Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moving Forward a bit with NWN2

I've decided to do some more building in the NWN2 toolset, just because it is comfortable right now and I'm not in the awkward, learning mood this winter break. So, here are a few screenshots of the yet unnamed village (juggling between Stormhollow and Spinehollow) that sits at the base of Dra'ithkyrn Castle in Lontharvia.

Hak wise, I am sticking to using the RWS All-In-One combo as it gives the most bang for the buck as far as combination haks go. The way I have this baked right now, all three RWS tower models in the castle have walkable balconys each set at varied heights. The biggest trick will be getting the fog settings set well enough to allow visability between the two, while maintaining the creepy musty ambience of a forest/mountain setting.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Decisions Decisions

One nice thing about having a semi-short attention span is that when you finally do finish and release a project, you have lots of leftovers. Such is the case with a few areas that I built before I finished Crusaders of Shalihir.

Now I stare into the abyss of starting a new adventure that I have semi-written, and asking myself which toolset to use. These areas are quite a few points in the NWN2 direction as a few major locations are already plotted out. I think, in the end, it will come down to market. The question will be, are there still enough people playing NWN2 mods to make it worthwhile.

Honestly, I'm hoping that there are. It's not that I don't want to use the Origins toolset, I just don't want to start right now. I'm going to let my just released module test the waters. That should help me gauge whether to stay with the whats familiar, or attempt to blaze a new path.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finito: Uploaded to the Vault

While it seems like I've been working on this forever (and in truth, very little work was involved), Sands of Solvheil III: Crusaders of Shalihir is uploaded to the vault and sitting in Pending Approval status.


It's like having labor pains when the kid is 2 yrs old already (best analogy I could think up on the spot).

Well that's that, it is done. Three mods that I intended to be a different three mods (this was originally only part II) have been designed, developed, and delivered. The story is told, although maybe not as originally intended. Naturally had I made the one after this the ending would have been changed slightly.

Now it's time to kick back, play a night of Modern Warfare 2, drool over the prospects of playing Arkham Asylum II, and Force Unleashed II when they come out, picking my Jedi/Sith name for Bioware's Old Republic, and decide which toolset to have my next affair with. Electron, you're not out of the running just yet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Home Stretch

Well the module is getting some last minute magic. The last battle/cutscene has been spruced up and bugfixed, and now it is a matter of looking a few things over before a final test. I have reloaded my laptop with a fresh version of NWN2 + Expansions and it seems to have done the trick. I can now build/test modules again.

I had forgotten that I had an old extended RC on there before. The desktop, I'm still not sure of the error, but at least one of my machines runs NWN2. Interesting as I look between the two toolsets side by side for the first time. Funny the strengths between the two and what of each I wish I could cherry pick.

It shouldn't be long now before I'm asking for the vault FTP login information for the first time in a long long while.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Beyond the Shivering Pines (Intro)

Since SoSIII is pretty much in the bag (or at least as much of one as I can put it into), here is the rundown of my planned DA:O project. Same setting as the trilogy, almost completely removed from that story arc (as in, let's pretend most of that didn't happen).

This is about as spoiler free as I can make it. I'm going to put together a complete rundown for those who may be interested in joining in as I have most certainly run out of solo-team-steam. Things are so much better in a group...that's why most RPGs let you make a party!

Anyhow, here goes:


In the far reaches of Harrn, beyond the Shivering Pines, lies the small region known as Lontharvia. It is ruled by Baron Dra'ithkyrn from his castle in the Caspez Peaks. The territory was claimed by the Baron's ancestor, a Nalassian prince, long ago before the flood.

King Ulivon maintains the long tradition of allowing Lontharvia to operate nearly autonomous from the crown of Harrn in Jarldorf. Because of this, the Baron has been able to continue the enforcement of Lontharvia's embargo on silver as he suffers from the same allergy to the metal as the rest of his bloodline.

After the end of Dalreon's war with Harrn at the surrender of Storneth, a new initiative arose to reforge the kingdom and access its nobility's commitment to the crown. Two emissaries were sent from Jarldorf to Lontharvia to meet with Baron Dra'ithkyrn and discuss his loyalty to Harrn.

Their badly mauled bodies were found a few weeks later in the Shivering Pines forest. As news of this grim discovery reached Jarldorf, it was decided that an investigation needed to take place without the stigma of acting as agents of the crown. Suspecting lycanthropy, an outsider is recruited by the court to travel to Lontharvia and look into the deaths, as well as any possible corruption in Dra'ithkyrn Castle.

Beyond the Shivering Pines takes the player into the cold reaches of northern Harrn as they travel through the frigid evergreen forest to reach the territory of Lontharvia. The village beneath the castle is home to mainly farmers and completely devoid of clergy. It also serves as a waypoint for gypsies who transport gems and goods from the dwarven kingdom.

Once there, they discover a culture far removed from the daily life of Harrn. One that lives in constant fear and subservience of their surroundings. With constant peril wandering out of the woods and the shadow cast on them by their local regent, they consider everyday survival a success.

Dark secrets await in the Dra'ithkyrn family crypts as they search for the source of the scourge that plagues Lontharvia. Taking advice from some gypsies, as well as some pages from the local history books, they find themselves on a quest South for an elven artifact to counter the ancient curse of blood.

Will their efforts save the land, or will they simply become another corpse that the locals fear rising from the grave.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Little Spit and Polish

Thankfully, the module release will have to wait about a week or so. This is actually great news because JasonNH is using the time to take a look at a few cutscenes. Honestly, his cinematics are truly the best part of the adventure, so the time is well worth it.

I've been shuffling my time between writing out the complete story/details for my next project, and trying to learn a bit about the new toolset. I decided (after giving area/level design a quick try) to start with facial morphs. Here's a few of the early ones that I have put together by tweaking the properties a bit here and there.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Bit of a Snag

It appears that even though the toolset runs on my laptop, I cannot actually launch/test the game. I'll have to rely on the previous beta tests and double-check that I set all of the new conversation pieces correctly.

I've also noticed that I am unable to save to a mod file. The ole lappy seems to only work in directory mode. I don't suppose there is any kind soul out there that wouldn't mind taking a directory and saving it as a module for me?

Sigh, I'm pretty sure I couldn't return to NWN2 development even if I wanted to. The gods of hardware/software don't will it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

SoSIII: Released This Weekend

No joke. After looking at this directory sitting in modules folder for about half a year...its time. I blew the dust off and finishing up the final battle that has been undone for too long.

Now that most of the interest has shifted toward Dragon Age, it will go out with a whimper instead of the original intended bang. In other words, the quality of the final battle and cutscene(s) will not be on the same level as the rest of the module. A comprimise I know, but the time has come to ship.

NWN2 toolset doesn't play nice with my Windows 7 64bit install, and I haven't had much of a chance to do finish this off. I still have the toolset on my laptop though and can at least get the last part working. Honestly, I need to get this old business taken care of so I can focus on new business.

New business will start right after this weekend release. I will follow up with details of my planned DA:O module: Beyond the Shivering Pines.
Design Documents: