📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #45
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Thread: 📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #45

  1. #1
    Matt's Avatar

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    📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #45

     






    ISSUE #45                         THE VALE, QUILL                         17 MARCH 2019                         ONE BRASS





    The Short Report
     

     
    This last week was spent on a few extra bit of fixes and preparations for the "Down to Business" update, which will get pushed out in just a few days this Tuesday, March 19th! We'll spend the next few days after that knocking out any hotfixes needed and then the following week work begins on the "Gnome Pun Intended" update.

    We look forward to seeing how you get on with these initial business ownership mechanics. There are more code systems and mechanics (and balancing!) still to go before running a business is a fully realized experience across the whole game, but this next update lays much of the foundation for which we'll build that experience atop. In fact, many of the blacksmith ownership systems are going to be the same underlying systems used for all other ownable businesses added in the future (such as the Apothecary, Goods Store, and Tavern).

    We'll also put out a proper written update in tandem with the build's update this Tuesday, including a changelog and any other bits of useful info. That'll likely all drop sometime around midday to afternoon on Tuesday, so keep an eye out at the usual places. See you then!



    Updating & Outdating
     



     
    With the Kynseed Roadmap now up, I switched most of my focus back over to preparing for the next updates release on March 19th.. Generally this means team playtests and solo playtests, with the goal being to write out feedback and critical issues. There's also a bit of a balancing act to strike with that, because some of the feedback items listed may not necessarily fall within the scope of the update we're working on at that time.

    In addition to playtests and feedback, I've also begun capturing screenshots and video of the new update. These will come in useful for next week's update announcement but will also be used to update a few old screenshots on places like our store page and elsewhere. That's the tricky thing about a game like ours, because it doesn't take long for screenshots to get outdated. Going back and looking at our earliest of screenshots, it's always a bit crazy to see how different some parts of the game once looked.

    It'll certainly be nice to have this next update out in a few days, as it does really help flesh the blacksmith's role so much more. Then after this week, we begin work on a new content update. I'm particularly looking forward to that one, as it'll include some new places and faces which I think the artists have done an absolutely stellar job on. Though for now, we'll see you again on Tuesday with the "Down to Business" update!



    When Lists Persist
     



     
    Another week flies by! I did have a very slow start to the week where I just couldn't seem to get going. I kind of realised it was due in part to just getting really tired with working on the blacksmith.

    It's probably not a very positive thing to say like that but sometimes in games dev it really gets to points where the work feels like grinding through an unending list of items on an area that comes back again and again. Combined with some of the items feeling 'weighty' by virtue of being tricky connected tasks, it made it a struggle to get going.

    Funnily enough though, as soon as I told Charlie about it, that provided some relief and I could just get on with what needed doing and then time went very fast indeed. So fast that it has extended estimates on the game update by a few days, with the 'latestupdate' test branch going live yesterday and then the default branch will be Tuesday. The build has come on a lot in the last few days but as always there's more to be done...



    A Turn for the Verse
     



     
    A new update's on the way,
    With Charlie busy all day.
    He had no time,
    So I made this rhyme,
    But next Post he'll have more to say.



    Down the Tubes
     



     
    Most of this week has been focused on adding more sound effects to the game. From mouse click selection sounds, to the sound of a pneumatic tube, or the sound of returning home by unorthodox means...

    I noticed I feel a lot more confident doing sound effects now than I used to. While I still often use samples collected from various places, which I then piece together in new ways to create unique sounds, I now also feel confident enough with sound synthesis to create my own sounds from scratch.

    For instance, I used this technique to create new mouse click sounds to be used in the various new menus and interfaces being added to the game. To make such a sound, you start with a standard wave form, like a sine wave. It sounds like a pretty boring tone, really. To turn that tone into a click, you need to make it really short. Then you remove all the tone's decay and sustain. Following that, you add a white noise sound to it that you give higher priority than the sine wave (if you even still need the sine wave at all). So you actually end up with a really short tick sound.

    To turn it into a recognizable mouse click you can try adding a second click shortly after, at a different pitch. This will make it sound like the pressing of a mouse button (one click for pressing it down, and the second click for the button coming back up). This general principle has been used so often to emphasize that you've clicked something that it's pretty universally recognized now.

    But there was much more to be done than just clicks. For instance, I had to create a sound inspired by The Wizard of Oz - 'something with a harp', Charlie's instructions said. So I looked up that part of the movie and quickly found what he was referring to. Of course I can't copy it directly so I had to make my own thing within the same vibe.

    Then there was a sound that's going to be used for deliveries in running the smithy. Charlie described this one as a delivery type swoosh, which I interpreted to mean the sound of a pneumatic tube - an old technology still in use today in some places where air pressure is used to propel a capsule through a tube. I knew my sound synthesis skills weren't good enough yet to make this from scratch, so I looked through our sound library for the sounds of a pneumatic tube. I found none. So I had to make it out of other sounds.

    The tube portion of the sound I ended up getting from the sound of an airplane toilet sucking out its content. The swoosh was much easier, just a random object being flicked through air really fast.

    Then there were a few more sounds that were much more straight forward to create. Having completed the list of sound effects I was tasked with, I've now moved on to a track for a special event inspired by a scene from the 1973 movie The Wicker Man. That movie is pretty much required viewing for working on this project, as the game draws from it so much!

    I hope I get this track done asap. I really had wanted it to be completed sooner already, but I've been keeping too many plates spinning. So I better get back to it!



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  2. #2
    BriarRose's Avatar

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    June 28th, 2017
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    What? A new update today? Yay! 😁

  3. #3
    jppeer123's Avatar
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    March 19th, 2019
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    When are we gonna see the patchlog?

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