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About BardicKnowledge

  • Rank
    Dr. Robotnik (+2700)
  • Birthday 01/06/1985

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Lafayette, IN

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • Skype Ask me for it via PM if you don't have already


  • Biography Ph.D candidate in musicology at the University of Minnesota currently finishing my dissertation from Lafayette, IN. Awesome breakfast-maker, father, husband, and public speaker.

    E-mail: Thompson(dot)RyanC[at]
  • Real Name Ryan Thompson
  • Occupation Ludomusicologist
  • Facebook ID 16912692
  • Twitter Username BardicKnowledge
  • Xbox Live Gamertag MasterTenor
  • Steam ID bardic_knowledge

Artist Settings

  • Collaboration Status 2. Maybe; Depends on Circumstances
  • Software - Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) Finale
  • Composition & Production Skills Arrangement & Orchestration
  • Instrumental & Vocal Skills (List) Accordion
    Vocals: Male
  1. Need a recommendation for a surround sound headset

    I just use nice stereo cans (the ultra-comfy AKG-K240s here) and let drivers / software do all the rest of the work.  I can diifferentiate between "in front" and "behind" readily enough with them if the game is mixed properly.
  2. How is Howard Drossin -- who visited MAGFest (7?) as a Sonic 3 composer -- credited on the soundtrack?  I remember nothing about him except his completely milktoast reaction to GeoffreyTaucer's killer Lava Reef arrangement. One immediately notices that his name is not listed among the songwriting ranks of "Brad Buxer, Bobby Brooks, Doug Grigsby III, Darryl Ross, Geoff Grace, and Cirocco Jones" that the blog cites.  Seems that until we find a way to parse who worked on what specifically, our work will not yet be done...I really wish there were a master list of what Drossin did vs. the people working for MJ. I've always loved this story, as an aside -- one of the coolest musicology investigations the scene will likely ever see.
  3. Art Games vs. Games as Art

    Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, and other games focused around tight action games definitely emphasize the gameplay end of the spectrum over the art design, music, and other aesthetic elements (note: I'm not saying that those elements are not also spectacular in either case).  As Nabeel said about film, there's a special award for cinematography -- that is, the best camera work, and the best elements unique to film.  Why not just solve this question with a special award at GCDA for best game design?  We all agree that game design is some part of what makes video games a unique medium...
  4. Game Audio Analysis YouTube Series

     I enjoyed the video, but I have something to counter your first proposal.  For instance, when you say that in a looping track the end "should be relatively similar to the beginning," what exactly does that mean?  Why not end your looping track on a half cadence leading back into tonic, which would make the end quite different from the beginning? I suggest that loops should instead "lead back to the beginning" -- in what fashion that relationship occurs is up to the composer.  See the Super Mario Bros. World 8 map screen for a quick and dirty example of this.  It's a series of chords that leads back to tonic, but it does not arrive there until the beginning of the loop.  Putting a tonic chord followed by the same tonic chord would serve to highlight the repetition, the very thing you want to avoid. As for reverb trails and not exporting to MP3, that is good advice for a person just getting started with this -- keep it up!   
  5. Art Games vs. Games as Art

    I don't know why anyone accepted AngelCityOutlaw's proposal that games can be reduced to a sequence of rules when the same can be said about nearly anything.  Before engaging in a discussion of the word "art," let's first have a brief chat about the word "virtuosity." From William Cheng's recent book, "Sound Play": "Inherent in creative and critical play is an element of virtuosity, which, as defined by Dana Gooley (regarding the legendary pianist Franz Liszt), involves exceeding 'the limit of what seems possible, or what the spectator can imagine...[and] insistently mobilizing, destabilizing, and reconstituting borders.' Insistence is key: maintaining virtuosic distinction means staying a couple steps ahead of the game.  Should extraordinary acts catch on and become heavily imitated, the could cease to appear extraordinary as such. ...To be sure, it is possible for an act to be so radical that it comes off as more alienating than impressive.  Chess players who set fire to the game board during a match are clearly transgressors (and maybe dangers to society), but they aren't likely to be hailed as creative or virtuosic chess masters.  It would likewise be odd to spread peanut butter on a piano's keys during a recital, but performers who do so shouldn't count on being venerated as concert pianists in the conventional sense." The last paragraph seems comical but is vital to this discussion -- every performative act in couched in a set of understood rules. This is true of music, and it is true of games.  Batman can't leave Gotham on the bus at the beginning of Arkham Knight, and you can't paint peanut butter on the piano if you want to be a pianist. Boiling down either music or games (or any other performative act, seriously) to "the rules" without addressing the myriad range of other elements that make up performance is to miss the point completely, which seems to be the most of what this potentially useful thread has degenerated into.   As to the original point raised by Nabeel -- I think that art-games (that is, what you have uncharitably labelled as walking simulators and such) are vital to the maturation of the medium, but don't necessarily speak for the whole.  Because my argument applies to all media, let's step away from games and do this in film instead -- just because Crash and Doubt exist doesn't mean we quit talking about how awesome Indiana Jones is, or why Spielberg is a stellar director.  One is not better than the other, they merely represent multiple expressions within the same medium.  Some movies have great action sequences, some really get to us emotionally, and some make us think and feel clever for piecing things together.  Games are exactly the same way -- they allow for multiple modes of presentation within a given constraint of starting rules (you generally don't leave the movie theater if you want to "watch" a film, you generally don't put down the controller for extended periods of time if you want to "play" the game) for experiencing what the medium has to offer on any given day.    
  6. Merry Steam-mas!

    I once attended a paper arguing for an understanding of Proteus as a 20th-century aleatoric composition that takes in video game inputs to determine what pitches are played (based on interactions with trees, critters, etc.) I own it already but wanted to let people know that if you're into as much randomization as possible, that pushes the boundaries neatly.
  7. OCR Secret Santa 2015

    I bought all digital presents for my person, fwiw -- so international folks should feel more than welcome to participate!
  8. OCR Secret Santa 2015

    Let me know how the remastered Darksiders II is -- I have the original game and used my coupon to get you the remaster.  I'm wondering if it's worth picking up when it inevitably goes on sale later this year.
  9. Sweet Sixteen - Happy Birthday OCR!

    The community here has been an amazing, important part of my life for some time.  Just a few highlights quickly:   Jill Aversa making the wedding presents for my groomsmen on short notice when my earlier plans fell through.  Most of them still have that album in their car.     OA and Moonlapse (with Deia soon thereafter) making me feel welcome in the Twin Cities.  Next time I'm in town, we are all going to the Surly brewery rain or shine.  Singing for the FFVI album with Andrew is the best deal I've ever made in my life -- I provide vocals, he provided vodka.   Throwing down with my fellow OCR Street Fighter players continues to be a gaming highlight for me, and I fully expect all of you (you know who you are) to be on for SFV when it launches.   This list wouldn't be complete without special thank yous to Stevo and Wes, who both go out of their way to make everybody -- my family included -- feel extra welcome.  I imagine that I am not the only one with similar thoughts about these two amazing dudes.   Lastly, prophetik and Addie working together to throw me a surprise birthday party at MAGFest was the best thing ever.  That cake was amazing as well.  
  10. OCR Secret Santa 2015

    Well, I am blown away by the gift that I received.  Wes really doesn't want me to finish my dissertation, haha.  In all seriousness, this is very humbling and I don't know how best to express how thankful I am except to say thank you.  This unboxing pic of me looking way more excited than I usually do (I intended just a very pleased smile, I confess) comes via a joke by Addie, who took the picture right after she said "Now look like I didn't schedule you a vasectomy for Christmas," causing me to laugh really hard and create an embarrassing picture of myself for everyone's enjoyment.     As an aside, I have a large pile of digital goodies for my own person, but they haven't accepted my Steam friend request.  If they don't respond by the end of the day I'm just going to spoil the surprise and PM them since I should not be sitting on gifts after receiving my own.
  11. OCR Secret Santa 2015

    Check your Steam friend invitations, everyone
  12. Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

      Almost nobody on any side of this argument thinks that removing anything from the shelf is a viable end-goal.  Critique such as Anita's that points out sexism in media (aside: please table specific citations from her -- I agree with some of her critique and I don't see sexism when she does in other specific instances) might encourage people to not buy sexist material, but nobody is forcing anyone to not make things.   With specific regard to DoA Xtreme 3, Tecmo Koei can say whatever it wants about not wanting to bring over the game because of fear of backlash; whatever they say, negative news to a low-profile game is still making it in the news, which ultimately raises copies sold.  It is simply that the previous games did not sell enough copies in the US to justify the release, period.
  13. Rocket League

    And despite what Addie will tell you, I promise that after you figure out the controls it doesn't feel anything like playing Goat Simulator.  
  14. Rocket League

    Who has it, and who is interested in playing on a semi-regular basis?  I got the game with my Steam controller a week or so ago and the game is fantastic.  I'm slowly learning to hit aerials but usually end up just a hair short -- working on that.     For anyone who played a lot of Unreal '99, the music and general aesthetic of the game makes me think the developers played even more than I did, despite that the game itself is obviously a whole different beast.
  15. OCR Secret Santa 2015

    I'm in again -- I've loved every year I do it.  Details to be filled out on Wes' form shortly!   Basic detail list in case someone who needs help draws me -- know that I'm open to getting pretty much anything though: I own a gaming-grade PC, PS Vita, 3DS, and a Wii U.  Anything is great!