sitting in front of your DAW will nourish your creative muscles, so take the opportunities to spend time with the people you love.