A little over a week ago, OSV ran a story regarding Red Thread Games, the studio behind the upcoming Dreamfall Chapters, and a fan-requested music submission contest they had put together. We posted this article based on incomplete information; it didn’t take long before a storm hit our comments section, some sharply criticizing our site, others doubling down in an ill opinion of Red Thread Games.
Now, we at OSV generally don’t hold Masters or PhDs in Communication or Journalism, but we do pride ourselves on getting the story straight, even if that means having to give it a second go. It’s within that spirit that we now present to you our interview with Ragnar Tørnquist, director of Dreamfall Chapters and founder of Red Thread Games. I urge you to read it, especially if you were disappointed by the music contest’s existence and/or cancellation and all the rumors floating around it. We hope to set everything straight in this interview. (more…)
This seems to be the time of year for game music Kickstarter campaigns. In addition to the previously covered Beep game audio documentary, another full length film titled The Players’ Score: A Videogame Music Documentary is looking for support through a Kickstarter campaign. Unlike the Beep documentary, The Players’ Score will be focused specifically on the music by game composers, chiptune artists, and videogame music cover artists. The documentary will also be taking a look at the culture and community surrounding game music.
The primary goal of the Kickstarter is to help fund the film team’s expenses as they travel to locations like MAGFest (Music and Game Festival) and to international locations in order to interview composers and artists and to cover game music events. Hitting the first stretch goal will allow the team to fly out to Japan for even more interviews.
Cast members in the film include Austin Wintory, Jesse Buddington, Nate Horsfall, and bands like Urizen and The Megas. The documentary is being narrated by Arin “Egorapter” Hanson and will have an original soundtrack composed by Jake “Virt” Kaufman. Backer rewards for the project include physical copies of the soundtrack, Blu-ray copies of the film, and special Skype calls with the cast and crew. If a documentary on the community and culture of videogame music sounds interesting to you, definitely take a look at this Kickstarter project.
The newest iteration in the Super Smash Bros. franchise will have an official soundtrack for Club Nintendo members. Nintendo is a company that has been notoriously stingy when it comes to releases of their game soundtracks. This is particularly true if you happen to live in North America. But with the release of Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS this fall and the WiiU version at a later date, Nintendo is promoting a special offer for North American and European fans. If you purchase and register both versions of the game, you will be eligible to receive a promotional two disc soundtrack.
Nintendo has released a few details about the two disc album, including contributing arrangers of the music. The list of composers is as extensive and as varied as the games that are represented in the Super Smash Bros. games. Composers include Yuzo Koshiro, Hideki Sakamoto, Yoko Shimomura, Mahito Yokota, and many more. Nintendo has also released some sample music from the soundtrack. The full track list has yet to be released, but definitely keep your eyes on the Club Nintendo site for future announcements.
Do you like chiptunes? How about a massive amount of chiptunes all compiled by some of the scene’s diverse blood? How would you like 50+ assorted tracks all bundled together at a price you get to determine?
You just basically got the gist of Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 that just came out this week. Comprised of a slew of the chip community’s bigger names and even some newcomers to the scene, the album delivers a grand assortment for your listening pleasure. Directed by Brandon “President Hoodie” Hood with art by Nate “FoxxDragon” Horsfall, Volume 3 also features additional merchandise and a whole bunch of antics and tomfoolery.
Details about the album can be found on the ChipWIN Blog, and the album can be grabbed for whatever price you want on the group’s Bandcamp page, along with all of the previous albums. I definitely recommend checking the compilation out and dare you not be shaking certain posterior body parts while doing so.
As originally reported on, the fantastic soundtrack for Shovel Knight by Jake “Virt” Kaufman (with contribution’s by Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae) has been out and available for download at a Pay-What-You-Want price on Bandcamp for a little while now. The the music, as well as the game itself, has been described by most as both a a love letter to the NES and Genesis-era of video games, though it’s probably more appropriate to say the music and game are faithful evolutions of the retro-gaming genre. The inspirations from popular past franchises is evident in every nook and cranny of the sidescrolling platformer’s construction, but it does well enough on its own that the term “cookie-cutter” would not be giving the game enough credit, nor the music.
And there is a significant amount of music, and an additional album of arranged music by various artists on top of the original soundtrack’s ensemble as well. Shovel Knight may have had those who pledged to the game’s Kickstarter biting their nails in anticipation, but it certainly did good on its promise to deliver….in spades! (sorry, I’ll keep the puns to a minimum) Today, I’ll finally be focusing on Strike the Earth! Shovel Knight Arranged.
Back in February of this year, composer Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson released a Kickstarter funded album titled The Glory Days. A spiritual sequel to one of his earlier albums, Impostor Nostalgia, this new project featured original music written in the style of chiptunes and old-school videogame music. Part of the original Kickstarter stretch goals included the eventual release of a remix album, which the Kickstarter achieved.
The time has finally come for the release of this extra album. Each remix track comes from members of the game music community. Artists contributing on the album include Stemage, Chipzel, and C418. The Glory Days Remixed is set to launch on August 27th and you can pre-order it on the Big Giant Circles Bandcamp page.
Creators of a new game documentary have launched a Kickstarter. The project titled Beep is intending to take a look at the history of game music and sound. Everything from the old school sounds of arcade games all the way to the games of today. The focus isn’t just on the music of these games. The documentary will also be an exploration of audio design, voice work, and the use of chiptune and other game sound technology outside of the gaming medium. A book will also accompany the documentary to supply more detailed information about the various subjects covered in the film.
There are already plans for interviews with major members of the game audio community. Raising money through Kickstarter will aid the creators in being able to travel and interview composers and sound designers. Several composers have already been named for interviews including Tommy Tallarico, Winifred Phillips, Shota Nakama, Peter McConnell, and many more.
Rewards for backers include copies of the documentary, book, soundtrack, t-shirts, and many other physical rewards. The Kickstarter has already raised over $15,000 of the needed $40,000 pledge goal. If this sounds like a project you’d like to see made, definitely check this Kickstarter out.
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!)
Need more Random aka Mega Ran in your life? Then you may want to consider pre-order his new tour documentary Mega-Lo-Mania! Coming in more digital and physical formats, the documentary will chronicle the chip-hop artist’s recent tour and appearance at PAX. Along with the 33-minute film, directed by Michael Cardoza as he followed Mega Ran and soul/funk band The Lo-Classic, you’ll also be receiving 5 never-released recordings and some other goodies.
“I had a blast. It didn’t totally go as I’d expected, but I think that’s the best story to tell; that it won’t always work out 100% according to plan, and that making adjustments on the fly is such a big part of what we do. I love the way the documentary came out.” – Mega Ran
Need more to convince you? Here’s a sneak peak of one of the exclusive live band recordings to be released with the documentary:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – “Aria Of The Bloodline” (Live Practice Instrumental)
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:
Disasterpeace (composer of Fez, Runner2, and The Floor Is Jelly)
Emily Reese (host of Minnesota Public Radio’s Top Score program)
OverClocked ReMix (arrangers and community members from the game music remixing destination)
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.
I wasn’t sure what to make of this album. I have listened to and reviewed game composers remixing game music before, but I have never reviewed an album of original compositions by game composers, that aren’t attached to any games. I admit I was dubious. Also, looking at the list of composers, I was only familiar with a few of them, most notably Akira Yamaoka, composer for the Silent Hill series. This album raised another question for me. Do I listen to game music because I associate the music with the game, or is the music good in its own right? I personally believe that there are elements of of both and I find an album comprised of original music from game composers to be very interesting. Will the music follow gaming tropes and conventions, or will the composers write music purely for the album and allow their music talents to flourish. Let’s find out what this “East meets West” album had to offer. (more…)
MAGFest 13officially opened to the public for event registration and hotel reservations as of yesterday afternoon. The music & gaming festival, being held this year at a slightly different time a bit later in January and on a Friday to Monday stretch instead of the usual Thursday to Sunday, announced the start of their pre-event hype with the return of Machinae Supremacy, who debuted at the event last year as one of the headliners. Supremacy released 6 minutes of music from their upcoming album “Phantom Shadow” just last month, and is sure to have some of this new material primed and ready for MAG 13.
As usual, MAGFest will release more guest and band announcements within the coming months, so keep an eye here and on our Facebook page for updates. Pre-Registration for MAGFest 13 starts at $40 for full event admission with various supporter and group options. Rooms at the Gaylord National Harbor are currently open for reservation as well. (though are experiencing some difficulties through the website, so be sure to check with MAGFest about any booking issues) With Machinae being announced first, who knows what other big names could grace the halls and stages of the Gaylord this year.