I'm not particularly musically inclined. That being said, I love music and games that use music well.
I've experimented with numerous online music composition programs (particularly ones that do a lot of the work for you), and I want to draw you attention today to BeepBox.
It's one of the most robust chiptune music composition programs you'll find that also manages to stay user-friendly and easily approachable.
You can, like me, just start clicking stuff and, as if by magic, it'll probably sound good. Keep layering and adding to it and you'll have a pretty cool song pretty quickly.
If you actually have musical talent, you can change the key, rhythm, scale, as well as various instrument settings, and make a pretty awesome, complex song that sounds like it's straight out of one of the great chiptune albums of yore (like the VVVVVV soundtrack, for example).
All of the song data is stored in the URL, so all you have to do to save it is bookmark the page once your song is created. PRETTY sweet, to say nothing of the remarkably easy .wav export button.
Beyond that, it has built in Twitter functionality. Even if you don't use Twitter, you can take a look at the feed of people sharing their songs, and, if you're not feeling all that confident about your own creations, you can reach out to someone who is and ask for permission to use their songs. I've done this in the past and people have been very willing to share their work (provided I wasn't making money off of them, which I wasn't).
So, give it a try. Share your songs with me on Twitter or in the comments! Here's one I whipped up in a few minutes to get you started.
Quick shout-out to John Nesky for making such an awesome piece of software!
Every now and then, I won't be feeling very creative. Try as I might, any game development work I try to do gets nowhere.
At times like this, I try to find some inspiration. Oftentimes, this means playing an hour or so of a great game (recently it's been FRACT OSC). But sometimes, all it takes is seeing some art that gives me a new idea.
Now, coming up with a new idea isn't always a good thing, especially if it means your other projects fall by the wayside. But if I see something that gives me a cool game idea, and I spend an hour or so prototyping it out, then I'm back in the groove. And then (hopefully!), I can get back to what I actually want to work on.
Some art that's gotten me thinking lately are these two random sprite generators: this one by Boris van Schooten (of Tomatic Games) and this one by Carl Olsson (AKA Uninhabitant).
Take a look at both of them, and just see if they don't, for lack of a less-gross phrase, get your creative juices flowing. And, heck, you might even get a solid game idea out of one or both of them. Or perhaps a character design concept. Who knows?
Do you know of any other random image generators? I'd love to see them! Share the love! Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!
I ultimately decided to submit this final choice, Strange Gravity, for two reasons:
I submitted it a week ago and heard back that I got a table a few days ago. Over the course of the three-day weekend (thanks to a snow day from work), I have done, gosh, maybe 25 solid hours of work on the game - not including the feverish brainstorming I always seem to do for a half hour or so every night after I turn off my bedside lamp.
What can you take away from this?
But, of course, here I am giving advice, and I haven't even been to my first demo night yet. Here's hoping it goes well!
Have you shown off your game at demo nights before? Other venues? How did you prepare?