SNESMusic.org ~ Game profile: Jungle Book

SNESMusic.org ~ Game profile: Jungle Book

This site is cool! And probably violates a lot of copyrights!

The site hosts the actual musical performances from Super NES games. They downloaded the ROM data and run an emulator that generates the music. You can get a plug-in for WinAmp and then open their "RSN" files directly and hit play. Very nice. (Actually, you might need to associate "RSN" with WinAmp first.)

The piece I arranged and performed is the title track to The Jungle Book. This version is on SNES but it was also used on the Genesis. It's "The Bare Necessities Rag".

I have another game music credit, except uncredited, which is the two chords for the Adrenium Studios logo. The cool thing about that is that it was performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra. It's played during the logo for all three Adrenium Games console games: Azurik, Samurai Jack, and Lemony Snicket.


Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD

Blu-ray to Win Format War, says Forrester Research:
"It will be a long, tedious war but Forrester Research is convinced that the Sony-led Blu-ray format will succeed in replacing DVD as the next-generation disc. The irony, however, is that by the time consumers are ready to switch digital media may be far more important than physical media. More within..."

[Edit January 14, 2006 - Ha! Blu-Ray machines at CES cost over $1,000 while HD-DVD was $500! Blu-Ray is dead.]

I am pro HD-DVD but the Hollywood people don't know anything and Sony can convince them to use Blu-Ray because of PS3 and Sony Picures etc. It holds more storage which sounds good to Hollywood studio types.

Gates said everyone better get this right since it's likely to be the last physical distribution format ever, as streaming downloads begin to take over. That's actually an argument FOR Blu-Ray because it's bigger! If this is the last format, then make it as big as possible!

I have a friend that says DVD is the last format that will matter. We already don't need a bigger disk format. With MPEG-4 a high-def movie can go on the current DVD format. But his real point is that it's all gonna be on-line anyway.

"The home activity of the future will be very digital, we actually call it the digital lifestyle," he said. "Your music, of course, is already moving away from being on a physical media to just being on a hard disk or streamed across the Internet. My daughter, who's 9, asked me as we went into a record store what a record was, and, of course, she's never seen a record, and five years from now people will say what's a CD, why did you have to go to the case and open something up and you couldn't sequence it your own playlist way; that will be a thing of the past."

Gates continued, "Likewise, even for videos that will happen. The format that's under discussion right now, HD versus Blu-ray, that's simply the last physical format we'll ever have. Even videos in the future will either be on a disk in your pocket or over the Internet and therefore far more convenient for you. You can organize things the way you want and it will show up on all these different devices."

Gates is against Blu-Ray because he doesn't like the copy protection scheme - it doesn't allow making copies to laptops etc. very easy. HD-DVD does, and of course locks the copy to the computer, so it can't be further redistributed. (Gates seems to think that you can't even watch a Blu-Ray movie on your laptop - that the PC wouldn't be granted the rights to even read the disc in the first place. Maybe. I dunno.)

(Also - this is really amazing, BTW, and nobody talks about it - whatever is used will use something like MPEG-4 if not the actual MPEG-4. MPEG-4 is about 10 times better than MPEG-2. So these giant disks will hold an additional 10x more video than the current generation. The DivX people aren't kidding when they say "DivX - the MP3 of video!" I've seen DivX video at 1/10th the size of the original MPEG-2 and it looks terrific. So, if Blu-Ray storage is 25 gigabytes, then that would be about the same as a 250 gigabyte DVD because of the vastly superior encoding.)

From: http://www.blu-ray.com/faq/#1.5:

1.5 How much data can you fit on a Blu-ray disc?

A single-layer disc can fit 23.3GB, 25GB or 27GB.
A dual-layer disc can fit 46.6GB, 50GB or 54GB.

To ensure that the Blu-ray Disc format is easily extendable (future-proof) it also includes support for multi-layer discs, which should allow the storage capacity to be increased to 100GB-200GB (25GB per layer) in the future simply by adding more layers to the discs.

1.6 How much video can you record on a Blu-ray disc?

Over 2 hours of high-definition television (HDTV) on a 25GB disc.
About 13 hours of standard-definition television (SDTV) on a 25GB disc.

I read later that Sony is going to use MPEG-2 on Blu-Ray initially.

I don't understand that.

I don't understand $1,000.00 for a Blu-Ray DVD player.

Sony is a half-dead company. This might be the final straw.


Based on Crap: The 10 Worst Ideas to Make Nintendo Games About - Seanbaby.com

Based on Crap: The 10 Worst Ideas to Make Nintendo Games About - Seanbaby.com

I produced #7. At the time, it was one of the best selling NES games our little company, Virgin Mastertronic, later renamed Virgin Games, later renamed Virgin Interactive, had ever made. Ahead of it was the original Spot by Graeme Devine et.al., but Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was a close second.

We had 16 pages of coverage in Nintendo Power. I guess there wasn't much else going on that year at Christmas time.

We had the rights to use Kevin Costner's image, but then Dances With Wolves came out, and that was the end of that. We ended up using his profile.

We had a Robin Hood game already when the Prince of Thieves license became available. I read the script and it was very dark. The sherrif was having sex with his mother and other such type things.

After deleting all the dark bits, I made a game outline, on a single piece of paper, that used the existing game play bits we had, and laid them out in story order. I went on a trip to Salt Lake City to visit Sculptured Software and present the plan. They had 12 weeks to make the game.

They did a great job, actually.

Tommy Tallarico was the lead tester on it, before he started producing music, and then became a famous TV show personality.

All in all, it was a great experience. I'm not surprised in these days of Hollywood cross overs that the game would make a terrible ideas list, but it worked at the time.


Parents fear intelligent-design backlash - Science - MSNBC.com

Parents fear intelligent-design backlash - Science - MSNBC.com:
The plaintiffs are represented by a team put together by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The school district is being represented by the Thomas More Law Center, a public-interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., that says its mission is to defend the religious freedom of Christians.

More like ... "that says its mission is to defend the religious freedom of Christians by cramming their stupid religious beliefs down the throats of everyone else."

I like what MC Hawking said:

Noah and his ark, Adam and his Eve,

straight up fairy stories even children don't believe.

I'm not saying there's no god, that's not for me to say,

all I'm saying is the Earth was not made in a day.


Hands-On iPod Video

Well, I don't have a Video iPod, but like anyone I can get iTunes version 12,000 (actually version 6) and buy a video. Since I'm up-to-date with Lost I bought the Pilot episode of the Nightstalker.

The video is 320x240 which is pretty small on my 1280x1024 screen. The audio sounds good. I've only watched about the first three minutes because I have been busy.

The iTunes stored crapped out on my first download and charged me for a machine license that I didn't successfully use.

The weird thing about this video is ... who really wants to keep it? I've used Movielink and once I watch something there, then I'm done!

Well, I guess with iTunes I can 'unauthorize' the viewing of a video clip and then just up and delete it, and let it live on the iTunes servers.

I'll probably watch the whole show this weekend...

© 2005 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Revolution Controller

Allard: Sony Should Be Nervous Right Now: "Allard then shared his thoughts on Nintendo's Revolution controller, saying that it's well intentioned, but he's not so sure about its implementation. 'I think it's great for them to say, 'We've got to make it more approachable.' It's the same reason our DVD remote, at the press conference I could have done our whole demo on the DVD remote because we put A, B, X, Y on the remote. We put the guide button on the remote. We put the media center button on the remote. You're going to be able to play casual games on Live Arcade with the remote control,' he told GI.

'I don't think that's the way you're going to play FIFA. I don't think it's the way you're going to play Madden. I don't think it's the way you're going to play racing games. I think the traditional controller for traditional categories is really going to be what drives that. I don't think most Electronic Arts games are going to be played with that thing. I think they're going to be designed for the classic controller.'"

This pretty well sums up my feelings about the Nintendo controller.

Back in The Seventh Guest days, Graeme Devine used to say that the real competition for computer and video games is the remote for your TV. It's super simple and by pressing a single button you get this incredible experience - channel surfing. So he designed Seventh Guest to have an incredibly simple interface.

So Nintendo has this super simple controller. I like it.

Except I think my arm will get tired waving it around. And my wrist will get strained. And I will be in pain. And that can't be good, can it?


Yahoo! Site Explorer

Yahoo! Site Explorer

Google has the new blog search tool. Now Yahoo has the 'site explorer' which lets you go to a site and then look at the links going into a site.

Of course, an ego search is required.

Typing in this blog results in 269 hits, but most of them are self-referential.

Still, I found a link in (from a guy named Preston Bannister), who I knew in college. That was fun.