Wednesday, October 31, 2007

what the holy freakin' fuck?!?

Ignorance is fuckin' bliss. Driving in to work today I was listening to NPR and they were talking about the burst housing bubble and its effects across the country. Specifically, they were talking about what the impact has been on house sellers.

Well, thanks to NPR, I come to find out that everywhere else in the country - except for the San Francisco Bay area - sellers are having such a hard time selling their houses that they're resorting to gimmicks and incentives to try and pull in buyers. What kind of incentives? Here's the list of things I heard them discussing:

- Rent/Lease-to-own agreements
- Money back from the sellers if you buy the house
- Buy the house and get a free Caribbean cruise
- Buy the house and get a free Jaguar
- Buy the house and get a free electric car
- Buy the house and get three free cars
- Buy the house and get a free boat

Meanwhile, here in San Francisco the deal seems to still be:

- Buy the house and get effed up the ass with a ridiculous mortgage for 1/3 of the house you can afford anywhere else in the country


Monday, October 29, 2007

music to vomit by

Someone on the Gamespot forums for Thrillville: Off The Rails mentioned that they've been searching online and can't find the playlist for all of the songs found within the game. I'd consider that to be interest; so in the interest of interest, here are all of the songs and artists found within the game:

"4ever" by The Veronicas
"Anysound" by The Vines
"Be Good To Me" by Ashley Tisdale
"Do What You Want" by OK Go
"East Northumberland High" by Miley Cyrus
"Everybody Wants" by The Moog
"Face The Facts" by The Little Ones
"Feelin' So Fly" by Tobymac
"Focus" by John Reuben
"Good and Broken" by Mylie Cyrus
"Good Evening" by John Reuben
"Heels Over Head" by Boys Like Girls
"Here It Goes Again" by OK Go
"I'm For You" by Tobymac
"I Want an Alien for Christmas" by Fountains of Wayne
"Maureen" by Fountains of Wayne
"My Baby" by Lil Romeo
"Nth Degree" by Morningwood
"Number One" by Alistair Lindsay
"Ocean Avenue" by Yellowcard
"One Original Thing" by Cheyenne Kimball
"Parklife" by Blur
"Potential Break-up Song" by Aly & AJ
"Ride" by The Vines
"Right Where You Want Me" by Jesse McCartney
"See The Day" by Alistair Lindsay
"Smile" by Lily Allen
"Sunshine Girl" by Britt Nicole
"Ten Seconds in the Saddle" by Chris Ledoux
"The Littlest Cowboy Rides Again" by Chris Ledoux
"Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield
"We Used to be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols

That's the list of everything that we licensed. The next batch of songs are the originals that we wrote for the game:

"Critic's Song" by Alistair Lindsay
"Dr. Kunkle's Funnkel Cake" by Father Torque
"Emo Skater Girl" by Mozingo
"Go For a Ride" by Mozingo
"Loop It" by 80-HD
"MyGurlz" by Spark Victoria
"Off The Rails" by Monkeynaught
"Perfect Day" by Rapscallion
"The Ballad of Bandito Chinchilla" by The Busted Bunk Band
"Usagiville" by Robotson and The Robots
"Whiplash" by Monkeynaught

Lastly, in addition to that, we featured a number of pieces of music from classic LucasArts games. My feeling was this: when you go to Disney World, you're surrounded by the music from classic Disney movies. When you go to a LucasArts theme park, you should be surrounded by the music of classic LucasArts games. So, I put music in the game from:

Peter McConnell's "Grim Fandango" score
Clint Bajakian's "Outlaws" score
Michael Giacchino's "Secret Weapons Over Normandy" score
Mark Griskey's "Gladius" score
Jack Wall's "Wrath Unleashed" score
Anna Karney's "Armed & Dangerous" score
Dave Levison's "RTX: Red Rock" score
and, of course, music from "Monkey Island" (I think Monkey 4, to be exact)

So, all of that, together with original instrumental music composed by Alistair Lindsay, consists of the entire score to Thrillville: Off The Rails.

Monday, October 22, 2007

time for a career change

Every day at 3 minutes after 4, I get an automated email from our company's automated SPAM filter. For a long time, it used to simply say "Junk Emails Blocked: XX" Well, not "XX." It had a different number each day, but you get the point.

Anyway, that was all it said until about two weeks ago. Now, every time I get the automated message, it has a little graph on it that looks like this.


I'm flabbergasted by this. A software and technology company like Lucasfilm seems to get an average of about 15,000 decent, non-SPAM emails a day. And every day, we get slammed with about 4 million pieces of SPAM, most of which (but not all) get caught by our SPAM filter.

4 million unique messages about Viagra, "high quality" Rolex replicas, and mortgage offers that I wouldn't touch with an herbally-enlarged stick. How do those people make money? Is it truly just a numbers game? If you send out billions of messages a day and get a fraction of a fraction of a percent to respond, does that make you a viable business?

If it is a viable business, why aren't we all just sending email to each other for a living? Why would anyone want to be anything other than a SPAMmer when they grew up?

Friday, October 19, 2007

eff you, brain

muh .... vivid nightmares all last night. I'm stressed and feeling messed up this morning. And tired. That too.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

off the rails

I'm a little late with this, but the latest game that I've worked on hit shelves this past Tuesday. "Thrillville: Off The Rails" is the sequel to the No. 1 new Kids' IP of 2006 and is how I've spent the last few months of my life. From about March to September, this was my life - writing songs, licensing music, transcribing lyrics, and ultimately, becoming the game's Audio Lead in order to bring this thing in without it crashing and burning.

At the end of it all, I'm really proud of the work I did and proud of the results. Once again, David Collins and I have produced a slew of new original songs for the game. You can check out 4 of the 5 here at my MySpace page:

"Off The Rails" - Hard rock title track for the game. If "Whiplash" was a love song from a guy to a rollercoaster, this is the flipside response from the rollercoaster to all those who ride it.
"MyGurlz" - My second foray into Hip Hop. I'm really proud of the lyrics on this one. To quote our company president, this is a "grrl power" track.
"Go For A Ride" - Another rock track, kinda' like Journey meets Boston meets Def Leppard.
"The Ballad of Bandito Chinchilla" - The theme song for one of the new mini-games in Thrillvile: Off The Rails. This one was a lot of fun to do. As soon as I saw the artwork for Bandito, I knew I needed to write him a song. I think the end result does him justice.
"Perfect Day" - 80s-styled goodness. Interestingly, David Collins was watching the "Some Kind of Monster" Metallica documentary right before he wrote this track. Apparently something about watching Metallica get in touch with their sensitive side inspires 80s drum machines. (By the way, since MySpace only lets me add 4 songs, you can find "Perfect Day" posted over on David's MySpace page.)

Anyway, just wanted to share the new work as I'm proud of it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

when the zombie wars begin...

Everyone is going to want to own a couple of these things. In fact, when zombies are taking over the Midwest, I bet you this commercial loses its disclaimer at the end.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

what could bring me back

from the my hiatus away from blogging?

Bionic Commando for the PS3. That's what.

For those who don't know, Bionic Commando was a game for the original NES that had you playing as a bionic super soldier who couldn't jump. Instead, you had to navigate via your bionic arm through a ton of (mostly) vertical levels until you ultimately end up killing Hitler as he sits in his helicopter. Classic story? No. Classic game? Totally.

I still can remember the day that my dad drove me to KB Toy store to buy our original Nintendo. On the way there, I was trying to tell him that we'd need to buy a game, too. I think he started to get upset about the price. Anyway, when we got there, I tried to find a cheap game so that he wouldn't be upset. Whether it was suggested by the clerk or I picked it out based on it's cover art, I can't remember. All I know is that this was the first game we owned for the Nintendo and I loved every second of it.

When I finally bought my first Gameboy, the first game I got for it was Bionic Commando. Apparently better tastes had prevailed and they'd cut Hitler out of it in the Gameboy version.

But, finally, after 20 some odd years, Bionic Commando gets a proper sequel for the next gen consoles. I couldn't be happier. Something tells me Hitler and his helicopter won't be making a return this time around. Still, along with Megaman 2 and Crystalis, Bionic Commando is at the top of my list when it comes to classic gaming memories.