The PixelCount Post - Issue #33
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  1. #1
    Matt's Avatar

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    The PixelCount Post - Issue #33

     






    ISSUE #33                         THE VALE, QUILL                         2 JULY 2018                         ONE BRASS





    Remember Me at the Log Inn
     



     
    We usually plan The Post ahead,
    So why was this week's late and unread?
    Well Charlie bumped his noggin,
    And forgot his website login,
    So Matt had to write this instead.



    This Bug, That Bug, Debug
     



     
    Following on from last week where I looked into NPC debugging, I started setting up a more general debug log whenever the game is played. This records relevant actions from the game in an effort to better understand what exactly led to a given situation. There's a difficult balance to be had from overload of too much info and too little either. So far I've tried to set the basics in place to cover when the player changes level or picks something up or when shops open or what NPC's are up to.

    I'm also looking to make log viewer filter events based on either category or perhaps certain ID's that pop up (like a level/object/NPC). The hope is that this will help uncover reproduction steps for certain bugs which are otherwise hard to figure out. (Often it's hard to remember exactly what you may have done prior to a bug occurring because you aren't typically expecting it to happen and some connected elements may not be visible).

    Apart from the debug log and pushing out the new build, I've started work on combat. It'll be a while before this is playable in the build as it is so early in development. First off is melee combat, where we've got some animations for the player and enemy to use. It took a bit of fiddling to get these setup, as I dusted off the cobwebs of code from the first few weeks of development (around May 2016 which is when combat was last looked at!). That code is not particularly pretty and is likely going to go through a few rounds of tidying and perhaps even an overhaul.

    After a day's work or so, the basics were there but it really didn't feel quite right. After another day I added hit effects, removed some debug, and made them survive more than one hit. Now it's already way better. Next up will be starting to pull out values from the code that can be edited ingame/editor for quick changes. While this work goes on I'll be splitting time a bit to carry on with other work and keep the builds flowing.



    Drumming Up New Music
     



     
    So the entertainment system for the tavern is finally in the game! It's only the first iteration and I'm really hoping for lots of feedback on it from you all. Currently each verse of a song repeats identically to the last, except for lyrics. If I want there to be musical differences between the verses I'll need to include a music file for each unique-sounding verse. This wouldn't only make the game take up more storage space but it also makes the music system a little more complex. If verses also had different lengths, well that'd be a can of worms, I reckon. But I do love the idea of adding lots of music to the entertainment system.

    In other news, I'm in the final stages of tracks for two places that aren't even in the game yet at this point and they couldn't be more different from one another. One is a really creepy one, the other a funny 'beer fest' type of track. I worked on them simultaneously, which I felt was a great way of keeping creativity going. If I got stuck on the one track, I'd continue with the other. I really like working in that way.

    Meanwhile, I also worked on a new jingle for when you gain a new skill. The one currently in the game, which you can hear when Twig teaches you to hook objects with your fishing hook, is only placeholder. My previous attempt at it was too 'big', involving the entire orchestra. So I toned it down quite a bit and gave the guitar a more prominent role. This is more in keeping with the rest of Kynseed's sounds and music - the guitar plays such a pivotal role. I do occasionally leave it behind though, such as in the creepy track I talked about earlier. It's a subtle way of saying 'you're not in Kansas anymore', as you're away from the safety of your home. I think it's a neat example of musically describing something by omittance.

    Starting next week I'll be abroad, so you may not see anything from me in the next issue. Don't panic, I'll return! I just have to annoy some Polish people with my drumming...



    A Count of PixelCount Accounts
     



     
    Here at Chateau Matt, which resides across the majestic but comically small pond next to Castle PixelCount, I've been busy getting our accounts in order. It's a bit surprising how many accounts a small indie venture like ours ends up needing. Not just social media accounts, but various email accounts and accounts for a slew of tools or services. At last count, I think we've got over 40 accounts in total.

    These all require managing and organizing in some way which, if it sounds boring, you'd be right. But it's part of my semi-regular account Spring cleaning (he says while in Summer) where I verify and update the information on all these accounts and take inventory of everywhere we are on the vast internet. The more exciting part of this work is that the next step is to start updating various social accounts like our Discord, forums, and even Twitter to some degree. (Among others.)

    This'll include various bits and bobs that users themselves will get to see, most of which I'll bore you all with in a future update. All in all, this has been one of those weeks where I'm doing the less than glamorous production work, but important work nonetheless. I'll see you all again next week I'm sure, probably with some interesting updates to share!



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  2. #2
    BriarRose's Avatar

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    With the current version of the game it's hard to envision how combat will look. So I'm really excited to see how it turns out!

    And looking forward to creepy music, I like the idea of dropping the most familiar instrument. Quite clever. :-)

    (Got a chuckle out of the poem for Charlie! )
    "I have a cloooooooooooooothing stooooooooooore in my noooooooooooose."- Jurak, Dark Cloud 2

  3. #3
    Secretcode's Avatar

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    I look forward to whatever combat might be ^ I'm wondering if it'll be equally as ambitious as everything else is so far

  4. #4
    Matt's Avatar

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    Charlie's noggin' is all better in Issue #34 of The PixelCount Post.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

  5. #5


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    July 2nd, 2018
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    Can't wait to see the combat keep up the good work guys!

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