Monday, December 28, 2009

Path of Evil now in internal testing! Screenshots!

Yay for me! To celebrate here are some screenshots from where I'm currently testing.

The Tortured King, one of the companions.

A mountain pass (a prefab)

Inside, infravision can be most useful....

Otherwise things look like this (and this area is "lit"), many dungeon areas are pitch black.

Like this.... (those glowing eyes belong to the Tortured King)

Exteriors are dark at night too.

Just in case you thought everything was pitch black....
it can be pretty during the day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dorateen's gonna hate me....

I'll keep that title since the last update was just yesterday and a catchy title makes for more readers according to Azenn....

A few areas weren't really filled in as much as I'd liked even though they were "done". Sadly, I got stuck at work the weekend after Thanksgiving since the company voicemail system crashed. In good news for those of you who might enjoy my work, I had a creative blast (brought on by long work hours and exhaustion I think...) and wrote down a bunch of new quest ideas while waiting for things with the voicemail system.

Then I used some downtime during the regular workweek to crank out the conversations related to a lot of the quests. So one city got a related set of 9 quests working for a mysterious employer, and another got a quest that stretches out into 8-9 parts. These only required my adding one new area, which is another reason they were quick to add. That's a little more than 1/2 of what I came up with while zombified working on the voicemail. The rest of the ideas I came up with should also go relatively quickly as they are adding in to existing areas for the most part.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Dorateen's going to be mad at me....

Dorateen's going to be mad at me. I made a fire giant encampment. The fire giant description says they look like oversized, ugly dwarves.... so I used recolored dwarves for my fire giants so they can have more variety than the single fire giant NWN2 provides. I should even make one say Harumph! (Hi Dorateen).... If you want giant size items I found that a 2.4,2.4,2.4 scale works very well. It's what you see in the screenshot here.

Also, I thought this screenshot was hysterical. There is Joe the Generic Adventurer. He is at normal scale. The fire giants are doing laundry.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Special for Nacaal

Seahorse Cove Prefab slum area, default lighting: nighttime

Same area, relit using "Exquisite Lighting" daynightset, made darker at nighttime and using soft windowlights. The lights are SLS "3 Candles" with lerp off. For small windows the "3 candles" radius is reduced to 2. Notice the window glow at top right.

Same area, another view. Notice the glow near the windows from the 3 Candles light, especially visible in the two larger windows near the center of the picture.

Same area, relit using "Exquisite Lighting" daynightset, made darker at moonset and using soft windowlights.

For reference, the same area, using "Exquisite Lighting" daynightset, daytime.

For reference, the same area, default light

Same area, default moonset.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


One thing I'm doing in my polishing is changing the lighting. Here is the prefab of Riverbridge before went to work, the time of day is set to moonset.

And here it is after, still at moonset. Building windows with lights in them actually light. The lighting actually looks like it's nighttime. The lightset is based on the "exquisite" set on the Vault, but darker during the night.

The other main thing that get the once over during the polishing pass are conversations. I'm going through the conversations to make sure placeholders are filled in and journal updating looks right (and making the journals multiplayer friendly). Companion interjection and greater pc dialog choice also happen during the polishing phase.

Areas also get some extra work if they need it, for instance the prefab that is serving as Murann was much too "clean" for a city under control of a goblinoid army. It got extensively scrubbed with dirt and irregularity. Now it looks more natural and more like an occupied city.

I am also checking area names, music (most areas have none), making sure areas connect to the overland map, things of that sort. It's an effort to giving everything a "final" look and bring the areas into a state where only bugfixing is needed. Ideallly, after polishing no one will look at an area and say "hey, it really seems like this area is missing an oxcart".

Monday, November 2, 2009

Companion teamwork

Path of Evil has two types of ways you can team with your companions. Here is an example of each.

A particular companion is in the party: Your companions have particular skills that you can access by asking them. One companion is a skilled forger for instance. So in a quest involving forgery, if the companion is in the party you can simply ask them to do it. You can try your hand at forgery yourself if you'd like, but there are skill checks involved. The companion automatically succeeds.

This type of teamwork requires you be able to talk to the companion, typically without anyone who would find the action hostile being there to notice. You can't have your companion forge something if the NPC's are standing there.

Friendship teamwork: The companion Kvas is your best friend from childhood. Because of this, you have teamwork options with him that you can carry out even if you're being watched. For example, you can distract someone while Kvas steals from them.

Friendship teamwork involves a skillcheck, but not one for the action being attempted, rather it's a check to see if you distracted the NPC sufficiently for Kvas to perform an action. For example, there is a quest that involves putting poison in someone's drink. You can try this yourself with a sleight of hand or Dexterity check. If Kvas is in the party, you can check Craft Weapon and make small talk about the NPC's scimitar, or try a Perform check and sing a quick song in the NPC's honor. A successful check distracts the NPC enough for Kvas to put the poison in the drink. Kvas's success is dependent on your skill.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Custom loading screen Screenshots

As with the first module, there are custom load screens for each area. Here are some before and after shots. The first three pictures are taken in the toolset.

And here they are as loadscreens. To get this effect I take the screenshots and loaded them into GIMP. First I applied the Oilify filter (Filter -> Artistic -> Oilify) using the default settings. The border was done by using the Fuzzy Border filter (Filter -> Decor -> Fuzzy Border) with a 32 pixel black border.

Oilify works well when there's significant color contrast or strong colors.

The middle picture in each set is the Solvheil Ruins prefab (

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stronghold screenshots

In Path of Evil, you will be able to rule a stronghold. And here's some screenshots.

Your throne room:

A merchant you can hire: (yesssss, he'sssss a yuan-ti)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Path of Evil progress update

Since I didn't feel like too much writing and scripting this past week, I focused on filling in the random overland map areas the party can visit. With all these being prefabs, the only work needed was placing monsters/treasure and the like. As a result, most are now ready for exploration, hacking and slashing. A few small sidequests in there as well. Think of them like the areas off the main path in BG.

A few prefabbed areas came prelinked/thematically related, and their design suggested some quests ideas that I haven't fleshed out yet. So those two areas are on the overland map and can be entered, but currently are empty.

Still to do:
a remote desert oasis town on the edge of faerun needs more population besides it's current lone merchant. ditto for a town in the far north. Both these areas are just quick stops on the overland map, so they don't need to be extensively filled in, a few more merchants and some random commoners would do. They are just pit stops for players to sell loot or restock.

The town where the players stronghold is needs to be developed. There will be 3-4 quests here as well involving the players interaction with the current powers of the town. The stronghold itself is built but needs to be filled in more, and the generic stronghold system conversations need to be converted to campaign specific ones.

Another town is complete, but was a prefab set outside faerun. The lore and conversations needs to be converted to Faerun lore/conversations. As it's the location of one quest mcguffin, it needs to have more quests put into place other than the single current quest leading to the mcguffin. Fortunately, the built in conversations for the area suggest several quest hooks, so I only have to fill them in and give them an evil spin.

Companion conversations about quests are almost all written (8 companions x the number of quests, plus many have different things to say depending on the quest state = lots of work). They still need to be able to say what they think of each other and important npc's. Then the conversations need to be moved into the toolset. Their interjections into pc conversations need to be added in many cases, and their "flavor" conversations for different areas have to be done. Currently they are silent SoZ party creation type companions.

Seems like a lot remains, but filling out the overland areas seems like a hilltop and completion and the beginning of testing now seems downhill.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New and Redone Creatures

Meet a few new or redone creatures.

The ghost of an ogre mage.

A phase spider, out of phase.

A rime skeleton from the frozen north, rime skeletons are internally lit by the sheer cold that exudes from them. I should add that rime skeletons are a redo of the Hellfire skeletons on the Vault already, subbing cold effects for fire effects, so while new, they aren't "new".

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Overland Map Experiment

Yes, you can transition directly from one overland map to another.

And here is a second pic showing the results with a little more work. The minimap is now displaying properly and you can see how the water and basic texturing such as the dirt road show through the billboard effect map. Some more detail work needed on cleaning up the map, but progressing nicely I think.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Calimport Muzad

Taken from:

Known by a multitude of names from the Muzhajaarnadah to Calimport Below, Dark Calimport, and most often just the Muzad, the deeper city beneath the streets of Calimport is just as exciting, lively and dangerous as the sunlit metropolis above its stony ceilings. The Undercity of Calimport is more than just a series of sewers and waterways- there are whole streets, buildings, courtyards and great halls, and other areas long buried and forgotten. With the many series of disasters to strike the city over the centuries, it is not hard to believe the rubble was often simply built over after great destruction and whatever fell beneath the rubble was considered gone.
Since it encompasses the sewers and areas beneath, the Undercity ranges from 20 feet beneath the raised streets of Palace, Grand, and Emerald Wards to nearly a half-mile beneath Calimport’s sewers. There are so many mysteries hidden in the depths and the darkness of Calimport Muzad that they compare equally to the ruined wonders of Shoonach, Myth Drannor and the horrors of Undermountain beneath Waterdeep. There are a number of regions defined among the shadows, and what little there is to know is far more than most are willing to learn of the darkness beneath them. Calimpanni often quote, “ Enter the Muzad with caution, for as the Pashas do not walk below their station on the unexalted ground, one does not easily walk below without sharing the shadows in station, mind and heart .”

Sunday, August 30, 2009

So a progress update

About 70-80 quests are complete, this is about 2-3 times the amount of quests in the entire Path of Evil intro module (all four questpaths through that).

Four modules are complete. These include three major areas and one smaller area. Three more modules are in various stages of progress: a very short one that starts the campaign (half complete), the companion sidequests (85-90% complete), the Stronghold (player controlled stronghold mechanics complete, otherwise still working on area design).

Two more modules are needed but not started yet. One of which should go relatively quickly.

Nine modules? Well, some are quite small, only 3-4 areas. Others are 20+ areas. I have a logic to it's organization, and since it's a campaign no reason I can't have lots of modules. Also I figured smaller modules would make providing bugfixes for people quicker since I'd just have to upload smaller chunks instead of a whole campaign. The OC's Skymirror area was a module by itself iirc.

Then comes going back over everything to add flavor, companion flavor/conversation/options, and polish. Overall, the campaign is somewhere greater than 50% complete, but it is not playable to completion.

What's taking so long? Well, there's the player controlled stronghold for one. It's never been done that I've seen outside the OC. And there's eight possible companions. All of which have their own sidequests, interactions and you can ask about any quest in the game. Plus I'm a lone author, poor scripter, and slow writer. :-)

Two of the modules would be releasable as separate modules of 20 or so quests each, since they're virtually all sidequests. Players could just do random jobs without a big overarching story or having some untied up story bits (ie finding campaign items whose reason for being there is given in another module). Another section of the companion sidequests would be releasable as a 15 minute all action no story hackfest.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Exotic Inn, complete

So here's a bunch of toolset screenshots from the exotic inn.

Pic 1: reading area

Pic 2: upper hallway

Pic 3: basement level

Pic 4: basement level another angle (crafting and merchants in the back of pic)

Pic 5: main floor

Pic 6: main floor second angle

Pic 7: The drink deliverator

Pic 8: Stairs to basement (note the ode to NWN2/MotB/Soz)

Pic 9: Feature alcoves

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Exotic Inn

Here is an inn from the feature area I've already put up pictures of. The innkeeper has a few pets. It's just the first pass, there's still more to do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

generic stronghold needs beta testing

ERF format
module format

There is no story or point in doing anything in the generic stronghold. When the pc spawns, he can talk to the debugger, who will grant him 1,000,000 gold, sufficient for doing anything in the demo. Any pc of any level may be used for testing.

At this point it contains everything Crossroads Keep stronghold is capable of, and that is what needs testing. Only base NWN2 is needed.

Picture 1: I named my keep what?
Picture 2: The architect can build for you.
Pic 3 and 4: Now you don't see wall upgrades, now you do!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

hah I borked it!

Somewhere along the lines in generalizing the stronghold, I busted the timekeeping feature, breaking everything and forcing me to start over. Which stinks, since I had pretty much everything working.

Fortunately redoing it will be much quicker as I already know what scripts etc I need.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stronghold proof of concept progress

Thanks to wholesale taking of scripts from the OC, I now have the basics of a OC style stronghold. I'm also abstracting the stronghold terms and re-commenting the scripts so others will be able to make their own strongholds when I'm done.

What works:
The architect (Veedle in the OC) can upgrade buildings.

The architect can upgrade roads/towers ala the OC.

Interior upgrades: in the OC you can have Veedle open up some areas by destroying placeables. This was surprisingly difficult to adapt the OC scripting for, since the scripting was almost entirely driven OC event checking.

Majordomo to give you updates on your lands: this was simply a matter of copying over a script from the OC. The script handles the display of the status items like number of merchants/soldiers,/civility/road status etc

Armorer/Weaponmaker: removed the ore checks, now you pay gold. You could reimplement a secondary resource check if you wanted.

soldiers: the abstracted Greycloaks. They can recruit more troops and be sent on road/land guard duties. Special missions are event/sargent driven in the OC, I've not implemented them yet.

What doesn't:
The OC uses multiple interiors for the same building, jumping you to the relevant waypoint depending on whether you've built the church or the monastery for instance. Even with the same scripts, this is not working. The scripts for this are on the door, they are just not returning info and unlocking the door. (I tagged the waypoints and door the same as the OC just in case.)

Secondary upgrade: the architect can upgrade a building further ruined church -> church -> upgraded church. The OC only does one upgrade. The second level upgrade isn't working yet. Odd because the multi-level upgrades of the towers/roads work fine, but maybe they work because those are "invisible", at a given upgrade level there is a building or not, no "upgrade" buildings.

Not attempted yet:
Sargents: such as Bevil and Light of Heavens.

Special troop missions ala the OC.

What I've learned:
If you're going to "build" buildings , the area it's being placed needs to be unwalkable before the building is placed. Otherwise you can walk right through the building (the area already has marked that area as walkable. Basically unless most of the building is hidden in a cliff or otherwise unwalkable area, you can only upgrade with a building of the same footprint. So no guard tower -> Crossroad Keep upgrading.

edit: more stuff is working now, so I've edited as appropriate.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Shut up dwarf."

"I can barely see your head over the table anyway. "

A dialog snippet from the Path of Evil campaign. Spoiler free.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mysterious Church screenies - ooooohhhh mysterious!

RWS Pocket Cathedrals is the tileset show, and it is great :-)
Here are five screenshots from the area I'm working on, a church interior. In the last you can see our intrepid game testing drow for scale. I've got to fix some things, the lighting isn't showing up ingame like the toolset shows. Maybe because there's a metric ton of lights and effects in the area.

(Yes, the ship is floating on purpose)