Sunday, December 27, 2015

End of year: Ingame testing approaches.

Things are ready for ingame testing now.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

In case of Meteor Swarm

In case someone casts Meteor Swarm on me, not that I am expecting that. :-) Don't peek, it's not complete (it's getting close).

and my testing area, which contains a lot of conversation and scripting fixes not in the downloads above, but not the areas:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The "Logic Pass"

I've completed my pass through all the existing areas adding sound. That's good as doing the sound for a campaign is not high on my list of fun to do things. I normally don't pay a lot of attention to sound in games and often just turn sound off. Like Path of Evil and Crimmor, there won't be music for maps, except that I will have music for the overland map. I have about 20 custom content music tracks.

The current step I have started working on I call the "logic pass". This means I am doing things like looking for plot holes and generally giving things a once over trying to figure out if they make sense. They don't have to make sense from the standpoint of what the pc knows about, but they should make sense from the perspective of the characters in question. The logic pass can take a varying amount of time, as I often discover I need to add areas or quests, or do significant writing/re-writing. In fact I've already added an area, some npcs, and dialogs.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Tel Badir

This is the desert town of Tel Badir, mostly home to D'Tarig traders. In the second screenshot, the camera is still in the walkmesh, giving you an idea of the size of the area. I put it together using three maps from J.E. McKellar's Wassau prefabs on the Vault. Terracoppa was used to combine the three separate maps (they are contiguous areas on separate maps originally), and then converted the terrain to a desert setting from the original setting, building this town where there originally had been a small camp.

In this area I was experimenting with keeping the player on an single external map for a significant time, hopefully at least a full day/night cycle if the player does all the quests here, so there are no interiors. This is justified ingame as the D'Tarig sleeping and setting up shop outside the even hotter houses during the worst of the desert heat, something that happens in the real world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Originally, this was going to be in a cave.

The BCK demo area, shown in original texture and after I retextured things (and tinted the bck floor pieces). It looks much better with RWS citadel and stock cobblestone textures. Originally I was going to use this as an underground ruined city, but I like the results so much it's now going to be above ground.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sword Coast Legend

So Sword Coast Legends revealed map design is going to be randomly generated dungeons that you can then add detail to. I don't have a problem with that, it's their game and their prerogative.

Their forums now have a thread where people say all the things they want in the toolset. They are not going to get them. There are author names I recognize from NWN 1/2 and Neverwinter Online there, asking for things NWN's toolsets do, that the Sword Coast Legends toolset will never do. Now that they've finally been told it's not going to do them, these people have moved to "well, Sword Coast Legends will add x to the toolset after the game is released". No they won't. If they do I'll make my character eat his virtual hat.

What's sad is we've had this conversation before, with Neverwinter Online:

Person X: "I wish the NWO toolset could do X, Y, and Z. I'd totally have it's babies."
Me: "The NWN toolsets can do X,Y, and Z, and have since they were released."
Person X: "If only there was some game that had a toolset that did X, Y, and Z. I'd totally have it's babies."
Me: Facepalm.

Repeat for Sword Coast Legends.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Dyr Alanbaa Bayshawey monastery

Dyr Alanbaa Bayshawey monastery, a rework of the Castle Gascynin external prefab area, which was set in a swamp, to the Anauroch desert. The interior uses the Adobe interiors tileset, combined with some new texture options for some other tilesets.

Real life intruded into my modding time this past months, so not much to talk about for this update. I built out some unfinished areas in the toolset and added some minor conversations. I also wrote some of what will be in the readme/manual.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A sidetrack into archetypes

I had tackled implementing two of the systems things, the overland map and overland goodies. That got me going on another systems type thing I had been thinking about for some time, namely how to allow the player to make a lore appropriate pc. The Bedine are nomadic fighters, who according to sourcebooks use little/no armor and have particular traditional weapons. Kaedrin's pack offered one solution, as some of Kaedrin's classes like the Scout and Thug base classes seemed like a fair fit, and the Dervish and Tempest prestige classes. While pondering this and working out how to handle some companion's classes, I developed the idea that these are all basically fighters, just with different sets of feats.

This gave me the idea that it wasn't so much the lack of appropriate classes, but the lack of flexibility of existing classes. A dexterity based fighter is still a fighter, but why did he bother to learn to wear heavy armor (it is an automatically given feat after all) when he knew he would be best fighting in light armor. I also wanted to represent fighters from a society that has specific weapon preferences and likely would not ever have the option of taking training in. The martial weapon proficiency is automatic and gives the fighter proficiency in a bundle of weapons that the Bedine nomad will generally never see, much less learn how to use effectively.

So I decided to rethink what the fighter class gets automatically. A nomadic fighter wouldn't get training in heavy armor, and his society doesn't use many of the nwn2 martial weapons, instead his weapons of choice are more in line with what say a spirit shaman would normally be proficient in. Our hypothetical nomad fighter has had just as much fighting training as a fighter from civilization, but instead of spending the time on heavy armor or even any armor at all, that time is available for our nomad to be more focused on weapons or tactics.

So I got into the feats.2das, looking into how to remove the automatic feats and add them back in other ways. I came up with what for lack of a better term I called the "archetype" system, remove all the feats automatically given simply by achieving level x, and adding the feats back as bonus feat options, while increasing the bonus feats to match the normal amount of feats. As I developed it further, I decided some otherwise class restricted feats were representative of particular types of training every character could theoretically choose to take, training in flanking during combat (represented by sneak attack), basic tracking (hunting, a thief following his mark, etc). So I made many of the basic "class" feats available across class. They represent the types of feats that you might find in various sourcebooks as options, and allow a player to add some game effect to their role playing choices.

End result

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

So here's something.

For those wondering what I was doing when I wrote up and released documentation on how the SoZ overland map works.... Bedine now has a working overland map with custom encounters (complete with goodies). Next step will be getting all the random maps in place, Bedine will be taking advantage of something SoZ supported but never used, having multiple random maps for a given terrain type.

A custom OM for Bedine was in the plans from the beginning, it was just I've only now gotten around to getting it implemented. I've had the map itself in a roughly built stage for a long time, now it has all the triggers and such that a SoZ style OM needs.

There's some debug text visible in the picture, but you get the idea.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March Update

Virtually all the placeholder dialogs are now replaced with proper dialog. That doesn't mean I've got a whole bunch of dialog branches, but the core dialog is pretty much all in place now. The exceptions to this are the final showdown and the cohort dialogs. Also I think I'm going to add some area introduction cinematics/dialogs for major areas ala BG.

Two of the smaller sidequests that I took from the Anauroch sourcebook now have proper maps instead of placeholder maps, and their plotlines from the sourcebook are in place within the limitations of the NWN2 toolset.  I altered one of my existing maps to better fit the story and questline I wrote for it. I also added a sidequest that introduces one of the themes to the player. For the map for that I took a prefab map and altered it. It can be difficult to keep the style of another area builder when you want to make significant alterations to the terrain. These maps now all have creatures blueprinted for them, and sound in the areas, so they are pretty much complete unless I want to go back and add to them.

Lastly for maps for one of the main quest maps I took another prefab map and did the same thing to it, trying to keep a style while making major alterations. I also built two simple maps that get used in the main questline. The areas for those are not very complicated, so they're barely worth mention.

All told, good steady progress.

Pictures: Tropical beach, before and after I altered it to fit my needs.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Writing dialog

A furious sandstorm rages, visibility is down to a few camel lengths and progress is difficult against the hot blown sands. You have been awake for more than a day, afraid to make camp for fear of being buried in your sleep. El Jebel Tuwaiq said he would send wasa-ey to Ermal Sheqyeqh to prepare and placate her for your arrival. Considering you are still alive in the midst of the sandstorm, this is placated.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Daynight transition setting

I figured out a way to have my standard "intro with the DM" be in character. It's written, and more importantly, scripted. I hadn't scripted the sort of thing I'm doing for the intro.before, but the folks on the forums got me going in the right direction. As a bonus I realized when working on the scripting that I could use this elsewhere in the campaign to solve a plot problem I was having difficulty working out.

I also fixed my daynight settings for the "transition" time. Things were too orangish red. Now I have a coloration calculated as the average of moonset and sunrise.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dead video card

Well, my video card decided yesterday it didn't want to see 2015. Fortunately I had the foresight back when I put this computer together to get a motherboard with basic built in video capability. I can't run the toolset on motherboard video (or do any other gaming, or even use the full resolution of my monitor), so the toolset will have to remain closed until the replacement card gets here sometime next week. I guess I'll be jotting down ideas in notepad and maybe working on conversations via the flamewind conversation editor until the new video card arrives.