April 28, 2017

1943 and Gradius: Some Thoughts

So I just recently finished completing the 1943 (1987, NES). It's a SHMUP game from the early years of consoles, and it shows. As with virtually every early game, developers needed to optimize their resources to squeeze as much replayability of a small cartridge. Though in terms of what Capcom believes, replayability is to (unintentionally?) make the game more difficult. This is mostly done via having the enemy ships fly faster, to where you can likely crash into an enemy ship and take damage. Speaking of damage, the imposed 'timer' (which I guess is an attempt to replicate a plane running out of fuel) is also attached to how many times you get hit, and the amount of 'special moves' your plane can perform. Unless you're either a 'SHMUP Master' or have enemy paths so memorized and ingrained into your subconciouss, the sane being should stick to save states.
Even beyond the NES difficulty, the game hasn't aged the greatest in my opinion. There's been better-looking NES games, but it's still a noticable improvement over the predecessor 1942. The music is nice, but there's a point where you get tired of the same 4-5 songs cycling through the games ~30 levels. Depending on your skill, the amount of said songs can be cut down to just about 2: one for the start of the game, and the other when you're near death or running out of fuel.

Eh, could've done worse things with my time.

Funny thing about these early SHMUPS, is how similar they are when you look at them in the right angle. Konami's Gradius I (1986, NES) also slides in, it being the ur-example of sidescrolling shooter games. It's great old fun, until the unfortunately accurate hitbox of the ship sends you into a game over. But hey, it's still beatable with save states!

It's pretty breezy when you play it this way.


To be honest, the majority of my gripes with Gradius also fit fine enough with the complaints I had over 1943. Everything is recycled at least one, excluding the bosses (minibosses?) of each level. Not to be confused with the other boss type where you fight against a cold monolith and shoot it down after each level end and before a level's start. The 3 songs cycle through each level, and it gets repetitive fast (though thankfully there aren't as much levels as there are in 1943). But at this point, I'm dangerously close to the precipice of sleep deprivation, so I'll close off this post with an ending statement:
I'll probably stick to later SHMUPS, the earlier ones haven't aged too well.

 Thank you for reading.

March 21, 2017

State Of The Enterprise H1 2017

Hello, this has been an unfortunately inactive time of the year for me. I am fully well and aware of several things that have gone off-rails and into multiple timed delays. This can be attributed to two primary reasons:

The Website

 

Despite the unreasonably long time I had dumped into creating the 'ultimate' BlogSpot (Yes I still call it BlogSpot, get over it) layout, I now realize how much more time is needed for the publicity of a 'landing page'. Having a subtitle of '.BlogSpot.com','.tumblr.com', 'wordpress.com' is far less concise than "Harney-Barrow.com". This motive is exactly why I am taking it into my own hands to host my own website, speeds and runtime be damned. I'm currently a likely candidate of attaining a low-powered Ivy Bridge Pentium desktop, which I may be able to repurpose as a low-powered server (via underclocking/undervolting and installing CentOS). I have yet to buy a domain yet though, but I'd have to require out of having no budget to purchase a cheap '.us' domain, as something like "meme.zone" is far too much out of my price range.

The current (and most functional) prototype so far.
Beyond the website's domain, the layout was far more troublesome rather than a mere nuisance. I am not a clever person, so I attempted to landing page that cly5m/autofish.net uses (his website's got a really nice layout), before realizing that I knew absolutely nothing about CSS or JavaScript. So I trashed the autofish prototype, and am now just churning something out in SeaMonkey's own built-in Dreamweaver knockoff. It's okay for what it does.


The Failed autofish.net Prototype
I tried to tie in the grand re-opening through a 'quick' Youtube video announcing both the Youtube channel and the main website itself, but then I remembered that I should've had the actual website running first. The actual video itself is pretty much finished at this point, excluding any mentions of the website.

The Youtube

Making videos on Linux is perfectly doable now (in theory). I used Kdenlive for those videos currently up on Youtube, and it works pretty nicely. The only problem is that when it isn't 'working nicely', it's busy disabling mouse usage and crashing while editing 720p video. So virtually all of my videos must be done and worked on in 480p. Even despite those problems, Kdenlive still frequently hangs/freezes and disables my mouse, forcing me to close it via keyboard shortcuts. I do have to admit caution in that I'm currently using Fedora Linux right now, so being this close to upstream might have some deal in the hand, as well as me not being the greatest OS maneuver-er.
//..//

So that wraps up most of the blockades done in my path, in an extreme distillation and 'condensed' form. I have the greatest gratitude to those following on social media or other artworks, for the 'earliest backers' are undoubtedly one of the biggest motivations right now, and may help to even gain more 'inertia'.
Thank you for reading.

February 15, 2017

200e - Self-Titled (2012)

200e - Self-Titled (2012)


To kick things off on "Other Peoples Music", I'm starting off with this neat little 17-minute long EP from a short-lived(?) band out of Pendleton, Oregon. While I'm not exactly the biggest guy for all things folk, but this sort of downbeat folk rock is quite easy to get down with. Love how the vocals harmonize halfway through 'Familiar Hand', helping the song hold up a heavier weight possible. The track 'Made For This' I can easily recommend it for those looking for a breezy-ish folk music, but with how short the EP goes through, I'd recommend anybody to try to listen to it. All of the tracks are all still quite the pleasant listening.


But don't fret my darling
Being unfamiliar is the fun part
the rest is worthout(?) makes us happy
all the cigarettes will be had, they will not fill me needed
there is nothing more for you, I want them lung cancer

- 200e, Made For This




Thank you for reading. This was hopefully the first piece in the Other Peoples Music series, where I share and showoff what other groups have done. For what is technically my first 'official' post of original writing, it is quite rudimentary, to be frank. Though to not be dour, I'm sure of myself that I'll eventually pick up in writing quality.
See you soon!

December 31, 2016

Loops EP official release

Harney-Barrow - Loops EP



Hey look, it's that supplementary EP that I mentioned 1-2 months ago! It's the Loops EP EP release!!!!!
For those not 'in the know', this EP is a gathering of the small leftover 'Loop' tracks off the The Phone Sessions compilation, and now including a new groundbreaking 3 original tracks, all collecting into a total of 11:11 minutes.

Have a very good day/night!

November 20, 2016

The Phone Sessions official release

Harney-Barrow - The Phone Sessions 

The Phone Sessions are finally out now! This is about a ~14 month long time span of recording whatever jams and music loops that I came up with. Not much else to say that I haven't done with the The Jams of a Lifetime thing, other than there being slightly more electronic elements to it all.

Coming up next will be a supplementary EP that tries to reuse some of the more loop-based tracks from the collection, along with 2-4 brand new songs.

Have a very good day/night!