Weekly Penguin
March 27th, 2008

Gone surfing

First off, sorry for the infrequent updates, irregular blog posts and slow replies, I've been very busy lately developing TAGAP 2 and wrapping up stuff in my current day-job before moving to the next. This are looking less hectic now, so things will be normalized soon enough.

Now, to the subject itself; a couple of weeks ago, after spending a whole week developing certain specific level section for TAGAP 2, I decided to take a short break and test-drive the most hailed game of early 2008; AudioSurf. Well, every music buff who has tried the game already knows short break just isn't possible with such an addictive game and suddenly I realized I had played the game four hours straight. So much for my weekend development schedule, then.

I admit it, I'm addicted. Giving the fact that for $9.95 you'll get a game that has as much gameplay in it as you have music in your CD and/or MP3 collection, it's something you can't afford to miss. But wait, there are reasons why I wanted to bring up AudioSurf specifically in TAGAP blog.

First off, as you probably know by now, last week we announced that the brilliant TAGAP soundtrack by Petja Heiskanen will soon be featured in AudioSurf as challenge songs. Once the Daily Challenge Song feature starts, remember to keep an eye out for penguin tunes on AudioSurf Radio!

And there's more to it. I don't know does anyone know it, but when I started creating the OpenGL-based 2D game engine that later became TAGAP Engine, it wasn't supposed to be a platformer. At first I was planning out a SHMUP-visualizer hybrid, that, unlike most visualizer-games, had more traditional and less acid visuals. It still was about a penguin hero against enemy forces, but as a horizontal SHMUP, where levels and enemy waves would've been generated according to music.

Ultimately I dropped the idea, since I'm a graphic artist after all, not a musician. I didn't have enough experience or knowledge on sound and music theory, things that were absolute must for project like that. Thus I returned to my drawing board and came up with TAGAP you know today. So, playing AudioSurf wasn't just fun and addicting, it also kinda proved that my original design would've been possible and entertaining as well. Consider that an ego boost.

But enough mumbling about things that could've been, log on to Steam and buy AudioSurf today, it's well worth the $9.95. If you don't know what song to use for your test drive while waiting for those TAGAP challenges, here are several non-TAGAP tracks I've found entertaining.

  • Edwyn Collins: "A Girl Like You"
  • Juno Reactor Vs. Don Davis: "Burly Brawl"
  • Pale 3: "In My Head"
  • Billy Idol: "Shock to the System"
  • Joey DeLuxe: "Undercover"
  • Dream Theater: "Sacrificed Sons"
  • E. S. Posthumus: "Menouthis"

...and almost anything by Mazedude

I trust I'll be seeing you surfing when the TAGAP challenges are on!

Until next time,

Jouni Lahtinen, the head penguin