1st Edition

Making it HUGE in Video Games Memoirs of Composer Chance Thomas

By Chance Thomas Copyright 2024
    338 Pages 1 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    338 Pages 1 Color Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Making it HUGE in Video Games recounts the astonishing journey of an unassuming, middle-of-the-bell-curve young man, rising from mundane beginnings to scale the dizzying heights of artistic distinction and financial success in the worldwide video game industry.

    This is the story of Chance Thomas, a moderately talented musician who struggled and grew to compose original scores for some of the most well-known entertainment properties in the world. Detailed personal accounts and instructive side bars carry readers across the jagged peaks and valleys of an absolutely achievable career in video games. World-famous IP’s get personal treatment here – The Lord of the Rings, Marvel, Avatar, Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer, DOTA 2, King Kong, The Settlers, and many more.

    Readers will discover unvarnished true stories about starting out, pitching and pursuing gigs, negotiating contracts, composing and producing scores, multinational corporations and personalities, funny anecdotes, daunting challenges, glorious successes, and instructive failures. Autobiographical details throughout provide intimate perspective, vibrant color, and inspiration. The book is written in a comfortable, conversational style.

    Think of this as a career guidebook wrapped around a personal retrospective; a professional how-to manual woven into a memoir.




    Chapter 01.  Music Degree... What Now?

    Chapter 02.  Quest for Glory and Grammy Awards

    Chapter 03.  The Lord of the Rings, Part One

    Chapter 04.  King Kong

    Chapter 05.  Left Behind

    Chapter 06.  Academy Award

    Chapter 07.  The Lord of the Rings, Part Two

    Chapter 08.  EA Games

    Chapter 09.  Avatar

    Chapter 10.  GDC, GANG, and GSC

    Chapter 11.  Warcraft and Other Peripheral Life Savers

    Chapter 12.  DOTA 2

    Chapter 13.  Faeria and Roguebook

    Chapter 14.  Might and Magic and Combat of Giants

    Chapter 15.  Rise and Fall of HUGEsound

    Chapter 16.  Warhammer

    Chapter 17.  Swinging For The Fences

    Chapter 18.  Avatar 2

    Chapter 19.  The Settlers

    Chapter 20.  Church Music

    Chapter 21.  Securing the Future


    Chance Thomas has been a trailblazer in the video game industry since the 1990s, pushing the bleeding edge of music soundscapes from 8-bit chiptunes into gorgeous symphonic orchestral scores, and from endlessly repeating loops into adaptive and massively generative musicscapes.

    Chance has composed original video game music for some of the most valuable entertainment properties in the world, including Avatar, Marvel, The Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, King Kong, Warhammer, DOTA 2, Might & Magic, and many more. Additionally, his music has underscored critical acclaim and blockbuster success in film and television, including an Oscar™, an Emmy™, and billions of dollars in sales worldwide.

    In 1998, he launched HUGEsound to provide world-class music and sound for video games. With dozens of successful titles, HUGEsound grew until its acquisition by a large investment firm for exponential expansion. The new HUGEsound Post Production became a state-of-the-art playground for creative artists, well on its way to national distinction. In 2018, a massive Ponzi scheme was uncovered at the investment firm and HUGEsound was lost to the courts.

    With help from family, friends, and peers, Chance bounced back with HUGEsound Records and composed the magnum opus of his career, The Settlers: New Allies. This was the largest known procedural music score in history, unfolding across 16,327 music files. The music adapts to each player’s individual style, reacts to game play, and delivers a thematic experience without being repetitive.

    Chance previously authored the landmark textbook, Composing Music for games: The Art, Technology and Busines of Video Game Scoring.

    Discover books and music by Chance Thomas at: HUGEsoundRecords.com

    "As a lifelong Tolkien fan I was quite interested in the whole LOTR saga! And as a media composer and educator I appreciated the lessons to be drawn from both the successes and failures described in this memoir.

    This makes the book a valuable read, filled with transferable lessons for those interested in the ever-evolving world of video game scoring and how to pursue a sustainable, achievable career in this field.

    -Alison Plante, Professor of Screen Scoring, Berklee College of Music.

    "If only I could have read something like this when I was a student! Chance is giving us a real life, under the hood, behind the scenes look at what it means to be a professional composer. The writing is informal and conversational; full of great experiences and stories.

    It feels like I'm sitting back listening to an informative podcast interview or a TED talk. I'll be recommending this to all my composition students!"

    -Dr. Benjamin Taylor, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, Composition Academy Program Director

    "The entire book holds useful information for a student interested in the industry, riveting stories for fans wanting to know the inside scoop about their favorite soundtracks, and even those in the industry who want to learn more about a recently retired colleague. "

    -Dr. Matthew Thompson, Asst. Professor of Music at University of Michigan