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
Well that didn’t take long, now did it!
Looks like within 24 hours of it’s launch, the “Just Fun” album Kickstarter headed by composer Alexander Brandon and featuring a plethora of contributing composers and arrangement artists, has reached it’s $6,000 base goal thanks to feverish pledging by fans and supporters. So what happens next for the project? More stuff, that’s what!
The original goal might be reached, but that doesn’t mean those who didn’t get in on the rush can’t still pledge and reap the rewards of pushing the funding through multiple stretch goals! A digital version of the album available for just $10, a signed physical copy for $25, other albums in Brandon’s catalog and even a custom-created single just for you at the highest backer level of $500. If potential pledgers need additional incentive, how about the full album song list? (Courtesy of our friends at Scarlet Moon Productions)
02. “A Thousand Words” (Feat. Jameson Sutton and Stemage)03. “On a Dark and Stormy Night”04. “Chronophasia” (Feat. virt)
05. “Twilight Floating” (Feat. Erik Peabody)
06. “Oath of the Matron” (Feat. Andrew Aversa and Jillian Aversa)07. “More”
08. “God bless the child that’s got his own” (original by Avery Brooks)
09. “Infinity” (Feat. Big Giant Circles, original by Andrew Sega/Paul Schultz)
10. “Overture of the Avatar” (Feat. DJ Bottles)
11. “The Blue Hour” (Feat. Bryan Rudge)
12. “Hypercontrol” (original by Andrew Sega, guitar by Craig Rundels)
13. “The Willowdale Handcar” (Feat. Danny Baranowsky)
Via the Kickstarter:
Roughly three months of full time effort has gone into this album over a period of over a year. Evenings, weekends, early mornings spent by myself as well as the fine folks who have collaborated with me. I’d like the ability to have this release be to a wider audience, with the ability to supply things like cool signed CDs as well as even more digital downloads of previous works.
The Just Fun Kickstarter goal for $6,000 ends on March 5th with several reasonable pledge tiers for the digital album, the physical album and thensome. Check out the page for the full list of contributors, rewards and details of the album!
Hey all. Long time no talk. As many of you already know, I haven’t been involved with the site for some time. I’ve moved on to other ventures, the latest of which is Scarlet Moon Productions, a new record label and PR company that will focus on the same types of things I’d done on OSV and DESTRUCTOID: making sure people are hearing the great music coming out of videogames.
While I haven’t been involved, I have been reaching out to OSV writers Brenna Wilkes and Michael Hoffmann, who will now be managing the site, to work on coverage of clients I’m working with and on albums that I’ll be publishing on my label. I thought it would be appropriate to post a formal farewell to the front page to ensure there was no confusion as to what my status was with the site, and to dispel any potential conflicts of interest. The keys are being fully turned over to Brenna and Michael, and, like the rest of you, I’ll only be dropping in to read articles and comment.
I want to say thank you for all the support over the years and for your continued support. I had a blast with the site, and look forward to seeing what a new team of writers are able to do with it. I hope the stuff I’m working on with Scarlet Moon Productions is worthy of continuing coverage on OSV, so I’ll hopefully still be in touch with you all, but in a different way.
With that, enjoy some early drafts of logos that I prepared for OSV back in 2008 on a plane ride back home after spending time with Dale trying to work out the launch of the site. If you look closely, you can see they were drawn on the back of my boarding pass.
Hello, dear readers!
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!)
[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!”
Bulgarian-born composer Penka Kouneva is a recent member of the game music community, but she’s been doing film and television score for much longer. Her game credits include co-composing Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands with Steve Jablonsky, doing arrangements for the Gears of War games and most recently arrangement for World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. She also had an original composition featured on the charity album Play for Japan.
Recently, Ms. Kouneva released an original album that acts as a sort of homage to modern war-based FPS’s, RTS’s, etc. The album is entitled A Warrior’s Odyssey, and it serves as both an excellent demo album for Kouneva as a composer to send to game developers, and an excellent album for media score nuts to dig into.
After the jump, I’ll have more details on this lengthy, epic treat from one of Europe’s lesser-known musical prodigies, as well as some photos from the album’s recording sessions.
The Gregory Bros have been doing more pop-culture than politics with their “autotune” / “songify” work. It’s been 3 years since we interviewed them, and in that interview they mentioned their love for game music.
Now they present a retro, 8-bit overlay of the two candidates (Obama and Romney) making speeches at their respective conventions (DNC and RNC). The music is super catchy too.
Just thought I’d share. Enjoy!