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    • New music from J64! Some of it was actually used in a game!

      3 years ago


      A new release! 

      A few months ago, I got my first official music credit in a video game, MIND: Path to Thalamus.  I was not the primary composer, nor did most of the music I made end up in the game (in fact, only a single track made it in), but I'm still very happy and proud of what I accomplished.

      This release is a culmination of all the tracks I wrote during the production of the game.  It's a very mellow, easy-going game, so I went with a more ambient style as opposed to the more upbeat style you hear with my arrangements. 

      You can stream the whole thing online at http://www.loudr.fm/release/music-inspired-by-mind-path-to-thalamus/25ZqX where you can also purchase it for download.  It's slated to make its way to iTunes and Google Play as well, but that'll take a while to process.

      Anyway, I hope you enjoy the music, and if you like it, definitely give the game a try!  It's a first-person adventure/puzzler where you solve puzzles by affecting the weather.  For example, rain makes platforms elevate, fog makes force fields disappear, nighttime opens portals to access otherwise unreachable areas, etc. 

    • Availability of my future music

      4 years ago


      Long time, no post!  I'll spare the details of that and get into the nitty-gritty good stuff of the announcement.

      I've got new music out!  http://www.ldr.fm/banvn

      This is a track combining elements of my favorite Rainbow Road tracks - Mario Kart 7, Mario Kart 64, and F-Zero X.

      From now on, I'll be releasing my music through Loudr.fm, a site that handles hosting and licensing for covers and arrangements.  This is cool because it means there's no gray area - everything is legal, and the original composers are getting compensated for the awesome work they did.

      I know some people may not be happy with having to pay for the music, so I'm going to compromise a bit.  After a month of being available on Loudr, I will release my future tracks on YouTube like I have in the past.  That way those who just want to listen can get it on YouTube, while those who want it early, or want to download it to put on their portable media device, or just want to support me and the original composers can purchase it on Loudr.

      I will announce new releases here, but if you want to be notified as soon as new tracks become available, my Loudr profile can be found at: http://www.loudr.fm/artist/j64/e8Wsx

    • Interworks' Controller Pro U review

      5 years ago


      I've had a Galaxy S3 for nearly two months now and it is a remarkably powerful device, with a brilliant 720p screen, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and a variety of other components that all add up to awesome.  The one thing it lacks, however, is a proper input method for classic-style games.  Most of these types of games resort to on-screen controls that cover the screen and don't provide any tactile feedback. 

      On the way home from work yesterday I stopped into a Gamestop to look around, and the Controller Pro U caught my eye.

      This picture doesn't actually say it, but the one I got actually said Android up at the top where it says it's for Wii U and Wii.  It seemed like a cute idea, having the SNES style controller embedded into the shell with the analog sticks and shoulder buttons, so I gave it a shot.  That's when the problems began (and considering that's before I've even used it, that's not a good thing). 

      The first problem with it is that it's not natively compatible with Android.  That's not too big of a deal, though, since all you have to do is download a program from the Play Store to set up the device to recognize the controler and interpret its inputs.  This one came recommended, and it seems to do the job well enough.

      The second problem is that it only half worked.  There's a switch on the back that lets you toggle it between Wii Remote mode and Classic Controller mode.  When it's in Wii Remote mode, it works - you get the D-Pad, +, -, A, B, 1, 2, and Home buttons (with 1 and 2 mapped to Y and X).  When it's in Classic Controller mode, it doesn't work, meaning the analog sticks and shoulder buttons are rendered completely useless. 


      But that's using it as an Android controller.  How does it fare for use on the Wii like it was intended?

      It's awkward.  There's an IR sensor on the top of the controller (where the cable would normally come out on most wired controllers) for pointer functionality, but it felt like I had to hold it at an odd angle to get it to register properly.  It's also terrible for games where you have to hold the Wii Remote sideways since 1 and 2 are mapped to X and Y with no option to change this.  That's bad enough for things like NES Virtual Console games where you have to use X and Y as A and B, but it's worse for games like Metroid: Other M and Super Paper Mario where pointing the remote at the screen changes game modes since the sensor is always pointing toward the screen. 

      I can't fault it on Classic Controller mode, though. It felt pretty good, the buttons and sticks all worked as they were supposed to, and it was fun playing SNES games with what mostly felt like a SNES controller with a little extra stuck to the sides.  The stick positioning didn't feel awkward either, even though having the right stick up and to the outside isn't a very common thing. 


      That brings us to one last thing - Wii U compatibility.  It looks to be designed after Nintendo's official Wii U Pro Controller, and it even has U in the name, but you can't use it as a Wii U Pro Controller.  This isn't explained on the packaging, but if you go to their website they have this to say about it:

      The Controller Pro U does not function as a Nintendo Pro Controller.

      The Wii and Wii U consoles recognize the controller as a Horizontal Wii Remote,  Vertical Wii Remote or a Classic Controller Pro (CCP). User selectable.

      The Controller Pro was created as hybrid of the best parts of various controllers throughout the best of the gaming years.  Combining the Remote, Classic Retro Controller and Classic Controller Pro and compatible with the Wii and Wii U. Thus the name Controller Pro U.

      Overall, I'd stay away from the Controller Pro U.  It only partially worked on Android, its Wii Remote compatibility was awkward at best, and they use cheap naming tactics to make it sound like it can be used as a replacement for the Wii U Pro Controller when it can't. 

      Using the suggested Wii Remote software for Android, I was able to connect my official Wii Remote and Classic Controller to my Galaxy S3.  Shoulder buttons and sticks work this way, but the software interprets the analog sticks as digital inputs so it's still lacking some functionality that would be useful for some more advanced games.

      My next attempt will probably be to connect a PS3 controller via USB.  I'll report back once I have the equipment available to try it out.

    • The long silence

      5 years ago


      So it's been a while since I've put anything up.  Part of that is because I've been looking for (and getting, and working at) a job, part of that is because I don't like my current environment for recording videos.  The environment will be changing some time in the next month or so when I move, and hopefully it'll be a bit better for making videos. 

      As for music, I've been having difficulty getting inspired to do game arrangements, but I'm still working on stuff for Coma when I'm not burnt out from work.  Maybe a new environment will help inspire me, but we'll have to wait and see.

      Not much else to say other than that.  I just wanted to check in with you guys since I've gotten a few new subscribers recently, and I wanted to let them and the other fans of my work know why I haven't been putting anything out for a while.

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