Over the last 2 years, I wrote a 13 part series of guest posts on videogamedj.com on how my life as a freelancer developed. It was tons of fun writing it and really helped me reaffirm what I was doing and how things developed. It’s interesting to look back at it now. Anyways, there was a few requests for a nice organized index. Here it is! Enjoy!
I also wrote some other technical tutorials, I’ll post an index for those later. I haven’t had much free time to write for videogamedj.com right now, nor pursue any chiptune fun, but hey, part of life as a freelancer is paying the bills. Hope you enjoy these and if you have any questions feel free to post here. I’m more likely to respond here than to a comment on here, just because it’s more visible to me.
Part I: What It Takes
Part 2: Get The Gear
Part 3: One Year’s Timeline
Part 4: The First Game
Part 5: Losing and How Not To Get Ripped Off
Part 6: The Business
Part 7: Pros and Cons of Freelance Lifestyle
Part 8: When Is a Song Done
Part 9: Making Music For Other People
Part 10: My Biggest Mistakes as a New Freelancer
Part 11: The Art Of Composing Melodies
Part 12: Backup Plans and Perseverance
Part 13: Accounting and Other Boring Stuff
Posted by beatscribe on September 16, 2014
You can’t go wrong making an iOS game with killer physics, great graphics and a simple yet functional game mechanic. In Danger Rabbit you guide a secret agent bunny and his sentient plank freind (you read it right, a talking piece of wood) though various locations in search of a stolen treasure. Danger Rabbit moves on his own and you draw planks in places that will propel him to the next area. It’s addicting and fun gameplay.
Some times you also get to fire him from a cannon or take out a fleet of attacking birds with a little gun turret. The levels start off easy but get tough very fast! This is the kind of game you’ll be playing for a while! [iOS]
Posted by beatscribe on September 15, 2014
Growing up I never had a Sega Genesis. We always had Nintendo products. I think it mostly had to do with the family friendly image Nintendo produced compared to Sega’s more edgy arcade style marketing. A while back we looked at some of the chiptune artists using the Genesis over at videogamedj.com, check out the post here. But for actual game music, here’s some great Sega Genesis soundtracks you probably never heard of.
Battle Mania Daiginjou
Making rock music in FM synthesis is not easy. Things are either too distorted or not enough. This game gets it right. You know those are guitars rocking out as soon as the notes hit. The game itself is sort of like a space shooter meets Contra with anime themes tossed in. The soundtrack is a blistering onslaught of guitar and drums hat doesn’t let up for a second!
The game that started the real time strategy genre sports a very good soundtrack as well. Lots of variety and some excellent fm synth tones that would sound great even in a modern electro album. The slow tunes especially stand out (Be His Soul Rest).
Revenge of Shinobi
I must admit I never played this game. Love the 80s sounding bass and smooth tones on this soundtrack. It never gets hissy or squealy. It really sounds like an NES Soundtrack just for the drums and composition style.
The original Genesis Batman has some of my favorite Genesis music. It reminds me a lot if Journey to Sillius and later MegaMan X. The Axis Chemical plant stage is up there in my top tracks of all time. Love the intros the stage tracks have.
You only heard of this game thanks to All Your Base, but it happens to have some of the most killer rock music on the Genesis. It’s really hard to mimic the crunch of a palm muted distorted guitar using synthesizer. But Zero Wing does it perfectly. They also do the harmonizing guitar solos that are the staple on 80s rock an Dragonforce type groups.
Next week we will look at how to get these soundtracks into your mp3 player without downloading one track at a time.
Posted by beatscribe on September 14, 2014
The gym may seem like the last place on earth you’d expect to find those inclined to gaming, sci-fi, computing, comic books and the like. But as this slew of shirts I happened across recently shows, there are more and more “geeks” getting into fitness. The motivation actually to hit the gym differs from person to person. For me, it was being tired of feeling lousy and being overweight. I was kind of worried that going to the gym as an adult would be a hostile experience for someone who isn’t the sporty type. While there are always a few dudes kind of strutting around (surprisingly not all of the strutters are even fit), for the most part it’s been a pleasant experience. What kept me going however is kind of interesting. XKCD really sums it up nicely here:
Yup, going to the gym is basically a big RPG with stats, levels and everything. You’ll have to hone new skills, you’ll keep an eye on numbers, eventually learn and obtain new equipment, purchase recharging drinks (protein potions!) and like the classic console RPGs, you’ll have to put in some time to get stronger and see results. While you may not find that everyone in the gym shares your interests, you’ll definitely see benefits. I’ve found that since I started exercising regularly, I slept better, had more stable moods and even became more creative. Writing music and programming can strain the mind, but some mindless lifting of metal circles can really refresh you. Each shirt pic has a link where you can pick it up and start you’re own collection.
Posted by beatscribe on September 11, 2014
Clearly, it plays like Gallaga but has cool stuff added like bosses to set it apart.
It’s pretty cool when you can put a new twist on a classic game. Galaxy Storm is an obvious nod to Gallaga and Space Invaders but it adds some cool things like boss battles and global scoreboards. Since it’s free, I suggest you get your copy right now!
For the soundtrack, we channelled some 16-bit goodness of the SNES and Genesis era, for a sound that recalls Megaman X.
[google play link]
Posted by beatscribe on August 30, 2014
Stop playing little girl!
I’m a huge fan of the nostalgia-filled show The Goldbergs. It really captures what it was like to be a kid in the 80s! The makers really did their research too! In the latest episode “The Age of Darkness”, which deals with video game addiction, the mythical Polybius machine can be spotted next to Punch-Out in the arcade. This is the second time this urban legend has surfaced in a sitcom to my knowledge. It’s pretty funny how this stuff survives and makes its way into mainstream. If you never heard the story, wikipedia says:
According to the story, an unheard-of new arcade game appeared in several suburbs of Portland, Oregon in 1981, something of a rarity at the time. The game proved to be incredibly popular, to the point of addiction, and lines formed around the machines, often resulting in fighting over who played next. This was followed by clusters of visits from men in black. Rather than the usual marketing data collected by company visitors to arcade machines, they collected some unknown data, allegedly testing responses to the psychoactive machines. In some versions of this mystery, the players suffered from a series of unpleasant side effects, including amnesia, insomnia, nightmares and night terrors. Some players stopped playing video games, while reportedly one became an anti-gaming activist. The company named in most accounts of the game, Sinneslöschen (German meaning “deletion/erasure of senses, Sense-delete”).
The Goldberg’s theme song is appropriately 1980’s 8-bit rock from the awesome gand “I Fight Dragons”, check it out:
Posted by beatscribe on April 30, 2014
Arif Games just released this great casual game for Android. We did some Amiga500 style music, but I just couldn’t resist doing a little remix with some FM bass for my soundcloud. It’s great to see how many developers are taking inspiration from the classic consoles of the 80s and 90s.
Pick it up today! [Android]
Posted by beatscribe on April 8, 2014
Hextile is a unique take on the Match3 genre. It’s sort of a combination of Tempest, Bubble Bobble and every Match3 you ever played. It works nicely! Fire your jewels into the open spots from any angle and match up 3 colors. As you take more jewels off the board, it gets trickier to match them up. Retrokit wanted to have a smooth jazzy soundtrack that isn’t overwhelming but is also fun. The end result is a lot of run and really gives the game a nice flavor. Check out this free app today. [iOs]
Posted by beatscribe on March 24, 2014
The Flappy Bird mania continues with hundreds of apps coming to the market hoping to fill the void left in our hearts by that now-missing in action addicting little game. Saving Seabo is one of the closest approximations to Flappy Bird I’ve found yet. And I’m happy to say I did the sounds. Instead of possibly copyright-infringing Super Mario pipes, this game has a tiny fishy making his way around columns of dangerous Jellyfish. It’s maybe a tad easier than Flappy Bird, but overall, it’ll satisfy your itch to play the simple yet addicting game!
Grab it now! [Android] [iOS]
Posted by beatscribe on March 14, 2014
I sometimes get distracted by the background when playing this game. Then a rolling beetle destroys me.
Space Fractal loves retro stuff as much as I do. His latest endeavor is based on an Atari classic called Snokie and plays very similarly. However, instead of going back to the time of 8-bits, he’s opted to build a more 16-bit SNES looking game with music to match. I used lots of classic synth sounds ripped straight from SNES wave tables, including Earthbound, Secret of Mana, and Kirby’s Dreamland . In the game you play as Terry, a Kiwi-looking bird who is trying to get home to find his bird freind Miwa. However, for some reason, creatures are being drawn to Terry and attacking him. The gorgeously colored outdoor levels and cavernous caves break up the atmosphere and really give you a lot to look at. There are tons of options for difficulty levels and even has a practice mode for working on the harder levels you encounter.
Karma Miwa is out for iOS, Android and the Ouya. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a console that lets you play Flash games as if you were playing on a console. Pretty sweet for us fans of retro gaming. Karma Miwa is a well-crafted and fun platformer that you’ll enjoy.
[iOS] [Android] [Ouya]
Posted by beatscribe on March 14, 2014