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Everything posted by benprunty

  1. Way back in like 2000 I was a huge fan of djpretzel's Mystery Videogame Theater on overclocked.org. I still think MVT is hilarious. On the sidebar of the site was a little picture of his webcomic character Pretzel with two turntables and the text, "OVERCLOCKED REMIX". It had to be good, right? I'm so glad I clicked on it. OC Remix became a huge inspiration for me and influenced all of my music from then on.
  2. Really, like with Zelda, I want to see a complete, radical overhaul of the series and start from scratch. Look at what made the original great, and then try to make a new game as if none of the others existed. I feel like Shadow of the Colossus is inadvertently an example of this. The game feels as though the only game the designer had ever played was the original Zelda and he wanted to recreate that experience with modern hardware. That's what I want to see with Metroid.
  3. I love this stuff. I wrote a similar article on the subject a while back: http://makeshiftmusician.blogspot.com/2008/02/importance-of-music-to-humankind.html In his book "This is Your Brain on Music", Daniel Levitin suggests that music evolved as a method for attracting potential mates; similar to, but obviously more complex than, say, peacock feathers. Several things correlate with this: 1. The love song, which, when written and performed well, has a powerful effect on those who listen to it. 2. The fact that being a musician takes intelligence, agility, coordination, social skills and patience, all of which have been important for human survival in the last 5 million years or so. 3. The absolutely incredible sexual attraction that rock stars have over everyone else. I'm not saying I believe that, but it is hard to ignore the fact that a rock star can pretty much choose whatever mate he or she wants. Anyone interested in the origins or purpose of music should first understand human origins in general. I recommend the famous Richard Leakey's "The Origin of Humankind".
  4. When I was a teenager, I mostly only listened to electronic music and game soundtracks. When I went to college I stumbled onto latin jazz and loved it. Now I actively seek out new genres of music every six months or so. Recently I've been getting into modern funk, but I've added bluegrass, classic rock, old-timey folks and modern classical to my list of interests. I even wrote an article on the subject.
  5. A couple of years ago I had a little Quake 3 LAN party with my buddies. Some of us had Macs, some PCs and some even had, *gulp*, Linux. It took us two hours just to get everyone's copy installed, patched and configured so we could all play together. Quake Live can have as many in-game advertisements as id wants. If it is not only free but requires almost zero set up time, then I can't even describe how great that is. To be able to just say "Hey everyone, bring your computer and we'll play Quake 3!" and have everyone just jump in with console-like ease is a boon. It's a great use of our modern technology and the fact that it is free just makes it perfect.
  6. I don't know if you really need a whole kit to do it, but replacing the pin connector does work wonders. If you've ever replaced anything in your computer you can easily swap out a pin connector on your own without directions. It's also good, though not as essential, to get some electrical-connector cleaning solution and apply it to the pins of your cartridges with a q-tip.
  7. A lot of things in King's Quest VI creeped me out, like the genie who kept showing up trying to get you to inadvertently kill yourself. He could always be identified by his glittering eyes. The zombies in the land of the dead were freaky too. If you touched them you would disintegrate, but because you had a goddamn adventure game point-and-click interface, it was impossible to guarantee that you wouldn't brush against them. So every move was nerve-wracking.
  8. So, wanting to try and inject more funny into the Makeshift Musician, I made my first attempt at a humor article. It's not particularly insightful, but I think I succeeded at making it funny. It has only been tested on my close friends, however. What do you think? Check it out: 5 Reasons Why You Should be a Musician Instead of Working in IT Feel free to Digg it if you like it.
  9. I've been looking for info on orchestral sample library, but I can't seem to find any definitive source on the internet, you know, with comparisons and such. I figured you guys would have a good idea and would like to share some information. What do you folks know about? Thanks. -Ben
  10. I think Wind Waker was the pinnacle of the modern 3D Zeldas. I think after that one they should've simply looked at the original NES Zelda for inspiration and started from scratch, without ties to Ocarina of Time. Twilight Princess was way too much of a rehash of Ocarina for me. I couldn't even finish it. Anyway, as for the look, it was so perfectly implemented. Better than any other game. It wasn't plagued by the usual graphical problems that other games have, like polygon tearing and warping and there were very few clipping issues. After that, Twilight Princess looked buggy, muddy and unrefined. Twilight Princess was not a bad game, but Zelda and I have had a falling out after Wind Waker. I can't go back until I'm certain it will be a new game. Okay, done.
  11. Thanks for the help guys! I'm using an Asus Eee pc, and it'll be a lot of fun to mess around with it.
  12. Hey folks. I just got me a linux laptop and I was thinking it would be fun to put tracker or other composition type software on it. Well, not the act itself. Trying to put anything on linux isn't exactly fun. Anyway, you guys have any recommendations? Thanks. -Ben
  13. I feel like the time spent making this game could've been spent making something more interesting and original. This thing will always be relegated to novelty status.
  14. I'm happy that the Wii is finally finding some relevance for me now. Aside from Smash Bros, there wasn't a whole lot for me to get excited about. Now I play Dr. Mario Online all the time and I can't wait for all the Mega Man goodness. Bring it!
  15. I started totally late, and now I write a site about it: http://makeshiftmusician.com/ Don't let anything discourage you. Your brain is still very capable of learning new stuff. Certainly can't hurt to try! Really, why not? -Ben
  16. Hey guys, I did an interview with Star Salzman over at the Makeshift Musician. Check it out: http://makeshiftmusician.blogspot.com/2008/05/interview-with-star-salzman.html Star is a good fit for the site because not only does he do everything himself, he also has a great level of polish on all of his work. He easily shows that a great production can come from normal folks without a major (expensive) studio. Anyway, I thought you guys would like to read it also. He has a lot of cool stuff to share.
  17. I know that my enjoyment of certain games like Shadow of the Colossus, EarthBound, Tetrisphere, Ocarina of Time, the first three Metroid games and many others was probably somewhat dependent on their soundtracks. I've also written and produced a game soundtrack, so I definitely agree to the importance. On the other hand, when I play Half-Life 1 or 2, I turn the music off and I think it is a much better experience for it. I feel that music (like lens flare) can be inappropriate in a first-person perspective game that is trying to be experiential. A person does not have a personal soundtrack being piped into their head (just like their eyes aren't freaking video cameras, I'm looking at you lens flare) so I feel like the music takes the player out of the experience of really being there. This is just a personal thing. BioShock was a tough one, for instance though, because the score was really well done and most certainly heightened the dramatic tension for me. So I'm still kind of torn on the issue of music in FPSes. The songs that you hear playing in Rapture don't count, because they're part of the environment. Sorry, went off on a tangent. I love music in games. Yeah your preaching to the choir, but its still a fun discussion.
  18. I'm 24. My first game ever was Armor Battle on the Mattel Intellivision, which I still have. My favorite games include the original Metroid, Kaboom!, NetHack, EarthBound, Secret of Monkey Island, Daggerfall, Super Mario Bros. and DOOM. I grew up playing games and they have never not been a part of my life. That said, some of my OTHER favorite games include Shadow of the Colossus, Half-Life, System Shock 2, Smash Bros., Geometry Wars and GTA Vice City. Shadow of the Colossus, in particular is a pinnacle of modern gaming and acts as a tribute to everything that makes games great. There will always be people who say that games ain't what they used to be. I remember older folks saying this during the Super Nintendo days. I saw people writing letters to (*ahem*) GamePro complaining that modern games were all about graphical spectacle and were ignoring great gameplay. And they were talking about 16-bit systems compared with the stuff on the Atari! They were right, in a way: Atari games, when compared to everything that came after them, are great examples of pure, distilled, focused gameplay lovingly crafted by one designer. In ten years folks will be complaining about graphics in games becoming too important. They'll wax poetic about games like God of War being perfect examples of a title that focused on gameplay, probably ignoring the graphical excellence of that game. Let's not forget that Super Mario Bros' graphics were unbelievably detailed for the time. It is true that there are a lot of bad games these days, but there were even more bad games on the Atari. Have you ever played ET? *shudder*. Or Bubsy for SNES or Genesis? Yikes. How bout Spelunker on the NES? Good God. There will always be shitty games. From the very beginning till the apocalypse takes us all, we will have to sift through garbage to get to the gems. Kids these days, alas, won't truly get to appreciate how dramatic and exciting the original Zelda was to play. I also know that older film buffs would say that I'll never be able to appreciate the drama of Citizen Kane because I grew up with nothing but special-effects laden, over-directed swill. But I sure love Back to the Future and Dark City. I've even found myself complaining that modern movies aren't as tight as stuff like Indiana Jones and Back to the Future. And I MISSED the Golden Age of movies! What right do I have to complain? My Super NES and NES are still hooked up to my television, so I don't have to complain about missing the good ol' days. I just fire up Tetris Attack with my roommates and we have a ball. We also play new stuff like Smash Bros. Brawl and Okami. I don't know if I had much of a point here, but I'm just a little tired of hearing people say that games used to be so much better 'back in the day'. When you say something like this, remember that your not saying anything new or insightful and also remember that others will consider games of today, the ones that you so readily dismiss, as the games of their own personal Golden Age. Do yourself a favor and play the great games and ignore the bad ones. It is what everyone else has been doing for 30 years. You'll forget stuff like Mace Griffin, Turok 3, X-Squad, Quest 64 and Evergrace and you'll instead just remember the awesome stuff. And dude, get yourself a DS and play some games! There's some fantastic gameplay to be had. The fact that Nintendo specifically kept the system's graphic power at a minimum should tell you something about their design philosophy. I'll even help you get started with a short list of awesome games (all with great gameplay) for it: Hotel Dusk Yoshi's Touch and Go Planet Puzzle League WarioWare Touched!
  19. Just so we're clear, the article never did ask what music provides us. My question was how it became a unique part of human identity, and by learning the answer I believe we could utilize music in ways that we don't yet fully comprehend. Regardless, I love your thoughts anyway. Thanks for the feedback. I, too, believe that the main use of music is for direct stimulation of the subconscious emotional parts of our brain. Anyway, thanks for the feedback!
  20. I wrote an article a while back on the importance of music to humankind, and I thought it might make for an interesting discussion on here. http://makeshiftmusician.blogspot.com/2008/02/importance-of-music-to-humankind.html The article deals with human evolution and asks where music fits in. What do you guys think?
  21. Finishing my first game soundtrack, a forty minute epic. Alas, I think the game will be canceled. You can hear a little bit of it on http://myspace.com/jupitermanmusic The three bottom songs, the ones from the album "The Regrets of Man" It was a great learning experience to make an entire soundtrack. I can't wait to work on more.
  22. I been reading Jean Shepherd's In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash, a nostalgic comedy about a kid growing up in the 30's in Indiana. The movie A Christmas Story was based on this book. Quickly becoming one of my favorite books. Larry Niven's A World Out of Time, which so far is a sci-fi about a criminal who's memory is erased and replaced with the memories of a dead guy and is forced to work as a garbage hauler, or something. and Thich Nhat Hanh's the Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, a fantastic and straightforward account of the basics of Buddhism.
  23. Voltrox747, every N64 FPS I played allowed you to aim and move at the same time. The N64 controller was actually really well suited to FPS movement. In both Goldeneye and Turok I always had the c-buttons control movement and the stick controlling aiming, which is less precise but not unlike WASD and mouse controls for a PC FPS. I actually felt that the controls in Metroid Prime were actually kind of cool once you got used to them. In the beginning I was totally clumsy, much like the way I felt when I experienced mouselook for the first time in the original quake like 12 years ago. Once I got the hang of it though, I never felt crippled in any way, once you got the hang of dodging. It really felt like you were in a hulking metal suit. Props to Retro for starting from scratch with the control scheme instead of simply delivering on the expectations of gamers. Now, Metroid Prime 2... That game was waaaay too long, and Prime 3 had fantastic controls but was way too easy. Oh well. At least the first one was awesome.
  24. Here are some OCRemixes that I really enjoyed in Audiosurf: Shatterhand - Shattered by Snappleman and Rubbler Contra - Snow Field by tefnek QBert - A!bol Hardcore by JAXX Sonic 2 - Strip Mine by Beatdrop Gauntlet 3 - Blue Wizard is About to Die by Binster Ghouls N' Ghosts - Poltergeist Mix by Binster
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