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The blog is being migrated and merged with multiple Imphenzia blogs so the format and content will be inconsistent for a while.

My Music was Stolen

Today, I ran a search of Imphenzia on YouTube. I do that sometimes - just for the fun of it. It's quite common that I find that someone put together a video using my music and it doesn't bother me even though it's usually copyright infringement.

The reason why I decide to "look the other way" is for two reasons. First of all, I'm happy that someone likes my music enough to use it... and second, it promotes my artist name in my quest for some very welcome fans.

Searching today was different. A few more results appeared and as I browsed through them I saw now credit to Imphenzia, but I did notice that YouTube finally does audio recognition on my tracks and very kindly link to the track on iTunes. That's awesome.

If you like my music and if you want to use it in a video; please consider getting the full access to download all my tracks so you can use a high quality version for your music. You can also find individual songs on iTunes - but they take most of the cake so I always smile when someone uses the feature on my site. Which is very rare in today's society where music is ually free.

Anyway; to the point of this post. As I browsed through the search results, I found one video in particular that caught my attention. YouTube had correctly detected that the music was Spirit Within You (Piano), composed by me. The cheeky part is that as I read through the description it was supposedly created by "djlovesong". Not only did it say so in the description, it was also included in the video.

I think, and hope, that the video will be removed (or at least changed with proper credits), so the link above may not work. If this happens; I have captured it into a permanent memory as screenshot:


Oh well, I'll come back and modify this post with the outcome of this little theft case.  We'll see what it leads to. I haven't contacted YouTube, yet, I just added a comment to the video for now.

Update 2 March 2012:


The user removed the video without any comments or message to me. I suspect that most other songs are not performed by her either, but mission accomplished for me anyway =)

 

Performa Cars released as Freeware

The old 2D top down racing game Performa Cars (previously known as Computer Touring Car Championship, or CTCC) has been released as Freeware =)

The game features 18 cars which can be tuned between races by purchasing parts such as turbos, performance chips, intercoolers, suspension, tires, etc.

Cars will take damage upon collision affecting both the visual look of the car as well as performance. If you don't visit the pit lane for repairs before it's too late you risk blowing up for a DNF result.

Play it as a single player against up to 7 AI controlled computer cars or two players locally using split screen with up to 6 AI controlled computer cars.

12 different circuits ranging from small sand tracks to large race tracks allow for a lot of fun and tight racing. The track design was inspired by the 90 degree angles of Supercars on the Amiga. Some tracks also features hazards such as trains that I suggest you either beat to the train crossing - or stop until they have passed unless you want your car to be permanently destroyed.

The long story


I originally started developing the game following a motocross accident where I broke my collar bone back in 2001. Initial progress was great and I had a lot of energy and passion for the game. It was one of my first attempts to make a game and I learned a lot of useful stuff in the process.

I still have a lot of passion for the game genre (top down racers) but I feel that it is not worth to put any additional efforts into this particular game any more due to a number of reasons.

First of all, the game uses non-accelerated 2D graphics and it was designed for computers made in the mid to late 1990s. Modern computers of today have awesome performance, but the 2D engine in Blitz Basic (the language used to develop the game) don't take any advantage of this new performance unless you re-code the game to use 3D accelerated 2D graphics - and that requires a fairly large rewrite due to how Performa Cars was designed.

Secondly, I always wanted Performa Cars to be a multiplayer game playable across the internet and LANs. Unfortunately I went deep into development without first researching multiplayer gaming and by the time I nearly had a finished game it turned out that it just wasn't possible to make it into a networkable game.

Why you may ask? Well... As I mentioned above, I was new to game development at the time and I based the logic updates on the assumption that the game would run at a constant frame rate of 60FPS. As it turned out, of course, computers run at different refresh rates which then meant the game would run at different speeds on different computer. That's NOT good =)

Another problem basing the logic engine on the screen refresh rate was that the game would not only run at different speeds on different computers, the cars also behave differently - skid more on some machines - a lot of grip on another machine.

I tried to fix the problem by analyzing the refresh rate by calculating a multiplier value for the game logic. That sort of works, but that's not how you do it =)

Today I know better. Keep the game engine running at a set frequency, say 100Hz, and tween the graphics to make it smooth. Making that happen for Perofma Cars would mean a large re-write again.

All this in mind; I decided to release the game as a freeware for everyone to enjoy despite the glitches being an alpha version.

I will now be focusing on AstroFighter.net - a game where I avoid all the pitfalls I learned about during Performa Cars. It runs with a separate logic engine and 3D accelerated 2D-style top down graphics and, most importantly, I had it running in multiplayer from the very beginning to ensure the entire game is developed for that purpose.

My plan is to develop AstroFighter.net with a clear conscious that Performa Cars at least is available as a freeware for everyone rather than aging year in and year out on my hard drive.

If all goes well - I will also take my knowledge from AstroFighter.net and reboot my passion for top down racers and make a modern version of Performa Cars designing it the right way from the start.

But for now - enjoy Performa Cars =)

New Site for AstroFighter.net

Just a very quick note to say that the game AstroFighter.net has a new dedicated web site where you can follow the development.

http://www.astrofighter.net/making-of/

Leaving The Outpost (Game Music)

It's tough to find time to make music these days, especially now that both my children are ill with eye infections and flu. Still, I managed to find a spare moment in the evening to compose this space inspired song.

I decided to call the song "Leaving The Outpost" and I imagine a peaceful and relaxing space scene, maybe in an adventure, RTS, or MMORPG. The song features two sections. First a mellow melodic section with soft synth leads playing a beautiful melody and layers of filtered pads. The second part is more of an ambient soundscape with sweeping pads and scifi sounds.

http://soundtrack.imphenzia.com/non-exclusive-music/leaving-the-outpost/

The track is available as a full length track (with a start and a finish) and a perfectly seamless loop. License it for your indie space game today =)

Hostile Territory

Today I was inspired to make some tense and suspenseful music mainly aimed towards the RTS (strategy) game genre.

What I came up with was a 1 minute soundscape with two variations:

Ambient loop: 
http://soundtrack.imphenzia.com/non-exclusive-music/hostile-territory/ambient-loop/

 

Battledrums loop:
http://soundtrack.imphenzia.com/non-exclusive-music/hostile-territory/battledrums-loop/

That's all for today =)

YouTube misidentified third-party copyright

Today I received mail notification from YouTube making the following statement:
Dear ImphenziaGames,

Your video, Astrofighter.net (very early) Preview, may have
content that is owned or licensed by Kontor New Media. 

No action is required on your part; however, if you are
interested in learning how this affects your video, please
visit the Content ID Matches section of your account for
more information.

Sincerely,
- The YouTube Team

When I Googled "Kontor New Media" another unfortunate YouTube had his videos containing sounds from a bird nest identified as infringing on copyright belonging to Kontor New Media.

I don't think the audio recognition YouTube uses work too well for non-musical audio.

The mail also "kindly" reminds me that I don't have to do anything and this is because Kontor New Media now earns on adverts that appear in my video. I'm not happy with this, of course, so what I did in an attempt to rectify this was to take the following actions:

  1. Clicked on the URL in the mail bringing me to the Content ID Matches section at YouTube

  2. Click on the Matched third party content. text hyperlink next to the video (note: difficult to see that it's a clickable link) - I highlighted it in yellow below.

  3. Follow the instructions to file a dispute that the video was misidentified using the alternative: 1. This video does not feature the third-party copyrighted material at issue. My video was misidentified as containing this material.


Not sure what to expect in terms of how long I have to wait - but I'll update this post once the issue has been resolved.