Operation Hardcore transitions to full release

For the past 2+ years I’ve locked myself in the studio pretty much every weeknight/end, making pixels move, making crazy electronic sounds. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “How is this different than any other 2 year stretch of your life?” Well, I suppose it’s not THAT different, except this time I actually have something to show for it: my first independent game is now in full release on Steam! Full release as in “it’s

As with pretty much every project ever, it’s taken way longer than I expected, and is nowhere near as grandiose as I had initially schemed, but, it’s done! Another notch on my belt as an independent musician and game developer.

With any luck (and probably a lot of hard work), this is just the start of the next chapter of my life and career. I’ve already lined up a publishing deal for my next game, and have been chatting with some insanely talented folks about partnering on some things in the future.

Thanks to all those who supported me through this project, helped spread the word, or were just there for me when I needed to let off some steam.

Tomorrow night, I celebrate by playing some drum & bass at The CoHo! 😉

Thursday Throwback – November 24, 2011

This week’s throwback goes out to my Mario Kart crew – the many adversaries I’ve faced off with in the original SNES Mario Kart battle mode since it was released in 1992. Just off the top of my head: Chris P, Mike P, Jordan L, Anne B, Amanda, Keri, Sasha L, Denis T, Bruno C, James B, Jamie R, James S, and many more I’m sure I’m forgetting. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing: keep on kartin’, yo!

I have no idea how many hours I’ve listened to this track. It’s gotta be in the hundreds. The great thing about the original Mario Kart soundtrack is that synth bass sample… bow bow buh-buh-buh bow… that never gets old!

Mario Kart (SNES) – battle mode, c. 1992:

And now for a sad announcement: December 9th marks the the 1 year anniversary of Thursday Throwback. It will also mark the last.

I originally started doing this as a promotional tool to increase readership on my blog and ultimately get the word out about my music. From that perspective it’s been largely unsuccessful. Perhaps I’ve not been doing enough to promote it – I am often guilty of that.

Regardless, I’ve enjoyed chronicling the music of my past and will continue to post old tracks as they pop into my head, just not necessarily on Thursdays.

Thursday Throwback – October 13, 2011

This Saturday is Extra Life, the 24 hour gaming marathon for Children’s Miracle Network, so it seemed only fitting to post a video game throwback. (Please consider donating – it’s for a good cause!)

As I’ve been playing mostly creepy/darker games lately I felt compelled to dig up this classic from Super Metroid. Metroid Prime 2 featured a remix of this tune but I find the instrumentation in the original a little bit better, despite having that typical “tracker music” sound I associate with SNES games.

Super Metroid, Brinstar level, c. 1994:

Okay, now I’m off to play with the copy of Donkey Kong 64 I just scored!

Extra Life: Play Games. Heal Kids.

Dear Friends,

I’m raising money and awareness for my local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

On Oct. 15, 2011, I’ll attempt to play video games for 24 hours straight in hopes you’ll support me by giving just $1 per hour ($24 total).

Your donation is tax-deductible and 100 percent of your gift goes to help kids.

My fellow Extra Life gamers and I are going to make miracles happen for kids. I can’t reach my goal without your support. Any contribution will help, and all donations are tax deductible. Donating online is safe and easy! To make an online donation please click the “Make a Donation” button below.

Thank you for your time, support and participation.

Update: you can track what I’m up to throughout the event on this Facebook group

Thursday Throwback – June 16, 2011

I’ve been helping with several indie game projects lately so it seemed only fitting to post another retro video game track for today’s Throwback.

The first Castlevania game was released when I was only 6 (!), so I was a bit too young for it then, but by the time Super Castlevania 4 came out I was all over it.
I remember my Grandmother buying it for me as a gift, along with my Super Nintendo. It was definitely an exciting time in my childhood, and I was one of the first of my friends to have a SNES so I had that to lord over my little snot-nose bratty friends 🙂

I actually chose the game based on the back of the box (similarly, this was also my strategy for video game rental). We didn’t have Metacritic or ShopSavvy in those days. All we had was Nintendo Power, and unfortunately I didn’t always have a subscription.

Like Mega Man, Castlevania is one of those series that’s renowned for its soundtracks. This particular track, while short, definitely sticks out to me as one of the catchier tunes. Along with random Christmas songs – and Krust’s “Warhead” – it pops into my head at least once every few weeks for as far back as I can remember.

So here ya go – “Bloody Tears” from Super Castlevania for SNES c. 1991:

Thursday Throwback – May 12, 2011

(Sorry for the delay – Blogger was down last night when I tried to post)

I’m going to post up some more video game music this week. And some pretty “out there” stuff at that. But then if you’ve played the game you’d know the whole thing is pretty out there (in a good way).

This is quite possibly my favourite tune from the game. A lot of the tracks are really catchy/kitschy/whatever but – at the risk of being dubbed a lonely rolling ball of flowers – I would say this is the only one that’s “beautiful”.

@2:40: I imagine this is what it would sound like if a bunch of angels got together and threw an oldschool rave in a warehouse in the sky. And Jesus was there… at first kinda standing in the corner, behind a cloud, all awkward and shy like. But by the end of the night he would get into it hardcore, and totally bust out some crazy moves. I just know he would.

Anyway, here we go… from Katamari Damacy for PS2 circa 2004:

Thursday Throwback – April 7, 2011

Here’s something for those of you who, like me, have video games to thank for the outstanding social prowess they developed during their childhood. Those whose third and unofficial parent was Shigeru Miyamoto. Those who still follow all the major Nintendo franchises like a religion, despite being in their 30s…

Anyway, if this doesn’t bring back memories of staying up half the night playing video games I really don’t know what will.

I’ve always been a bit of a video game music geek. I guess because I’m a music geek. And a video game geek. Or just a geek in general. But also, I’m drawn to it because it can be like anything and everything, or like nothing.

Often it’s plain and simple and just sets a mood. Other times it’s a dozen or so genres mashed up into a sonic Frankenstein. Other times it’s so gloriously cheesy it makes your eye balls ooze rainbow juice and head sprout kitten fur.

On ocassion I’ve had some of my own music likened to this particular piece… I guess it’s obvious that this stuff has rubbed off on me (in case naming several of my tracks after video games wasn’t obvious enough!)

Ten reasons why VVVVVV is a whole world of awesomeness

  1. The name gives you a clue as to what you’re up against.
  2. It’s 100% pure unadulterated platforming bliss. If you played platform games as a kid, you will love it.
  3. It’s $5 on Steam
  4. Simple but cool concept, expanded upon masterfully.
  5. The graphics are horrendous but you don’t even notice.
  6. Great level design. Nothing is overdone, nothing gets
    old. You will be swearing, laughing, and have a general awesome time.
  7. I died 800+ times in a play-through of the game but
    didn’t care. Why? There is no lag time from the time you die to the time you restart.
  8. Every single room has a name.
  9. The protagonist and all of his friends have shit-eating
    grins for the majority of the game.
  10. The sound track! Oh my… the soundtrack! (buy it here – I just did)

 I will leave you with my favourite track from the soundtrack:


Hey gamers,

Blocksmith is a previously unreleased puzzle game I made 5 years ago. I figured I might as share it with the world rather than have it collecting dust on my hard drive.

Please post your comments below, whether good, indifferent or bad (if bad please try to keep it constructive 🙂 If enough people enjoy it I will polish it, add some new features, tune the gameplay, etc. For example:

  • audio (sound FX, Snug BG music!)
  • allow players to start with a greater difficulty level
  • UI tweaks (make it more obvious that you can only undo once, the game has ended, etc.)
  • high score board
  • perhaps new gameplay elements?