Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Favorite Part

It feels good to be back to my favorite part of making modules, which is area design. I had to spend a little time organizing what material I had for Crusaders of Shalihir before I decided to add another module and shifted focus to Beneath the Hearleforne. Now that I have everything consolidated again, it is back to creating the areas to be explored. Man, am I rusty! I was using the terrain tools to shape Scarcrag Pass which the player will travel pretty early in the module to get into the Shalihir desert and really felt 'out of shape' as far as molding. It may take a little time to get back to where I was. It's a good thing I decided to stay out of the area design contest, because in my current state of fumbling, I'd just undo things in my attempts to polish.

I want to make sure to get the design document near complete before getting too far ahead of myself. I have a pretty good but still rough idea of the areas, npcs, storyline already. I find myself wishing I would have alluded to some of the mysteries in part II just a bit more, but I will have to make sure to tie them in correctly to make up for it. I am quite a ways off from being able to call a release date for this one because there is so much ground to cover. I shudder to think what I will have to leave on the edit room floor due to module size requirements.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Well it has been some time since I have made any posting, so I felt I should get something put together. I have really been slacking as far as development goes ever since the release of the second module.

With the release of the latest patch, I will likely take a look at what fixed are needed with the current version and put up a revised build. I do count myself as fortunate that there hasn't been nearly as many problems with this module as there was the first time around. Sure there are always those oddball ones like Speaktriggers deciding whether or not they are going to fire, but I think I have done a decent job of putting in contingencies for that. I haven't had too many reports of game-breakers in quite some time.

I am still working on the third module, just not as gung-ho as before. I will probably return to a more focused development cycle in the not too distant future. You can chalk this lull in progress as 'I gave it up for Lent' heh. So much other craziness to deal with in other aspects that the time has slipped away from me. This is by no means indication that I am growing weary or my attention span has reached its end. I've been in this game since the release of NWN1 and not looking to jump ship just yet.

I don't think I will participate in the area design contest as I had originally pondered. I have seen some really nice areas released to the mod and to even have a shot at taking them on, I would have to divert way too much time to polishing up the few that I had in mind. I would rather spend that time on the story arc and making sure everything lines up nicely. I understand many people felt there were too many unanswered questions after finishing Beneath the Hearleforne and I can promise you those will all be addressed in the Crusaders of Shalihir. While I could have probably done a better job of giving somewhat of a resolution to them instead of leaving them hanging out there, eh, whattya do?

Anyhow, Happy Easter, or whatever you celebrate as we enter hopefully fairer climate. I've finished my last Undergraduate class, doing my churchy type wedding tomorrow (5 years after our initial J.O.P. ceremony...because I'm cheap), and determined that I am about to be the father of a second daughter (oooh man I need a house with more bathrooms and a fortress of solitude). So everything is falling into place and I expect to be back in the swing of module development very soon.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Double Trouble

Uh-Oh, looks like both parts I and II are on the 'TOP NWN2 Modules' list. Everything is coming together nicely, (Muhaha).

Anyhow, I have really been more hands off with this release than I was with Ruins of Kazatharis in which I released a new build every few days. Aside from the very aggravating speaktrigger bugs that had to be corrected, and the Mulsantir Theater door issue that is beyond my control, there is really little that I have to fix.

I would like to give a little more gold or armor to the player at the beginning as there isn't near as many places to earn coin before you are set off beyond Evertide. I wouldn't mind doing a bit more extensive companion dialogue and interludes here and there, but then again, I would like to do that to part I as well. I seriously doubt if I will ever go back and put a final clear coat on these two before at least the third part is complete.

I have heard a few complaints that this one is much more linear than the first, and guilty as charged. I didn't build much in the way of latitude. This is essentially one straight shot of an adventure that is pretty confining as to order of events, where as the first had a few side quests and the Undermill that could be taken at one's own pace.

I've really been doing not much of anything in the way of the toolset lately aside from contemplating entering an area in the design contest. If any, I would imagine it would be the Ruins of Solvheil from part III, but unsure if it would be up to par by then. I will have to see how things pan out. As happy as I am with both Rindleforde, Evertide, and the Kazatharis areas, I don't think they are of the caliber to enter into a contest, and again, I'm not in the mood to touch-up.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

R.I.P. Gary Gygax

It seems like just yesterday I heard your voice as the guest DM in DDO's Delera's Tomb.
Thanks for everything, you'll be missed.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dirty Filthy Rotten Bugs


In the meantime, if you arrive at Storneth and did NOT get a scenic conversation...use your DM Tome to set the quest [Relic Restoration] to Node [11] which enables King Ulivon to give you the proper conversation. This very agrivating bug will be taken out back and shot, repeatedly, for it decided to work juuuuust fine until upload. v1.1 will just move this trigger back so you have to step into it as opposed to being moved to it onenter of the area.

Don't you love the ones that hide until you've released and uploaded. Dirty buggers.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Released! (Sort of)

Well the new entry is up on the vault.
Sands of Solvheil II: Beneath the Hearleforne

Just waiting for the module zip to be linked by Maximus. It is currently sitting in the vault's ftp where only really clever individuals (like Wyrin) can grab it. Man it is such a relief to get that thing uploaded, although I know that I will have plenty of issues to address as more eyes fall on it and more anomolies are discovered. Still feels pretty good to have it tagged as uploaded Feb 29th (just like the whole leap day aspect).

I think this module will fall into the same trap as the first, where the ending just feels a little rushed. Perhaps I should swallow my pride and seek out some guidance on the next one. Get a little help with combat balancing, etc. Although if people play these modules for what they are intended to be (a somewhat interactive fantasy novel) then I think they will be enjoyed.

Anyhow, I'm going to go blow off some steam on the Xbox. That's what consoles are good for I think. I'm really looking forward to Force Powers Unleashed. For some reason, Star Wars games always help me channel any anger I have. You know, release my hatred and let my journey toward the darkside be complete (lol).
Design Documents: