*All art assets, including the above logo, are work-in-progress and may not be representative of the final product
In my last post, I hinted at a reason as to why I could no longer act as managing editor of OriginalSoundVersion. Today, I reveal what that reason is: I’m throwing my hat in the indie game ring.
After the jump, I’ll provide some initial details about this project, including the key asset developers (art/music) and a rough timeline. But for now, let me make the following statements as the two key reasons why I can no longer be an active part of OSV:
1) Time management. I can only devote so much time to playing games and writing about games if I am also simultaneously trying to make a game (this also explains my waning activity on my personal blog Gameosaurus).
2) Conflict of interest. Those of you who go on to read this full article will see that many of the people I’ve recruited for this project are people whose works have been evaluated in the past (generally in a very positive light). To continue writing about their works, or the works of their professional colleagues and (real or perceived) rivals, would be inherently biased in a whole new way, since I am now working with them on our own project.
Again, OSV will continue to live on. But my focus for the coming months and years (should it take that long) will be on this exciting new Visual Novel game project. Details after the jump! (more…)
You’ve probably popped in on our site a few times in the last few months, expecting new content but getting virtually nothing.
“What gives?” You might say to yourself, exasperated by the disparity in content regularity from prior years to this year. “Is OSV dead?”
Well … not exactly. Some quick history:
In late 2011, Jayson Napolitano accepted a position as a music-focused editor at Destructoid. At that time, I (Patrick Gann) accepted an “Interim Managing Editor” position. Throughout 2012 I wrote 70% of the posts of OSV myself and worked with some great new writers such as Brenna Wilkes and established OSV bloggers such as Audun Sorlie and Gideon Dabi.
But I told Jayson that the “Interim” in my job title meant something. There was a ticking clock, and a line in the sand where I would need to stop generating regular content. The reason why will be revealed in my next post here.
So, the site has gone leaderless. There was talk of merging OSV content with other sites, or vice versa, but that all fell through.
Here’s the deal: OSV will continue to exist with its legacy of great content (seriously, I’m so proud of all we’ve done here in the last 5 years!). All of our writers are free to post here as needed, but there will be no scheduled content or expectation for regular posts. We are open to guest posts, and if there are responsible writers out there interested in taking up the mantle, just contact myself or Jayson; we’re willing to hear your case!
Before I finish out this little announcement post, I would like to say that among the great music released in the past 6 months that we haven’t had the chance to review, I’ve very much enjoyed the following on a personal level, in no particular order:
Me and My Dinosaur 2 OST
Fire Emblem: Kakusei OST (5 discs, easily the best Fire Emblem soundtrack yet)
FZ Sides F and Z (the new FEZ arrange albums coinciding with the PC/Steam release of the hit game)
The Binding of Isaac Piano Collection
Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin OST
Final Heaven: A Melancholy Tribute to FFVII (among many other Joypad releases, this has been my favorite from the Spring season)
Ginga Force Complete Soundtrack
MONACO soundtrack / “Gentlemen’s Private Collection” (hurray Austin Wintory!)
Okay, so maybe only briefly. Skip to 1:30, and you’ll hear how similar the chorus sections are. Not that the melody from Mega Man 2′s “Flashman” is groundbreakingly original, but after hearing this song several times on the radio and thinking, “Man, this sounds like Mega Man,” I thought I’d share.
What do you think? Know much about smooth jazz artist Mindi Abair? She’s all over the radio lately despite having been at the smooth jazz thing for awhile.
[Disclaimer: I, Jayson Napolitano, was hired by the Max Steiner Agency to prepare and distribute a press release regarding "The Northerner," but I'm also sincerely passionate about it being funded on a personal level]
In case you weren’t aware, Jeremy Soule launched a Kickstarter campaign last month to fund his first classical symphony, “The Northerner.” You should care not only because Jeremy Soule is one of the most talented game composers working in the industry, but also because “The Northerner” channels a lot of the energies Soule visited while working on Skyrim just by the nature of its far North theme.
I ran a feature over on Destructoid with exclusive commentary from Jeremy Soule himself on the project as well as a preview on YouTube (above) and SoundCloud. Check them out, and support this project towards reaching its stretch goal of $100,000 to record at a prestigious recording studio before the campaign ends in just three short days!
Do you see this as a potential way to fund classical music in the future? Let us know if you’re on board for “The Northerner!”
The sole (lyrical) vocal track from Module’s original album Imagineering (released last year, reviewed here), entitled “The Pieces Fit,” now has a music video. I am psyched out of my mind to watch it.
For those who don’t remember, Jeramiah “Module” Ross is the New Zealand-based musician who was also responsible for the hit soundtrack for the game Shatter. If you’ve never seen it, that soundtrack also has its own music video, for the song “Amethyst Caverns.”
Want to get your finicky game lover a really unique Valentine’s gift? For 7 days only, all 6 soundtracks from the BIT.TRIP games will be on sale for only $1 in the exclusive “Lover’s Bundle”!
Gaijin Game’s BIT.TRIP game series features a slew of different game archtypes with colorful displays and catchy chiptune beats that drive you forward, such as the side-scrolling “Runner” and the pong-like rhythmic “Beat”. Simple yet engaging games with simple yet fantastic soundtracks. How could you go wrong with parting with $1 for all that goodness?
There’s also further tiers for those willing to part with a few more of their precious dollars and really give themselves or their sweetheart a treat, such as access to the soundtrack to the upcoming “Runner 2″ and even the full game itself! Top donators get pooled into the running for even more goodies! Donate, get great stuff and feel good for helping contribute to great games with fun music!
Composer of the Year is always a difficult category to judge because either there isn’t a single composer who’s done more than a single work in a year, or, in the case of 2012, all of our nominees had stellar years with multiple projects.
In this category, we select only one winner with no runners-up. So in case you’ve forgotten, our nominees:
This was an incredibly tough category this year. Even with eight nominees, there were several other soundtracks that were released that we wanted to include. When it came to selecting the overall winners, however, the team here at OSV was pretty quick to agree.
I want everyone to take a look at our list of nominees once again and take note of how few sequels and huge big-budget titles made the list. I think that says a lot about where the industry is going, and it’s definitely a good thing.
So, in case you’ve forgotten our nominees for Soundtrack of the Year:
Double Dragon Neon Dust: An Elysian Tale Etrian Odyssey IV Fez Guild Wars 2 Journey Max Anarchy Offspring Fling
Kai Rosenkranz, composer of the Gothic series, once explained to me how a score can be too melodic. A great piece of music can be distracting to the player if it isn’t written with the experience at hand in mind. Often times, a beautiful piece of music does not match the action. That’s why we decided to have this category: to acknowledge the musical efforts of scores that enhance the drama perfectly within the context of the game, but that maybe don’t work quite as well as standalone works.
Here’s our nominees:
With surround systems becoming more and more affordable (and sophisticated), and Turtle Beach headsets conquering every in-store display, sound design has grown all the more relevant and essential to gaming experiences. The sounds of games seem to stick with us as persistently as the characters and gameplay. This year continued the trend with some jaw-dropping, eardrum-melting sound.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II Far Cry 3 Gravity Rush Halo 4 Journey The Darkness II
Which of these wild games – all with sound challenges in their own right – won the day? (more…)
We didn’t announce nominees for this category, but we decided that in simplifying our categories, we might have simplified too much. We skipped over a category that’s very important to us: fan arrange / doujin.
So, after the jump, we’ll tell you what our three favorite fan arrange albums of 2012 were. (more…)
There’s no question that Square Enix invested heavily in arranged music this year. Half a dozen “SQ” albums, four piano solo arrange albums, a full orchestra album, a rock arrange release … one might say it was almost too much. At least as far as one’s personal budget goes.
But it wasn’t just Square Enix that produced great arrange albums in 2012. As a refresher, here are our nominees in this category:
Piano Collections Final Fantasy XII Final Fantasy Orchestral Album 25th Anniversary Rockman Rock Arrange Ver. Re:Birth II / Romancing SaGa Battle Arrange The Scythian Steppes Tekaru Mechanical
Will Square Enix sweep all three medals? Or will Capcom, Superbrothers, or Tekaru prove superior? Read on to find out… (more…)