I made a Mario fan-game! (Game + Music)

June 5, 2020, 11:26 AM · With everything going on in the world right now, I haven't felt this is the right time to share this project on my main social media platforms; however, for the sake of this blog, I thought I'd go ahead and write a little about it here. There are lots of things I want to share and do for BlackLivesMatter and everything - here is an incredible interview Ray Chen did with Stanford Thompson for now about the future of classical music - and I'll plan on sharing more soon.

For the last week almost two weeks, I have been working on a video game! It's a Super Mario fan-game, called Super Mario Advance: Factory Subspace. Released as a World Premiere on my YouTube channel (not as a playable game for now), I not only composed my second full OST (from 2016's Superhero Adventure) for a home/private video game, I also spent some time designing levels, tweaking the existing Hello Mario engine code to do what I want, and doing some recoloring and artwork design for how the game looks. It was a big project that was the perfect thing for me to work on in my first couple full weeks out of school for the summer, especially to truly just have a single thing to focus on.

The music took me in all sorts of different directions, combining some of my influences with a video-gamey aesthetic. My composition process for this was pretty similar to what it's always been: Go for a walk, sketching and composing a track, come home, put it in the computer in Finale, and then take the MIDI into Logic Pro X and choose the best software instruments (and sometimes tweaking with the synthesizers) to get the sound I want. For the big orchestral tracks, I would often import several MIDI files for the different sections, and even import one at a time as sounds could get lost in Finale. I also recorded violin for a final piano/violin piece at the end for the credits. I think I learned quite a lot about sound mixing, not only for the music, but also balancing it with the sound effects in the game. Perhaps later this month, I can share a bit more about my composition process for specific tracks, but for now, I'll just leave these videos here for anyone interested in checking them out. You can find everything in a playlist on my CityFolk66 YouTube channel, but here are separate links to each video:

Here's a link to the soundtrack.

Here's a link to the gameplay video (no commentary).

Stay safe and be well! Let's keep music and the violin in our hearts as we sift through the mess of the world right now. I hope this project brings you a little joy and self-comfort, which we do still need!


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