Development Update (6/9/2021)

Production Update (Nathan):

Episode 2? RECORDED, EDITED, AND RELEASED. Episode 3 is underway! The discord: POPPING. We’re looking into ways to continue to get good information to the people participating in there, and we’re experimenting with some more changes to how we’re managing the story in that area. Having previously created bots to help us answer questions the audience has,, we’ve been finding ways to make good use of them. We had lots of discussion this week about how we can make that better. Lastly, we’ve got a slew of other videos in the works–and are just about to finalize a release schedule for them. Keep your eyes peeled for some cool stuff coming your way! Research topics this week include crowdfunding, the intelligence community, the evolution of the concept of terrorism in popular culture before and after 9/11, and lots of astrophysics. My favorite quote from our meetings was: “Heckin’ heckity heck, we’re out of sleep juice, my homies.” Keep your eyes peeled for a written content release this week!

Animation Update (Brianne):

Most of my efforts this week since releasing our last episode has been on evaluating our render pipeline and seeing if there’s more places to automate or use templates for my part of the workflow. I’ve fixed a lot of the bugs with my render farm that prevented me from using it. So if you have any interest in what that looks like on a more granular level, here’s a link to its gitlab repo where it lives: Since my workflow has this level of automation now, it’s freed up time and mental energy to work on more of the future of Celestial Horizons animation that isn’t just motion graphics and holograms. We’ve loved seeing how many members of our audience have joined the discussion on discord, and we’ve had some amazing and nuanced conversations after each episode. We’re so happy to see that section of our audience grow into a community.

Technology Update (James):

I have been working on making our Discord NPC bots even cooler. One of the scary parts about these bots is once our writers send the command to send a message, it is immediately posted where everyone can see. There isn’t really a good way to preview the message before it is sent and decide whether or not it should actually be sent. I am implementing a solution to that where the bot will send the final message back to the writers and react with ✅ and ❌. It won’t send the message until the writer clicks on one of the checkmark (adding their reaction). Once the bot receives the checkmark reaction it will post the message to the ArkNet channel. I have so many more ideas about what to do with these bots but I have to get back to improving our website and working on the secret project that I have teased in the past.

Community Update (Christine):

This week was really busy with managing the release of Episode 2. This Episode has triggered a lot of really interesting discussion that has been really cool to follow along with. Also with the release of this episode, we started sharing our social media pages with A LOT more people. We’ve doubled the number of followers we had on Facebook which is amazing! This week I’ve spent a lot of time brainstorming some fun ideas to help get the word out about Celestial Horizons. We don’t want to be obnoxious, but at the same time we’re all really proud of the work we’ve been putting into this and really want to share it! If you have any unique ideas to help us get the word out, feel free to message me on Discord! Thank you all for joining us on this adventure!