Dreamfall Chapters is a crowdfunded game that launched on Kickstarter last year, and managed to net over 1.5 million of it’s 850K goal. Based out of Oslo, Norway, the game was the first to be funded publicly for Red Thread Games.
Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey is a 3D adventure game for Mac, Linux and Windows PC that takes the player on an epic journey across the twin worlds of Stark and Arcadia; from a futuristic cyberpunk vision of our world, to a realm of powerful magic and dangerous beauty.
The project busted through several stretch goals during the campaign, including those that extend the game, provide different language translations and ports to Mac and PC. One of the goals busted through was an improved soundtrack, despite the fact the Kickstarter page doesn’t list the game’s composer.
Now, a year and a half after the game was beyond fully funded, Red Thread Game is creating a “competition” to solicit original music from composers, for the chance to have the music in-game.
We’re inviting our community to create original music for Dreamfall Chapters. All contributions may make their way into the game, to be used for diegetic music — music originating from within the game world; e.g. radio speakers, bars and clubs, street performers and musicians.
Winners will be credited in the game’s end credits and will receive a thank-you note from the team, along with mentions in Red Thread’s social media channels and in a future Kickstarter update.
So basically, the game makers are asking the fans and community to make music for them, so you can “win” by having it in their game. No monetary compensation or anything other than being in the credits. This of course begs the question of “why”? Why have a game with such a high pricetag that supposedly will cover every aspect of the game’s production, reach it and even break through the special “Improved Soundtrack” stretch goal, and then turn around to ask people to make music for an already beyond-funded game for free?
I’ve seen such practices used by companies looking to get some free graphic design and logo creation for their business by making similar “competitions” with the “prize” being the winning artist’s logo being used, and that’s it. However this is the first time I’m seeing it being used in crowd-funded video games, and I again wonder why this seemed like a good idea asking more of fans when over a million and a half was already raised.
What do you think? Is it an instance of greed and exploitation of composer’s looking for any exposure they can get? Or is it ultimately on the shoulders of the freelance composers to know their hard work won’t be truly compensated except for some air time and a credit? Have you seen this practice before and where? Let us know in the comments.
Update: After receiving feedback from various sources about the competition for in-game music, the creators of the Dreamfalls Chapters game have cancelled the competition. In their update, the group has stated that, “We hope this incident won’t result in any negative feelings between members of our community. We urge you to respect each other’s points of view, and to listen, discuss and learn rather than throwing blame back and forth. It’s a shame we couldn’t make this work, and maybe we could have phrased things differently or asked for feedback beforehand, but we honestly had no idea there’d be any sort of controversy. We do understand the arguments, however, even when we don’t necessarily agree with all of them — and we’ve made what we believe is the right decision, regardless of our original intentions.” You can read their full statement on the matter here.
Ever wonder if any video game music bands, nerdcore artists or chiptune peeps are in your area? Well, for your stalking pleasure, you now can find out where your favorite artists hail from! (note: please no actual stalking; nobody likes a creeper)
First Lady of Chiptunes, Erin “Ryn” McQuisten of Chiptunes = WIN has created a Google Map documenting the locations of a hefty list of the current scene’s video game bands, Nerdcore Artists, Visualists and Chiptune Artists from around the globe! An interesting little piece of valuable info if you happen to have some musical artists near you that you may have never known about. (I never knew that chiptune band The Revengineers were right near me!)
You can check out the VG Artists map here – Artist Map/List
Many thanks to Erin for her hard work at acquiring this expansive list for the community to enjoy!
Who doesn’t want more festivals and conventions based around video game music and media? (rhetorical question, of course) A new event, “Gamer’s Rhapsody“, has been created to show just how large the community surrounding video art and music has become over the past few years.
Gamer’s Rhapsody is a new convention that recognizes all the people who work on video games. This is to celebrate all the animators, storywriters, and composers that work endlessly to bring you the video games that you love. Gamer’s Rhapsody is the only convention in Minnesota that connects gamers and artists, celebrating the art that goes into creating video games.
The event will be held in Minneapolis, MN on November 16th and 17th at the downtown St. Paul Double Tree Hotel, and so far is slated to feature:
More guests, performers, professional artists and more are sure to be announced as the event draw closer. The event also features an art room with art contest, jam room and exhibitor’s room. Currently registration is at $43.50 until October 2nd, when it will increase by $5.
Learn more about Gamer’s Rhapsody: http://www.gamersrhapsody.com
What is a free month?
Nothing but a miserable pile of AWESOME MUSIC, THAT’S WHAT.
Placements in Dwelling of Duels are like points in Who’s Line Is It Anyway?. The points don’t matter and the placements are hilarious. Do you know the money I would pay to see the kind of music John Sessions or Mike McShane might be able to come up with if they suddenly decided they wanted to rearrange old video game music? Yes, I’m that hipster who remembers how much more he enjoyed Clive Anderson than he did Drew Carey.
Alright enough of that. Onto the songs!
The Amazing Frenchman Cometh! Longtime arrangement artist and fantastic musician Christophe “CarboHydroM” Blondel has just released his newest album “Prime Legacy” for all to soak up in it’s glory!
Prime Legacy is the soundtrack to a fictional STG, in the glory of those games, my favorite genre ever. The story it tells is very ambiguous, as one can tell from the song titles, and embeds possible deeper meaning. It is left open to interpretation on purpose. It’s up to you to let your imagination go wild while listening to it!
The album features 12 tracks of blaring guitars and amazing melody that just drips nostalgic appeal to fans of the old-school SHMUPs of yesteryear. If you haven’t been able to grab it during it’s pre-sale period, it’s now live and ready to download for a few bucks on Bandcamp and Overclocked Records. (Also a brand-new update to Blondel’s 2005 Link to the Past arrangement “Unsealed” will soon be available for auditory consumption, so keep up on Blondel’s Facebook for updates!).
There is only 5 more days left in the Kickstarter for Pixel Noir from SWDTech, so if you have seen the project’s crowdfunding campaign and were waiting for a good time to pledge, now would be the time.
If you haven’t been privy to Pixel Noir, it’s a JRPG-esque mystery novella under the direction of Kunal Mamudar (The OneUps, The Smash Bros) and with a diverse team of managers and other talent to help support the project. Kunal also provides the soundtrack to the game, with several samples out already to help frame the atmosphere of the prospective game.
The campaign goal is still quite a ways from being met, but the pledge rewards should make it worth it to anyone who loves a good noir story in classic NES/SNES style. Go check out Pixel Noir and help get them in the green!
What the devil is a Sunsoft?
If you’re old like me, you can remember playing Arabian and Kangaroo at the local arcade or Chuck E. Cheese or Showbiz Pizza or movie theater or bowling alley. Getting their start in 1978, they later moved from the arcade machine mecca of quarter-guzzling mayhem to the comfort of the living room, bad throw rugs, and sofas badly in need of reupholstering for the 8-bit consoles of yesteryear. Like several companies, they had their ups and downs as it relates to their relative commercial success (great success in the 8-bit world, mediocre sales in the 16-bit world, and then a resurgence when the PlayStation made its way to your doorstep (and I say your doorstep because I never owned one d: )). Their library boasted titles such as Batman franchise games, Gimmick, Blaster Master, Chameleon Twist, responsibility for ports that came to be known as Final Fantasy Adventure and Final Fantasy Legends, and a whole wealth of other fantastic entertainment experiences. Get your list-on at this convenient wikipedia world wide web page unit.
Dwelling of Duels paid tribute to
Batman Gremlins Gimmick Journey to Silius Sunsoft this month as just such a publisher and – once again – amazement ensued. Here’s a gut-reaction as-I-listen rundown of this month’s spinning of straw into gold:
I'm saddened to say that Bungie's board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014.
— Marty O'Donnell (@MartyTheElder) April 16, 2014
Bungie has confirmed that O’Donnell is no longer in their employ.
O’Donnell has been with Bungie since their acquisition by Microsoft back in 1999, as is most well known for composing the main theme to Halo that has since become as iconic in modern video game music history as other well-known theme such as God of War and Civilization. He’s also had a hand in the production and sound design for other notable games such as Riven, Oni and was most recently working on composing the music for Bungie’s upcoming game, Destiny.
Speculations have since started to arise in the wake of the split between O’Donnell and Bungie, with fans of O’Donnell’s work wondering if he was simply ousted from the studio without legitamate reason or if there is more to it, and if he’ll end up going to work for Microsoft itself. Obviously in the early revelation of the news to the masses, it’s anyone’s guess until either party discusses matters further. In the meantime, we can all wish Mr. O’Donnell well in his future and hope to hear more from him soon, with whatever company that might be with.
Back in July of 2013, the game cover band Playing with Power launched and raised funds via a Kickstarter campaign towards the release of their new album, thanks to the generous donations of a bunch of dedicated followers of the band. Now, 10 months later the album, “You’re a Great Zombie” will be released for the world tonight for all to consume the tasty innards of!
Streaming tonight on 8bitx.com, the release party will feature a preview of the album tracks before the official launch of the album, as well as an interview with the band members and assorted other shenanigans. The album track list was released on the band’s Facebook page and feature several Kickstarter pledge requests:
1. Contra Force – Player Select
2. Shatterhand Medley
3. Crystalis Medley
4. Battletoads – Intro
5. Wizards & Warriors – Low Health
6. TMNT 3 – Theme of Halfshell
7. StarTropics – Dungeon Theme
8. Zombies Ate My Neighbors Medley
9. Double Dragon – Mission 1
10. Wizards & Warriors – Invincibility
11. Mega Man V Medley
12. TMNT 1 Medley
13. Tecmo Super Bowl – Sound Mode No. 32
14. Blades of Steel – Menu
15. Super Mario Super Medley
16. Duck Hunt – Title
17. Mighty Final Fight – Bay Area
18. DuckTales – Moon Stage
Be sure to tune into 8bitx tonight for the show and check out the Playing with Power album when it drops later tonight!
Update: And here it is!
Welcome to the first OSV review of the monthly video game music arrangement competition Dwelling of Duels (DoD). This competition has a few major rules: each song must be (unless otherwise specified) greater in length than two minutes and the primary instrument(s) (there must be at least one) be live-played. Backing tracks that are sequenced are permitted.
Having recently celebrated it’s 10th anniversary and still going strong, there should be no shortage of material to get down and dirty with. The structure of the content may change from time to time but for this first article, let’s hit it with a review of each song.
Also worth noting: if you tend to listen to only the top 3 songs or so, you’re missing out on some incredible music! (you’re also “doing it wrong.”)
Having said that, here we go!
If you happen to be one of the lucky people able to swipe a badge for PAX East next month in Boston, you probably know it’s a big deal to spend your time wisely at such a huge event. Why not take in a panel dedicated to music composers and their craft?
“Maestros of Video Games” panel will feature a bunch of notable game composers from across several well known titles and genres such as Garry Schyman (Bioshock Infitnite, Dante’s Inferno, Destroy All Humans), Cris Valesco (Mass Effect 3, Borderlands, God of War series), Peter McConnell (Broken Age, Psychonauts, Sly Cooper series) and several more and they share their experiences in the industry and their works on some of the biggest franchises in gaming.
The panel will be on Saturday, April 12th at 12:30pm in the Condor Theatre. Be sure to check it out!
The team behind the fantastic World 1-2 and World 1-2: Encore collaboration albums, has just announced the release date for their next compilation album, IN FLUX, set to debut on March 4, 2014. The album, overseen by Mega Man and upcoming Might no.9 composer Manami Matsumae, will feature a diverse selection of music genres from chip music to electronica to metal from a menagerie of notable composers and artists such as Saori Kobayashi (of Panzer Dragoon Saga), Keiji Yamagishi (of Ninja Gaiden) and Akira Yamaoka (of Silent Hill) from Japan; Stemage (of Metroid Metal), Tim McCord (of Evanescence) and several more!
Brave Wave Productions president and IN FLUX director Mohammed Taher comments,
“Instead of replicating what we did with World 1-2, we went in a new and inventive direction: having the Japanese and Western composers collaborate. The album isn’t exclusive to this idea, but we have a number of tracks where it’s this eccentric mix of more than one composer contributing significantly to a track, leaping over the language gap and creating music that matters.”
The album will retail for $10 on Bandcamp with a limited edition digipak for $15, and $12 on iTunes. The physical copies have been pressed in limited quantities and will be available to purchase in person at Bit Summit MMXIV in Kyoto, Japan in March 7-9, as well as online at: http://store.bravewave.net