Designing a game soundtrack – kind of like we first got to pick the fonts in our documents

Can you compose crappy music? I had a field day today ‘designing’ a bit of music for my “Game Of Life” Android game. In the old old days, when computers for the first time allowed you to choose a font for your text. we all became bad amateur typographers and book designers. Do you remember the “ransom note” font in the original Macintosh (yeah, that was 1984?) It looked like this:

Ransom note

We loved it and everyone played with it. And there were lots of other ugly fonts but how did we love them.

Well now (for me) the same thing is happening with music. Yeah I am an amateur piano and guitar player but designing a sound track is not something I have a clue about. So I went digging through tools and toys and, more or less like those early days of customizable fonts, here’s what the tools allowed me to create for my video game.

I have to say it’s awful and makes me want to bash my head in but, for your listening pleasure:

GOLsoundtrack.mp3

Game Design talk by Jesse Schell

If you are interested in Game Design you have probably seen this video… I finally watched it and thought it was really worth sharing. I definitely recommend it. Jesse Schell is funny and engaging to listen to and has great insights to offer. The last 7 or so minutes is a fantastic riff on how gaming might / will invade our everyday life in the future. Very plausible.

http://www.g4tv.com/lv3/44277

[GEEKY] Poker AI

An interesting article about how to think about designing Artificial Intelligence for playing poker. It’s high level but gives you a good feel about how this writer went about the design. You also learn the basics of Poker at the same time:

“It is very important in this type of project, for any AI project really, to fully understand the rules of the game and the tactics typically used to win. So when I worked on poker I spent a fair amount of time reading the best books and playing the game, both against existing AI and real humans of various levels of experience.” (from Poker AI: A Starting Point)

And here’s a follow up article on the same topic: “Aces High: Numerical Techniques in Poker AI