📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #5
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  1. #1
    Matt's Avatar

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    June 24th, 2016
    Los Angeles, California

    📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #5


    ISSUE #5                         THE VALE, QUILL                         3 NOV 2017                         ONE BRASS

    The Prince and the Pigger


    ONCE UPON A TIME there was a young, handsome Prince. The Prince spent all his days in the land of Quill, riding around on his noble pig steed, Bessie. He saw the land changing before his very eyes...strange stones rising from the lush grass, splishing waterfalls pouring over mossy rocks, colourful market stalls with their banners snaking in the breeze. The Prince rode on and saw quaint stone bridges, a blacksmith's with glowing coals and puffing bellows, and entrances to deep dank mines with their abandoned entrances caked with cobwebs.

    As he trotted on, he spied something peculiar. The villagers. The villagers were moving, as one, on some unknown purpose. He followed them, and to his surprise he saw them all standing in a line by a small wooden hut. From this hut he heard the sound of dull trumpets and odd wheezing, whistles, parps, honks and squeeees. The Prince held his nose and kicked his heels into Bessie.

    He left the village behind and his ears suddenly heard the pleasant tones of music drifting through the summer air. He stopped his loyal pig, and listened. Then he listened some more. And he listened some more. Then he realised he hadn't done any f****** work for 2 hours and pressed F7 to quit the game and get back to editing mode...

    Turning Points

    This week has been a rush trying to finish lingering tasks and prepare a team playthrough build. I've been continuing work on the NPC query and status screens and the information needed behind the scenes. That has now taken shape and we can start filling in real data and testing the system out which is exciting! After that I've been looking at some sorely needed adjustments to the game object system that was slowing down creation and editing of new objects such as pickups and signs (without hopefully going into too much detail the info these were using was stored in a single file which is fine for one person but not ideal now with multiple people needing to amend and add to it).

    After those bits reached stable points I've been working importing new art and figuring out how to use it and starting to setup the flow of the Prologue based on Charlie's new design doc. It feels like another turning point in the project for code going from the very rough phase where everything needs to be piled in to putting the pieces together and now to a more focused time when there's less brand new features/content going in and I can slowly build up the existing elements to something that feels good to play. It's difficult to estimate how long that'll take due to the number of elements at play but for the prototype things moved reasonably quickly at a similar point...so hopefully with the lessons learned from that and the ongoing tools improvements it will happen similarly! The next week is planned to be a weeklong rush trying to get all the flow of the prologue in place along with any team feedback from the build.

    The Difference 5 Minutes Makes

    Ever heard the phrase 'it's all in the details'? Well, it's true! There's no end to how much you can fiddle with absolutely tiny differences in volume, effects, single note corrections, tempo, and so forth. Change a single note and the vibe of a piece can change from sounding medieval to sounding Spanish, which actually came up this week when collecting feedback on a track being worked on. But the change doesn't have to come from that one note. Change the instrumentation and you can achieve the same effect. And the same goes for mixing, as well as a miriad of other things.

    Mastery comes from creating the largest effect with the smallest of changes. And this is very noticeable for me in music. It also means that the final stages of making a track tend to take up the most time. Plus, there's never any real clear indication that you've gotten it perfected just right so you never truly know when to stop fiddling with it. However, at some point, you'll have to stop. And whatever the piece is then, that's what it'll officially be. You may never know how much better it could have become with just 5 more minutes of messing with it. But you could also lose something in those 5 minutes.

    As you can guess, it's pretty maddening if you let it be. Best not...

    Clicking Along

    There's been a fair bit of planning to do this week. As resident coder Neal mentions above, the project is nearing a turning point and there's many things starting to come together all at once, both in the game and here in the community as well. During this next week we're going to be putting together a big Kickstarter update, as we're definitely due for one and there's quite a bit to get everyone up to speed on as to what we've been working on over the last month plus!

    In other news, I've perfected our new task tracking systems that I mentioned a few issues ago and things are clicking along fine with our new project tracking. We've also been having talks about the final details of the Slacker Backer including things like how to handle exchange rates (which is a surprisingly complicated matter!) as well as putting together final details of the upgrade process for those of you who would like to access the higher tiers (another surprisingly complicated matter web-dev side). Lastly, a surprising amount of forum work has been done in the background including some new flashy spoiler tags that I'll be using in some upcoming threads. I also found a way to embed an audio player directly into threads, which will be handy when posting samples of the soundtrack. Lastly, I also reworked a bunch of the code behind The PixelCount Post itself and it should now be working perfectly on mobile devices - rejoice!

    An Ode to Quill

    There was a young lady from Tunt,
    Who poured beeswax all over her husband, as it protected him against Melancholy and Darkheadedness.

    There was a young blacksmith called Bob,
    Who put a hot coal on his mantlepiece as it was considered lucky.

    There was a young boy with no mum,
    Who liked to put things up his chimney as it appeased the Brounies.

    There was a wicked old witch,
    Who was an absolute-ly amazing cook and it was such a waste of her talents.


    A girl called Sally the Martyr,
    Was known as a bit of a farter.
    So to cure this ill,
    They gave her a pill,
    And sacrificed her mother and father.


    I had a little beech tree and nothing did it bear,
    But a square apple and a heart shaped pear.
    The people they did see this,
    And chanted out with glee,
    Then dunked me in the river,
    and hung me from a tree.
    The moral of this story,
    Is one of great reliance.
    Always love your Goddess,
    And never f*** with science!
    Last edited by Matt; November 18th, 2017 at 09:50am.

  2. #2
    God's Avatar

    Join Date
    June 29th, 2017
    Five weeks already since the first issue?
    Whew, time is sure flying by.
    These posts are true masterpieces. I hope that somewhere a few years in the future there'll be people so obsessed with this surely beautiful game that they'll look back here to see where it all started out. Greetings to you guys at this point!

  3. #3
    Charlie's Avatar

    Join Date
    June 24th, 2016
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Thank God for that.

  4. #4
    Matt's Avatar

    Join Date
    June 24th, 2016
    Los Angeles, California
    Issue #6 is hot off the presses - don't burn your fingers!
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

  5. #5
    SiPPOS's Avatar

    Join Date
    November 12th, 2017
    Malmö, Sweden (but working in Copenhagen)
    God is in the details.
    What does firefighters have nightmares about? Old flames

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