Recent Movies

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Black Mesa #03 narcogen 12.26.19
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Latest Sheet Music

Title Transcriber Date
Halo 5: Advent (String Orchest... cwhiterun 06.07.16
Halo 5: Blue Team (String Orch... cwhiterun 10.22.15
Halo 5: Light is Green (String... cwhiterun 10.20.15
Halo 5: The Trials (String Orc... cwhiterun 10.12.15
Roll Call - Price Paid pimpnmonk 06.02.14
Behold A Pale Horse For Concer... pimpnmonk 01.24.14
Farthest Outpost/Mercy Plea/Ea... pimpnmonk 12.30.13

narcogen's blog

To open PrintMusic files, get the free FinaleNotepad program. Versions are available for Windows and Mac OS X. It opens PrintMusic files, as well as imports and exports MIDI.

To download the free program, the Finale website will require you to register a free account with them. Be sure to check the opt-in marketing settings at the bottom of the form if you don't want them to email you or give your contact information to their partners.

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After the last tutorial on how to download sheet music files there were some requests on how to upload files to the site for other readers to see.

If you've transcribed some music from Halo or any other Bungie or Wideload game and would like to share it with the community here through Rampancy's sheet music section, first you need to have an account, confirm that account, and be logged in. All of those steps are covered in the tutorial on How To Download Sheet Music Files. After you've followed those steps, come back here.

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Every so often readers have some trouble obtaining access to the sheet music files on Rampancy.net. Below is a short tutorial to help you out.

The short answer is that these files are freely available to anyone. All I ask in return is that you register an account first. Registration is free. I don't give out your email address to anyone, and the site will not mail you anything unless you ask.

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We've had Destiny awhile now, and I've been playing it as much as I can. I've finished the story, and I'm enjoying leveling up my three Guardians quite a bit. I'm having fun and I feel I've gotten my money's worth, but there are still a lot of things about the game that I think are worth notice-- things that may challenge the expectations of gamers coming from shooters, those coming from MMOs and RPGs, and those coming to the game straight from Halo.

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Dumping on Story
I've seen this for Destiny as well as Halo before it... accusations of being silly, derivative, and obscure, and I don't really understand it. Some of it seems to come from those who either don't want any story in their shooters and so don't pay attention to it, or those who are used to the kind of depth you get in an RPG and are put off by things drawn with a broad brush. The Halo series supplemented its backstory with the novelizations, whereas Marathon and Myth used the in-game terminals and journal entries, respectively. I have high hopes that the Grimoire cards you get in-game and then view on Bungie.net will be the best of both worlds here, allowing those who want to explore the world in-depth a chance to do so without overburdening the game with backstory during gameplay or through traditional cutscenes.

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You can never truly know a game until you play it.
Seraph, from Matrix Reloaded

Okay, so I'm paraphrasing, but the point stands. Right now we don't know much about Destiny, but it might be pretty difficult to say we know anything at all. I'm starting to get a sort of pleasant feeling of deja vu, and wondering what it was we thought we knew about Halo when it was first revealed. Our first glance at the game back then was more substantial back in the summer of 1999, when Steve Jobs welcomed Jason Jones on stage to show Halo running live, in real time, using OpenGL, on a Macintosh. He then said it was coming out on PCs and Macs next year.

The rest is history.

Perhaps Bungie showed more of Halo back then than of Destiny now because they honestly thought they were closer to releasing Halo than they really were. Possibly they felt they had to generate some hype for the game. Despite being an award-winning cross-platform developer, it's hard to say that Bungie commanded the kind of attention before that game's release in the Macintosh gaming market that they have occupied in the console world ever since. Now, independent from Microsoft, without the need to serve the well being of the Xbox platform over and above all else, the players on Sony's platform may now be their thrall as well, and after that, who knows, perhaps those on Macs, Windows, and even Linux, iOS and Android. Bungie would appear to have big plans for Destiny.

It's not the first time Bungie's had big plans, though, and things have a way of taking on a life of their own. In particular, some of Bungie's plans for Destiny remind me of what I always guessed were Bungie's original plans for Halo...

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Websites, like smart AIs, start to go rampant after seven years, and that's about how old the software and hardware that underpinned Rampancy had gotten.

No more. The site is now on a new machine, and although it's modest, it still outspecs the old one by a significant margin. The CMS that runs that site has been upgraded to a version that, while it is not the latest, is officially supported, and we have a clearer upgrade path to later versions than we had before.

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The last Penny Arcade comic of 2012 (warning: profanity) features a free iOS game called Spaceteam that Tycho described as being to Galaxy Quest what Artemis is to Star Trek.

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Leaks seem to be de rigeur for Bungie's new game, codenamed and possibly titled Destiny. First, court documents relating to legal disputes involving new publisher Activision revealed some of the general parameters of the game and the intended products, platforms and publishing schedules.

Now, apparently a third party employee forgot a flash drive at a restaurant, and supplied the gaming press with a few more documents and a few pieces of what appears to be concept art. In response, Bungie appeared to acknowledge the leak as legitimate, and replied with a bit of concept art of their own.

Since the leaked images have all been watermarked from hell to breakfast so that sites like IGN can stop other sites from stealing their "found footage" so to speak, I'm only going to take a close look at the shot Bungie actually wanted us to see, as well as the text quoted by some of the leak stories, and only describe the other images to try and back up some interpretation of the text or the official image. If you really need to see those other images, I'm sure the Internet will find a way to accede to your wishes.

Between the official image and the quoted portions of the text, it's possible to build up a few tentative ideas about what to expect from Destiny, and the kinds of ideas and themes the new game might share with past Bungie works.

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The free, iOS version of Marathon that Bungie mentioned last week is now available in the App Store. The base application itself is free, but there are in-game purchases that improve the experience (better textures) or provide cheats ("Master Chief" mode).

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The following is a crosspost from the HBO forum, in a discussion started by Cody Miller about retcons of Halo's continuity by the latest game in the series, Reach. Some fans (namely Hawaiian Pig) take exception to David "Evil Otto" Candland, Bungie UI Designer, saying canon arguments aren't important. The image is from another post of Cody's, seemingly showing that Installation 04 isn't located in the Milky Way galaxy any more.

After reading part of this thread at HBO and finding myself in agreement simultaneously with HP and Evil Otto, I had another series of thoughts about how works are viewed by their creators, as opposed to their fans.

A work like Halo is not the creation of a single person, even if some people contribute more to some aspects of it than others. It is also not a static thing. While certain key concepts may endure from the start of brainstorming until the declaration of a Golden Master, many of the details may be in flux for months or years. Listening to the commentary by Jones, Staten and O'Donnell for the cutscenes of the first two games, it becomes apparent how different the series might have been if Bungie had made different decisions.

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I would like to propose that the gaming press stop posting stories like this one:

Man Let Son Suffocate Because He Was Playing WoW

Before I go on, I'd like to say that I do not now, nor have I ever, worked in the gaming industry in any capacity.

Any number of children lose their lives each year to causes relating to parental neglect or abuse. Each one is a personal tragedy, and indeed, many may have been entirely preventable if the parents behaved differently. In many cases, there may have been circumstances relating to some other activity that led a parent to believe, temporarily, that their unjustifiable actions were justifiable, or that some other activity they were engaged in was more important than attending to the child.

However there is also no justification for the peculiar attention paid to gaming when the other activity is somehow gaming-related. I'd wager that any number of infants smother, suffocate or strangle on pillows or bedclothes all over the world each year while an inattentive parent is performing some other activity: watching television, speaking on the telephone, working out, gambling, drinking, perhaps even reading a good book. When the parent was watching TV, I'm not going to read about this tragedy in TV Guide. When the parent was watching a film, I'm not going to end up reading about it in Premiere magazine. When the parent was eating or drinking, I'm not going to read about it in Gourmet. If they were reading a book, I'm not going to read about this death in the New York Times Review of Books, along with a sidebar about whether or not reading is addictive or leads to child abuse. If an inattentive parent leaves a child locked in a hot car on a summer day, I'm not going to read about it in Road & Track.

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This VGChartz article bugged me as an example of bad and sometimes contradictory advice.

Lesson 1 - Don't Take Six Years to Make Your Sequel
Gran Turismo 4: 89.61%
Gran Turismo 5: 84.69%

First of all, a MetaCritic GameRankings score (why is he using GameRankings instead of Metacritic, anyway?) drop of 5% is not necessarily statistically significant, especially since there's no way, from just the scores, of verifying that the same selection of outlets or reviewers were included. The drop may indicate a drop in popularity of the genre, or many factors other than the development cycle.

If what he means to say is that the earlier you release, the earlier you get paid, then he's right, but for every GT5 that fails to meet expectations or Daiktana that becomes the butt of jokes or DNF that fails to materialize, there are games rushed out the door lacking polish or originality. Of course, since the subject is sequels perhaps originality is not a factor.

Sure, six years might be extreme, and there might very well be a point of diminishing returns, where more development time doesn't necessarily improve things. However there may very well be cases where 2 years is not enough, and where even three or four may be justified. Might not another 6-12 months have improved, say, Halo 2?

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Nothing to do with Bungie directly, but I did write a couple of blog posts about the recent discussion on the interwebz in general (and at Penny Arcade in specific) about the used game market, spurred by comments made by THQ's Cory Ledesma earlier this week.

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It's not hard to see the appeal of the idea of the Firefight mode in Halo 3: ODST. If you follow Bungie's shooter roots back to Marathon, and to the PC shooter that really kicked off the modern era, Doom, you can see the start of it.

Doom didn't have discrete multiplayer 'levels' the way Marathon and Halo did. It had a series of Episodes, each broken down into Missions that comprised one map. Each map had a series of keys necessary to open a series of doors. The last door was the Exit and led to the next Mission. Between you and each key and each door were a number of demons to kill. You could tackle this challenge solo, or bring in some friends on a local network.

Of course, you could just as easily shoot your friends as the demons. You could also set up a game on any Mission map without any demons and just play deathmatch, or you could play a deathmatch game with continually respawning demons on it.

Marathon had a similar setting, an "Aliens" checkbox that put enemies from the campaign mode onto the multiplayer maps. So while it wasn't always referred to the same way, Marathon had all the current play modes: campaign solo, campaign co-op, multiplayer (deathmatch and objective) and deathmatch-with-aliens. That's essentially what Firefight is, except it's supposed to be more towards cooperative.

So we can now safely say that with the release of Halo 3: ODST, in combination with Halo 3's multiplayer mode, has finally brought all the features of a 1994 Mac shooter to Xbox Live.

I'm only half kidding.

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