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Messages - optomon

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Gaming Discussion / Re: I don´t know why Green Hill is so famous
« on: February 02, 2016, 05:55:03 pm »
Pretty spot on, though I felt the question proposed was why the song was famous in spite of not being the highest quality song, and not so much how objectively good the song is.

Gaming Discussion / Re: I don´t know why Green Hill is so famous
« on: January 28, 2016, 03:22:49 pm »
While it's likely not the highest quality song in the sonic series, I can take a guess why it's so famous. I think it's important to note that most famous does not mean it is the best. I'm not entirely familiar with the melody, and I have a vague recollection of the actual song, but I do remember the song being very catchy and relatively high quality, and I'll attempt to infer why the song is so famous.

1) The song has an extremely distinct theme. This is a reason songs are considered popular rather than considered beautiful (entertainment vs. art). It's catchy, in the way some rhymes or popular music is catchy. The image of it is easy to remain in one's head, and can easily be associated with experiences that happened while the song was heard (nostalgia factor). But something tells me that this song had more than just catchiness, and had a bit of musical beauty to it as well, like, more than an adequate amount. My guess is many other Sonic songs were significantly more artful, but probably not quite as catchy most of the time. (I remember seeing someone play through the sonic 3Dblast game about 8 years back, the music is very high quality from what I remember of it, somewhat jazzy?).
2) The original Sonic the Hedgehog had an enormous audience in the 1990s, and the title screen theme and the theme for the opening stage are what people heard most. So it got viral exposure.
3) It was first like someone said, and set a precedent for the series that has been around for 25 years. It has been relegated to an iconic status. The first couple measures following the song's intro could easily be associated with the series as a whole, much like the opening motif the Super Mario Bros overworld song represents the Mario series. (Not sure how true this actually is, I'm not a sonic nut, it's likely not nearly at that level of association).

I know there's more to it, but I don't feel like typing something in the realm of TL;DR

I will say one thing about working on this soundtrack: it has been a huge challenge, MUCH more so than any previous soundtrack I've worked on. It's not the typical stuff I'm used to composing, and I've had to go well outside my comfort box to get it up to expectations.  I'm used to making soundtracks for action games rather than exploration games. I innately still try to make tracks musical/paced rather than ambient/organic, and I think that's what's been getting me into trouble.

With the elevator room track, the first few bars came into my head when I imagined the player going into that room. I didn't have a particular sound thought up for it at that point though. While the track is not musically complex, it is technically complex for purpose of emulating particular ambient sounds, which I think is more important for this type of game's soundtrack. The actual quality of the sound is something I had to experiment with code wise. I'm pretty satisfied with it, though it's way longer than it needs to be (which is a non-issue), and the ending could use some polishing, perhaps some sonic variation to keep it fresh (the luster of the second half's distinct sound kind of tires as it approaches the looping point).

Wendys, McD's, Burger King... not much of a choice here.

I usually ending up going out for fast food while on a long 4+ hour long road trip, which is fairly common for me, and it usually ends up being Dairy Queen or Jack in the Box. Otherwise I find myself eating fast food less and less with age, that high octane crap is becoming less digestible and more fattening. I tend to eat out at slightly more expensive local places when I eat out, usually a hole in the wall Mexican or Thai food joint.

I am from Europe, and fast food here is pretty much considered like an American intrusion in our lives and many people hate it, even though many don't care. I'm among the 1st bunch.

I hear you man, kind of preaching to the choir though.

While some sensitive Americans might find that kind of attitude as a personal attack, I think it underscores how international resentment gets built up toward America in general, and with good reason IMO. I think we're all pretty aware of the fact that the American flag, while representing the protection of personal freedoms, has also ended up representing global fattening, excessive profiteering, and cultural disintegration. I'm not a fan of corporate branded things that originate in America going viral all over the planet, all it does is make our nation appear insensitive and exploitative. It's annoying enough in the US, where it is basically a way of life (and much more intrusive, but to be fair we also have far less to lose here culturally than most places in the world).

Here is the nsf (so far)


Tenatively, where each track appears in the game

1.   Title theme (definitely not finished)
2.   Elevator room
3.   Main ship
4.   Planetary surface
5.   Water area
6.   Main core (forest area)
7.   Chozo ruins
8.   Science ship (probably)
9.   Boneyard
10. Final area (has dry sampling, would like to improve)
11. Boss theme (same)
12. Escape

No ending theme yet, and a few other minor tracks are still needed.

I'll post an nsf of the soundtrack soon. It's not quite finished yet but pretty close.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: How to extract sound effects? (Esp. TMNT1)
« on: December 15, 2015, 09:48:34 pm »
Should be able to add sound effects to the nsf file by hacking it slightly knowing that it is a Konkani game. I know that the fceux records . WAV files from the emulator.

Some more music

Track G

Track H

These are notably more complex and organic than the previous songs, a sign I'm finally getting a grasp on the custom sound engine (after ironing out several flaws). The object was to layer several voices with the two square channels at once without making it sound too hectic, with the supporting voices having a more 'sound effect' quality to it.

Some more music tracks.

Track D

Track E

Track F

General Discussion / Re: "Wednesday, October 21, 2015"
« on: October 20, 2015, 11:22:26 am »
Haven't been this hyped since August 29th 1997. Nothing is going to happen though. Even by then the Back to the Future version of 2015 was pretty far fetched, particularly the flying cars.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Unknown Castlevania 2 and 3 hacks…
« on: October 16, 2015, 11:34:24 am »
Optomon, was there any particular irremediable road block with your CV2 project that prevented it for being completed (hardware/software limitations) other than the loss of Thaddeus on the project?   Perhaps it could be scaled back to something less ambitious than originally intended if it got derailed by feature creep.  I'm sure you've heard it dozens of times before but the screenshots look fantastic.  The music you posted for it on your Youtube channel is top notch quality!  If there's a probable path to completion based on what's done and what remains I'd certainly be willing to help.

The loss of Thaddeus was the primary road block. Me overcomplicating stuff was a secondary roadblock (I'm getting better about not doing that nowadays). I also was focusing much more attention into Pyronaut, which I'd rather finish before starting/resuming work on anything else.

Those screenshots were leaked by myself to someone a couple years back, can't remember who though. Thaddeus was an ardent perfectionist. He would often revise tilesets, and every time he sent me an update, I said it looked perfect, and then he would send a revision a few days later, which would look equally as perfect.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Unknown Castlevania 2 and 3 hacks…
« on: October 15, 2015, 01:00:04 pm »
I made a full length soundtrack for Project Wallachia in 2010, with 14 songs. I last worked on the hack in 2013, and was working on an expanded CV2 rom template to work in the editor for this particular game. I nearly had it set up. Thaddeus disappeared from the internet in 2011, briefly resurfaced about a year later, then disappeared again. Understandably, he took down videos of the hack.

Several backups of the game, documents, the editor, and some of the artwork continues to languish on my computer to this day. The level design never got passed a few screens.

General Discussion / Re: Bad taste
« on: August 12, 2015, 07:16:41 pm »
What it sounds like people are talking about in here is shock value (Whether in a conversation or a production of media or whatever). It's a tactic used by people to quickly draw someone's attention, to wave a red flag so people will remember their action. They use bad taste to compensate for a lack of more socially appropriate skills used to draw people's attention, such as the abilities to express concern, wit, intellect, elegance, strength, and talent. Bad taste is more socially acceptable nowadays, probably due to more advanced media outlets over the last few decades, particularly the internet, where the most obscene of materials is accessible in an instant. It affects society as a whole at the subconscious level, perhaps in a similar way excessive advertising does.

ROM Hacking Discussion / Re: Puzzledude's seminar on romhacking
« on: July 27, 2015, 08:09:27 pm »
I started rom hacking just so I could nerdily change around levels in games, to do what wasn't able to do all those years growing up, but always dreamed if doing. After a few years it evolved into the foremost vehicle in which I could expound upon my creative and technical abilities. It has been more fulfilling than any work I've done, including education and career stuff, and yet, 90% of my work has never been (or has yet to be) part of a finished project even after 12 years. I learned a long to stop caring about that, or what other people think. It is integral to who I am, and I will get there someday.

Working in a niche hobby that is not for everyone, it is far more important to try and please a tight group of people a lot than to please as many as possible. I was put down my whole life for being a nerd who played around in his mind too much, for having my own agenda and not conforming to what everyone else did, for being a failure in school, for being socially and physically awkward. A person with a fleeting opinion on the internet is the last thing that is going to make me feel discouraged.

General Discussion / Re: Morning Beverage Thread
« on: July 22, 2015, 11:48:55 pm »
I drink about a gallon of coffee once I get to work, but its already 3 hours after waking up at that point, usually with some creamer, because its too hot black there. Waking up is easy enough, its staying awake late in the day that's tougher.

Sometimes a smoothie in the early morning keeps the body and mind satisfied, but it's a mild nuisance to clean up after. I usually skip it due to a shortage of one of the ingredients or not making enough time in the morning (and eat cereal + toast instead).

General Discussion / Re: Music as a form of therapeutic expression
« on: July 20, 2015, 02:32:52 pm »
Or maybe it's because you are in Nashville, where musicians flock to make a buck off of writing about drinking, partying, working too hard, meeting girls in bars, and dealing with disastrous relationships. You could certainly argue a catharsis therapy thing is happening there, but I wouldn't personally consider it very deep most of the time.

People don't go out in public and perform poetry (usually) and post on message boards. Dance however, is very expressive for sure, though not as common as music. Anyone doing for the sole purpose of money is hollow. The same goes for doing it for attention. Ideally you'd have to worry about neither, but hard to get to that point...

Another track is up. A faster paced theme, a more conventional Blaster Master-ish song. Definitely not like the first two. I'll admit that it is not typical Metroid material, so I'm kind of taking a risk with it as far as how it's supposed to work in the game.

Track C

General Discussion / Re: Arguing on YouTube is fun
« on: July 16, 2015, 02:54:26 pm »
I have never found arguing to be fun, probably because I'm not very good at it and don't think about doing it much. It is a process that feels like a waste of time and energy.

I guess the fun here for you is to practice a technique you enjoy, in addition to finding out how lame people can behave on the internet. The fun for him might be that he is trolling you, cashing in on your time and effort to get some meager attention. Seems mutual.

I had some trouble downloading it as well, I couldn't get the email to work. But now that I can hear it, that is a pretty nice loop actually. You could totally build a song around that.

There is still a TON of space left in the banks, so music length and complexity is virtually unlimited with what the Metroid engine has to offer.

Regarding the absence of melodic themes, you could be on to something there. This soundtrack is challenging from a creative standpoint, and has been making me go out my comfort box for sure. I have been taking a more organic, ambient approach to the soundtrack, though I am used to writing more conventional pieces that are melody driven, and it's been getting me into some trouble at times. I seem to be having success when I take melody out of the picture. So, I think the challenge is finding a way to incorporate a melodic theme into the development an ambient piece, or perhaps even building an ambient piece around a melodic theme.

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