Fixing Old Mistakes By Making One News
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

fixing old mistakes by making new ones

Well, I figured this is as good a time as any—on the eve of the release of Starlight—to do a brief post-mortem on Pleiades.

The biggest problem with Pleiades—aside from its quirky nose—was that it was essentially crippleware.

Everything about it—from its AI-via-git limitation to its delayed-release PSDs (replete with in-your-face licensing verbiage)—detracted from and conflicted with the idea that this whole endeavor was really about sharing1; and, of course, that's the ultimate irony of it all: crippling the very ideal it strove for.

So, as my repentance for grievances surrounding Pleiades, I'm trying to ensure that there are as few as possible obstacles between you and making your own skins from Starlight's resources.

This starts by offering PSDs and XCFs on the same date as I finish the skins and release them in-world2. Additionally, Starlight AI files—while still available via git—will be as easily downloadable as their PSD and XCF counterparts.

As Torley illustrated, in a very insightful and thoughtful blog post, the path to a successful quality product is two-fold: documentation and packaging. Documentation for my skin resources has always been the missing link in this equation—and I'm hoping to remedy this with some (albeit, basic) tutorials and tips for getting started with Starlight.

That said, I don't know if these are the "right" steps to take—and, granted, they just might be new mistakes taking the place of old ones—but for the moment these steps feel right.

1 As much as I'd like to hide behind the excuses that this was to combat business-in-a-box and freebie resale, I find little evidence that Pleiades actually did anything to remedy those issues; instead the only combat it accomplished was largely self-defeating.

2 The way I see it now: my in-world skins are merely a "demo" for the PSDs, XCFs off-world.