Two Hundred and Forty Four: A cool media festival this weekend! VSM

This is a slightly last minute post for the events that I?m about to mention but if you live in the London area, or just happen to be a train ride away and you?re a fan of video games (who isn?t?!) plus learning more in depth about them then perhaps you may want to pop to the Vision Sound Music Festival.

Vision Sound Music is the UK?s first festival of music for visuals, or so the website states, so it?s all about music within games, film advertising and known brands. Of course I?m more interested in the games stuff but there are other events they?ve got on which are right up my alley.

The festival officially started today with events like the Video Game Heroes concert that was introduced by Iain Lee, perhaps a new rival to Video Games Live, or just a one off event. However the main meat of the festival happens over Saturday and Sunday and for most events you only need to purchase one ticket which is about 10. This does mean the events are first come first serve I believe, so make sure to head there early in case there?s a queue.

On Saturday you can look forward to the following game related talks/events

  • 10:30 - Nitin Sawhney ? Composing Video game music - Nitin talks about composing for video games, I would imagine with a main emphasis on Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
  • 15:00 ? How2 Break into Music and Sound for Games - John Broomhall & Nick Ryan ? A panel discussing the techniques, challenges and entry points required into getting into games via composing or creating sound effects.
  • 16:00 ? Little Big Planet team showcase ? Alastair Lindsay, Martin Hewett, Kenny Young and Richard Jacques ? A session exploring how music is selected and synchronised within LBP2, illustrating exactly how they get the music to keep the playful feel required within the game.

On Sunday you can look forward to the following game related talks/events

Child of Eden concept art
  • 10:30 ? Xbox Kinect Hacker Posse ? a collection of playable entertaining games made within Kinect prior to the SDK being released for free making them hacks I suppose? Richard England is presenting and showing off some of the things people have created with Kinect.
  • 12:00 ? Child of Eden ? There isn?t a huge amount mentioned for this event on the website, but I imagine it will be an introduction to Child of Eden, followed by some awesome playing of the game, fingers crossed it?s on a massive screen with the music all the way up to complete the experience.
  • 12:30 ? Papa Sangre ? Games that go Bump! ? This session discusses a game that is audio, a real-time generative audio-only virtual world ? Papa Sangre for iOS, which was commissioned by 4IP as a game that blind people might excel in. The panel is discussing the process, constraints, vision and philosophy behind a game that you hear.
  • 13:30 ? Richard Jacques? Bond ? If you don?t know who Richard Jacques? is then you?re crazy! (well not really) A composer of music throughout the ages he?s dabbled in music for a multitude of games and in this session he?s going into details of how he?s created videogame scores over the recent years. There?ll also be a live demonstration to how he creates soundtracks for a changing experience in a game. As well as a demonstration of interactive music with members of the audience. You may also know him from his Sonic and Jet Set Radio days.
  • 15:30 ? Theremin Hero ? A spin on Guitar Hero where your instrument is a theremin, it?d be really interesting to have go (if they?re letting people) just to purely seen how they?ve worked with the theremin to have it register the movements. He also plays a little Tetris on a laser harp also.

Plus my final mention isn?t video games related but it?s an amazing thing to attend...

  • 19:30 BFI presents: Adam Buxton?s Best of BUG 2011 ? So Adam Buxton isn?t video game related in the slightest, but he is a great comedian. He does a show called BUG that looks over music videos, their YouTube comments, his own songs or anything he feels like throwing in. You?re guaranteed a massive laugh if you attend as well as being introduced to some new music. I now listen to Darwin Deez, Plan B and How to Destroy Angels thanks to Dr Buckles. Anyone who?s a fan of Adam?s past work or his podcast should definitely check this out if the tickets aren?t sold out!

You can also see the whole schedule of events here as I?ve only mentioned the video game based sessions. Also if you do pop along make sure to try out the food at Pitt Cue Co before they stop for the year (Their last day on the Southbank is the 4th!) they do some great pulled pork.

I?m looking forward to seeing if the festival returns next year as this is definitely something that?s of interest to me and hopefully a section of the video gaming community too. Or you could just sit at home and play Deus Ex: HR I suppose.

Two Hundred and Forty Three: A Star Wars meets Zelda t-shirt

My first new t-shirt to arrive in a while, but I haven't bought many recently with a lack of interesting tees.

It's a cross between the well-known Legend of Zelda meme and Star Wars, it's pretty awesome, I would have just taken a picture of the t-shirt on the floor like I usually do but I happened to be wearing it today.

Two Hundred and Forty Two: A new game to look forward to for the 3DS

So anyone who reads here will know I was one of the day one buyers of a Nintendo 3DS, and with a slightly shocking lack of interesting games, it's a bit disappointing for any owners out there with the handheld wondering where their awesome array of titles are.

Well there's a few good games out there to be fair, not a huge amount to keep anyone's attention though with the exception of course for The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, hence the very recent price cut from Nintendo. There have been a few announced titles which sound interesting, but there's a new game that I'm keeping my eyes on courtesy of SEGA.

Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure is tagged as a mystery rhythm action title it claims to blend rhythm, puzzles and a compelling story all into one big blob and with a majority of rhythm action titles focusing purely on rhythm with some variety of storyline it'll be interesting to see more on the title to show the exact divide. As the trailer is very secretive on all the elements of play, plus of course knowing the ratio between buttons presses and the touchscreen. As the press release stated you can use the stylus but I've seen a few screenshots with button prompts on screen as well.

Plus there's mention of StreetPass functionality, and I'd love to know more details into how it works, and it's ways to try and draw people in.

Rhythm Thief and the Emperor's Treasure is currently slated for a release in 2012 and with the SVP of marketing in the USA & UK talking about it I'd like to think that guarantees a UK release. I'm just hoping that it contains more rhythm and catchy music than puzzles as I'd love a great 3DS rhythm action title

Two Hundred and Forty One: An almost finished Sackboy, he just can't talk yet

His pieces are finally all stitched together and he's one object now, yay! Sackboy lives! I haven't given him a mouth yet or decided on what to do about the zip, but I reckon he looks pretty cute. Annoyingly the left hand does look pretty crap but I managed to get his limbs attached ok.

I thought I'd add in this picture too as it gives a better sense of scale and how big he actually is, I felt he looked slightly cuter in this picture too, so I couldn't not include it!

I did end up making his eyes a little too far apart but he still looks cute which is the important thing. Now my main priority is getting his smile to look right.

Two Hundred and Forty: Farewell Archimedes

Archimedes was the mother of my millipede babies and was one of the prettiest additions to my tank as she had a beautiful glossy black exo-skeleton and pinky-yellow legs that made her stand out amongst the other millipedes.

I picked up Archimedes from the Reptile show at Kempton Park Racecourse over a year ago while intending to come home with a Madagascan red I came home with some Tanzanian yellow legged millipedes from the Spirostreptidae species.

I never did actually hold Archimedes other than when I put her in the tank, I will miss seeing her glossy shell running around in the tank.

Hopefully from Archimedes breeding with Eratosthenes I'll have some that look identical to her, or a mixture of the two. The babies are growing at a fairly fast rate so I look forward to having some slightly larger millipedes running around the tank like little trains. As with the lack of big ones now the tank looks a little bare.

Two Hundred and Thirty Nine: Super Meat Boy time!

Been waiting a while for this as Super Meat Boy hadn't had a retail release up until now!

It's the Super Meat Boy Ultra Rare Edition which features a t-shirt, poster, sketch book, soundtrack and exra characters for in the game. I highly recommend you pick this up for the cute sketchbook and poster. So if you don't really want an XL t-shirt you can pick up the Rare Edition to get all the other extras.

Its mega cheap as I only paid 15 off Amazon for it or you can pick up the Rare Edition cheaper. So go on, support the more independent developers and Lace Mamba Global and pick up a copy!

Two Hundred and Thirty Eight: An evening of cleaning a millipede tank out

With the recent deaths of Socrates I decided I should give my baby millipedes a clean out so they were growing up in a cleaner environment. I'd already cleaned out the tank a few months back after I'd figured they'd grown big enough for me to do so.

Sadly as their tank is as large as it is, it means cleaning it out while being gentle takes about 5 hours. Especially as I had lots of soil in the tank, however with just the babies now I decided to put only three packets of bug bed in the tank which got it up to a good height without there being as much as I usually put in. I also threw out their old piece of wood as it always made it hard to get around the tank when it was in there, so I broke off the top and popped it in.

While cleaning the tank I also found this little fellow which means at some point a few more babies were born as I found two tiny millipedes of around the same size. I carefully made sure to not handle them too much or pick them up, which is why he's on a little piece of dirt. It's probably the smallest millipede that I've handled but I wasn't just going to leave him in the dirt and throw him away.

I found quite a few of the batch of babies from last year, stupidly I forgot to count them, so I'm not entirely sure on the number of them, but I'd guess about 20-30 have survived, about five or six of them were starting to shed or had just done so, so I'm hoping that they'll survive through it.

Then I also thought I'd share this image of one of the babies that I took a few days ago when feeding them, they're really growing up quite quickly. Also from their colour they're looking quite similar to Archimedes so fingers crossed they shed a few more skins and gain a glossy look with deeper yellow/orange legs.

The AES Entomology show is coming up on October 1st and I'm hoping to attend again to get some more bug bed as well as check out some of the species that they have at the show. I probably won't come home with some more peds unless they're captive bred. As exotic beautiful millis just seem destined to die when they've been wild-caught as it's almost impossible to simulate the environment they grew up in.

If there are some captive bred babies I may be tempted though!

Two Hundred and Thirty Seven: Deus Ex Human Revolution!

I've been waiting a long time for this game, and it's finally out, so I'm looking forward to enjoying it! My collector's edition arrived with its little Adam Jensen figure so here's to hoping the game is a great addition to the Deus Ex franchise.

He's no JC Denton but I'm sure it's going to be an enjoyable experience nonetheless.

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