📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #17
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Thread: 📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #17

  1. #1
    Matt's Avatar

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    📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #17

     






    ISSUE #17                         THE VALE, QUILL                         26 JAN 2018                         ONE BRASS






    A Novel Approach
     



     
    Prettying continues apace, but with new assets pouring in it is hard to keep up! The old bridges were replaced so now the player can stand properly behind the lower walls on them. Deep water patches came in so all watery areas got a pass over with them. We also took delivery of assets for the final area of The Prologue, which we will not say anything about. Not a SAUSAGE. (That may be a RED HERRING, or some sort of MACKEREL).

    So what does the title of this post mean, I don't hear you ask? Well this week, I sorted out some of the in-game books you can find and collect. We have everything from terrible poems to dog owning manuals to tree owning manuals to historical times and more besides. Many are so amateurishly written, they make Byron, Keats, and Shelley spin in their cryogenic alien culture chambers aboard the eternal mothership. Some of the puns and wordplays are soooo bad they actually may cause spasms as your brain tries to comprehend if what you read was real. Yes, that book is called The Ballad of Bored Bob - by S.T. Deenuts.

    So that's it for this week really - house move completed, finally got broadband installed, prettying ongoing, terrible collectibles written, and half the team addicted to Monster Hunter. And yes, the smithy really is called Jeremie's Irons.


     
    Mother Hubbard is a rather mysterious sort and we often wonder what strange things she's getting up to when nobody's around. This is where community member lycanthony comes in, who has drawn this imagining of what Old Mother might think of our fine periodical.



    Quiz Master Tice?
     



     
    So for last week's #ScreenshotSaturday on Twitter, I tweeted a screenshot of the reverb plugin I use in Cubase along with the question of what other people are using for their reverb. And then Russell Shaw himself goes and actually answers it! Now I don't know about you, but I LOVE Russell's work. So when he dispenses advice, I listen! He tells me that he uses a plugin called Spaces. We also talk about the various ways in which you can apply a reverb (as Cubase allows for several different ways to go about applying effects) and I learn a couple of new techniques from him. I check out this exact plugin that he's using and its reviews suggest it's way better than what I had been using. Luckily, East West gives us the option of a 10 day trial, which I of course HAD to try out!

    I figured, let's devise a test to see just how good it is. So I picked a song I had already finished with the same reverb I always use for Kynseed and I converted it to the 'Spaces' reverb using 2 different presets. One that was a bit of a larger space than what the soundtrack was currently simulated to be in and one that was a space about the same size and distance from the listener. Together with the old reverb, that makes 3 different files which I named #1, #2, and #3 - thus not specifying which reverb was being used in which version. Then I got the team to pick their favourites. What ensued was me having way too much fun watching them go back and forth on which one they liked best. Perhaps I'm in the wrong line of work and should have been a quiz-master. So far the results are inconclusive though.

    On a different note, I'm in the process of writing music to accompany some rather nasty and backward people living on a farm. So it's time to bring out the fiddle again!



    A Sprightly Duo
     



     
    Earlier this week, Neal went to Gamesforum London in order to attend a few games industry panels and to chat with fellow industry peeps. When he came back, he'd written up notes about the talking points discussed. I found it rather interesting to see all the advice and ideas that these panels mentioned. (For anyone who's interested, Neal copied over his actual notes into a Dev Pub thread.)

    One of the things that I became encouraged by after reading through it all was that according to much of the advice given we're already headed the right direction in many areas. Of course, there's always so much more that could be done when working on a game, but for being a small band of developers it's nice to see we've been 'holding our own' thus far.

    One other area of discussion that came up this week was the very first player sprite we'd ever made for Kynseed. The one from way back when we released the prototype. Since we exceeded our Kickstarter goal (thanks to many of you lovely folks), we were able to get a character artist to help us out immediately. This, of course, turned out to be Gary and the very first thing he helped us with was redoing the prototype's player sprite.

    Fast forward many months later, and Gary recently made the second selectable player for the game. Thus, the two Kynseed twins were made. However, this new twin with the fun hair buns seemed to have a slight more...well, we weren't sure, really. Something special about it that we and many of the fans were really resonating with. As a result, we began to feel that the original twin we started with so long ago needed a slight update. The ultimate goal is to make both these two sprites feel like believable twins.

    So something we've been discussing in the Dev Pub and between the team is what minor art changes to make. It's all very subtle and there's no dramatic changes happening to that character, but as subtle as they are they'll be impactful positive changes all the same; changes that will help both twins achieve a level of cohesion that simply wasn't present before.

    What this does mean is that any promotional assets I've been making with the older sprites will have to be redone. Such is the way with game development, but there's no doubt that these changes will be well worth it. Gary is hard at work putting together the final form of the sprites (including all the 100+ animation frames for each) and I'm hoping we'll be able to introduce you to the official Kynseed twins very soon - or the Twynseeds, as I've seen a few community members refer to them.



    Gameflow & Gameforum
     



     
    This week in code has been mostly dedicated to improving gameflow tasks in The Prologue. Charlie had drawn up a list of priorities and that was at the top so I tried my best to improve it as much as I could (based mostly on a list Charlie made breaking down the specifics). Sometimes it can be very nice working with such a dedicated purpose as it's easier to flow from one small task to the next. Also, patterns can start to emerge which helps determine when a more general case solution could maybe be good. The one thing in particular that I found was that the basic scripting setup needed more control over tasks. To do this, I added some extra actions to it which now make it a lot simpler to add unique quests, where as previously it would have required code changes to do!

    I also went to a game developer event called Gamesforum in London this week. There were a lot of really interesting talks and I also got to chat with a few folks who were great to catch up with along with talking to some new people. Originally, I'd planned to go to both days but decided the second day perhaps didn't quite have enough to offer so instead carried on with coding. It surprised me to find how enjoyable that extra day was, having perhaps mentally written the day off in terms of work productivity!

    My pick of the week for a new bit in code (apart from adding those new actions for scripting the game) was adding some extra options for our NPC query system. The hope is that this query system provides a nice method for players to talk with NPC's to not only learn about them but to also get some hints as well! Time to get back to it as I've got some monsters in need of hunting. Ahem, I mean a build to send round the team!



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    Last edited by Matt; February 6th, 2018 at 01:32am.

  2. #2
    SirJeff's Avatar

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    Copyright 2017? I think The Vale is stuck in the past somehow
    Knowing how to do it and not knowing how to do it is the same thing. Knowing how to do it well is the difference

  3. #3
    BriarRose's Avatar

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    I am enjoying all the fanart I see around the community, but that Old Mother Hubbard is among my favorites.

    Excited to read all the books in the game! I am the type of person who spent waaaaay too much time in Bethesda games reading all the side stuff.

    Was fun to have a say in the Dev Pub on the Twynseeds' design. Looking forward to see what you do with all our feedback.
    "I have a cloooooooooooooothing stooooooooooore in my noooooooooooose."- Jurak, Dark Cloud 2

  4. #4
    LeeJ2512's Avatar

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    I cannot wait to read all the lore

  5. #5
    Matt's Avatar

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    Our paper delivery pigs were running a bit behind this week, but the latest edition is now up for your perusal!
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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