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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..