I should post more than once a year. Nevertheless, an update!
I’m no longer at Glowmade, It was a fairly mutual split as this year has been rough on a personal level, but wishing them all the best! The project they’re working on is really cool and I hope it lands the way it deserves.
I’ve been doing a little bit of freelance work on the side though, for a number things that aren’t quite announced yet. One project has been developing minigames for a new news style app/platform that had me work to a much smaller scale than I’m used to, and the others on the dev team were willing to accomodate my “small in relative terms but big in project scope terms” audio system for one of them that I’ll write up soon. (For real. I’ll also see if I have some of the Monstrum 2 stuff kicking around.)
Other than that, I’m sort of taking a little break for a few weeks to re-evaluate things, sort out some new show reels (where I can, NDAs lock out a fair chunk of the past 2 years at least!) and generally rest for a bit. I’ve not really had proper time off in a long time that doesn’t involved illness or running around after people or trying to sort something out, and I’m getting married later in the autumn, so a bit of a stress-less run before that would be welcome after everything else we’ve been through this year!
I probably should have added this way back in January, but I’m now back at Team Junkfish as Audio Lead for our upcoming project Monstrum 2. Have a cheeky teaser here:
With the game having been announced and a fair while away I’m hoping to cover a few of the ideas and systems for the audio in the game, so keep an eye out! I’ve also found some of the older blogs I wrote for the first game that I’m planning to tidy up and share too, for no other reason that to give a comparison between the two.
I now have up to date sound design and dialogue reels for your listening and viewing pleasure. Mostly focused on Murderous Pursuits, but a few other things in there too. I’ll be doing a few more detail blogs on some of the work and systems in the games I’ve worked on so do check back!
This was originally posted in two parts on the Blazing Griffin Website: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2
It is also available on Audiokinetic’s Wwise Blog in English: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 and Japanese: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2
We released Murderous Pursuits a few months ago, and I wanted to share a bit of info on what I was working on. This blog post will look at the audio solution for one of the core features, the “Vignette” system. This will cover:
– What the original concept was and audio requirements were
– How we handled the dialogue recording and editing
– The systems design and implementation using Wwise and Unity.
If you haven’t played or seen it yet, Murderous Pursuits is a kill-or-be-killed Victorian stealth-em-up for 1-8 players in which you must hunt and kill your quarry before your hunters do the same to you, all while avoiding witnesses. You can buy it on Steam right now!
I may have left this as the last place to get updated. Whoops.
Anyway, earlier in the month I left Team Junkfish to join those fiery catbirds Blazing Griffin as an Audio Designer. Woo yay! They’re working on [REDACTED] and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in about it.
It’s a big shift, leaving a group of folk I’ve been working with for over five years on a number of different projects, but sometimes opportunities arise and situations change and you have to adjust course.
So do keep an eye out on what they’re up to, and I’ll keep you up to date on the BG stuff.
Today’s post is about one of the more interesting NES developers who became known for their unique musical output, Sunsoft. There’s also a lot of annotations too, so do read them!
Chances are that, if you owned a NES you’ve come across a Sunsoft game. Like a number of Japanese developers, Sunsoft transitioned from the arcades to the monster that was the Famicom in the mid to late 80’s. One of their first releases for the platorm was the infamous Ikki, a game so terrible that a new word entered the Japanese lexicon thanks to it: Kusoge. Quite literally: “shit game”. This didn’t stop it being a rampant success for them as well as the source of a few remakes and reboots.
Sunsoft’s original games didn’t always hit such lows. Some, like Atlantis no Nazo, never left Japan and is generally considered “not great”. Others, like Master Blaster, became international successes. This varying quality also carried over to the somewhat surprisingly high profile licenced titles they managed to acquire. Their first Batmangame in 1989 was a loose tie in with Tim Burton’s reimagining of the Caped Crusader, and along with its NES sequel is still held in high regard. Less timely was Fester’s Quest which appeared before the 1991 Addams Family reboot and is mostly remembered as being stupidly hard.
So I’ve decided that I want to write more and keep this webiste a bit more alive, even if I can’t talk about what I’m working on just now. As such, I’m starting a wee series of posts that will be… mostly about games and sound and music to some extent but probably any topic or thing that tickles my fancy. In order to stop rambling too much, I’ve given myself 500 words, intros and notes/annotations not withstanding. So here’s hoping someone gets something out of it!
And on that note, today’s post is about Technosoft’s final Mega Drive/Genesis STG/Shmup – Thunder Force IV.
There are very few game soundtracks that I will actively listen to on repeat. This doesn’t mean I won’t listen to any odd OST here and there, but few I just enjoy listening to over and over. Recently, it’s been Thunder Force IV and, oh boy, is it a ride.
One afternoon a few months ago I was kinda bored and had an hour or two going spare, so I decided to see what type of sounds I could get out of my Volca Keys. After some fiddling I managed to knock out a few… beeps and boops and other lo-fi assorted noises! In the time honoured tradition of giving back, I’ve decided hand them out for free, so you can grab them here!
You’ll find some laser-esque sounds, some drones, some short pulses that could work for UI or percussive sounds, a fair mixture of stuff. I recorded different patches and effects at each octave interval (1′ – 32′) and across a few different oscillator setups (Unison, Octaves, Fifths and Unison Ring Mod) for a few different flavours too. Hopefully you’ll find something handy in there!
They’re very raw, and the audio output of the Volca series isn’t exactly clean. But lo-fi’s half the charm with analogue gear right? …right? Outside of chopping them up they’ve been left completely unprocessed. Spent longer editing them than recording them!
The naming convention is a bit odd, please read the document in the .rar to understand what’s going on.
They’re also only 44.1k/16bit which isn’t great for pitch/time stretching into extremes, but they are across a wide range of octaves so hopefully you’ll find something you can use.
These are free, please don’t try to sell them or claim ownership of them. I am a-okay with you using them in commercial/for-profit projects though!
So there you go! Please share them about and let me know if you find a use for them. Best way is on Twitter: @speedyjx
In July I had the pleasure of chairing a game audio panel at the IGDA Scotland meet up. The panel featured Will Morton of Solid Audioworks and Matthew Smith of Square Peg Games, both formerly of Rockstar North, and Orfeas Boteas of Krotos, makers of Dehumanizer.
We covered a few different topics, such as how they got into game audio, advice for fledgling sound designers and composers applying for positions, and how the transition from AAA games to indie and freelance has been. Or in Orfeas’ case, how scaling up from a Masters project to renowed sound software production company has went!
Obviously the proof is in the pudding, and we discussed a lot more in a fair amout of detail, so do give it a whirl!