Sunday, February 27, 2011


Sorry for not writing sooner, but I was busy this weekend at my state JCL convention.
Today I went to Barnes & Noble to check out some manga.  I was planning on simply finding a few manga to refer to the members of the Otaku Club at my school (I'm an officer after all), but I stumbled upon pure genius.
Bakuman is written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, the creators of Death Note.  Normally, the creator of a manga or game doesn't usually draw me in, but I knew the talent that these two had, so I read the back.
It turns out that the story was basically two middle school kids who aspire to become manga artists.
In reality, this manga was a creatively fictionalized autobiography.
So I picked it up and my expectations were annihilated.
This manga is one of the best I've ever read, and I look forward to reading the rest of it (I happened to actually PURCHASE the first volume, something I don't normally do).
It's pretty inspiring, and being someone who wants to make games, something just about as taboo as being a manga artist, I can definitely relate to this story.
There's humor, romance, and manly manly guts in this story, and the art itself speaks volumes.
Even for non-manga fans, I definitely recommend this piece, it's pretty educational as well.
That's it for now, I'm going to read some more Bakuman.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Classics In Games

I've been looking for some games with references to the classics.
References to Virgil, Homer, etc.
The classics are the foundation of our concept of an epic story, but so many games seem to ignore them and prefer a simplistic "Joe does this and looks for said bad guy"
So many of our heroes have too perfect of morals (and in GTA, too evil of morals)
Where are the good revenge games?
Sure we have a few here and there, but there should be some more.
Picture our hero off at sea, fighting in a war for years, all for his king.
He comes back and finds his wife has remarried several times over and has a litter of new children.
In a rage, the hero fights off the current suitor and sends off his children to faraway lands as slaves.
Sure it's not exactly the perfectly moral thing to do, but people can associate with the humanity of the character so much more.
Protagonists are just far too selfless.
Some nice humanity would be a great addition to some games which lack realism.
That's my complaint for today...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Game Music

I've been writing a lot of music these days.
My motivation at the moment is my girlfriend who really likes my compositions, probably mainly because I made them.
But my musical style is heavily influenced by video games, and it would  be the highest honor to use my music in professional games, even if it were my own game.
I tend to write in a kind of ambient style, often with a slow progression and build up.
My influences are usually jazz, metal, and classical, so my music tends to be rather thematic and energized.
Music in games is in a downfall I think.
Many games used to have great epic scores that echoed the game and could be easily remembered even after the game was set down.  Nobuo Uematsu is one of the best at that kind of music.  But music these days is generally forgettable at best.
The melodies are usually pretty weak and the rhythm generic.
I want some music like that of Final Fantasy VII or Kingdom Hearts or Tetris or Sonic...
Even music in film is declining a bit.
I don't want some copy/paste notes or anything, but something with a bit more heart in it would be nice.
A friend of mine is writing a fantasy novel, over 400 pages I believe.  He wants his story to be published as a game one day; he's written music and even drawn out his character designs.
While the quality of his works might not be epically awesome and perfect, there is heart and beauty.
Films don't need to stick to bad music, Requiem for a Dream had a great theme!
I guess this is a call for good music in general.
The future needs a John Williams and a Nobuo Uematsu and even someone completely unprecedented.
So I will try my hardest to make the best music I can, and I hope that my readers will do the same.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First Post!

So this is (obviously) my first post.
In this blog I will write about my experiences in the realm of game development.
I've just recently been accepted to the university of my choice, DePaul.  DePaul seems to be great for game dev and I have several colleagues that attend there now.
I've worked on a couple games in the past with friends, but nothing great yet.
The link I just posted doesn't hold any games I've worked on, but these have been quite inspirational to me.
Java is the only language that I'm proficient in at the moment, though I do know a little C++.
I might learn a bit of GML or XNA in the future, though I'm not too sure if those are very useful to the industry.
My favorite games are RPGs.
I seem to like the Japanese-made RPGs over Western ones, but that is most likely because they are more often of a higher fantasy level.
I enjoy some FPS games, but I prefer Halo, the least serious one, because it's easy to pick up and play no matter what your level of skill.
I tend to find skill in games a little overrated, but it is quite entertaining to watch professional tournament games sometimes.
My favorite RTS is Age of the Empires II, and my favorite TBS is Civilization IV.
Civ V is pretty fun, and a lot more intuitive and balanced, but I feel it is missing some of the epic feel that was in Civ IV.
My all time favorite game series is Kingdom Hearts.
I know that it's not very popular among core gamers, but the creativity and artistry are amazing in my opinion, not to mention the battle system which is one of the best.

I am truly excited to start a serious blog and I hope I get a lot of readers and I hope I can read a lot of my followers' blogs as well.