The situation in Japan is dire. Being absorbed fully by the vortex of PAX East for three days, it wasn’t until I was on the bus ride home from Boston that I really had a chance to watch the news and soak up the exact nature of what is happening over there. I was floored by the devastation and horrible loss of life. What’s awesome is that so many people across the globe are rising to the occasion to offer aid and donations to help out in Japans recovery efforts…which will be ongoing for a very long time.
Led by Pixelh8 and True Chip Till Death‘s Peter Swimm, the international chip music community is rallying together with its own fundraiser to gather funds for the Red Cross to support Japan. By donating money via a secure page setup through Firstgiving, you’ll gain access to a link to download a massive, multi-volume chip music compilation. Volume One comes out today and features over 35 tracks from a huge range of chip music artists. One of my new tunes is featured on the first volume alongside awesome artists like 8bitweapon, Little-Scale, ComputeHer, Pixelh8, br1ght pr1mate, and more. I suspect a second volume is in the works too, and I know they’re looking for more donations and chip music artists to contribute songs for the project.
As of this writing, the comp has raised $1,000 of its $5,000 goal, so please take a moment to donate funds, spread the word, and contribute in any way you can. All proceeds go to the Red Cross for Japan relief efforts.
You can find out more about the project and how to donate RIGHT HERE.
Color me psyched. So Naughty Dog rolled out the first teaser for Uncharted 3 at the Spike Video Game Awards. While that’s pretty awesome stuff, what I’m really pumped about is this cool mini-documentary that 2 Player Productions just put out featuring some behind-the-scenes action with the Naughty Dog folks. The 2PP guys were nice enough to include a short snippet of my 8-bit music right as the credits kick in, which is super awesome. They used the title track for my e.p. The Beacon. You can still download the thing in its entirety for FREE right here. Feel like streaming it online? Hop on over here at the Free Music Archive. I’m gradually working on more 8-bit music and will be releasing more jams in the future as time permits, but I’ve been pretty busy between freelancing, working on my book Geek Beat Manifesto, and playing with my actual live (non 8-bit) band.
You can check out 2 Player Productions’ Uncharted 3 documentary over here at Joystiq.
In addition to doing some regular review work in EGMi, I’ve been writing news features for the print edition of EGM lately. This month’s issue has a massive two-page feature spread titled “Through The Lens” that I’m pretty psyched about. Located on pages 12 and 13, the piece focuses on a handful of interesting independent film makers that have created or are working on documentaries chronicling various aspects of gaming-related culture. The main piece focuses on 2 Player Productions (Reformat The Planet, Penny Arcade: The Series), the nice folks working on Indie Game: The Movie, Dan Lamoureux’s Nerdcore for Life, and the collective project that put together The Demoscene Documentary. There’s also a nod to Get Lamp, for text adventure gaming fans. Unfortunately, space limitations left a cool side-bar I wrote up (sorry Scott S.) on the cutting room floor, but that might see the light of day eventually in a separate piece.
This was a pretty busy issue all around. Beyond the feature, you can find my review write-up of And Yet It Moves (WiiWare) on pg. 76, and my second opinion to Bryan Stratton’s R.U.S.E. review is over on pg. 75. I have a few pieces headed for the next issue as well as some other stuff I’m working on for the digital edition. Awesome. Over and out.
I have long been a fan of the extremely well-crafted weekly Bytejacker web show and its focus on highlighting some of the most ass kicking indie games around. Indeed, judging from Free Indie Rapid Fire, my man Anthony Carboni (above) and I have very similiar tastes in freeware. The show also features a steady supply of rocking chiptune goodness that provides a great backdrop, which brings me to why I’m so pumped this morning. Aside from offering a killer rundown of great games from the past year, Bytejacker episode 70 also features “Charge into Battle,” a Foecrusher track from my recent forays into the realm of Game Boy metal. Frankly, it’s an honor. Hop on over to Bytejacker and check out the latest show (and the other excellent episodes available), and if you’re keen on scoping out more of my Game Boy metal tracks, hit the link above to find Foecrusher tunes on 8bitcollective. Also, that is one adorable pooch.
“Virtual band games are everywhere nowadays — even on handhelds — but what if you want to make your own music instead? Thanks to the efforts of DIY programmers, people have been creating original music using handheld video game hardware since the glory days of the original Game Boy. As handheld gaming technology progresses, the diversity and accessibility among available music creation programs continues to flourish — and even some larger game publishers are getting involved. We’ve pulled together a handful of the best programs available for busting out everything from retro blips and beats to more polished recordings using your favorite handhelds. Whether you’re a novice or master, here’s a little something for everybody.”