This week's North American downloads - October 23 (Bayonetta 2, Shantae, Castlevania and more)

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This week's Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:

Nintendo eShop on Wii U
A bewitching Bayonetta deal! - Anyone who purchases the digital version of Bayonetta or Bayonetta 2 in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U will receive an automatic discount that will be applied to the purchase of the other game, making the total for both games just $59.98.

Bayonetta 2 - Bayonetta's back and more powerful than ever. Wield wild new weapons and execute deadly new moves - like the powerful Umbran Climax - to take out angels and demons in this breathtaking action game. You can even team up with friends in two-player online co-op fights. Bayonetta 2 will be available on Oct. 24. A free demo for Bayonetta 2 is now available in the Nintendo eShop.

Bayonetta - Bayonetta is a butt-kicking, havoc-wreaking witch, and she'll shoot, whip and slice as she uncovers the truth about her own past. Her weapons and moves are all stylishly over the top, but she can also dodge attacks to slow down time and inflict Torture Attacks on her enemies. Bayonetta will be available on Oct. 24.

Just Dance 2015 - The world's No. 1 dance game is back with new moves, game modes and more than 40 top tracks, featuring hit songs by Maroon 5, Pharrell Williams and Rihanna. In the new Community Remix, players become a Just Dance coach, while in the new Dance Challenger Mode, everyone can dance along or compete against players around the world.

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS

Fantasy Life - It's time to get a Life! Embark on the adventure of your dream life as you craft, cast, battle and role-play like never before. With the innovative Life system, your choices don't just upgrade characters - they help shape your journey! Fantasy Life will be available on Oct. 24.

Pokémon Art Academy - Players take on the role of a young aspiring artist who enrolls in the prestigious (and colorful!) Pokémon Art Academy to learn how to draw Pokémon under the tutelage of Professor Andy. Through novice lessons they are taught the basics of art and introduced to various tools and techniques they will use to create a variety of different Pokémon from every known region. Pokémon Art Academy will be available on Oct. 24. Get a download code for the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Special Demo Version when purchasing the Pokémon Art Academy game exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo 2DS (download codes are available while supplies last). Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, the next games in the beloved Pokémon series, both launch on Nov. 21.

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse - Set sail for adventure with Shantae, the belly-dancing, hair-whipping half-genie. When Shantae loses her genie magic, she must team up with her arch nemesis Risky Boots and become a pirate in order to save Sequin Land from an evil curse. In this new adventure, Shantae travels to mysterious islands, explores daunting labyrinths, masters pirate weapons and slays huge boss monsters with her signature hair-whip attack. Shantae and The Pirate's Curse is now available exclusively on Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo eShop Sales

Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS
Sweet Memories: Black Jack is 30 percent off (reduced from $3.99 to $2.79) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Nov. 6.
Wakedas is more than 30 percent off (reduced from $2.99 to $1.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Nov. 6.

Also new this week:
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (Virtual Console on Wii U)
The Voice (Nintendo eShop on Wii U)
Big Hero 6 Battle in the Bay (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS) - Available Oct. 28
Castle Conqueror EX (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
KORG DSN-12 (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
Saban's Power Rangers Super Megaforce (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS) - Available Oct. 28
Secret Journeys: Cities of the World (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)
The Legend of Korra: A New Era Begins (Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS) - Available Oct. 28
Magical Diary: Secrets Sharing (DSiWare on Nintendo DSi / Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS)

Coming soon:
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land - Oct. 30 (Virtual Console on Wii U)
Demon's Crest - Oct. 30 (Virtual Console on Wii U)
Gargoyle's Quest II: The Demon Darkness - Oct. 30 (Virtual Console on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS)

GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - Shantae and the Pirate's Curse review



Told you guys I'd have another review this week! Man, I apologize for the length of this one. I just couldn't stop gushing about the game! I hope you enjoy the review, as well as the game itself! See you in a few, short hours.




Next to Nintendo, my favorite game developer could very well be WayForward. I truly admire the work they put into their games. I think it speaks a lot to the value of a company when they pour their heart and soul into every project, even licensed games. As WayForward has stated, it's those licensed projects that pave the way for their original content. In other words, games like Shantae and the Pirate's Curse wouldn't be possible without those other licensed projects. I'm glad passion projects like this ARE possible, though. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse isn't just one of the best games on the eShop, it's also Shantae's finest adventure by a country mile.

Read the rest of the story...


GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - Fantasy Life review



Got a review for you guys and gals this morning. I'll have another review later this week, but let's take things one step at a time! You have a look at this and I'll focus on getting some rest! See you in a few, short hours.




At first, it seemed like Fantasy Life was never going to get a stateside release. Things looked even worse when Japan got an updated version of Fantasy Life, and still there was no mention of localization. Thankfully Level-5 and Nintendo were just taking their sweet time with the game. Fantasy Life has now arrived on American shores and it's jam-packed with content for you to enjoy. Just be ready to have a ton of time to really sink your teeth into all this adventure has to offer.

Read the rest of the story...


Link amiibo to be compatible with Hyrule Warriors


Nintendo looking for Lead Graphic Engineer for Next-Gen Console

Nintendo Technology Development is looking for a lead graphics architect in the system-on-chip architecture group in Redmond, WA. The group is responsible for the architecture of Nintendo’s game console SoCs. The graphics architect plays a key role in determining the SoC architecture. The job responsibilities are:

Evaluate HW graphics (GPU) offerings from SoC solutions available in the market based on performance, power, and silicon area.
Evaluate the performance of the SoC solutions for both proprietary and standard graphics APIs.
Determine workloads and simulation models for both performance and power characteristics of GPUs.
Keep track of GPU architectural improvements in the industry and devise strategies to incorporate them for future Nintendo gaming platforms.
Act as the graphics architectural evangelist working with global Nintendo teams for future and on-going programs.
Work with external SoC vendors as the Nintendo focal point for graphics GPU architecture.
Should be prepared to work through architecture, design, validation, and bring-up stages of SoC design in cooperation with internal and external teams.

Summary of Requirements
The ideal candidate will have had experience working directly in a GPU architecture and design team with significant responsibilities.
Low power and SoC design experience would be a plus.
The candidate is expected to have good architectural insights and the ability to apply that for setting future graphics direction for Nintendo.
A bachelors degree (graduate degree preferred) in computer science/engineering or electrical engineering.
5+ years of lead or architectural role experience are required.

Link

Nintendo - Wii U UK sales up 60%, growth expected to continue, Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire preorders higher than X/Y

Coming from an MVCUK interview with Nintendo UK marketing boss Shelly Pearce...

On Wii U momentum

“One of the key things for us is that people are starting to realise what software there is, what games they can get this Christmas, but importantly a lot of the key stuff that is coming next year, too. It is a really strong line-up. There are a lot of conversations going on about what is coming next year. Splatoon is key, Captain Toad is one I’m looking forward to, and of course Zelda. So we are expecting to see real growth from Wii U this Christmas and we will continue to build on that next year.”

On Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire sales

“Pre-orders for Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are doing really well at the moment. It is pre-ordering more than X and Y, so we are quite optimistic about that one and that is a pattern we’re seeing globally.”

It's also worth pointing out that according to Pearce, Wii U sales are up 60% in the UK compared to last year.

Link

Nintendo broadcasting special Super Smash Bros. Wii U video this Thursday/Friday



This week's European downloads - October 23 (Bayonetta 2, Donkey Kong and more)

Nintendo eShop (Wii U)

Bayonetta 2 (Nintendo, available October 24) - €49.99/£39.99 (Buy Bayonetta 2 for just €29.99/£24.99 if you have downloaded Bayonetta)
A few months after the events of Bayonetta... Something strange is happening. Angels suddenly appear on the streets and begin to attack. Bayonetta uses her powers and fights back, summoning the demon Gomorrah, but it turns against her. Jeanne dives in to save Bayonetta, taking a fatal blow in the process, and is dragged down to Inferno. With only a short time to save Jeanne's soul, Bayonetta heads for Fimbulventr: a legendary mountain said to house a gateway to the underworld. What lies ahead for Bayonetta?

Bayonetta (Nintendo, available October 24) - €29.99/£24.99 (Buy Bayonetta for just €9.99/£9.99 if you have downloaded Bayonetta 2)
Originally released in 2010, the unforgettable first chapter of the Bayonetta saga introduced the world to "climax action", an explosive blend of dynamic action and saucy style. Armed with a gun in each hand and one on each foot, Bayonetta destroys her opponents with combo attacks that are as beautiful as they are brutal. Dodge enemy attacks with perfect timing to activate Witch Time, leaving your slowed-down opponents defenceless against your barrage of kicks, blows and bullets, then finish them off with a devastating Torture Attack. No angel will stand in Bayonetta's way.

Just Dance 2015 (Ubisoft) - TBA
Hit the floor for the year's hottest party in Just Dance 2015 on Wii U! With over 40 tracks, including current chart-toppers and throwback favourites, there're plenty of reasons to slip on your dancing shoes. Strut your stuff solo, dance up a storm in a duo or get down as a group in loads of modes that will keep the party going all night!

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo, SNES VC) - €7.99/£5.49
Donkey Kong has been kidnapped by the evil Kaptain K. Rool, who is demanding DK's hard-earned banana hoard as a ransom! But there's no way the Kongs are going to give it up that easily! In this pirate-themed sequel to the hit Donkey Kong Country, guide Diddy or Dixie Kong through eight wild worlds of comical action across the Kremling-infested Crocodile Isle. Discover new secrets, learn new abilities, meet new Kong family members, and take the reins of new animal buddies such as Squitter the Spider and Rattly the Rattlesnake.

This is the European version of the game, which was optimised originally by the developer to offer gameplay and music speed similar to the US version. Demos and animations may run at PAL speed. The aspect ratio has been corrected for this release.

Donkey Kong Country Weeks from 16/10/2014 until 06/11/2014:
Wii U users can save 33% on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze in Nintendo eShop if they first buy one game from the classic Donkey Kong Country series on the same Wii U!

Namco Museum (Bandai Namco Games, GBA VC) - €5.99/£5.39
Namco Museum packs five historic arcade games into one retro gaming package: Ms. Pac-Man, Galaxian, Galaga, Pole Position and Dig Dug. Enjoy these blasts from the past with their original graphics, sound effects and gameplay faithfully recreated. You can also change the settings to your liking; altering lives, difficulty and screen modes. There's sure to be something for everyone in this classic coin-op compilation!

My Style Studio: Hair Salon (Cypronia) - €4.99/£4.49
Wash, colour, cut, curl and style - make any hair style you want! Choose between five cute characters and cut and style them in whatever way you want. Use lots of different tools - from a simple scissors to a curling iron and decorate the final look with hats, glasses and other fun accessories.

Special offers
Master Reboot (Wales Interactive) - €5.99/£4.99 (Ends November 6, normally €11.99/£9.99)
Color Zen (Cypronia) - €2.24/£2.24 (Ends October 30, normally €2.99/£2.99)
Color Zen Kids (Cypronia) - €2.24/£2.24 (Ends October 30, normally €2.99/£2.99)
Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade (Cypronia) - Free if you downloaded Angry Bunnies on Nintendo 3DS. (Offer ends October 30, regular price €6.49/£5.99)


Nintendo eShop (3DS)

My Style Studio: Hair Salon (Cypronia) - €4.99/£4.49
Wash, colour, cut, curl and style - make any hair style you want! Choose between five cute characters and cut and style them in whatever way you want. Use lots of different tools - from a simple scissors to a curling iron and decorate the final look with hats, glasses and other fun accessories.

Crazy Construction (Joindots) - €6.99/£6.29
Build a tower higher and higher by stacking objects of all shapes and sizes together in any way you can. Balance telephone boxes, road cones, televisions, desks, chairs, curling stones - more than 100 in total - in a giant pile to reach the goal line. Build past mutant birds, hurricane winds and black holes sent by the evil Crazy Construction Company as they try to bring your tower crashing down.

Power Rangers Super Megaforce (Bandai Namco Games) - €34.99/£24.99
The Megaforce Rangers face a new evil threat in a side-scrolling action game, providing a variety of maps loaded with an array of enemies and gimmicks. Lead your Ranger hero to the victory through battles, boss and Giant Robot fights! Call a partner character to fight alongside, use all the abilities and techniques of your character, including special attacks! Unlock and collect Rangers by using in-game rewards or scanning AR codes in Ranger Keys from the toy line by Bandai! (NOTE: Some Ranger Keys are not compatible with this Power Rangers Super Megaforce game.)

Donkey Kong Land 2 (Nintendo, GB VC) - €3.99/£3.59
Donkey Kong has been kidnapped by the evil King K. Rool who is demanding his entire banana hoard as a ransom! Rather than give up the precious stash, Diddy Kong teams up with Dixie Kong to rescue their pal.

While the story may be familiar to fans of Donkey Kong Country 2, the levels are all new. Jump in with Diddy or Dixie and enlist the help of friendly animal buddies like Rambi the Rhino, Squitter the Spider, Enguarde the Swordfish and Squawks the Parrot to bring DK back to safety!

Donkey Kong Country Weeks from 16/10/2014 until 06/11/2014:
Nintendo 3DS or 2DS users can save 33% on Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D in Nintendo eShop if they first buy one game from the classic Donkey Kong Land series on the same Nintendo 3DS using a Nintendo Network ID!

Legend of the River King 2 (Natsume, GBC VC) - €4.99/£4.49
When a mystical jewel to control nature is stolen, it's up to you and your brother to retrieve it by searching the vast waters of your land, putting your fishing skills to the ultimate test. First you'll need to fish for small fry to feed yourself and to sell for better tackle and rods, before you take on the big catches. Legend of the River King 2 is a massive role-playing adventure featuring all types of angling from fresh water fly-fishing to deep-sea trawling. Plus, try your hand at bug hunting and flower picking, too.

Disney Magical World (Nintendo, available October 24) - €39.99/£34.99
A whole new world awaits players in Disney Magical World, for Nintendo 3DS and 2DS systems. After creating a personalised avatar and a customised dream life, players embark on a 3D fantasy adventure featuring more than 60 iconic Disney characters across a main central plaza and its surrounding worlds inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Aladdin and more. It's all Disney, all the time as players interact with beloved characters, manage a café to earn in-game coins, set off on ghost-hunting quests and even visit friends' towns via Local Play.

Disney Magical World: Seasonal Set - Halloween (Nintendo) - €0.99/£0.89
Disney Magical World: Witches Pumpkin Lantern (Nintendo) - Free
Disney Magical World: Casual Skull T-Shirt (Nintendo) - Free
Disney Magical World: Shiny Mickey Headband (Nintendo) - Free
Disney Magical World: Shiny Minnie Headband (Nintendo) - Free

Animal Crossing: New Leaf Jack, the Czar of Halloween (Nintendo, available October 24) - €1.49/£1.39
This theme features festive folders and icons, spooky music and jack-o'-lanterns. Scroll the Touch Screen to see Jack move.

NES Halloween Link (Nintendo, available October 24) - €1.49/£1.39
Creepy foes, folders with a key design and spooky music await. Scroll the Touch Screen to see 8-bit Link walk in the graveyard.

Special offers
Color Zen (Cypronia) - €2.24/£2.24 (Ends October 30, normally €2.99/£2.99)
Color Zen Kids (Cypronia) - €2.24/£2.24 (Ends October 30, normally €2.99/£2.99)
Angry Bunnies (Cypronia) - Free if you downloaded Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade on Wii U. (Offer ends October 30, regular price €6.49/£5.99)
Fishdom H2O: Hidden Odyssey (Cypronia) - €3.74/£3.35 (Ends October 30, regular price €4.99/£4.49)
Bubble Pop World (Cypronia) - €3.74/£3.35 (Ends October 30, regular price €4.99/£4.49)

Xeodrifter Dev Diary #12 - An interview with Xeodrifter's composer & a new song revealed!

Please make sure to check out the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth installments of the Xeodrifter dev diary, which you can find here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here!


Wednesday, September 12, 2014

Helllo diary!

For this entry I thought it would be great to give you a glimpse into the process behind making chiptunes by chatting with Roth Sothy, who created many of the tunes for Xeodrifter.



1. Hi Roth, thanks for chatting with me about music. At what age did you create your first song? What inspired or encouraged you to create it, and what tools or instruments did you use to create it?

Hey Jools! I've always been surrounded by music growing up. My mom was a vocalist. My dad built a home recording studio and used to release cassette tapes locally back in the 80s and 90s. My uncles still play guitar in bands locally. Music pretty much runs in the family for me. I loved singing along with pop songs and humming to cartoon intros that played on the TV and radio. Learning melody and rhythm became second nature. When I was a kid, I went over a friend's house and played Mario Paint on SNES. There was a little music creating tool on there. That was my first exposure to music creation. Fasting forward a little, it was shortly after we got our first personal computer (Dell Dimension XPS T700r with a Turtle Beach soundcard and 2.1 harmon/kardon speakers). I think I was about 14 years of age when I started playing around with music software. I was a freshman in high school (1999-2000) when a close friend of mine introduced me to bunch of programs including Adobe Photoshop, 3D Studio Max, Dreamweaver, etc. and there was a little program called FruityLoops. I think it was version 2.x or something at the time. We played around with it a little bit, had no idea what we were doing. But it was fun, so I took it home. That's when I started making my own beats. It was just something I did on my leisure; making loops and learning the ins and outs of this DAW (digital audio workstation); pretty much learning to make music in general. They were never completed though. I do remember the first beat I made on there. It was a funky little tune using sound samples the software provided. In 2001, I made my first bootleg remix, well more of a mashup, of a song called "Baby Girl" by an R&B group, InnerVoices. I would trade various music clips of what we made back and forth with my friends. We also played around with MTV Music Generator on the original PlayStation too. Anyone remember that? That was quite fun.

I've never owned my own playing instrument because they were always too expensive. People knew me more for my art side than my music side at the time anyway - the class artist. They did let us play songs with different instruments in elementary and middle school music class, a little piano, xylophone, etc. That was pretty much it. I never had any non-school lessons. Everything was basically self-taught. Any real instrument I ever had was my vocal, and the rest were baby toy instruments or anything I could get my hands just to play with. I would imagine things would be a lot different if I did ever own a guitar or piano.

2. What are some of your biggest inspirations for your own chiptune creations?

I find inspiration from many places from video games to movies/films to expriences in life. Most of all, it's just the love of music! It's the feeling or thought you get when you hear that certain combination of chords, harmony, or lyric. Sometimes, it's that beat, that rhythm that makes you want to get up and bust-a-groove. You just can't get enough of it. For me, I'm very attracted to melody so I have an ear for anything melodically tasteful. You might find it reflected on the tracks I produced. The freedom to create or freedom to express oneself is also what drives me. I could not be happier knowing we can make our own music, let other people hear it and love what you made too. But for chipmusic specifically, I owe it to old school retro video games or just video games in general. Some people even call it Nintendo Music when they hear those bleeps and bloops, haha. There's just something about that sound, the aesthetics of that sound that's so raw, so clear, and so loud, that brings you back to a much simpler time in life but can also take you to a newer place.

3. What is your process for making a new chiptune? Do you have a single way or perhaps multiple ways you tend to use to create a new song?

For me, when it comes to making music, first - a sparking idea, a thought, or emotion. A lot of the time, I'd wake up in the morning with this cool melody and theme just looping in my head. So I try to keep playing it in my head, and add more things to it to make it sound cooler, and more memorable, all this while it's still developing in my head. Then finally, I'd get on the computer and start laying everything down. The fastest way to do this is with a digital audio workstation (DAW) software like FL Studio. So I start that up, pick an instrument, and start laying down the notes. An alternate way, if there's no computer around, I would just use my mobile handset and record an audio clip of myself humming and/or beatboxing the ideas out because I know these will be forgotten later and lost forever. Usually, the melody is what comes first. The melody is the most important. I can already tell what the tempo is (or can be) right after that and what kind of beat pattern fits with that tempo. That is always changeable later too. Then ideas would stem from there.

So there are different ways to make chiptune. Most software and hardware synthesizers can already produce the '8-bit' sound by default or even have patches available to use. A lot of chip artists use a simple tracker program like FamiTracker, nanoloop, or even LSDJ for the Nintendo Game Boy to get the more authentic raw 4-bit GB sound. Some bands like to combine the chip sound with modern sounds and actual instruments. I guess it depends on the style you want go for. NESTracker, Musetracker, MilkyTracker, SunVox are some other ones. I like MilkyTracker too, it's based off of FastTracker II on the old DOS/Amiga systems. My favorite way is through a DAW, namely FL Studio, and a VSTi plugin called Magical 8bit Plug. It's developed by Takeshi Yokemura, 1/3 member of a well-known Japanese chiptune band named YMCK. They've done music for the DSiWare game, Art Style: PiCTOBiTS. A lot of my sounds are created using Magical 8bit Plug. It's available for free download on their official website. http://www.ymck.net/en/download/magical8bitplug/ As long as you have a DAW or Audio Unit that supports VST plugins, you are good to go.



So here's how magical8bitplug looks once I open it in FL Studio. It may look different in other DAW or sequencers. It's a simple VST that uses the native GUI of whatever parent program it's opened in:



With magical8bitPlug, you got your Osc shape dial so you can switch between square, triangle, noise, and pulse waveforms. There's the Volume. Then there's ADSR (Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release) which lets you adjust and transform your sound to create the instrument you want. I usually tweak away at this spot a lot and make new instruments/sounds as I go.

Here's how one of the Xeodrifter projects look like:



It's an old version of FL Studio that came free with my soundcard - Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro. Normally, it wouldn't be all brightly colored like that. I reopened the project and recolored each channel and instrument just to make it more presentable and pretty to look at. My projects are usually a bit more messy, but I try to keep it clean and organized sometimes.

So I'll do a little tour of FL Studio. This is good for people that are looking to get into music production. Starting from the top you got the Time, play controls, tempo, CPU/RAM usage stats, and window toggles, etc. At the far left, you have your Browser - convenient access to all your project files and audio WAV samples. Next, you have the Pattern box which contains all the Channels and instruments. Each one of these are actually magical8bitPlug VST, but I've altered each as their own instrument. You can rename each channel however you like. In this case, I name them by the sound shape or what instrument they are (lead, chord, etc.), which helps to identify them. You also have access to the volume and pan knobs here. To the right of that, is the Piano roll window, and this is where you jot down all your notes. It's where the magic happens, really. This is the link between your mind and the track you're working on. Any sequencer should have this editor. FL Studio is very flexible, so if you like, you can hook up a keyboard through MIDI or microphone, click record, start playing, and notes or waveform would appear in real-time as you play. I just do it the hard way by placing each note one after another. It's kind of like pixel art in a way. It takes a lot of practice and lots and lots of patience. You can adjust the velocity/volume and panning of the channel through here as well. Underneath there, you see one of the Channel settings open. That lets you adjust the pan, volume, and pitch, and assign to a FX channel on the Mixer (which is located all the way at the bottom right). The [--] indicates it is not on any of the FX channels, only the Master channel. Now for this project, I refrain from using any FX (like reverb, echo, distortion, etc.) to keep a more NES feel. The only thing I have are the EQ for a couple channels as you can see at the bottom, and one default Limiter at the Master channel just so nothing would get too loud and distort. The EQs don't necessarily need to even be there either. I can disable them or take them out if I wanted. It's a habit in music production, and helps when you want to get your instrument sounding the way you want it to. Somewhere in the middle there, you see the Fruiter Wrapper which contains the magical8bitPlug VST. You can bring the VST's interface up when you click any of the channels in the Pattern box, and in the Channel settings, click Plugin tab. Now to the right of that, that big box field is the Playlist. Each of those small colored boxes are all of your patterns. Unlike Trackers which play/preview the song vertically, the sequencer here plays the song horizontally. You can paint and chop the patterns up just as you would in the Piano roll, and structure your song to how you like it. Again, I used color and name to ID each instrument, etc. The gray colored patterns are actually empty, but I used them to write my initials on there for this screenshot. Underneath there, is a little Dancer visualization - just a little anime character that dances to the sound as you click play. Not necessary, but it's cute. Then finally, to the bottom right, is the Mixer where you have your assigned FX channels and audio levels.

So once I feel the track is complete or near completion, I'd give a listen, then export it to mp3 or wav and give it some more test listens on multiple devices like mobile phones/handsets or a radio or something just to hear how they'd sound on the those speakers or headphones. If there's anything I notice that needs changing or fixing, I'd go back do that.

4. In your opinion, who are some of the finest examples of chiptune artists, and what are some examples of their best works?

I listen to many types of music, and my interest grows each day. But I've always had an affinity for electronic music and music from old video games that I've played. So if you want to count that, then Koji Kondo still remains as one of my favorites for composing some of the best music for my favorite video game series of all time, The Legend of Zelda. Surely, he and many other legendary VGM composers (David Wise, Manami Matsumae, Nobou Uematsu, Hirokazu Tanaka, Yuzo Koshiro, Michiru Yamane..) had been an inspiration to a lot of today's artists, not only in the chiptune scene, but in other styles of music as well.

As for modern chiptune artists, there are so many to recommend and many new arising. One of the first artists that got me into chipmusic was, I think, a drummer who went by the name of Duracell because he drums non-stop like the Energizer bunny. About 8 years ago, I saw a video of him performing music from Space Harrier, and I was just in awe, still amazing today. Nullsleep, Glomag, Goto80, Covox, 8-Bit Weapon, Bit Shifter, Bubblyfish, Freezepop, YMCK were some I started diving into through compilation CDs and YouTube findings. These are just some of the guys that really pioneered chipmusic from the early days of the demoscene to what it is now. I browsed music communities like 8bitpeoples (which Nullsleep runs), 8bitcollective, micromusic, OCReMix, VGMix, Arecibo Radio, which was how I later discovered great musicians like virt (Jake Kaufman), coda, C-Jeff, 4mat, minusbaby, Dubmood, Sabrepulse, Fighter X, Kplecraft, Unicorn Kid, Firebrand Boy, Disasterpeace, Henry Homesweet, Alex Mauer, and so many others. Check out Random (aka Mega Ran) if you're into nerdcore hip-hop, rap over chip beats. Dj CUTMAN is another one; he's always spinning the latest in chiptunes. A few of them have made music for well-known indie games like the Bit.Trip series and Fez. I onced witnessed Anamanaguchi perform live at PAX East 2010, announcing their involvement in the Scott Pilgrim vs The World The Game soundtrack, got to meet them and got their CDs and group pic. Then I saw them again earlier this year at PAX East 2014. "Helix Nebula" is an oldie but goodie from this band that I would introduce to my friends. Their new album, Endless Fantasy, which was crowd-funded on Kickstarter, is definitely worth checking out. Any new listeners who are open-minded and looking to get into this type of music, should like video game music first and then try that album out.

5. Regarding the chiptunes that you have created for Xeodrifter, what technical limitations did you put on yourself in the creation of the tunes in regards to sounds chips, numbers of tracks, etc.

Chipmusic itself is limited by the hardware, but that's the beauty of it. For the NES, you got your square, triangle, noise, and pulse. They're the most basic forms of sound ever. Then you have your volume and pitch controls. It's all up to you and your creativity to make the most of these basic sounds. There's an option to use lo-fi PCM samples too on the NES, but even that, I limit myself from using samples. I wanted to keep everything pure and sample-free. Every kick, snare, percussive sound are made from scratch and put as a separate instrument or channel as I go. However, I do bend the rules a little bit by adjusting the tempo to whatever speed I want and using as many channels as I want. The tunes I wrote for Xeodrifter were more "barebones" from what I'd usually do when it comes to the style. I keep the number of channels/patterns to a minimum as I can. Anything I don't need, I strip it away. No effects plugins. Anything that sounds like an echo or phaser/flanger can actually be replicated manually by repeating the same note timely after the lead on another channel or pattern if you want and adjusting the volume level of that to your liking. If done right, it gives off the "illusion" that it sounds like an echo. It takes some experimenting, but the more you play around with it, you'll find different techniques to create all kinds of sounds. By limiting yourself, you learn to be more creative and come up with a totally different solution than what you would've originally done. Sometimes, that can lead to even more cooler ideas.

I think what's limiting and most challenging for me was Time. I had about 2 and half weeks, maybe a little more, to come with up some original theme music. I was definitely up to the task, and took the challenge bravely by default. This had forced me to push my creativity level up the highest it has ever been. I had never done so many tunes within that set amount of time. Although each track is only a couple minutes long, just coming up with those melodies and putting them all together takes a bit of time and effort. Then proof-listening to them, making sure they are the way I want them. I surprise even myself at times. You never what you are capable of until you push yourself... Limit Break!

6. You created many (all?) of the Xeodrifter chiptunes without seeing any reference for the game - which is really impressive! Do you find your perspective of your own chip tunes is altered in any way when you hear it in context in the game or the trailer?

Oh man, definitely! When you came to me and asked me if I wanted to make music for Renegade Kid’s new game, being a Renegade Kid fan, I couldn't say no. You described what kind of track you wanted for the first one. So everything I made was based on that description in mind. I think if I had known that it was going to be an outer space/Metroid/Moon style game, I would've gone for that more dark ambient atmosphere. But then it might sound too much like Metroid. There was at least one track that felt like Metroid, and that's the one people have heard already. There's another one I'm proud of that sounds like it belongs in a classic Mega Man game. I can't wait to hear how you guys think of that track if it does end up in the game. All the music was already done and sent by the time Xeodrifter was revealed. I had no idea what to expect at that reveal. Even I was surprised when I saw it, but super super excited! But I'm staying confident. I just need to see more of the game!

7. Is there anything you would like to talk about or comment on? Anything you like. :)

I'm very excited for Xeodrifter! I know a lot of you are too, and we can't wait to learn the release date. The same goes for Treasurenauts and other halted RK projects. After that is done, I hope we finally get to see RK make a return to the horror genre. I love horror games and horror movies, and RK's first release was one that really laid an impression on me.

Ultimately, I want to thank GoNintendo for this feature and the rest of the GoNin Community for keeping this site afloat. It's one of the best, if not the best, online communities for video games on the net. I'm so glad to get the chance to meet some of you in person. Shout outs to the #gonintendo IRC and podcast crew.

Never stop imagining. Keep on exploring. Peace and much respect! \:D/


This is the tune we revealed previously...


And, here’s a brand new tune to check out!

Yacht Club says Shovel Knight wouldn't have hit Wii U/3DS, or might not exist at all without Dan Adelman

Coming from David D’Angelo of Yacht Club Games...

Without Dan, Shovel Knight wouldn’t be on the Wii U/3DS and maybe it wouldn’t exist at all. We essentially sent Dan a blind email before our Kickstarter asking if we could be approved as developers on the platforms. He put his full trust in us and the game – without that, who knows if the Kickstarter would have even funded!

He is unbelievably supportive of indies, and it’s amazing to see a person so committed to aiding smaller teams so that they can focus on creating interesting and unique experiences. Also, he’s a spicy curry champ. Champion of indies and spicy curry…what more could you want?

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