My Favourite Game

Rap­per Adam Drucker on Jer­sey Shore Face­book games, his love of in­die pro­jects, and buy­ing a sec­ond child­hood for $100

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Rap­per Adam Drucker on in­die games and a sec­ond child­hood

Adam Drucker (AKA Doseone) is a pro­lific pro­ducer and rap­per, and co-founder of in­die record la­bel An­ti­con. More re­cently, he’s pro­duced mu­sic for videogames, in­clud­ing Sa­mu­rai Gunn, Gang Beasts and En­ter The Gun­geon, and is cur­rently work­ing on Ab­solver. You’ve made in­die rap for years – how did you get into game mu­sic? I had to bail my­self out of all my mu­sic debt, so I took this shitty gig work­ing for Vi­a­com – MTV, Nick­elodeon. I worked on every­thing from Sponge­bob to a Face­book Jer­sey Shore game. I did it for five years. It was tor­tur­ous. But I learned the ropes like no­body’s busi­ness, and when that was end­ing I reached out to my friend Chris Dahlen, who co-founded Killscreen, and he put me in touch with Bran­don Boyer who then put me in touch with Vlam­beer. JW [Jan Willem Ni­j­man], Rami [Is­mail] and I hit it off, and I did the sound ef­fects and rap­ping for Gun Godz. That must’ve been a sat­is­fy­ing shift. Ev­ery in­die game I’ve done, I meet the per­son and then a few months later we’re work­ing to­gether. When I was per­form­ing the Sa­mu­rai Gunn mu­sic on Gi­ant Bomb, right be­fore the show I’m there and I don’t know any­one, but there are these two dudes who are also ner­vous, so I’m like, “Hey, guys, you look like me…” And then we just start talk­ing and it ends up be­ing [ En­ter The Gun­geon cre­ators] Dave Rubel and Brent So­der­man. We have this amaz­ing con­ver­sa­tion and af­ter I do the rap, I come back and Dave is like, “Wait a minute – you’re Doseone”, and we hit it off. Right be­fore he leaves, he just leans in and whis­pers in my ear: “We’re all get­ting fired from Elec­tronic Arts, and we’re go­ing to make a game. I’m go­ing to call you…” And just leaves. And I’m like, ‘That dude was cool as fuck’. A few months later he called me, and now Gun­geon has changed my life. Both ar­tis­ti­cally and hu­manly. How does your ap­proach to game writ­ing dif­fer to your own stuff? I have a re­ally in­tense work ethic – I’m a worka­holic. My own mu­sic grows a lot slower, like mildew – you grow a whole song for one month, you know? With the game stuff, there’s so much that needs to be made I can work like a fuck­ing ma­niac. I can start the wa­ter level beat and then be like, “I don’t know what I’m do­ing with the wa­ter beat yet; I’m go­ing to go over to the cathe­dral beat.” And I can re­ally have this mad-sci­en­tist thing go­ing. Of course, ul­ti­mately I ex­e­cute and de­liver with pre­ci­sion and cor­rectly ti­tled files and shit, like a pro! [Laughs] But when I cre­ate I love to have every­thing all over, lab­o­ra­tory style, and get com­pletely im­mersed and ob­sessed. As a worka­holic, do you still find time to play games? I bought the lat­est Mad­den, played it for one week, and will never touch it again. I played Des­tiny for one week, too. I don’t re­ally en­joy any of the dis­be­lief that triple-A is try­ing to gen­er­ate for us. But Spelunky, Nid­hogg, Gun­geon, Bind­ing Of Isaac, Nu­clear Throne, Luf­trausers, Down­well – I play the fuck­ing shit out of these games. I want to play games that have the fin­ger­print of peo­ple and ec­cen­tric­ity. It’s like in­die mu­sic to me – it just makes me so happy. So start­ing around 5pm, I play for two to three hours, and ev­ery once in a while the love of my life will let me binge on a game when I’m stuck. And then I have a clas­sic con­sole col­lec­tion, too. What’s in the clas­sic lineup? NES, SNES, Gen­e­sis, 2600 and pretty much ev­ery… When I was a young kid, I grew up pretty poor. But there was this one rich kid in my neigh­bour­hood, and he had ev­ery Nin­tendo game. I’d be like, “Fuck, I want all the Nin­tendo games too!” It used to keep me up at night. And then, in my early 20s, I was at a swap meet in Oak­land and I thought, ‘Wait, now I can just buy that child­hood dream.’ So I took out about $100 and bought every­thing this rich kid, Alan, had. My favourite clas­sic game of all time is Tecmo Bowl. I used to play it for money with kids.

“I’d be like, ‘Fuck, I want all the Nin­tendo games too!’ It used to keep me up at night”

How about your favourite game ever? If it’s a desert-is­land sit­u­a­tion and I can only take one, how can I take some­thing that isn’t pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ated? I love watch­ing those Games Done Quick videos, and I’m be­side my­self ev­ery time a hu­man mind can map a game in that way. So I’m go­ing for Spelunky.

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