Monday, December 21, 2015

What's new?

How is the web treating you?

Things are starting to calm down. But the settling bubbles and dust seem to have some gold flecks in them this time around. I've been back home and working on new things for over a month. Peace is starting to settle in. This stew of effort and skill is looking good and I feel like next year will be even more promising and profitable.

Still working on those Kadenze courses, trying to keep those units up and always have a little bit of new territory in my line of sight.

I really want to get back to good hard work. Find myself a home and build up.
A million baby steps , to giant strides.

Surely there are parts missing in that adage. But I'm looking around the office right now. This is where I want to be. In this domain. Doing these things as a pro. I can't think of anything I want to do that's 'outside of work' ... aside from ... well.. That's personal.

Let it leak through the art next season.

I'll see you then.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

I'm not gonna tell you I'm busy.

It's taken years for me to consider myself a developer. Even though I've been making games and all sorts of other things with computers for a cool decade. Most recently I've been focusing on steering my developer experience toward my music experience. To join the people who are at that frontier where computers are doing what they ' are supposed to do ' for everyone.

I'm getting way into open source, which means find some projects. Use them. Help solve problems in the ones that you really like.

The online courses are starting to pile up .. and I really like it.. helping people with tech issues and solving little tasks that expose me to tools that I don't normally use. Everything is mutually beneficial.

Selling more music and making more music and playing more music. Allowing myself to be inspired.

I'm going to go back to my hometown in a couple weeks.. Just for a holiday visit. And, I really have gone far past the point of settling.

I'm reinforcing the habit of completing all the things that I've set out to do.

One little step at a time.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I really love this band... They're darn good.. so.. that. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rationalized Funk

A ) Is probably my favorite YouTube show to come along in a long while.

B) Sides.. I haven't updated for a while and I need a nice little expo-minute.

It's the end of September. That makes about six months since I last checked in. The album came out in some kind of quiet fashion. I've sold a few copies ( donations by friends ) and the total number of combined plays are about a thousand. Been about 3 times as much activity on SoundCloud over the same period. The numbers are just that.

I've started taking courses at Kadenze , a new MOOC which specializes in the Technical/Creative zone ( a place where I feel very much at home ). Have been learning a lot. Basic sound synthesis, an audio programming language called ChucK. Currently I'm at the end of a course in Ableton Live, patching up more fundamental gaps in my self taught history. Strengthening my basics in both code and music are a core reason why I am sticking with this program. The results are already showing. This all came from my discovery of the Music Technology program at CalArts in May(ish?). Since then I've been doing a lot of work using the goal of attending that school as a guide. The staff at Kadenze even spotlit(?) my effort. The fringe benefits of isolation :

I've really enjoyed the engagement and the small community of repeat students. From experience with other similar programs in the past ( OpenCourseWare, Stafford, Corsera ) , I can say this is the most engaging and effective. And I really can't explain why.

What else?
Oh! Sold some more music. Made a game for a non-profit company ( more on that another time ). Made another prototype for LD33 ( didn't go too well, but it's a good place to learn ). A good deal of mixing and mastering work for various folks in the moderators family. OH! On that. A couple months ago my friend came out to TX to visit and go to a nerd-core show in Dallas ( this is the first friendly visit in ~3 years ). Meeting your internet friends is really amazing. It's effectively tied my face to the book in the time building up to it and since. Did some other miscellany in art / tech support. Got some new business cards. Also obtained a new laptop! I am now technically mobile again! This is important to me for many reasons and I'm happy to report that I have no games on this machine that aren't also tools. Dedicating a computer to work ( instead of living/working on both ) has been very effective. Some adjustments have been made to this blog. Still have quite a ways to go but I don't really worry about it. And , as always I'm chipping away at little games in the shop. HTUR was canned , but TOFGCo probably have at least 3 other projects that go in and out of the works. Recruiter season is coming to an end I think. The frequency of potential jobs has decreased. My adjustment toward monetizing more sound/music effort or weaving that into game development as a core skill are starting to come along nicely. One of my biggest puzzlements is the hype machine. Indies can't really do advertising. So the alternative to that I think is actually involvement in a community. I would be much more stable if I embraced online communities much sooner in my life ( a thing I discussed last time ), now I'm starting to see how small these circles actually are and a better sense is developing.

Just made 28 ( as they say in the deep south ) .
In immediate history I've been in bed for a week after visiting the local ER for back spasms. Also known as the most pain I can remember. I've been stretching and doing my best to heal, taking medication, hanging out with the cat, and of course , making some stuff. It's been over a year since I've had any kind of mental health incident and the fact that I'm more proactive and productive is a sure sign that I have at least that under control. I walked about 100 miles last month usually out 5 days a week. The shorter days make for good morning walks and a lot of podcast consumption. I'm starting to turn up the music machine a lot more. And listen to every kind of new thing while I develop these games ( can finally port to iOS and deploy to Android simultaneously ) .. so prioritizing those projects has been a challenge.

But you just have to power through... The real reason why I wrote all this is because my mom has been taking care of me ( much more than usual ) for the last week .. back problems being what they are. I'm glad for the help but I have to admit that the saturation and proximity make me uncomfortable. She comes in to smoke and talk about nothing for hours at a time. Or gets on the phone. I've learned that if ever I want her to evacuate all I have to do is start talking about the slightest technical thing. Otherwise I feel like I'm just humoring her repetitive observations. For those of you who are new here.. don't get me wrong. I love her, she's family and incredibly important and present now in the last 3 years or otherwise incredibly difficult part of my life. But growing in her environment has proven to be very tough. I don't think I've ever dealt with someone more difficult in my life. In some sense it's great training for the most difficult people you'll ever have to meet. I liken it sometimes to a 50 year old toddler. Obtuse, narcissistic, simple, entitled, vain. I'm sure somewhere else I've outlined a more intense version of this. But the largest cause of my stress is finding ways to grow in this environment. At least to the point where I can move this operation elsewhere. There are still a lot of communication problems. I have to admit that it's strange is all. A strain. Certainly there is art in a mother's love and a child that don't quite know how to express care mutually. We're old, harder to make adjustments. Stuck in unfamiliar ways I guess.. That's the title of this post... " Rational Funk ". I have good reason to be in a funk this week ( aside from kinda funky ). I , simultaneously, have so many advantages and no excuses. My goal is to be the heck out of here this time next year at the latest. My goal is to go to CalArts, to be stable. To keep making things. Maybe that plan changes. Or some other thing comes up. I am always going to be doing something. At the moment ... I'm just a bit happier to have these couple things off my back.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Game Theory To The Second Power

Last night I finished my most ambitious project to date. Over the last year and a half I have been getting deeper and deeper into the Nerd-Core HipHop scene. Following many artists from the widely known MCFrontalot, YTCracker and Mega Ran, to the up and coming Aramis, Lavos and Ish1da. I've had the chance to work with some of them in the last couple months. During my stay in this community I've seen great things happen in the name of nerd-om. Flame wars. Beef between crews including diss tracks and even a recent wedding that had nearly 50 members of the online community show up and spread the love and support with an out-pour of images from the event. I'm proud to have finally found a community where I belong as a creator and a joker. NCHH is a very diverse landscape of nostalgic minds, hackers, shit-posters and more.

This album is called "Game Theory The Second Power" and is largely a reflection on nostalgic themes and appropriation of hip-hop in four acts. The promise, the state/conflict, the turn and the reveal. Much like a magic trick. This collection took me about a year to compose between a lot of conflicts in my life AFK and a lot of wins online as I opened myself up more and more to this scene and started to gain acceptance and integration with the community cloth.

There are 33 instrumental tracks. Some of which have been covered in collaborations with people in the community. But my intention with this material is to give away my expression much in the same way that I acquired the materials... mostly pro bono publico. I've been a gamer and anime and all around nerd for a long time. That isn't about to change. I've never made much of a financial claim to these efforts ( which may change ) but I feel like a reflection of these important ( to me ) things should be observable to those who decide to look. My entire Sound Cloud collection is downloadable and I only intend to use this ( difficult to license ) material as a vehicle to allow me more challenging creative opportunities.

While I may not own the right to 90% of this content. I do own the right to my response. And I owe the creators of this inspiration my thanks. Though the mountain of shoulders below me is too blurry to define from this height. Thank you Video Games. Thank you Cartoons. Thank you Hip-Hop. Thank you Creators.

Please enjoy GTGT.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good Times, Remembering Old Tricks.

I saw this post on reddit today and it's kinda making it's way around the audio scene.. The one with a Midi Fighter 3D and the live-mash-up performance.

Made me want to revisit some of my older work that has the same technique :

The hardest part is getting the whole thing down in one take. But.. the video is a kind of proof. Ah well. Maybe I'll get back into making a few mixes soon. This one is special because all of the samples are cuts of my favorite PooLatka tracks from the time.
Check him out too.

See ya next time!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Breaks

doing a lot with music. So much that I have to back up my back ups. .

I'm glad that so many folks have been asking about beats. I've got more than I can use. 
Here are a couple links to beats that are no longer or never were on my Soundcloud Profile. 
(Which By the way is also completely Downloadable, Minus an exception or two )

If you upload anything using these resources to SC send me the link so I can put it in this playlist:

I'll be back from time to time to freshen things up. Some of you will have beats that aren't in this file. 
That's okay. The Nerd-Core beat-tape GT^2 ( GameTheory to the second power ) is on it's way. 
Mods of course will get first dibs. 

And these are the breaks : 



See you geek around the FBway. Hope you like the idea. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Love is for what exactly?

Its a word. Used for reserving affection toward an other. I got the chance to finally sit down and record this demo with a local songwriter. I'm very proud of the result and I hope you like it as well!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

You Gotta Adjust.

It's going to be harder than I thought to get back into school. I am not deterred. Just have to work harder on other things. Here's hopin'. Its just about March. I'm making progress on this and that pretty steadily. Just have to keep doing. Bonus. People seem to be into the music. If you come this way give it a listen :

- AC

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


American / Western culture of being inoffensive has swung far to the other side on the internet. I imagine the cycles will get shorter and shorter over time as more people are added to the mix. I can't count a single time that I've offered criticism for one of an astonishing number of online posts and got a negative reaction for it. At first it was just plain opinion. You post some art, leave a reply in the comments section and so on. I've said before that internet content is vastly mediocre. Call em as you see em. People are more interested in bumping click-bait so that they can get more social media points and that is interesting to me. Gamification. I won't give any specific cases for where this has occurred but maybe the adage of " If you have nothing nice to say then don't say nothing" has gone too far. We're not training a cultural muscle by letting creators go into the wash. It's nice to feel good from the comments and views that you get until the light attracts moths and then trolls even during daylight.

Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. I too am among the mass of creators that in one way or another seeking attention and verification. Looking for an audience in a sea of people that grows every single day. I care about these platforms as much as they care about me. At the end of the day I'll have my growth and my creative experience and perhaps even a few sheckles to show for the effort. But the main difference between most creatives that I encounter in cyberspace or the people in those communities and myself is that I DON'T seek to make it to your virtual fridge for a week. Maybe I have ambitions for timelessness in my craft and I work steadily at that with each passing week. To that effect I have enough attention and potential and inspiration to last as far as I can foresee.

I didn't know there were any unspoken rules on the internet. That's where this fantastic market that enabled google in the first place came from. Made all this possible. The wild west of the early 90's is now a much more suburban kind of sprawl. I get my coffee, go to the park , chat here , listen there and all of the sudden my network of internet exposure shrinks as much as the vast variety of it grows and homogenizes. Does that kind of thing worry you ? I used to think that expository writing about my condition and identity was a bad sign that I was perhaps becoming unstable again. Or that I would make digital promises on deaf ears to allow myself the mistakes and deviations from the milestones I set before me. I used to be envious of those who were in their own groove until I woke up one day and realized that I am in one of my own and I could have been loving myself for being here longer.

I wish I wasn't any kind of mystery. That I could weave complexity in to works and remain a simple person that people could have more confidence in. That employers would genuinely care about people I know who are going from job to job to avoid being , like myself, among the under-employed. I've been contacted by half a dozen recruiters this year who are all looking to get a bonus and generally vary in the ability to pretend to care about the prospects which are fed to them practically automatically. That there was more opportunity and transparency for people who are able and just need to work where clearly the manpower is needed. The price of corporate convenience has been intolerable my entire adult life. I'm reluctant to admit that I may not have a marketable physique for customer service. Or a particularly sharp single tool. At any rate I keep working because the experience is valuable to me and that will pay off. Somebody may be lucky enough to bank with me on that before-hand, but it seems unlikely this month.

I've had a hard time coming to terms with my disorder/disease/disability. I see people all around me who are clearly less functional and I understand that I too have been over that edge and back a couple times. But.. I'm having trouble making a space for myself that is separate from that experience. How can I fall in love again? Become independent again? Nurture a new skill? Pass my experience on. I'm becoming more and more concerned about that. Is it funny that the first thing I notice about a woman is her left ring finger? Even though at present I have no means to start that chapter I really anticipate it. I've heard tale and seen the remains of the artist who lives only with her craft. I've watched many other people I know ( generally not creatives ) struggle in to new families or adopt themselves into one. I never thought I would be so desperate that I would seek the conversation of CL strangers.

Many things fall through anyway. My motto for this year is to 'pull all the ropes' , eventually one of those things will break and I am not one of those things. The base goal being to never experience psychosis again if I can help it.

As usual there are a handful of other things going on with me this month. Boxy Brown looks good this week and should be ready for some internal testing by the end of the month. HTUR and other games are on hold until I make this smaller game happen ( trust me its easier than the other 3 in the air ) ... while subcutaneous is actually very close to completion, I think, there are many things to learn from this more traditional game.

Music - wise. I'm courting a couple of locals so that I can perform and record with them. I think playing more guitar lately has helped. I still feel mostly isolated but it has helped in general. ** I love how my mother gets snippy about the one trip I get to make back home a year. I get to see most of the people I care about for less than 2 weeks on average. What else wouldn't drive you crazy? ** I'm in the last stretch of the nerd-core beat tape that I've been working on for far too long ( between this project and that computer exploding ).. Also I've kinda let loose on prioritization and just started making things that  are relevant and inspirational to me in the moment. All these game projects kinda force you to live a few weeks in the future so that your prototype can edge toward the concept of the game you set out to make. The untold struggle of development ( that is very much specific to games.) continues.

Moving forward. Maybe I'll heard from one of the jobs I've applied for. I intend to go to the local college and hopefully receive some kind of funding to make that easier overall. Like before.. I can only go to school with a vague idea of what I want to do with the education I want. Who's to say that I'll get what I need or even my experience will lead me in another direction altogether. An academic director one of the programs that I'm looking into asked me if I knew what kind of job I wanted to have coming out of school. I want to solve creative and technical problems. There are many fields that I think fit the description and the coursework but I can't be sure until I get some more guidance. I can read instructions as well as the next monkey. Deep down I feel i'll be happier in a more creative and less technical field, but, those worlds have overlapped many times for me and I don't see either as a waste at this point. I have stretch goals. But don't ask me what they are as they are subject to change. My 11 year old self wouldn't be mad at me for not being an architect today.

To top it all off , repeated stress on my hands from this fantastic technology is starting to cause me physical pain. I need to get the hell out of this state. It's mostly poison.

My work will come out as it's ready. I hunger for cruel words far more than gold-star-stickers because I can only point out the shit in my life as far as I'm aware of it. And then post that shit here.

- See you next time. -

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Observe, then attack.

Really I just wanted to post another image of the boxy brown progress. I want to get feature complete in the next week so I'm of course busting the buns. Definitions.. definitions.. here is the image.

its starting to make more sense but still needs work and some tuning.. It's starting to look right. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Time of the Season

When the phone calls come in. Spruce up. Polish your things and sleep a few times a week.  There is a new prototype in the games section. Started up another little idea with the TOFGCo dudes over the break. It's never too early to test and I'm very proud of the feel and reliability of this proto. At any rate its a good time to take what I'm learning from these project sprints and have some quality items in the coming months. I have only one thing to say ; GIFTACULAR 20-GIFTEEN! Because development bloopers make games worth making :

See you soon.