8-Bit-Music-Theory: Creating Game Tunes

By Bryan A Westfall

During VGM Con in Minneapolis, 8-Bit Music Theory had a panel where he took the audience through writing a video game level tune with as much *theory* and as little *creativity* as possible. 35 minutes later, a sweet lava level game tune emerged!

“Be Curious, Not Judgmental”

By Bryan A Westfall

Judging by the vitriol that permeates most social media, it should come as no surprise that the above quote (which Ted Lasso misattributed to Walt Whitman) would be so apt for an announcement from a new gaming studio which included a particularly polarizing tech.

The pseudo-anonymity of social media coupled with that place in all of our brains which becomes inflamed when we come across tech we don’t yet understand, has turned into a bit of a two headed beast in response to the newly formed Midnight Society gaming studio’s announcement of their “Founders Pass“.

The origin story of this particular beast lies within three letters which regularly elicits rage-full reactions in some (normally the most vocal), simply because of a lack of understanding of what it means. I’ll go ahead and spell it out:

NFT

If you’re still here, it means you either have at least a basic understanding of the technology, don’t understand & don’t care if you don’t understand, or are actually curious to learn when faced with something you don’t yet understand.

When it comes to NFT’s, I fell into the latter…then I took ten whole minutes to do two things:

  1. Googled “NFT” and watched a few videos to gain a basic understanding.
  2. Researched how Midnight Society was incorporating them into their “Founders Pass“.

Much sweat was broken. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Essentially, an NFT is a one of a kind (or one of a limited run) item you can own…only digital instead of physical. So, instead of owning that original physical painting, you’d own a piece of original digital art. The encoding of the digital item acts as sort of a certificate of authenticity, similar to what might come with owning a one of a kind physical work of art.

That’s just one example using my very basic understanding, and it’s enough for me to move on to how Midnight Society is using them in their “Founders Pass“.

People saw “NFT” on twitter in regards to the Midnight Society announcement, and because they’ve decided (in life) to rage at what they don’t understand, they decided to (obviously without research) throw around accusations of their upcoming game being an “NFT game” etc.

A few minutes into their site, their Discord, and their twitter it was clear how this technology was going to be used in the “Founders Pass“.

Studio co-founder Dr. Disrespect went on to state outright in his day-of-announcement stream that anyone will be able to play the (free to play) game without ever utilizing NFT tech if they so desired.

As for NFT inclusion in the “Founders Pass“, 10,000 applicants (of nearly 400,000 so far) will be chosen as “Variants“. I’ll let Midnight Society take the mic for a sec (with a little bolding by yours truly for emphasis):

“Founders Access Pass holders gain Early Access builds to playtest the game, early access to Industry Guilds when they open, voting rights in dev round tables, invites to in-person community events, exclusive merch drops with Founder’s only designs, and finally a one of a kind VisorCortex design as part of your unique Variant.

There it is. If you’re one of the 10,000 chosen, you get one of these one-of-a-kind bad boys (example courtesy of one of Doc’s Warzone partners, ZLaner):

A one-of-a-kind masterpiece of a gaming PFP, which is an NFT. That’s it. That’s how NFT’s are currently being used in relation to this project.

If among the 10,000 chosen, there is a $50 fee to “mint” the “Founders Pass“. The inclusion of the PFP NFT is clearly an attempt by Midnight Society to include some additional, unique value to the pass, a point of view sadly missed by too many.

The amazing (and most important) thing I found when doing this small bit of research is how solid and engaged the community surrounding Midnight Society already is, as are the folks running the show.

UPDATE 3/28/22: A great example of the community and developers involved in Midnight Society can be found in their first developer AMA that took place on 3/16. Over an hour of Q&A between the community of players and developers:

They’ve made it clear that they’re looking for a diverse and passionate group of people to be the 10,000 involved in game development, and it’s very clear they will have plenty to choose from.

Those not chosen to be founders are a few years out at least from seeing what “Project Moon” will be (the code name for the studios first game), but if you’ve followed Dr. Disrespect for any amount of time we at least know there will be some insanely high quality audio.

Wait…can you hear footsteps on the moon? BRB GOTTA GOOGLE.

That one time I (sort of) joined The Resistance

By Bryan A Westfall

They don’t give you an option, really.

Even if you show up in an Empire Scout Trooper ‘gang’ themed jacket and clearly long to hug every Stormtrooper in site (while whispering “Remember Endor”):

They don’t recruit you right as you enter Galaxy’s Edge, though The First Order is a lot less subtle than The Resistance in their public attempts to do so.

On either end of Batuu, you’ll find the dueling recruitment strategies. If you enter from the Toy Story area of Disney Hollywood Studios (then head towards the Blue Milk), you’ll find yourself faced with the First Order TIE Echelon:

Occasionally you’ll find it being patrolled by some First Order troops (see featured image at the top). Despite many threatening postures, my new best friends don’t make good on confiscating ‘data pads’ (phones) etc. All they see are some harmless hangers about, really (and in my case, a big fan).

On one route over to the (not very well kept) secret Resistance encampment on the other side of Batuu, you may pass this scavenger who is up to no good. Ignore her. Walk fast (as she can apparently do some pretty wild stuff with her…mind?):

If you want to stay low-key and hide inside the hustle and bustle of the Batuu marketplace instead, you’ll ultimately find yourself in the midst of some hunk of junk of a ship:

If you’re not careful, you’ll end up as part of a crew on that ship (they’re always wrangling pilots, gunners and engineers), working for some pirate-gone-good (?) named Hondo. This is the first subtle attempt to recruit for the Resistance, as the mission is to use this Millennium Falcon to shuttle supplies for them.

I will say, though, that this ship does have a pretty sweet spot to chill out and play some holo-chess:

Shame most of the time is spent being thrown around the cockpit, thanks to some amateurish pilots:

Once (if) you survive this supply mission, head towards & past the transport shuttle you see above. You’ll need to pass through some more of this marketplace (keep your head down and move quickly, as they will stop at nothing to separate you from your money):

Past this is the Resistance encampment. You’ll know you’re nearing this area when you come across the X-Wing & A-Wing Starfighters:

This is where things seem to get complicated rather quickly. Throngs of people gathered around this encampment, apparently in a desire to join the Resistance. Most were up before dawn in an attempt to join a boarding party on one of their missions.

Join them, if you can. You’ll see the First Order in all it’s glory soon enough. Not before being recruited by The Resistance, however. You *are* in their encampment, after all. That super-powered scavenger shows up again. Just keep your head down and try to blend in:

After this briefing, just ‘follow orders’ and follow the crowd. You’ll know you’re on the right track when you pass this T-70 X-wing starfighter (one of the few Resistance ships I’ve longed to fly). Don’t approach it, though. That astromech droid is *abusive* to strays:

You’ll make your way into some rickety Resistance transport, after which your boarding party will be subjected to some push & pull between them and The First Order:

The rest of the escapade is a bit of a blur, but rest assured you will be able to spend some quality time ‘in the company of’ your First Order friends, as well as with some ‘higher ups’ in interrogation:

The Resistance is pesky, and appears to enjoy inciting chaos. Your journey will ultimately be your own, but I’ll leave you with some images from the chaos I endured (taken under duress):

Ultimately, any time spent with ‘family’ is time well spent…in my opinion. Chosen family, or otherwise:

My New Family ❤️

runDisney Announcement Coming 6/30/21!

Thanks, runDisney.

Thanks for saving the announcement of the announcement for only one day prior, to keep the speculation in my head from going on for too long.

Would seven months notice be typical for the WDW Marathon weekend, which typically lands in January?

Just please please please don’t ‘compete’ with Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim in late May!

🤞