The Sound of Progress

I have a new version of Sverdheim for you today, though the time I’ve been able to work on it has dropped off drastically. This is another reason why I’m keeping the initial feature list so small. My original burst of obsession has faded, right on schedule. Still, I don’t believe the project requires such intense emotional motivation to complete. I still gain joy from the work, especially when I look at the list and see how close I am.

This week, my actual job has been fulfilling. That’s the real distraction: Real Life. I love my job for the days it engages me like this. It’s got its highs and lows, just like any job. This week was high: I’ve had concrete problems with clear solutions for me to design and code. I was able to create beautiful solutions. Soon I will have to test them. Testing is necessary, but boring. When work turns towards the testing slog, that’s when my personal projects, such as Sverdheim, pick up momentum again during the off hours.

Still, I’ve made progress, and I’ll celebrate even the small attention I’ve been able to put in this week. Sound effects have made it into the game. Despite my poor ability in this corner, it’s amazing what that little bit of beeps and boops do to liven up the game. I dipped my toe into some theme music, but that endeavor reminded me that I have absolutely zero musical talent. I don’t have music in my head at all that I might try to duplicate, and if I ever did, it would be easily replaced by whatever I hear. So as soon as I make a failed attempt and listen to it, that’s all I know. I spin my wheels. So I’ve put the musical task off until later, in favor of more attainable and less grinding goals.

Like any skill, I’m sure I could work at it. I distinctly remember, in my early days as an aspiring polymath, that I had a lot of hobbies piling up that each took a lot of time. I needed to limit it. I’d decided that music was one I would avoid putting time into. I have a little exposure: Some trumpet lessons in grade school. A little choir. Guitar lessons in high school. Tinkering with a virtual modular synth and programming sound on a Commodore 64. But it’s never been practiced, much to the dismay of my instructors. Practice is vital, gifted or not.

Putting challenges off when you can allows your mind some time to reflect and for a plan of attack. I need to highlight my strengths. Whenever I put together a song, it’s really just random notes arranged on a piano roll in LMMS. Since it’s random anyway, why not just write a procedural music generator? I bet I could do that. I understand waveforms and envelopes. I’ll start with some basic, random percussion. Maybe some long, droning notes to go with it.

I’ve been listening to tagelharpa music for inspiration. That’s an instrument that makes me wish I had some sort of talent with sound.

Published by erickveil

I'm a programmer. I program things. Be careful what you put on the Internet.

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