I was late arriving at MAGFest, in many senses of the word (I skipped the first day, and then the traffic/parking fiasco held me up for much of the second day). The first thing I actually did when I arrived at the convention? I headed to one of the Panel rooms to hear from the fine folks at OverClocked ReMix (abbreviated OCR).
This panel served as a lengthy advertisement for the long-running fan-based VGM community. The event opened with OCR artists doing a live performance of their well-known rock arrangement “wander on the offensive” (from Shadow of the Colossus).
After this, the panelists, all arrangers, performers, and judges for the site, presented current and future activities. They highlighted 2010 album releases, including the first in a five-part series for Final Fantasy V and Donkey Kong Country 2. They talked about future projects, like the upcoming “Heroes Vs. Villains” album, a joint project between OCR and “The Bad Dudes.” Their full list of planned 2011 projects is daunting, though they admit they probably won’t finish all of them this year. Already this year they released the Armored Core tribute album, entitled THE ANSWER.
They also gave away T-shirts and limited edition physical CD prints of their albums throughout the event. I nabbed a shirt, but it was Medium (whereas my body size is LARGE AND IN CHARGE!), so I gave it to a friend.
More important than the album announcements or the freebies, however, was the time dedicated to highlighting the success of OCR contributors. The site’s founder, David “djpretzel” Lloyd, got somewhat sentimental when he noted the accomplishments of OCR members. Jimmy Hinson did work on Mass Effect 2. Other OCR members are working with BioWare on the MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. And so many more are doing original compositions for indie games, such as Danny B. on Super Meat Boy.
In describing all these successes, djpretzel told the audience that this is what he envisioned from the moment OCR was born. He wanted to see many fans of games and game music come together and express themselves by arranging these classic VGM tracks. But in doing that, he knew that people would hone their skills, and he always believed the site had the potential to serve as a springboard for musicians to move on to bigger and better things. These days, he’s saying that dream come true, and that’s something everybody can be happy about.
As always, OSV will continue to cover OCR’s contributions to the game music scene. On a personal note, I would like to thank the OCR panelists for coming to MAGFest and presenting what they did; being my first taste of MAGFest 9, it set the tone for the rest of the weekend.