I've noticed that shamefully, a lot of my recent newsposts are me advertising my music, a friend's project, any other project I'm interested in or a milestone of amount of fans I've reached. This is actually kind of lame so I thought I'd use this space for what it was actually intended for. So here's what's been happening in the riveting, exciting life of Step x_x.
On the subject of school, I finished my sixth form finals a few months ago, and now I'm off to university, since I received my letter of acceptance a few days ago. I was pleased to find out that I got an A in both my majors (Computing and Pure Mathematics), an A in two of my subjects at intermediate level (English and Physics) and a B in the other two intermediate subjects (Systems of Knowledge and Philosophy).
I'm kind of bummed I didn't get an A in each subject, especially Philosophy since I did everything by the book for that exam, but hey, they're both intermediate subjects, and I never really liked Systems of Knowledge anyway (it's a compulsory "general knowledge" subject taught here in Malta, which encapsulates knowledge from various areas of study, such as environmental values, democracy, aesthetics, etc). So yeah, good grades thankfully!
I'm taking programming (more specifically Artificial Intelligence) as a course in university. We only have one university here, aptly named the University of Malta, and that was the closest course there is to game development, which is what I want as my career, so I didn't have much choice! Friends and family are all telling me to take up music, but honestly, I don't think I can. I'm unfortunately half-deaf, and my hearing is getting worse (at least it was last I went for a check-up, but I haven't gone for a while). I love music, but I like programming (and anything related to problem-solving) equally if not more, and a programming career is more financially-stable, so it seems like a no-brainer.
Speaking of music, I'm still making it, even if it's not at a pace I would like it to be! I landed 3rd place in the NGMT contest, which works on a system of public voting. There are three "rounds", and each round has its own theme and challenge. I took part in one with some help from my good friend Echo and we managed to get first place in the round and third place overall (despite only taking part in one round), which I'm quite happy with. I also placed in the NATA music contest, and got my track used in a whopping eight NATA animations, which is also awesome.
Speaking of that, my music was used in an incredible animation by NeroGeist, which I am still really happy about. It got me a fair amount of exposure and when he works on a new episode I might be the one scoring it too, something I'm incredibly excited about. I'm also taking part in Harmony of Heroes, a huge Super Smash Bros remix album. Apart from the songs I'm working on for that album, I also plan on doing an arrangement of this awesome song, with Echo, Shanath, and Video Games Live singer Laura Intravia. It's been in the works for a while now and other than the incredible vocals I've received from Laura and a fantastic MIDI file of the arrangement by Shanath, nothing much has been done yet, but rest assured it will be done!
Still in the music department, Echo and I are still hosting the NGADM 2013 this year, along with five other judges (but you're a few months too late to join). I highly suggest checking out this newspost for a list of all the NGADM tracks this year. The level of quality is outstanding.
Regarding gaming... Anyone who knows me knows I'm an avid gamer. I don't game as much as I'd like to due to having so much stuff to do at every given moment of my life, but one cool thing to mention is that I've recently finished Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Loved the game - not as scary or as puzzling as the first, but I think it was a worthy successor. I've also bought a Wii U and I'm currently hooked on Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.
May I add that I'm a huge Monster Hunter fan. I've invested a collective 1500+ hours into that game and Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, along with 1000+ forum posts in a Monster Hunter forum, and I've written an eight-minute medley of the music from the game. It's an excellent franchise. What I like the most about it is that unlike so many other recent games, it doesn't hold your hand at all. It's a very hard game that takes a while to get used to and has a lot of deep gameplay mechanics and customisation. On top of that, it's an absolute blast to play online with friends, and through that game I've met what I consider to be some of my closest friends!
Apart from that, I bought the Humble Bundle, and played through the Dead Space series (absolutely excellent series, although slowly loses its horror elements with every sequel), Mirror's Edge (also a great game, if a bit short), and I'm currently playing Battlefield 3 online. BF3 is not as bad as I expected it to be. It's not my kind of game, but for what it's worth, it's a pretty fun game, and the destructible landscapes are undeniably badass. I'm somewhat considering getting a PS4 in the distant future when the price is actually reasonable, because there are some PS3 exclusives that I really want to play, such as Metal Gear Solid 4, Journey, Heavy Rain and The Last of Us. This is all, of course, assuming that they make those PS3 games available in the PSN store.
Lastly, currently hooked on The Walking Dead and Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Considering season 4 is coming out soon for the former and season 2 just came out for the latter, I've got a lot to look forward to.
Aaand that's about it! Yes it's long, but as a lot of you who have seen my Newgrounds reviews are aware, writing in length is how I roll :3.