ANNOUNCEMENT: Parallaxian has been privately funded!
Thanks to the timely and staggeringly generous financial intervention of a private benefactor within the C64 scene, Parallaxian's development continues apace and with renewed vigour despite the Kickstarter campaign not going as planned.
The funder, who wishes to remain anonymous, believes in the project and likes the blog; the apparent efforts to sabotage the Kickstarter via false accusations against me have thus floundered and my faith in the broader C64 scene has been restored.
Nevertheless, the Kickstarter campaign should be reviewed for instructive purposes going forward; accordingly, the salient points are:
- Pricing was based on Cosmic Force, a recently successful KS for the C64.
- Parallaxian's code + design are at an advanced stage, whereas Cosmic Force's had not been officially started when its KS ended; yet the low risk Parallaxian didn't succeed on KS while the higher risk Cosmic Force did.
- Feedback suggested only a minority of potential buyers felt "goodies" would have been an essential add-on to the game.
- The limited demonstration of gameplay was cited by some as a reason for the KS's failure, yet it wasn't a factor for the successful Cosmic Force KS campaign, which showed none at all.
- Promotion was restricted by my small social media footprint; this was arguably the campaign's single greatest point of weakness.
- Articles on VITNO and Indieretronews led to spikes in backing on KS, as did a final Twitter flurry that coincided with Zzap64's coverage.
- Late disclosure of association with Protovision led to a frisson of positive comments at the end of the campaign,
but may have been too late to prevent the inevitable outcome to the KS.
- My marketing decision to highlight the game's technical features antagonised a small but vocal section of the coding scene, which may have deterred some backers while encouraging others;
4 key claims were contested:
- Accusation: "Toggleplexing" is not (a) a new technique and (b) something I am accused of having claimed to have invented; Answer: (a) the accuser(s) failed - wilfully or carelessly - to understand the concept and disingenuously sought to conflate it with other methods, most risibly with mutlipexing; (b) I never claimed to have invented it anyway!
- Accusation: My new method for non-standard colours in a C64 game is "not new"; Answer: Several objectors mistook it for an old technique used in Mayhem in Monsterland, others insisted it relies on PAL colour-bleeding; both objections are wrong and the explanation for it lies within my blog article on Luma-Driven Graphics.
- Accusation (insisted upon by only one person): The new form of vertical parallax effect in the game was seen before in another game and would be "trivial" to replicate anyway. Answer: No proof of it being used in another game was provided, bar a pointless and ugly FLD effect in an old, obscure, unfinished game project from the early 1990s, which the coder-cum-accuser took several days either to find or to hastily code (alone or with help) to prove his point. It crowbarred his landscape apart leaving wide black gaps which is antithetical to the purpose and artistic goals of Parallaxian's effect, which is composed of a variety of techniques, not just unrestrained use of FLD. Dismissing it as "trivial" reveals ignorance of the extremes I went to in making secondary charsets to compensate for unwanted side effects of the vertical scroll on the non-standard colours as well as the many other time-consuming manual redraws of char definitions and the code to handle them.
- Accusation: The game's use of the NMI (non-maskable interrupt) as a lightweight supplement to the main IRST (raster interrupt), is "nothing special", as "many games have used the NMI"; Answer: This claim was deeply misunderstood because the handful of accusers hadn't taken the time to read my qualifying commentary, viz, that I was talking about an unusual way to use the NMI to create a "standing wave" interrupt woven in between instances of the IRST to provide lightweight, supplementary task-handling without recourse to cycle-time-stealing additional IRST handlers. A full article on the standing wave NMI should be released in coming weeks.
I could expand on the accusations further, but it's been flogged to death already elsewhere online so now I just need to move on and focus on finishing the game.
So, with the injection of funding in place, not only is the ongoing development of Parallaxian secured, but the planned sequel, Deep Winter, is also kept alive.
This website endures too, with a new micro blog in the works covering daily / weekly updates on the game.
In conclusion, then, despite the KS failing to go as planned, the net outcome has more than made up for it... All that remains is for me to finish and unleash the game!
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