Friday, November 11, 2016

Video Game Music Viz - Part 1

This is part of my #1YearOfViz series! Check out the archive here:

First let me apologize... for those readers not in the United States this was election week so everything's been a little.... let's use the word hectic around these parts. Secondly, I'm sick (see photo below) and was hoping Thursday/Friday I could really crunch though some data. That said... I didn't START crunching through the data until about 1AM Friday morning (you should be reading this on Friday hopefully).
Me sick in my comfy hoodie vizzing at 3AM.
I know what you're thinking....
Gotham... great show AMIRIGHT!?
The upshot of all this is to say that, due to various reasons, today's viz is going to be a little... thin. I still wanted to scrape and ETL some data for my readers but it's not nearly the level I'd LIKE to do with this data. If I can convince the awesome folks at to give me their top-tier plan for free I would be vizzing the shiz outta all kinds of stuff... but my feeble internet connection and their lack of support for their legacy application don't lend themselves to me doing 50,000+ queries anytime soon! That said's product is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE for data extraction! *bats eyes, looks for endorsement deal*

Today's data is my initial scrape from the Video Game Music Database which really is an exhaustive list of titles... of course most of which are in Japanese so I don't necessary know all the titles the music is referring to, it's impressive that their community has built something so rich! They even have a dedicated stats page that you can poke around in located here.

I found this through a podcast I listen to pretty regularly called the Legacy Music Hour featuring 8-bit and 16-bit era games.

This really isn't so much a comprehensive look at the data as it is a quick viz so I can stick to my schedule... that said....

I just did two dashboards... one which simply augments and simplifies their searching process to give you all results that you can scroll through and load by album title. It's nothing fancy but you can use it to total up things to compare how many game soundtracks Sonic has had to Mario, etc.

This next one shows the trends in the video game music industry over the last several years. Unfortunately game sales data is hard to come by (if anyone knows a source please let me know). The height being in the late 2000's around 2009 or so with a dip after that. I kinda wonder that, like with gaming, VGM reached a saturation point where people had more than they could reasonably listen to or enjoy?

I also filtered the early days of VGM and limited it to 1983+ (which you can edit with the filter-slider) because I felt that really the explosion of game music came when the Famicom hit Japan in 1983. You can see this reflected

I promise you all next week I'll unveil something worthwhile when I'm feeling less like poop for a zillion reasons! In the meantime ... at least I'm keeping my schedule of 1 Viz per Week! I do have the scrape started for the deep dive into this data and I'll likely plow through that and get it published in a week or two from now (probably 2 as I don't like to put two similar topics published back-to-back). Hit me up on Twitter @wjking0 or leave a comment below and tell me what you thought!

Me with this week's viz.

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