Sunday
Apr032011

My involvement with Army of One and Farland Online

I have been working on two long term game development projects so far through 2011. These are Farland Online (that I mentioned in my last blog) and Army of One.  Incidentally both of these games are now announced for publication on Aluna Games, an excellent up and coming independent game portal and publisher. Whereas Farland is a fantasy role play game that caters to my love of Tolkien, Jeremy Soule's music in Oblivion and playing the early Zelda games, Army of One plays more to my love of the driving, skating and shooting genres, think Wipeout meets Tony Hawk.  
 
These projects are completely different in style, genre and sound/music requirements. They have introduced me to two different groups of people that are now incidentally brushing close to each other on the Aluna games forums. Whereas the music and sound for Farland (Images on right) is medieval and acoustic in style with traditional recorded sound effects(footsteps, swords clinking etc.), the music for Army of One (Image on left) is electronic action orientated and fast paced with more "out there" designed sound effects (hovering vehicles,  pulse cannons etc).  


I have always had a love of all music types and consequently I have never been willing to tie myself to writing in one specific way.  I often work on a number of projects simultaneously to satisfy the urge I have to listen to and play all music types. I have written dubstep under a different alias, play in an electronic pop band and compose music to order in whatever genre is required.  Which genre then is truly me?.....that just depends on when you catch me.  I hope though that my style shines through no matter which instrument I happen to pick up that day.

 

Army of One and Farland are both really exciting projects that I feel privileged to be involved with.  The teams are talented and focussed and so far the games look great.  As things progress I will be writing more about these projects separately. I should imagine I will also be posting on the forums for both on Aluna Games.

 

Please look at Farland Online and Army of One on Aluna Games

Friday
Apr012011

My medieval introduction to new technology

Over the last few months I have been involved with a fairly large scale independent international game development project. The game in question here is called Farland Online and is based on a Tolkien inspired role play campaign for the popular Dungeons and Dragons table top game.

I reveled at the opportunity to get involved with writing music for a medieval style fantasy game. It has so far given me the opportunity to try music in different styles, with different instrumentation and further expand my portfolio. It also has given me the chance to call on some of my traditional music training that has been utilised less over the last decade in the wake of recent technology dominating my life and music making.  The principal reason for this blog though is to reflect on precisely that....technology.

So far Farland Online as well as introducing me to a number of interesting people throughout the world has also brought to my attention a wealth of web based technology.  Although some people consider these applications everyday and run of the mill, they have been a real eye opener for myself, completely changing the way that I work.  
  • Subversion(svn) -  is to my understanding an online storage space which multiple users can update remotely. So far I have been uploading SFX and music files to this into online folders alongside all other games assets including images, documents, 3d models etc. A simple idea but for international collaboration something like this really is vital.
  • Google docs - Again a simple but well executed concept.  Online documents storage/access in the familiar office type format that can be updated by multiple users remotely.
  • Ventrilo - Communication software that allows a large number of people to "conference" online through audio or video.
  • Skype - Although its been around for a while and is widely used, Skype is actually a fairly recent thing for me.  It is simple text communication software similar to Messenger and facebook's message system that also allows you to talk in realtime over the net using audio or video.  Much more efficient than using email to communicate.
  • Unity - Game development software that in the Pro version allows multiple users to update and edit the game remotely.  
  • Dropbox - Similar to SVN however instead of the information being just being stored online it can also be synchronised between computers into a common folder.  
  • Gotomeeting - Online meeting/communication software that allows multiple users to share a desktop to demonstrate or present work. 
  • Yousendit - A website that enables you to send very large files by uploading them to the site and then sending the link.  Simple but completely indispensable.
To find out more about Farland online you can look at the game development site here.  If role play is your sort of thing you can also check out the whole World of Farland back story here.
Monday
Mar282011

Naiant mics....?

This month I have set my sites on some new mics.  I have been considering purchasing some small diaphragm condensers for a while and wouldnt have been able to do so for a few months yet if it had not been for the mics in the picture to the left being brought to my attention by a work colleague.  The microphones in question are a matched pair, model number XM, manufactured under the name of Naiant in the U.S.  They are built individually by Jon O'Neill a man who has been heralded on a number of forums as a bit of a legend. They are not expensive at all with the pair costing around $200 including shipping costs to the UK.  Thats around half the price of the mass produced equivelents from Rode, Oktava, SE etc.

If I am honest I am buying these mics out of curiosity and the hope that all of the positivity regarding them on Gearslutz and Harmony Central is somehow founded in reality.  Is it possible that these mics at a fraction of the price of other pencil condensers can produce results of the same quality?  In this, the age of mass produced Chinese microphones is it possible that a microphone hand built buy one guy in North Carolina can not just out price the competition but also out perform them as well?  I'd rather find out for myself than believe the forum babble thats for sure, and at this price I might as well give it a go.  Ok, I'm not expecting Royers or Schoeps but Im interested either way. More to come.  Image taken from the Naiant website, if its your sort of thing, check them out.

 

Saturday
Mar262011

More studio images

Last week I met up with a good friend of mine, Andrew Gale, the director and cinematographer of Dark Waters, the feature film that I worked on last year.  The principle reason for meeting was to record a conversation between the two of us for use in a short documentary outlining the music creation process for the film.  Andy is however also a profesional photographer and a talented one at that. Here are some of the resulting pictures from the evening.  Control room and live room.  Cheers Andy.   Check out his blog and pictures here.   

 

 

 

Friday
Mar182011

Enter the blog.....

I am completely new to blogging and in fact a relative "noob" when it comes to modern web based activity full stop, having only finally got around to updating to broadband within the last 6 months.... Acting on suggestions from a number of associates and friends though, Ive decided to give it a go. So....blog 1 

Over the last 18 months, with the help of family and a number of friends I have been building a composition/recording studio.  It has been operational for a good number of months now and has been the venue for many a rehearsal and a good number of writing, recording and mixing sessions.  So far though no pictures have escaped for people's viewing....Now that it is finally aesthetically pleasing, heres the first lot along with a big big thank you to everyone who has been involved.  

 

 

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