Archive for the ‘ personal ’ Category

My First Spotify – “Name the Artist” trivia game

Like many, I was paying close attention last week during the run up to Spotify’s “big announcement”.  When they revealed their plan to integrate apps within their ecosystem, I was intrigued. I decided to jump right in and try and build something within Spotify for a couple of reasons: 1) They are a major player in the new music industry and its interesting to see how they are approaching apps.  2) I’ve been learning HTML5/JS and I saw an opportunity to put my skills to the test.  3) I’ve been meaning to revisit the amazing Echo Nest Platform, and after seeing this blog post by Paul Lamere I was inspired to give it a shot.  Now that I’ve gone through the process, I wanted to share the outcome as well as some tips and tricks I picked up along the way.

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Corporate Creativity

Several months back Activision CEO Bobby Kotick caused quite a stir when, during a long interview with Forbes magazine, he implied that DJ Hero was a mistake and that it sucked focus away from the Guitar Hero games and led to the demise of the franchise as a whole.  This set off quite an uproar among the gaming community (as is typical when Mr. Kotick says, well… just about anything).

Now, some disclosures and disclaimers before I carry on:

  1. I became an Activision employee in 2009 when my company (7 Studios) was acquired, and spent 2 years working within the “Hero” brand on new music game concepts.  I was there up to and including the shuttering of the franchise and the mass layoffs that followed.
  2. Prior to that, I created and led the development of Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, a game that was set to compete head-to-head against DJ Hero.

But this isn’t an excuse to bad-mouth my former employer, or talk trash about the Hero games and the decisions made during their lifecycle.  What’s done is done; I’ve moved on, and so has most of the gaming community. Continue reading

On Generative Music – “In C” performed by Max/MSP

“Generative music” can be loosely defined as music created by a system and then evolved over time according to the rules or constraints of that system.  This can be a mechanical system, a piece of computer software, or even a set of live human performers following a specific set of instructions.  Wikipedia credits Brian Eno with coining the term (along with many other aspects of modern electronic music as we know them today).  The truth is, I’ve been interested in the concept since way before I’d ever heard the term (or even heard of Brian Eno), and I’ve done a lot of tinkering and prototyping in this area.  It turns out that generative music systems have the potential to play a huge role in gaming and interactive audio, topics I will certainly explore further in future posts.  But for today, I’d like to present one particular experiment in the area. Continue reading

There & Back

It’s been a bit more than 6 years since I packed up my car and made the drive from Boston out to Los Angeles, and it’s been a blur.  I came out here with a background in music & technology, and a desire to apply my talents towards developing video games.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into… Continue reading

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