Sales and major updates in early 2024 (edit)
Hey, this is Matthew L. Hornbostel from matthornb.itch.io <- my place on itch.io in general
The original set of 1000+ photography based image texture maps from 2013, as seen in TACC2018, is within a week of complete rerelease, that is:
-AI upscaled with top tier solver, to nearest power of two, generally on any of the oldest maps not in powers of 2 already (512, 1024, 2048)
-AI depth map solves also done with best in class depth analysis software, blended with detailed hand adjustment of depth maps in many cases to make depth even more distinct and realistic.
-More realistic normal mapping based off revised depth maps
-Where applicable, carefully and accurately hand painted opacity maps
-every PBR map described above, is seamless in the exact same way so inconsistencies which were at times present no longer will be.
Every time a major update goes live, there will be a flash sale, which means a 24-hour sale, with the originally planned ones all unfortunately postponed by about a week. Due to my participation in the Palestinian relief bundle and the creation of an entirely new asset pack for that, other efforts are delayed by as much as ten days. The relief / aid bundle goes live at the end of Jan. 21. All sales of the larger bundle assist those displaced and impacted by the humanitarian nightmare now unfolding along the Gaza strip... children especially.
Etsy activity has slowed, for a wide range of reasons, post Christmas. I had an overwhelming amount of activity there from Halloween 2023 to Christmas 2023 and it resulted in some orders being unacceptably delayed, fully refunded but still in no way did those have acceptable timing. So while most feedback there remains positive to date, several scathing reviews have recently resulted from the holiday mess. The presence of recent negative feedback making current customers wary, plus the typical post-holiday lull in activity, has led to a nearly 90% drop off in orders being placed, over the past three weeks... which, even if no other upside emerges, at least this slowdown gives me a chance to finally focus on creating new stuff like stock media content and papercraft designs.
That means I have a lot more time to focus on work here for now anyway.
So the plan is participation in the aid bundle for a month (Jan. 22 to Feb. 22) and that involves a new asset pack of nature and some manmade 3d assets relating to the Middle East / North Africa region. Many of you may note that all the three existing nature packs I have already released are focused on North American plants - grasses, shrubs, wild flowers, trees, cacti, bushes, ferns... but while they span varying climates, they're all North American native species. Similarly, the interior model collection and the outdoor street details set are very much typical, even generic contemporary stuff one would expect in US suburbs.
By launching a set based on another area of the world, I'm starting what may be a bigger ongoing effort to not merely expand existing packs but expand to new collections of details, architecture, nature elements... that are inspired by the aesthetics and natural beauty of other regions across the world.
About a week later, I will launch the delayed texture update for the TACC2018 pack... around the end of January. This launch will be accompanied by a one day flash sale, and while the timing has changed and remains a bit in flux, the plan to combine each new release with a 24-hr sale has not. Your best bet for catching sales like this given shifting timing? Either follow me on social media as I will announce sale starts on many social feeds, or check in on my main itch page once daily.
Then there will be a major batch of entirely new seamless textures pulled from my trip across Western/Central Europe last year. That is, a ton of architectural elements and surfaces across Germany, Switzerland, Austria. This was not a plan until fairly recently but it was too good an opportunity to ignore once I was invited on the trip in late 2023!) Similarly, it will result in new papercraft kit material before long on Etsy once I've finally posted the Greek set.)
The launch of this additional texture collection should be ready in early February, maybe the 7th, so that release when ready will also see a big one day flash sale.
Update #3 is set for mid February... dozens of additional 3d assets across various existing asset packs. Possibly also initial sets of models for asset packs that until now have been much anticipated but not actually valuable to anyone - ie space/scifi, medieval/fantasy content that has been long delayed. Watch for a third big sale around mid February... possibly well over a hundred new 3d assets across the shop as a whole by the end of February.
FINALLY, THE ISSUE OF NEW VFX PACKS: I think I can potentially scrape together an extra $900ish to replace two of the GPUs in my system with higher tier ones, by March 2023. If these sales go big, great, that makes this happen a bit more on the sooner end, not later, and I might be able to push for even better hardware in best case, but basically the thing is I have a desktop with a solid processor setup, and a massive amount of both storage and RAM, but the GPU hardware remains a real bottleneck for quickly rendering anything. I can build enormously detailed, even photoreal 3d VFX setups for all sorts of explosions, fluid and volumetric fx, granular and rigid debris, sparks, fire, whatever... all interacting. But if the time involved in rendering these high res elements out in full 4k is 200-400 hours a shot, it'll take forever, seemingly, to complete a big new set of realistic digital VFX elements.
And that's something I'd like to do soon as much of my existing real life photography VFX stuff, according to many, is 'too low resolution' for modern use or not realistic enough in the case of aging digital elements.
And after all that... the indie game dev projects are also still a focus. Well, I still am struggling forward on a list of indie games which you're all well aware of. That's been a slow process as I kind of suck at code, and keep running into various bugs that are my own fault for not considering all manner of potential edge cases.
That and there is just a ton of remaining work involved. I am not abandoning any of those efforts but the fact that I keep rotating in shifts between well over a dozen different efforts means that any single one will tend to progress slowly.
That said, all the enthusiasm I'm seeing here is definitely helping. Every comment, purchase, review, interaction of any type can matter here.
I am not giving up and I hope you'll be patient with me as I keep trying to get things done.
The fact that Etsy's falling a part a bit now may ultimately turn out be a blessing in disguise as reduced print-service orders delivered to various customers, will allow me to allocate much more time per day to other more genuinely creative productions.
UPDATE: NEXT SALE IS SET UP HERE - It's in late January now, shortly after the TACC2018 update and the middle east asset pack have both gone live. Obviously there have been some delays and things haven't gone as well as I hoped but the broader plan remains active even as some dates get adjusted.
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