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Viva La Resolution

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the the-resolution-will-be-broadcast dept.

Microsoft 33

Via Games*Design*Art*Culture, a post over on the O'Reilly network discussing an unofficial "anthem" for the GDC entitled Viva La Resolution. From the post: "So imagine an alternate universe in which a major game publisher--Microsoft, say--actually embraced the notion that games are an artform and encouraged innovation. If that were to happen, they might conceivably commission a song like this to get game developers excited and pumped up and ready to go. Now here's the weirdness---apparently, they did commission the song, from the Fatman (George Sanger, one of the industry's best-known composers)--and then canned it when they heard it and found out what it was...Guess it wasn't the message they wanted, eh?" Update: 05/10 03:47 GMT by Z : Mirrors for the song can be found here and here.

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Surprise! (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479643)

Some exciting news here for all of us:

1) Linking an MP3 on some guy's personal site from Slashdot is unhelpful!

2) Microsoft thinks that a theme song with some lyric about "boobs" isn't something they want their name associated with!

Re:Surprise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12479670)

I can't believe I wasted my time reading all that expecting it to actually get funny somewhere....

Re:Surprise! (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479826)

I can't wait to hear the song. Just another hour and 22 minutes, no make that hour and 34 minutes to... no make that 2 hours and 43 minutes left to download... no make that 6 hours....

DAMMIT someone just post a screenshot of the waveform. Shit.

Did the article say that? (2, Insightful)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479646)

The summary implies that MS had some kind of a change of heart about the song. The article seems to only say that they requested a song, he wrote one, and then they decided not to use it. I'm sure this happens all the time. Alltogether a rather strange story. If it was me, I would have known from the beginning thats not what they wanted for the keynote. I'm sure they wanted something flashy and cool.

-d

Viva La Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12479788)

That's how I read it. Over and over again. "Why isn't Nintendo mentioned?" I wondered.

I thought they did this already... (3, Funny)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479812)

They did this once before, I thought. Some performance artist did a quasi-rap for them once, but the lyrics ("Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers...") were just to repetitive, even for the dance clubs, and it just never caught on...

cached link? (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479817)

Anyone have another link for the MP3?
The story wasn't enticing enough to wait 2 hours and 22 minutes to listen to the song...

Re:cached link? (1)

mZam (789803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479878)

If someone can send me the mp3, i'll gladly host a streaming version on my site. It should be able to handle a bit of stress, at least until fatman's site evens out. zamara@gmail.com Thanks.

Re:cached link? (1)

mZam (789803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12483480)

Here's a link to a mirror of his site. There's also a personal message tacked onto the top which he wanted me to pass on to everyone. I still dont have the mp3 yet... but give me some time and i should have it, and i'll add it as well.

Enjoy! [thedrunktank.com]

Nice blog.. (2, Informative)

flabbergast (620919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479887)

Nice blog and all, but I don't see what the fuss is all about. Microsoft commissions someone to create a song for them. They decide that they don't want the song but offer to pay them for their time anyways. If you want to talk about creative differences, then you could legitimately say that MS decided that it wanted to take their keynote in a different direction. This only attracted attention because it was MS.

As for asking him to remove "boobs" if he wanted to buy it back, well I can understand that. You could see it on CNN: "Microsoft commissions "Boobie" song!" Instead it lands on the front page of /. and all those luddites can come out and say "Look at MS! What a bunch of bastards!" Those that hate MS still hate MS and point to this as yet another reason to hate. And lets be honest: they hate MS anyways, so no big deal.

Re:Nice blog.. (1)

duggy_92127 (165859) | more than 9 years ago | (#12481894)

Instead it lands on the front page of /. and all those luddites can come out and say "Look at MS! What a bunch of bastards!"

I do not think that word means what you think it means: luddite [answers.com]

Slashdotters typically personify many things, but 'luddite' isn't one of them. :)

Doug

Memories of early Fat Man stuff (1)

dstone (191334) | more than 9 years ago | (#12479982)

Not many comments so far, so here's mildly off-topic Fat Man memories...

I look back to the guy's work in the early 1990s for my faves. The top one in my mind is probably Faceball 2000 [wikipedia.org] , circa 1991. Here's the Gameboy soundtrack [vgmusic.com] (ripped to MID). The SNES and Game Gear versions are even better if you can find them.

Putting the merits of the music and game into context... This was a pre-Wolf 3D, pre-Doom FPS from 14 years ago that ran on 4 MHz Z80 handhelds that you could cable together for "LAN" play. On-the-fly rendered 3D graphics (on otherwise sprite and tile-scroller platforms) spiced up with some good Fat Man tunes (for the day)... it was a beautiful thing. Okay, so the framerates weren't great.

On contract, Sanger would deliver developers the audio routine (Z80 code, in this case) which would play back his highly compressed audio data (destined for preciously small ROMs), using even more precious cycles in the horizontal and/or vertical interrupts to trigger frequency, volume, timbre, envelope change events. Heady stuff.

I wrote a song too... (3, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12480024)

I wrote a song about love and freedom. I tried contacting some labels, but they all hung up on me when I starting singing into the phone. I tried giving it away to some local bands just so I could get some name recognition, but no one would take it. When I sing it in the shower my little brother dumps ice water on me.

I know!!!

1) Try to sell song to Microsoft
2) Publicize their (evil) refusal
3) Post song on my Geocities website
4) Profit!!

Re:I wrote a song too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12482750)

Jesus Christ.

What fucking morons have mod points today?

All modders today: license permanently revoked!

Re:I wrote a song too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12487935)

Or... you and the people who modded you up can RTFA and STFU.

mc chris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12480259)

I bet the wonderful mc chris has written a few of these songs...

pac-man fever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12480295)

I've got Fatman fever!! (sung to the tune of pac-man fever)...

Lyrics plz (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 9 years ago | (#12480350)

kthx

(okay, so I'm just too lazy to listen to the MP3)

FATMAN (1)

DJayC (595440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12480748)

This guy rocks.. he did the music for The 7th Guest way back... Do you guys remember that? It had the second disk that was like live recorded versions instead of MIDI. I miss those days when people cared about the quality of the releases.

Anyways, I'm glad he made it available for us to hear.. it's interesting to hear about the things that go on behind the scenes that you don't hear about normally.

Re:FATMAN (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12483928)

Actually, IIRC the CDA tracks on the second disc were still MIDI, they were just played through a really high quality patch set that most mere mortals at the time couldn't afford.

I've played the game through a Gravis UltraSound, a Roland Sound Canvas and a SoundBlaster 32 with different patch sets. (Hey, anybody remember the CHAOS sound font?) You can get the game to sound very similar to what the audio tracks were.

Of course the only problem with that would be that you would have to play the game. I'm not sure that's worth it.

Shy nomad, craftily agilely meet near my underground vault.

Re:FATMAN (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12483949)

Doh! That should be bashful nomad. I might as well just give everyone the solution.

Re:FATMAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12485525)

The songs n the second CD have *lyrics* - he's singing them.

That's not midi :) Though yes, midi was involved.

Coral CDN Link to a partial mirror (1)

Leknor (224175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12481004)

Here is a Coral CDN link to a partial download the mp3. Viva La Resolution oa - incomplete 4404464 of 9026247 bytes.mp3 [nyud.net] . I renamed the file so as to be clear that it's not complete. I hope someone else can find the rest. <g>

Re:Coral CDN Link to a complete mirror (1)

Leknor (224175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12483053)

A complete version:
Viva La Resolution oa.mp3 [nyud.net]

An interesting story (1)

SirBruce (679714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12481994)

My thoughts...

1. A lot of developers are distrustful of Microsoft. They don't feel they genuinely care about the "art" and "innovation" of games; they just want to make money off them. An incident like this will not help Microsoft's reputation in the game development community. This is not to say Microsoft is bad -- in fact, they've been extremely helpful in making games -- but there's always a profit motive behind it.

2. Fatman rocks, he did some of the best game music in the "MIDI era", and I've had the pleasure of hearing him live as well.

3. If you haven't read his book, I highly recommend it (my brother is mentioned in it twice!). Even if you're not into audio, he has some great stories. Check out his web site as well for more stories.

Bruce

Totally Awesome Guy (1)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12483491)

I met The Fat Man once. He came and spoke at the University of Texas game developers organization. I was an officer in the organization, so I went and met the guy at the parking garage, then walked with him over to the lecture hall where he would be speaking. The guy was absolutely over-the-top larger than life.

He pulled up in a 1950's Rolls-Royce (right hand drive model), license plate GUD BAD and shouted at me to get in. The front grill had a set of longhorns mounted on it. He was wearing a replica F-16 flight suit with the name "Fat Man" on the breast.

The man is a composing genius, but not for reasons we might ordinarily cite. Sure, his creepy soundtracks on the 7th Guest were awesome, but he takes a totally different approach to a lot of compositions. He demoed an intro song (and accompanying video) for a PC game whose name I foget. Rather than the typical orchestral "sweeping emotions" or "going to war" compositions, he had a pseudo-Bluegrass song about how the title character was kind of a religious zealot, but he felt he was doing the right thing. It's the difference between a composer who's told "Give me something sort of like the imperial march, but with more energy" and a composer who's told, "Make something that fits with this scene."

Incidentally, the lecture he gave was actually an amazing insight into the minor role given to music in gaming, and his ideas to fix it. He was actively trying to market a system to some of the major players that worked like this:

Quake 2 has, say, 20 levels. Id hires a composer, and said composer writes the music for each of those levels. The music is tagged with various characteristics (scary, ominous, fast, slow, lyics, etc.) and is allowed to play for about 10 hours of gameplay. After that, the game would download music from a catalog of other games or private musical productions that fit the same characteristics. It was a cool idea, and it fit with his attitude that pretty much boiled down to "I want everyone to be able to hear someone's music."

Totally OT, I know, but I just wanted a little chance to reminisce about a breif encounter with a truly impressive individual in the gaming world.

Set up a Bittorrent? (1)

costik (105636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12483617)

The Fat Man has sent me a copy of the MP3--his servers are, not surprisingly, overloaded. Unfortunately, my ISP won't let me set up a Bittorrent tracker--if you have the ability to do so, please email me at costik--that is, that word before an at, and after the at, followed by dot com -- two costiks dot com -- and I'll happily link to your BitTorrent, and suggest to Zonk that he do so as well.... Thanks!

mp3 hosted! (1)

mZam (789803) | more than 9 years ago | (#12483651)

I have the mp3 hosted on my mirror of the site.

check out my mirror [thedrunktank.com] for the mirror and the direct link (first thing on the page) to the mp3.

There's also a personal tidbit of info from him as well posted below the link.

Enjoy!

The Fat Man Writes (3, Informative)

costik (105636) | more than 9 years ago | (#12484636)

Also, George says:

"Here is the story of Viva La Resolution.

I really don't know how best to communicate to the slashdot people without bashing my servers farther, and I really appreciate your help!

I think it would be nice to let people know that the funny part of the story is not that Microsoft chickened out. They didn't, really. My contact there was ready to run with the tune, with a few minor changes, right up to the last minute.

The funny part is

1. that this song was about not doing things for the money, and it almost did make it into a MS keynote talk!

2. The making of the song was surrounded by miraculous coincidences

3. I ended up having to choose between cash and integrity--and with lyrics like these, you CAN'T pick the cash!!!"

Lyrics (3, Informative)

TheoB (859132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12485311)

Lyrics:

-Dialogue

1: Alright, Legends and Myths?
2: Legends and Myths.
1: What about 'em?
2: Alright, so we go to the Game Developer's Conference in Santa Clara and Microsoft throws this huge party to launch DirectX. And they make the mistake of giving all these game developers a Gak and a frisbee since we entered the gate. SO they start their demo of DirectX, they have us in a big theater, they've thrown a huge party, they've fed us, let us go on all these rides, and now we're going to see the demonstration, and the thing crashes.
So suddenly, out of the audience comes a ball of gak, hits one of the Microsoft executives right in the side. Then another ball of Gak. Then a frisbee, and then pretty soon a hundred frisbees and all the Gak. And all the Microsoft Executives are diving behind their computers yelling "We gave you Gak, you can't do this to us!"

-Song starts
Did we do it for the dollar bills?
Or did we do it to sharp-sharp-sharpen them skills?
Did we do it for the Venture funds?
Or did we do it 'cause we love- we love to have fun?
So what? It's a little blocky.
The power of what we're playing with might sock you.
'Cause when the resolution comes, they'll be the first against the wall.
They'll still be playing with their balls.
And they'll be trying to get a piece of the magic we release.
And the love that we increase.

Viva La Resolution ( X 8)

Will you use it to make smarter troops?
Or will you use it to make great big jiggling boobs?
Will you use it to be Hollywood?
Or will you use it for the ultimate -ultimate good?
Guess what? It's no longer blocky. And the power of what you're dealing with might sock you.
'Cause when the resolution comes, they'll be the first against the wall.
With their big cigars and all,
And their political machines,
And their Moneymaking schemes.
And their love will feed our dreams.

Viva la resolution (X 16)

yea (1)

ars matica (880590) | more than 9 years ago | (#12496456)

This horrible song just nails in Fat Man's Coffin and reminds us all why microsoft titles are booking better composers nowadays ... more junkie xl and amon tobin please..
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