📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #22
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Thread: 📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #22

  1. #1
    Matt's Avatar

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    📰 The PixelCount Post - Issue #22

     






    ISSUE #22                         THE VALE, QUILL                         2 MAR 2018                         ONE BRASS






    Short But Sweet, Like a Young Napoleon
     



     
    Not really a lot to report this week from my end. Lots of little bits n' bobs of prettying, replacing doors and some walls with updated ones, sorting out the collectibles, and still trying to write some in-game books. There was also a lot of time spent emailing after a surge of mails offering their services of everything from translations to console ports to asking for keys to interviews.

    I always like to reply where possible as it is polite, and you never know when you might need someone, so always best to be well mannered. We want to be a studio that is not a closed book, and one that generates goodwill both ways. We might be miserable sods but we want to be seen as fun. *wink*



    Creepin' on NPC's
     



     
    This week in code, the main focus has been working on NPC's. Starting to bring them more to life with differing routines from each other and filling in behaviours. It's an interesting task and one that brings in a lot of surrounding work to figure out. For example, ensuring that they know the right objects to interact with or areas to be in, that they are mindful of their surroundings, have passing comments to the player or others they know, and try to appear natural (as much as possible given the limitations of resources!). It's still early days for the sim with so many competing areas of code to focus on, but as a lot of the groundwork is now in place for the code it should get more time in the limelight. One debug thing I've added is an NPC cam mode where the camera follows an NPC around. It's a really small section of code but invaluable and mesmerising seeing what the NPC's get up to!

    Apart from NPC's, I've been darting about on various areas including fitting in what small bits I can and looking at ways to improve efficiency. One win on that front was dropdown UI controls in the editor. In particular, the one for choosing textures was up to 300 items long(!) and even when sorted alphabetically it was a pain to work with, so I looked at a way to filter it by typing and got that set up in maybe 30 minutes. I'm not sure if I've necessarily saved that amount of time yet but it has been a genuinely great improvement and made the flow for importing new textures and looking around existing ones much better. Little by little, it's coming together.



    90 Minutes on the Crazy Train
     



     
    The final touches to the Early Access version of the soundtrack have been sent off to Matt. Looking back on the development of Kynseed, I noticed I've been involved for nearly a year now. I started work in late March of last year. Back then, I was being tasked with making some music for the prototype of the game. The great Russell Shaw had provided a title track, and those were some very large and intimidating footsteps to follow. The first month or so was spent trying to find the quintessence of the Kynseed 'sound'. It took a few tries alright, but eventually I made something that the rest of the team really loved and we felt confident that we had found the sound of Kynseed. I ended up making just shy of 20 minutes of music for the prototype. And then the Kickstarter campaign succeeded...

    Now the rest of the game had to be made. So a whole lot more music was needed. Luckily, the team liked what I had done for the prototype enough that they asked me to keep going, so I could stay on the crazy train! Now, the total area that could be explored in the prototype was considerable for a demo, but would absolutely pale in comparison to the size of The Vale, which can be explored in the first version of the game that you're all waiting to play.

    20 minutes of music wouldn't make much of a dent into the total size of the soundtrack that was needed for this. Area after area was being added to the game and some of those even got multiple tracks assigned to them, due to the expectation of how much time the player would be spending there. Fast forward to now, and we have 90 minutes of music in the game. And the game is not even close to its intended final size yet. This soundtrack could end up being absolutely massive...

    It is my ambition to create a soundtrack that is so diverse that even after playing the game for hundreds of hours, you won't get sick of hearing it. I hope that you'll all feel that I've succeeded in that.



    A Fine Hat Collection
     



     
    If you're thinking that this week's issue of The PixelCount Post is brief, you'd be right! Time was a rare commodity on the team this week due to an extreme focus on developing new game systems as well as doing some scheming on various things. My role on the team, in particular, has been known for the wearing of multiple hats and it seems that was in full force this week as I had to balance my attention between music, sound effects, video editing, gameplay testing, community plotting, Steam back end brouhaha, development update drafting, and even editing this fine periodical you're reading right now.

    It's an intensely interesting time for the game's development. In some ways, we're arriving at one of the most pivotal moments on the project. More than ever, managing priorities is important right now. There'll be more details to share in the next issue, but for now I'll keep my article uncharacteristically short. We'll see you again next week very soon indeed!



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  2. #2
    Matt's Avatar

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    Next issue is up! Might be my favorite article Charlie's ever written.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    Next issue is up! Might be my favorite article Charlie's ever written.
    That's just what i thought, when i read it! Good work and thank you for beeing so community-driven!

  4. #4
    BriarRose's Avatar

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    I always get waaaay too attached to NPCs in games as is and it sounds like you guys are putting a lot of character into well... the characters. I'm going to be so sad when they die.

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