We are super excited to announce our involvement in the creation of amazing game audio and sound design for Arena of Heroes by Sneaky Games, Zattikka, and CAH. Arena of Heroes is a free turn-based tactical game available for Mobile, PC, and Mac platforms! Compete in an intergalactic arena that offers a tactical turn-based game experience across any device! Check out the facebook page here!
Two new games featuring music by Walz Music have been released! Check out Puppy Run: Ultimate Maze Puzzle, and Eat Eat Hooray!
Puppy Run is the first mobile game for SecretBuilders, developed by Renaissance 2.0 Media. In addition to Puppy Run, Walz Music has also supplied some of the voice acting for SecretBuilders!
Eat Eat Hooray! is the latest iOS game by the team at The Playforge. Visit the iTunes store to get your copy today!
Hey everyone! Gamesauce writer, Mike Griffin did a piece on me last month entitled, Carving Out A Career In Casual Game Audio, An Interview with Aaron Walz
UM my poor abandoned blog! I have been so busy in the last year. I teamed up with some very talented folks: Greg Rahn (composed for Broderbund and even did Carmen Sandiego OMG!!!), Barry Dowsett and Kevin Tone from Soundrangers (one worked for Microsoft and one has won prestigious awards), and Jesse Holt (audio designer for Game House for 10 years!) Not only are they talented, they are my friends. We’ve been running all the audio presentations at Casual Connect and Gamesauce for the last few years. We decided to start a new company, the Game Audio Alliance. We each have 10+ years in the game audio industry, so we are quite the force of complimentary skills! www.gameaudioalliance.com
What else? I’ve been doing a lot of Facebook games… Mesmo, Mean Hamster, GSN… Those games are very addictive! OH and I did a bunch of 8-bit music for a game called Pixel Whirled. It is like Space Invaders, except you can flip the screen over… so you have to play two levels at once! I also did some voiceover work, which is always great fun.
I’m trying hard to release a new single and album for nR Element, my eurodance project… and my pal Eva Maass was hired to sing for Disko Warp Records’ release of “Butterfly,” a cover of the Dance Dance Revolution song by Smile-dk. I recorded and produced the vocals. Pete made the beats sound sick, and remixers did awesome jobs.
I’m also trying to release an OST for Aveyond 1. Oh speaking of Aveyond, I finished the last tracks for the final installation coming out this winter… kinda sad, but I am so proud to have done all the tracks for the series… it is like 100 songs in all throughout the years.
I am now a board member of the chorus I sing with, GGMC. I’m proud to be more official now. OH and this last concert, I sang the solo of “Kalinka” which is a Russian folk song that was used for TETRIS!!! How fitting.
I have big plans and am trying to get unburied… I have certainly bit off more than I can chew! But the fire is still lit and I never ever get sick of making music. It is my life’s passion. Thanks for all of you who follow me and give me strength and feedback. I love you all! XOXO. Talk to you soon, lonely blog and abandoned fans!
Well I’ve been asked to lead and organize the Audio Track this year for Casual Connect in Seattle this July. The Track consists of 5-6 sessions including discussion panels and lectures by audio professionals in the Casual Game industry. It’s quite an honor to be so involved with this and quite a bit more time consuming than simply giving a presentation last year, but worth every minute. So far, we have quite a lineup. We will focus on the value, importance and cost of great audio. Presentations include the making of sound effects, techniques of recording live instruments and voiceovers, integrating music and sound effects, communication between audio and game developers, and a question and answer panel with audience participation. We will also address certain concerns we have with the industry and attempt to reach out and educate developers about audio. Stay tuned for some descriptions of sessions, tips and tricks, and more news.
So sometimes I visit this old-school arcade in San Rafael where I grew up. It has new games but also old favorites like Mappy, Dig-Dug and Ms. Pac-Man! I’m actually pretty good at the last one, but Jason is amazingly good. Usually…
This time, apparently the employee got sick of all the sounds (sinner!) near the office and turned them all off. This made playing as well nearly impossible. This was an interesting lesson about how sound not only is fun and enjoyable, but also useful and integral to gameplay.
The sound of the pellets being eaten reminds you that you are going down the right path. The oninous sounds of the ghosts makes you careful. And most importantly, the sound when you get the super pellets… those few moments of invincibility to devour those pesky ghosts… Your mind almost memorizes the length of the sound… and without it, well it’s anybody’s guess! And who can enjoy those flirtatious cutscenes without the cute music? As simple as the sound is, it’s SO IMPORTANT.
Recently we’ve been downloading some Casual Games from Reflexive and other portals and noticing games with no music! Hey, bad place to skimp on the budget, guys! Games with good music and sound effects are more fun and more complete. Well, at least we think so!
Incidentally, the Ms. Pac-Man in downtown San Rafael, at Star Base One, rocks… it’s modded to go super-speed! Go play!
The folks at Amaranth Games have made an amazing newspaper! Cheeck it out. I have started contributing there as a game music reviewer.
OK so I thought the economy was down the pipes? You wouldn’t know it at the Intuit Holiday Party… ballroom dancers, Brazilian dancers, several live bands, amazing food and desserts, casino games and dealers and professional photographers. Performers included: Kaweh, Latin Rhythms, Eric Jarmie, Galo Rivera, Boca Do Rio, SRO, The Angelo Piano Duo & Joyce Cooling. Joyce was my favorite.
Yes, very cool party, but it makes me wonder how a company can justify laying off many people and outsourcing jobs to save money, and then spending what I can only imagine is a small fortune on a party…
But I enjoyed the great music and food. Hmm maybe one day Walz Music will have a great Holiday Party! But we would also like to be socially conscious and not wasteful. Here are some pictures and a video!
OK all – here are a couple sound samples from the upcoming game, Aveyond 3! ENJOY!
I am working hard on the soundtrack and so far I am very happy with it! There will also be some other audio surprises this time around!
We are also working at getting some of my songs into the relaxation music industry, so wish us luck!
Wanted to share a little story about our CD Release! It’s one of those musical “oh no!” live performance moments.
So Eva and I got to our 2nd gig in San Francisco… this was for our classical CD, From Another Shore. I was playing piano and Eva was playing flute. We also had a guitarist and vocalist, Jason, who was joining us on a few songs. Everything was going great and we had a good turnout. Anyway, as I was happily setting up about 15 minutes before we were to go on, Eva comes up to me and she looks really white and freaked out. She said calmly, “We have a big problem.” She had forgotten her music in Santa Rosa, over an hour away. Inside I freaked out but somehow remained composed. I knoew that there was nothing I could do and freaking out would not help and would not be professional.
So in an instant, I announced to the crowd: “Hey everyone, thanks for coming! You guys are really lucky to have come to this gig – we have a special surprise! Jason will be opening for you with 30 minutes of guitar and folk music!” Everyone cheered. I think Jason wanted to kill me. The only reason I used him as a resource is I knew he could deliver.
Anyway, then I grabbed Eva and we rushed out (with dignity) and went to my place, where we frantically reprinted all her music. Of course, the printer jammed and all manner of problems occurred – including one file that seemed to just vanish. But we got all the important songs printed and went back to the gig, where Jason was finishing his last song.
Poor Eva has to be commended – all her markings were of course, gone, and we were performing these pieces with various forms and repeats that were not in the original scores. She improvised a lot that night. BUT we got through it, and actually it turned out to be a good thing because everyone loved Jason. And no one even knew something had gone wrong. At least she didn’t forget her flute! That would have been an expensive emergency trip to the music store!
This experience taught me, first, to call Eva and remind her about her music, but secondly, that it is true that “the show must go on” is a great attitude. Thinking positively in the face of disaster gets you through and even brings you to some surprises for the better. The important part is that you have a good time and do your best. Not being stressed really helped me enjoy that gig.
So please do your band a favor – check to make sure you have your music!
That’s it for now! Oh yeah – and THANKS, JASON!