Friday, January 31, 2014

Global Game Jam 2014: Race the Rainbow

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of taking part in the 2014 Global Game Jam, a game-making marathon held at multiple locations worldwide over the course of 48 hours. The theme was "We don't see things as we are, we see things as they are." After some brainstorming of ideas and quite a bit of arguing, we decided on our game:

"Race the Rainbow" is, as its title suggests, a racing game. Each racer is one of four colors, and various colored tiles are scattered across the racetrack. When a racer is driving on a tile that matches its color, it gains a speed boost; if the tile is of a different color, it takes a severe speed penalty. Thus, although the racetrack is the same for all players, each player sees the racetrack differently depending on the color. (Yay loose interpretation of theme!) 48 hours is never as much time as you think, and I'm glad we ended up settling on this straightforward idea.

I was on composing/sound design duty for the entire weekend, which was a ton of fun: it's been a long time since I've been able to focus just on writing music. I had the pleasure of working with two other talented audiophiles/composers, and learned more about producing music and recording over a single weekend than I have in my whole life. Working with the other members of my team (programmers, designers, and artists) was a lot of fun as well.

I ended up being responsible for the main level theme, which we decided would be of a "modern chiptune" style. I tackled the composition in FL Studio (accompanied by FL-chan :P), which I had finally purchased over the past holiday season. After scrapping my first few drafts, the final melody idea came to me in my early-morning drive back home, and I subsequently put the rest of the piece together over the next 30 hours or so. A bit slow in retrospect, but given that I was simultaneously learning how to use FL Studio, I'd say not bad. Here's the full version of my song, "Chromatic Circuit":

Title: Chromatic Circuit
Date Completed: 2014-01-26
Software: Audacity, FL Studio
Composition time: ~15 hours

All in all, the weekend was a huge blast, and I'd recommend that anyone who has an interest in games check out the next Global Game Jam (January 2015). Check out our official Game Jam page here, and if you're interested in playing our game, you can either download the executable from the page or play in a browser here. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!



Thursday, January 16, 2014

Piano Cover: Oto no Naru Hou e (Gin no Saji)

First cover of 2014, and of the new season! :D To be honest, this season's been disappointing so far, so I was very glad to see Gin no Saji, one of my favorite shows from two seasons ago, return for its second run. The show's more-or-less the same (minus one particular farm animal), but that's a good thing: can't argue with seeing more of the super-adorable Mikage :D

There does indeed appear to be a silver spoon.

The song I decided to cover from Gin no Saji season 2 was the "Oto no Naru Hou e" (no idea what that means, honestly), the super-catchy ending by Goosehouse. Actually, likely the best part of me attempting this cover was discovering Goosehouse, who is a flat-out amazing musical group. While their work doesn't quite have the same immediate impact as some other artists, they clearly really enjoy what they're doing, and that comes across in both their music and their videos. Check out their YouTube channel here.

Anyway, here's my cover. I had fun with it, but after way more takes than I'd intended, I just gave up and went to bed. X_x The end result isn't as polished as I would have liked for it to be, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!

Oto no Naru Hou e (Gin no Saji Second Season ED): Piano Cover

Artist: Goosehouse
Date Completed: 2014-01-17
Software: Audacity, Sony Vegas
Instrumentation: Piano

Also, I finally managed to pull off widescreen, so no more random crops!

'Til next time,


Monday, January 13, 2014

Piano Cover: Just One Life (Samurai Flamenco)

Happy 2014! Except I'm still blogging about things from 2013. Typical T__T

Samurai Flamenco! Now in cherry, grape, peach, and lemon.

I honestly don't know what to say about Samurai Flamenco. At one point I would have recommended it without any reservations, but recent developments in the show have tempered my enthusiasm a bit. I'm still finding it fairly enjoyable for the time being, but suffice it to say, it's a very different show now than I'd have expected a few weeks ago. Nonetheless, I think it's still worth a watch, at the very least for the brilliant first few episodes.

I know this is a second image but I LOVE MAYA MARI OKAY

The opening to Samurai Flamenco, "Just One Life" by SPYAIR, is more rock-like than songs I typically cover, but as always, I dialed down the tempo a bit and offered a more liberal interpretation of the song. I think there's plenty of emotion in the song, particularly when matched with the opening footage. Here's my cover!

Just One Life (Samurai Flamenco OP): Piano Cover

Artist: SPYAIR
Date Completed: 2013-11-27
Software: Audacity, Sony Vegas
Number of Takes: Also don't remember
Instrumentation: Piano

New season's in tow, so look for more covers (hopefully in a timely fashion) soon!

From beyond to heaven,