Season 8- Bootcamp

Season 8 will be our most adventurous round of challenges to date, with more challenge and some big incentives.
Do you have what it takes to survive ... VGM Bootcamp!?

VGM Bootcamp!

10 Rounds, 10 Challenges... complete them all for a chance to win over $1,500 in rewards...
... a VGM commission, a VGM composing course,
awesome Libraries for your DAW, feedback from pro composers, real world project opportunities and more!

Did that get your attention? :-) Yes, this season we are offering the following rewards for participating, but you will have to work for it! You will have to be active in the VGML server and participate in every challenge in Season 8 to be in the running!

Why bootcamp? Music making is as much about discipline as creativity, and our challenges are designed to encourage you to make a piece of music every two weeks. Its a great exercise to build your skills, share your work and get supportive feedback.

Remember VGML Challenges are about participation and having fun learning new skills, it is not a competition, and its open for everyone to join. You don't have to create a masterpiece, just put some thought into the challenge topic, experiment a little and have fun!!

Major Sponsor - Orchestral Tools

We are excited to announce that Orchestral Tools are supporting VGML's Season 8 by generously  providing a number of incredible orchestral libraries as major participation rewards for Season 8!!!

VGM Bootcamp Major Rewards!

VGM Bootcamp Reward 1

Orchestral library Metropolis Ark 1

Inspired by Fritz Lang’s awe-inspiring 1927 movie Metropolis, this is the revolution of epic in a single box.

A huge orchestra, a choir, percussion, a grand piano, and a metal band with a single vision: Bold, loud, and breathtaking. Metropolis Ark 1 features the loudest imaginable dynamics, ranging from mf up to fff.

All instruments were recorded with first-call musicians at the Teldex Scoring Stage in Berlin. Now updated for the SINE Player, Metropolis Ark 1 offers everything you need to create powerful musical monuments of your own.

Kindly sponsored by Orchestral Tools.

VGM Bootcamp Reward 2

Orchestral library Whisper

Summon ethereal tones and channel atmospheric harmonies with four softly played wind instruments—a flute, a muted cornet, a flugelhorn, and a bass clarinet, alongside a rich ensemble of intricately processed pads, plucks, and keys.

All four instruments come complete with a wide range of articulations and three mic positions each. With a super-soft legato, and a choice of short, expressive, or long swells, these sounds possess a delicate, intimate character that span the range from tonal to textural. Perfect for writing solo passages or creating complex evolving textures.

While designed to be played individually, these four instruments also perform well as a group.

Murmuring winds, drifting melodies, and billowy landscapes of sound; Whisper gives you a rich and distinct sonic palette for scoring, sound design and music production. 

Kindly sponsored by Orchestral Tools.

VGM Bootcamp Reward 3

"Making Game Music" Online Course

A fantastic course specifically focused on helping VGM composer learn the basics of composition - Making Game Music: The Fundamentals of Composition by Matt Kenyon. Matt has a wealth of knowledge to share and will be joining us on our Discord server to run a couple of short workshops tied to some of the challenges.

Kindly sponsored by Matt Kenyon from Composer Code.

Outstanding Track Reward:

US$200 VGM commission 

A commission to compose and produce a piece of music of approx. 3mins length for VGML. You will use all the skills you develop in the challenges to deliver this piece of work. The commission details will be announced at the end of the challenge season.

Plus a special badge added to your name on the server only available to season winners.

Sponsored by VGM Lounge.

Members Choice Reward: Number 1 track as voted by our members.

Orchestral Tools Library - Opaline: Hazy guitar trio

Delicate picked chords from a stratocaster weave around falsetto vocals and a soft, yearning trumpet. Play picked chords from the neck pick-up, chopped up and redefined via a unique performance system. Legato trumpet melodies and textures add air, while the vocalist ad libs like a poet. The processed patches can reach up to the skies or place roots, whichever way your mood swings.

Supporters Reward: Top ranking by votes cast.

Orchestral Tools Library - Miroire: Period instruments and voices

A modern sample collection with a historical sound, Miroire includes a collection of period instruments and vocals inspired by an earlier era—all recorded with specialist musicians. Access sounds that reflect another time to build scores for period dramas or fantasy-themed TV shows, films, and games.

VGM Bootcamp Additional Participation Rewards

Just by participating you can win the following rewards....

Would you like to add your product to our rewards pool? If so we would love to hear from you! Jump on the Discord and ping dGecko for details.

How do you participate to Win Rewards?

There are a few conditions that you need to meet to be in the running. Bootcamp is primarily for original compositions so please check the details below.

Bootcamp Rewards: 

Rewarded at the end of the season to members who complete the Bootcamp, selected in a random draw. Completing Bootcamp involves the following:

All those that meet the above criteria will go into a live draw at the end of round 10 to determine who will receive the rewards.

Outstanding Track Reward: 

The top three Bootcamp entries over the entire season, as voted by our community*, will go to a panel of professional VGM composers who will select the track they feel is the most outstanding and suitable track from a video game perspective. The judges will also provide some valuable feedback to their selected track's composer. The judges for this reward will be:

Members Choice Reward: 

You must participate in all 10 rounds of the season and receive the highest number of member voted hearts for the season in total. Hearts can be earned for original tracks and covers, but only one or the other for each round. If you do both, the highest count will go towards your season total.

Supporters Reward: 

To include our non-participating members in the Bootcamp challenge, this is for the person that accumulates the most voter hearts for the season. Voter hearts are earned by leaving feedback (min. 50 words) on entries in the challenge. You don't have to vote in every round, but it would be advisable if you want to top the rankings. :-) When you leave your feedback it must start with a ping to the person you are leaving the feedback for, as in the example below, otherwise it won't get counted. Thanks.

Always start your feedback with a ping to the person this feedback is for. It makes counting up feedback so much easier, thanks. And remember its 50+ words to count.

Late-starters Rewards: 

You must join Bootcamp before the end of round 5 (i.e. you must submit a challenge track for rounds 5 to 10 inclusive). This reward is for original track submissions only. At least 10 games will be given away to our late starters to say thanks for joining us!

Note, everyone is welcome to join the challenges at any time, and do as many or as few as you like, but only our active members will be in the running for the rewards. Consistency is the key. Our staff (admins and mods) will be excluded from the rewards, but will participate in the challenges.

  • Voting formula: Votes for each round are weighted based on the total number of people who voted for #challenge-submissions tracks on the voting day for the challenge, which is the day after the round submissions close. So if someone is voted 10 hearts and there are 50 voters in total on voting day, the result will be 10/50 = 0.2 weighted score. If the next week someone is voted 10 hearts but there are 100 voters then the weighted result is 10/100 = 0.1 weighted score. At the end of 10 rounds the three tracks with the highest weighted score are the top three contenders.

What does the Challenge Season look like?

The challenge season runs for 10 rounds, and each round is usually two weeks long. The challenges are designed to force you to stretch your composing skills, creating work that may be outside your usual style or something you may not have done before. Its a friendly challenge, so this is not about being the best, this is about developing your skills, consistency, collaboration and having a fun time along the way. You can look back at our previous challenges to get an idea of what to expect, though this time we will have 10 unique challenges that will push you a little harder than before. Each challenge will have a theme and an expected outcome. In some challenges you might work with other creatives, in other challenges it might be an exercise that mimics a real world project, and in others you will be working independently to deliver to a brief. It will be varied in style, but always with Video Games in mind.

There will always be two challenge categories. One will be an original composition challenge, the other a cover/remix challenge. You can do one or both, but it is the original challenge that counts towards the main VGM Bootcamp rewards.

Each round we will update the list below with the themes and details, plus during the season we will run some Bootcamp workshops to help you take your work to a wider audience.

Bootcamp Radio

During the challenge we will host the challenge entries on our special Bootcamp radio station channel, running 24/7 for members to enjoy any time. You can follow the progress of our contributing members and cheer them on!

Bootcamp - Participant Progress

Note: Dates and challenge specifics may change as required as we lock in detail.


Round 1: Honing Your Craft - Learn to steal like an artist. A warm up music theory activity.

We are starting the first round in mid-September 2022. More details to come.
19-Sept to 2-Oct. Deadline: End of the day Midnight 2 Oct UTC. Voting: 3 October 

“The difference between plagiarism and writing a good piece of music is that instead of stealing from one song, you’re stealing from six.” – 8-bit Music Theory 


Matt Kenyon - Steal like an Artist!
11:30pm UTC 19th September 2022
Location: VGML Live Shows Voice Channel


Round 2: Live Recording - Anime-style project.

3-Oct to 16-Oct. Deadline: End of the day Midnight 16 Oct UTC Voting: 17 October - 24th October.
Extra time deadline: Midnight UTC 23rd October in case you have problems. (Voting will stay open till the 24th.)

Harmony and melody are two sides of the same coin. They inform, enhance, and build upon one another to create the timeless tunes we know and love. Most VGM tunes are held together by a memorable melody and a harmony that supports it.


Round 3: GameDev Challenge 1 - Chance to join a small team of composers in a real world game development project.

17-Oct to 30-Oct. Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 30 Oct UTC-0
Voting: 31 October

Love, fight, scheme, and claim greatness. Determine your noble house’s legacy in the sprawling grand strategy of Crusader Kings III. Death is only the beginning as you guide your dynasty’s bloodline in the rich and larger-than-life simulation of the Middle Ages.


Round 4: Scoring a VGM video - Collaboration with a game studio challenge event.

31-Oct to 13-Nov. Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 13 Nov UTC-0
Voting: 14 November

Video game trailers are the best way to get the message about your new game out into the world, so creating a killer score for a trailer is critically important. This music music grab the attention of the viewer and hold them to the end!


Round 5: Finding creativity within constraints. Amazing free tools to get you creating right away.

14-Nov to 27-Nov. Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 27 Nov UTC-0
Voting: 28 November - 4 December


Round 6: Building a body of work - Time to start showing off your hard work!

28-Nov to 11-Dec. Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 11 Dec UTC-0
Voting: 12 December

One of the biggest differentiators of successful composers is that they make creativity a habit. You must find time to compose every day.


Round 7: GameDev Challenge 2 - Chance to have your music appear in a real game development project.

12-Dec to 8-Jan. (4 weeks) Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 8 Jan UTC-0
Voting: 9 January


Round 8: Collaborating

9-Jan to 22-Jan. Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 22 Jan UTC-0
Voting: 23 January 2023

"Success is best when shared."

One of the secrets I feel to long term success is the ability to work collaboratively with other people. There is a magic that comes from giving over your idea to someone else to interpret from a different perspective, and a great learning exercise as well.


Round 9: Dynamic music - a music theory project.

23-Jan to 05-Feb. Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 05 Feb UTC-0
Voting: 6-12 February

They don't call video games interactive entertainment for nothing. It is interactivity that makes them so immersive, and the music for games works best when it is equally interactive. Writing music for interactivity though is a bit different to traditional linear music, and its a critical skill for composers to learn.


Matt Kenyon - Dynamic Music


Round 10: Imagining a game play sequence...

06-Feb to 26-Feb (3 weeks). Deadline: Sunday End of the day 11:59pm 26 Feb UTC-0
Compiling of videos: 27-Feb to 5-March (Done by dGecko)
Voting: 6 March to 12 March

This round will be a little different in that everyone will be working in secret to create their assigned part, without knowing the full story (and you should not share anything until the round closes!), and then there will be an assembly into some videos at the end. It should be fun. There will be 3 weeks to create your part, and then a week for me to do the videos, and then we will enjoy the outcomes together.

Deadline to submitting tracks for the Albums: 5th March

Season Wrap up - Rewards Draw and Results Announcements

Tentative Date: 2 April 2023

Stay tuned for details.