My name is Martin, 22 years old and from Sweden. Been reading the forums for quite some time now and really enjoying the many helpful answers from some of you real pro's here.
I have no experience in composing music for games. I'm currently in the studio recording an album with my band (the 2nd one, the debut was released in '04) so I have some experience working in a professional studio, mixing and mastering. But that won't help me out much right now, right?!
Anyway, on to the topic: Since I've never worked with game music before, I could use some help. I'm considering buying Aaron's book that so many of you recommend, but from what I've heard the book is not really dealing with the technical stuff. I want to know what to think of when composing! Do I need to understand programming (C++ and apps like that), scripting etc. etc.
I'm thinking starting off composing for the mod scene, just to get in the mood
Definitely read Aaron's book, but also read Alexander Brandon's "Audio For Games" book as well. It is somewhat more technical, and will give you a good intro to process and working with developers.
In the short term, if you're only interested in doing music, there's no advantage to learning a programming language. Getting into the mod scene is a good start for sure, as well. You may want to work on some basic scripting knowledge, as that can come in handy if you're asked to do integration. Typically integration is left to sound designers or audio programmers, though, and not quite so much to composers.
Once you get into a mod or two, you may find that they ask you to do integration, at which point you can learn from that process.