Monday, March 30, 2009

Path of Evil 1.5

I spent some time this weekend going back to the first module in the series with the intent of improving it in a number of ways.

New areas; Docks district of my own making, a new entirely optional crypt in the Great Graveyard, new interior areas in the docks (the dock interiors will reuse Simaon's generic interiors, but players will see interiors they have not seen in the module before)

Relighting of some interior areas: dynamic lighting will be turned off underground, so its darker and spookier in the crypts and the player may want a torch or other light source. Crypts were re-lit with placeable torches so it will not be necessary to carry one, but carrying one will make an obvious light difference.

Roleplaying was increased via more dialog choices. It's won't generally affect quest outcome (it does in a few cases), but you'll be able to give your pc more personality and won't have just one response option.

Walking through all the dialog to do the above showed some grammatical and style errors, which I corrected.

optional quests: 3 optionable quests for each path doable at any time after joining the initial questgiver. This should reduce linearity.

Events after the "end" of the current module. You will now reach the point of leaving Neverwinter. This provides a clean break with where module 2 starts, so I don't have to make players download an area twice. Together with the optional quests there should be nearly twice as many quests for the pc.

Improved storyline flow. I was never really happy with how the module starts by talking about some events that just happened, but then these pretty much get abandoned until later. Your adversaries will now be looking for you.

Finally, rebalancing to make some things easier. Several people complained about difficulty in certain areas.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Companions have opinions too!

I've been working on companion conversations since the last update. The goal is to have them be able to comment on every quest as well as give opinions on major npc's (including each other), locations and other events. With eight possible companions this is quite an undertaking from a writing standpoint.

So far each has about a thousand words of conversation, just about quests that are currently defined. By the time they talk about everything I want them to, I wouldn't be surprised to see several thousand words each by the time the pc race/class specific dialog results are completed.

Also I added another quest in to al-Qasr al-Kabir. Since Calimshan is famous for its intrigues and underworld, I wanted to put in a quest that directly ties in to that. There went another 1500 words of dialog for a single quest (in comparison, each questgiver's conversation in the first module has about 1200 words total).

Finally, I fleshed out some optional quests I'm going to retrofit into the first module to give it more depth and replayability. The result is going to be an extended first module. I haven't started building the optional quests in POE1 yet though because I've been working on POE2.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Initial Testing

I also spent a bit of time doing some inital testing of quests and conversations when I got tired of building. Looks like the lessons I learned from the initial module paid off, the majority of quests and conversations worked correctly right off the bat or with one or two tweaks. In fact I reached a point where I needed to write the conversation for someone I didn't expect to reach during my testing, near the end of the questpath for the city.

I also adapted a random questgiving script someone put on the vault for NWN1 to give my commoners some random talks. They'll have more "color" now than they did in the Beggar's Nest.

Finally, I went back to the Path of Evil first module and put in a bunch of talks for the two companions (in the 1.06 update). Now you can ask them about various people and quests.

Arabic Interiors/Exteriors Finished

Ok, almost. I need to adjust some of the music for the areas. The tavern track I selected for the inn doesn't match at all.

I think the city exterior looks great, especially at night when the lights and light ray placed effects become visible. I don't know why the toolset doesn't let builders rotate the light ray placed effects. The rays are only available along the x and y axis.... I faked it some with using two rays, one x and one y.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More arabic interiors

While I have all the interior work complete I need for the Calimshite city, I'm creating more arabic interior areas to provide many of the DnD typical type areas for the interior prefab I released. So right now I'm working on an inn, and then I'll do 2-3 private homes and maybe a smithy and magic shop. Combined with the temple, government building, and private home I've already released, that should be most of the types of areas that show up in adventures, making the interior prefab a "drop in and go" solution for others that might look to set adventures in that type of area.

Also, the author of the Tahamman exterior prefab gave me permisison to release my remixed version, so I'll be releasing that as well.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Fortunately my work redoing a prefab desert city was salvageable and another area was restorable. I put together a number of arabic inspired interior areas since the salvage, so I released those on the vault since I didn't see anything like that out there. The undelete utility restored a lot, but the toolset was unable to use it....

Lost: the city of Murann, which was complete and ready to test, with all quests and conversations in place.
several complete wilderness/dungeon areas ready for testing, with combined about as much conversation/quests as Murann.