The Power of Twitter (or, how it never hurts to ask)

Transport Tycoon

Open TTD Title ScreenTransport Tycoon Deluxe had a profound impact on my life when I was in high school. A friend an I found it in a nested-away folder on one of those pirate-rich, home-burned CDs that contained ripped games and were passed around between classes. At the start, we had no idea what a great game Transport Tycoon was but the graphics were really impressive and the game ran swell on our hardware (a 486SX at 33MHz and a Cyrix MediaGX at 180MHz). Not only were the graphics great, but the music was really catchy, as well. All of us (friends who later became enamoured themselves with the game) found ourselves humming it for months and years after.

I play the music now and again, even years later. It’s classic 16-bit MIDI is music to my ears. Still, I have always wondered what a live band adaptation would sound like.

Enter Twitter

Conversation on Twitter with John BroomhallSome people wonder what the point of Twitter is. I, myself, was one of those people until I realized about two months after joining that A) your experience is directly related to the quality of the people you follow, and B) it gives you direct access to famous people you would have no other way of contacting.

Hey wait! Why not contact John Broomhall about him doing a live band version of the Transport Tycoon!

Gamasutra

Game developers and artists in the game development industry frequently guest post on Gamasutra, a blog dedicated to the art of game development. Guess what? John Broomhall wrote a guest post centred about his 20+ year experience in the game soundtrack field and included a little nugget which interested yours truly: a live band adaptation of Transport Tycoon’s soundtrack!

I’d just like to thank Mr. Broomhall for doing this and giving me such enjoyable music to listen to all these years. Also to Twitter for making it possible for us to directly speak to people who have made direct impacts on our lives!

Audio Conversion Love

I’m under a tight deadline for BastardBlaster, the game I’m building right now for the Guelph Game Jam, so I’ll share my quick and dirty way to convert audio files in Linux and using some Windows software with Wine.

The source music is music modules in the .it (Impulse Tracker) format. So, I used Winamp (running via Wine) to export as .wav files. From there, I used the MP3 to OGG conversion script on this page (modified a bit) to do:

./wav2ogg filename.wav filename.ogg

wav2ogg’s contents look like this:

[rocky1138@atlas Music]$ cat wav2ogg.sh 
oggenc -o "$2" "$1"

Hope this helps someone in the future :) Note you have to have oggenc (vorbis-tools) installed in order for that to work :)

Now to do mp3s….

So I typed ABBA into Last.fm and I was lost for hours…

… in the seemingly un-ending list of great disco / 70s pop songs. If you dislike ABBA, you’ll dislike this post. But, for me, there’s some ethereal quality about late 70s, early 80s pop songs. It was before I was born, so I have no experience with it, but for years I’ve listened to this stuff. It almost seems like the world was coming out of some sort of turtlenecked, bell-bottomed dream-world. Some of these really do deserve a remix. Anyway, enjoy the vids!

Baccara – Cara Mia

Agnetha – Can’t Shake Loose


(totally in need of a remix)

ABBA – I am the City

Baccara – Yes sir I can Boogie

Great Music to Program To

Here’s a list of the top places I get my music, which I develop to:

1. Nectarine Demoscene Radio (http://www.nectarine.fr)

If you’ve ever watched a cracktro, and intro, or a demo, you know exactly what this is all about: the Demoscene!

2. Rainwave.cc Videogame Music Radio (http://www.rainwave.cc)

There are quite a few video game stations around the net but none offer the quality of music that Rainwave does. Each user can vote for songs as well as create an account that tracks all kinds of neat things. Definitely a hidden gem of the internet.

3. Modarchive – The internet’s largest collection of music modules (http://modarchive.org)

Many of you may not be familiar with the file formats that this website provides. WinAMP will play all of them, though. Give it a try. Music modules are similar to MIDI music in that they contain the electronic “sheet music” of the music inside them, but they also go a step further and include samples of each of the instruments used in the music. This was very helpful at a time when home computers could not handle large compressed audio (such as MP3) and MIDI quality was poor.

4. Demoscene.tv – streaming video of demos (http://www.demoscene.tv)

Though it seems a bit of a waste to stream video but only listen to the audio, this site really shines if you have a second monitor that you blast this site’s streams on fullscreen. Great graphics, fast streams. Perfect for programming.

5. Kohina – Old School game and demo music (http://www.kohina.org)

Kohina is a good station that plays tracks not found or often played on other stations. For this, it’s not a regular on my speakers. But, it is nice to sometimes leave the beaten path and explore some new sounds.

6. Digitally Imported – di.fm (http://www.di.fm)

Digitally imported is one of the largest streaming radio sites on the internet today. They have a ton of different stations ranging from Trance (my favorite) to things like Ambient and Chillout (also good). Plus, they offer high-quality streams for only $4.95 / month.

I’m always on the lookout for more internet radio stations or demo/videogame music sites. Does anyone have any not listed here? Please tell me!