Why The AMP?
The Audio Mentoring Project exists because we care about the future of game audio development. We exist because we know we need a strategy to leave our field a better place than we inherited. We exist to invest in the next generation of audio devs and to invest in each other. We do it freely because we know it’s the right thing to do.
What is The AMP?
The AMP, at its core, is a group of veteran game audio developers serving as volunteers. Each volunteer brings years of experience and their extensive network of professional contacts in the industry. These volunteers form the council that both guides the mentors and mentees on their adventures and shapes the future of The AMP. They may also be mentors themselves.
We always need mentors and volunteers. Mentors are asked to donate a minimum of four hours of their time over a period of two months. Volunteers are typically asked to pick up a project with a defined commitment. Apply to become a mentor. If you’d like to volunteer, read the code of conduct and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does it work?
Phase A of the mentorship consists of four Skype calls, at a frequency and length agreed on by both participants. The AMP helps the mentor and the mentee schedule the first call, but after the first call, it’s up to the mentor/mentee to schedule the rest.
The calls can have some structure to them (e.g. 20 mins mentee questions, 20 mins mentor questions, 20 mins mentee questions, etc.), or can be completely organic, depending on the participants. The AMP provides a guidebook for both mentors and mentees to help kick things off.
The AMP will check in on the mentor and mentee periodically to see how things are going and to offer to help.
After these four calls are completed, we do an interview.
The AMP will host and record an interview between the mentor and the mentee. The point of the interview is to share knowledge with the rest of the community and to build interest around mentoring.
Recordings of the interviews are given to the mentor and mentee and can be used however they see fit. Some of these interviews may also be shared publicly by the AMP, with the agreement of all participants.
Once Phase A and the interview is complete, the mentor and mentee may decide to move on to Phase B.
Phase B is a project or simulation that is either provided by The AMP or created by the mentor and mentee. It could be producing a fake commercial, replacing the sounds from a famous movie clip, career role playing exercises, building an instrument in PureData, sky is the limit.
When Phase B is completed, the results may optionally be shared online similar to the interviews.
On completion of Phase B, The AMP hosts another interview with the mentor and mentee. Again, this interview is provided to the mentor and mentee and may also be shared by the AMP, with the agreement of all participants.
Beyond Phase B
What adventures await beyond Phase B?
To be honest, we’re not sure. We need more data. Help us by getting involved!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply?
Applying is easy! If you are an experienced game audio developer, click here to apply to be a mentor. If you’re looking for guidance and would like to be mentored, then click here to apply for mentorship.
How much does this cost?
This doesn’t cost any money to mentors or mentees and our intention is to keep it free. We ask instead that you pass on the knowledge, generosity and goodwill. And, if this turns out to be a positive experience for you, then help us promote the project on social media. Tell your friends!
What’s the catch?
There is no catch. All we want is to leave our industry as a better place than it was when we started. Ultimately, we all believe in a ‘rising tides’ mentality, and that by helping each other, all of our boats will rise. Just by being part of this project, we all have something to gain.
Do I have to be a student?
Nope. You can be anyone. You could be a well-established advertising composer looking to get involved in the game industry, or a post-production sound supervisor looking for the same… or, yeah, a high school student. If you want to challenge yourself to learn and grow and are responsible, respectful, and enthusiastic, then we’ll be happy to help you achieve that.
Do I get college credit?
Not yet. Depending on the success of this program, this is something that we may look into.
Will you just listen to my reel?
Eventually, sure! The purpose of a mentorship is not to simply view or listen to a reel and to provide a critique. We believe that it’s important to first get to know you and your work through a mentorship. With this context and rapport, a mentor can offer more intelligent and meaningful feedback. If it’s important for you that your mentor check out your job application materials, then we’d suggest that you include that on your application.
Can I ask for a specific person to be my mentor?
We’d prefer that you didn’t. We ask instead that you trust in the core volunteers of this program to connect you with another person that is well-suited to provide you with guidance. We promise to put thought and care into each mentorship that we create.
How long can a mentorship last?
The minimum commitment of a mentorship is approximately four hours over a period of time that is determined up front. The maximum commitment of a mentorship is a lifelong relationship that has the potential to change lives. Seriously! And The AMP wants to be there to support that for as long as possible.
Can I quit after I’ve entered into a mentorship?
Yes, both the mentor and the mentee can quit the mentorship at any time for any reason. However, we strongly encourage each mentorship to go through with at least the minimum four hour commitment. Please be sure that you’ll be able to fulfill that minimum commitment before applying.
I just applied, how long until I hear back?
It depends on how many volunteers we have and how many applications we are processing. We try really hard to stay on top of things, but it could still take anywhere from days to weeks to address each application. If we believe that it is going to take more than a two months to find you a suitable mentor, then we will likely ask you to reapply by a certain date. We ask for your patience!
How do I become a volunteer?
We are always willing to consider additional volunteers. The responsibilities of the volunteers will vary. Examples of volunteer work includes vetting mentors and mentees, reviewing and providing feedback on the web site and documentation, hosting interviews, wrangling social media, organizing calls, and a whole host of other stuff that comes up. The benefits are that it feels really good to volunteer and that we love the people that we volunteer with. If you’re interested in helping out as a volunteer, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
How much time can I ask for from my Mentor?
This is something that you need to communicate with your mentor about. Setting up the boundaries of the mentorship is something that will be discussed in the first few calls, and then subsequently whenever you need to. Your mentor will try to help you as much as they can – but they are also busy people, and may be off fighting fires at work or home sometimes. Try to be mindful of their time, and they will be mindful of yours as well.
What can I share about my experience? Can I tell all my friends?
Of course you can! Part of the mentorship includes publishing podcast-format conversations between the mentor and mentee. These are so you can document and share your experience, and remember the warm fuzzy feelings for all of time. You can inform your friends to apply the same way you did, and then they will be subject to an evaluation and sorting process. You can also share the news of the AMP through social media – we have a twitter account @audiomentoring and a SoundCloud account.
I’m very shy or insecure – what should I do if I don’t feel very confident in these first steps?
Know that your mentor wants you to feel as comfortable as possible so that you can grow. You’re welcome to reach out to your mentor by e-mail (if that’s better for you) and highlight any points of insecurity you might have so that you’re both aware and can work around them.
In fact, mentorships can be good for people who are shy. A one-on-one relationship with a trusted partner can provide a safe place to discuss challenging issues.
Can I arrange to meet my mentor in person if we live in the same city, or attend the same event?
It’s unlikely that you’ll be paired with someone who lives or works in the same city with you, but if they are comfortable doing this, you may choose to do so. It will be a luxury compared to the other mentor/mentee pairs, so know that you are extra lucky. You must also respect the wishes of your mentor or mentee if they wish to remain more ‘anonymous’ – so, it’s up to you to communicate what you would like to do!
What if I am not a native English speaker – can I still get a mentor, and will my interview be publicized?
If you’re not a native English speaker, there’s a few things we can still do for you:
- If your English is very strong and you’re comfortable proceeding with the whole mentorship as normal, that’s an option!
- If your English is not very strong, but is conversationally functional, you can proceed as normal, and you can totally ask to not have your interview publicized if you prefer.
- If your English is not very strong, and you would prefer to have a mentor that also speaks your native language, we will do our best to match you with someone that speaks your language.