Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Modding Injury!

Well, that makes it sound more than it is - but think my little finger is getting problems from how i hold my mouse when modding - not a great sign of how long I'm on the toolset! I think its also from how i sit when typing. But on a toolset free break for a few days so see how it goes.

Speaking of typing, I downloaded PowerBar plugin for the first time the other day - i've always been a little wary of plug-ins in case of becoming too reliant, and patch issues, but this is pretty good. And the typing link? It has a feature that performs a word count on the module, breaking it into journals/conversations etc. This was interesting; given i have only 2 small journal entries done, and 99% of the text is from conversations, I'm on a word count of 25,000. Interesting, but given that thisis chapter 1 only, and that its a small, scene-setting chapter, i'm not sure if this is over-the-top. I know Thay has >35,000, but is a longer playtime beast than this chapter, so I'm wary of swamping the player with too much text. I always knew the campaign (and chapter 1 specifically) would have a lot of dialogue, but i might have to watch this. That said, the kind of player that doesn't like reading too much isn't going to be the kind of player i'm aiming this mod at...

Anyway I hope things will come out of a pre-alpha I'm planning on chapter 1 soon - aimed more at getting feedback/comments than bug-hunting specifically. I suppose its a bit like the census that hollywood studios do for films to gauge the public reception, before selling out and rewriting the ending to include buxom beauties that need rescuing from their skimpy outfits in the hope that it pulls in more audiences. Not that i'd sink that low.... although now i mention it.....

Monday, June 18, 2007

Weekend progress

Managed to get a fair bit of time on the toolset this weekend, due to my understanding S.O. Got a sidequest scripted, dialogued and journaled. Made some new items too - grafts. THese seem to have come into D&D with 3rd ed. - I dont recall seeing them before. But represent pieces of alien anatomy, particularly form aberrations, that can be grafted on to the PC and grant bonuses. I like the idea - more detail in the Lords of Madness supplement with the Fleshwarper PrC; but also see the pale master PrC in game. I also like the idea of items that have downsides as well as benefits. For example, one graft in question was an ooze graft - smeared on the face it give a penalty to CHA, but bonus to intimidate, susceptibility to fire, but bonus vs poison. In pen-and-paper grafts are a great way to add a twist to your villains.

Spent a lot of time building commoner housing interiors. Man, if i never have to place a bed/fireplace/dining table again.... some discussion on the forum sabout the use of prefabs - I'd love a load of prefab commoner/noble homes - would make things so much easier!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Module contest

The top 3 of the Grimm Fairy Tales contest have been announced: 1. Grimm Brigade, 2. The Birthday, 3. Rampion Champion. Of course, this kicked off a lot of fuss; whilst the internet's great, it does allow too many people to voice an opinion sometimes. Played all 3 of those mods myself, and enjoyed them all. Personally i think the Rampion Champion was fun and hard-done-by in the vault voting, but I have issues with that anyway - just look at the comparative number of downloads the different entries got. More showcasing was needed.

I wont reiterate the comments from other blogs suffice to say congrats to the top 3, and well done to all who managed to get an entry in. I PM'd Rob for some feedback on my entry but didn't get a reply... bit annoying but the I understand he's been inundated by complaints about the contest, so I can forgive mine slipping under the radar. Bit disappointed in the reception A Walk inthe Woods got, myself, and not too clear why; apart from people complaining about my spelling there's not much else there! Thining about requesting some more thorough reviews from either the vault or some of the more vocal reviewers. I know my exterior area design needs a lot of work, and hopefully that will come on in my next mod.

Speaking of which, bandit camp now populated, and very tough, but winnable with some tactics. Working o nthe villagers homes - this is when i long for prefab homes/tiles for interiors..!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Ran through the encounter - worked like a charm. Feels so good when it comes together. One thing I am noticcing however, is that the playtests are too much of a breeze - the Marut encounter is really meant to be life-or-death, but none of the party, even Briars with the lowest level, was scratched. So might need to add mutliattack and some other nifty abilities to beef them up. But that's minor tweaking - the cutscene was good and how I envisaged it

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Coming out of the mire

Week's kinda been good. And not been on the toolset much, but the time I have its been productive, which is a good thing. Managed to get an update to Walk in the Woods, that SHOULD fix the damned on death conversations. So that's one niggling thing I can cross off.

On Dark Avenger, well only had today to work on it, but I've

  1. Put together a scripting system to control my companion influence - its clunky (i could use switch/case if i knew more about it, but I dont so I went the less elegant route, and that seems to work. Feel good as i wrote it from scratch, so maybe a (small) sign i'm getting the hang of this scripting thing

  2. Completed the first encounter with a recurring foe - happy with the dialogue too, and this leads on to

  3. finished introduction of a new companion. Writing this let me flesh out the background of the other companions too, finding stuff I didnt know, and its pretty good

  4. run a quick play-through, which apart from one dodgy trigger, went pretty smoothly
So, Chapter One is getting there, and feeling a lot more positive about it. Might need to up the difficulty - as its story based, fights are more part of the flow of the tale, but some seem too easy so far - but that might also be due to a certain companions uber-ness. He's meant to be uber, but progress slowly so he's out-ubered later on. But somethign I can adress in final stages

Some new screenies (more in the album):