Saturday, December 21, 2013

Music Hacker - I've Always Wanted to Do This

Today's episode of Music Hacker is one that I've been wanting to do since about halfway through season 2. Now that it's here, I hope it's up to snuff.

I've been able to keep up my bi-weekly schedule so far, but it's no easy task and I will have to put some effort in to make sure I don't fall behind. Things seem to be manageable though, so I'm optimistic about it.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Music Hacker Season 3 Debut

Here is the moment you've all been waiting for, the season 3 kickoff episode! Yay!

It's been challenging but fun to get this season going. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up a bi-weekly release schedule, but I'll give it a shot.

For those of you wondering, no there isn't any overdubbing, hidden jump cutting, or anything in this or future episodes. I don't use a script either. So what you hear is basically just me making stuff I think will amuse you up on the spot and then executing it in a voice that I think will amuse you.

I hope you're amused.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Art Pipelines

Let's talk art! Because I make art!

I've developed an interesting method of creating paperware art. I start by creating digital guidelines, since adding a computer to the mix makes that much easier. Then I print those lines out and follow/interpret/trace them with a pencil on another piece of paper.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Commissioned Work

It's taking ages to get the next season of Music Hacker into place. In the mean time, I've been finishing up another track that was commissioned by the same peeps who commissioned the Brahms Lullaby remix. They called for a technology alphabet song.

I've also been eyeing other DAWs and scoping out a new area to move my studio into, so there is a lot of cool stuff going on behind the scenes while I work on the next season of Music Hacker.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Introvert Self Abuse

While not all of my readers may view this space as a platform for psychology theories and discussion, I believe that in a way it is. I do primarily write about games and music here, but I feel that both of those media - games especially - are bound very closely to psychology. So I am officially opening the content on this blog up to some of my musings about the human mind and various behaviors I have either come across or studied. Today, the topic is a theory of mine about introverts who engage in self abuse through extroverted behavior.

Aside: I shouldn't have to have the disclaimer that this is just speculation for the interesting thought of it. There is probably merit to what is written here, but I have not done enough research and experimentation to back these ideas up as guaranteed reality.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Theme Stuff

I just realized how small the text was on this blog and overhauled the font choices, sizes, and colors. It should now be less of a pain to read. Feel free to leave comments about these changes on this post.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Beep Boop Released

Today I uploaded the last part of my newest EP, Beep Boop, to YouTube. You can check the page for it out here, wherein there are links to the YouTube playlist and a download containing the EP. I know I'm running behind in work on Music Hacker, but it's super hard to keep up with school and music and webshow all at once. It's coming, but I can't promise when.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Music Hacker Season 3

I am officially planning on running a third Music Hacker season. I don't have any promises on when it will launch, or what schedule it will be released on when it does. My current estimate however, is that it will launch a fortnight from today, releasing new episodes biweekly.

I am working on the soundtrack, intro/outro titles, style, episode/topic schedule, topic research, and production pipeline efficiency. Here is a little chip of all of that.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Project Good Robot

So Shamus Young, author, videogame pundit, and programmer, has been working on a pretty groovy game project for the past month-ish. It's called Good Robot, and I've really been enjoying following it. Recently, an open call was extended to anyone wanting to offer music tracks to be used in the game. Naturally, I followed up by producing these two tracks.

It looks like they are good material for the game, and will probably be incorporated therein....

*this is me fan squeeling*


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Random Music Content

Ya'll know that I've been busy with arson school, but I have put out some music content you'll probably find interesting.

This here is my first track with a guest vocalist. When I write synthpop songs, I usually have a female voice in my head, but end up rewriting to match my voice. It was creepy and awesome to have the voice in my head manifested IRL, and I enjoy the resulting track.

I decided to enter a contest 24 hours before the submission deadline for what was two weeks for everyone else. The result is a very formulaic but fairly enjoyable track that didn't win.

I've got some more concrete ideas for both video and text article content, but they aren't quite set in stone yet. So keep your eyes open, 'cause I'm hoping to revive this baby.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Let's Play Finale

I know you're all just on the edge of your seats waiting for my next bit of serious content to be released. I know I'm setting the suspense pretty high by taking so long. The thing is, I've been really busy lighting the ugly looking houses in my city on fire so that they can have a beautiful sendoff of gracious flame before being replaced with something more aesthetically appealing... Also school. I've been doing that too.

Anywabork, recording this let's play didn't take much time or work so I'm glad I had it to help keep some form of content going.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

More Let's Play

I hope I'll have a decent music/comic buffer together by the time this LP's run finishes.


Saturday, August 24, 2013


So I've been talking a lot about Abuse both online and IRL. It is really interesting from a number of perspectives, and there is a lot to say about it. After mulling it over, I came to the conclusion that covering it on this blog would mean the start of a multi-part series, and I wouldn't be able to point some things out as well without actual gameplay footage. I eventually hit up my friend CyberCrash and sat down for a let's play.

I'm not guaranteeing to see this game all the way though, but if we keep coming up with stuff to say and people are interested, we might.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Offline Again

Since I'm offline for a few days again, back by popular demand is more automatically posted content.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Hotline Miami And Story Games

Any cursory exploration of my game analysis/design content should reveal that I am really into artsy story games. I like a game where you have a reason to be doing what you're doing, and I don't have a lot of patience for games with a pretentious storyline or hours of filler gameplay devoid of context. This is an interesting thing about Yahtzee's triangle. It's not just about how games are balanced, but how people's tastes are. I like context above most else in a game, and you've probably heard me ranting about how game X had a dumb story, or game Y had repetitive gameplay, but none of those personal partialities keep me from really digging Hotline Miami.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Direction In Game Design

When I was a kid I started several novels. I managed to finish only one of them, and that by gluing together several different pieces of writing I had done separately. I didn't fail because I couldn't handle the level of writing or storytelling required, and I didn't fail for lack of creativity. I failed because I would start and write half of a novel without knowing why. Once I was halfway through and directionless, the realization would hit me that everything up to that point had been nothing more than a bunch of disconnected ideas that I thought would be cool.

At this point, traditional wisdom dictates that I draw a connection with the reader by asking the question, "What does this have to do with game design?"

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why I Don't Love Fallout

I know it's not Saturday, and I know I've been inactive for weeks. I've been, like, busy, okay? I don't care about trying to stick to a set of specific set game analysis concepts to discuss anymore. I'm going to write about what I like, gun blammit. Maybe that way the content will somehow get less sporadic and stop bleeding to death.


So I've played a ton of Fallout: New Vegas. It scratches a few of my videogame itches really well. While it gives me a massage and provides me with mugs of melted dark chocolate to slurp. I definitely love the strategical aspects and the character building. I love exploring a big world full of interesting characters and choices. I love roleplaying different characters and having them all deal with these choices differently. I love the atmosphere, aesthetic, and depth of the game. But I don't like the original Fallout.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Chiptune EP Update

After a bit of deliberation within myself, I decided that my Chiptune EP would be stylistically modeled after the Commodore 64. This was partially due to the discovery of  bleep, an excellent VSTi that models the SID pretty well and has replaced Synth1 as my go-to Chpitune synth. All of the tracks on this EP will be recorded directly from bleep output, except for The Adventure Is Over, which is pure Synth1 output.

As you can see, I've got some nifty preliminary cover art. I've also come up with a rather fitting name for this EP, Beep Boop. The art was meticulously hand pixelled in GIMP by yours truly, including the 3D text, which was enjoyable.

I'm not sure how many tracks this EP will have or when it will be finished, but I know that 5 tracks is my upper limit and that I've got at least 1.5 of them done. Of course, I will keep everyone posted with any further progress.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Plans And Possible Projects Of The Future

Now that I'm a college student, I need to carefully plan what other projects I'll be working on. I don't have all of this figured out yet, but I thought you all might like to know what I do so that you can at least guess how much longer this relative dry spell is going to last.

First, I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get back to work on my Chiptune EP. Second, I've got a new album idea I'm thinking about. I'm not sure if I'll be able to work it into my schedule or how long it would be before it became officiated, but know that it's on the table. Third, I'm hoping that my webcomic creative juices keep flowing so that Cognitive Observation can become regular again. Fourth, Infiltrator will probably be going on hiatus. Infiltrator was a project that was mainly there for me to have fun trying to code and experiment with game development for the majority of its incarnations, so I kind of saw this as a likely ending for it from quite near the beginning. Fifth, I'm pondering the possibility of choosing 15 topics and doing a third Music Hacker season. This depends in part on my getting a better grip on my schedule, and in part on finding 15 topics I know I can do a good episode about. And last but not least, I'm not really not sure I'll be able to continue being a game analyst. Sure, I still love the medium, but since I don't have time to play games or spend enough time thinking about them to keep interesting content going, I just don't see a wealth of game design articles as a likely part of the content for the next while.

So yea, things are a bit up in the air right now. Thank you for bearing with me while I try to get this stuff sorted out.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cognitive Observation #41

I know content has been a bit sparse. The way things have been going, keeping a weekly comic has been all that I can do. I finally have a way to work while I'm on campus, but we'll see what that leads to in terms of blog and YouTube content.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cognitive Observation #40

I've had this strip in my head for quite awhile now. It speaks artistically to me on many levels, but I still think it's hilarious as all bork.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

College Get!

I started my college classes this week. I'm sure all of you are all dying to bug me with questions about what college is like, so here is something to save you all some time:

It was school. There were classes. With teachers, who taught things. There was homework.

With that out of the way, I can safely apologize for a lack of aricle content today without needed further excuse context. In accordance with the ritual I have formed around such occasions, here is a peace offering, consisting of another track from the Music Hacker OST:


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Music Hacker soundtrack

I've been super busy lately getting into that "college" thing everyone any more than a year older than you talks about. Truth be told, it will probably mangle my schedule quite a bit. However, I'm still grasping the hope of continuing in music production/teaching, game analysis, and comic strip production. While I'm figuring all of that out, I'll be uploading the incidental music that I used throughout Music Hacker. These are things like one off music stings, unreleased intro fanfares, etc. Here is one for this week:


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cybernetic Epix Released

The new LazerBlade EP you've all been waiting for is now fully released! Cybernetic Epix is available for free listening on YouTube and for free download here. You can also go read about it on the page I put together for it.

Now that this project is concluded, I shall direct my music production efforts towards a new Chiptune EP. Because making Chiptune is fun.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Music Hacker - "Hello Children!"

This episode was fun as well as challenging. I've been wanting to start an episode this way for awhile, so hopefully the ensuing audience amusement was notable. Hereafter, I shall focus Music Hacker on a new topic.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cybernetic Epix Update

My new EP, Cybernetic Epix, is coming along quite nicely. All but the first and fourth tracks are complete, and even the first is in its final post-production stage. As you can see, I've also got some cover art going. Unfortunately, I'm not confident enough to set a release date at the moment, but I'm hoping everything will be done in a month or so.

All of the tracks were made with some kind of videogame or movie in mind. There are two remixes here, but those are the only tracks that took inspiration from a specific movie or game. The rest try to take epic space opera movie music and splash it with synthpop, retro, and whatever struck the LazerBlade fancy of the moment.

This is fun stuff to make, and I'd be sad to move on to other projects if I didn't know they were going to be greater than or equally fun. Read: Chiptune.

Now I have to say that I'll keep everyone up to date so that I don't get lazy finishing this. ;)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Infiltrator E47 - Assault Master Design

"So... how 'bout them assault masters," you may be asking. The answer is that the most powerful non-boss enemy in Infiltrator, the Assault Master, has been redesigned more than three times. If you factor in the AI programming, pixel art, design, testing, etc, then each iteration is bound to take awhile. That said, this latest one is much more elegantly put together. I kept the tactical and strategic ideas of the enemy in mind along with rest of the game this time.

All of that in mind, the new design is going to be much more time consuming and meticulous to implement, for reasons I will outline below. Since it's going to be a bit before I finish, I thought it might be interesting to explain the design, the logic behind it, and the challenges it presents.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cognitive Observation #37

I have yet to get any kind of decent buffer of comics going again. I've basically just been posting them on the nearest Tuesday that I make them. Maybe sometime in the imaginary future I'll have enough time to breath, thus being able to be creative enough to have a regular output of comics.


Saturday, April 13, 2013


I'm not dead! Really, I'm not!

The reason there weren't any updates last week is that I've been super busy studying for a big test I have coming up. I had time to do a little though, including making a bit of headway with Infiltrator and producing this track.

Those of you who don't know or haven't guessed: I'm working on a Chiptune EP. This will be interesting, because I'm also working on another EP titled "Epic Cyberfunk," AND starting a new album. I'm hoping to finish Epic Cyberfunk soon, and then work on the new album while doing chiptunes in my wiggle time.

I've played me several games I want to discuss as well, so I should be able to get together some content for you guys for/during the next few weeks.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cognitive Observation #36

My biggest, grandest comic since the resolution to the skater-punk series. I'm introducing a new superhero, using color, and trying out a new art style. This took forever to draw. \

The new art style parodies the every actor is a perfect person idea by having all men have literal triangle figures, while all women have literal hourglass figures. This also allows me to have a wider range of character designs with different pieces of clothing and body shapes.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Infiltrator E46 - Video Playback

Those of you who checked out my Infiltrator pre-alpha demo video awhile back probably know that I had a spiffy animated background with circuit patterns on the main menu. Those of you who didn't: I had a spiffy animated background with-you get the point. I bet you guys didn't know that I don't have that anymore, did you? I'm hoping to get it back at some point, but the problems that led to its removal are deep and annoying.

Let's talk about them!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

OMF 2097 Remix

You may have noticed that I haven't had a large music output recently. This is partially because I've been working on another track I'm planning on submitting to OCRemix. The OMF 2097 theme was really influenceial to me and to this day stands as one of my favorite tracks of all time, so I'm doing another remix of it. See, I remixed this track way back when I was doing Transmusical Distortion, but I've improved a ton since then. So here is the latest WIP of what I'm hoping will be an enjoyable tribute that would make the original proud:

Also, I hope it will make the LMMS and free software community proud, because an LMMS OCRemix would be really cool.


Saturday, March 16, 2013


I'm going offline for a few days(actually, I already am), so here is an automatically posted chiptune ditty I made while building some instrumentats.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cognitive Observation #35

To be fair, I've gone out of my way to be an activist against age discrimination. That doesn't mean that stereotypes aren't funny.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I'd hate to be one of those people who refuses to get with the times, fighting progress and trying to force the things I've become accustomed to on everyone. But there is one place I have been accused of this, and where this accusation againt peeps in my position is accepted. That place is multiplayer gaming.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Music Hacker - Synth Programming Time

I've had people asking me to do this episode for quite awhile now, so hopefully this will be a boon for some people somewhere. I don't have much else to say, so shut up and either watch the episode or wait for my next game design article.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Old Infiltrator OST

Wow, it's been awhile since I had time to do a game design article or other article proper. Life can basically call upon me to use all of my time for weeks on end without notice, and that is what happened. I'm unrealistically optimistic that I'll get back on track soon, but please take this music upload as a token of my still trying to provide content.

It's from the old Infiltrator OST, which was abandoned to be entirely redone using my modern skillset.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cognitive Observation #33

Having a tablet makes doing comics way easier. I actually designed this one with my tablet. Unfortunately, it's not accurate enough to draw them, and I don't have the right software. So you still get comics scribbled out in GIMP.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Music Hacker Intermission Episode 4

This space intentionally left blank.

It's not like I had time to both finish another Infiltrator section AND Music Hacker episode this week.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Infiltrator E45 - Enough With the GUI Already!

This session went almost entirely into GUI work. I've finally got the menu art and editor interface up to a point where I feel comfortable moving on though, and that is a good thing. I've been getting pretty sick of working on these same GUI's for so long. The fruit of all of this work is pretty sweet though.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Crono Trigger: Five Minutes After

It is argued between fans of media used for story telling whether or not fridge logic is inherently bad. I personally don't think it to be bad in all cases, but I do believe that certain circumstances can cause it to be so. That is why I've taken to recording my thoughts about a game just after I finish it, coming back later when it has stewed in my mind for awhile. Maybe I'll follow up on things I missed and complain about any story braking fridge logic at that time. For now, I'll just talk about a few things that stuck out to me.

Today's game is Crono Trigger, the first JRPG I have played through from beginning to end. I usually don't like JPRG's, but I liked this one a lot. I set a high bar for if a game was worth my time in retrospective or not, and this game effortlessly sailed over it with plenty of room to spare.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Infiltrator Part 44 - Picking Back Up

Well it's been months since the last Infiltrator update, due only in small part to my own laziness. At the moment, due to the usual internal scrambling and re-installing of my system, Infiltrator isn't even running for me. I do have some small updates completed, but most of them are just new art assets for the level editor.

What it comes down to is that I need to get my momentum back on this project. I've been cherry picking easy features because I haven't had time to put in many consecutive hours of work. As of recently I have come into a bit more free time though, so I've been trying to get the workflow going again.

I've decided to put more concentration into perfecting the level editor before I move on to creating the next enemy, so that will be the topic of the next Infiltrator update. Until then, enjoy the videos and comics I put out.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cognitive Observation #31

Happy first Cognitive Observation in awhile! I have ideas for at least a few other comics, so if I don't have article content for Tuesdays you can enjoy those.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Come Pray Shin

This video was a total bundle of fun to make. Starting Tuesday, I'll be trying to get the content going again on this site. I've been tremendously busy with school and other things, but my schedule is becoming a bit more flexible and open. As a result, I'll probably have time for more regular posting. Infiltrator progress has slowed down a lot as well, but again I'm hoping I'll be able to re-balance my schedule and get back in the groove. More updates as they come...