Avatars that I've used, in rough chronological order
My name is Timmie Wong, but online I go by DDRKirby(ISQ)! I'm most well known for my music and games, but I have an assortment of other random hobbies as well, many of which are featured here on this site. I'm a programmer by trade (click here if you're looking for a resume/CV), but pretty much everything you see here on this site is independent work I've done just for fun!
It's difficult to boil someone's personality down into a paragraph or two, but I would say in general, I am introverted, a perfectionist, analytical yet emotional, and tend to focus intensely on traditions and the past. I love music, games, writing, dance and art, among other things (though I like them all in different ways). I also self-type myself as an ISFJ and an Enneagram type two, if that means anything to you. I would say my primary Magic: The Gathering personality color is Green, with secondary colors being Blue and Red.
This is the 3rd incarnation of "DDRKirby(ISQ)'s Site o' Stuff", intended to be the central home base for info on everything that I do and links to my other sites and pages. It's also the first version that I've coded up myself, using html, css, and jquery! The site is currently hosted on Amazon S3, with domain name registration through Google Domains.
The mission of this site is to be chock-full of content and to provide you with a place where you can explore and learn about new things. I'd like it to serve as a herald back to a bygone era of the internet where websites were more about providing raw content and writing rather than just a bunch of pretty designs surrounding an echo chamber where "what's hot" permeates the media channels. Websites should be like homes, I feel like...they should tell stories and keep you company! So make yourself comfortable, and have fun!
If you have a personal question, want to give some general feedback, find an issue with the site, or just want to say hi, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
All of my officially-released music is available for download at my Bandcamp site.
Probably! Please read my page on music services for details on how this works.
Usually not, but I have! Again, please read my music services page for details on how this works.
As you can probably guess, "DDRKirby" came naturally from putting DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) together with Kirby, from the Kirby games. Kirby was by far my favorite video game character while I was growing up and I still fondly remember doodling all sorts of Kirby-related drawings and adventures as a child. As for DDR, it made a big impact on me when I was first introduced to it in the way that it blended together two of my favorite things -- video games and music! Believe it or not, that was actually the first time that I ever got into non-chiptune music as well...
So I had "DDRKirby" which seemed cool enough, but I was worried that it wasn't going to be globally unique -- I really wanted an alias that no one else would share, so that I could be searched for uniquely. (Indeed, back in the day there was another search hit for DDRKirby that rivaled mine) Keep in mind that I had no idea at that time what kind of internet clout or reputation I would eventually achieve through my music, games, etc. -- I figured I was just going to be some random nobody with a few small webpages to themself.
And that's where "ISQ" came in! The true origin of "ISQ" is that it actually stands for "Io Squad", which is a old crossover fanfic universe originally designed by my brother. But since that's not exactly the most relevant thing anymore, "ISQ" has basically just become those three random letters at the end of my alias that makes it unique (hence, the parentheses). I'll have to admit it's not the best alias, but it's the one I've got and I'm hanging onto it!
My DAW of choice is FL Studio and 99% of my music is made in FL. My workhorse synth is FL's simple yet amazing built-in 3xOsc synth, though of course I have a toolkit of other VSTs and instruments that I use as well. I have some formal training in music and composition, but when I'm producing I mostly just do things by ear and via intuition/practice. For a better picture of how I compose, check out my "making of" videos on YouTube, where you can watch my process on video!
In the past I programmed in Haxe using the HaxePunk framework. Before that, I was working in ActionScript using Flashpunk to make flash games. I also had a brief stint of time where I tried out Flixel. Before that, my projects were done in straight C++, mostly leveraging SDL.
First, try to find a DAW or other program that works for you and the music you want to make. This could be anything from FL Studio, Reason, Cubase, Ableton Live, Reaper, all the way down to the opposite end of the spectrum with FamiTracker, LSDJ, Renoise, Modplug Tracker, etc. Some of these programs are free; others have fully-functional demos that you can try out. Try to explore the interface and see if it makes sense for you. Play with the built-in synths. Explore the included demo songs.
Next, learn your way around the program. What do all the knobs do? What are the different instruments and effects? A great way to do this is to explore the included demo projects and see how they work.
Finally, have fun and start practicing! Once you're past the beginning phases, one thing that can help immensely is to get into the habit of practicing regularly. My own production skills were forged mainly over a couple of years doing One Hour Compo, so I can vouch for the effectiveness of regular practice.
If you're a more experienced producer who needs some advice, feel free to ask me personally. =)
For game programmers:
It's mostly the same thing, to be honest. First select a language and framework that you both like and that fits your needs. Do your research! There are so many different ways to make games nowadays, some of which don't even require "coding"! GameMaker, Construct, RPGMaker, Unity, HaxeFlixel, HaxePunk, Love2D, FlashPunk, Flixel, SDL, the list goes on and on...
Then, all the usual advice about making games applies. Make your game small. No, smaller than that. No, SMALLER. EVEN SMALLER, DAMMIT! Something that you think about and go "pffft, that's so simple and easy, it'll be a piece of cake!" Because it won't. And if it is? That's even better, because then you get to add icing to your cake. And adding icing and sparkles to games is =great=.
Finally, work to your strengths. Can't draw humanoid characters? Make a game that uses clean geometric shapes. Don't have a knack for storytelling and writing? Come up with a concept that doesn't need it. Ideally we are all super-awesome and can do music, art, writing, coding, and still have time at the end of the day (or game jam) to sleep, but sometimes you have to work with what you've got!
Like most people, I have a few different music tastes. I mostly listen to electronic music, including chiptune, trance, and other just generally awesome electronic stuff. My favorite artists include she_music, zircon, Jake Kaufman (virt), Aivi & Surasshu.
Some of my favorite songs of all time are:
My favorite non-electronic music is probably Sixpence None the Richer, along with Leigh Nash's solo projects. You might know them for their hit single "Kiss Me", but they have a lot of great songs that are even better!
The Tetris: The Grand Master series are probably my overall favorite games of all time. I've been playing TGM since the middle of 2008 and it's still amazing.
That said, if I could recommend one and only one game for other people to play, it would be Journey. It is the most important game of our time. Monument Valley is the one mobile game I'd recommend in a similar manner.
Some other games I like a lot (digging off the top of my head here) are Super Metroid, Kirby Super Star, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Star Control 2, Beatmania IIDX, the Touhou series, Starcraft: Brood War, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Shovel Knight, Risk of Rain, To the Moon, Nidhogg, Serious Sam, and the entire "classic" Mega Man series. I'm sure I'm forgetting a whole lot here, but that's a good start...