Did you know that Nintendo was founded as a company in 1889 and produced handmade hanafuda cards? The World Photo recently put up a graphical display of the company’s history (Nintendo has been around for well over 100 years!) showing their progression from making cards to being one of the biggest names in the home video game space.
Growing up an IT nerd, I dabbled a bit in game development predominantly in Game Maker 5/6 and Flash and while I didn’t produce anything particularly great (shout-outs to Bouncy: Christmas Edition) it did give me an appreciation for just how much work went into the development process. With the Indie Game movement well and truly in full force, game development is becoming increasingly more accessible, with more ways than ever to get involved in the industry no matter what age you are.
Joystiq recently ran an article on Gamebot School, an online game development school aiming to provide a safe online environment for aspiring young developers, some as young as 9 to try their hand at development early to build up the skills needed to enter the industry. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“…I was messing around with GameMaker a little bit and I thought, ‘I wonder if I could teach a kid this, because everyone keeps asking me.’ My son was five at the time, and I decided to try to teach him how to make a game, and it actually worked. He made a little game where he drew this dinosaur, and we scanned it into the computer. This dinosaur goes left and right on the screen, and it catches fruit when it falls down … And I had a couple kids that wanted to do it, then all of the sudden it was five students, then 10 students, then I was like, ‘I need to get out of the house and get another place.’ So that’s how it all started.”
Let’s Listen is a series where we take cool music from games and then talk about them! If you have a track or game you would like to suggest, drop me a line in the comments.
Moonlit Melee – Michiru Yamane from Skullgirls (PC, PSN, XBLA)
Moonlit Melee is the theme for ‘the Streets of New Meridian’, one of the stages in Skullgirls and is my pick for this week’s Let’s Listen! The track is upbeat, jazzy, complete the catchy hooks and energy you would expect from a Yamane tune. From vibrant string tunes to punchy piano / synth solos it really is just one of those tracks that will keep you playing the game just so you can keep it on for a little longer. The whole OST is fantastic and is probably my favourite jazz influenced fighting game soundtrack since Street fighter 3: 3rd strike.
Skullgirls is an indie fighting game from longtime Fighting Game Community member Mike “Mike Z ” Zaimont. Once known as one of the best BlazBlue players in the USA, Zaimont decided to try his hand at creating his own fighting game, taking elements from other fighters he played competitively, notably Marvel vs Capcom 2 & 3, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. The game’s engine, starting as one of Zaimont’s college projects, remained in development for over 10 years before the game’s release in 2012. The soundtrack featured some serious talent, most notably Michiru Yamane (composer for many Castelvania titles including Symphony of the Night) as well as Vincent Diamante (Flower), Blaine McGurty (Retro Reomix Review) and Brenton Kossak. Revenge Lab requested a jazzy sound and the result was one of the most beloved Fighting Game soundtracks in recent memory.
The game was not without it’s problems. The game launched with only 8 characters with the promise of more content post-launch, but a long series of issues with now ex-publisher Konami meant the DLC had to be crowd funded in order to be finished. Thankfully, the Indiegogo was a phenominal success and the game raised nearly $830 000 allowing the publishers to not only finish the promised character Squigly, but also release an addition 4 characters, as well as extra stages and voice packs for the game. Since parting ways with Konami and being picked up by Autumn Games, the game has enjoyed extended support from the publisher and fans, with the post-launch content steadily being rolled out now that the publishing issues are behind Lab Zero Games.
So this is something I’ve been wanting to throw together for a while now. I occasionally do pretty interesting things; playing double bass is fun sometimes and being a muso leads to some pretty cool things. Games are also pretty interesting which is good because it means I don’t have to be.
The purpose of this blog will predominantly be to share and discuss noteworthy finds in the music and gaming worlds, but will also serve as a dumping ground for any cool projects I have a hand in. Hopefully it’ll lead to some fun things
Also if my spelling / grammar sucks you should definitely call me out on that.