Hello and welcome to this weeks Dev Diary!
Today I'll explain some of my last weeks ups and downs and explain the importance of setting up your tools properly for your work style, before doing major changes to your graphical works.
On an earlier dev diary, I mentioned about the importance of learning a habit of saving the different versions of your graphical work. For those, who has years of experience, this is a given and those that often have a habit of regimenting things, this comes more or less naturally. As such, because I have a tad different starting point and despite I like to be organized, at first I forgot to do this. Time wen't by and I learned to save different versions of my graphical works more frequently, which made life much easier. How ever - and here comes the importance of shuffling through your image editing software's settings before doing any larger works. Of course, I didn't do this, as I had no prior need to change any settings on editing software to fit my working style, which I considered mostly to be nitpicking of the pro's. I didn't underestimate it's importance to the workflow, but I didn't see it as important to my self. Well, how wrong was I, yet again and learned it the hard way.
As I had no need to change the default settings in Photoshop, I also missed a rather important thing - the autosave function. Basics of the Basics, yet I overlooked that It if I like to fidle with the earlier versions just to see if I find some new way to branch out from that earlier point, the autosave function will overwrite periodically over the old file, effectively erasing the "bookmark" all together. This is why, it seems, that most of my earlier versions of some graphical designs are gone and in cases where you don't like the direction you took at all and just close the file without saving, it's already too late.
Lesson to be learned from this - always make a copy of the original backup, when ever you want to try branching out in a different direction from a certain version of your work. The autosave functionality is important to be left enabled, in case the software or computer crashes for any reason.
Which leads to, yet again, the Re-Designs of several assets. Here is an example of several different versions of the Sapphire star;
The version history goes from left to right, oldest to newest. I'm still not satisfied of the direction that the re-designs wen't, as the first one might have been the best one overall, but would have required a tad more work on the details. As an example, the outlines should have been colored as sapphire blue to hide the outlines and made it look more gem-like, and a little bit of transparency to the bottom layer, to be able to make more caustic effects to it. The colors used in the first iteration were just white and light teal for the slight lighting effects and Sapphire Blue and Persian Blue, as the base colors. From the second to fourth versions, only 7 different shades of Sapphire Blue were used in all the effects and base colors.
EDIT; Backgrounds matter - go take a look at the Reddit page how these stars look against the black background, compared to white.
The Editing Process
The editing of the Patreon page is coming along fine, although it does take time to re-think my approach, in order to write something that makes more people to want to invest in the project. No marketing text is perfect and it is impossible to write something, that appeals to anyone, which should be always remembered, when designing your Patreon page, or homepage for your project. The first image you give to people about you and the project is important, but I would dare to argue, that it is much more important to be honest about your self and your need to learn and develop your skills in various areas - be true to what you really know and don't know how to do. Be open about the fact, that this is a learning experience to you and just be who you are, that is a much more important factor in marketing. I'd like to call this "Natural Marketing", a way of being honest and straightforward to others, show trustworthiness by your actions and being honest about your own mishaps and successes. No human, alive or long since past, is or has been without any faults. Everyone is a beginner at some point and we all advance in different pace. Accept your self, flaws and all, and do your best to overcome those difficulties. Only you can decide for your self, if this is something you really wan't to achieve.
And, you can always change your marketing text later. Good enough, is often just fine for the first publication. This concludes the pep talk for other starting game developers, artists and entrepreneurs, who would like to earn their living as a CEO of their own life.
I'll be honest with you, I have been suffering from sleep deprivation lately, which has been slowing down my work progress and influences my rate of mistakes in my work. Last weeks short notice was partly because of this and the fact, that I had been too enticed in a game that I originally played to study it's mechanics more closely. The game in question is Total War: Three Kingdoms. The Total War series is one of those, that has inspired me to attempt creating a RTS game with similar elements. The TW: Three Kingdoms is the closest strategy game to my own visions thus far, but does not contain even nearly everything that I will try to implement in to the RTS Project. I just hope that the ideas work as well together in practice, as they work together in theory.
Thank you for tuning in, and I'll see you on the next one!
You can check out every possible mid week announcements about the project on these official channels;