📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #54
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Thread: 📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #54

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    📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #54

     





    ISSUE #54                              THE VALE, QUILL                              1 JUNE, 2019                              ONE BRASS





    The Short Report
     

     
    Starting earlier this week, the team began work on the next features-focused update: "A Song of Price and Hire". This one will mainly expand upon shop ownership gameplay by adding the Goods Store as an ownable business as well as fleshing out staff hiring and the ledger book. We're also adding in shop reputation, which will help reflect how succesful and famous your business is.

    One advantage we have with this update is that there's some basic shop running systems already in place from when we added blacksmith ownership a few updates ago. This essentially means that all the game's ownable businesses will share some underlying code, including the Apothecary and even Tavern. Though for this week, we're keeping our focus primarily on systems for running the Goods Store and building on what's already there.

    We've also begun work on formally nailing down details for the next batch of updates on the roadmap. This current batch will end just a couple of updates from now and so it's time we start deciding on the specifics for the updates to come. We'll of course share details for that next batch sometime before this current batch is done - in fact, the next batch has some new gameplay additions that we're very much looking forward to getting to! Though for now, we'll be ensuring the Goods Store is primed and ready for all you would-be shop owners wanting to make a brass or two.



    A Match Made in Haven
     



     
    My work this past week has been finally getting back onto levels, with Mellowfields imminent. For now though, I am putting the finishing touches to Loverwood, a region of Summerdown. It is a place for romance, rumpy pumpy, and one of the places you can choose to have your binding ceremony (marriage).

    There is also a rather dashing chap living there, and he is a bit of a love guru with plenty of wise advice for those seeking love and woohoo.

    I'm looking forward to getting stuck into the next haven, with its idyllic fields and gardens, trickling brooks, and giant vegetables. Am sure there will be plenty of innuendo in there, as is tradition...



    Standing on Solid Groundwork
     



     
    The Long Road continues...

    This week almost went to plan! Well, apart from the first few days being taken up with editor and initial Festfield event work overlapping from the last update. Work is also getting underway with the Goods Store and business ownership work. As several of the pieces like the ledger and bartering system already exist, it's not as hard fitting it all together for this second player job activity but there are equally a lot of details to sort out. Such as how workers will be handled, dealing with stock, customer tastes, and how reputation will affect visitors to the shop.

    My aim is to do a better job at frontloading this update to sort out the details early, potentially leaving a bit of time to get ahead this update. We've been going over the plans for future updates and there's certainly a lot to pack in so any chance to get ahead is handy!

    It feels like the groundwork has been a long time coming (and still has some ways to go) but is coming together nicely and increasingly feels solid and ready to start bedding in the details that'll make the game fulfil its ambition. Still a long way to go, which just needs to be taken one step at a time...



    Easy on the Ears
     



     
    For the last week or so I've been delving into the art of mastering. And let me tell you: mastering is HARD! It's where all the elements of a track have to come together perfectly balanced against one another.

    Consider that a track can sometimes consist of literally thousands of elements and you'll get a pretty solid idea of why this is so hard to do. You can get help from tutorials and master classes and all those good sources of information, but at the end of the day you have to rely on your own ears. If you can't hear a minute problem, you can't fix the minute problem.

    You also have to take good care of your ears if you want to keep doing this job. Monitor the dB (decibel volume) you're exposed to and how long you're exposed to it. And take breaks! A big problem is that when you're composing something that has a sense of big scale, odds are that this sense of scale won't come out until you play it loud. But do that for too long and you'll damage your ears. Don't do it at all and you won't hear some very important things.

    I've had a habit of composing and mixing on low volume. This has meant that some things will slip by me. You can look at graphs for additional information but that's not the same as being able to tell what the experience of listening to it is. So it's always a balancing act. I do know this: if you don't spare your ears, you'll be out of commission forever.



    Morphin' Time
     



     
    It's been a bit of a helter skelter week as I tried to balance getting game work done with getting E3 prep done. We won't be doing any sort of booth/demoing at E3 or anything, but E3's convention center is quite literally two blocks from where I live so I generally end up attending each year anyway. And even though we're not doing any 'official' game presence there, I'll still be meeting up with various industry folks for an equal mix of work meetings and friend meetings.

    There's a surprising amount of prep that goes into everything though, both for the event itself and also because I'll be having so many guests in town. Since I live so close, my flat typically becomes a 'base of operations' for many of my attending friends and industry peeps. It makes for a bit of a madhouse week, but I always kinda enjoy how hectic it all gets. It's 'organized chaos', but in a good way.

    Plus, everyone's favorite Kynseed composer Tice will also be attending this year, so he'll be palling around with me for much of it. It's actually quite rare indeed to have two PixelCounts together in the same place! Our little team is so remote and geographically removed typically. Perhaps one year, if we can get the full team together, we can combine our forces and...I dunno what. Turn into Megazord, or perhaps summon Captain Planet.



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