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Posts posted by zircon

  1. Hey Bejack, if you feel like you aren't gaining mass, there are a few possible issues.

    1. You might not be eating enough calories. What is your daily activity level like? Height/weight? Try a TDEE calculator. If you want to see results you need to be at least 200-300 over your daily calorie expenditure. If you have a fast metabolism or an active lifestyle, you might be eating below what you need to gain.

    2. You might not be eating enough protein. Sure, you can get gains with limited protein, but it will be slower and harder. I've heard a lot of numbers thrown around but the scientific consensus seems to be about 0.75g of protein per pound of body weight daily.

    3. You might not be working out optimally. What exactly are you doing in terms of your workouts? What exercises, how many repetitions / sets, and how do you feel after each one?

    4. You might not be sleeping enough. Optimally you want to be getting a solid 8 hours of rest.


    Personal update: my cut is almost over. The end is in sight. I can't wait to post progress pics on Monday.

  2. I envy you guys that you can do IF. If I don't eat for awhile I get painfully hungry. But if I have a massive meal, I'm just as hungry as if I ate a small one. I feel like that has gotta come down to genetics; some people are just predisposed to eating too much. Like at the end of a 1600 calorie day I feel pretty much the same as at the end of a 3500 one... a 205 calorie breakfast feels about the same as a 1000 calorie one. But not in a good way. I just never feel that full unless I'm going WAY WAY WAY overboard.

    My diet right now involves eating every few hours, but small quantities of food. No meal is more than 400 calories.

  3. Yep it's the eternal problem. Though, for aesthetic purposes, I think it's fair to say that gaining muscle OR losing fat will in most cases make it look like you're doing both. For example I have been at a deficit of around 300-500/day for about 8 or 9 months now. My strength has not gone up much if at all but I definitely look a lot better having lost a solid 30 pounds of fat, even if there is technically no (or minimal) muscle growth happening.

    Speaking of deficits I am so close to done with this cut. I just can't wait to eat again. The way it usually goes, I'm disciplined most days of the week and I clock in at 1650-1750 cals, and then 1 or 2 days I end up cheating up to 2100-2200 (which is probably at maintenance, or barely below). Usually because of travel, but sometimes because I'm just too hungry.. even though I eat ridiculous amounts of protein + drink tons of water daily.

    Really my long game here isn't strength OR aesthetics but just to boost my metabolism to the point where I can eat tons of food all day and not gain weight. :<

  4. Should one ever work for free? I think it depends on the context. If the project has an extremely minimal (or no budget), as many indie projects do, then it's unlikely you might get a normal rate. Say they need 10 minutes of music, and you normally ask $200/min. It's possible that their entire project budget is $1000 or even less. We shouldn't begrudge the developer here, nor a composer who works on the project for a lower-than-normal rate, since the resources simply aren't there.

    BUT in this situation, I liken the composer to an investor. The idea of investment is that you are contributing resources toward something with the hope that you will receive a return greater than what you put in. You buy $500 of Microsoft stock with the hope that it will be worth more later. When you take on a project for free, you're betting that the resources you put in now (your time) will see a good return down the line. That return could come in multiple forms:

    * You could (and should!) negotiate royalties, so if the project becomes commercialized, raises money via crowdfunding, etc., you get a cut.

    * You could release a soundtrack on your own. The value of this is proportional to the size of your fan base - someone like virt, BGC, or to a lesser extent myself can have some assurance that any soundtrack we release will earn *some* money.

    * You could be asked to work for the same developer/creator again, this time on a higher-paying and/or higher-profile project.

    But as with any investment, you need to do your research and evaluate the risks. Has the developer released any other games? Were they successful? What is their background and experience? Do they have a team? How much of the project is done? You have to ask yourself these questions, otherwise you might be making a risky investment that has a lower chance of paying off. This can happen even to projects that SEEM like good bets, but nonetheless, it's important to be selective with what you invest your time into.

    Of course, none of this relates to projects that HAVE a budget, and you're being expected to work for free. This makes no sense to me and you really ARE devaluing your own work by doing this. If a project gets Kickstarted and you know they have $40k, it's not unreasonable to ask for a few thousand to contribute audio (depending on the amount of audio needed). That's not to say there aren't lots of ways to negotiate:

    * You could do less audio - fewer tracks, fewer SFX

    * You can license existing material for a lower rate

    * You could give up some upfront money in exchange for royalties

    * You could barter for services like graphic/web design and development

    * etc.

    If you MUST take or offer a lower rate, make it clear how that rate compares to your normal one. I took a rate of $150/min on a project last year which is definitely below my normal one. But in return, I'm getting 15% royalties and full soundtrack rights, plus I made it clear that my normal rate is higher and that $150/min is NOT the standard.

  5. Yeah, it's brutal. Initially I was planning to go into the 150s but at this point I'm starting to burn out on cutting. My new plan is to lose a solid 3-4 pounds (hopefully bringing me to 160 even) by Feb 23, and then start a slow bulk. I've been eating an average of 1800-1900 a day, so I'm going to go up to maintenance (2200) for a week on Feb 23, and then in March start eating at 2400.

    I figure 3 months of bulking should get me, in theory, about ~5 pounds of lean mass. +200 per day, 90 days = 18000 surplus / 3500 = 5.1 pounds. At that point, maybe a 2 month cut...

  6. Buy my retro + imported games and consoles!


    Super Nintendo (No boxes or instruction manuals)

    * SNES Console with power & A/V cables

    * 1 traditional SNES controller, 1 see-through controller

    * Final Fantsay II

    * Mega Man 7

    * Robotrek

    * Super Mario All-Stars & Super Mario World

    * The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past

    Super Famicom (JAPANESE IMPORTS in boxes!)

    * Romancing SaGa 2

    * Romancing SaGa 3

    * Seiken Densetsu 2 (a.k.a. Secret of Mana)

    Nintendo 64 (No boxes or instruction manuals)

    * See-through N64 controller

    * Hybrid Heaven

    * Starfox 64


    * Original gameboy DMG-1 handheld system. Has some dirt + dust, signs of wear + tear, but it works and the screen is in good condition. Not cracked, dented, etc.

    Game Boy Advance (No boxes or instruction manuals)

    * Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow

    * Final Fantasy IV

    * Final Fantasy V Advance

    * Final Fantasy VI Advance

    * Metroid: Zero Mission

    * Metroid Fusion

    * Phantasy Star Collection

    * River City Ransom

    * Riviera: The Promised Land

    * Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon

    * Shining Soul II

    * Sword of Mana

    * Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis

    * Zelda: Four Swords

    Sega Saturn (Games are in original cases)

    * Japanese Sega Saturn console with power & A/V cables (no adapters needed to work with US TVs or power outlets, plays JP games)

    * 2 Sega Saturn controllers

    * Saturn expansion cartridge

    * Christmas NiGHTs

    * King of Fighters '95

    * Saturn Bomberman Fight!!

    * Street Fighter Collection (Street Fighter Alpha/Zero 2 and Super Street Fighter II X)

    * Vampire Hunter: Darkstalkers' Revenge

    * Virtua Fighter II

    * Wipeout

    PSP (Games are in original cases)

    * Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

    * Valkyria Chronicles II

  7. I wish I had some advice for that, but it hasn't been an issue for me ever. Maybe it's because of your height? One thing that MIGHT be worth doing... bodyweight squats with resistance bands around your knees. Basically, you'll have to actively push outwards at all times to maintain your form. I would not do this with weight because that seems really dangerous, BUT I had to do it in physical therapy and found it to be pretty challenging. I imagine it COULD help you?

    Anyway, on a general note... I was immensely gratified at how people this MAGfest reacted to my weight loss and fitness improvement. Most of them probably aren't looking here, but if you're reading this and you said some kind words, thank you!! That is the reaction I was hoping and striving for.

    ... Too bad I probably gained like 2 pounds of fat over the weekend, negating all of January's progress :P But I'm back to cutting <1600 cals a day. I think I will end up stopping around 155-158, or whenever I get rid of this stupid pouch of ab fat.

  8. It did! Me, Deia, and OA hit the gym today (Sun) at noon. I guess we forgot to post publicly but we did try to spread the word a bit in person. The fitness room was decent relative to most hotels... cable machine, dumbbells up to 50 lbs, lots of cardio of course. We did some dumbbell OHP, db bench press, db rows, lateral raises, chin-ups. Since it was just the three of us we reaped ALL the gains.

  9. I think a Sunday morning workout might be cool, like 11am or something. But I'm at another hotel so if it's inconvenient do it without me :-)

    I'm not a tea person... can't stand the taste. In fact I don't drink anything except water.

    Currently the cardio I do is all in the 20-30 minute range, stairmaster or elliptical, at pretty high intensity. But it's not HIIT. I hate jogging/running/sprinting. I guess I just need to find the right exercise where I can apply the HIIT template. I WAS playing badminton for over a year which is actually extremely great exercise, since you're naturally doing a ton of running + sprinting (about 2x as much as tennis), however my lower back injury is preventing me from playing right now.

  10. (Disclaimer note: Any music that makes it into a game becomes the property of the game. There is no money being made so there will also be no royalties

    Whoa, dafuq? Giant red flag. They gotta change the policy here. If you're making music for a game jam for free - no problem with that - there's 0 reason why you should be giving your rights away. In fact, that's not even legally possible. You can't sign your intellectual property rights to someone else with no compensation or consideration.

  11. I've been slamming the Stairmaster lately for cardio:


    This thing is brutal. When I first tried one a few years ago, I had it on 50 steps per min and made it maybe 5 minutes.

    Today, I started at 90 and worked up to 135 steps/min (which is practically a jog) - over the course of 31 minutes, did 200 flights of stairs without stopping. 4 miles of distance, finishing at 15 mets.

    Dragonforce, Nightwish, and Pendulum pumps me up :D

  12. zircon said:
    Ever since I became a composer, I've wanted to write a soundtrack to a game like Dungeonmans; something that hearkens back to my days of playing classic 16- and 32-bit RPGs. The developer, Jim Shepard, shares my love of these games and their soundtracks, not to mention that, while he's not a composer himself, he's very passionate about game music. Working on this project was thus a fantastic creative experience and the final result is, in my opinion, my finest score to date.

    With that in mind, anytime someone takes the time to create an arrangement or interpretation of your original work, it's a wonderful feeling. So, to hear so many talented folks take on Dungeonmans is truly special. I was absolutely thrilled at the quantity and quality of remixes from both the friends that I personally invited, as well as the musicians who submitted to the contest. From hard rock and funk to EDM and chiptunes, I absolutely love every minute of it.

    - Andrew Aversa

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