So I got a new job.

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.

…and the 500 words thing.

…and generally updating the site.

A quick update

I haven’t updated this in a while for a number of reasons and holy crap it’s been 9 months since the last one sooooo a quick recap:

August 2015 – Edinburgh Games Symposium: Protoplay Edition

The 3rd annual Edinburgh Games Symposium was hosted as part of the Dare To Be Digital festival. I was on a panel on game audio with Joanna Orland, Ryan Ike and Chipzel discussing a load of audio related things. Then Steph and I gave a talk on Monstrum, with her covering the VR implementation and me covering the audio work. These were film and I’ll chase them up and cover them in more detail later!

The Mantra Collective also did a cover of Bad Happenings from the Monstrum OST and it’s super cool. You can check it out here:

 

November 2015 – Got elected to the IGDA Scotland board

The IGDA Scotland board elections happened in November and I managed to get elected some how, so yay! Got lots of stuff in the pipeline and we’ve just hosted three play parties for this year’s Global Game Jam  with thanks to a number of local partners. We have plans for the rest of the year too, so keep an eye out!

November 2015 – Award nominations!

Monstrum also got shortlisted for a few awards in November. Firstly it was shortlisted for Best Debut Game at the TIGA Awards, then later in the month for Best Game at BAFTA Scotland (shout out to Blazing Griffin who got the win). Not bad!

January 2016 – I got a Neo Geo Pocket

And it’s the coolest wee thing. I mention it as I kinda wanna talk about limitations in games at some point. It also is home to the 1st non-Sega hardware Sonic and it’s amazing remixes of the Mega Drive games’ soundtracks. Case in point:

Also been playing a lot of SNK games on the Sega Saturn as well for that additional crossover bonus.

There was a lot of other things that happened in the past few months too that I’ll unpack at a later date, but will hopefully have something a bit more interesting to talk about soon! Busy busy!

Monstrum – The Hunter’s Soundtrack

Originally posted on the Team Junkfish blog. So much for keeping this up to date. Hopefully will have more to talk about soon though.

In this blog I’m going to talk about some music in Monstrum again, this time: the Hunter. As with the Brute’s themes there is a fair amount of sound design stuff going on as opposed to traditional instrumentation, so I’ll go over that as well as the general ideas that I was aiming for. Here’s the Hunter’s Chase Theme:

Continue reading “Monstrum – The Hunter’s Soundtrack”

A trip to EGX London

Last weekend Simon and I went down to Earl’s Court to show off Monstrum at EGX London, and all round it was pretty successful! Most people got the game and seemed to enjoy it, with the seat never really being empty outside of doors just opening. We managed to dive off from the stand for a couple of minutes each day, and I took a bit of time to have a nosy around some of the other games on show. Most of them were in the Rezzed area, and are worth keeping an eye on. So without much further ado…

Continue reading “A trip to EGX London”

Story in Games Pt. 1.5: The Music in Monstrum

So much for writing more… I should try and keep up, but it’s been busy at Team Junkfish. Once again, this is a repost of that blog and is reflective of the development progress at the time. The original post is here.

 
This is one follow up to my previous blog which discussed storytelling in games. You can give it a read here. My original plan for the second part was to speak about the use of sound effects in story telling and world building, however I thought it’d be an idea to talk about how we’re actually going about the music side of things ourselves!

 
In Monstrum we are aiming to use both diegetic and non-diegetic music for a few different purposes. The most obvious use of non-diegetic music are the monsters’ themes, so let’s start there. Simplifying some statements down a bit, these are used to provide information (i.e.: the monster is chasing you), context (which monster it actually is) and emotional content (trying to evoke a certain feeling). I’ve spoken about the “hows” of the Brute’s theme before in detail here, including of the sound design that’s used, so I’ll give you a little summary of the decision making, the “whys”, that went behind it and what I was hoping to achieve.

Continue reading “Story in Games Pt. 1.5: The Music in Monstrum”

Story in Games Pt. 1: Speaking through Song

Originally posted on the Team Junkfish blog.

This blog is based on an event that happened as part of Abertay’s Game Lab, loosely based on the topic of “story”, and how people from different disciplines tackled it in games. I was asked to provide an audio perspective, and given that I’m usually better at explaining things in written form than verbally (shocking, I know!) I decided that I’d expand and clarify a few points I spoke about and why I think they’re important. This will be the first of what will (hopefully only) be a two part blog post, and will have a few spoilers here and there, so heads up!

What is “Story” anyway?

The word “story” itself is a bit of a nebulous term. Most people would associate it with some form of narrative, such as the Hero’s Journey, that follows one main protagonist or group of people through their various trials and quests to some sort of resolution. But is that it? Is that everything that’s being told? Does the entire game world merely exist around the player character(s), with everything only being relevant them? What about everything else: the details, the history, even the context of the place and situations that you may be in. Going from A to B through C becomes much more engaging and involving if there are different forces, details and subtexts at play instead of “because that’s where you need to go”. 

Basically, how do you “build the world“?

Continue reading “Story in Games Pt. 1: Speaking through Song”

Learn Stuff, Do Stuff, Make Stuff

Today I was down in Edinburgh to take part in a panel on games for one of the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s Media Days. These are days were groups of 15-17 year old students go to a series of events and panels across multiple different formats, and for some reason somebody thought it’d be a good idea to have me down for one. Clearly they’ve never tried to have a conversation with me before.  Also there was Brian Baglow of Scottishgames.net, and unfortunately Isaac Howie-Brewerton from Pixel Blimp had to send his apologies. A quick cheers to Nicola and Jessie who organised the event/day/week-and-a-bit too!

Anyway, during the event there was a thing that happened that I felt the need to write about. It’s probably closer to a brain fart, but here we go all the same~

Continue reading “Learn Stuff, Do Stuff, Make Stuff”