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Update on the SQ3 vinyl: Final artwork and test pressings

Hello, everyone! Just to fill you in on where we’re at with the Space Quest III vinyl. I’ve seen some of you on Twitter and on my Discord wondering if everything is on track, what with this being the time of year everyone goes off and tries to enjoy a summer vacation, even with a global pandemic still kicking everyone’s ass.

Not to worry, the vinyl is on track. There’s a slight delay on the test pressings, owing to neither of the above two, but in fact some “routine maintenance” at the pressing plant. Qrates says a safe estimate is, at most, two weeks delay, so it shouldn’t be a big issue. When they arrive, I’ll do another update and show you.

In the meantime, I can tell you a little story about the artwork design from hell! Yes, the Space Quest III artwork is indeed beautiful, but it does not play nice. The sleeve printers demand that the artwork be converted from RGB to CMYK (this is pretty standard practice). But the EGA palette looks, to put it mildly, like absolute shit when you just try a standard automatic conversion!

As you may know from the campaign, we’re using special “upscaled” versions of the artwork as rendered by FreeSCI. My mate Wesley Isacks (to some better known as PickledDog) went in and played through the entire game (twice, even!), and I then captured screenshots from those videos and used them for the artwork. This was my first mistake.

My second mistake was thinking I could convert these images to CMYK by simply fiddling enough with luminosity levels and color substitutions.

In the end, a lovely fellow by the name of Steve Coupe stepped in and offered to take a pass at the artwork. He told me, rather obviously in hindsight, that we would need crisp screenshots from the game that didn’t have video artefacts in them. Which sent Wesley back into FreeSCI to play the game for a third time in order to screenshot images straight from the game, as closely as possible to the artwork that had already been put together.

Steve then went away with crisp screenshots and did his thing, and this is what we ended up with:

The back and front cover
The inner sleeves
The labels on the vinyls themselves

All in all, a marked improvement over this atrocity that I sent off initially:

Aaagh! Don’t look at it!

So, that’s where we’re at. Both the artwork and the final masters have been received and accepted by Qrates, so now I’m just waiting to receive the test pressings and the artwork proofs.

My everlasting thanks to Wesley and Steve for their massive help in making the artwork not suck!

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