We are excited to announce that Chord Bandit is now available on the Apple App Store for the jail break price of $1.99 US! Whadda deal!
We are super excited to announce that 1 year following the anniversary of the Albuquerque NM road trip that inspired the game, Chord Bandit was published on Google Play! YeeHaw!
A big 5-string thanks to fellow banjo evangelist Mr. Tom Nechville of Nechville banjos for taking time to review Chord Bandit. It was really cool to meet Tom and see his shop of amazing banjos.
Nechville banjos are visually stunning but the real treat was getting to play one. The Heli-Mount system is an elegant "twist" of engineering that preserves the tone of the banjo while boosting its clarity. That might sound a little sales pitchy (and we do show a Nechville logo when the game starts ) but the difference was real. The head tension was perfectly balanced on the banjo we played. We could even feel the tonal difference in our right hand as we picked (our main banjos are the standard hook-and-nut style of a typical production banjo).
Each Nechville banjo is unique so you gotta save pennies but they play beautifully. Even if a Nechville banjo isn’t in the budget, there are lots of set-up tips and extras at the company site. Happy picking.
Working on the technical review of these scale patterns with local musicians right now. Getting close!
When you complete a chord level in the bandit, a free play mode is unlocked for that key.
Each free play screen has a scale/chord visualizer that highlights Major, Minor Pentatonic, and Major/Minor chord patterns for each key.
The free play chord/scale visualizer includes:
- A Major Chords, A Major Scales, A Major Pentatonic Scales
- B Major Chords, B Major Scales, B Major Pentatonic Scales
- C Major Chords, C Major Scales, C Major Pentatonic Scales
- D Major Chords, D Major Scales, D Major Pentatonic Scales
- E Major Chords, E Major Scales, E Major Pentatonic Scales
- F Major Chords, F Major Scales, F Major Pentatonic Scales
- G Major Chords, G Major Scales, G Major Pentatonic Scales
Not assuming Rolling Stone fandom here, but the song "Satisfaction" by Rolling Stones back in the day was quite the hit. As time has passed, and Keith has had more time to play, he sees and hears more he could have added to the song. Self-serving quasi-lesson learned = "At some point you've gotta ship the product, even if later you see more in it."
"If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there" is the journey of online self-study. There are lots of good paid and "free" online tutorials one might bump into whilst googling "banjo tutorials" and here's a "thank you" to the ones I've bumped into along the way.
http://artistworks.com/tony-trischka - A unique experience to get lessons with the same guy who once taught Mr. Fleck. A membership grants users access to video and audio interviews with some of the most influential banjo players of the 20+'st century.
http://www.banjobenclark.com - Banjo Ben Clark is a younger fella' who is clearly thinkin' of the best way to bring teaching and online self-study together in the most accessible possible way. His tabs are great, his videos are great. He does banjo, mandolin, guitar, and more (I just follow the banjo). He's serious about music, knows his stuff and still maintains the occasionally spark of goofiness, which always helps.
https://banjoteacher.com - This post would not be complete without a shout-out to the folks at BanjoTeacher.com (founded by Ross Nickerson) who I got my first banjo from. It was a great first introduction to the banjo. I bought a beginner package from this site. A Gold Tone Banjo set up nice, some DVDs, and maybe more (it's been a long time) were all delivered in A+ time.
Q: When do banjo songs sound the best?
A: When they're over.
Q: How do you make a banjo player slow down?
A: Put some sheet music in front of him.
Q: What do you say to the banjo player in the three piece suit?
A: "Will the defendant please rise."
Q: What should you do if you run over a banjo?
A: Back up.
Q: What do you call twenty-five banjos up to their necks in sand?
A: Not enough sand.
It's difficult deciding what the final touches on the game should be--those final details that say "OK, its done!" The photo below is what the Adobe Illustrator workspace looks like when started up. It's kind of scary looking.
There's light at the end of the dev tunnel but finishing the very end of it might feel a bit like this.
Our Code in Google,
hallowed be your post.
Your forum come,
your will be done,
in my game as it is out there.
Give us this day our daily OP,
and forgive us our laziness,
as we also have forgiven our laziness.
And lead us not into plagiarism,
But deliver us from being stuck.
by Violeep Snuck
Working on a violin track.
by Dev Scoop
Spoons wiggled their way into the Chord Bandit music today.
And there's the Spoon Salesman episode from Fawlty Towers...
iOS development is scary and tricky to grasp. To survive, do not deviate from these rules. Huge consequences.
How to Start Programming Games for iOS
- Download Xcode.
- Use curse words. Combine them liberally with nouns that evoke quantum genitalia.
- Developer Program signup. Enroll yourself or find someone you are sometimes sober around who has a business--unless you are never sober, in that case open your own business.
- Dig into your soul and find a way to turn your bliss into tiny squares.
- Copy lots of scripting code from the internet without questioning it and then eventually never question it and in the end just copy your own code.
- Putz around while ignoring everything else around you that's important. Ignore smarter people than yourself, including yourself.
- Listen to your inner voice, even when it says "guacamole."
- Abandon projects. Start new ones. Take on more obligations than you can possibly handle.
- Google, google, google.
- Rinse and repeat.
For a banjo chord learning game, realistic imagery of the banjo instrument itself is pretty scarce in Chord Bandit. The banjo fretboard/gameboard is a collage of things you might hallucinate as coming together to make a playable banjo neck if you were locked up in a hot, old timey jail eating stale bread and weevils.
February 19, 2016 marked the start of a family road trip to Albuquerque. The Blue Turtle Art team brought sketchbooks, dogs and laptops. Somewhere on the road, through the Kansas oil fields and dog poop pit stops, this idea about a banjo chord app surfaced and said "hey what about me?" So the start of that road trip marks the official start of development for the bandit.
Since then, nearly every day has involved some kind of work or general absentmindedness due to thinking about the game. It takes a lot of time and it in no way whatsoever ups one's adoring fan ratio around the house. The person in the house working on a game is probably the least fun person in the house.
Hooray for 112 days! Party on Wayne. Party on Garth.