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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ALBUM RELEASE - "Thrown Against The Sky"

After 5 months of hard work, blood, sweat, tears, cursing, self-doubt, and anxiety, my first full-length [1 hour 11 minutes] Dark Ambient album is DONE!

Priced affordably at $2, the album comes with liner notes and a bonus MP4 audio track of the ENTIRE album, mixed and sequenced the way I meant it to be heard!


Friday, March 20, 2015

Ambient Online Compilation #4 is RELEASED!

And yes, 2 of my tunes appear on this MASSIVE compilation of 88 tracks!

For ten bucks you get HOURS of excellent and diverse ambient music!  Buy it today and support the ambient music community!

Now, back to finishing my album...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Moving, moving movingg.

I'm tired of living in the noisy dump I'm in right now.  The neighbors are loud and weird, the place is coming apart, and since my fave bartender left my fave bar the place has just been no fun at all.

There are a few places closer to work that are near food joints and/or grocery and convenience stores, so while I save up moving money I can start scouting.  I don't want an apartment as I could move at any minute, sigh.

And worst of all, the Internet at the place is getting flakier and flakier.  I know they're too cheap to buy a new router so I can just imagine losing Internet access at home!   The horror!

Plus, now is a good time to start saving for things.. I need a game development laptop and a replacement music laptop.  Argh!

Well, I can play games without having to be online, so I should be good to go.

Until later!

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Game.. developer!

Years ago, when I wrote computer games for a living, my brain hurt 24/7, I had no life, lost 2 gfs due to time demands, and then totally burned out on it.  I swore I'd never write games again!

Funny how life can turn you into a liar.

For the longest time I've been trying to find something I can do that might get beer money into my pocket.  My music is starting to attract some attention, but not enough cash to even afford a Big Mac.  I mostly do the music for the sheer joy of creation, though.

The one thing I can do, rain or shine, sleep or not, is program computers.  So I've been looking at different programming-related things that could earn a nice income.  I looked into Java/C#/SQL stuff, figuring that I could write a nice art asset manager app that might sell pretty well to game developers.. then I started looking at game sales on mobile.. and then into  game engines.. and suddenly it hit me!

"I can do this"!

Many things have changed in the past years since I was coding games.

First, you don't have to write every line of code from scratch.  On every single stupid game project I've worked on, we built the game engine from the ground up.. over and over.. improving the technology.  Now, there are MAJOR game engines that are very affordable, both pay up-front (Unity) or pay royalties (Unreal Engine 4).  So instead of spending a year of min-destroying highly technical coding on an engine, I download, install, learn, and use.  No more having to learn audio programming, 3D programming, how to perform animation, collision detection, physics systems (and more) I can focus on the game logic and user interactions.  Brilliant!

Second, quality tools are either cheap (Github) or free (Microsoft Visual Studio Express).  No saving up for that $2500 optimizing compiler when the free one is more than good enough, no needing to buy/operate a server for source code control and issue tracking..  for seven bucks a month and a download from Microsoft I have every tool I need.

Third, asset creation.  Blender is free and exports to Unity and the Unreal Engine.  MAX or Maya would be better but I don't need to invest five grand just to get rolling.  Beng an ambient musician I already have all the sound design power I need to score the game, so I'm good to go there.  I have Photoshop CS2 which is overkill for texture creation.

Those three main things are why I'm opening up Zombie Slugs Games.  Because I think I can do it!

Here's hoping..

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tearing up roots

I am a nomad.  I prefer to never put down roots, always moving.  Stability is a curse, the dark allure of home is pain.

So, here in Tulsa, this is my nemesis.

I have more friends here than ever, people who actually care and worry. And I hate that.

Why? It's a burden of responsibility to be there for them, to not just pack up and go.  To feel some.. insane.. connection to people whom I've spent time with, face to face.  People as real as breathing.

I will die in not too many years, between the diabetes and the blood pressure and the cumulation of 40 years of bad life choices, like a tall tree in the woods, I will fall. And I don't want to take anyone with me.

This is why I want to be alone.  I can't give my heart to anyone because Sabine took it with her when she passed, and every relationship I've had since is haunted by her memory.  And I know my self-destructive habits will pull me down without love to hold me back, and that's never happening again.

So, as hard as people try to call me in, I drive myself away.  I will move and vanish, again, to keep my course into a dark place where, I hope, I will be reunited with my Lady.

The sidewinder travels the desert alone, complete unto himself.   Call me the Feathered Serpent, for that is who I am.

Take care, be well all.  Be warm and safe!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cold Turkey

I guess it's time to force myself to reduce my time online, I have to much I want to do and I'm throwing a huge amount of my free time down the rat-hole.

The main issue is real-time chat.  It's very addictive for me, I love to jump in and amuse the heck out of folks, and get amused in return.. but I end up spending 2-3 hours A NIGHT in chat, and that's time I could use making music, working on album art, or teaching myself C#/.NET.

Everything else is minor.  Maybe 20 minutes on the DAZ forum, about the same on Ambient Online, 5-10 blogging, 5 on Facebook.. and that's if I didn't do it during dead time at work!

So, I don't need to cut back on chat, that ever work, I get sucked in and it's over.  I just need to flat-out QUIT.

And no more Web-only relationships.  I have plenty of drama in my life, adding to it with unrealistic expectations on my part is stupid beyond words.

With any luck, there'll be more music and art as a result of this.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Moving on!

I took a look back over my career as a software dude, and I can't believe it - I've been programming for pay since my senior year in high school, back in 1978!  Holy carp!

I've been doing embedded system work off and on for the past 20 years, and let me tell you, it's getting BORING.  There are only a few things I haven't done in the embedded space, wireless is one of them.. and wireless is getting SUPER popular..

So, in the "career enhancement" frame of mind, I just spent $120 on a bunch of Texas Instruments hardware that will let me attach sensors (light, pressure, temperature, humidity) to a wireless-enabled microcontroller, the microcontroller board itself,. an an additional plug-in board with a 96x96 monochrome LCD display!

During lunch, I'll be programming the board to capture all the sensor data and make it available via WiFi.. this will let me learn networking and wireless communication on the cheap (cheap is good).

But that's just to enhance my embedded marketability.  Because I intend to change specialty!

Evenings, 1-2 days a week, I will take a break from music to tech myself C# and .NET.   My intention is to develop a commercial-grade application, which I will then sell.  I found a very under-served niche, and better, I'm part of that niche so I can "eat my own dog food" and use my app for my own media-based work.

I hope to quit embedded systems work in 2-3 years, become a C#/.NET guy, and then I can work.. pretty much anywhere!

90% of embedded systems work is in tech-hub areas, and while there are some good places (Silicon Valley, Atlanta) I'd rather have more freedom to choose where my next contract will be.

This is how I got into the games business.. prove my skill by making a product.  It's VERY effective, if you can pull it off.

Until later!