Furious Activity

I’ve heard it said that furious activity is no substitute for understanding. Really though, it’s no substitute for a great many things: focused effort, well planned execution, account-ability,  and so much more. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the only way to get the job done.

This weekend I work on a game jam with Tyler Coleman and company. For those as unfamiliar as I was when first approached to work on a game jam, it is a 2/3 day (sometimes 12 hour) period in which several small teams plan and execute a game in its entirety. So that’s it. From concept to delivery in 72 or fewer hours.

What this means to me is three (3) songs in two (2) days. Each song went through five (5) revisions or more, some very significant changes in melody and instrumentation and others were almost complete rewrites in another program. This is fast under any circumstances. And considering that this weekend was packed with other obligations and personal surprises, three songs in 2 days was a lofty goal.

The clock is ticking...I started on Friday with the first track. This one turned out to be a nightmare. There were some serious technical issues plaguing it that resulted in 20+ failed attempts to fix and a total rewrite in the end. Saturday meant track two at breakneck speed. I had a prior engagement at noon, so I woke up early and finished the rough draft and came back to polish it up and tweak two (2) mores drafts of it before I had to leave an hour later.

When I got home after later that night, last night, around 9pm I got to work again. I finished the first two (2) songs and started the third. I kept flipping between the three to make sure they played well together, and the levels were the same and 1,000 other things that popped into my mind as I composed and edited and composed and tweaked and composed. Until 2am.

I woke up at 6am and started all over. Listening with fresh ears and did it all again. It’s 3pm on Sunday now. The Game Jam ends at 6pm and I put my final stamp on the tracks as of about an hour ago. I’m tired, I’m mentally fried but I’m finished. And the best project is a finished project.

The game is named Destination and it is a “spot the difference” game available in iOS (iPad/iPod/Etc.) and Flash formats. The artwork coupled with the music give it a very adult, very dark and lonely feel. It is conversely extremely simple in concept yet deceptively challenging. The differences are glaringly obvious as they hide right in plain sight. All in all, it’s beautifully concepted, well executed and a lot of fun to play. I’ll post links and more information (e.g. how much does it cost?) as I get them.

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