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Who we are
What we offer
Testimonials by Game Industry leaders
What the press has said about us
How to contact us

Who we are:

When The Fat Man writes his own bio, it goes like this:

“The Fat Man is a big-hearted alien who wears the skins of cowboy heroes whose bodies he has found in the desert. He finds it to his liking to hover over Austin in a huge radar-cloaked zeppelin, composing music for games with his legendary team of Cowboy Composers, Team Fat. His work on hit games has more than once changed the face of game music. People Magazine called him “a top candidate for the most prolific—and obscure—living American composer,” yet as he consumes only ammonia and uncooked brown rice, his rates remain reasonable, and he is very well-behaved.”

That and his flamboyant style of dress give you some insight into his creativity, but here’s the dirt:

George Alistair Sanger, AKA The Fat Man, was raised in a California beach town. His musical mentor was his high school band director who had been the leader of the famous 60’s surf band, The Astronauts.

At Occidental College, George studied physics and earned a bachelor’s degree in music. He then went on to do graduate work at both Loyola Marymount’s television production school and the prestigious USC film school.

George worked in Los Angeles area recording studios for several years and was one of the first engineers to create digital masters for the compact disc format.

In 1983 George created his first composition for an electronic game. It was a ten-second piece for an Intellivision game called “Thin Ice”. Since then he has created music, sound effects and voice for hundreds of games, many of them ground breakers.

As a well-respected leader in the field of game audio, George has been able to do a great deal to further its art, technology, and methodology. He is the cofounder and host of Project Bar-B-Q, the premier interactive audio conference, an annual event since 1996. He has worked for many years to improve, simplify, and promote interactivity in game audio. His efforts in this endeavor helped to form the IASIG’s Interactive XMF working group (creators of the only open standard interactive audio container file format), of which he is a member. In 2006 his group launched a second conference, Project Horseshoe, a game design think tank in the style of Project Bar-B-Q. George is on the advisory boards for Full Sail, the Austin Community College game department, the Austin Game Developers Conference, and Game Developer Magazine. George is also a member of the board of directors of BEAM Foundation. He is a member of NARAS and the IGDA. George helped launch the Videogame Archive at the University of Texas Center for American History. He describes his book, The Fat Man on Game Audio: Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness (New Riders, 2003), as "a book about game audio wrapped in a biography wrapped in a philosophy on life." In 2007 George was presented with the Game Developers Choice Community Contribution award.

The Fat Man's innovations include the first General MIDI score for a game, the first soundtrack CD that shipped with the game, the first game music considered a work of art, the first game featuring a live band recorded to MIDI, the first game music considered a selling point of the game, and the first context-sensitive soundtrack to attract industry attention.

His areas of expertise include all aspects of music production, sound effects creation, and voice recording. His consulting work includes development of sound sets/tone banks and speaker selection and cabinet design. Although George loves to work on games, he also creates audio for film and television projects.

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What we offer:

Using The Fat Man makes sound business sense (pun intended).  We are your no-hassle, no-overhead "in-house" audio department.

   We provide complete professional audio services and facilities including

  • The most experienced and reputable team in the industry
  • Name recognition by game music fans
  • Highest quality music, sound effects, voice, and ambient audio
  • On-schedule delivery!
  • Composing services including multiple iterations if needed
  • Arrangements
  • Performances using top quality talent
  • Recording
  • Production
  • Digitization
  • Assistance, upon request, with the audio spec.
  • State-of-the-art facilities and equipment
  • Soundtrack CD's.  Your product could win a Grammy Award!

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Testimonials by Game Industry leaders:

  • Mark Terrano - Game Designer (Age of Empires II among others), Design Director at Hidden Path Entertainment, Educator, Renaissance Man.
  • Brian Moriarty - Brian co-founded Infocom and MPath, and produced some marvelous games for LucasArts including Loom.
  • Steve Meretzky - Steve has been a computer game designer since 1982, and an American Express cardmember for about two weeks.
  • Rob Landeros - industry veteran, computer graphic artist, art director, game designer, designer of 7th Guest/ 11th Hour, game developer and publisher, founder of Trilobyte and Aftermath Media.
  • Mike Wilson - co-founder and CEO, Gathering of Developers
  • David Javelosa - Composer, Media Mouth and Technology Evangelist
  • Matt Costello - writer and designer of The 7th Guest, The 11th Hour, Zoog Disney, Clue Chronicles and many more..
  • Ellen Guon Beeman - Ellen Guon Beeman is a designer and producer of computer games, with credits on over thirty titles for Microsoft, Disney, Sega, Electronic Arts, Origin, and others.  She's best known for her work on the award-winning Wing Commander series.  Ellen is the organizer of the Austin Game Developers, and in 1999, was appointed by Austin's City Council to the Telecommunications Commission to advise city officials on technology issues.  Ellen is also a former television scriptwriter and has published four novels.  She is currently a freelance designer and production consultant, and works part-time with the Mary-Margaret.Com Recruiting Agency.
  • Ron Gilbert - Humongous Entertainment/Cavedog Entertainment
  • David Warhol - Satisfied Customer.  President, Realtime Associates
  • Tim Keenan - All inPlay -- the only place on the Internet where the visually impaired and the sighted can play games together as equals.
  • Francis Preve - Writer (EQ, Electronic Musician, Music & Computers).  Program Director, NemeSys Technology Inc.
  • Alexander Brandon - Composer (Unreal)
  • Michael Land - Head of Music and Sound, LucasArts Entertainment Co.
  • Rhonda Conley - Humongous Entertainment
  • Joe Enzminger - software engineer, Potentia Software
  • Jeff Lind - systems engineer, Potentia Software
  • Dr. Cat - Dragon's Eye Productions


Mark Terrano:

George and Team Fat did the music and sound effects for our title Wits & Wagers. I enjoyed working with George - he really takes the time to listen and 'get' the vision of the game. We both approach design from an emotional perspective - my goal was something that was catchy and that would be fun for the characters to 'dance' to. Team Fat delivered some wonderfully funky, quirky pieces that were a great complement to the graphical style of the game. There is a different theme to each question round and they build nicely toward the conclusion. I like that our game doesn't sound like every other game out there.

During the development process the whole team was responsive questions and concerns - always very professional and knowledgeable while still being down-home friendly. I'd definitely work with Team Fat and the Fat Man again and recommend them highly.


Brian Moriarty:

It was my pleasure to help put The Fat Man on the map, thanks to his award-winning MIDIfication of some rather difficult Tchaikovsky for my Lucasfilm Games adventure, LOOM.

Since then, I have had the delight of working with George and his team on a number of occasions. Here's what to expect:

1. He will put his heart and soul into everything he writes for you.
2. He will give you at least 200% more than you asked for.
3. He will drink with you, philosophize with you, invite you to his jam sessions, and even let you ride in his antique Rolls.
4. He might charge you a bit more than his competitors. Considering the above, SO WHAT? Shave a couple of those robots-blowing-up shots off that movie-wannabe intro sequence, and get your music from the BEST.

Remember, this business is supposed to be fun.


Steve Meretzky:

..."I would hire no musician before The Fat Man."

Hmm... that could be taken two ways. Perhaps:

"The Fat Man's flamboyance is exceeded only by his creativity and professionalism. If he wasn't from Texas, he'd be perfect."


"Everything you've heard is true! (Unless you heard some bad stuff, in which case the person who said it didn't know what the fuck they were talking about.)"

Or simply: "The John Williams of computer gaming."


Rob Landeros:

"Hang with Sanger for a little while at any trade show or convention and you will invariably hear an uninitiate ask him why he is called The Fatman.  You will then hear the namesake offer any number of explanations.  These explanations range from the absurd to the whimsical to the bullshit.  Of course, having known and worked with the feller over the course of these last eight years, I know exactly why he is called Fatman.  It is because he is the embodiment of FAT!  His work is FAT, his talent is FAT and his soul is FAT.  If quality, originality and inventiveness could be measured in pounds, then Fatman's music would require a roadside truck scale."

"Mediocrity is everywhere.  It reigns triumphant.  Within the computer games industry, the case is no different.  The case might even be exemplary.  Much of the music is passable to very good.  Some of it is excellent!  Fat music in and of itself resides in the latter categories."

"I don't have to argue that here, one merely needs to listen to it.  But when combined with the game elements for which it was conceived and crafted, the work can be transcendent.  That is a rarity that, if it were rare gems, would be better measured in grams.  Grams of Fat.  I don't believe Fatman farms out work to unknown and/or unskilled musicians.  Even if it were true, it would hardly matter in practicality. The Fat Seal of Quality he puts on every deliverable is as good as his word which is in turn as good as gold."

"If I could put together a Dream Company, Fatman and Team Fat would head up the Music Department.  I would grant them a great (fat) degree of autonomy and latitude in which to create.  I would also make George the Spiritual Leader of said hypothetical company.  (Of course that begs the question, who am I to bestow such lofty titles upon my brethren?  Well, can a President and CEO not also be a disciple in the Church of the Rotund?)"


Mike Wilson:

"If the industry had a few more people like the Fat Man and a few hundred less of the mindless clones who can't understand him or his true passion for computer game work, we'd all be having a lot more fun and getting a lot more done."


David Javelosa:

"George Sanger (The Fatman) is the undeniable, hat-wearing crown prince and head-of-state of the computer game music industry.  Not only is he a community pillar, an industry standard, and a cultural visionary; he can also rip out a bitchn' surf tune!"


Matt Costello:

"The Fatman's music made my script for The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour incredibly eerie and terrifying.  Team Fat makes more than music--they provide that 4th dimension of multimedia sound, the 'X' factor that every game needs."


Ellen Guon Beeman:

"George Sanger and his team are the best composers in this business.  We've worked together on several projects, and he always delivers top quality work at reasonable prices.  And he and his team are such a pleasure to work with!  I can't imagine using any other composer for my game projects."


Ron Gilbert:

"Any musician that drives a Rolls is OK in my book."


David Warhol:

"In the years I've worked with George, I've never once been disappointed.  I've found his rates reasonable and his musical output, whether penned by himself or one of Team Fat, prolific, communicative, and appropriate to any situation.  I've even given him some obscure technologies to work with, and he's always mastered them.  And, he's not a "write a loop" kind of guy - he's one of the strongest advocates for doing the most with music that our interactive media allows us to do."

"As I often tell people, you could give George the assignment to "write music for penguins cooking hamburgers in outer space", and when someone listened to the music for the first time without knowing what the assignment was, they'd more than likely say, "That sounds like... penguins! Uh... in outer space!... And they're... cooking something!... probably... hot dogs... no... uh... hamburgers!"."

"Don't let the suit and the comedic 'tude fool you!  Deep down inside, George has only the greatest desire to please his clients and his audience through the exercise of his work product."


Tim Keenan:

Fat: We launched the beta of Crazy Eights on Wednesday, and I lost count of how many people said "the sounds are awesome! I love the sounds!" etc.


Francis Preve:

"There are few composers in the gaming industry who can consistently churn out brilliant, memorable compositions.  While others create cookie-cutter, ersatz electronica, The Fat Man continues to raise the bar of excellence in interactive music development."


Alexander Brandon:

"In an industry full of awful and deteriorating things, I count George Sanger, the Fatman, as something that's good, and a welcome relief from the bad.  His music and that of his team has inspired me throughout my career and given me drive to create new and awesome sounding game music.  Apart from the talent, there's also the kindness, which I don't see often, especially in the caliber that George delivers.  From "Wing Commander" to "7th Guest", I highly recommend George and Team Fat for any multimedia application.  He's a great listener, a great composer, and a great all around dude.  Can't say much better than that about anyone really!"


Michael Land:

Hi George,

Personally speaking, I just want to say how much I appreciate the great job you did as a user interface consultant for iMUSE.  With this most recent rev of the system we took some mighty big steps, and the design process was intense and complex.  Dropping right into the thick of it, you not only offered an ongoing stream of "nice touch" suggestions, but also, with your consistently clear perspective, helped us work through some of our knottiest user interface challenges.  I was genuinely impressed by how well you 'got' what it was we were trying to do, and that you had such a keen sense for how to present it to the average user.  You definitely delivered.


Rhonda Conley:


Wonderful tunes, wacky lyrics and your web page filing system was very slick.  It was also great that you cared enough to play through the beta versions and offer suggestions...that level of involvement was much appreciated.  All in all a tremendous job, thanks everso!


Joe Enzminger:

The Fat Man's attract-screen audio for our successful video slot machine MELTDOWN is a first.  I think it's going to begin a trend in the slots business.


Jeff Lind:

MELTDOWN has been doing an average hold per day that's roughly three times the average hold of a Las Vegas machine, and twice the hold of our competitor's best product.  There is no question that the audio by The Fat Man is playing a major role in giving us this edge.


Dr. Cat (in response to a post):

> I've been surprised since leaving [that company] to hear so much good about the
> Fatman. While I was at [that company], several of the sound department folks went
> out of their way to let me know that they didn't think much of Fatman's
> work. I'd also heard that there was a problem at one time with Fatman
> contracting work out without much quality control, so that you would think
> you were paying for Fatman but actually getting someone else.
> So, has the Fatman risen above all of this? Anyone worked with him lately,
> and have a good report? Anyone listened to his latest work?

"Been too busy to answer this right away, but I can't let such questions about the incomparable Fatman go unanswered."

"There is nothing for the Fatman to "rise above", as he has always done fine work, even back before those whiny sound department folks who felt the need to put down their "competition" were hired, back when [that company] didn't even HAVE a sound department.  I remember listening to his exceptional opening theme for Savage Empire (which was accompanied by some first rate Dan Bourbonnais artwork), and commenting to 'Manda that he really knew how to use dynamics to heighten the emotional impact, something I wasn't used to hearing much outside of classical music.  (Only here it was done better, so that even my untrained ear couldn't help but notice and delight in the fact.)  She replied that he'd written an article on the use of dynamics for Computers And Music magazine!  He's also done exceptional work for The Seventh Guest, Putt Putt Saves the Zoo, This Means War, and too many other titles to mention (over 100 in all)."

"As for "contracting work out without much quality control", nothing could be farther from the truth.  Music from Team Fat only comes from Team Fat: The Fat Man, Joe, Dave and Kevin. for a photo - you know they can all get the job done, 'cause they all have cowboy hats on!  Fats works closely with them, and they're all very talented.  The ground-breaking scoring in Wing Commander 1 was actually done mostly or entirely by Dave Govett, for instance.  For the MIDI files in Furcadia, each member of the team composed one tune, all of which we were quite happy with. (And then Dave threw in 3 piano sketches he had lying around for free. Gotta love those guys.)"

"He's also one of the few people in the industry that's clued in about the fact that we ought to be promoting industry talent in order to boost sales, the same way movies, tv, music, do, and even the BOOK business sends authors out on signing tours for cryin' out loud!  But the game business has few companies sensible enough to even throw up the Fat Seal on their title screens or packaging when they contract him, even though it doesn't cost a penny extra.  Clearly a lot of this industry is still hung up on this "We'll make the company name the thing consumers want" attitude problem.  When was the last time you said to one of your friends "Gee, I really want to go get a Random House book to read, watch a 20th Century Fox movie, and then buy a Warner Brothers music CD to listen to"?  Me, I want to get a cat costume made, start getting on talk shows, and show the industry how it oughta be done.  But George?  He's already DOING it, man!  Instead of listening to disgruntled competing composers and wannabes, you ought to talk to actual clients & see if the vast majority of them aren't more than happy with the quality of the work they paid for.  I know I always have been.  I will say that his work is even better when you get him & the team all inspired and fired up creatively about the project you're doing and how cool it's going to be.  But what artist wouldn't do better work under such conditions?  Which is not to say that his work isn't good even under poor conditions.  And personally, I think if you can't get a team excited about doing a game, you're in the wrong business to begin with."

"I also have to say that I consider Team Fat's CD Flabby Rode to be one of my all-time favorite music CDs.  Maybe it is my favorite.  Dog Eat Dog in particular I consider to be the metric standard rock and roll song, which should be stored in an airtight case in Switzerland next to that platinum bar that officially defines the length of one meter, for all other rock and roll songs to be measured against.  The CD can be ordered from the site - and I see now he's got sample tracks from that and a lot of other things right on the front page.  In addition to Dog Eat Dog, I would recommend people download the excellent "Welcome to the Zoo" (MUCH funnier though if you see the fine animation from Humongous Entertainment that goes with it in the game!), No Man On Earth (which really ought to be used as a theme song in some future James Bond movie), Nice Day for War, and Mr. Death.  For a nice dose of Texasness for all you expatriates, you couldn't go wrong with We Sing Real Low, either.  I also see there's a bunch of tracks I never even heard, and I'm going to have to download every single last one of them right now.  The Fat Man is one of the most talented people working in this industry, and I'd be at a loss to understand why that isn't nearly universally recognized, if I didn't have plenty of first hand experience with the fact that there's many people in this business with their heads stuck so far up their ass that they can't tell day from night.  I wish I were as good at what I do as he is at what he does."

"In short, to any question about whether the Fat Man is any good or not, the only really correct answer should be: "Are you nuts? Or have you just been living in a hole in the ground?""

"P.S. And he dresses sharp, too!"


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What the press has said about us:

"If I were to single out the strongest and most distinctive contribution to the unparalleled atmosphere created in Guest, it would be the music employed." Computer Gaming World

"This haunting adventure [The 7th Guest] features the best music around." CD-ROM World

"He is the multimedia guru..." The New York Times

"A megastar among gamesters." PC Magazine

"...a gigabyte-size legend..." San Diego Union-Tribune

"A top candidate for the most prolific..." People Magazine

"...the undisputed king of computer-game music." Dallas Morning News

"He's our Henry Mancini, our John Williams." Johnny Wilson, Computer Gaming World

"The Fat Man is the Cecil B. de Mille of Interactive Music." Jon Ewing, PC Power - United Kingdom

"...The Fat Man sets the standard by which other scores are measured." Warren Sirota, PC World

He makes it Art with a capital "A." Marc Savlov, Austin American Statesman

"He doesn't gyrate like Elvis or croon like Sinatra. But to computer game aficionados across the nation, George Sanger is a musical superstar." Scott Rothschild, Associated Press

"With his colorful name, penchant for flashy cowboy attire and occasionally bombastic pronouncements...this unlikely standard-bearer is galvanizing the audio industry." Paul Lehrman, New Media

"When the discussion turns to the most often-heard Austin musicians, the names of Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and of course, The Fat Man pop up." Austin Business Journal

The Fat Man has become one of the first true stars of multimedia and interactivity." Don Menn, Multimedia World

"The best-known game musician..." Computer Entertainment News

"The cinematic look [Wing Commander] is complimented by a thundering musical score." Game Players

"Guest makes the music of your nightmares...The fully orchestrated, classical sound track is an experience unto itself." GamePro

"From the extended color palette...through the marvelous digitized sound track by George Alistair Sanger...Loom deserves to be recognized as a work of art." Computer Gaming World

"...Some of the best sound yet to grace a flight simulation help U.S. Navy Fighters provide a realistic combat environment." Computer Gaming World

"The Fat Man has helped revolutionize the world of game audio and paved the way for the amazing soundtracks we have today." Louis Bedigian, GameZone

"Players who lack a sound card will be missing out on an outstanding music score [Star Trek: 25th Anniversary]." Computer Gaming World

"The Fat Man and Team Fat are definite heavyweights in the world of software development and computer game composition." Roland Users Group

"It [Wing Commander] has single-handedly encouraged more readers to upgrade their current computer systems than any other product we can remember." Computer Gaming World

"The name 'Wing Commander' will probably always hold a special place in IBM PC gaming history...the music really helped to get the multimedia ball rolling even before Windows did." GamePro

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Last update 3/27/08