We’re pleased to announce that version 2.3 of our Game Masters Collection app for the iPad is now available at the Apple Store. The new version includes in-app purchase access to several of our recent soundpacks, including:
Eldritch Horror: Cult Ceremonies is a collection of 9 different mystical cult ceremonies. Now you can let your players hear that pesky cult eagerly summoning their icky dark lord to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting world.
Fantasy: Dragons: a collection of 20 growls, hisses, roars and breath attacks. Now you can let your players hear one of the most iconic creatures of the fantasy genre!
Fantasy: Traps: a collection of eleven sinister traps for you to install into you perilous fantasy campaigns.
Horror #2 – EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomena. These mysterious recordings are believed by some to represent the voices of the dead. Now Toxic Bag introduces a collection of creepy EVP phrases for you to use in your modern horror game.
Sci-Fi: Blasters & Deflector Shields: a collection of 16 energy weapons and shields for you to equip your party as they enter your Galactic Sci-Fi Operas.
Changes and fixes –
Optimized for iOS 7.
Changed the iPhone main view to a tableview menu.
Fixed scrubber to resize properly after rotating.
Resized main tableview icons to line up the text.
Cleaned up the startup screens.
Cleaned up actions when app goes into background.
Added a microphone access request for iOS 7 devices.
The Game Masters app is a free download; additional sounds are available via in-app purchase.
Our newest sound collection is Zombie Apocalypse Volume Three: The City. Two six-minute background ambiences set in a city that has become infested with the walking dead. Or the living dead. The ambulatory-and-kinda-bitey dead. Whatever you want to call them. They’re the slow shambly ones.
“Our whole perimeter is collapsing. Those things are everywhere!”
The dead are returning to life and attacking the living. The military has responded and now major cities have become battlefields.
Can you survive in this nightmare world?
Zombie Apocalypse Volume Three includes two six-minute scenes of zombie terror.
Track One: The city has become a maelstrom of combat: the gunfire and explosions, the armored vehicles and airstrikes – and everywhere, the dead.
Track Two: The living have abandoned the now devastated city. It now belongs to the dead.
You’ve made a break for it. You and your buddy finally decided it wasn’t safe to stay at the pub any longer, and it was time to make a run for the car. You sprint across the parking lot, dropping a few of the walking dead with your last bullets. Finally you reach the relative safety of your car.
Say…you didn’t leave the headlights on, did you?
• Our new RPG sound product is Zombie Apocalypse: Farmhouse Siege: Two 3-minute scenes depicting a horde of the undead attempting to break into a small house. In the first track (“Stalemate”), they don’t break in; in the second (“Break-in”), they burst in during the final minute of the scene. We’ve included a separate one-minute scene of just that terrifying final minute as well, if you just want to jump straight to the devastation. “Stalemate” and “Break-in” can also be purchased separately.
In the mid-90s, Blood and I were hired by a small production company to work on a music video for a thrash-metal band. The band was signed to a medium-sized label and enjoyed some success touring Europe and Japan. We were supposed to provide audio support for the shoot, meaning we would set up a small PA system and play back the band’s CD, and they would mime and lip-sync the song. Our friend Chris was hired to direct. Chris had gotten got the gig because he knew who Lucio Fulci was. The band were big Zombie fans, and that was the ‘look’ that they wanted their video to have.
Being an occult-themed thrash metal act, the band wanted to shoot their video in a cemetery. Specifically, they wanted to shoot in the Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery near Midlothian, Illinois. This cemetery is supposedly very haunted, and is featured in many of the “Haunted Chicago”-type books you find in the local interest section at Border’s.
Our line producer described it as “an active cemetery.” What does that mean, I asked—they’re still burying people there?
“No, the last burial was around 1989. ‘Active’ means there are still people buried there.”
So, “active cemetery” as opposed to “field,” I guess.
Tucked back in a forest preserve, Bachelor’s Grove has become a popular destination for vandals, and authorities have reported finding evidence of black-magic rituals taking place there. There are also reports of ghosts, strange lights, and a phantom farmhouse that appears and disappears.
On the day of the shoot, I knew none of this stuff. For all I knew we were headed out to shoot in one of those modern, manicured, golf-course-looking cemeteries you see in funeral scenes in movies like Watchmen with “Sounds of Silence” playing in the background. We had asked if the producers had secured permission to shoot at the location. We were assured that all the necessary permits had been taken care of.
That wasn’t entirely true. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Our first stop of the day was at the band’s rehearsal space, a converted warehouse on Chicago’s west side. This building was like most dedicated band rehearsal facilities in the 1990s, each floor divided into 10×10 rooms with thin walls and lots of black paint, inhabited by thirty or so bands playing as loud as they could to drown out the band in the next space. The walls of this band’s space were plastered with posters of metal bands and photos from hardcore porn magazines. The drumset was perched atop an eight-foot wooden riser, leaving almost no space between the cymbals and the ceiling. The room smelled vaguely of stale beer, cigarettes and pot. The band members were already in full video shoot regalia—leather, chains, studded wristbands. A short guy with a shaved head introduced himself as “Jeff Deth” and said he was going to be doing lights. We helped the band load their gear into their van and headed out to the location.
Bachelor’s Grove is a monumentally creepy place. The headstones have been tipped over and dragged around by vandals for forty years, the grass and weeds are chaotically overgrown. It’s easy to understand why a band whose music is occult-related would want to use it as a setting for a video. It’d be a great location for a horror film too.
Not that I’m suggesting anyone try to shoot one there.
Because it’s hidden back inside a forest preserve, there’s no accessible road to the cemetery. So we had to park out by the main road and carry the gear in, probably a half-mile to the cemetery. Hiking in, Jeff Deth told us about his dream project: to make a scat porn movie starring real supermodels. He made us swear to not steal the idea. We agreed, wondering what galaxy this guy inhabited wherein someone might rip off that particular setup. It’s really altogether too disgusting and degrading to go into further detail, so his concept remains safe (though I’ve found a more detailed description on someone else’s blog; apparently we’re not the only people to whom Jeff pitched his film).
Blood and I had a couple of speakers, a mixer, an amp and a small generator to power it all. We had also been asked to bring any cool props we might have lying around…and by “cool props” the band meant “guns.” So, I had three plastic replica guns in my duffel bag as well. Specifically I had a black water pistol that looked like a Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol, a cap gun that resembled a Walther PPK, and something that looked vaguely like a Scorpion submachine gun. Additionally, Blood was also going to do makeup and effects. He had a bunch of Zombie green makeup, latex scars and bullet holes, fake blood and even a fake arm with him. Who he was going to apply this makeup to was never very clearly defined by the band. It’s possible they originally planned for groupies to be there to be the Zombs, but on shoot day there was nobody.
The band set up their gear amidst the scattered headstones and once we got the PA system sorted out, the director called for us to do a take. The music blared, the band gyrated, banged their heads and otherwise commenced looking badass…and out of the corner of my eye I saw two men in brown uniforms standing at the edge of the cemetery looking at us.
I got Chris’ attention, and he cut the take. The police approached us. Blood indicated that the director was the guy to talk to, and we hung back. Blood told me later his first thought was, please guys, tell me you left all that pot at the rehearsal space.
“What’re you guys doing?”
“We’re filming a music video.”
“You know you’re not allowed to be back here. This place is not open to the public.”
“The band told me they’d gotten permission to shoot here.”
Waitaminit, I thought—the BAND? And the producer didn’t double check? Oh geez.
Needless to say, no one was able to produce a permit or any other sort of documentation proving that we had permission.
“Come on, fellas. No one’s gonna give you permission to shoot in a cemetery. Pack up all this stuff and get going.”
So we started packing up the gear. At one point, I was wrapping cables with my duffel bag open next to me. One cop looked down and saw the prop firearms.
“Hey, are those real guns?”
He was looking at what appeared to be two handguns and a submachine gun, sitting in my bag atop a bunch of audio cables. I’m pretty sure his hand was on his own firearm. Not looking up, and especially not making a move toward the bag I said slowly, “No, sir, those are fakes. Feel free to take a look at them.” He didn’t. Though a few minutes later as I was farther away packing the generator I saw that Chris, or maybe Jeff Deth, had taken the guns out to show them to the cop. Okay, maybe he was just curious, but I still stand by my decision to not risk getting shot by a police officer for grabbing a fake gun while being kicked out of a graveyard for inadvertently trespassing. I’m sure that’d at least earn me 100 years in purgatory just for being stupid.
Under the no-doubt-bemused but nonetheless stern glare of the police we hoofed all the gear back out the half-mile to the vans. The band assured Chris they’d get in touch when they’d actually gotten another location lined up—properly this time. None of us ever heard from them again. And I don’t think Jeff Deth ever made his movie.
Images of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery are from graveyards.com and are linked courtesy of Matt Hucke. Thank you, Matt!