Play Pacman On Google Maps

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 4.03.12 PMI just stumbled onto this, no idea how long it’s been there. There’s a little pacman icon when you’re looking at google maps. Click it and your center square becomes a playable pacman map. My neighborhood wasn’t too exciting of a level but I bet downtown would be.

I love that google does stuff like this. Like the April Fool’s 8-bit map. They don’t take themselves too seriously and embrace our nerd culture!

Some Common Questions About Doing Music Full Time Answered

This is a compilation of some common questions I’ve answered for various people over the last few years.

  1. How long have you been at this, and did you have a “big break” or sort of tipping point where then the gigs started coming to you? Or would you say it was more about persistence searching games out and steadily upping the ante?

I’m not sure I ever had a big break. But what happened was I slowly gained clients little by little. I took a “dealer” approach, if someone came to me and said “I need 2 songs and I only have $100″ I said, “SURE! No problem” and gave them the best 2 songs I could make and told them what it SHOULD have costs, this made them very grateful. If they wanted something next time I said ‘well, i know you had a budget on your last game so i wanted to help you out, but you’ll need to pay full prices now…I have literally had a guy ask for 1 chiptune song for $30 and have that turn into $2000 worth of songs after a successful kickstarter a couple months later.

So yeah i guess it’s about steadily upping the ante. I still don’t think I’m like a super pro. As you saw in the article my plan is more “avoid a full time job” and “live off the internet” than, make music my career, although that was the dream on the inside of it.

  1. Would you say geographic location is still a major contributing factor in business?

It would be if you wanted to do like film scoring, but I only have 2 local clients, i’ve never even talked on the phone with most of them, my big spenders are in the U.K. and Japan oddly enough.

  1. Is game composition your day job, or are gear and other business expenses covered by other means of income (day job etc.).

It has been my only day job for stretches of months. Right now it’s about 50% of my day doing music and 50% doing programming and database admin stuff. They both make about the same money in the end, but the programming keeps me through dry spells with no music work. In the times that I did ONLY music, the time spent marketing (instead of other jobs) helped me get new clients and I’d imagine if I marketed myself consistently, I’d always have enough work only on music. I should also add that I live very simple. I don’t have big debts or spend luxuriously. You probably couldn’t do this with a mortgage and kids.

Also if i took boring sound jobs like podcast editing/recording cleanups, I could have a regular 20+ hours of work, but its so dull i’d rather program.

  1. What are your views on percentage based payment? I know you’ve written about pricing elsewhere, but have you or would you pass on a gig because the developer did not

Well, I’ve made like $600 off % based payment in the last year, so, no. I’m not a big fan. I do take the risk if I think a game has potential, but usually, I prefer up front payment and let them keep the rights. I’ve taken some flack from other musicians on this. But do you really want to pay less and hear the same song in another game? If I cared about the game I was making, I wouldn’t.

  1. Do iTunes or something like CD Baby/Tunecore really help your exposure and provide earnings on the side for game composers? I saw that some of your stuff is up there but was hoping to hear about this?

The CD Baby album is actually my client’s. He put it up. I sometimes make a deal with my clients who can’t pay much to retain the rights to their music and sell it myself. It does not bring in major money, just a steady trickle and definitely gets me some exposure.

  1. Do you retain rights to your music, or does the company? How do composers like Danny B, C148, and Disasterpeace post their stuff on bandcamp/keep it in their name? (I have a client who wants to retain bandcamp exclusivity for tax purposes?)

Well, there are different ways and schools of thought on this. Most people want to retain the rights. I have something in my contract saying I have the right to display it in my portfolio and sometimes for people who can’t pay full price, I ask for the rights to sell the music as a soundtrack of their game, but I havent made much off doing that.

  1. The one thing I’d probably hate having to answer, just, how do you get well-paying and sure-to-be-finished game composition jobs? Or any composition jobs? 

See the article on that one. If a game is nonexistent, I charge full prices in case it never comes out.  i.e. you’ll see a “Cannoncraft” score out there by me, it never came out.  i market myself constantly, troll kickstarter, email little obscure gaming companies. msg folks on facebook etc. just keep hammering away and build your clientele.

  1. Does it change when you do music 8 hours a day for money?

When something you love becomes your job it can lose some of its magic. I was surprised to hear even career musicians who have years of experience and giant fan bases say things like that in interviews.

The articles mentioned are all here: Index to Life As a Freelancer Series On VideoGameDJ.com.

Asmadi Game’s Adorable Pandering Featuring Beatscribe Sounds – Kickstarter Now Live

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 4.37.46 PMOk, so it’s just the kickstarter video featuring my music, but this looks like a cool casual card game. While Asmadi Games has really complex things in the works too, they also have some cool, simple, easy-to-learn games like this one. Check it out and donate to this awesome game today!

Parks and Rec’s Cones of Dunshire Kickstarter Has 10 Days Left

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 7.00.29 AMParks and Recreations Ben Wyatt is a great nerd character, becoming completely lost in his hobbies are various points in the series, much like most of us real-life geeks. His magnum opus to nerdity is his “punishingly intricate” table top game, Cones of Dunshire. It appears to be mocking Settlers of Cat’an but looks to be about ten times as complex. In the show, it becomes a surprise hit on the Internet and with his complexity-loving buddies at Tilton and Randomski Accounting Firm. The show’s finale even shows it’s sequel Winds of Tremorrah, which is supposed to be even more insane.

Well, some fans who just don’t feel that the current table-top games and RPGs are hard enough to learn, are running a kickstarter to have Cones of Dunshire made, for reals! They have about 10 days left, so, if you’re into that sort of thing, help them out!

Gazzapper Games releases Super Box Boy with Beatscribe Tunes

I’ve been working with Gazapper for a while now. This is probably our 4th title together. Gazapper continues to bring us classic feels from the 80s and 90s consoles on our modern phones. You play Super Box Boy who must rescue his lady box freind from the clutches of an evil box factory.  Super Box Boy has the look and feel of something straight off the gameboy DMG01. It’s also has that deceptively simple appearance that Donkey Kong has. It looks simple, but its not! It’s a great trip down memory lane and will get you addicted quicker than you think. Pick it up today [play]

Free OST for Chesslike by Beatscribe Now Available


Moore Interactive has really created something cool with Chesslike. Imagine a game of chess, but instead of a square board, you have a dungeon-like maze from Zelda. It’s a novel idea but it plays out really nicely. Some levels pit you in a maze filled with enemy pieces, others put you in crazy scenarios like 2 queens vs 10 rooks. It’s chess like you’ve never played it. As you move thru the levels you encounter more interesting scenarios. You will come to dread what I call the “knight mazes” – just crossing a room to get a key as a knight requires some serious thought. Fortunately, the difficulty is well-balanced and never overwhelming.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.47.14 PMFor the music of Chesslike, we create some light medieval-themed chiptunes that with a soft edge to them. It’s a little lighter than the standard Beatscribe tunes. The soundtrack is free right now on band camp. Go grab a copy!

[iOs] [Play] [bandcamp]

Kickstarter Alert: Amazing Retro Shooter Starr Mazer to Feature Many Chiptune Artists if Stretch Goal Reached

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Imagos Software only has about 48 hours left to raise at least $2,000 on their kickstarter for an amazing game that combines SCUMM elements with SHMUP fun!

As chiptune fans, not only do we have a possibility of getting an awesome game for PC, Mac and Linux (possibly the consoles should they hit their stretch goal), but the possibility of getting almost 4 albums filled with chiptune regulars like Alex Mauer, Bright Primate, Cheap Dinosaurs and more should they reach their stretch goal.

It’s definitely worth putting some money towards. The T-Shirt is really slick looking too.

Show your support for retro gaming goodness today and get in on this awesomeness.

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CliffPro debuts YouTube Gaming Channel with Beatscribe Theme Song


 

I posted the full-length theme a while back, but now CliffPro is up and running with his excellent channel. Be sure to subscribe today.

 

Russ Lyman Debut’s New Beatscribe Theme Song for his Retro Gaming Youtube Channel

If you haven’t checked out Russ Lyman’s retro gaming channel, you should. Not just because he now has a megaman inspired theme song by me. I mean look at the car this guy drives. He may be a bigger fan of retro gaming than me!

Custom 8bit NES iTunes Modification

Had some down time so I decided to dig into the iTunes package and screw with some things. 8bit NES iTunes came out the other end. If you’re interested in a tutorial on doing this (it doesn’t need to be 8-bit, you can modify various things in it with the right tools), post a comment. Otherwise this stays one of a kind :)

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