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I was hoping to get to show off the lighting system today, but I am currently without access to Game Maker Studio right now, so I can’t grab any in-game screenshots. I’ve been at work on some assets lately, but those can wait for now. I have been working on a new kind of asset lately, something I don’t have a lot of experience with but is still necessary- sound and music.

It’s almost second-nature to me at this point to set down a visual style and keep it consistent through a game. Visuals are something I’ve spent years working on in my free time, so they’re pretty natural to me. Something that’s a bit harder to understand is sound design. What sound effect fits this or that? How and when should sound effects be triggered? What kind of instrumentation should I use or what mood should the music evoke? I’ve had to think of these things before, but now I’m applying them in ways I haven’t before.

I have been running into some trouble when it comes to tools, though. Thanks to Daigasso! Band Bros, a Japanese Nintendo DS game, I have some experience working with music creation software, and thanks to having spent half my life in marching and concert bands I have plenty of experience playing music. But when it came time to find the program that would help me make some original songs of my own for the game, everything I tried fell flat.

I’ve considered just pulling out the headset and singing a song into it. There. Music.

So far, the best luck I had was with PxTone, Daisuke Amaya’s (AKA Pixel, the God-man who made Cave Story) awesome music creation software, which I learned quite fast. There are some usability issues but it’s come the closest to the level of Band Bros’ music editor in terms of ease of use. The downside is, it revolves around very low-fi sound waves as instrument samples and that’s not really what I want for the whole game. Since Hysteria Star is a mix of old and new, the musical style I’m shooting for is a mix of techno/electronic dance beats and chiptune melodies, and with PxTone, I’m stuck with 100% chiptune. I’m going less for NES music and more for Disasterpeace or Anamanaguchi style, here.


I feel like there’s a serious lack of pictures here. Anyone else feeling that way?

… Eh, here. Have an otter pirate. 


So, I need to find a good (preferably free?) music composition software with a wide range of instruments and a not-so-wide range of ridiculous features that just confuse me. That’s next on the list.

As for the rest, hopefully next week I’ll be back in the development saddle and putting new assets into the game.




  1. You know, you do have your wife to help you with music and sounds, right? She’d be amazing at that considering she knows almost everything about music.

    • I’ve been talking to her but it sounds like she’s not really willing to do it. Or she’s shy about trying music composition on computers. I know it’s not something she does or even knows much about but she has at least 2 degrees that say she knows more than I do.

      Maybe I’ll just have her help out and tell me when my songs sound like ass and how to make them sound less like ass.

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