Rozovian’s Music Log

www.ocremix.org/artist/4795/

Archive for the ‘me’ Category

Apple Doesn’t Work on This Anymore

Posted by Ad on March 9, 2012

Remember AppleWorks? I remember it from back when it was called ClarisWorks. I like it. Sure, it wasn’t Photoshop, it wasn’t Office, it wasn’t even Word, but over the years, it became a useful wrench in my workflow. While the database and spreadsheet functionality saw some use towards the latter years, the painting functionality barely any use at all, those are fairly easily replaced. Now if only I could get LibreOffice spreadsheets to convert a text-based field to boolean while keeping the information…

The drawing functionality, however, is difficult to replace. Any DTP layout program should suffice, but it’s hard to find something affordable and stable. Especially now that I’m out of a job and don’t have spare hundreds to spend on software. Vector graphics and layout programs are sort’a in the right direction, but not quite. EazyDraw, developed as a replacement for the drawing tools in AW and capable of reading most of the information in AW drawing documents would be great, if not for a clunky interface.

That’s probably what irks me the most: interfaces. X11’s interface puts two rows of redundant stuff on the screen, and Inkscape looks ridiculous with 5-6 rows of menus and margins before I actually get to the document itself. I kind’a feel the same about OSX sometimes – the dock is useful and looks nice, but it takes up precious real estate on a laptop screen.

Anyway, I spend some of my spare time trying to design board games, card games, games of whatever type I can. Before I do any prototyping and testing, I sketch it out on the computer. I mean, I did. Now I have to rely on TextEdit – which works ok when it’s just notes and card lists, but it doesn’t let me put text blocks, lines, and images wherever I want. That’s what I did in AppleWorks.

On a related note, I use Snow Leopard’s TextEdit because Lion’s doesn’t fit my workflow, and didn’t give me any working options to change its behavior. For that matter, lots of apps in Lion don’t even understand command-Q because they don’t have a quit option, only “quit with windows” or “quit, close windows”. Apple, Y U NO keep it simple, stupid?

Advertisements

Posted in game design, me | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Raising Gamers

Posted by Ad on February 22, 2012

Deseret News had two articles recently about boys and the problems with the way boys are raised in the US, and through osmosis of American ideals via American media throughout the western world.

Article 1, primarily concerning the importance of fathers. Article 2, primarily about sex and violence.

I took an issue with the second article. There’s a lot I agree with, but there’s one thing that the article seems to ignore: the impact of video games on society overall. As video games have become mainstream entertainment, violent crime has gone down significantly. Instead of forming gangs, skating around and spraying stylized text on walls, kids today sit at home, engaged in historical wars, political commentary on modern wars, and the imagined future… of warfare. Among other games, of course.

There’s a huge resource for tangential learning here, tho it must be said that not every boy will be playing the same games, to the same extent, or with the same level of interest. For that matter, games are rated depending on the age they’re deemed inappropriate for. Trying to teach WWII by use of violent video games may be a winning strategy for teenage boys, but would be foolish to attempt on younger students. But the points I’m making is that much like there are documentaries on a wide range of topics, there are games on a wide range of topics.

There’s a game called Osmos that I’ve played. It involves Newton’s Laws of Motion in gameplay modes resembling petri dishes and 2d representations of the solar system. It does all this without never really telling the player the science involved in the gameplay, instead it lets the player experience it himself.

There’s Civilization, a game my cousins introduced me to during the time of the year when soccer and super soaker wars weren’t feasible. Snapshot details of the development of technology and science, the wonders of the world, a simple version of world politics… It’s a game where you run your own empire from the dawn of civilization to 2050 or so.

These cousins also introduced me to problem-solving games by letting me play Monkey Island, a old point-and-click adventure game with one of the most humorous writing in gaming so far. They also introduced me to racing games. We also built castles out of legos and sent hundreds of small plastic men to their calculated deaths. We also ran around in small teams, armed with super soakers, seeking to “kill” the other team.

The Left 4 Dead games, favorites of mine, feature a similar cooperative gameplay as those wars of water. There’s just more things to shoot, more often, and rather than merely seeking to kill the other team, one of the teams seeks to get through what essentially amounts to an obstacle course… while trying to not die. These games are rated 18 and above, so I’d like to see a take on the same cooperative gameplay that the L4D games _requires_ against moderate opposition, in games that younger gamers could play.

Games are a great tool for learning, it’s just a question of finding the right games with the right lessons, without taking the fun out of it. Men want challenges, and I’m sure boys do too. For me and my friends, it’s a challenge to get through a game of L4D at the highest difficulty, a challenge that requires strategy, planning and teamwork. How can’t something similar already have been devised for kids in school? Give the boys a challenge that requires research, planning, trial-and-error, teamwork, building, and a spectacular show. Yes, turn them into Mythbusters.

Games are also competitive. Whether this is SimCity 2000 where you can open a window seeing the size of neighboring cities and seek to surpass them, Left 4 Dead where failure to cooperate can lead to a swift death at the hands of grotesquely deformed formerly human monsters, or board games where learning how the game works is the key to winning; games are competitive. You can even play single-player games competitively, just play against your own high score. Perhaps the failure to engage boys in school is that school isn’t a challenge. Make it a challenge. Give them high scores, let them seek to surpass their own high scores and that of others. Even if they end up with the lowest score in the class, they’ll likely be more engaged than by textbooks. Just make sure to give them diverse and inter-discipline challenges, including such that the less academically inclined can excel in.

My take on the role of games in society and education is that games offer a harmless catharsis, the right games can provide great training for life (eg in co-op games), and that games encourage competition. There are games children should not play, there are games that shouldn’t be played without parental supervision, and there are games that are safe for all game-capable ages.

Of course, not all boys will be engaged by games. Not all children are the same. No two persons are the same. But with games being more and more of a mainstream thing, and with gamification being used to engage people in pretty much everything, kids need to be engaged in learning, both the school stuff and the life stuff. Games are a great tool for this.

Long post. I blame video game writing. It’s often needlessly long (I’m looking at you, stupid Zelda owl).

Posted in education, me, video games | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why I Buy Movies

Posted by Ad on February 4, 2012

In light of recent multilateral agreements/conspiracies, I thought I’d comment on my media purchasing habits. Idunno, maybe it’ll shed some light on how someone on internet is thinking, for the luddites with all the lobbying money – which quite frankly could be better spent, as could the litigation budget.

I like movies. I like quality effects, I like quality storytelling, I like quality stuff. I wish there was more good movies out there, rather than committees-designed mainstream hooks. Just compare Attack the Block and Transformers. Guess which one I prefer. A hint: I like it despite my general aversion to almost every form of British English.

But when I walk through the movie store – and I still prefer to buy movies that way – what I want isn’t just the movie. The movie I can find on the net if I want to, and I’d have a way better experience of it if I could see it in the movie theatre. In 2d. So what I’m looking for in the store are movies that I’ve heard good things about and want to see, but haven’t bothered to go looking for them; they’re movies I’ve seen and want to see again; they’re movies I think need my support; and they’re movies I can learn from.

I hate coming across DVDs – yes I still use DVDs – with no special features. No commentaries, no making-of, no cast and crew interviews. The film itself I can experience just fine in the theatre, and I’m fine with doing that just once (unless it’s actually a good movie).

I think this could be the future of commercial media. You can get the basic version for free, but if you want an HD version, bonus materials, associated materials, codes for streaming services – you buy the thing. The film’s extended cut, score and making-of, the game’s music and art, karaoke and DJ versions of every song on the album…

And while we’re at it, it’d be nice to get a data track to go along with any film or tv show, one that maps out the overall levels. Having a TV show play loud sounds ridiculous during the silent parts, and trying to hear the soft parts of a movie without turning up the entire film isn’t convenient. Volume automation, on or off.

I also want a helicopter.

Posted in me, television/movies | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stupid Creativity

Posted by Ad on November 18, 2011

I make music. I make video game music remixes; new arrangements for (usually) old games. Some people like my work. I easily get stuck with my songs, having written half of it, and getting tired of it. Whether it’s remixes or my original work, I just hit a point where I can’t get anything done.

Instead of sitting and doing nothing, my brain switches to some other creative mode, getting me interested in something else for a while. I go back to stories, writing, fiction, worldbuilding, and from there to just about anything. I might come up with an idea that would make a great movie or TV show, or a great computer/console game, or a great board game (less risk of appearing on torrent sites), or a great book, or a great… idunno, comic book?

Now, I could pursue a career in writing for these media, but I fear that’d take me away from doing what I love doing… and I don’t even know what I love doing. Maybe I love telling stories. Maybe I love to build things. Maybe I love entertaining. Maybe I love educating. Maybe I love expressing myself. Maybe I love putting hidden messages in everything I do to manipulate ppl into doing… something.

I realized the other day that despite my liking of video games, it’s not what I wanna spend the rest of my life making. Yes, I wanna make video games. Yes, I have more than a handful of ideas. Yes, I have stories I wanna tell through video games. Yes, I have game mechanics I wanna make use of. Yes, I think my games would be pretty good.

But I also want to write a couple of books, and I wouldn’t mind making a TV series (tho the thought of letting go of my intellectual property is a little troubling, good thing it’s not something I have to think about). I wanna make some board games. I wanna make lots and lots of music.

I wonder what the best approach is. Naturally, I’d wanna get the remix project I’m heading out of the way before trying to build a career doing something creative, but I should figure out what to do next. Try to make that board game I’ve been sketching out? Try to do something for a real video game (indie, probably)? Isolate myself from everything and everyone to write my book or my music? Try to juggle work, life, creative pursuits and sleep?

In any case, I should get a proper job, tho. I wouldn’t mind one in the game industry, but there’s quite a surplus of ppl who can write stuff or make music. Dunno how to market myself anyway. Sure, I’ve got an almost unique artist name, and ocremix has spread my name all over the net, but how do I actually communicate to the right ppl that I want to make music or write stuff for their game? Who are the right ppl, where are they?

tl;dr: Rozo, stop whining, get a job, learn programming.

Posted in game design, me | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SEO

Posted by Ad on May 6, 2011

So there’s this thing websites do… or actually, the ppl running the websites, do. It’s when they utilize a variety of techniques to make their site seem more popular and more important to search engines. This is bugging me, and has been for some time. I like reading about ppl’s thoughts on my music. I like it when ppl mention me or my music. I like it when I inspire jewelryย (really made my day, also mentioned on my twitter).

What I don’t like is having to spend so much time rewriting my searches so I can actually find this. Google’s selective searches do a decent job at filtering out some of the sites that pop up, but how do I know I’m not missing out on sites with genuine interst in my work?

So instead of blog and forum posts that mention my music, I get hundreds of free mp3 sites that offer for free a free mp3 of my music as free mp3s. I can’t think of any way it’s ethical to distribute my music on a site that does more to get in the way of my searches than to actually provide ppl with my music. I tried out a few of them, and in most cases they wanted me to install some executable. Even if this isn’t spyware of some kind, most of my music atm is free and shouldn’t require any hoops to get to. Especially not when someone else stands more to gain from those hoops than I do. I mean, I made the music.

And they hide behind the “we just provide access to the content, it’s not on our servers” excuse. I can understand the youtube newb uploading an album or music video of his/her favorite band/artist without considering this is possible sales and views lost from the artist/band (then again, piracy does increase interest and thus sales… at least with Minecraft). This is done out of appreciation for the music. Ripping game contents to share with other enthusiasts and provide a resource for potential enthusiasts? Fine with me. The modding community? I kind’a wanna join it. Free mp3 download for free get rozovian music free download downloads? Leave my music alone you soulless webcrawling zombie algorithms.

When I have an album out, I’ll want ppl to buy it. I’ll want ppl to tell me what they think. I’ll want ppl to stream it from places where I actually get some revenue back. I want _people_ to hear it. I want ppl to hear it from _me_, not from some spamtastic adful directory (that looks like crap anyway).

Some years ago, the only web find for “rozovian” was some Russian philosophy book (not why I chose the name). Then I got on fictionpress with my teen ambitions, I had a depressing blog about being me as a teen, I had a mikser.net account with two semi-decent original tracks, and I had some accounts on some forums. And then ocremix happened. Now I’m all over the web. Almost every mention of “rozovian” online is me and my ocremix tracks. For better or worse.ย Even that vid of some dude’s oil change tutorial with my music in the background is all over the place. And apparently on every other oil-related site out there spamming themselves with quasi-related content in order to look important to Google.

At least ocremix is big enough to be the top result for “rozovian”. At least for me.

And yes, I’m intentionally adding lots of links to me. Not accidentally. I want the algorithms to know they’re all me, and think they’re all more important. At least more important that free mp3s blah blah blah.

Posted in advertisements, me, my music, the internet | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Should get a job in the industry

Posted by Ad on July 19, 2010

It’s 3 PM. Just woke up and had breakfast/lunch. I went to bed 7 AM. Technically, I went to bed around 1 AM, couldn’t sleep, did stuff, tried again, couldn’t sleep, did more stuff etc…

So what kept me up? Sirlin Games’ characters, Caesar II, and the idea of a survival game I wanna make. As if I could. I dug up Caesar II the other day, having fun with it. I suck at these kinds of management games, but I still like seeing the city and stuff grow. The survival game idea/sketch is something I’d like to make some day, so I’m keeping quiet about how it works.

Sirlin’s characters tho… I’ve been reading his blog and articles from time to time, and came across his Fantasy Strike characters. I wrote music for them. I know he’s got someone already, and it’s probably ocremix, but I don’t care. I had fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

Anyway, with stuff revolving a lot around games and stuff, I’m thinking I should just learn programming and start making crappy looking games with decent gameplay and awesome music. I got nothing better to do anyway.

Just gotta learn to program. *sigh*

Posted in me, music industry | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Quick update

Posted by Ad on July 14, 2010

Just saying that I still need a muse, OCR has put up two of my mixes in the past few months, and I’m working on an original album.

Okay, I would be working on my original album, but I need a muse. Need something to get the tracks done. I’ve started a handful of new tracks but most of them are 20-second sound tests or sketches or something. Need to write whole ones too, finish them, and make an album out of it all.

Oh and I should be working on the ocr albums I’m involved in. I could finish my involvement in two of the project with just an hour or two per track. And most of that is load time / rendering / converting.

Posted in me, my music | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

maybe I need a muse

Posted by Ad on May 25, 2010

Okay so, the last few… ugh, months, really, I’ve been having a hard time finishing any tracks. I’ve got some plans for original albums, small vgm remix albums, and of course finished the project tracks I’ve promised ppl. Ugh, promises.

That got me thinking… I sometimes write better just because someone inspires me. I wrote my Bionic Commando track by listening to Rebecca Mayes’ take on the new Bionic Commando game. Which reminds me, the remix isn’t actually done yet, I was gonna redo the drums. *sigh*

I always thought I was a bit of an asocial person, but I’m generally more energetic and inspired when I’m around ppl a lot. Maybe it’s cuz my mind wants to run away from the impersonal crowd and into something personal, like music. Or maybe I’m motivated ad inspired by ppl.

So, I need a muse. And a job. ๐Ÿ˜€

Maybe I should just pick some random person that I know or know of and see where that takes me. maybe I can finally finish that memory-hogging process-clogging time signature experiment for the BadAss project. lol. To think I considered finishing it for bLiNd’s tribute album. It’s _still_ not done. I need more memory for Omnisphere.

Also, I made it home from England without much of a problem. It cost my dad a bit to rent cars tho. Fortunately, I’m not paying. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of money anyway. Anybody with money and who need music for something interested in hiring me for something? Anyone? Hello?

Posted in me, my music, remixes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Home, komplete, stuff…

Posted by Ad on April 18, 2010

No, not yet. Still stuck in England.

We currently have our trip back planned to Brussels so far, trying to get from there a step closer. I’m hoping we’d get to Rostock and from there by ferry straight to Helsinki. Another option is to travel through Denmark and Sweden, but that’s imo unnecessary trouble. Not sure which route is faster tho, but ferry from Rostock to Helsinki would be the easiest.

I’m far from my music computer so I can’t do much work on any of the projects I’m involved in. Bummer, as the rap beats I’m making for my friends would be nice to update for their competition finals. Nothing I can do about that now.

I miss my music setup, and my new software… did I mention I have Komplete? ๐Ÿ˜€

Posted in me | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »