Sunday, September 30

Jam Sessions

I've been playing around with Jam Sessions for the Nintendo DS. I was firstly disappointed by its 'game' mode. Putting that aside, Jam Sessions is a truly amazing guitar simulator. Not only succeeds on (somehow)feeling like a guitar, but it also lets you apply FX such as reverb, chorus, tremolo, flanger and echo. Only two effects can be stacked simultaneously though.

However, the real power of this game/guitar simulator can only be exploited when plugged into a computer. As if it was a real guitar connected to an amp, Apple's GarageBand can transform the input waveform into more interesting sounds and rythms.

JamSessions + GarageBand + iMac

A week ago, with little previous knowledge of GarageBand and after 3-4 hours I was able to produce this low-quality piece:


Four tracks use the guitar-sim as input(e.g. the first thing you hear), then I added a drum-kit and bass rhythm from the app library. For the distortion thing in 40-50 I used an Audacity-edited sample of a distorted guitar chord.

The bottom line is, I had a lot of fun composing this, and I'd like to spend another afternoon with GarageBand and JamSessions soon.

Thursday, September 27

Improving video capture performance with Fraps

As some of you might already know, I'm in the process of making some videos of SunAge. I am using Fraps to do the video capture on a Bootcamp partition on my iMac. After some weeks capturing full-screen 1280x780 clips @30 FPS, performance started to degrade until a point where it couldn't handle video capture at all.

I spent quite some time figuring out the cause of this, and it turned out that HDD fragmentation was the cause. I had been installing/uninstalling a lot of things recently, and the several SVN repositories with thousands of files had caused a massive fragmentation on the FAT32 partition, thus severely degrading the HDD write throughput.

Finally, after a full defragmentation, Fraps works as a charm again and I can keep taking gameplay clips for the SunAge trailer ;)

PD: New blog theme! Moving away from the former dark tones to a cheerful 'sandy stone beach' color scheme.

Sunday, September 16

Games I look forward to

So many games, so little time! In no particular order:

  • Mass Effect (X360, don't have one though..)
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass (NDS)
  • Geometry Wars: Galaxies (NDS)
  • Team Fortress 2 (PC)
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two (PC)
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (PC/Mac)
  • Jam Sessions (NDS)

Monday, September 3

Upcoming events for Fall 2007

London Game Career Fair, 23-24 October - The perfect place for newcomers to apply for jobs in the industry. Entrance is free and you can start sending your resumes now to set up interviews in advance with the attending companies. I *might* go with a couple of friends... even if it's just to attend some sessions. I must get done with other things first, and I want to finish my degree too before I start looking for a fulltime job again.

Lyon Game Developers Conference, 3-4 December - The european version of the GDC, taking place in France for the first time. I'd love to attend –mainly for networking– but tickets are usually quite expensive, in the 300-500€ range. So not GDC for me yet.

First official DOID meeting, 29 September - The brand-new spanish game developers association will have its first official meet-up in Valencia later this month. I will be there : )

Art Futura 2007, 25-28 October - Once again the Festival of Digital Culture and Creativity will be held in Barcelona. I had the opportunity to visit the city last year and attended most sessions. It's a must if you live near or you have the resources to spend the weekend there.