PeaPu Talks: Why we archive packs

^A horrifying sight if there ever was one^

You may (or may not) have noticed packs that suffered this cruel fate. While I cannot speak for other creators (their reasons could be insane for all I know), I can give you an explanation as to why I archive packs. This is going to be a semi-long talk, so if you want you may skip to the bottom where there’s a TL;DR.

Also, Hi! Pu from PeaPu here, if you ever contact us, I’ll likely be the one responding 🙂
Recently, we archived a few packs of ours on CA, 6 in fact. 
PeaPu’s Fishing Assets Full [Archived] -> Token part updated here
PeaPu’s Fishing Assets Free [Archived] -> Token part updated here
PeaPu’s Industrial Assets Full [Archived] – > Updated version here
PeaPu’s Industrial Assets Free [Archived] 
PeaPu’s Modern Vehicles Full [Archived] -> Updated version here
PeaPu’s Modern Vehicles Free [Archived] -> Updated version here
I guess it’s 3 if you don’t count the free versions.

More packs will be archived in the future. Why commit such an atrocity, you may ask? As much as it pains me to admit, our work isn’t perfect, far from it in fact. And each pack has its own unique issues. However, the more assets we make, the better we become. I like to believe that we have now firmly established our ‘Battlemap Assets’ style. [1] Sadly, this means that our old packs, aren’t quite to the same standards as the new ones. 

For example, the issues the original Industrial pack has:
Very thick line art (about 5x as thick)
Poorly tileable assets (inability to snap them together in Dungeondraft)
Colorability issues (asset wasn’t able to be changed in color)
Inappropriate assets for the pack (vehicles and city assets were mixed in the battlemap stuff) 
Uncompressed files (taking up more space than necessary) 
Scale much larger than existing one ( we currently try to abide by a more realistic scale (256px:256px = 5ft:5ft = 1:1 grid unit)) 
Messy line art (bits poking out where they shouldn’t) 
Had tokens as objects (dynamic living humans)

Naturally, while these issues exist, it does not make the art unusable, and many, I am sure, really like the pack for what it was. It sure did sell well. 
However, [2] we want to make sure all our packs are of an equal level of quality, at least to the extent that we can make it so. The conclusion is obvious – the old bad stuff has to go.
This means that we do our best to replace the packs we deem outdated! So if one pack disappears, it is likely to reappear bigger and better than before. 

↓Take a look at the difference between our old (left) and new showcase(right).↓
You may notice some assets missing and some new ones in the showcase. The new one also doesn’t show the patterns (that’s page 2).
While smoke and shipping crates (left) are cool, the smoke is part of the Modern City 1 Pack and the shipping crates were originally a city map asset… So they had to go.

Our showcase style is also evolving a little bit. I’m trying to make sure all the assets have a similar scale on the showcases instead of assets being resized randomly (e.g. one is 100% scale the other is 150%)

Additionally, I’m trying to color-code the showcases. 
– Blue = Modern
– Pink = Cyberpunk 
– The rest… I’m still working on…. 👀

Below a closer asset comparison that shows some of the problems I mentioned, particularly the line art.Above and below. one can see how in the new style the different assets underwent different types of modification.
(The token is from our Post-Apoc Tokens 2 pack, as a size reference). 

Above (Old left, New right) Here for example the bike actually became thicker in the new style, that’s because the line-art became consistent with the other assets. 
Above an example of poor scale (top old, bottom new) the orca at the bottom is now more realistically sized (closer to 30ft). 
Although I guess orcas can grow between 20-30ft… Regardless, you get the point! Stuff was rescaled!

Packs like the fishing pack weren’t as bad in terms of line-art but they still suffered from poor scale, and an odd mixture of assets. We had fishermen tokens mixed with dead fish-life, mixed with fishermen gear, mixed with live fish. A theme is present, but it doesn’t work well for how we’ve decided to separate our packs. Nowadays, Tokens/vehicles have their own separate packs since they’re usually dynamic subjects and best suited when made in a format for Virtual Table Tops (VTTs), that is formatted to the .WebP format and exported sized via a 1:1 ratio. 

Speaking of scale, our tokens suffered quite a bit from scale issues. But this topic is a bit more of a subjective one. Creators tackle scale in different ways. So here’s a question for you: How do you prefer your tokens? As pog/portrait tokens? Isometric bois? 2D figures? 2D figures looking up? We create our tokens as 2D figures looking ahead (so face isn’t visible). Quite similar to Forgotten Adventures, whose style, in this regard, we tried to emulate. However, herein lies the problem with emulation, sometimes you take what you shouldn’t. For us we took their style of scaling – filling up a good section of the 1:1 grid unit space. This made maps which were made closer to the realistic scale (5ft x 5ft = 1:1 grid) look incredibly silly. Monsters that were meant to be bigger way bigger than humans looked average, spaces more cramped. In short, we didn’t like it! So we set out to change it.

Below a small comparison of different token styles ours included
(deZigner, and Forgotten Adventures = awesome creators! Check ’em out!) 

Above you can see the change between the old and new scale, some tokens were just horribly oversized (black ninja boi) 
And below you can see how larger monstrous/vehicle tokens looked in comparison to the different scales.
Having realistically-sized tokens really allows the more monstrous/large to shine. Before it seemed like the humans were on equal  the monster, but with the rescale, oi oi oi, they’re in trouble! 

An important note to mention, as of today (2023/07/09) only the the 4th and 1st Cyberpunk token packs were rescaled, the rest are still undergoing that process. I plan to do a major update on CA once the set is complete, (hopefully, the tokens won’t require archiving). 

This brings me to the real reason why archiving is actually done. [3] This is because unfortunately, the site functionality doesn’t quite allow for it in the easiest way. Simply speaking when you create a pack you create slots for downloads. Those slots can’t hold a file larger than 64MB (can’t just put everything in one big zip file). I can only update these slots once the pack has been published, since previous purchasers won’t get access to any content I put into new slots. So, it often makes more sense to just rerelease the pack with a fresh coat of paint and some extra goodies. While this may seem unfair to previous purchasers, currently we have the policy that if you purchased a pack that got updated, you will get a coupon for a 100% discount for the new one. Thus, it’s almost like the update is hassle free. The only catch here is that you have to contact me and provide me your order number for the old pack to get the coupon. This is again due to technical limitations, that hopefully will be overcome in the future. 

TL:DR – Why we archive packs.
[1] Our old packs had problems (thick/inconsistent line-art, objects for wrong theme, tokens not in a token pack, bad scale, etc…)
[2] We care about our customers (if you bought an archived pack, you get old one for free (reach out to us if you did))
[3] CA doesn’t allow updating a pack very well, archiving and republishing a new one works better sometimes. 

This is my first post here on CA. Hopefully, the first of many more. It may be a little messy, getting used to this format. 
~~ Had to take down a coupon code here, cause it was bugggyyyy~~ :'( 

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