The PixelCount Post - Issue #36
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  1. #1
    Matt's Avatar

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    The PixelCount Post - Issue #36

     






    ISSUE #36                         THE VALE, QUILL                         12 AUGUST 2018                         ONE BRASS





    Close Combat Is Close
     



     
    Here at PixelCount, interesting things are afoot and coming to a head with exciting announcements a mere arm's length away. We've been keeping our artists on their toes and they've been making more combat assets than you can shake a leg at. Their work has been amazing and we've really gotta hand it to them. Thus far, we've been keeping combat images pretty close to the chest, but this week that all changes! We'll also soon be talking about which neck of the woods some of this sword parrying will take place. All that to say, you'll want to keep an eye out for upcoming combat news.

    Our current plan is to put together one of our larger development/backer updates later this week. In it we're going to give a very tentative first look at how combat animation is coming along as well as discuss a few details on how we envision combat's design to be implemented. We'll also be sharing a few morsels of info on when you fine people will get a chance to try out some of the very early versions of the combat systems in the future.

    In other news, things have also been progressing nicely in new and existing areas of development. We've actually had our hands surprisingly full these past few weeks which has also been coupled with team member schedules being a bit all over the place. (For example, our dear composer has been away for a few weeks travelling around Estonia playing with other musicians! I'm personally looking forward to seeing what creative inspiration his trip has stirred within him, especially considering Estonia's amazing history.) This meant we didn't have a chance to put together a new issue of The Post until just now, but thankfully it's all for good reason due to getting some new content and announcements ready for your delectation.

    So if you fancy learning a bit more about combat (which is the next big chunk of the game that we'll be adding), be sure to follow us in all the usual places. See you again later this week!



    What's On the Menu
     



     
    A very difficult week on a personal level with various happenings going on at home, but as the week closed out the problems were gone and I felt inspired and energised. Neal had the levels on lockout as he conjured up some new brush and tool magic to aid with level creation. That meant I could do a playthrough and note down everything we need for Early Access - there's a lot to do and not much time to do it!

    I found playing to be very relaxing and enjoyable, although all the missing and broken bits make me shudder. But I know that they will be sorted, and looking beyond all that I could see a very special title; we just need to ensure we stay honest and stick to our path. Having great comments from our community is a huge part of that. We find that when we get positivity we get bursts of extra energy.

    I also got to look at the Left D-Pad function. The controls will be moved to a section in the Options and replaced with a screen that has three tabs: Skills, Kynseed, and Status. These show a lot of info, so they'll need to be clean and consistent with other menus. I will post the mock ups in the Dev Pub in the near future. (I use Visio for them as it is easy for my technically limited brain and pap art skills.)

    So then, onwards and upwards. So many exciting things happening (the monsters are incredible, combat looking potentially very cool, and so on). Glad you are all with us for the ride!



    Brushing Up On Brushes
     



     
    In the last few weeks, we've released a build (yay!) and have been working towards a planned build around the end of August. The attrition process I've been working with (slowly getting new features in step by step each day) has been mostly working out. Although there does come a time where it becomes necessary to focus more intensely on a particular area to get it usable and be able to move on.

    Most recently that's been about setting up the brush mode to have saveable templates and make it possible to paint down multiple sprites in the same brush. These small, but important, additions should make it much easier to fill out the landscapes (though a further few pieces I need to work on is the spacing of sprites and the ability to replace anything already in that area so that areas can have a consistent density and be instantly reimagined).

    Along with this tools work, I've also been looking at improving some systems like animations to have anchor points within their frames. This allows more accurate placing of objects per frame such as the fishing line and will also be used for holding objects and potentially paired anims at a later point. After a small experiment at getting the pixel color of a given point on a texture I've also been able to setup something which may well be the key to doing some basic character customisation which will be expanded on soon.

    I've also been starting to have some thoughts on polish and ways to improve the UI which has honestly been a bit of a nightmare setting up (each screen is custom hand created and it makes iteration work really quite time consuming). This should tie in nicely with an interesting new UI screen that has been mocked up. There's also playthrough feedback and plans that have to get underway too. So much to do, so time to get back to it!



    The Musician's Travel Log
     



     
    Note from the Editor: Our good friend and musician has been spending these past few weeks all across the beautiful regions of Estonia alongside a merry traveling band. The following two entries were sent about a week apart as he found time to write in from his travels.
    -Matt



    I find myself far away from home today. I have left the safety of the Vale and entered strange lands where I don't speak the language. Even though the landscape looks largely the same here in Estonia, it's also different. My trip through Latvia on the way here especially reminded me of landscapes from The Witcher or Operation Flashpoint. I'd imagine it's not unlike how the player character might feel once they can leave the Vale.

    In these countries they have strong traditions of music, especially singing. They can even manage to get a few tens of thousands of people together to sing important folk songs that celebrate their independence. You'd not go through that without being moved should you have the opportunity to hear it. It's also that strong tradition of music why I am here. Each year choirs from all over Europe come together to sing and learn through courses and ateliers. I will be taking part, and return home with what I've learnt. No doubt inspiration from this will find it's way into Kynseed...




    I find myself near Vilnius today, about to leave the Baltic states. My journey home isn't over yet. I still have to cross Poland and Germany. My week in Tallinn at Europa Cantat was an extraordinary learning experience. So many ways of making music from all over the world gather there. So much to see, absorb, and make my own. Music has always been rife with foreign influence, and for Kynseed I frequently have to dive into cultures of music I was previously unfamiliar with. Learning how composers the world over adopt aspects of music from other places and make it their own has been great! You may not realize it, but even the modern orchestra would not exist without constant adopting of instruments from elsewhere.

    I also witnessed top-notch performances from absolutely amazing groups, such as the Swingles, the Estonian national male choir, the Hong Kong youth choir, Collegium Musicale, and many more. When surrounded by so much excellence in music, you can't help but to learn things! All the more appropriate that the lectures I witnessed were in the University buildings. It was literally 'back to school' for me. Tallinn is also filled to the brim with amazing concert halls with stunning architecture.

    This too inspires greatly, and reiterated to me just how important it is to surround yourself with the right things. You are constantly influenced by everything around you, even when it's not actively trying to influence you. Take control over your environment and you greatly increase your chances for a brighter future...



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  2. #2
    BriarRose's Avatar

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    Matt has used up his yearly allotment of body-themed puns.

    Also excited to see the combat stuff start to trickle in! And how the upcoming music is going to sound. Lots to look forward to.
    "I have a cloooooooooooooothing stooooooooooore in my noooooooooooose."- Jurak, Dark Cloud 2

  3. #3
    Secretcode's Avatar

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    Fable had an arena quest - wouldn't mind if there was some sort of arena in the world where some dastardly hunter gets eggs and trains them to fight for peoples entertainment lol

    but in general i think an arena would be really cool to have to test out purely combat, for some reason i keep imagining your combat system is going to be like EITRs game.
    no idea if you guys are going to have dash system/stamina bar/ or if it's going to be like Secret of Mana type of combat...excited to see it though!

  4. #4
    Charlie's Avatar

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    That's way too slow and a bit one-note...but I do like the meatiness, and love the glowing sword effects and sparkles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
     






    ISSUE #36                         THE VALE, QUILL                         12 AUGUST 2018                         ONE BRASS

    I'm so much looking forward to the combat
    Last edited by Jamestheone85; September 9th, 2018 at 04:01pm.

  6. #6
    Matt's Avatar

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    A couple weeks later and the next issue of The PixelCount Post is now ready for all you discerning readers. Please enjoy!
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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