AuthorTopic: Pixel Art 3.0  (Read 9364 times)

Offline RAV

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Pixel Art 3.0

on: March 28, 2015, 01:26:40 pm
"provocative". "controversial". Let's roll the ball and keep discussion productive.
As some of you know, I have been talking about this in the CB on PJ for quite some time now. And this is an attempt to move the topic over here.



First, take the time to observe. You might still remember my other videos from the past.

The last video, called Basement, I kinda forgot posting here. It is to be considered largely obsolete now; what you saw doing there would look very different now in this newest version:

The first few minutes showcase the improved Smart Select. It gets more meaty afterwards. it's half an hour long, try to give it the time to understand what we're talking about.


However, unfortunately, I could no other than produce this video with an excruciatingly bad video capture setup; this video begins with my earlier setup, but from mark 6:45 turns into my current bad, so you notice a terrible drop from there. This tool by itself still runs smooth as the earlier video. I had a similar problem way back in the past, and the difference between this bad video and the good reality of the tool running on even lower-end hardware, is the same as what you saw between the old "Blackbox" and "Colorado" videos in my youtube gallery. Painful as that is, since I am not sure when I can get better video capture again, I thought I might as well just jump in the cold water now, and start discussing the ideas behind the project. For the sake of discussion, try to concentrate on the meat of the proposed ideas for now, and just assume that this technically very well works actually.




We try to maximize distinctive differences of pixel art to other digital art, regardless of past limitations.
And finding solutions that are within this spirit to the art, that help define identity of the art, instead of confusing it.



There is no difference between a pixel or sprite or tile or map.
It can be considered all the same on a technical level.
Does this sound like confusing the matter? I believe these distinctions confuse the matter.
And this has consequences to the workflow; and the question of what is pixel art.


And as such, you could see here, there is no difference between colour-picking and tile-picking, it just depends what your current selection encompasses. And neither makes it a difference what size your brush has or what form it has, like that of a tile for example. And that's also how the 45 blocks will make a comeback as basis of an advanced tileset logic, as much as pixel logic--if you so please. Because it all makes no longer a difference, it's unified, while keeping the spirit of pixelart intact, and even pronounce the core distinctiveness of this artform, regardless technical limitations of a time. This is pixel art in its most distinctive form as a process of art compared to other digital art, and arbitrary limitations are not necessary to force a defensive definition of this art form.


Pixel art is about combinatory logic in a grid space.
limitations beyond that definition are just funny context to it. modes of the game. preferences.
each interesting and fulfilling in its own right. Even the question of 2d or 3d becomes just another context to it.
CG workflow that is less about combinatory problem in grid space, is less about pixel art;
-- the more strictly it is about combinatory problem in grid space, it transcendents contextual limits.



Snapping the brush of any size into a resolution grid, reinforces the identity of what is pixel art. That does not mean doing it different is not pixel art or bad pixel art. We must go away from taking it the wrong way. It means we have a strong point of orientation, a northern star, within the identity space of what is pixel art. And by that you are able to navigate your own way. By that we are able to conceptually grasp and develop pixel art, we are able to translate into other territory, be it platform or style. We are even better able to defy and spite it. And whether you accomplish making it look like painterly or realism or whatever, that's great, that's a praiseworthy accomplishment on its own, especially if you manage to do that within this strict logic of the art, especially though it might not be the best suited for it.



Tiled based workflow is not necessarily meant for just producing tiled looking works. First and foremost it helps you build substance in the starting phase. you quickly build critical mass that you can customize, mold and tune into whatever unique vision you have. The dynamic fractal-tile approach turns pixel art into its own creative advantage. And there is a large potential of skill and creativity in fully utilizing this.



It seems to be a common verdict here that mixed resolution is bad. Many of these sort of statements look at the issue from a stylistic/artistic point of view on a given work, as whether it is obviously mixed resolution. However, if you look at it from a technical perspective on the fundamental logic of the medium, you come to another conclusion: Almost every pixel art actually already is mixed resolution, whether it is intended or not. Whenever there are bigger clumps of clusters, there is a good chance this area could be technically described the same with bigger pixels of lower resolution. It's just non-obvious at first sight without dynamic adaptive grid visualization highlighting this abstractive fact.

Realizing this, with proper technical support, you have a much better orientation in canvas space. The dimensions and proportions of areas are much easier to eyeball on the fly in the planning phase, since instead of judging big confusing clusters of countless little pixels at same size, you intuitively compare their simplified definition as mixed resolution behind their seemingly continuous space: instead of 194 pixels of one area confusingly compared to the 295 pixels of the other, you may look at this same area as comprised of simpler cluster forms with 3 very big pixels, 4 smaller pixels and 5 very small pixels, of the same colour, attached to each other, clearly comparable to the other area made of 5 very big pixels, 2 smaller pixels and 4 very small pixels.

In the result this doesn't matter, without the grid overlay it's just continuous space in either case. but in the process it is quite convenient more than might be expected.


That voxels can have unique sides as much as a wholesome colour. makes for an interesting mechanic.
You can shade an object by wholesome voxels, or shade it by-side of voxel. You can and will even mix the two techniques within the same image. wholesome voxel colourization helps hide the cubic form, it becomes a blob of colour, instead of a volume-object by itself. This keeps the viewers attention on the overall form of the object that this voxel is part of; it suppresses corner noise that distracts from the actual object that the cubes combined are meant to describe. However, by-side colourization is just as useful, as there are just as many situations in which the emphasized "edgy-ness" is important part of overall definition of object. You want both. you have both.

This project is no "2d versus 3d", it merges both realms seamless, and what perspective is chosen, is decided on the fly; it is possible to just ignore 3d, make classic 2d sprites on the wall and convert it directly into bitmap, voxel for pixels on assumed full frontal. There really is no downside to this, and it can operate in a mode such, you wouldn't even realize you are not using classic "MS paint" instead of staring at a wall straight, within 3d space. You can easily ignore that, it's just an option that 3d is always just around the corner. Whether it has all the features you expect from mature 2d tools, is just a matter of effort and time.

However, I consider the development of this tool as something else than piling up all kinds of features and options. The goal is to produce a tool that is very directed in its design; that the usability design itself helps strongly define the core identity of the art, and serves as basis, as a point of orientation, like pixel art is in itself. A dedicated design towards the lean spirit of the basic combinatory problems in grid space. and that most of the effective workflows can boil down to surprisingly little but versatile functionality, that is playfully re-purposed towards the tactile situation, and thus highlights the spirit of the art instead of detracting from it.


« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 02:43:25 am by RAV »

Offline astraldata

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 08:15:52 pm
I think it's a neat tool.

Unfortunately, I also think you might be greatly exaggerating it as a new form of pixel art. Why call it "Pixel Art 3.0" when this is clearly its own thing?

Why not just call it resolution-independent voxels? Or just something else? It's clear you don't understand what "pixel art" really is, otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to justify your system as being called such. Pixel art is apples and oranges in the case of comparing it to your system.

Pixel art utilizes a lot of techniques that rely on a single-sized grid square to create the illusion of a higher-resolution image than is actually the case. Look at any NES or SNES sprites for good examples of this concept.

Pixel art is based around the concept of a "pixel" -- the fundamental unit of measurement (and also the most atomic building block) in pixel art.

Your system, on the other hand, enforces no sense of that fundamental unit of measurement. At best, it offers a way to place many of these down at once (and in 3d), which /could/ still be considered a form of "pixel art" (in my opinion at least, going on the fact that 'pixel art' can generally be created using other mediums such as beads, thread, legos, or any other differently-colored same-sized units) if it weren't for just the one simple fact that, in your system, these fundamental rules are designed to be broken (unlike when using lego cubes for pixel art, for example).

That being said, even if we were to stretch the definition of what we consider to be pixel art to include your system, none of the rules of how to handle color, intensity, shapes, clusters, detail, or depth apply -- which is, fundamentally, what any skilled pixel-artist sets out to master.

On the other hand, with your system, these things are handled /for/ you by the tool, taking away the need to learn any of these skills to render your image/scene/whatever and are, ultimately, no different from using a photoshop brush to automatically AA your lines (rather than learn how to do it manually). In your system's case, I'd let its 3d and automatic lighting and shadowing to manage my depth for me (rather than color and value selections done by hand), and differently-sized grids to manage my need to explicitly define detail (rather than subpixel 'blending' of colors in my mind to arrive at the correct color and contrast combinations to hint at details rather than explicitly define them, which is impossible in all forms of pixel art except for very high-resolutions in which case you should just be using digital painting tools instead of individual pixels anyway, since per-pixel techniques apply less and less at higher resolutions, thus reducing the ability to even call it 'pixel-art', which, in your case, is why I suggested calling your tool something else.)

All in all, it's a nice resolution-independent almost-voxel/cube-editing tool, and I would suggest working on it more -- after all, people play minecraft for the same reason one might want to use your tool -- but, in the end, I wouldn't call it pixel-art at all, nor would I consider it any sort of an 'evolution' of pixel art (or even voxel art for that matter) either.

It's its own thing. Celebrate its uniqueness rather than trying to label it as something it's not.
I'm offering free pixel-art mentorship for promising pixel artists. For details, click here.

     http://mugenzero.userboard.net/

Offline NowvaB

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 09:11:12 pm
I'm sorry if I screw something up here because I only read two paragraphs before my ADD took advantage of me. A TL;DR perhaps?

Pixel Art 3.0? When was 2.0? :o

I there some efficiency between being able to have multiple resolutions of voxels? because I can kinda see how 1 voxel is better than 8 if they take up the same area.

but on the other hand saying that this is pixel art means that you are saying this is okay vvv



I guess that this is still considered pixel art but it's bad practice.

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 10:09:01 pm
I hear that a lot, that I don't understand things. :)

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 11:01:52 pm
RAV has sent me a few versions of this tool.
Haven't had much time to play with it.
But my thoughts were:
- In general the tool is super neat and has a lot of potential  :y:
- Being able to break down and rebuild blocks feels great
- I really like the controls
- Each version he sent had good small improvements, some based directly on notes I gave
- Not being able to save is a bummer and stops it from being something that I want to mess with on a daily/weekly basis
- Widespread testing and a public log of bugs and wishlist features would do it a lot of good.

I love the stuff towards the end of the video with the stamping.
That feature wasn't available when I tried it last.
Feel free to continue sending me new versions.
Testing is fun and I'll keep doing small bits of it if you find it valuable.

As for the theory and stuff.
It's not bad practice to mix resolution, it just needs to be organized in some way.
3d textures have plenty of difference in size of shared unwrap space.
Using it to imply scale, perspective and or focus can also work well.
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline cels

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 11:50:50 pm
Have to agree with astraldata. I'm more inclined to call this Lego 3.0 instead of Pixel Art 3.0.

Seeing is believing though. So far I've only heard a lot of eloquent explanations and deep thoughts, without actually seeing something that would warrant the description of pixel art. I know RAV doesn't like to share his actual artwork, but maybe someone else can use this tool to make something.

So in the name of being constructive... let's see some art.

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #6 on: March 31, 2015, 12:10:57 am
Yeah, yeah, you suckered me into this on Valentine's day, PPD. Took advantage of my drunk and labile emotions! :p

- Each version he sent had good small improvements, some based directly on notes I gave
- Widespread testing and a public log of bugs and wishlist features would do it a lot of good.
Those hotfixes to controls were temporary, since you got unfinished versions with critical features missing. For example, now that I got Smart Select done, the game has changed a whole lot, and walk/run toggle or hide-gui toggle are much less needed, and may be scrapped for more useful functionality. It's why I was so apprehensive at first releasing any version at all, since then I'd be pressured to hotfix little things that should be handled in much more fundamental manner as planned. It takes away dev time from the real meat that I think I should rather work on still at this point. And as long as I feel major game-changing features of my list are not done, the intermediate testing, feedback and fixing are not very effective development, we're doctoring around on surface problems. Even just preparing temporary releases for fun takes out time. It also makes development inefficient in so far, as the most reasonable order of coding things, is not the most desirable order for the user. An early Save isn't good while I'm still messing with the baseline, and I don't want a mess of file versions to unnecessarily confuse development further this early, yet of course that frustrates users.

As for the critiques in this topic so far, I must admit it's frustrating me a little. I thought, with all we've been through and the videos, we were beyond that level of debate. It's kinda why I avoided further discussions since a year ago, and rather worked on creating facts that speak for themselves. Yet discussion might just be still too inefficient even at this point in time. I'm not sure the misunderstandings can be resolved in just talk, since I'm not sure how to explain more clearly. Needless to say: any pixel art that can be done now, can be done in this tool. Pixel art as you know it, is a subset in it by choice. It should be obvious why. Problem is that I've been working on it alone for so long, it has been such a dramatic journey, so much in it happened, and I got so used to it all now, while not giving you the opportunity to getting used to it, and now I'd like to speak about it on a level that naturally no one else can really follow, because too much of my perspective I'm taking for granted. *sigh*



« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 01:00:12 am by RAV »

Offline Indigo

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #7 on: March 31, 2015, 01:16:36 am
Can we go back to the question of what Pixel Art 2.0 is again?

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #8 on: March 31, 2015, 01:30:42 am
Well I suspected this would very much irk you guys, that's half the fun. ;p

Aside from that it is more or less a pun, it is a very rough segmentation at my convenience:

Pixel Art 1.0:
pre PixelJoint & Pixelation era of pixel art, CRT and non-PC and early PC based.

Pixel Art 2.0:
the PJ and Pix era itself, with definitions to pixel art to artificially confine it within computer graphics, in ways noone cared before, because everything was considered pixel art, if it was even consciously considered as such. entering LCD and modern computer architecture. with according changes in preferred pixel art techniques.

Pixel Art 3.0:
Full virtualization and abstraction of pixel art. seamless merge of workflows for both 2d and 3d. platform and hardware independent rendering. meaning of workflow over technical specifications.


Sure we can now obsess about the merit of this wording, and I brought it upon myself I guess. It is a categorization that for the context of my own technical work makes convenient sense to me, even though you might not like it as best and full description of what happened to pixel art in all this time as it concerns you. I am not really interested in making this little thing a major point of contention overshadowing the main menu.


« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 01:51:12 am by RAV »

Offline CelioHogane

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #9 on: March 31, 2015, 03:01:05 am
So basically we are calling the voxel art pixel art 3.0 because we are hipster? A little lame.

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #10 on: March 31, 2015, 03:09:36 am
So basically we are calling the voxel art pixel art 3.0 because we are hipster? A little lame.

Hrrm. I don't see an improvement over the Chatterbox. Maybe this isn't the right place for this after all.

Offline Indigo

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #11 on: March 31, 2015, 04:17:13 am
It's definitely interesting what you're developing.  It seems like you're trying to bridge pixel art and voxel modeling by creating an in-between medium (though much more voxel leaning by the looks of it).  Sounds fun.  I think you're just putting way too much effort into trying to sell us on what it is philosophically rather than let that emergently be decided by those who create with it.  You're trying very hard to redefine pixel art - and your definition of it is so far removed from what we understand it as or what we'd find remotely useful as a metaphor.  Even the title of this thread is philosophically provocative rather than focus on the tool itself.  It's clear why you're getting a bit of an abrasive response ;)

My suggestion - Focus on the tool.  Show us what features it has.  Show us cool examples of art it can make.  Let us play with it.  Let it speak for itself on its philosophical importance to the artist.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 05:19:48 am by Indigo »

Offline PixelPiledriver

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #12 on: March 31, 2015, 07:29:09 am
Quote
An early Save isn't good while I'm still messing with the baseline
File i/o for saving and building classes that are driven by decoupled components should be of high priority.
Data you can't save is nearly useless.
If you build each new tool and feature as a component then adding it to an object won't affect how any of it is stored.

Quote
could no other than produce this video with an excruciatingly bad video capture setup
Quote
with all we've been through and the videos
Well yah the videos don't run at good framerate and are not well showing of the experience of controlling it.
They could be edited down a crapload.
30 mins is way too long for what is shown.
You also barely push the capabilities of it artistically.
Let random people do extra work for you.

Quote
My suggestion - Focus on the tool.  Show us what features it has.  Show us cool examples of art it can make.  Let us play with it.  Let it speak for itself on its philosophical importance to the artist.
Completely.
You're very focused on your own intentions of a creative tool.
When others use it they will have their own.

Quote
And as long as I feel major game-changing features of my list are not done, the intermediate testing, feedback and fixing are not very effective development
You don't have to fix anything.
Just gather feedback over a long period of time.
You can easily setup a google form that automatically collects completed forms.

Check this out:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1p6qBCYnsNIODrRpeXxiGF9as8SbFxU-vw5AVvPgP2DU/edit?usp=sharing
Look at all that tasty fucking data for Dig-N-Rig!
Over a years worth!

This feedback helped us improve our game a lot.
Did we consider every single opinion and comment?
Of course not. :P
That would take too much time to read.
Just randomly sifting thru it is good enough.

Sharing versions is also easy.
Try Github.
https://github.com/PixelPiledriver/Game/tree/master/game

It's the perfect repository for people that don't want to mess with repositories.
Just click one button and poof.
Saved, backed up, and everyone can get to it.

Don't be silly RAV.
Let your code roam the open plains of the internet.
Help people like what you make.

I need to take my own advice, and release the tool I've been making as well soon.  :lol:
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 07:52:09 am by PixelPiledriver »
And knowing that it is, we seek what it is... ~ Aristotle, Posterior Analytics, Chapter 1

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #13 on: March 31, 2015, 12:13:44 pm
You know I love you PPD. I am thankful for all the good heart you put into things for others. And I admire your competence. As I do of many here. The reason I took a break from updates were not ill-will, that I felt it didn't work out so well for me at the moment is not your fault. Because no matter how skilled and positive you are, you cannot be aware of the very specific circumstances and requirements of this project.

The videos are very nerdcore. first of all they showcase technical accomplishments few can really appreciate. but also, especially the most current was made for you, PPD, because it shows countless little changes, not just the obvious stamping, but really everything from what you got, which I just could hardly all describe fully in words anymore.

Basically, your attitude is pretty much perfect, as far as I'm concerned, a blessing. The over-emphasis of a culture of critique that's otherwise rampant is not always the best work mode. So there needs to be another pillar balancing that out here. There are moments one has to realize that putting a greater measure of trust into someone, and work on a benifit of doubt, to try prove them right, instead of wrong, can be more useful as an alternate mode. I know that at this moment, it is the mindset needed most, and I am convinced that it is deserved.

I have a very good feeling for the truer motivations behind what people say, how that affects their trail of thought and judgement. it is not to hold against them, we're just humans, but since I have such limited resources, I must take care of myself, the care of myself that to everyone else is secondary to their primary motivations, they subconsciously try to coerce me towards, not necessarily for my own best, though not mal-intended either. I have to plan things such, that I know it's for our both best long term, rather than just satisfying short-term.

For example, I knew that the lack of Save would be a problem for you at the time. I warned you, but you assured me otherwise, in honest believe. And I knew that it's not the right moment to spend time doing it just to motivate you delivering art experiments, but agreed to releases under the assumption you would have time and motivation enough anyway; it is nothing I can expect, considering there is no pay in it, it is nothing but generous to have any support at all, and no blame if it doesn't work out; still it affects me, and I have to take precautions to keep development on track as I need. Just as I knew that the intermediate suggestions would probably confuse it, because I know what immediate assumptions the status quo would lead you to. And if there were any benefit in it now, that this is indeed just getting a lot of art done according to the theory laid out here in the assumption it is right for now, and dealing with the tool as is, more than assuming what it should be.

And if that is not done for whatever reason, but argued around it, and what I should do, in the net sum of it I lose time dealing with it more than benefits the project. I have a very strong vision, and I know I'm right. I know that dealing with such a character is frustrating to other people. It must rub everyone the wrong way, especially seeing how much stake you guys naturally claim to your subject. And really, who am I to speak.

I write this not only because of this subject matter specifically, but I believe this different perspective to development is noteworthy for once. I know that for a lot of people a "release early, release often", as well as "critique all, critique hard" and "pile on the feature lists!" attitude is the holy grail, along with glorification of teamwork and crowdsource. And while there is truth to it, this is not always the case in my experience. it depends. there is no golden bullet to development, but contextual judgement of the situation.

However, in the end, even I must admit from your reactions, that it seems not possible to reflect on this more constructively, from what has been shown so far. So as I suspected, it boils down to release and discuss it, or not discuss it. I did hope for a more creative and motivational take on it meanwhile, but it just seems not possible in the reality of what can be expected reasonably.

Part of me thinks it might be the time to make these toyish intermediate releases, if nothing else then just for the sake of trying to inspire some Activity. But I can very much predict every complaint in the current state, instead of concentrating on the art as is, and it's terrible frustrating just to think of it. And maybe even the worst of it, prolly would be spiting me, without any activity, after I would put all that energy into it in good faith, distracting my dream otherwise. Someone does have to take the risks and bite the bullet in the end huh, and it all points towards me. *sigh* decisions, decisions, and not much conviction in it to go by. :-/


« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 01:36:19 pm by RAV »

Offline Ai

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 01:33:35 pm
I write this not only because of this subject matter specifically, but I believe this different perspective to development is noteworthy for once. I know that for a lot of people a "release early, release often", as well as "critique all, critique hard" and "pile on the feature lists!" attitude is the holy grail, along with glorification of teamwork and crowdsource. And while there is truth to it, this is not always the case in my experience. it depends. there is no golden bullet to development, but contextual judgement of the situation.
While this is true, being opensource doesn't mean one unified thing. Brogue, for example, is opensource and has no bugtracker or github location. The author just notes select feedback on the forums and uses it to inform future coding.. It is definitely a game made by someone with a strong, clear vision (probably the most clear vision I've ever seen, pun not intended), as their own personal challenge and not merely to satisfy others / add features.

When to release is of course your decision, but I must support the position that you are unlikely to get any significant discussion going until you do so.  People are otherwise in the position of commenting on something that, as you acknowledge, they lack context for.
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #15 on: March 31, 2015, 04:17:24 pm
Consider that releases for you are also additional work for me, unrelated to the actual work as it concerns me.
That additional work is not interesting work. And beyond that, communicating and managing it takes time, too.
So as much as feedback is a favour to me, I'm also performing a service.
There needs to be a good proportion in that. I need to be able to believe in that.

Even preparing these talks is an effort that I deem relevant, more than just rant, yet so far I'm not very encouraged about the start to a more involved public relation.

Thing is I still believe that what material and explanation I released so far, should be sufficient for some interesting discourse.
From the first critiques I must infer that hardly any time and consideration on the material released so far was actually given.
How else would someone criticize things that are not even there, or criticize things I explicitly already addressed. I don't know.
Unless there really is no interest for it, which would make my efforts futile anyway.

Something I'm also irritated about is that my first post would read philosophical. When really, from my perspective it is very practical and reasonable in feature description.
Even more, the reason I would philosophize about it, is that sending you into it without that preparing backround of what and why, is only half the game.
I'm not just talking to you as a coder, but the most experienced user of the tool sharing my observations on it so far.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 04:59:45 pm by RAV »

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #16 on: March 31, 2015, 06:54:56 pm
A hammer without a nail is a useless hunk of metal.  Unless you demonstrate a *need* for the tool, it will have zero significance to any 3rd party.  How do you demonstrate that need?  Show us what practical problem it solves that other programs don't.  Show us the artistic capabilities of that tool to get our imagination flowing. 

A tool should either enable you to be more creative, or work more efficiently (or both).  And that's what this is ultimately, a tool, yet you talk about it as though it's more of a new medium.  Pixel art already exists, and voxel art exists.  The output of this program can be one of those two things, and nothing else.  Calling them one in the same, pixel art 3.0, simply confuses the discussion and ruffles feathers.  What your tool brings to the table at the end of the day is workflow - and that's awesome!  I love tools that improve workflow! But those workflow benefits get lost in the philosophical discussion about the medium, which I find largely irrelevant.

In my mind, the most exciting aspect of this tool that I can see practical benefits for is the idea that pixels and tiles are both first-class citizens.  They are treated equally.  That's a really great concept that other programs lack.  I can imagine the workflow potential that mechanic has.  Aside from that, after reading your posts a few times over, I'm not sure how much benefit I'd get from the other features beyond it just being a fun idea or toy to tinker with.  For me, I see no benefit in visualizing the quad tree.  I do not need to see the mixed resolution grid - much like how I dont need to see a pixel grid as I pixel.  It would get in the way.  To properly paint, you must see things as continuous surfaces.  But that's just my opinion without having used the tool.

---

A little off topic, but I feel it should be mentioned, I think the other problem you're facing in this thread is that of communication.  You are extremely long winded and it takes a large amount of energy to try to extract/interpret the relevant bits from your posts. Your videos are absurdly long, and your posts contain many paragraphs that could be condensed into single sentences and often uses abstract wording without further concrete explanation.  On top of that, you're fairly unreceptive to feedback.  Instead of addressing people's apprehensions with reason and a solid defense of your ideas, you're simply deflecting critique and putting the blame on the reader for not understanding.  The fault is yours for not clearly conveying your points.  And when they are not understood, you should make an effort to make it clearer.  Communication is a two-way street.  If many people are saying the same things, perhaps they have something of merit to consider.  Instead, you're approaching this discussion as something that only you can have the right opinions about because you're the most intimate with the project - yet you seem resistant to letting others get intimate with it.   All of this adds up to a very unproductive discussion, and it's not the fault of others.

I have a few questions I'd love for you to clarify:
  • How will this tool be a more efficient workflow than other existing pixel art tools?
  • What is this tool capable of doing that other tools are not? - or is the innovation in *how* things are done rather than what things are done?
  • How does the visualization of the quad-tree help workflow?
  • Are all brushes confined to perfect squares, or can you have odd shaped brushes like circles?
  • Will you be implementing any sort of palette management features?

---

EDIT:
Just a random thought - the pixel workflow that this tool would embrace is very similar to this experimental piece by Drazelic
http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/82913.htm
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 08:31:12 pm by Indigo »

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #17 on: March 31, 2015, 08:05:57 pm
I appreciate your effort in making this worthwhile, resolving the issue and keeping me engaged to my needs, while explaining your view on the situation. Good community care-taking.

Quote
  Pixel art already exists, and voxel art exists.  The output of this program can be one of those two things, and nothing else.  Calling them one in the same, pixel art 3.0, simply confuses the discussion and ruffles feathers.
As I have laid out, this was about describing the bigger transformations in the technical progression of pixel art, as I see it concerning the personal design directives of my work.
It helps explaining what the main purpose of this tool is, compared to how I see the emphasis in earlier era tool development.
Whatever issues people have with that, is with themselves. I have no empathy whatsoever why this is a big deal. it's just funny to me.

Quote
A little off topic, but I feel it should be mentioned, I think the other problem you're facing in this thread is that of communication.  You are extremely long winded and it takes a large amount of energy to try to extract/interpret the relevant bits from your posts. Your videos are absurdly long, and your posts contain many paragraphs that could be condensed into single sentences and often uses abstract wording without further concrete explanation.  On top of that, you're fairly unreceptive to feedback.  Instead of addressing people's apprehensions with reason and a solid defense of your ideas, you're simply deflecting critique and putting the blame on the reader for not understanding.  The fault is yours for not clearly conveying your points, and when they are not understood, you should make an effort to make it clearer.  Communication is a two-way street.  If many people are saying the same things, perhaps they have something of merit to consider.  Instead, you're approaching this discussion as something that only you can have the right opinions about because you're the most intimate with the project - yet you seem resistant to letting others get intimate with it.   All of this adds up to a very unproductive discussion, and it's not the fault of others.
I guess this is how you can see it. From my perspective, I have talked about it so much in the past, engaged the same points so many times, I'm just a bit tired of the attitude where people give reactionary critiques, instead of giving in to a bit self-exploratory imagination from what I say. You call it a two way road. okay. It's been for a long time a one-way road to my disadvantage, where people just wanted to explain to me their notion of pixel art as only truth, and have been absurdly resistant to any other notion. You should know the problem. So yes, it might be, that I'm just worn out on it and simply turn the tables on that now. The issue itself is two-way in fault. not enough effort in engagement from either side, and while I might sound long-winded and obtuse to some, many of the points fielded towards me over the years feel uninspired and tired to me.

Quote
    How will this tool be a more efficient workflow than other existing pixel art tools?
Quote
    What is this tool capable of doing that other tools are not? - or is the innovation in *how* things are done rather than what things are done?
It seems that my introduction is being read as a provocation in terms of declaring a grand revolution, almost threatening.
The leisure appreciation about its funny quirks, refinements, design directives and possibilities get lost, that make it just a simple preposition of design.
Am I super excited about my work and see it as the best thing ever (!!!111). maybe. naturally. that might sometimes sound through playfully.

Among the specializations mentioned, the more interesting question is what kind of workflow behavior does this tool enable in the first place. compared to what? Minecraft? a classic 2d pixel tool? what happens in the intersection? what simple mechanics arising from that merge proof more versatile than expected. For example, what does a dynamic canvas size of 131072 x 131072 x 131072 of arbitrary surface area in one image mean to your organizition of art assets. what kind of creativity does it enable? I'm not only here to spell all these things out, but to set some pointers and directions to pick up on for the curious mindset of excited inquiry. and of course, there is much for you to explore and answers for yourself eventually. but you shouldn't just assume this potential as gimmicky.

Quote
do not need to see the mixed resolution grid - much like how I dont need to see a pixel grid as I pixel.  It would get in the way.  To properly paint, you must see things as continuous surfaces.  But that's just my opinion without having used the tool.
Quote
How does the visualization help workflow?
Most of all mixed resolution is reasoned in geometric processing efficiency; it makes an absurd scaling and detail possible that of course directly impacts your creativity. But to my surprise in using it alot as a visualized grid, it turned out to be very useful artistically actually, in equal parts of fading it in or out. Actually, an adaptive grid is the most or even only worthwhile grid to have displayed at all. it is extremely useful as a means of measurement of space, since counting space units becomes much clearer. it helps immensely checking in on proportions and dimensions in lay out phase. And this solution to measurements is extremely natural to the pixel art as such, to boot.

Quote
    Are all brushes confined to perfect squares, or can you have odd shaped brushes like circles?
possibly, however I noticed that simply using the tile approach is pretty much a self-defined brush already

Quote
    Will you be implementing any sort of palette management features?
Yes, all in good time.


« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 09:14:29 pm by RAV »

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #18 on: April 01, 2015, 03:19:30 am
Consider that releases for you are also additional work for me, unrelated to the actual work as it concerns me.
That's probably why Github is so popular : people get access to code as it is developing, and this frees developers to work on what they think is important rather than administrative stuff (all they have to do after the initial work, is to occasionally 'git push' to keep GitHub up to date with their work).

You basically have a choice between
* the standard-release model, like Brogue, where you make discrete releases, assuming responsibility for getting everything just-so and stable before release
* and the rolling-release model, like Arch Linux, where you may not even have a version number, but may choose to make the occasional discrete release to emphasize the need for upgrading (eg. due to fixing major bugs / security holes, or the need to be up to date with a third party library / service / protocol)

 There are variations, but pretty much all software fits broadly into one of those two slots. You still have to make the initial push to get things understandable for people other than you, no matter what, but there is a choice of how to deal with things after that.


Quote
Something I'm also irritated about is that my first post would read philosophical. When really, from my perspective it is very practical and reasonable in feature description.
Even more, the reason I would philosophize about it, is that sending you into it without that preparing backround of what and why, is only half the game.
I'm not just talking to you as a coder, but the most experienced user of the tool sharing my observations on it so far.
This is good, But not all people share your approach to life. Personally, until something I can interact with and actively observe is available, my interest in anything remains low (aside from any basic aesthetic appreciation I may experience). Philosophical approach is something I consider after I have acquired at least a little experience, unless I have reason to think the tool in question is dangerous. As such, your software currently remains a mere curiosity to me. I do not find it provocative or anything like that, because from my point of view, nothing much has even happened yet.

Or to be more blunt: I, part of your audience AFAICS, don't care about your personal design directives, the same set of principles can be well applied or misapplied by two different people. Until I can personally verify that what you are making is something I consider valuable and reasonably well executed, I have no particular reason to trust that your principles are guiding you well.

There are other things you could do beyond releasing software, to generate more interest. You could make specific, definite statements and demonstrate them visually (through images or -short- video clips). Project pages on Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, et al. have good examples of what this means in practice (albeit often adulterated with flashy graphics). Vagueness repels most thoughtful third parties, IME. And even surprisingly many thoughtless third parties.  Length also repels. As I have learned in public speaking, the longer you talk, the harder it is to hold your audience's attention. Being crisp and concise is very valuable.

Overall, I want to challenge you regarding your approach to generating interest in your project: What you have done so far, I think we can agree, is not producing results satisfactory to you. If generating interest is important, then it follows naturally that you will need to change something substantial in your strategy for generating interest, and hopefully accept that some level of compromise is necessary to grow your project from a pure personal hobby to something that other people can become personally involved with in some way.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 03:24:09 am by Ai »
If you insist on being pessimistic about your own abilities, consider also being pessimistic about the accuracy of that pessimistic judgement.

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #19 on: April 01, 2015, 02:22:03 pm
Imagine for a moment: Cyangmou is showing what he's been up to recently working on his game project. So he shows a new character asset, explains the backround it has, why he made it, how it goes, what's it for. Maybe he even comments what he doesn't like about other RPGs, and how he aims to do it different, better, as he believes.

And people are like: "Duuuude, where's the gameplay? lol. Why are you telling me about this story stuff I don't care about. where's the game man? Your thoughts on character design and what you think of RPG mean squat without a game, pal. Release something playable now, or rather work on it until you can release, but don't talk around -- leave interpretation and judgement up to us, the player, about the worth of that!"

And so it goes on, and there's little talk about the content shown as such. How would he feel about that? How would you feel about that? And seeing how people like to be blunt: I am pretty good at my craft. If I wanted to, I could easily crack down on any game project here, painstakingly break it down, over my knee, to show you that somehow it's not good enough, not conclusively presented, and I must doubt its use as far as I can tell, and mention that if you want my interest you should do it differently, I am pretty bored so far; but really, no offence, I'm just trying to help you.



There seems to be a misunderstanding about my motives here. Why am I here? What is this for?
Am I trying to "sell" you on my thing? am I trying to be the next big thing? Is that why I come here?
Who am I? some guy who registered yesterday, advertizes his product, and is gone the next?



My "philosophy" is my motivation for working on it, my inspiration for ideas, my guideline for its design -- it is my explanation of what you see, the very thing I want to do, because I believe in it, and find joy in it, no matter what it means to others. The documentation of my personal progress on it. My dev log. It is intrinsically interwined with everything I do. I felt like sharing my thoughts on the matter for what it is. And see if I am stimulated and amused by discussing with others.

Yet I find, we don't discuss the concrete matter of what I have shown.
My introduction simply was an additional commentary on what the video shows concretely.
And all I am told here is about attitudes, word play and general development approaches, for pages.
To prove to me that I am long-winded, boring and obtusely philosophical.

Okay. I get it. I should try harder then, huh? I should try harder to get some more interesting feedback as it concerns me.
Maybe.  I should help you help me. but best of all, I should just shut up and code and release. you already know what's up.

People here insist on mentioning, that this is boring and probably useless, as far as they can tell.
Yet I look at all of this topic, and find no comment creatively stimulating.
I look at my work, and I like what I see, and know what I should do next.
This is all I have to give at this point. And I assumed it to be interesting for others and a contribution to Pixelation.

People like to convince me that how I develop this is wrong.
Yet I am the one who has to work on this, who faces first hand all the challenges.
I am not going about this the way you like. you are not going about this the way I like.
Now we can put the blame around who is at fault for this, who should adapt to the other.
The majority feedback would like to make me believe I must.
I never cared about majorities. I simply assert, we just don't fit.
I am who I am, I do what I can. I am not beyond reason and change. but I know my limits.
This is how it goes, or there goes nothing. I may be a bit of a complicated character, but I wouldn't think it's that bad.

I like you people. I think you're okay, you know what you're doing, and you're doing good. Must be some reason I've stuck around for so long, huh. So now, that it has come to this, that it has gone down like this. where do we go from here? I honestly don't know anymore. I did what I could. and sometimes that doesn't seem enough. And maybe I should have known better. And that's just how the dice have rolled.


« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 02:58:28 pm by RAV »

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #20 on: April 01, 2015, 03:35:11 pm
Imagine for a moment: Cyangmou is showing what he's been up to recently working on his game project. So he shows a new character asset, explains the backround it has, why he made it, how it goes, what's it for. Maybe he even comments what he doesn't like about other RPGs, and how he aims to do it different, better, as he believes.
And people are like: "Duuuude, where's the gameplay? lol. Why are you telling me about this story stuff I don't care about. where's the game man? Your thoughts on character design and what you think of RPG mean squat without a game, pal. Release something playable now, or rather work on it until you can release, but don't talk around -- leave interpretation and judgement up to us, the player, about the worth of that!"
That would be a good analogy, except it doesn't quite fit the situation. What if Cyangmou posted artwork on a forum for programmers. The programmers would look at the art and go "Alright... now how are you going to code this?"

Similarly, when you're talking about pixel art 3.0 on a website dedicated to artwork by only showing us a program... the artist tend to go "Alright, now where's the pixel art? You've shown us how the tool works, but we've seen nothing that warrants the description 'pixel art'." Obviously, no one is asking for a 3D Mona Lisa. But we haven't even seen the tiniest crumb of artwork, just some doodling to experiment with the tools.

I am not speaking on behalf of anyone except myself. Seeing is believing. Do a tiny demonstration of your idea, even if it's just a 5 minute piece of work, like a small model of a birdhouse or a car or a tree. And then show us how this is pixel art. That has a lot bigger impact than trying to convince people through words.

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #21 on: April 01, 2015, 05:20:35 pm
That would be a good analogy, except it doesn't quite fit the situation. What if Cyangmou posted artwork on a forum for programmers. The programmers would look at the art and go "Alright... now how are you going to code this?"

Similarly, when you're talking about pixel art 3.0 on a website dedicated to artwork by only showing us a program... the artist tend to go "Alright, now where's the pixel art? You've shown us how the tool works, but we've seen nothing that warrants the description 'pixel art'." Obviously, no one is asking for a 3D Mona Lisa. But we haven't even seen the tiniest crumb of artwork, just some doodling to experiment with the tools.

I am not speaking on behalf of anyone except myself. Seeing is believing. Do a tiny demonstration of your idea, even if it's just a 5 minute piece of work, like a small model of a birdhouse or a car or a tree. And then show us how this is pixel art. That has a lot bigger impact than trying to convince people through words.

That would be a good touche, except what others would do wrong in attitude does not justify your own. Rather I would criticize them the same, if they treated his project there like mine was treated here. Ideally, the coders would say: "I'm quite curious about trying to code this. challenge accepted!". or maybe, "this looks pretty fun, but could be hard to code.", or "I noticed a couple things here about your artwork, and that got me thinking about...", or "I'm not sure I understand you, could you clear this up? there might be a problem you haven't considered yet, from my experience." or "not sure if this is the next big thing as you make it sound, but sounds interesting anyway. at least this or that I liked so far, another thing I didn't like", or "would be fun to have a next big thing to play with. would be cool if we could make this work for once.". If he went to a gamer forum, they would say "Oh god, I so wished you could somehow make this work, that could be so cool, very promising art, my imagination goes nuts, even though I'm not sure the gameplay would actually work out."

At any case, if they responded the way you did, he'd not go there anymore. So is that it? You can try back each other up on this.
I can't blame you for being overly sceptical, or not liking it or having no interest in it. I can just tell you if I'm feeling right being here.
It's one thing to ask me out about the tool, because it's unclear yet, to figure how that works for you.
But that's really not how that went down here. No really, there's something else going on here.
To me, the attitudes rather come across as: "I'm looking for anything that confirms my suspicion of why this shouldn't work."
Instead of: "sheesh, would be fun to have something new to play with, hell why not, now let's see if we can make this work"



As to how pixel art of it would look: go to PJ and look at any pixel art there. you could have painted that on the 2d surface of a 3d wall in the tool and exported directly into bitmap, to the very same result, the same .png or .gif. This is regardless of all the 3d stuff you could also do otherwise. What makes the tool a "pixel art 3.0" simply is the principle of being able to do any 2d pixel art as well as 3d voxels, in the same work space, with the same workflow, the same code and data structure, platform specification independent. Is it better than any other pixel tool? nope. is it better than any other voxel tool? nope. The particulars of how it's more than the sum of its parts, make it pretty interesting.

To my understanding, Pixel Art 3.0 is not just what my tool presents. When you read back of how I defined the eras, any modern engine with which you can also make 2d pixel games today, suffices the definition of Pixel Art 3.0. What I do is just my own take on it, a tool aimed as what I believe the most consequential take on it, while not loosing roots. It has not only advantages, but it is another step and offers some interesting possibilities, like you may say LCD has not only advantages over CRT, but it is another step, and it affected pixel art. And the complete virtualization of the screen within a physical host screen, is another such step of display logic that affects it in how we like to go about things. Simply having to scale things up and rendering as texture, already is that virtualized pixel art, and why we've seen all kinds of things happen with that. Things you may not all like on PJ and Pix nowadays. This here is a tailored attempt to be a bit more likeable, while taking some modern advantages, in a way I feel makes a lot of sense to classic pixel art.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 05:51:02 pm by RAV »

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #22 on: April 01, 2015, 06:58:29 pm
This is getting ridiculous RAV

The reason your analogy doesn't work is because this is a tool, not a game.  One has practical benefits and the other is interactive fiction.  Demonstrating the practical is much more important for a tool than a game.  Don't get me wrong - having a philosophy behind designing a tool is extremely beneficial.  I totally get that.  But you *invited* discussion on that philosophy.  You labeled the thread "pixel art 3.0" instead of "hybrid art tool in development."  You made the *FOCUS* of a large portion of this thread about the philosophy, yet are upset when people try to engage with you about it.

The reason much of this thread is about you and not the tool is because you're perpetuating it.  You're abrasive to nearly anything that is said.  In all honesty I think you're reading people's feedback as much more negative than what it really is.  I see a lot of prompts for discussion and further explanation, but instead of reciprocating those prompts you've been lashing back at it.  Your expectations for this board are unrealistic - It seems like you wanted to mind-dump your ideas and have everyone embrace it and be a pixel art revolutionary with you.  That's not what this forum is about nor has it ever been.  We're here to challenge eachother, to disagree with eachother,  to better eachother.  And you're not playing the same game.

And it's a shame too.  I'd love to continue discussion about the tool itself, as there is definitely a lot of cool things to talk about there, but you've made that discussion nearly impossible.

Here's what I've seen in this thread:

"Here's my philosophy of defining a new era of pixel art"
>>insert debate about the philosophy
"Why does everyone keep talking about the philosophy?!  You simply don't understand the tool!"

"Here's my tool that will revolutionize pixel art"
>>insert requests for practical demonstration, explanation, and trying it for themselves
"I don't have to demonstrate it, but you can't try it either.  You simply don't understand the philosophy!"

This may be an extreme caricaturization, but shows the circular logic I've witnessed.  If you block us on both sides of the discussion, all that's left for us to say is "Looks cool man.  Keep going"

so uhh... Looks cool man, keep going.

---

Quote
To my understanding, Pixel Art 3.0 is not just what my tool presents. When you read back of how I defined the eras, any modern engine with which you can also make 2d pixel games today, suffices the definition of Pixel Art 3.0. What I do is just my own take on it, a tool aimed as what I believe the most consequential take on it, while not loosing roots. It has not only advantages, but it is another step and offers some interesting possibilities, like you may say LCD has not only advantages over CRT, but it is another step, and it affected pixel art. And the complete virtualization of the screen within a physical host screen, is another such step of display logic that affects it in how we like to go about things. Simply having to scale things up and rendering as texture, already is that virtualized pixel art, and why we've seen all kinds of things happen with that. Things you may not all like on PJ and Pix nowadays. This here is a tailored attempt to be a bit more likeable, while taking some modern advantages, in a way I feel makes a lot of sense to classic pixel art.

To this point, I think you've got a solid premise.  Makes sense.  For me personally, as a pixel artist, feel that pixel art 3.0 is already happening (as you have defined it here) - and I'm okay with that.  The high-def stuff mixed with pixel art has been an interesting movement and it's produced a lot of cool stuff.  For me personally though, I would not find any use in the voxel portion of your interpretation of pixel-art 3.0.  Voxel art and Pixel art are such separate mediums that don't really intersect so much to warrant a tool that bridges the two, for me.  I'd probably want to hide all of the 3D stuff completely out of view if I wanted to be productive with this tool.  I can imagine Voxel artists on the other hand finding much more practical use for this than pixel artists - but I doubt they'd consider it pixel art by any stretch of the imagination.  Not to mention voxel art is an extremely smaller niche medium than pixel art.  There aren't any "voxel art masters" out there from what I know.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 07:15:44 pm by Indigo »

Offline RAV

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Re: Pixel Art 3.0

Reply #23 on: April 01, 2015, 07:27:26 pm
A game is just as much about practicability to a player, as a tool to the artist. A tool of entertainment, a tool that presents a challenge to be solved, a usability design problem. And of course for this reason, a game that's only developed with concerns to code or art or business, other than gameplay, is frustrating to a player. This is a known problem. Yet it is not that whenever someone talks about making a game, especially in enthusiasts circles, that it is disparaged until 100% practically proven to work right, and every last prove demanded within WIP, before any pleasant and meaningful discourse about it can ocour. It's more wait and see, and enjoying the media releases and developer interviews meanwhile, and of course every trailer praises it as the best thing ever. part of the fun.

You are very adamant on hinging everything on that I see myself as this big great revolution that makes everything else irrelevant. And talk about my circles.
And I am not able to go about this the way I like, and see myself unable to utilize Pixelation as a development platform the way I'd need,
as well as I am unable to make worthwhile contributions to Pixelation with my work.

But no, I will no longer keep this going. I appreciate your best effort and somehow understand that my attitude is very frustrating for you, and that this does not work is my fault, since I am the oddball here admittedly. That it does not work out with no one here means I am wrong, I am wrong here, I am wrong being here. I do not blame you or anyone for how this must go down, sometimes things just don't fit together, that's life. even though I cannot help it either. Let me close out by stating, I admire your work and certainly advice every young pixel artist to consider your opinion on pixel art and games development over mine. Best of luck and wish you farewell.

This is my last statement. on my own topic. I can imagine plenty people would like to throw something in and after now. Please close the topic now. At least, I'd like to have a semi-graceful leave. Thank you for your time.


« Last Edit: April 01, 2015, 07:34:34 pm by RAV »