MaestroRage's News

Getting to the end of this road.

2009-06-22 00:56:49 by MaestroRage
Updated

EDIT:
Taking a much needed vacation, be back in a week. Will be thinking more clearly then.


Bah humbug!

2009-06-15 01:06:12 by MaestroRage

Something is in the air. It smells like summer.

I should go out sometime.


Mandi- "Goodbye, Newgrounds"

2009-06-01 16:49:50 by MaestroRage
Updated

Hey guys, Mandi here.

I'm just going to make this as short and to the point as possible, and just kind of get out of the way without wasting any time. What I have to say is true; I've just sort of had enough. I've been contemplating this for quite a long time and a lot of reasons held me back, but I've just sort of come to the realization that I am pretty much beating a dead horse. I don't quite belong here, and I've known that deep in my heart for a very long time. So it's time to pack my things and hit the trails; a lot of things in my life are changing drastically right now, and so this is the perfect opportunity to burn my bridges while I still can.
I've had some beautiful memories here, and I will never forget them. Thank you all for having me as long as you have, and thank the majority of you for being nice to me. And Selcuk, I'm really honestly sorry. You'll be reading this soon and won't even know I was going to do this.
Anyway, wrapping this up. I'm sorry if this inconveniences anybody; those were not my intentions. I wish the best of luck to all of you, especially you Selcuk.

Thank you all.

Sincerely,
Mandi N.


My Journey Chronicles, How and what I did to get where I am.

2009-05-16 03:05:24 by MaestroRage
Updated

Over time people have pm'ed me asking me how I got started, how I did what I did, how I got where I am, etc etc. I don't consider myself madly successful or really somebody that should be a role model but I figure, hell, I might as well just throw all my cards on the table and let people take what they want from it. I make no guarantee that any of this will ensure your own success, everybody is responsible for their own journey, this is just explaining mine.

1: How I got started composing for games/movies
1a: How you SHOULD start composing for games/movies
2: How I network
2a: Tips
3: My advice on whether you should compose for games/for albums
4: Sources of Revenue (coming soon)
5: Ways to weed out projects that will never make it.
6: Asking the right questions before starting a job. (coming soon)

Extra:
- What I use software/hardware

Please feel free to ask me anything, I will be refining this thing over time, and if i'm missing out any important details let me know and i'll explain it.

Hope this helps somebody.

have another pic of lul

My Journey Chronicles, How and what I did to get where I am.


Unit 2: Networking

2009-05-16 02:38:13 by MaestroRage

2: How I network
2a: Tips

2: How I network
I use various means of networking, some more effective then others. Since I am largely an aspiring game composer I dedicate time to spreading material on gaming sites. places like

www.moddb.com
Every RPG Maker forum I could find (that looked like it was still alive)
www.onrpg.com (my very first group I worked with stemmed from this site)
NG of course
Kongregate forums
Armor Games Forums (haven't really done anything here yet)
gamedev.net (or any other game development forum that has an advertisement section)

The onrpg.com and rpg maker forums are not to find people to work with, but to find people who would appreciate and use my tracks. Ambitious people who will cherish the tracks I grant them for free legal use, it's almost like giving free money to them and personally it gives me a good feeling as well. I remember how hard it was to find good free stuff when I was in RPG Maker myself, and so to give these tracks to that cause not only gives me a few more fans, but if any of them get serious, they might want to reach out and get in contact with me. One of them may aspire to become great, and the chance to rise with that person presents itself.

In short, I plant the seeds, as I never know who I'll find where and what kind of awesome project I'll want to be a part of.

Don't forget the more serious places like Kong/AG to advertise your services, Gamedev and other game development sites will help you connect with people who develop indie games, xbox games, iphone etc etc. Why limit yourself to just flash movies/games? There is a world of code out there, dozens of coding languages, each capable of producing a game, and many with thousands of developers creating a game. Don't say to yourself "I can't find them!", they're everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Smart google searches will give you at least 10 places to advertise.

Once you've done all this, you'll start meeting people for sure. And slowly you will be introduced to more people. I have a long list of animators and coders as well as fellow composers. I meet more interesting people with time and that's just awesome.

2a: Tips
- Professionalism. Have some. Don't write sloppy posts as if you just came fresh off the MySpace boat. Proper grammar, ambitious attitude, willingness to contribute, good demos. These are all crucial. Lack one and you'll miss out. Especially if you want to work on the bigger, more weighty projects. To start off you can relax your powersuit attitude, but you should get in the habit of presenting yourself properly. YOU represent you, nobody else, so make damn sure YOU represent YOU well.

- Realistically gauge yourself. It's very tempting to take every and all projects offered to you. But be realistic with yourself. How long does it take you to write a song? Can you work without being "inspired"? Can you create a song without having to be in "the zone"?. If not, give yourself lots of buffer space. That way the pressure won't destroy you (damn my life, there were some dark months where I made that mistake).

- When you say you'll do something. Do it. Nothing is worse then losing a valuable connection to somebody else when you knew damn well you could have done it. This ties in with the second point of being realistic. Don't say you can write 50 songs in 1 week, you'll dissapoint a lot of people including yourself.

- Prepare to defend your choices. Developers don't often know what they want exactly, only a vague idea. They may ask for something that you know wouldn't work. Don't nod your head and go "yessums". Say that you can see their point but that you have another idea on what you think would work better. 90% of the time the developer will yield and give you total creative control. The other 10% you have to bite the bullet if negotiations don't work and do what they say. Who knows, you're not always right either, perhaps they're depending on something they told you to make.

(Please make all comments/ask questions via pm as I probably won't see it here as time passes)


Unit 1: How to Get started

2009-05-16 02:33:05 by MaestroRage
Updated

1: How I got started composing for games/movies
1a: How you SHOULD start composing for games/movies

1: How I got started composing for games/movies
Getting started is usually the trickiest part. How do you get your stuff out there and start working with developers? I mean sure you could just keep uploading and hopefully at some point an animator/programmer will want to work with you, and to be honest, though this was in fact how I got started it's nowhere near the best way. I'll talk about that in section 2.

Yes I kept uploading because at first I didn't really care if I would work with people or not. I just wanted to tell a story through audio, do what I wanted to do, and kept at it having fun. At some point I got a pm from a developer who said "listen, i'm making a project, j00 needs to join meh efforts" and I said "'kay :3"

True story.

1a: How you SHOULD got started composing for games/movies
If you're on NG, chances are you're production skills are at a beginner stage. Don't expect to be working on masterpieces right away, the portal is FILLED with animators/coders who are in the same boat as you. Aspiring, not yet there, but getting there. It is in this stage where you have to expect a lot of projects to dwindle and die.

Young and ambitious animators/coders want to code the next WoW that works in a browser, and young and ambitious audio producers want to produce the next killer soundtrack for the next WoW that works in a browser. Everything will start off on a high note, but rest assured you will experience many projects that come to a crawl and stop, until at some point everybody silently acknowledges the project went south for the winter and isn't coming back.

Knowing this, don't get discouraged. PM/email these people who are at the same level as you and talk to them. Introduce yourself and let them know if they would like custom music made for their next project, you are willing to help. A lot of my strongest and closest friends are those I met years and years ago this way! I work closely with them still, and every time I contact a new person or group, that's another potential friend and network I earn.

When it comes down to building a future together, it is often best to do it with people you have worked with again and again and are on good terms with. That way you want to do your best by them and they by you. Passion meeting friendship can result in some fascinating projects.

Also remember that most aspiring developers will be psyched knowing they're getting custom music, so be extra careful about what music you make for the project since even if it's not really appropriate they'd be too afraid to hurt your feelings and tell you so. I've on so many occassions while starting out thought "well that didn't fit" and wish I had paid more attention to the demo/screenshots.

All this leads to my next point.
(please ask questions/comments via pm, as chances are I won't see them here after time has passed)


Unit 3: Deciding on Composing for Albums/Games

2009-05-12 17:08:54 by MaestroRage
Updated

3: Should you compose for games or make albums?
This is a tough question. I mean I believe every musician is CAPABLE of producing music for games, but not everybody is HAPPY with it. There are things you must consider.
- You are no longer in complete control over your music.
- You must work by deadlines
- You must know your rights
- You must be able to work on a project even if your heart isn't entirely into it
- You must be willing to explore and meet ideas.

But what are the positives?
- Much wider exposure of your music (a good flash game alone can hit millions of plays)
- More substantial money (this is of course once you start getting into the bigger projects, and a well known album on iTunes can generate you MUCH more unless you're hitting the AAA games.
- More opportunities/gateways to other interesting jobs and people.

It ultimately comes down to asking yourself if you find working on your own terms more alluring then expressing the dreams of others, because at the end of the day that's what you're doing. You're given a task, perhaps some reference material, and asked to produce something of a certain sense/style. Often when you are given a temp song you are expected to produce something of that sense and style, so you have to have a fairly good ear to pick things apart. Now when you're starting out this isn't a big problem, but as you expand your network and make more songs be aware that this plays a more and more critical role. Start practicing early so when it becomes important you'll have your things in order.

Many composers find the challenge of adapting to anything exciting, and I often get this buzz. Being thrown into a world that's not my own, meeting characters and scenerios that I have no control over, yet it is my duty to capture that story as best I can, and though madly frustrating sometimes, it is an enjoyable accomplishment if you manage to pull it off right.

It's hard to tell of course, if you like one or the other until you've tried it. If that is the case, please refer to Unit 1 where I talk about how to get started.


Unit 5: How to weed out projects that will fail.

2009-05-09 01:35:59 by MaestroRage
Updated

5: How to weed out the projects that will never make it

Now it's no secret many projects that you enter into run the risk of never making it. And of course many of those are due to loss of passion or members realizing the goal was much more difficult then they envisioned (we are all learning after all, these things are inevitable). I make no claim that this guide is the stone written rule that dictates if a project will make it or not, these are just the signs of diseased ambition. On few occassions the projects DO make it. Here are some things you should watch out for. Remember THIS GUIDE IS FOR PROJECTS OF PASSION WHERE EVERYBODY IS WORKING FOR FREE AT THE BEGINNING AND LOWER END PROJECTS, WHEN MONEY IS INVOLVED, THINGS GET DONE MUCH MORE CONSISTANTLY ;D!

1: The creator/founder's talents other then story and design. A game founded by somebody who can only say "go make stuff for my vision" is going to fail, no exception. Or at least, out of the dozens of projects I dragged myself through there was no exception. The leader must actively show that he is working just like everybody else, if not much more. He needs to show them that this project is going to get finished with or without them, and it's going to be big, so it's in their best interest to make damn sure they follow through. A "creative director" only leader will quickly lose respect of the other members especially if they're not being paid for it. They will slowly begin to resent that they're spending all their time for somebody who will reap the most credit (as founder).

2: Project Potential. If it's a big ambitious project, how realistic is the end goal. A fighting game like street fighter for example, is a game people very often think is easy to make unless they're a programmer, or experienced with big projects like that, and have an intimate knowledge of what needs to be programmed, they are always going to be giving out orders that make them look noob and unfit to lead this ties in directly with 1, the founder has to know EVERYTHING, they can't be "Creative Director" unless you are aware of all the creative energy you're directing

3: Type of personality. The leader should not be afraid to lead. If a director is too leniant or too lax with what's going on then what you're going to end up with is a mess of patchwork. These songs don't quite go with these levels, this model looks bulky compared to that and this, and it starts to look less and less unified. A leader who is always trying to keep everybody happy in fear of losing them, will quickly find things falling apart.

4: Intelligent planning. If the leader wants EVERYBODY who can do ANYTHING remotely useful from step 1 then that's a pretty big sign of impending failure. What need does the leader have for music without an engine? What good is a sound effect if there is no hit collision? Having a large group of people get together at once is going to make half the team useless. When this happens the team begins to lose focus, starts screwing around and that pisses off people who ARE working. And when the director tries to make the creative team do work, 90% chance is that work done at the beginning won't fit and in order to please them the noob director may try to make it fit which equates to sub standard product at best. Ties in directly with point 3.

More points will be added as they come to mind.


Upcoming game release!

2009-04-24 23:28:10 by MaestroRage
Updated

In the coming days (like, 2 days max I think), Septenary will release his latest masterpiece tenderly called Tower Tactics : Aphelion Towers. Some of you may have noticed the... slew of songs that i've thrown up crediting to this game. I'm thankful Septenary let me stuff so much into the game XD! It's a seriously sweet project and I was too happy to be a part of it.

There are a few other projects (I haven't forgotten you Balvuc, I swear i'm on it, exams just finished!), that hopefully will be out soon. Some (like Balvuc's mentioned last sentence) are truly ones that let me explore new territory musically so really excited to get working on that.

Meter ( $119.18 / $464.00 ) | 25.68% + $0.91 since last updated on May 4th

lastly, another lul pic. I love these.

Upcoming game release!


Great Epic tracks!!! Also minor updates.

2009-04-18 20:27:41 by MaestroRage
Updated

i'm copying Karco who copied gregaaron89 who copied MICHhimself who copied xKore who copied Sp1r1T

but WritersBlock did it first, inspired by ZekeySpaceLizard's posts,

But it's TIME FOR SOME EPIC STUFFZ! Let's start off with some epic choirs

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This song captivated me. I listen to it still, almost religiously

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One of my favorite themes. The thing Mancina does here with the violins and the soprano's voice mind blowing imo. Crappy YouTube quality may diminish effect. Also ignore the "deep" slideshow by what's her face.

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another theme from the same series.<div class="blogmedia">
I used to load this game just to hear this song. Pinar Toprak does some excellent melodic play here, the battle song for the game is even better but I can't find it now.

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Olivier's composition for the game Alone in the Dark far outshined the game itself I feel

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Plus, I will be releasing a lot of song material with the upcoming release of 2 games, one The Great Siege already released on Kongregate and another still hidden from the public view. I hope you will enjoy them when they come out!

Meter ( 110.15 / 464.00 ) | 23.73% + $0.91

Also, here's another pic that makes meh lul.

ALSO

Dreams do come true.

Great Epic tracks!!! Also minor updates.