Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's like Deja Vu all over again

Now THAT'S a shipwreck!
I just find myself thinking back to be fore MotB's release and drooling over certain placables and creatures thinking to myself how much I could have used those in Ruins of Kazatharis. Alas, here we are again. A fresh batch of E3 Screenshots from Storm of Zehir, and taunting me like a jailer dangling keys is what I believe to be a serpent creature model and of course, this beautiful shipwreck you see above. Both of which would serve the current module in development well, however, substitutes will have to be made. Interestingly enough, the substitute in question for the shipwreck is the very Sloop building placable that I coveted in the MotB screenshots (I guess I just have to make my sandy shipwreck an overturned one.

Anyhow, some pretty decent screenshots from Storm of Zehir here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm Batman

OK, I'm not. But if I had a boatload of money, I would certainly try.

On Friday, The Dark Knight hits theaters and I will be there (sans costume, I mean, it's not Star Wars). I'm really looking forward to this as I enjoyed Batman Begins, and found the reimagining of Gotham a darkly beautiful vision. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge Tim Burton fan (when he's on that is) and I was a Michael Keaton supporter since his name was attached to the role. Jack, I mean, don't get me's Jack. He even made Wolf watchable. However, that was the 80's, and as great a decade as that was for its iconic media, it is 20 years away.

The yet unrevealed (or at least I haven't stumbled upon it) is how they well they can pull off Two-Face. By the time Tommy Lee Jones got hold, the franchise had already taken a nosedive into the cheese tray. I'm not familiar with Eckhart, so we'll see. Naturally I hope Maggie Gylanhaal will do a good job filling in for the 'please send help' absent Katie Holmes. After Donnie Darko, how could I not at least give her a chance. Although, it is still a bit odd viewing Gary Oldman as a virtue, but he definately has the Gordon look down. Just slap on some black framed glasses and whiten that hair to a Colonel Sanders sheen.

Anyhow, long story short (too late), here's to hoping this is at least as good as the first one. Anything beyond that is just pure gravy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Eagle has Landed

Audrey Marie came into this world at 5:46 p.m. on 7/11/2008. Her and her mother are doing awesome and taking a well deserved nap. Big sister Brynn Michelle has changed her sentiment from 'can we give the baby away?' to 'can we bring the baby home right now?'

This one's a bit quiet...definately not a bard. If I had to wager a guess, I'd say wizard or monk. Here's to hoping the trend continues.

Thanks to all for the well-wishes, thoughts, and prayers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be back w/ baby #2

I'll be out like sour kraut tommorow. At the hospital at 7 a.m. (earlier than I get to work, sheesh) with my wife to start the Level 2 Summon Baby spell. I believe it is a targeted effect, duration is about 18 years (not sure of the calculation in rounds), and it summons a 1d4 hp baby henchman that disobeys orders despite your CHA. (I won't get into the material components, although an expensive dinner is one of the reagants). This spell does incur a STR/DEX/ CON ability drain, as well as cost significant gold (275k or so). However, the XP gain is well worth it...because you are in essense rolling up a new character. Now, if only the wife would let you name it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Building Team for Solvheil Series

Repost from the NWN2 Forums

Details (aka The Pitch):

Want to work on a large-scale/short-term module project in a semi-established NWN2 series? I have come to a point in development and life where putting together a small team to help move things from paper to toolset is the only way that I will complete this third module to the level of quality I am seeking and in the relatively short timeframe.

I have just put the finishing touches on the 2nd revision of the Design Document for Sands of Solvheil III: Crusaders of Shalihir, and completed not only the main story path, but a majority of the areas/npcs/adversaries. Now is about the time when my mind starts to wander to what will take place in the module after this, what little tidbits of information can I throw in here or there, maybe this area needs some more detail, etc.

In short, I am not very good from this point to the finish line, and think the time has come to seek some assistance. The first two modules (The Ruins of Kazatharis and Beneath the Hearleforne) suffered because of my rush to finish and solo status. I would really like this third module to shine above the others and display a look and polish that wasn't possible before.

Below I have outlined some of the areas/positions in which I need the most help. While these are rather detailed descriptions, they don't have to match 100% as I have never been a fan of pigeonholing talent into one box (leave that to ILM). If you would like to work on this module, but feel you would be good at X and Y, but not nessasarily Z, feel free to contact me anyway.

Dialog Engineer

With the central plot already outlined, the story needs translated into conversational and descriptive format which will be delivered via various NPCs, Objects, and Triggers. There will be a fair amount of creative latitude for fleshing out both plot pivotal and ancillery information. Aside from the look and actions of an NPC, conversation is where their personalities should really shine through. An extremely important task is breathing life into the character models.

-Basic Conversation Mechanics
-Creative Writing withing given scope/bounds
-Ability to mix Narrative with Descriptive text
-Knowledge of Skill/Ability Checks, Success/Fail nodes

Cutscene Engineer

I've always been a fan of module theatrics, and this third installment will be no different. I would, however, like it to be better. This is where an individual with a talent for cutscenes would come in. They would be responcible for taking a storyboarded scene, the nessassary NPCs, conversations, etc and melding it all together for those dramatic moments where the player lets go of the keyboard/mouse, and watches the screen with their jaw agape.

-Conversation Nodes
-Use of Static and Mobile Cameras
-Use of Waypoints & IPoint Speakers where applicable
-Blocking Scripts (NPC Actions)
-Play VFX
-Play Sounds
-Play Animations

Encounter Engineer

I have plenty of battles througout the story, however I don't have the numbers in place. How many, how difficult, how much reward, are all aspects of development that are far from my area of expertise. I am hoping to find an individual who possesses the mind of an Accountant and can easily calculate what makes a challenging encounter for any given class, without venturing into either frustrating or yawn-inspiring territory.

-CR Calculation
-Economic and Challenge Balance Configuration
-Basic NWScript AI
-Onspawn/OnUserDef/OnHeartbeat actions

Thursday, July 3, 2008

SOLIII_MOD Design Document Online

Heavy Spoilers, however, I have posted the design document for Crusaders of Shalihir to the vault (attached to part II:Beneath the Hearleforne) and linked it above. It is not a finalized version, but does have a decent list of current areas, companions, as well as a storyline runthrough.

It is always nice to have something like this to look back at, modify, adjust to keep all of the smaller Excel Spreadsheets, Text Files, and MindMaps togather in one place. I think I flesh out the design document at this point in the development because I have all of the areas pretty much finished, and just beginning to procrastinate on dialogue.

Design Documents: