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THE MUSIC OF HUMONGOUS ENTERTAINMENT — LIVE ON KICKSTARTER

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Post by Curator Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:37 pm

Hey everyone! The Kickstarter campaign to publish the master recordings of Freddi Fish and the Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, SPY Fox 2: "Some Assembly Required," Pajama Sam 3: You Are What You Eat From Your Head To Your Feet and Putt-Putt Saves The Zoo is now LIVE!

We can't do it without a lot of support. Click below to back the campaign, and thanks for your help over the years!

THE MUSIC OF HUMONGOUS ENTERTAINMENT — LIVE ON KICKSTARTER ENpk1IN
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:39 pm

Best of luck. I'm still rather pessimistic, given its slow start, but we'll see how it goes.

Would really like this to succeed. Given how good a lot of the music in HE games already was in spite of its extreme compression, I'd love to hear it in better quality.

For now, I've pledged $35. Being a pretty hardcore HE fan, I'd be willing to go higher, but physical rewards don't really appeal to me (I have relatively limited storage space and am rather paranoid about damaging collector's items). That Secret Book looks very interesting, but there's just no way I can pay that much.

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Post by dellr Sat Aug 03, 2019 5:08 pm

I'm seriously very happy that this is finally happening.

Was watching this project ever since you first posted about it here, and to see it finally coming together makes me really happy.

Best of luck getting it funded, man.
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:01 pm

And it's been canceled for the time being: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/curator/the-music-of-humongous-entertainment/posts/2588237

The reason for this hasn't really been explained yet. Just that something they can't talk about came up and necessitated it. Perhaps some legal issues turned up that need to be dealt with first? Hopefully, the campaign can be restarted soon before it looses its momentum.

Given the insane amount of time this endeavor is taking, I'm starting to see why projects like this don't happen more often. It seems it really takes a crazy amount of dedication to deal with all the legal hurdles. I'm impressed the Curator guy hasn't given up years ago.

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Post by cheril59 Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:06 pm

Humongous Entertainment themselves demanded Curator cancel the project, because they did it without permission from Humongous. Guess they didn't think of that, huh? I've been really looking forward to hearing remastered music and character voices, too. One can only dream...

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Post by Onfy Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:51 pm

Curator got permission, or at least I thought they said they did. This is rather disappointing and frustrating.
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Post by AaronReturn2005 Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:57 pm

cheril59 wrote:Humongous Entertainment themselves demanded Curator cancel the project, because they did it without permission from Humongous. Guess they didn't think of that, huh? I've been really looking forward to hearing remastered music and character voices, too. One can only dream...

Did they do it without the original composer's permissions too?

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Post by cheril59 Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:10 pm

AaronReturn2005 wrote:
cheril59 wrote:Humongous Entertainment themselves demanded Curator cancel the project, because they did it without permission from Humongous. Guess they didn't think of that, huh? I've been really looking forward to hearing remastered music and character voices, too. One can only dream...

Did they do it without the original composer's permissions too?

I don't think so.

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:48 pm

This is all very strange. Though the official HE Twitter account denounced the project and denies any association with it, the Curator guy claims they were on board with it before suddenly changing their minds. So one of them has to be lying.

I don't think it's likely the Curator guy really tried to do this all without Tommo's permission. You don't spend years preparing a fraudulent campaign that has a huge risk of being discovered and terminated. What seems more likely to me is that some sort of disagreement arose after it began, which prompted them to cut ties with him and pretend they had nothing to do with it. Maybe he accidentally violated their contract. Maybe there was miscommunication within Tommo itself. Or maybe something else entirely. Who knows?

And he doesn't exactly sound optimistic about the project's future. This may very well be it. What a huge disappointment. We may not even learn the reason why this happened. I was already worried in the past that this may never come to fruition, what with the extremely long period of time it took to prepare. But I never thought it would end like this.

According to this tweet, it seems George Sanger owns most, if not all of the music he composed for HE, so it would theoretically still be possible to sell it while avoiding anything else associated with the games, but without the ability to even name the games his soundtracks belong to, attracting customers would be a lot harder.

Not sure if the legal situation is the same with the other composers. To my knowledge, most of HE's music was made by outsiders. If those tracks were generally only licensed, that would mean Tommo only owns the music composed by employees like Rhett Mathis. But apparently, a lot of those tracks' masters are either very hard to locate or no longer exist at all, so that wouldn't be a huge loss.

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:31 pm

Okay, after digging a bit further, I found a proper explanation about what happened. The Curator guy had already hinted at this in two tweets, but deleted them shortly afterwards. I thought he might have accidentally violated an NDA, so I refrained from mentioning them in order to avoid giving him more legal trouble. But four days ago, he went into more detail in a YouTube comment on this video, so it seems there's no need to hide this:
I'm sorry this is the conclusion you reached.

Tommo/Billionsoft were among the first parties I contacted.

I've been in touch with them for over five years, almost constantly.

They saw the Kickstarter page multiple times while it was under construction.

They helped build it.

They gave me the legal language for the copyright notice at the bottom. They agreed, via email, to a licensing fee, which they understood I would gather via the crowdfunding campaign.

They simply never counted on it actually being successful.

When we gathered over $15k in about a week, they sent me an email threatening to sue me, which was valid since we didn't have a signed contract—only multiple verbal and written agreements.

The project was quickly becoming wildly successful beyond any of their predictions, and thus felt likewise wildly out of their control. So they shut it down.

The only reason I don't mind telling you all this is because of the tweets they put out saying they just "became aware of the Kickstarter two days ago."

Utterly untrue.

"Fair use" was never anything that came up. This is the first time I've even considered how it could relate to this work. (It doesn't.)
If this is true, then Tommo is quite a dishonorable company, and this whole endeavor never had any chance of success in the first place. Though it was indeed foolish of the Curator guy not to demand a proper contract.

At this point, I see only two ways this could still work out, and neither of them seems likely to succeed.

The first is for this news to gain enough traction to shame Tommo into changing their minds. But that strikes me as extremely unlikely to work, given that this company has no consciousness.

The second is to sell whatever music Tommo doesn't own without making use of their copyrighted material and trademarks. That would make it cheaper by eliminating their licensing fees, but how are you supposed to market something like this?

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Post by AaronReturn2005 Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:31 am

Added a mention to TV Tropes about the project's sudden end:
THE MUSIC OF HUMONGOUS ENTERTAINMENT — LIVE ON KICKSTARTER Screenshot-2019-08-22-at-18-28-31

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:51 am

What's your source that Tommo took issue to the modern HE logo specifically? The campaign used far more of their assets and trademarks than just that. According to the Curator guy, this was all done with their permission and assistance, but they backstabbed him when it became clear he might actually succeed.

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Post by AaronReturn2005 Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:31 pm

can't delete


Last edited by AaronReturn2005 on Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by AaronReturn2005 Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:52 am

Update: Two days ago we became aware of a KickStarter campaign for Music based on Humongous Entertainment games. In that solicitation, Trademarks, copyrights, game images, game videos and art created by Humongous were used without our permission.

At our demand, the campaign was terminated. Please be aware this project was never affiliated with humongous and any inference that it was, was inaccurate and misleading.

We have no further comment at this time.

The problem is that Tommo think this is for music "based on" HE works, not remastered (from the files) soundtracks from HE games.

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:22 am

That doesn't answer my question. You wrote on TvTropes that Tommo specifically objected to the campaign's use of the modern HE logo. That's not what the HE Twitter account says. It makes no reference to specific Tommo-owned assets and trademarks, instead objecting to their use in general.

The campaign features numerous assets and trademarks they own, and they claim that all of them were used without permission. It makes no sense to single out the modern HE logo. In the first place, Tommo owns all logos HE ever used.

Of course, the Curator guy claims that Tommo is lying and was pretending to be on board, only to send him legal threats when it became clear the campaign had an actual chance of success.

If you're going to write about the campaign's demise, you need to convey the actual claims of both parties. You can't just make stuff up.

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Post by cheril59 Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:16 pm


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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:42 am

That's good to hear indeed. It's a shame of course that Curator, George Sanger and Tom McGurk won't be getting any money for their efforts, but at least four of their soundtracks will still be preserved in their original quality. I wouldn't have minded paying for them, but they'd probably sell poorly without the ability to name their games (which I presume would have been necessary).

Of course, it's still a shame that we most likely won't be seeing any other HE soundtracks get this treatment, especially given that quite a few of their composers were interested in working with Curator.

Though even with Tommo's cooperation, Jeremy Soule's soundtracks would now be unfeasible to sell, given what just came to light about him.

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Post by Onfy Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:47 pm

Hey, want some of George Sanger's Humongous music on CD still? A while ago he released an album called Flabby Rode, which has Welcome To the Zoo and an unused song from Freddi Fish on it. https://www.amazon.com/Flabby-Rode-Fat-Man-Team/dp/B00000IJDS (I don't know what, if anything he'd get money-wise from you buying it on Amazon, you'd have to ask him that...)

(And please buy it somewhere other than Amazon if you can. Jeff Bezos doesn't need more money.)
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:57 pm

This keeps getting more and more confusing. Half a month ago, Tim (the Curator guy) tweeted that someone contacted him about a partnership to sell HE's music without violating Tommo's trademarks. A few days ago, he then announced that he's currently working on an explanatory video regarding what happened, while also preparing to release all the non-music material related to the project.

So far, so good. Except according to a comment he just left on Facebook, the music likely won't be released at all. What happened this time? First it was going to be released for free due to the Kickstarter campaign's termination (and Tim explicitly said the composers were on board with that), then it started to look like it might be possible to sell it after all, yet now we won't be getting it at all? I hope Tim has a good explanation for this because I really can't think of one.

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:14 am

The Curator site has been updated with a detailed explanation of what happened to the project. It also offers a lot of material related to both the project and the games for download.

It's not intended to stay up for very long, so anyone interested should grab it while they can. And I imagine it may disappear even sooner than planned if Billionsoft catches wind of this. I can't imagine that most of this stuff is legal to distribute without their permission.

I've only briefly looked over the material so far, but it looks quite interesting. And it certainly has great historic value. It's a real shame the whole endeavor failed due to Tommo and Billionsoft's lack of cooperation, but at least we still got something out of it. Though Tim originally said on Twitter he was also going to release some video interviews. None of those are available so far. Perhaps he plans on uploading them over the next days?

I'm not very optimistic that the unspecified person who is now trying to get the music released will have any more success, but I'd love to be proven wrong. Would be frustrating for it to remain unreleased after so much work.

Also, an interview was already uploaded a while earlier in which Tim talked about his struggles with Tommo and Billionsoft as well as HE employees' experience working at the company.

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:36 pm

I read the PDF and listened to some of the voice clips.

The PDF mainly consists of a large portion of what is presumably the final version of the game's script. As such most of it is nothing new, though there are some handwritten changes.

Some excerpts from earlier script versions are also included. It's a shame there are so few of them because they offer plenty of insight into earlier stages of the game's development. There are references to some reworked puzzles and characters.

In particular, it seems the character of Sammy Seal underwent quite a few changes. She was originally not going to be in the game at all, with a Petey Penguin instead being one of the baby animals (the remnants of a penguin speaker in the game's data already hinted at that). And when she got included, she was going to be male at first (or at least at some other point). And though she (or rather, he) was already called Sammy at that point, her/his parents' names were different. They also apparently considered renaming her Sara after flipping her gender. To top it all off, her puzzle at one point involved using a balloon to get her out of a mud puddle.

Plus, what's cute about the scanned documents in general is that some employees occasionally drew some crude scribbles on them, presumably to experiment with character designs or other ideas.

The voice clips are based on a recently uncovered tape from the game's recording sessions. Their quality is much higher than what you hear in the game. It helps convey some nuances that don't really come fully across in the compressed versions.

The whole collection seems to have been a bit of a rush job, though. There are plenty of inconsistencies with how different clips are handled. Some are paired with their compressed counterparts extracted from the game with HEERip, others aren't. Most of the files consist only of the takes that made it into the game, but there are a few files containing larger sections of the tape with alternate takes and some limited commentary inbetween. Some files are sampled at a rate of 44.1 kHz, others have a rate of 48 kHz and a lower volume. (Though this one could be justified if they're from separate tapes. Apparently, the ADAT format supports both rates.) There are also a handful of files that weren't split at quite the right moment.

It's still a really nice thing to have overall (especially since we originally weren't going to get it at all due to additional licensing issues), but I probably would've preferred simply having the whole tape(s). I find that the parts outside of the chosen takes give some fascinating insight into the game's recording sessions.

Overall, this obviously doesn't make up for the loss of the music, but I still really appreciate Tim sharing it with us instead of just abandoning it all after the project's failure.

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Post by AaronReturn2005 Sat Nov 23, 2019 2:08 am

But then he also shared some clips of the PTSTZ soundtrack back during the "20th Anniversary" phase of the project. Does anyone have them

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:36 am

Unfortunately, I didn't think of downloading anything from his Soundcloud account before he deleted it.

All I have is some Twitter videos with a bit of music. And that video with a high quality version of Pablo's theme that he just uploaded to YouTube. I can reupload them if any of them are taken down.

I could check if he ever hosted any music directly on his site. If so, the Wayback Machine might still have it.

Edit: Just checked archives of both the Cadmium site and earlier versions of the Curator site. The only MP3 files that were available there didn't get archived.

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Post by OdieFreddi Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:42 am

I didn't think of downloading the music on Soundcloud either! Putt: Confused I hope somebody archived the music. HOLY GASCAN! At least I downloaded the stuff on Curator's site. Putt: Happy Face Freddi: Happy
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Sat Dec 07, 2019 8:04 pm

The Curator Twitter and Facebook accounts seem to have been deleted. The site is still up, but who knows for how much longer?

This does result in the loss of the download link for a short excerpt from the voice tape. Specifically, the part where the "moving in herds" lines are recorded. The link itself still works, though. In case it's ever taken down, here's a mirror. Be warned that this forum now seems to automatically turn Mediafire links into links to a redirection site with ads. You can easily fix this one, though. Just copy it and remove all the junk at the beginning.

When I have the time, I'll take a look at all the videos I downloaded from the Curator Twitter account and upload any that aren't on YouTube.

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