Plants vs. Zombies 2: Egypt Theme on the piano

January 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Posted in Plants vs. Zombies piano version series | Leave a comment
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Hi you guys! So a lot of folks have been asking me whether or not I contributed any music to Plants vs. Zombies 2. To answer your question: Yes, a lot of my compositions from the original PvZ were remixed for the sequel; I also composed the music you hear during the Egypt stage. Originally I gave it a silly pun name, as I did with all the earlier tracks (“Walk like an Egyptian Zombie” heh heh)… Anyways, I hope you enjoy ^_^/

This is my *REAL* Facebook page (the others are fake)

January 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Hello all!

I’m writing today to let you guys know that I finally made my own Facebook page! A while back, it was brought to my attention that there were a lot of fake “Laura Shigihara” pages popping up after Plants vs. Zombies came out… I didn’t mind at first, but then I realized that several of them were using my pictures and pretending to be me! There was even one that had some crude material on there >_< Of course, none of those belong to me. I figured that the best thing to do (besides reporting the bad ones), was to make an official page of my own… So hopefully, it will be clear which one is real ^_^

www.facebook.com/LauraShigihara

So now, I need to ask you guys for help! I would really really appreciate if you could give the real page a “like” and let people know via Facebook, Twitter, etc. that this one is the real me! While Facebook hasn’t removed some of the folks who are pretending to be me, I think getting as many people as possible to like the real page will go a long way in communicating which one is real… Every little bit helps ^__^

laura shigihara_banner_blue

I will try my best to make the page as interesting as possible, with updates about my games, music videos, contests (I’ll probably do another Zelda Ocarina giveaway), and I’m sure there will be some bad puns and nerdy-jokes as well (ohohoh~!!).

Oh, and lastly! Here is a new video for you guys: “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” from the movie “Frozen”… I hope you enjoy ^_^/

~Kaze no Toori Michi~

November 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I’m so happy that after about 2 months of hiding under a rock working on Rakuen, I was finally able to post a new youtube video today! For our 2nd collaboration, Britaney and I decided to do a violin-piano-vocal cover of “Kaze no Toori Michi” from Miyazaki’s Tonari no Totoro. Hope you guys enjoy ^_^/

My new game, Rakuen

October 16, 2013 at 12:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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Hi everyone!! I thought it was about time I filled you guys in on what I’ve been doing lately. I think some of you know that while spent most of my career as an indie video game composer/sound engineer, I was actually at EA for about 2 years as an Audio Director. I met a lot of wonderful new folks there (like the Pixelberry team for example). But after most of the original Plants vs. Zombies team was laid off, I ended up leaving the company, too.

Now that I was indie again, my goal was to finally finish up Melolune. However, after 2 years of not working on a 20 hour rpg (yes, I actually had 20 hours of playable content at that point), it was quite overwhelming picking up where I left off! I had promised myself that I wasn’t going to start anything new until Melolune was finished, but I realized that working on a smaller scale project (that I was very inspired to do) would be a great way to get back into game development. So I’m really excited to announce that for the past year, I’ve been working on a new game called Rakuen. I’m doing the programming, design, audio, and in-game pixel character art. My friend Emmy Toyonaga (an incredibly talented artist, and also a former EA employee turned indie) is creating the concept art.

Rakuen is a story-based adventure game about a little Boy who becomes bored with living in a hospital, and eventually asks his mother if she’ll escort him to the fantasy world from his favorite storybook. Throughout the game, the Boy begins to learn more about the patients who live around him. They each have their own secrets and struggles that are mysteriously tied to the strange hospital. In helping those around him, the Boy deals with questions about empathy, hope, and what it means to leave behind a legacy by coming to terms with his own story.

In terms of gameplay, Rakuen functions like a mix between Maniac Mansion, To the Moon, and The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past (though without battles or fighting). The story and character design is influenced by Japanese mythology and children’s culture, as well as films like Miyazaki’s Spirited Away.

We’re hoping to release the game early 2014 for PC initially (with possible ports afterwards). But for now, you can learn more about the game and follow its progress at the official website. The soundtrack is also available for Pre-Order at Bandcamp (you can also just listen to the tracks there for free if you’d like). I really hope you enjoy the music and art we have to share so far! And if you’d like to help us spread the news, please feel free to tell folks about Rakuen, we really appreciate your support ^_^/

p.s. There will be Leebles ^o^

Radical Dreamers and Cardboard Cutouts

August 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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So earlier today I was trying to explain something really weird that has happened to me at least twice in my life. I’ll tell you about the one incident I remember most clearly. I was in Home Depot, walking with some friends, and I noticed a man standing in front and slightly to the right of me. I wasn’t making eye contact with him, but I was aware of his presence. And for some reason, my brain decided that he was a cardboard cutout.

At this point, we continue walking towards him, and I’m now looking directly at him trying to figure out what this cardboard cutout is advertising. “Is this a paint advertisement?” “Is this for garden supplies?” Then suddenly he moves, and I get so startled that I scream right at him! Of course, this startles him and he looks very confused. So after I catch myself, I start profusely apologizing, and awkwardly trying to explain to him that I thought he was a cardboard cutout. Then I thought, “wait, is that offensive?” So then I dive into all these weird disclaimers like, “n-not that you look like cardboard… I mean, I just, from far away you were standing so still… and I… I don’t know, I’m sorry!!” He was nice about it.

Time for a weird weird segue!! I had the pleasure of collaborating with Meine Meinung on one of my favorite video game songs (Radical Dreamers 盗めない宝石 from Chrono Cross, composed by Yasunori Mitsuda). This cover has 2 guitars, double bass, and vocals… and if you are familiar with Chrono Trigger, you should be able to pick up the nice throwback they put in the arrangement ^_^ Originally they asked if I wanted to come to their studio, but I’m not in Japan right now, so they edited me in. And I think it looks pretty cool… sort of like I’m there, and sort of like a cardboard cutout (get it? Because of my story earlier? Ah… ehhh… sorry)

For real though, these guys are awesome. If you haven’t checked them out yet, you will not be disappointed. They have some of the best video game music covers on youtube, they’re fantastic musicians, and they have a really good sense of humor ^__^ I hope you enjoy our new video!

Lament of the Highborne

July 26, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Hi everyone, long time no see ^_^/

I’ve been sitting on some big news for quite a while now… A friend and I have been working on a special little game-related side project (it’s not Melolune, however it is set in the same universe). I’m hoping to be able to talk about it soon, once all the major details are set in stone. Because I’ve been spending the majority of my free time devoted to this (in addition to tackling random things that have come up in life), I’ve been a bit less frequent with my youtube uploads (and by “a bit less” I mean I haven’t posted anything in 5 months ~_~)… So I must apologize for this and say thank-you for all of the kind messages you folks have sent me via youtube and twitter asking if I was okay ^__^

Happily, I was able to complete a new video this week! It is a vocal-only cover of “Lament of the Highborne,” a hauntingly beautiful song composed by Russell Brower for World of Warcraft. I was a bit hesitant to arrange this song because the original is already so perfect (and there are so many other lovely covers out there). I thought, “what could I possibly contribute to this?” But I had fun experimenting with harmonies, and revisiting a classical singing style that I haven’t done in years. I really hope you’ll enjoy^^

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