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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:37 pm 
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Hello All,

Chris speaking. Two hard disk crashes later, I am finally back in business. I haven't lost any of the ZZT Ultra code base (or indeed, much of anything), but my work on various ZZT-related projects has been delayed.

The thing is, events in my life and career lately have been...exhausting. I absolutely want to keep working on ZZT Sound Plus and ZZT Ultra. But as I have often stated, life gets in the way.

Never one to be satisfied with previous work (a common theme among game designers), I have decided that I don't want to update my projects at the lightning rate that I had been doing over the last few years. Working oneself to death is never worth it. Just ask any pro game developer working for an AAA company who puts in absurd hours, just to get kicked to the curb with no severance, just like that.

Hey, if it's for fun, just let it take as long as it needs, right?


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 Post subject: Re: ZZT Ultra
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:29 pm 
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Ordinery
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:keen:

We've already lost a couple good people from the ZZT community to tragedy. Don't #cycle so hard you #endgame yourself, bro.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 2:22 pm 
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Hi All,

Merry Christmas! I've dragged my butt doing this, but I finally managed to swap out the Flash version of the Hall of Music with an HTML5 version. This one should play on all browsers now without problems!

Except IE. Of course, no one should use IE. Not even Microsoft employees.

I decided to christen the launch by adding my first "dumped" song from my ZZT Sound Plus tool:

http://www.chriskallen.com/zzt/hallofmusic.html?song=Forefront

The song "The Forefront" from Bionic Commando is one the catchiest tunes released on the 8-bit NES. You might be wondering how I covered this with such impossibly good detail? Well, in this case, I didn't "cover" it at all--the notes were extracted from an actual WAV recording of the NES chiptune.

To put things in perspective, the Crystalis Pyramid theme took a long time to cover a few years back, because I had to painstakingly listen and re-compose it. The Forefront? Done in a matter of minutes.

The only thing lacking is percussion (FFTs are unfortunately not good at figuring out how to do that very well). But all things considered, I think this is a nice holiday gift for y'all.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Ordinery
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Appetite4 wrote:
Hi All,

Merry Christmas! I've dragged my butt doing this, but I finally managed to swap out the Flash version of the Hall of Music with an HTML5 version. This one should play on all browsers now without problems!


Zowie! What an early Christmas present! :keen:

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Energizer - you are invincible
ZZT @narchists unite! Turn off the dark, get free money, defeat death itself!


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 Post subject: Re: ZZT Ultra
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:48 am 
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Okay, it works in Chrome but not in Brave. Awesome! I'm sure the back-end is way more impressive. I kid you not. Bionic Commando was the first NES cart I ever owned! Man, you and I always had good chemistry despite working in parallel. It's been a pleasure!


Last edited by nanoco on Mon Dec 24, 2018 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: ZZT Ultra
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:47 pm 
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Cool stuff! Can confirm working in Linux with Opera and Firefox.

Considering you already have a Huelsbeck tune in there, a humble request for R-Type c64 intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3pGP1a3JRw

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 Post subject: R-Type?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Somebody order a video game music cover in the Hall of Music?

R-Type Title Theme

Notes about this cover:

  • Song has a tempo of exactly 125.253 Quarter Notes Per Minute.
  • Song starts in F minor, and changes to G minor at measure 60.
  • I needed to go all the way to 64th-note resolution on this one; the song has a lot of interstitial detail to it.
  • Arpeggio is the name of the game for a lot of C64 composers, such as Huelsbeck, Daglish, Gray, and the brothers Follin.
    This complicates transcription because notes are by broken up by design. I tried to use the manual merge feature of ZZT Sound Plus to mitigate this, but it has limited results.
  • Once again, percussion is mostly a no-go. FFT limitations.
  • A lot of judgment calls were necessary when characterizing high-octave aliased-instrument notes. This technique is common when making a tone sound like a different instrument, but it doesn't necessarily have the effect people might expect when transcribing the waveforms. I chose to strip out much of the high-octave stuff that was otherwise repeated at a lower pitch. If you think this wasn't the best decision, well, there is no "right" answer to this puzzle.
  • The size of the track data appears to have slammed the brakes on using my submission feature on the site for large songs. This is something I was afraid would happen; GET requests with too-large variables are blocked. There is a way to structure POST requests differently, such that you aren't bound by a 16-bit limitation. I'll have to roll my sleeves up and figure it out eventually.

ZZT Sound Plus is a juggernaut. It chews up and spits out audio like nothing else. My guess is that we'll get more cover requests. Probably will need its own request thread.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:30 pm 
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A first for me: an instructional video of ZZT Sound Plus with a voice-over:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvlsIc1Axm0

Something this sophisticated really needs video help, not just text documentation. Unless you don't like the sound of my voice...

Also, the tool has been updated; we're now at version 1.1.

Knock yourselves out, 'yo! You're in for a special treat if you like the game "Wild Guns."


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:21 am 
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Did anyone get Part 1? Here's Part 2!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrQiPXt7RLI

Probably 2 or 3 more instructional videos remain to be recorded and edited. There's a lot to cover with this application. Musicians should pay special attention--the ability to find a song's tempo within a matter of minutes can't be overstated.


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 Post subject: Re: ZZT Ultra
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:29 am 
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 Post subject: Re: ZZT Ultra
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:05 am 
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Spelunker! Hell yeah maybe you already know I love that tune. Also funny you mention Wild Guns. Literally just got that game on ebay a week ago.

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 Post subject: Re: ZZT Ultra
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 10:06 pm 
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Forgot to post Part 3 of the video series. I was very sick last week and not very motivated to do online stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgxDTh0Y2GQ

This demonstration is very important because it uses a new feature called the "chord gauge." It allows you to separate the diamonds from the rough, using energy spectral density to determine chords when there are lots of false notes that might otherwise confuse you.

I heavily used the chord gauge when I transcribed The Forefront song.


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