We’ve got a great show today with Dan Hess, the composer behind Pilotwings 64! It was released as a launch title for the N64 in 1996 by Paradigm Simulation and is the second in the series (Pilotwings, Pilotwings 64, Pilotwings Resort). Pilotwings 64 continues the tradition of a lightweight flight sim where you use a variety of flight tools like a hang glider, jet pack, gyrocopter to complete simple objectives, or just fly around more casually.
Dan Hess is a composer, performer and sound designer with over 30 years experience. In addition to his work on Pilotwings 64, Dan wrote the music for F1 World Grand Prix for N64. During the development of Pilotwings, Dan was the in-house composer for Paradigm Simulations / Entertainment. Dan plays a mean keyboard and has been performing since he was a teen, with the likes of Second Self and Skeleton Crew. Dan continues to work in tech, and is engaged in a number of side projects like recreating a lot of the Pilotwings 64 soundtrack for donors to his Patreon. Over the course of the show, Dan also shares a number of tracks related to his time in VGM, some of which he uploads to YouTube.
Also guest hosting with us is Ian Cowell, a guitarist and VGM musician who grew up with the N64 and loved Pilotwings 64 enough to put out a cover of Birdman, which we use to close out the show. If you enjoy his track, check out the rest of his recently released album Exceptional Goblins, with features a total of 12 awesome and laid back VGM tracks from the popular to the obscure. Those with a good memory will recall Ian also joined us at MAGWest 2018.
We had a fantastic time with both of our guests, and even though we like all of the shows we put out, this one might be one of our favorites already. We hope you enjoy it and all of the music as much as we do.
In this installment of Pixelated Audio, we’re talking about Crisis Wing, a retro-styled 90s shmup that draws inspiration from many classic shooters. We’re joined by Finnish one-man indie games developer and composer, Pauli, aka pieslice of Pieslice Productions (@PiesliceP). It’s a modern take on all of your favorite retro shooters, with all of the tough bosses, bullet patterns, and FM music you can handle. Crisis Wing was released on Steam in 2020 and published for most major consoles (Switch, PS4/PS5, Xbox S|X) in 2021 by indie specialist publisher eastasiasoft.
We go through pretty much the entire soundtrack with pieslice and cover his unique twist on his inspirations, which range from PC game music, the demoscene and of course plenty of shmups like Gradius, Star Soldier, and the harder edged FM sound of Toaplan games like Out Zone and Zero Wing. We talk about composition as well as indie game development challenges and more. If you like the game and music of Crisis Wing, stay tuned as Pieslice Productions has got a late 90s shmup (and music) in the works! As always, we hope you enjoy the music.
We’re back to livestream for virtual MAGWest 2021, this time with composer and returning friend of the show, Chase Bethea! We talk with Chase about his music from games both released and upcoming, his process, as well as a short interactive audio demo, and some Q&A from the live chat.
Chase Bethea is a Composer & Technical Audio Designer that has received many accolades throughout his career. In 2016, Chase was nominated for Artists of the Year – Independent Composer by VGMO in the entire industry. In 2021, he won Best Original Soundtrack for the game AGROUND, from the NYX Game Awards. He has been a guest speaker at over 20 conferences/events such as PAX, GameSound Con, ADC, Berklee College of Music and Interactive Music Symposium. He has also appeared on other prominent game music podcasts like Level with Emily Reese and Sound of Play.
Today we’re talking about an old school dungeon crawler RPG called Advanced Fantasian. The game was released by Xtalsoft in 1988 for the PC-88 and Sharp X1 in 1989. Xtalsoft was a small RPG-focused developer that eventually merged with T&E Soft, a topic we covered last episode. The composers Chihiro Fujioka and Yumi Satake (nee Kinoshita) did a great job with the soundtrack and more than that they’re both interesting people with a long history in game development going to the present day.
Advanced Fantasian is a dungeon crawler RPG based heavily on Wizardry and by proxy, Dungeons & Dragons. You take a fixed class (but customizable) party of 5 characters through various dungeons, walking around in 1st person Wizardry style until combat commences in a top down grid where characters move independently. We spend most of our time listening to the OPNA version of the soundtrack from the PC-88 with a short sample from the X1 version. As always, we hope you enjoy the music as much as we do!
We’re back with an episode covering Greatest Driver, a 2D Formula 1 racer for the MSX2 released in 1988. The game was produced by T&E Soft, a developer and publisher primarily known for golf games in the 90s, Red Alarm for the Virtual Boy and the Hydlide series. Composers Kazunori Hasegawa and Shigeru Tomita bring us some fun jams, especially the intro and ending tunes. Most of the music is using the OPLL / YM2413 FM chip with a few brief detours into other areas. It’s a short show and we hope you enjoy the music!