ChrisKO FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Might steal your tacos

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from Austin, TX

  • Activity

    • A Very Virtual Kokkinos Adventure

      3 weeks ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Let's talk about VR, my friends!


      A month or so ago, I went over and hung out with Miles and he showed me the marvelous wonders of virtual reality. I was really trying to hold out until I could find some games that would really justify such a big purchase. 


      Now before I go on, VR is still pretty dang pricey, and not likely worth the buy for a lot of consumers. That being said, if you happen to have some money available and want to explore a new gaming experience, now's as good a time as any to jump in. 


      Hey Chris! What device do you recommend?: The HTC Vive

      Why?!: Well, truthfully, outside of the old dev kits, I never played with the Oculus and the PS VR didn't really give me what I was looking for. I did enough reading, however, to see that the Vive just fit within what I was looking for a bit better (more surface area with less bases, more game options that were up my alley, etc.). There are plenty of resources out there, if you're looking for more technical breakdowns, of course. 


      I just found what I liked and rolled with it. OH! And I also got $100 off via Office Depot when I purchased it (that was also a pretty big defining factor). 


      What Games should I try out? Great question, anonymous user!

      I'm typically a FPS fella, so.. there are a lot of options in this realm. Though, some have issues with that motion sick 'my body is moving but I'm not' business. Here are the games I played and my thoughts on them: 


      - Superhot VR: Ever want to feel like Neo from The Matrix? Like a super badass that dodges bullets, knocks guns into the air and shoots things in the face? Play this game. It's amazing.


      - DOOM VFR: Not the same storyline as the main game. But all the right feels of a DOOM game. When Mick Gordon's soundtrack comes on, you're in 'melt the f*$*ing faces off some hellspawn with your BFG' mode. It's pretty fantastic. 


      - Arizona Sunshine: Really fun zombie survival game. Truthfully, I spent more time playing horde mode than I did in the campaign. You just get lost in getting weapon upgrades and dual wielding pistols while protecting your tender insides from the zomboz. The story was pretty neat, but I think the bread and butter of this game is definitely the 'how accurately can I shoot a zombie in the face?' 


      Beat (f%*king) Saber: An ABSOLUTE must. This lightsaber rhythm game is so simple and yet, so much fun. Additionally the modding community is doing such a great job of making new content for the game. Be prepared to sweat your ass off. 


      - Tiltbrush: I can't tell you how neat this is. This is just an experience worth checking out. Being able to draw things in the 3D Space and just get enveloped in it, it's absolutely breathtaking. 


      - The Lab: I love this series of experiences so much! And it's free! 10/10. :) 


      With the Steam Summer Sale happening, I'm potentially picking up a few other games, too!: 


      - Skyrim VR

      - Fallout 4

      - Budget Cuts

      - Raw Data

      - Job Simulator 

      ...and some others! 


      How much playtime will I get? Are there any side effects?

      Well, informed user, from purchase to now (~4ish weeks), I played for about 2 weeks straight. Early on, I observed some interesting things with my vision (often feeling like I'm in a 3D VR environment) and movement (I didn't want to move my legs, like I had the magical capability to just teleport to the next spot). Like, my brain wasn't understanding what was real/fake. BUT! That resolved pretty quickly. It was a bit on the spoopy side, though. I've since taken a break to resume regular PC activity, but I will likely break it out again for a week or so to play more games next month. 


      In short: 


      VR is pretty sweet. But I think there's still a long ways to go before this becomes a regular household console. It still lacks in some ways right out of the box (more trackers for other limbs on your body, movement (e.g. the omnidirectional treadmill), and some other little things here and there. That being said, if you have the funds, consider picking it up. From pew-pewing to painting to having VR chat with your friends, there's quite a bit you can do in that realm these days, and I feel like there's something for errbody. 


      That's all I got! Hope this was somewhat informative for some of ya. :) 


      Next blog post, we'll talk about some sound stuff! Based on a tweet I came across, I've been thinking about sharing some info about some techniques I used to design some Grimm. 


      Catch ya next time!


      -ck.

    • Lemme get at them trains!

      4 weeks ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Hey there! It's been a good bit, so I thought I'd go ahead and drop some knowledge on my *continued* incomplete guide to Japan! :D


      Today, we'll be talking about my experiences with Transit! 


      Transit topics to chat about!

      • JR Passes
      • Suica Passes
      • Driving/Parking at the airport vs. Renting Cars (What's more cost effective?)
      • Google Maps, Battery Packs, Pocket Wee-fee!
      • Walking (So. Much. Walking.)
      • Big travel days

      Let's begin: 


      JR Passes

      These are basically your golden ticket to ride trains in-and-out of the city and occasionally (depending on where you are) from district to district (you've just got to do some looking around to make sure the train you're getting on is JR). 


      Here's where I bought mine: https://www.jrpass.com/


      The process is pretty straightforward. 


      1) Go to that site and buy your pass for 'x' number of days (it only comes in 7, 14, or 21). You don't need the green pass. Trust me. Put that money towards toys or food or something.


      2) Try to plan how many days you'll need in advance, too. We had to buy extra JR tickets back to the airport because we stayed for ~10 days, but only opted for a 7 day pass. 


      3) They'll mail it and won't leave it at your door! So, be prepared to receive it or pick it up at your local FedEx dispatch (or wherever it's being delivered from). 


      3.5) THIS IS NOT YOUR PASS. It's only a voucher that you trade in when you get to Japan!


      4) Once you get to Japan, there will be a kiosk for traveling just after you go through bag search/security/customs. Tell them where you're going, they'll hook you up with your JR passes and give you the tickets you need to get to your destination.


      NOTE: You don't necessarily need tickets to ride the JR (as far as I know). Some of the train cars have 'assigned seating' and some don't. But, those trips are typically pretty long, so it's useful. Just stop by a JR kiosk at any station and ask, they'll hook you up! 


      5) As you're making your way through the station and you get to the gates where you have to pass security or the little checkpoints, look for a window where the guards are, walk up, say 'sumimasen' (translated: excuse me) are and flash them your badge. They'll typically just let you through very quickly. Some might stop you to make sure your pass is current, though, so don't just walk through it all willy-nilly. :) 


      OKAY. So. I spent a lot of time on JR stuff. I can go into more detail if you have questions, so just let me know. 


      Onward!


      Suica Cards
      In the easiest explanation possible: this card is basically your local train card. Anytime you're taking a train from one part of the city to another, you're likely going to use this. They have dispensers in the station (and I think at most stations, to be honest). And further, they have refill stations so you can put more money on it. I recommend putting ~30yen on it. Trust me, you'll use it. 


      PRO TIP: A toooon of vending machines accept these. 


      ANOTHER PRO TIP: This one's pretty easy to notice but, as you walk through the gates to get into the station or to your train, it'll show your balance on the screen. Keep an eye on this! 


      Commuting to your Airport

      I know this one seems kind of silly, but we spent a lot of time looking into this because our situation was kind of weird. It's likely going to be cheaper to park your car there than to take a rideshare/taxi/rental to and from the airport. Likely. Depending on where you live this could be a different situation. We actually drove from Austin > Houston and back, and so we had to consider alternative plans. Just be sure to look up your airport parking prices. ;) 


      QUICK SIDE NOTE: If you're not a Google Fi user, make sure you're getting a pocket wifi either from your hotel/air BnB or that you're renting one from the airport. This will be your connection to the internet/real world. You can disable your social media if you're just trying to escape for a bit, but you should definitely have one of these to make your way around town a bit easier.


      Google Maps IS YOUR FRIEND

      Google maps was basically our tour guide (well, that and our good friends Mikey D. in Osaka and Hero Liao(!!) in Kyoto). My favorite feature: all of the subway transit info! There was information on walking distance to the stations, travel times, distance from station-to-station, how frequently the train would come/go, etc. There are third party apps you can check out, but see if Google Maps does the trick for you, first. 


      ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: GET A BATTERY PACK! This thing saved our bacon. A whoooole lot. They're fairly cheap and will keep you charged for a good bit of time. Here's what I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0194WDVHI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


      It should go without saying, but, have a backpack or similar on hand (or back) at all times, too. Because..


      "...I would walk 500 miles... "


      BOOM A PROPER SEGUE

      You're going to walk a lot. So, be prepared for that. If you've got tender footsies, maybe look at grabbing a quick foot massage at the end of each day or even after a certain number of days. On average, we walked roughly 10-12 miles a day. We were also trying to see everything we could, though. So, if you're planning on relaxing, then maybe this won't be such an issue for you. :) Consider looking at getting solid walking shoes before you go, too! This helped immensely for Jamm and I. 


      Last but not least. 


      BIG. TRAVEL. DAYS.

      This one's actually not so bad. Just make sure you wake up early on these days. The Shinkansen are quick, but you're going to want to get the ball rolling early. Also, we noticed a trend that most people weren't actually up and around until 10am or just a bit later. So, the early trains were typically pretty easy to snag. I definitely recommend planning your major travel days in advance, though. Especially if it's only a day trip. We took a short trek out to Kyoto for the day and the train ride was roughly 35 minutes or so to-and-from, and with only being there 10 days, an hour spent traveling is quite a bit. 


      That being said, if you like to just see the sights through the window of a train, maybe this won't be so bad of a deal for you. Just make sure to check the map to see what side *might* have more interesting stuff to look at.


      Okay! I think that about covers it for this round. I wrote this one a bit on the sleepy side. We've been terribly busy and I've been trying to drown myself in games, TV, and books for the past few weeks to help relax my brain. This one was not the most eventful/adventurous, but I hope it proves at least useful to some of you! :) 


      My next entry will be a bit about the places we checked out and the places I *sadly* missed out on! 


      See ya next time, Superfriends. 


      -ck. 

    • More Posts Incoming!

      1 month ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Hi there, friends!


      Just wanted to say that I've kind of fallen off the radar for work, life, and VR things! But I'll be back soon enough to cap off a few things and start on some new pieces. Here's what's in store: 


      Japlanning for your adventures to the Land of the Rising Sun 

      I'm going to finish my brain dump on all the things I can offer that might be useful to those of you planning a trip to Japan soon. I'm happy to answer any questions that may crop up here, too! Just be sure to leave a comment and I'll get back to it asap! 


      A Very Virtual Kokkinos Adventure

      I got a Vive! So, for funsies, I'm going to take some time to talk about my initial thoughts on it, what games to check out, and what things might be fun to see in the future.


      Sounds Good?

      I've been meaning to write more sound centric articles about some of the things we've been doing here, so I will be covering some tips, techniques, and go over some of the previously released episodes to talk about what we did to achieve certain sounds. 


      Additionally: Do you have any sound questions? Trying to achieve a specific sound effect or can't quite understand why your mix doesn't exactly sound right? 


      Annnnd lastly!


      If you're planning on going to RTX this year, I'm hoping to host another audio panel with the entire team! As soon as we've confirmed, I'll be sure to post here. :) 


      Alright! Back to the beeps and the boops! 


      -ck.

    • Money money money monnnneyy MONNNEY *Japan Entry #3*

      2 months ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Alright! 


      So, this post will be about dat money. I'm going to try and keep this one a bit more concise, but we'll see how that goes. 


      Currency

      • JPY
      • ATMs
      • Withdrawing cash before you go
      • Tipping
      • Credit Cards

      JPY or Japanese Yen!

      So, as you may have gathered, JPY is the stock term for Japanese Yen. Currently, it values at roughly 0.0092 compared to the .01 in USD. 


      In short, $1 = ¥109.


      JPY comes in all shapes and sizes. Even the valuable bits can be in coin format. I won't get super exhaustive on this one, though. Just keep in mind that at any given moment, you can have a ¥100 or ¥500 in your pocket (which equates to roughly $1 and $4.50, respectively). Most vending machines will accept ¥10s and up.


      Here's an image of what the money looks like.


      One thing to note: when you return to the US, banks will not accept your coins for exchange. So be sure to spend them all or exchange them at the airport in Japan before you depart. We meta-gamed the hell out of this, trying to spend all of our coin before we returned. 


      ATMs

      You'll likely be within proximity of a Family Mart, Lawsons, or 7-11 at any given time. Any of these will more than likely have an ATM for you to withdraw some cash from. Just keep in mind, some banks charge more for foreign transaction fees in this realm. I got hit with a roughly $15 fee with Bank of America, whereas Jamm (who has RBFCU) didn't see even a blip on her bank statement. So, make sure to read up on if your bank has fees in this realm. 


      This leads me into my next section!


      Consider Withdrawing Cash Before You Go

      This was hugely beneficial to me, since Bank of America will do this for free if you withdraw more than $1k. Otherwise, there's about a $7-8 fee for shipping.


      In short: Look into if your bank has a foreign currency exchange and go from there. Try to avoid doing this at your local airport, since the fees/exchange rates there are a bit bogus, IMO. 


      Tipping

      Don't do it. 


      Credit Cards

      You'll find that some places accept credit cards, however not all CCs are usually accepted out there. My American Express was useful in a few circumstances, but I highly recommend sticking to cash for this trip if you can help it. If you do end up using a card, you might want to do a bit more research on if your card has any presence out there and if so, make sure to notify your CC company. The last thing you want is for them to lock you out of your account while you're overseas. 


      Alright! This was kind of a boring one. Hopefully it was somewhat useful, though. The next one will be about transit! Grab some popcorn and hold onto your butts. That's going to be a long one. 


      Until next time. 


      -ck. 


    • Let's talk about vidja games! *Japan Entry #2*

      2 months ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      In this post, I'll be covering a small portion of the games you can commonly find in Japan as well as some things to look out for in this realm. 


      I won't be posting disclaimers for each of these. So please refer to post #1 if you've forgotten what I've said about these posts. ;) 


      Oh and one more note: I'm not particularly watching through the videos I'm posting below in full. Just scrubbing through to see if they cover the topic as well as I'm aiming for. 


      Okay, here we goooooo!


      Arcades

      • Claw Machines
      • Rhythm Games
      • Medal Games
      • Gacha Machines
      • *NEW* Japanese Exclusives


      In this post, I'm going to highlight a myriad of things relating to my experiences at the arcades in Japan. I didn't spend too much time playing the super neat Japanese exclusive games, so.. apologies in advance if that's what you're here for!


      Claw Machines (I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir on this one)

      If you're going to play any claw machines/prize machines (basically any machine where there's a chance you're going to snag a cute stuffed animal, chocolate/snacks, or one of them thar booby figures) you need to know this now: they are rigged like a lottery system. What I mean by this is, the claw has a better grasp on your prize at some interval of time after so many coins are placed in. I watched as the claw very visibly opened up and released my prize as soon as it got to the top. Like, it wasn't even being sneaky about it.


      Potentially better explanation?: Once every 'x' number of tries it'll grasp it for longer, but after 'y' amount of time the claw opens and drops your item. 


      I know this is kind of a known thing for claw machines in general, but I was pretty surprised when I saw the claw literally just open up as soon as it reached the top of the machine. 


      Additionally, there are so many variations of this style of game there. Each with it's own different series of pros and cons and style of prize. 


      All of this being said, there have been plenty of instances where folks have won, but just keep in mind, that Rem figure might be worth trying to buy for ¥2000 right down the street if you can't quite get it after 'x' attempts at ¥200 a go. 


      That being said, these are a huge draw in Japan and they're fun to play. I had a few instances where I got realllllllly close to winning a few things, but it just never worked out in my favor. 


      /salt


      Here's a link to some 'tips' on how to play these types of games: https://blog.fromjapan.co.jp/en/others/japanese-claw-machine-7-tips-tricks-to-bag-your-prize.html


      Rhythm Games

      I can't speak on this subject a whole lot, since I'm not much of a rhythm gamer. But if you want to see some insaaaanely talented gamers in this particular realm, go check out the rhythm game floor at any of the arcades. I'm talking, custom gloves and headphones for some of these games. And the passion, OH the passion. I saw a guy 100% the song he was playing and scream "YES" and collapse right in front of the machine from excitement. 


      Additionally, if you've never seen Dance Rush Stardom, this is the place to do it. It's soooooo cool:

      Medal Games

      So, we made our way to TAITO Game Station with the intention of just getting 30m of game time in and ended up staying for 3-4 hours. The medal games there. If you're wondering what those are, here's a video of someone else playing: 



      So, why were we there for 3-4 hours? Well. We split into 3 groups of two and over the span of that 3-4 hours, each group hit the grand jackpot (roughly $200) in medal, which was super neat... at first. But then we realized something. 


      Gambling is mostly illegal in Japan, so those coins are basically useless outside of that floor (I believe) and you're mostly limited to that style of game. So, no trading in for that big fluffy penguin or tiddy figure, or whatever. The odds are super in your favor, since you can't really leave with their money and let me tell you, when you win, and you will, it's basically like defeating Safer-Sephiroth at the end of FFVII, but like, more insane. I'll let you figure this one out when you get there. Just be ready for the whole place to go off.



      Gacha Machines


      A 'Gacha Machine' is essentially a blind box vending machine that delivers a capsule with one of 'x' number of prizes from within a themed machine. They usually cost somewhere around ¥100-¥300 and can range from things like small Gundams to hats for your cats! When I was in Dotonbori in Osaka, at any given moment, I could likely do a 360 and spot at least one of these Gacha Machines. So, if you see one that has something you're kind of interested in, hold off! There will definitely be more opportunities for you to snag that perfect capsule! You'll find these en masse at arcades, too. 


      I would like to reiterate the cost of these, just so you don't find yourself accidentally spending all of your money, though: ¥100 is roughly equal to a dollar. It doesn't feel like it, though, since everything under ¥1000 (~$10) is in coin form. So, just be wary when you're feeding those machines to get that super sweet tomato hat for your furry friend. 


      Japanese Exclusive Arcade Goodness

      It seems like a culture has really developed in Japan surrounding these arcade games. It was a bit intimidating to walk up to these machines and give them a go, when the locals would kind of stare at you with coin in hand, waiting for you to quit wasting their time so they can play these games with their friends.That being said, no one was ever openly rude and it seems like they were used to this. So if you see an open machine, give it a go. If people watching you gives you anxiety, consider going in the morning or during slow times at the arcade. 


      The experience may be a bit peculiar, as every one of these games was in Japanese, but it was certainly an awesome experience. One game I tried was Gunslinger Stratos. I had to waffle my way through the menus, but once I played the game, it felt like a super cool dual wielding experience. I got my ass handed to me, but I still had fun. :) 


      Link: 


      Another game I saw, 'Senjo No Kizuna', a pod style mecha game, looked insanely neat! The graphics were a bit dated (think Armored Core 1 or 2), but the overall concept seemed to make you feel as if you were suiting up in a mecha and taking on other challengers in their respective mechs. I didn't get a chance to play this one, but if you get a chance, try it out and let me know what you think!


      Link:(Here's a video of a fella showing you how to play the game. There aren't many good videos on this, so, apologies for the.. barf cam?) 


      And then, of course, there's Final Fantasy Dissidia in arcade format. Not sure if we have this in the arcades here or not, but let me tell you, watching a row of folks playing this in an arcade was intense. I wasn't ready to try this out, but it made me want to pick it up as soon as I got home (spoiler: I haven't yet). 



      Alright. So. This felt a bit long winded. Did I go into too much detail? Did I forget anything? Let me know in the comments below! 


      Like. Subs... wait. That's not right.


      The next entry will be on currency!


      Thanks for reading!


      - ck.


    • Ohayo Gozaimasu! (well, sort of) *Japan Entry #1*

      2 months ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Hey there, friends!


      So, I've been really excited to share some of my newfound knowledge of what it's like to visit Japan and give some light on my personal experiences in hopes that it may help some of you down the line. Additionally! I'd be incredibly curious to hear what some of you have to say about my experiences or even any experiences you've had personally, there, in hopes that it'll better prepare me for my next adventure out there. 


      Now, before I go on, I'm going to set a few preliminary expectations. 


      1) YMMV. My experience will likely be pretty dang different than any experience you have (or have had). I get it. I'm simply writing this to A) share my experience because I had a blast and B) hopefully help you (the reader) with some of the common mistakes I made along the way and point you towards some of the cool things I tried that you might like.


      2) Don't be a dick. If I'm saying something incorrectly or did something incorrectly I'm mooooore than happy to talk through it/resolve it to make sure things were said in a correct manner. But we can do this constructively if we work together! :D


      Alright, sorry to be a total tease, but I'm only going to share the rough outline for this tonight and get started on my entries in full tomorrow(ish) (05/09)! Please note that this may change as I'm writing. 


      Here's that dang ole list: 


      Arcades

      • Claw machines
      • Rhythm Games
      • Medal machines
      • Gacha Machines


      Currency

      • Coins
      • ATMs
      • Withdrawing cash before you go


      Transit

      • JR 
      • Driving/Parking at the airport vs. Renting Cars (What's more cost effective?)
      • Suica
      • Google Maps/3rd party Apps
      • Walking (So. Much. Walking.)
      • Big travel days


      Places I visited (and things to do there!)


      Kyoto

      • Arashiyama
      • Fushimi Inari


      Osaka

      • Dotonbori
      • Osaka Castle
      • Abeno Harukas


      Tokyo

      • Akihabara 
      • Nakano
      • Odaiba
      • Shinjuku
      • Harajuku


      Places I missed (that I wish I hadn't)

      • Himeji castle
      • Nijo Castle
      • Tsukiji Market
      • Parks! (Yoyogi)


      AirBNBs

      • Due dilligence!
      •    Distance to stations, quality of the room, etc.
      • Pocket WiFi 


      General Information

      • WiFi/Cell Services
      • Hawkers (typically, the folk trying to sell you stuff or get you into their bars)
      • General Do’s/Don’ts
      • Toilets
      • Garbage


      Food Suggestions

      • Food is basically delicious everywhere
      • Specific food places in Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto and more! 


      Souvenirs, figures, clothing, and you

      • Don't buy the 'first one' you see! 
      • Japan Exclusives
      • Tax Free
      • Duty Free 


      Japanese

      • Basic words to know and when to use them
      • How little you need just to get around



      And I think this about covers it as a starting point. I can't guarantee that each topic will be lengthy, but I definitely want to say at least a few words on each. 


      Actual blog things to come soon enough! For now, back to sleep! I'm still jet lagged like a mug. 


      <3.

      -ck


    • 15 Years and counting..

      3 months ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Tonight was pretty amazing. 


      I had a chance to check out the newest RT Doc: "Why We're Here" . The title kind of gives away the plot. So, you know, I'll try and avoid spoilers. :) 


      When I heard about this documentary, I was so elated. Not really sure what it was exactly. But I was just really amped about it. 


      Was it because I'm working for a company that's been around for long enough to warrant a documentary? 


      Was it because RT had seen so much growth and cool content over the past 15 years? 


      Was it because I wanted the free booze at the cocktail party? (I mean. No, but that was pretty sweet.)


      Before I saw it, I wasn't really sure. But then, the lights dimmed, we saw some super neat trailers, and as the documentary played, it all kind of just clicked.


      An abridged backstory to my history with RT: I knew incredibly little about the company before I started working here. What I did know was, 17 year old me thought PANICS was one of the funniest things to ever grace the internet - and that was the last I really heard of RT until 2015. Did I ever suspect I'd be working with the guys who made that? Absolutely not. Not because it seemed insurmountable, but because it wasn't really something you considered back then when watching videos on the internet. At least, not for me. Then again, I didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life around that time - but here we are. 

      Okay. Enough of that. 


      So as I'm watching this documentary, I started to notice that I was smiling like an idiot watching my peers and superiors on screen as they talked about the history of RT from it's humble beginnings, through RTX and so many other pieces (you'll just have to watch to find out). As it rolled on, though, I noticed that everyone on screen was just.. so incredibly sincere about everything they had to say. It's kind of hard to describe, but it just felt like everyone really truly cared about the company and its accomplishments, and it was such an awesome feeling to witness it on screen. It's not often in this industry, you meet so many passionate individuals within a single company that are there because they were inspired by something they saw them do years before and are now innovating and doing awesome things with said company. 


      Well, at least, not in my history, but ymmv. 


      Even more, it makes me so happy to see how much they realize that it's you, the community, that helps us to keep moving forward. Seriously. Without y'all, we wouldn't be over here working on cool shit™.


      So thank you! <3!


      I hope that in my coming years here, I get to spend more time meeting and establishing friendships with the folks at RT and doing more community things with you lovely people. I'm excited to see where this road takes us. 


      TL;DR - I'm pretty excited for y'all to see this documentary. I laughed. I cried. I had a great time and spent entirely way too long on this journal entry. Major kudos (o7) to all who worked on it and cheers to RT for 15 years. 


      Here's to 15 more.


      στην υγειά μας!

    • Let's talk about hiring!

      3 months ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Hello Journal (my old friend)!


      So, as you may or may not know, I'm getting to expand my team (huzzah!) and it has given me the opportunity to review all sorts of candidates' resumés, reels, and the like. Over the years, I've learned a good bit about what it's like to be on this side of the table and I'd like to use this entry as a platform to learn youze a thing or two about what (not) to do when applying for a job. Like. Literally anywhere. As well as for an audio position!


      BOXER-BRIEF DISCLAIMER, Y'ALL: If I come across as a pompous ass, I apologize. I'm just trying to give some advice with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor along the way. I bear no ill-will towards any candidates who apply (even if/when some of y'all do some silly things). It takes a lot to just apply to a company and it can be super intimidating, and I definitely get it. So kudos to you for getting that far! I honestly don't mean for this to be a deterrent, but as a mildly(?) humorous way to help you strengthen yourself as a candidate for here, there, or anywhere. 


      I should also state that these opinions are my own and not in any way the view of the company as a whole.


      Let's get started, shall we? 


      1) READ THE JOB POSTING. LIKE. ALL OF IT. 

      I made sure there was one very key, bolded, addition at the very beginning of our job posting, as there's this weird misunderstanding that I'm looking for a composer for my team (hint: I'm not.): 


      "Applicants that do not include a demo reel that highlights your sound design and mix work will not be considered. This is not a composer position."

      And yet, 50% of the submissions I received either had zero reels and/or were composers looking for work. The problem here is that in the limited time I have to review resumes, I want to maximize the effort I take to listen to potential candidate's (who've read the rules') submissions. SO, when I'm scrolling through the applicants, if you did not include a reel or you mention your years of music creation and a link to your soundcloud page, your resume will likely be pushed off and potentially not even considered. 


      TL;DR this is the first test. Pass and you advance to the next round. Fail, and death by snoo-snoo (or just, you know, you won't get the job). 


      2) If you're going to apply for every position on a company's website, follow these rules: 

      Don't do it. 


      But seriously, employers will know when you apply to every role. It looks incredibly unprofessional and likely tells me that you're just a fan of the company and are trying to find your way in, but you don't really have anything to offer me/my team. The only time where this is even remotely acceptable is when you're applying to like-roles (e.g. Sound Designer, ADR Engineer, Mix Engineer, etc.). I'd even go as far as saying applying to a role for Editorial and Sound is acceptable, as there are similarities. But if you're going to do this, write different resumes and/or provide different reels! 


      3) FFS. INCLUDE A REEL.  

      9/10 times I start with a reel before a resume. If the reel is good, I'll look to see what's on the resume. I've had applicants straight out of college submit sharper reels than many 'veterans'. Seriously. Make a reel. It'll impress me if you even go as far as to make it private Vimeo video and give me a cool secret password. 10/10 cool. cool cool. cool. 


      LIFE PRO TIP: Include in your video (or anywhere that's visible) your contributions to the content you're showing. 


      "Name | Title of thing | Sound Design, Foley" 

      "Name | Title of thing | Creature vocalizations" 

      "Name | Title of thing | ADR" 


      If you don't include this, I can either assume you've done everything and/or nothing for a clip, and I'd rather not guess. 


      4) BIG ONE HERE. 

      Do your research on the company you're applying to. If you send a generic email that just reads as: 'Hi, I am interested in your company. I'm a good candidate because <insert generic good qualities/traits>. Hope to hear from you!' a small kitten forgets how to meow. Forever. 


      Okay, so I might be paraphrasing a weeee bit about the generic line, but you get the point, right? Read the post, study the company, write a cover letter that expresses what you know about them and why this is the company you're interested in and go from there. Some folks don't like cover letters, but I love them. It's my way of getting to understand the type of conversationalist you are. 


      Let's get super audio specific for a hot second. 

      5) Reel content, length, and basically all the things I have to say about them.


      A) 2-3 Minutes (Max) 


      As much as I'd love to watch your 48 hour film festival submission in its entirety, it's likely longer than I have time to commit to one candidate. I'm sorry and I love you, but this just isn't going to 

      work out. It's not you. It's your reel length.


      B) Put your best work first!


      At least to some degree. I'm sure you've got plenty of cool stuff in your reel, but just make sure you put the coolest stuff first. I want something that'll grab me as soon as your reel starts! If it doesn't grab me in the first 10-20 seconds (or so), I have to start clicking around, and then I might miss something cool. 


      C) Include relevant content to the posting you're applying to.


      This one's tricky. If you've been working in live-action for 5 years and are applying for an animation/games position, it'll be a bit more difficult to compare your work to other candidates that have animation/games centric reels. That being said, it doesn't disqualify you, at all. Any reel that showcases your abilities is better than nothing! It's just helpful to have works that are more closely in-line with the position you're applying for. 


      D) But Chris, I've not worked on any animation or games! 


      Dude. It's like you're reading my mind. I have got you covered! 


      My first reel comprised solely of trailer replacement content. What's that you ask? Well, start by heading over to the Youtubes and find a trailer/scenes from a show/film/game that you think you can get creative with, find a way to.. acquire.. said video, remove all the audio, and design some fresh new hotness for that sweet, sweet baby to show the world (or just, you know, potential employers). THOUGH! As an additional thought, don't be afraid to show others your reels! I've got an open door policy when it comes to reviewing reels. If you want me to take a look at it for critiques (or just for funsies), shoot me an email here: cjkokkinos@gmail.com. Please note: I don't want this to be construed as me saying 'I am great and my opinions are the bestest' I'm merely just saying, 'Hey, friend. Need an extra set of ears on your work? Let me check it out! I'd love to hear that fresh new hotness.' (Yeah, I know, sweet callback.) 



      E) Don't make your portions super incredibly long winded. 


      Unlike this journal entry, your individual pieces should be concise. Don't make me watch 50s of a scene to just see that super sweet last 10s of that same scene. It usually doesn't pay off (for all parties involved) and you've just gone and wasted a perfectly usable 50s for other awesome things. I get that context helps in some circumstances, but be clever about it. 



      I'm fairly certain this covers a pretty large majority of the things I wanted to cover. For your benefit, my want to get some things out of my brain, and because I clearly don't update this thing nearly enough. I really do appreciate the overwhelmingly large amount of folks interested in joining my team - I really am. This addition is definitely a bit overdue and I'm SO excited to have <insert your name here> join my team. This year's going to be <insert a mix of adjectives that describe both enjoyable and chaotic expectations for the year better than I can currently type>. 


      Alright. I think my brain has officially turned off at this point. 


      CONTINUE? 

      9... 8... 7... 


    • 2 Years and then some..​

      5 months ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      Ahoy!


      So, instead of taking the time to write something big and grandiose, I'm just going to fill this void with little things to say here and there to maybe get into the groove of writing things. :) 



      January 25th officially marked my 2-year Anniversary with the company! How time flies. Over the past 2 years, I've really come to appreciate a lot of things RT has to offer. One of the utmost importance, however, is the community! Without you all, I don't think I'd have a place here. So, thanks for watching (and enjoying? lol) our content! Additionally, I'm incredibly grateful to have made friends with so many of my colleagues. Something tells me this is all adding up to head towards a grand 2018 adventure!


      Question for you lovely peeplz:

      What's some of your favorite RT animated content from this past year? Is there anything sound related that really stuck with you from any of our shows? Let me know!


      Happy Friday!

      - ck. 

    • I. HAVE. BEEN. STAFFENATED! (yus!)

      1 year ago

      ChrisKO Might steal your tacos

      YUS!~ 


      I feel like receiving my staff badge here is like becoming 'Facebook Official'. Huzzah! :D


      I guess this is a good opportunity to update people on what's going on in my world! 

      Since last I wrote (ahem... 3 months ago..) I celebrated my 1 year anniversary at RT, received this beautiful memento, and wrapped my first season of RWBY. All the while we're wrapping up Sex Swing, and starting up on RVB15, Chibi 2, and Camp Camp 2.


      ...yeesh. We've been busy. 


      This past year has been a wealth of knowledge and I have a feeling the brainwaves are going to keep flowin'. Like more knowledge, into my brain, I mean. ANYWHO. I feel like this should be a longer post full of reflecting on the past year, but I'm totally drawing blanks right now. Though, I suppose it doesn't help that it's ~2am and my brain has been asleep for an hour.  


      So perhaps, instead of trying to draw blood from a stone with these blogging shenanigans, I'll take this opportunity to ask you, friends, do you blog? If so, how do you get the words from your noggin to the page? And how do you keep it consistent (throughout the post and the frequency you post at). 


      Many tanks, friends. <3 :D

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    Hm. That's a good one. Since I don't have just one favorite thing, here is a short list. :)

    1. Pretty much every VO session has a myriad of fantastic outtakes, most of which are probably best left in the booth.
    2. Working with the Directors on polishing up the mixes on each episode before it goes live. They let us have a lot of creative freedom with our audio, while still offering their vision, which really helps the end product shine brightly with everyone's offerings.
    3. The many random massages I get from Miles when I'm on hour 13 at the board. That man is a saint. <3

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