Sunday, November 20, 2016

Map Tiles Update - Lighter Colors & New Water

The next tile proof has arrived. Santiago mellowed out the water and lighted the jungle, forest, and organ swamp tiles. The glass desert is now purplish, so it stands out from the water. I ordered the new tiles without UV coating so they wouldn't glare.

This first photo shows the new land tiles with the old water tiles, producing a larger map.

This next photo shows the contrast between the old water and the new water. There is some reduction of detail in this photo as a result of merging them into one image.

As it turns out the tiles produce glare even with the UV coating, but are now vulnerable to water spillage and fingerprints. They also have residual soot marks from the laser cutting process. The mellowed out water photographs better, but appears grayish and dreary to the naked eye. I may ask Santiago to produce a more lively ocean color - so it feels more joyful. The boundary between land and sea is certainly more clear with the mellower water, so there's a tradeoff to consider.

Here's one more with the new water so you can see it with more detail. Again, props to Santiago for the great work.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Japanese dev philosophy

Map Tiles - First Proofs

The map tile proofs have arrived. Now we see how the illustrations, which looked great on a computer screen, translate to physical printing.
One mistake: I selected "glossy finish" for the production process. Too much light and the tiles give off a glare. Too little and the details are hard to see.
Too much light:
Too little:
Santiago and I concluded the glossy finish needs to be removed and some of the darker colors in the darker tiles need to be lightened up a bit. We're also going to make the "glass desert" (top left in the above photograph) design red tinted so it stands out from the blue ocean tiles. We'll see how the next proof goes.
In the meantime, the mountains look 3D. It's uncanny.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The latest debacle

Derek Smart provides a post-CitizenCon update on Star Citizen:
The past few weeks following the CitizenCon event have been very difficult and dare I say disastrous for the Star Citizen project. From the post-show videos they did in an attempt to explain away why (read my Shattered Dreams blog for more on that) Squadron 42 wasn’t shown, to the controversy over lies about procgen planets, to the status of the patches (the much delayed 2.6 patch, as well as the 3.0 patch touted at GamesCom in Aug as coming end of the year), the flippant mention of SQ42 coming to consoles – and right down to last week’s uproar over the silence on the status of both aforementioned patches.

Well in the past 24hrs, things took a turn for the worse.

For some time now I have maintained that not only has Chris Roberts blown through $130 million (a huge amount, even though we have reason to believe that the funding tracker isn’t accurate) dollars of backer (plus whatever investor and bank loans source say they have) money, but has also run out of money to fund this pipe-dream to completion. Heck, at GamesCom he flat out said that 4.0 of Star Citizen – which won’t even be 50% of what was promised – won’t be out until end of 2017 – which, going by trends means “sometime in 2018”. The longer a project takes, the more money it needs to continue. And with over 400 employees and contractors worldwide, it’s easy to see how money will eventually become an issue. As of this month, the project which was promised to be released in Nov 2014, is now officially two years late.

Yet, there are those who, rather than holding them accountable for promises made, keep rejoicing in point digit milestones such as the recently reached $130m one. It’s hilarious, and now goes way beyond Sunk Cost Fallacy and Cognitive Dissonance. When the inevitable crash comes, psychologists are going to be digging deep to figure out how so many people fell so far, and so hard for what many believe to now be the biggest scam in video game history.

So anyway, given what they did with the pre-CitizenCon Polaris sale, the stunt they just pulled should come as no surprise to backers. See, ahead of the anniversary stream which is coming in two weeks, they decided to do another ship sale. This, while par for the course won’t have been all that surprising – except for the fact that i) they discounted it ii) made it cheaper if you paid cash and didn’t use store credits (obtained via melting existing ships). What that means is, not only do they need the cash (from new buyers), but they are also willing to devalue the existing backer inventory in favor of “new money”. And so the community was set ablaze (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Again.
Read the whole thing. It's just... not... good. Not for anyone in the dev world.