Waiting for Smoke, and Steam Trading Cards
Today was mostly about waiting to see if v0.9961b is stable enough to launch. So far, bug reports are minimal. Mostly minor issues I'm more comfortable launching with than risking a bigger error by trying to fix them. So if this continues tomorrow, I think Friday will be "go for launch." And then we find out if the various storefronts are as easy to launch with as they claimed :)
Since I had some "spare" time while I was waiting, I decided to look into the Steam Trading Cards question. Based on what I read, it looks like it's a matter of assembling the art assets, uploading them, adding some data to each, and submitting them for approval. So I decided to start work on those, and so far, so good.
One of the trickier aspects, however, is the profile background. The sample templates Valve provides don't really cover that item, so I'm sort of guessing what it will look like with a mockup. I know size limits and format, but I'm not sure how it overlaps/blends with the Steam UI.
Judging by other games' backgrounds, it looks like the sides are what matters. The middle is obscured by the profile data area, so what really matters is book-ending each side, and making sure it looks good on black (the background color). NEO Scavenger's encounter illustrations are fairly useless in this regard, as they tend to be more horizontal than vertical, and most of them look weird if cropped to vertical/skyscraper format. There's one that is an exception so far, so I'll use that.
I've decided to experiment with collage-style images for the rest. I think it might be cool to do a grid of all the encounter moves/icons on either side, or maybe a grid of item/creature sprites. The DMC map is another idea I'm experimenting with.
That was pretty much the whole day. Lots of prepping artwork for the cards, badges, emoticons, and backgrounds. Which reminds me, I need to look up how Steam does things like soundtracks. I want to share that with customers, too! Worst-case, I can probably just add mp3s to a new game folder in the download.
Anyway, plenty to keep me busy in the remaining (and dwindling) time left. Have a good night, all!