Devlog: What am I working on // Patreon // Looking Ahead
It's a little awkward to move to a Patreon model of funding my work. I think most of us are accustomed to undervaluing our time and effort. Having very little access to resources growing up, I believe in making tools and knowledge as accessible as possible, for that reason PixaVoxet will always remain free. I like the idea of donation based funding, but it's not something that's really tracking with the development of PixaVoxet. Thank you to the two kind folks who have donated to this project, I really appreciate it!
I really believe in the potential of PixaVoxet in helping amateur and professional developers generate assets fast and efficiently for their games, and the potential for avenues where folks are exchanging and sharing their work either out of goodwill or profit.
I'm still figuring out how I want to run my Patreon. I'm envisioning giving away asset packs to my patrons, anywhere from themed starter packs for platformers and top down games, voxel models, and animations. Some of which exclusive, and others I'll sell. I intend to have a fully fleshed out help documentation and beginner tutorials regardless of Patreon, but I also want to share my workflows and how I use PixaVoxet, and that could be recorded video, written things, or livestreamed.
You can find my Patreon here:
PixaVoxet Looking Forward
Usability & Workflow
Currently I'm thinking a lot about the user experience, and how easy / not easy the program is to understand from a glance.
Soon I'll be making a change to program flow. Upon opening PixaVoxet, users will receive a prompt as to what characters they would like to work on, instead of separately having to choose your character in the Renderer and Animator. I believe this will help users focus better instead of juggling between different characters. This will also effect the Voxel Modeller, instead of having to sift through the various character folders and parts folders you want to save your parts too, you will only see a drop down box to designate which category of part it belongs to.
One workflow hiccup I noticed, when starting a new character project, users would start modelling their character parts but wouldn't have a folder structure to save it to, since that gets created in the Animator tab. Thus the models get saved in a temp location, until the user creates their character rigs in the animator. I'm still working out the details right now but I'm imagining another tab for creating and managing the different parts folders that make up a character.
The help page is very outdated and missing lots of information. I like the idea of having all the information the user needs contained in the program, but wrestling with presentation atm. I think it could be useful to sprinkle a few " ? " buttons that will detail more of what the user is looking at and being easy to find. As well as have some helpful flash cards, that appear when the user opens the different tabs the first time around, and also located elsewhere. Video tutorials will be available online as to not bog the program down.
I've always imagined there being a store built into PixaVoxet, that allowed users to easily sell and share their characters, voxel models, and animations. Users can do that now already if they locate their folders and upload them to the web, but I love to streamline this idea, and make sharing resources more a thing. Want a new hat for your characters, download one from the library. My web-end experience is shoddy, but I have dabbled with Node.js and would love to bring this feature to PixaVoxet.
This is something I've wanted to add for a while, but might require building a particle system from scratch, something I don't have much experience with. I've worked with Godot's built in one, but have found it tricky if not impossible to make effects that are predictable as well as loopable in a frame by frame manner.
I imagine I'll want to add more modifiers in the future, maybe ones that stimulate physics?
While PixaVoxet covers characters pretty well, I'm also thinking about a voxel to pixel art suite that covers environmental and architectural design. It will also feature some modular aspects, as well as helping create auto-tiles. I've also been curious from my cad work, to base the architectural side around parametric modelling.
All that aside, a small but tricky thing I added was being able to replace voxel models in the Animator
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