The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #123: A Conversation with Dev9k Game Developers – Creators of Nirvana Pilot Yume

Episode #123: A Conversation with Dev9k Game Developers – Creators of Nirvana Pilot Yume

https://archive.org/download/Podcast123_201712/Podcast%20123.mp3

My brother and I recently connected with European game developer team Dev9k (Massimiliano ‘Haematinon’ Nigro and Antonio Scacchetti), the creators of the recently released 80s anime inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, which answers the question – what happened if the 90s shareware game Skyroads were a visual novel with a synthwave soundtrack?

Given the misadventures my brother and I had making games in our youth, we were both looking forward to the conversation with Massimiliano and Antionio.  We covered a wide range of topics, from the creative process, aspects of game development, working within technical limitations of technology (and how that sometimes fosters more creativity), and 80s era Japanimation – case in point below:

Check out the synthwave group Retroxx, who did the soundtrack for the game, for more synth action.  And if you don’t recall what the game Skyroads looked like, here’s a quick runthrough:

Interested in learning more?  Check more about the game and its developers on IG and Facebook.

You can now find the game for the PC on Steam.   Grab it while it’s still on sale!  There is a demo available for webplay/download here so you can try before you buy.  Even if you’re not into video games, it’s worth it just for the art, concept, and music alone.  Supporting an indie game developer is also good for your karma 🙂

And if you’re at all interested in game development or collaborating on making a game out of The Thirteenth Hour, let me know!  Read more here.

Next week, in time for Christmas, Brent Simon and Jeremy return to discuss the 30th anniversary of Robocop!  Stay tuned!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!
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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

Episode #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast122_201712/Podcast%20122.mp3

After finishing the instrumental theme in episode #120, lyrics started coming.  That’s the thing about the muse.  Sometimes, unbeknownst to you, she starts doing her own thing at a time you least expect.  If you recall, this was a little love theme written for a scene in a Thirteenth Hour sequel book when our two main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, are reunited after a long time.  Since the course of true love never runs smoothly, it’s meant to convey a mixture of bittersweet yearning and a desire to push everything else away for just a few moments alone with your heart’s desire.

This song is dedicated to my wife.  When writing the lyrics, I was reminded by the short love songs on the collection 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields (that was a car CD we’d listen to a lot in years past) and some saccharine, mellow, haunting songs from a different time, like “Such a Woman” by Neil Young and “If” by Bread.

Today’s backing track was done on the synthesizer and electric guitar with the vocals done afterwards.  Mixing was done on the synth and in Audacity.  You can hear the final version at the end of the show.  Download this song and the instrumental version on bandcamp.  You can also stream them below.

Here are the lyrics:

Because We May Only Have One Night
G
If I had one day
Em
Before the world was through
C
I’d spend it all with you
D
No looking back

If we had one night
Just one night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

Bridge:
G
And all those things
Em
That get in the way
C
Make them disappear
D
Forever and forever …

Just one day to
See the world in your eyes
Capture all the memories
Never let them fade

Just one night
One night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

Bridge:
And everyone
Who won’t let us be
Make them go away
Forever and forever …

Just one night
To hold each other tight
Maybe just one night
What are we waiting for?

Coming attraction: watch out for Dev9K discussing their 80s anime inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, which answers the question what happened if the 90s shareware game Skyroads were a visual novel with a synthwave soundtrack?  The game releases on Steam on 12/13, so check it out and find out more next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #121: Reading from “Swan Lake” Accompanied by Music

Episode #121: Reading from “Swan Lake” Accompanied by Music

https://archive.org/download/Podcast121_201712/Podcast%20121.mp3

Today’s show is a reading from an illustrated children’s book version of the fairy tale, “Swan Lake,” accompanied by the music from the suite by Tchaikovsky.   It comes from a book written by ballerina Margot Fonteyn and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, whose work has been featured many times here.  Although maybe not a fairy tale with the same vintage as, say, the Grimm’s tales, at this point, I think the tale penned by Tchaikovsky for the ballet has all the elements of a traditional fairy tale, and at this point, is sufficiently old and famous enough to be timeless.  This version has Hyman’s usual beautiful illustrations, some of which are below:

The reading is set to a truncated version of the Swan Lake Score (was looking for one that was about 30 minutes):

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #120: The Making of a Thirteenth Hour Love Theme

Episode #120: The Making of a Thirteenth Hour Love Theme

https://archive.org/download/Podcast120_201711/Podcast%20120.mp3

I’ll freely admit I’ve always been partial to love themes from movie soundtracks.  Especially if they came out in the 80s, when there were plenty of synthesizers to give it that 80s feel.  So today, we’re creating a track like that for the third Thirteenth Hour book for a scene when our two main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, are reunited after a long time spent looking for each other, not knowing if their true love was even still alive. I wanted it to be a mix between some more traditional sounds (mostly) to evoke tender longing and just enough synth to fit in the rest of the soundtrack.

It’s called “Because We May Only Have One Night,” and while this one is mainly instrumental, I think I may add some vocals for a separate song later or do a reprise which takes some of the elements of this melody, such as the chord progression (G Em C D) or the main riff and intersperses it for later introspective scenes.  That’s the great thing about making soundtracks!  You can rest assured that if you have one melody you like, you can dress it up and change a few things here or there and use it for a new piece somewhere else, kind of like using the leftovers of Sunday’s dinner for Monday’s lunch!

Today’s track was done all on the synthesizer with a small vocal part (whistling) added to the intro.  It was mixed on the synth and in Audacity.  Look for it in the near future on bandcamp.  You can hear the demo version at the end of the show.

While we’re on the subject, one of the tracks featured on the show a few weeks ago, inspired by Chad Derdowski’s book, Fortune Favors the Bold, is now a feature on the Youtube channel Synth Heaven.  Check it out:

Here are the original tracks embedded in the page for your playing convenience:

Speaking of which, Chad has a sequel just out – Fortune Favors the Bold 2!  More Scissorwulf!  Like the last volume and the Choose Your Own Adventure books that inspired it, it comes with black and white line illustrations that Chad drew to complete the experience.  Click on the cover below to check it out on Amazon.

scissor1scissor2scissor3

Lastly, Missy Sheldrake, who was on the show this past summer, is also releasing a book in the near future – just a few days from when this episode will be out.  As with her previous volumes, this one is richly illustrated.  Click on the book spotlight below to get a copy of your own, and check out her social media links following the illustrations as well as the following book excerpts  (one and two).

Call-of-Elespen-Book-SpotlightExcerpt 1Call of Hywilkin illustrationTib-PromoKeepers-of-the-Wellsprings-banner

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #119: Reflections on Rewatching “Fire and Ice” With Jeremy and Chad

Episode #119: Reflections on Rewatching “Fire and Ice” With Jeremy and Chad

https://archive.org/download/Podcast119_201711/podcast%20119.mp3

Today’s episode is a discussion on rewatching the animated film, Fire and Ice, directed by Ralph Bakshi and produced by him and Frank Frazetta, who provided many of the character designs.   My brother, Jeremy, and author Chad Derdowski came on the show after watching the film to give our reflections (click on the movie poster below, painted by Frank Frazetta, to get a copy of your own):

We cover quite a bit, from pulp fiction, racial and gender stereotypes, to fantasy art and the dearth of painted novel covers and movie posters (like those done by Drew Struzan in the 80s for films like Back to the Future, Adventures in Babysitting, Big Trouble in Little China, and Blade Runner), and what ages we’d let our kids watch the film.

A few factoids covered in this episode.   For example, did you know that:

James Gurney, creator of Dinotopia, worked on the backgrounds to the film.  He chronicled his experiences working on the film on his blog.

Thomas Kinkade, “The Painter of Light” also worked on the film. Reading how he and Gurney worked together and pranked folks on the set is a good read!

-Not that it needs one, but Fire and Ice may get a remake (allegedly … supposedly … possibly … you know how these things go).  Some concept art here.

-Dark Wolf later inspired a similarly clad comic hero called Jaguar God … the first issue cover was a borrowed Frazetta painting.

Image result for jaguar god

-Despite different directors and different studios/animation styles, you can buy the whole (well, kind of) animated Lord of the Rings saga:

The Lord of the Rings Deluxe Edition/The Hobbit Deluxe Edition/The Return of the King Deluxe Edition/ (3-Pack/Giftset/DVD)

And a bit on the Dark Wolf character from the film, which we touched on during previous episodes Chad featured in (hear parts 1 and 2 here) – a combo of a “sword and sorcery” Batman (as Jeremy put it) crossed with the Death Dealer character Frazetta created and painted numerous times:

Image result for death dealer

Lastly, I leave you this image of Blackstar, a similarly clad figure that went with a sword and sorcery cartoon of the same era about an astronaut that lands on an alien planet.  He has a tagline that reads “Astronaut defender of freedom with glow in the dark star sword.”  Does it get any more 80s than that?  🙂 (You can watch the series on youtube.)

Image result for blackstar figure

 

And if you like sword and sorcery, check out Chad’s books!  The following tracks were inspired by them:

I’ll end with more info on where you can find the book that inspired these tracks:

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

Thanks, Chad, and Jeremy for coming on the show.  Look for more in the future!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #118: Creating Tracks for “Fortune Favors the Bold”

Episode #118: Creating Tracks for Fortune Favors the Bold

https://archive.org/download/Podcast118_201711/Podcast%20118.mp3

Not long after author Chad Derdowski came on the show this summer (hear parts 1 and 2 here), talking about his brilliantly humorous … oh, how shall we say, R-rated Choose-Your- Own-Adventure-style book, Fortune Favors the Bold, I wondered what a soundtrack to the book might sound like.  Something out of an 80s movie, I thought, like Ladyhawke or Legend.  And then, the muse struck.  Of course, it was in an inconvenient place (in the shower), but as soon as I could, I found a keyboard and tapped out the little theme that formed the backbone of these two tracks.

I got Chad’s input and okay to proceed, then went to town.  He didn’t put me up to this or anything, and I didn’t want him to think I was trying to steal his creations … I guess in the tradition of fanfiction, you could call this “fanmusic?”  =)  Anyway, I talk more about the creation of the tracks, called “Gleam of the Widowmaker” and “One Adventures Ends, Another Begins” on the episode and read a few choice bits from the book which inspired the tracks, which you can listen to below or by clicking on the song titles above.

The latter track was made on the iOS app Auxy, like “Flight of the Cloudrider” (listen here or see the music video below) and “There is Magic Inside.”  You can learn more about Auxy, download a copy to your phone, and Henrik Lenberg, the creator of the program, by clicking on the highlighted links.

By the way, in case you are curious, here is a youtube tutorial that shows a little about how to use Auxy:

And here are some screenshots from “One Adventure Ends, Another Begins”:

If you enjoy synthesizer music, creating it, or just living your life as if it were accompanied to an 80s soundtrack, check out this great synthwave playlist on Spotify curated by Preston Cram.

I’ll end with more info on where you can find the book that inspired these tracks:

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

Thanks, Chad, for inspiring this fun project!  Hope you enjoy it!  Look for more from Chad next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #117: “Born Again” and The Man Without Fear

Episode #117: “Born Again” and The Man Without Fear

https://ia601509.us.archive.org/30/items/Podcast117_201711/Podcast 117.mp3

When I was a kid, I really wanted to like comic books.  I really did.  But I ended up having about as much luck with them as I did with fantasy novels – meaning that, aside from a few isolated one-shot deals, it was a mostly a miasma of confusion and disappointment.  Of course, I had a few tattered Spiderman and Superman comic books, but for the most part, I didn’t have the fainted idea what was going on in them.  I’d mostly just look at the pictures and sort of guess what was happening since I was usually missing part 1 of whatever story arc it was and probably only had issue 3/7, like how someone who doesn’t understand the language might feel when watching a film without subtitles … one can appreciate the art … but everything else is kind of a gamble.

There were a few notable exceptions, though – Dave Stevens’  The Rocketeer and the only Daredevil comic I had a kid, a collection of stories in an arc dubbed “Born Again.”  Ripe with heavy Christian symbolism (sacrifice, redemption, Armageddon) and rendered in mostly dark primary colors depicting a grim and seedy vision of pre-gentrification NYC, writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli created a world that you didn’t exactly want to inhabit, but like watching a train careen into a mountain, man, oh man, you couldn’t look away from, either.

In today’s episode, I reflect a little on this fine example of storytelling.

img_2093

Daredevil, sans costume, takes on one of the Kingpin’s enforcer’s trying to ventilate him.  Nice kick!  Time to visit the dentist …

img_2095

I read this story around the time I was starting martial arts and liked that it included some martial arts techniques for Daredevil, here fighting an impostor in his costume).    Another nice side kick above and a variety of spearhands below:

img_2094

img_2097img_2098

img_2091

At the time, when reading this story, I had no idea Daredevil was blind and always marveled at how he managed to not kill himself jumping all over the place.  I guess that is why he is the man without fear.

img_2092

img_2090

I thought this quote was the coolest thing as a teenager.

img_2088

At their very core, superhero stories laud the best and worst of humanity.  But while they serve as idealistic examples of wish fulfillment, it can be hard to relate to a superhero. By making him fall to new lows, this comic did a great job making Daredevil into a relatable human being.  It’s symbolic he spends most of the story arc without his trademark costume and that the last page shows him as a regular guy walking down the street.  For those of us who haven’t quite fallen to those gritty depths, there is still hope.  Maybe that means we then have something to lose and thus, something to fear.  But in a world where danger seems to lurk around every corner (if you believe what the news says), feeling no fear may not be realistic or even prudent.  But it doesn’t mean we can’t put our best selves forward, one foot in front of the other, and at the very least, fake being unafraid.  In the end, who can really tell the difference?

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞