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Catalyst Wake - Update 36

I completed 48 CGs this week, bringing the total CGs in Masks to 399!

However, 27 of those CGs were only used on one particular shot. It's so many frames it's practically an animation, and took me about four days to complete. Once the game is out, you'll see why all that effort was needed, but it definitely slowed me down this week. It's why I was calling it the most difficult scene I had left.

I don't have much time before my deadline — only 15 days. It's also a super busy time of the year. That's why I'm going into Turbo Mode™.

I have four scenes left to complete, and though they each have their individual challenges, I'm hoping to finish them this week.

I've created this helpful Venn diagram. As it illustrates, Set-Ups are the "true bottleneck" — the most difficult and time-consuming part of the CG-making process. "Set-Ups" are the catch-all term I use to describe the process of posing the characters, adjusting the camera angle for each cut, and rendering out the three passes. It also may involve additional modeling or textures if there are environmental elements or props in the scene.

Because of this, I'm doing them first. So I'll set up the four remaining scenes all in a row, then proceed to the lineart phase afterwards. But even if I manage to complete all these scenes in a week, that still only leaves me about seven days to do all the remaining music, sound effects, and voices, which isn't ideal.

However, the pressure of this deadline is likely going to make it possible.

You may be wondering, wait a minute, this deadline is totally arbitrary and has already been changed many times — why is it so important to release the game then?

Well, after I finished the demo and set this aside to work on my 10 year presentation, I lost a lot of the sense of urgency to get the project done. There were a few weeks where I'd planned to work on it, but ended up barely working on it at all.

The fact that "2021" is in the trailer is a good excuse to really nail in this deadline and say "This is it". Yes, I could easily update the trailer with "2022", and push back the deadline again, and it would probably be healthier. But that urgency would go away.

The other thing, which may be more relevant, is that if I have to push Catalyst Wake into 2022, it'll begin to overlap with the project I'm doing for this filmmaking class in January, and I'll likely be forced to set it aside for several months.

I made a commitment to myself spend less time on each project. I want to be releasing multiple things per year, even if that's sometimes hard to pull off. Looking at the big picture, one project that keeps holding up the others is destined to either be set aside or worse, cancelled, as has happened in the past.

I want to be able to move on to my other projects, because there are so many exciting things I can't wait to make. So, it's unfortunate, but pushing myself into overdrive sometimes is necessary. I will say this — Methods was a lot trickier to pull off because I had a weekly deadline and Catalyst Wake has been a much healthier experience overall.

Until next time!

— LockedOn.

Support me on Patreon to unlock exclusive images from the upcoming chapters of Catalyst Wake. I post something every week.

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