ReStaff July - August 2014

Bonkers

Bioware, do you need a nap?
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Graphics:


@Arkecia: The carpets were very lovely.  I really enjoyed the pattern.  

 

@Avery: Having more stone and tree as examples in the XP tiles is never a bad thing.

@Caz: Wonderful work on the burger guy and the tile set assets

@Caitlin: It's good to see sci and modern elements making their way into restaff

@Chaos Avian:  That's a huge bug, and battlers are no small feat to make.

@leilaheliday The crystal skin was my favorite out of the bunch

@Ocean: I like the non saturated elements, and the anchor is easily my favorite.  They get forgotten with boat tile sets more often than not.

 

@Sharm: Always great to see another example with your template.  It makes me eager for the sprites you are working on.



Music:


@Desperate Measurez

Unmatched Treachery The use of a soft Gothic choir chant with the heavy drums and electrical wind made quite an impact.

Journey's Reflection was a nice introspective theme with a great deal of power behind it.  I'll definitely be using this one in the next project.

 Illusory Realm had a few chaotic elements to it that broke into the subtle tones.  The bells were a nice touch.

@JohnnyR  This is the first time I've heard an eastern theme with a techno feel.  There was a bit of street savvy cruise meeting a traditional string and synth.  Very different, and almost has an alien feel to the tone.

@McTricky 

Motion of Mystery started off subdued.  There is a number of elements going on as it progresses along with the sweet melodic singer who vanishes all too quick at the end.

Trust in the Sword also has a nice pace and leads into some synthesized elements to more ghostly sounding singers.   



 

@Dalph Certainly. After my interview I'll start on a few things.  Since you suggested Dark Castle/Crypt I want to see if I can get some elements from the scrapped part of my project redone and also get that 

spider cocoon to people.

@Zalett There wasn't a black outline?  There wasn't meant to be those mushrooms, they were made to clash on green and brown.  No I don't think they look like Super Mario graphics because they are not flat.  I'm sorry they weren't to your liking.

@Arkecia I know.  I was flat out of alternatives and had to make my own.  No way around it.  Thankfully the trick works as busts on doors and walls so it's more decor for less work.

@Grandma Deb Thanks!  I'll be sure to use their proper name in the credits.  The pillars were among the first edits I did, and the praying figure took a while to get just right.  I thought the RTP pillars weren't interesting without some design or element on them.

@Scythuz Yea, this is another area where the material is just lacking so you do as you need.  The non saturated colors worked out better for stagnant water and aging stone walls. 
 

TygerBurnz

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Ooh goody! I think some of the items will work well in the project I've teamed up on, and other stuff is cool too. BTW I've collected soundfonts and instrument samples from all over in case anyone needs something besides what they have on hand.Let me know when the looping is fixed,  btw, but i grabbed a copy already
 

DesperateMeasurez

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Yeah for the celebration theme it wasn't a click or a pop but more a noticeable delay/period of silence.  Great that you're willing to fix it though :)
Just getting back to you on this, as I've listened to it a few more times and I think I know what you're talking about now that you said it was a small silence. At first I couldn't find it because I was searching around the actual looping point, but I believe it finally dawned on me what you meant!

 

If you're referring to the part where the piece begins again, that's not my loop point.  When I do my looping, my start and end loop points are different than the "starting" and "ending" points of the actual piece. Listen to it in a program that doesn't auto loop the music and you'll see what I mean. The beginning of the music starts to play again before the piece ends dead.

 

I do this because a lot of times I have elements at the end of a track that aren't present at the beginning (like a rising cymbal), so I let the piece replay itself about 4 to 8 bars to let any new elements fade completely out. In this piece, I have a cymbal hit at the end that is not present at the start. So I put the looping point at around the 8 second mark to make sure it had proper time to fade out.

 

The slight pause you hear before the start of the piece is to let the trumpet players take a quick breath before they start blaring again. In my DAW, the sections are completely butt together. If I wanted, I could simply stretch the notes out  so there is no break in the sound, but I chose not to do that for a reason.

 

Whenever I write for brass and woodwind instruments one of the things I try to keep in mind is letting the "players" take a breath to add an element of realism. That quick pause before they start the intro blaring was just that. A quick pause so my poor players could breathe! Haha.

 

Anyway, I think that might be what you were referring to. I hope that wasn't too confusing or anything and you could see what I was talking about. Sometimes I believe I'm a poor explainer, so I hope I didn't confuse you! Thanks again for the notification though, man. I appreciate you having an ear out for any potential problems!
 

Evan Finkel

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@Palladinthug: To be honest, I am talking about about thin mushrooms. Huge one are mostly well done.
 
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Alkorri

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I'm late, I know. It's been a busy week, but I had to comment on how great this Restaff is :)

 

Graphics


@Arkecia - That tribal carpet is perfect for a project I need. Even the colour is just right. I don't suppose you'd care to make more lovely ornate carpets like these? ;) Out of your carpet autotiles, I admit I like the black and the Persian-like patterns the best. More pillows/cushions are always welcome!

 

@Avery - I always love your work. Just for this I installed RM XP for the first time (I can't believe it's only 25MB??) to try your tiles out. It looks really nice! (I have to admit, I was blown away by the mapping and got so lost XD ) Anyway, the stone texture on the floor and cliff is so exquisite, and the trees looked real good on my first (ugly) XP map.

 

@Caitlin - Modern/futuristic tiles are always welcome. Some of the tiles are ambiguous enough to turn them into anything you want. Love the apple clock too! Perhaps you could try other 'fruits' next? ;) One of my favourites is the light switches too, on and off. Thank you!

 

@Caz - Omg, Burgerman is adorable. You're tempting me to make a DS game now. It shall be called...Burgerman in Love. On a serious note, I adore those subdued wall tiles, and the blue roof. Great idea adding the example screenshot or I might not be able to figure out what the smaller pieces are for! (I thought the bowl things were for flowers, for some reason) I love the colours for the vendor cart and booths too - very festive. Now all I need are banners and balloons for a fair scene ;D

 

@Chaos Avian - Is that a giant bug with boobs? Now I've seen everything ;D After staring at your battlers for a while I realise why they look unsettling. It looks as if a woman and a bug have fused to create... this. Love the creativity here, and the lighter one with the blue eyes is my favourite. The darker one I think would look especially nice with red eyes, but we'll see! Can't wait to see what other horrific creatures you come up with :>

 


@Palladinthug - Thank you for this really nice contribution! I must have spent half an hour messing around with the tiles to see how they'd look. (I'm aware the enclosed screenshot is ugly; it's just me plopping down tiles)



Result: I really like the look of those stalagmites and your green crystal. Would love to see more crystal shapes. I had fun with the mushrooms too. The only thing I'm not clear about is how to use those moss tiles/walls? I am certain I am using them wrong, due to my lack of mapping experience.


 

@leilaheliday - Yay more windowskins! Phew, I have to admit, it took me hours to resolve some display issues, but I finally got to see them in all their glory. All of them are great, with Crystal Skin and Flower Skin my favourites in particular. Great work! 

 

@Ocean - Love the starfish and the anchor! I'm grateful for the readme that tells me what they are, or I might have mistaken the umbrellas for cute mushrooms, and the surfboards for seashells ;D As it is, the surfboards are gorgeous. Think you'd make any cool tropical drinks sometime? ;)

 

@Sharm - I have no words. Eric is my favourite RTP character, you know that? I was so happy to see you do him in your style, not only that, you provided a PSD file so we could tailor him however we wish.Look, he could pass off for a civilian in the modern world  :cutesmile:





 

Music


@DesperateMeasurez - Wow so many tracks! I was thrilled you provided music details. These helped me to appreciate the parts I didn't get.

 

Journey's Reflection - This is hands down my favourite. Utterly beautiful, epic and emotional. A strong beginning shifts to something sad and haunting, then around the 1:05 mark I get this sense of triumph, so apparently the victory was bittersweet at least. You really brought it home with those vocals from 2:15! I think I might have teared up a bit. Definitely one of those songs where I wish I had a MP3 version. Bravo.

 

Radiant Times does feel like the sort of piece you'd play on a summer day by the beach. I do hear the notes of celebration there. This would also make a nice ending theme for the credits :)

 

Illusionary Realm - What started as a standard sounding dungeon track is elevated with all these complex sounds that hint at ethereal and sinister goings-on! I love how mesmerising this track is without being overly jarring. 

 

Peace on the Water - To be honest, this piece didn't strike me as very 'peaceful' in the beginning, due to the strings/drums(?) that seemed to beat on my ears. Perhaps I played it too loud? I really loved the flute that kicked in at 0:30 though, and that new sound at 1:28 onwards. By the end of the track, I was really into it :)

 

Unmatched Treachery - This seems like the kind of piece you'd play when the heroes are reaching to storm the castle and reach the villain before he unleashes some world-ending plot! There were parts that brought to mind something I heard from an opera, and other times when the sounds felt a little chaotic? Only later when I read your explanation did I realise the story behind it.

 

Triumphant Celebration - Now this is the kind of track I'd like to hear if I was in a parade! I can imagine the heroes waving as the crowds cheered them on on the way to meet the king.

 

Fireside Tales - At first I thought this track sounded eastern to me, which thrilled me because there's so few who can carry off well. Then a new instrument chimed in at 0:44 that didn't seem to fit. After looking up your readme, I understood your song better. Ah well, this is still a lovely piece of music :) Definitely gives off that sense of travelers speaking of faraway lands. Good job!

 

@JohnnyR - I have to admit, Somewhere in the Far East scared me a bit when it first played ;D (I had the volume set to loud) I agree with Scythuz that it seems more like a futuristic or modern piece. I don't quite see where the Far East bit comes in, except that bit that almost sounds like singing at 1:36? I'd have to listen to it at a slower pace in the software to understand it better. For some reason I imagine this playing in some hotel bar. Thank you for the song :)

 

@McTricky - Trust in the Sword is a nice little battle tune that sounds basic, then the excitement starts to kick in from 0:18. Lots of highs and lows to simulate the setbacks and triumphs in any battle. Not sure how I feel about that choir at 1:51, but certainly never dull. Oh, and another thing. The track name is shown as Motion of Mystery in my VLC player for some reason?

 

Motion of Mystery - I don't know if I mixed up Motion of Mystery with Trust in the Sword, but this sounds more to me like an urgent dungeon theme, the kind you play when the clock is ticking. I like how the music drifts to something more quiet in 0:53, and the parts when the piano weaves in. At one point something like a harmonica comes in, then a singing voice. The reason I said this feels more like a dungeon piece is the track seems too 'complex' to be a battle track... I'm probably not making sense ;D Thank you for these, McTricky!



 

Congratulations to Caz for the video and to everyone who contributed. Again, a very exciting release!
 

JohnnyR

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Okay, I'm sorry for taking so long to actually write this, but I've been recovering from a really bad cold and trying to organize a Table RPG group, so... Yeah.

First of all, thank you all for the awesome feedback, I'm really glad everyone liked this single, I already promised Caz-senpai that I would bring at least 4 songs in the next release, so just you wait!

Btw, I really didn't notice the sci-fi possibility until you guys say it, but yeah, I guess that was some kind of ... musical Jackspot! So use it the way it fits for ya'll!  :rock-left:   BD   :rock-right:

Also:

@Scythuz, I really didn't notice the clips you mentioned.. But well, you're the pro! And it's always nice to hear some good feedback on you, so thanks a lot! I'll double-check it next time!  :)

@Dalph, that was actually a nice idea, I'll keep that in mind, so you can wait for a space-related track next month!

And here's my review for this release:

Graphics

@Arkecia: Those were some pretty pillows, the first ones I saw here, I guess.. And that carpet you made, WOW! It must have been really hard to do that! Awesome job!  ;)

@Avery: It's always nice to see you in action, I really like your work! Those cliffs are looking good, and I really liked the colors you used.

@Caitlin: Nice modern tiles you got there, that is one good-looking fridge, I must say.

@Caz: Oh, Caz... I already knew what you were doing, still, I'm surprised! I love those tiles and the burger man! Simply perfect! 11/10  :D   :thumbsup-right:

@Chaos Avian: Just... What the hell is that thing? I believe I've seen it before.. IN A FREAKING NIGHTMARE! It looks really cool, would fit in perfectly in my head a creepy dungeon. Nice job!

@leilaheliday: Lovely skins you got there, you made a great choice of colors. Well done!

@Ocean: I love your icons, you know that, so I don't really have anything to say. I guess this was a beach related set, am I right? They look good, but maybe they're a liiiiiittle bit too dark. Or maybe it's just the background color, I don't know. Still, I like them.

@Palladinthug: WOW, JUST, WOW! Your art is amazing! Seriously, I was looking for a Nature Dungeon set, and those are way too perfect! Those rocks are the best I've seen! Oh, and that lion head fountain reminded me of FFVII's Lion Symbol on Cloud's jacket. Nostalgic and awesome!  :D

@Sharm: That is quite a different Eric. Not sure where it would fit, but I can see it's really well made. You seem to handle those pixels very well, good job!
Music

@DesperateMeasurez: I was about to say that we had only a few songs in this release, but never mind, I'm pretty sure you covered it all! :D

Your tracks are very good, I liked them all, but "Illusory Realm", "Peace on the Water" and "Triumphant Celebrations" are my favorites! Awesome job! I hope to hear more from you in future releases, so keep 'em coming!  :D  

@McTricky: I really enjoy your tracks, and these 2 are really good, but I guess Scythuz is right, they loop a little bit wrong. But they still sound great! Anyway, we all make mistakes, and this is the guy who tried to make an Eastern song and made a sci-fi theme, so yeah, don't worry about it! Keep it up!  :)  
 

Sharm

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I'd like to think that the more of those I make the more useful they'll be. I just need to keep making more. I've got a whole bunch of them in the works, a set of them as part of a store release, some I'm doing for OGA, and Dalph's request of Ulrika which will be a ReStaff release when it's done.
 

Bonkers

Bioware, do you need a nap?
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@Alkorri

They were meant as a a soft transition to go over auto tiles.  So you'd choose one and then overlay them on top to show the growth.



Here is a quick example.  You can also have vines and my previous submission to go with it and add a more clumped look.
 

Alkorri

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That screenshot is very helpful. Thanks. I like the curved look :)  
 

DesperateMeasurez

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DesperateMeasurez:

First off I like how you added how you imagined each track, it really drives the point home if the song titles weren't description enough. I love the feeling all of your string instruments invoke; my favorite track is a cross between Fireside Tales, (something I'd use for bonding moments) Journey's Reflection, (not your normal reflection, but the moment that ultimately grows the player character(s)) and Peace On The Water (Either a town theme as there aren't many good ones, or a camping montage o_o)
DesperateMeasurez:

Fireside Tales

It's a nice tavern\pub theme as you said but I believe that it can fit for a village too (possibly a primitive one with a night atmosphere).

It's very calm and relaxing, I like it.

Illusory Realm

I love this one, it's creepy, dark and kinda mysterious too (my things, ahah), it fits very well for a nightmare, a sad cutscene or even a flashback. I really like the harp in this track, it's very very nice.

Journey's Reflection

A sad theme, it's very deep and makes you think, definitely a must have for dramatic cutscenes of any sort, the female echoes that you can hear in it are beautiful. Very high quality work.

Peace On The Water

This track can fit mainly for a village (a fishing one as you say but a regular one too) or a tavern yes, it's calm, relaxing and lighthearted.

I can even see it fit as a main character theme for some reason. Nice one.

Radiant Times

A very flexible track, can be used for a lot of different things tbh...an introduction, or maybe a regular cutscene, a character theme, a overworld map theme or even a forest and\or a grass field. The possibilities are so many, I like how it makes me think about the start of long journey.

Triumphant Celebration

This is what the name suggests yes, a triumphant return after a battle, or maybe the celebration after the ending of a war...can be used also for a Castle theme or for a coronation. Brings joy and honor.

Unmatched Treachery

OMFG! You...

This is the track that I requested...Mordred's track! Thank you very much for making this one man, you're so awesome.

As I told you Mordred is actually my favourite character of the Arthurian Legends and this theme clearly fits him so damn well...it's amazing, dark, evil and my favourite of this release. I can really feel the treachery inside it, I freakin love it!

Suggestions for the next Restaff (composers):

DesperateMeasurez:

Again thank you very much for Unmatched Treachery, I appreciate it a lot man...I'm speechless here. You're the best.

Did you make Merlin's theme? This track would be a nice idea and very useful for any "good" mage character.

If we want to stay away from the Arthurian Legends for a while then I reccomend to do some Asian themes...like Chinese Mythology and similar tuff.
DesperateMeasurez

Oh, my god! So much pieces there! Loving work! I was haunting for something smillar to them! Thank you so much!

 

Suggestions

I am agree with Dalph, why not try something sci-fi or futuristic?
@Desperate Measurez

Unmatched Treachery The use of a soft Gothic choir chant with the heavy drums and electrical wind made quite an impact.

Journey's Reflection was a nice introspective theme with a great deal of power behind it.  I'll definitely be using this one in the next project.

 Illusory Realm had a few chaotic elements to it that broke into the subtle tones.  The bells were a nice touch.
@DesperateMeasurez - Wow so many tracks! I was thrilled you provided music details. These helped me to appreciate the parts I didn't get.

 

Journey's Reflection - This is hands down my favourite. Utterly beautiful, epic and emotional. A strong beginning shifts to something sad and haunting, then around the 1:05 mark I get this sense of triumph, so apparently the victory was bittersweet at least. You really brought it home with those vocals from 2:15! I think I might have teared up a bit. Definitely one of those songs where I wish I had a MP3 version. Bravo.

 

Radiant Times does feel like the sort of piece you'd play on a summer day by the beach. I do hear the notes of celebration there. This would also make a nice ending theme for the credits :)

 

Illusionary Realm - What started as a standard sounding dungeon track is elevated with all these complex sounds that hint at ethereal and sinister goings-on! I love how mesmerising this track is without being overly jarring. 

 

Peace on the Water - To be honest, this piece didn't strike me as very 'peaceful' in the beginning, due to the strings/drums(?) that seemed to beat on my ears. Perhaps I played it too loud? I really loved the flute that kicked in at 0:30 though, and that new sound at 1:28 onwards. By the end of the track, I was really into it :)

 

Unmatched Treachery - This seems like the kind of piece you'd play when the heroes are reaching to storm the castle and reach the villain before he unleashes some world-ending plot! There were parts that brought to mind something I heard from an opera, and other times when the sounds felt a little chaotic? Only later when I read your explanation did I realise the story behind it.

 

Triumphant Celebration - Now this is the kind of track I'd like to hear if I was in a parade! I can imagine the heroes waving as the crowds cheered them on on the way to meet the king.

 

Fireside Tales - At first I thought this track sounded eastern to me, which thrilled me because there's so few who can carry off well. Then a new instrument chimed in at 0:44 that didn't seem to fit. After looking up your readme, I understood your song better. Ah well, this is still a lovely piece of music :) Definitely gives off that sense of travelers speaking of faraway lands. Good job!
@DesperateMeasurez: I was about to say that we had only a few songs in this release, but never mind, I'm pretty sure you covered it all! :D

Your tracks are very good, I liked them all, but "Illusory Realm", "Peace on the Water" and "Triumphant Celebrations" are my favorites! Awesome job! I hope to hear more from you in future releases, so keep 'em coming!  :D
First off I just want to apologize for taking sooo long to get back to everyone. I really wasn't trying to be rude. The last week or so, I had to get some things off my plate and the time it takes for me to write this up... Well, I couldn't properly do it and didn't want to rush it!

@Arkecia: Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the music and the notes. They took a little time to think of and write out! Haha. A camping montage. I hadn't even thought of that, but yeah. I can imagine that for Peace On The Water!

@Dalph: Thanks, man! I had a lot of fun working on Mordred's theme. You're quite welcome! Not a problem at all. It was nice to be able to do a specific suggestion someone wanted. I get a different feeling from pieces like that as compared to just making random tracks and dumping them out there. I guess it feels as if the resource is needed so it will have a purpose or something.

It's funny to me you said Radiant Times felt like starting on a journey. When I let my sister hear it, she said it made her feel like getting on her bike and starting a paper route... I guess that's like a journey, eh? Haha.

Anyway, thanks for the other suggestions. I can definitely try my hand at Merlin. It's funny you mention Asian stuff. I've just been doing some work on a small app game with heavy Asian/martial arts influences. Once I finish that up, I may just keep rolling with that style and see what I can come up with. Thanks again!

@Zalett: Thanks a lot! You're quite welcome and I appreciate the kind words!

@palladinthug: Thank you! Journey's Reflection and Unmatched Treachery were probably my favorite two to work on out of this bunch. I'm glad you enjoyed them!

@Alkorri: Thank you! I'm glad you liked the notes. I can tend to ramble on a bit when I start to write, so I hope it wasn't too much to get through! Mixing several subtle undertones throughout a single piece is something I've really grown fond of doing and I was able to do that with Journey's Reflection. So I had a lot of fun with that. Sending you an MP3 isn't a problem at all, if you really want one. Send me a PM and I'll be happy to send it over.

The instruments that start Peace On The Water are a Lute, Baroque Guitar and the percussion is a Tambourine. The Lute and Guitar can tend to be a bit plucky, so that might have been it. I apologize for them beating on your ears! If I use those again in the near future I'll try to be more mindful of that and start them out a bit softer.

I take it from your comment on Fireside Tales that you are looking forward to or have a need for Eastern/Asian music? Dalph mentioned that as well, so I can definitely see if I can give it a go! Thanks again for all the feedback!

@JohnnyR: Haha. I had a bit of a slow month last time around, which explains why I had time to the ones I did! Things have been starting off a bit busier this month. At least for now. I'll keep my fingers crossed! Thanks a lot, man. I appreciate it. I enjoyed your work too. Like others have said, I can definitely hear the eastern and desert feel mixed with Sci-Fi influences. It was a very interesting combination and I think it came out quite well. Personally, I liked the build-up's structure. Having it slowly march on like that helped me get lost in the music and the atmosphere. Looking forward to hearing more!

Okay. I hope I didn't forget anyone. If I did, I apologize! Hope everyone is well. Thanks so much again to all of you!
 

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