Monday, October 29, 2007

Hive of activity

Due in part to having surgery at the start of the year, it's now almost November and I have 25 days leave to use up before the end of the year (started with 40(!) days this year as the company were being particularly nice to me!). All this is sounding good for me to build up a head of steam in the toolset again.

Which is what I've been doing so far. I'm focussing on a sidequest based on one of the companions (Briars the gnome), which will allow me to play on a bit of party tension if Gork the goblin is also present. Added in a side-sidequest too to allow casters and crafters to use their skills more to create a temporary henchman they find dismantled in an abandoned temple of Gond. Also managed to get him to explode on death, which is amazing given my scripting talent, or specifically lack thereof!

So chapter 2 is progressing apace - but also not been neglecting Chapter 1. Updated with portraits, I've also now implemented the resting system and interface from MotB after a post from sgt_why (Red Hand of Doom, which I should replay now its come on a long way since I first played it months ago). Pretty simple to do, after cutting out the spirit eater code from some of the k_mod scripts - and resting feels like it actually has meaning now as day passes into night rather than 5 seconds drfiting by. Got a nice vote/comments from Alazander too, which is greatto have feedback from one of the Ossian team.

Other news - I've had a request for a review on A Walk in the Woods, my module contest entry, from the vault. Keen to see what the feedback is. I've also decided to re-use one of the areas (the mine) from that in Dark Avenger, as it will save time. Annoyingly, Unearthed Arcana doesnt work post-MotB, and I can;t see an easy solution as it was a bit of a cheat I used to get bloodlines working in the firstplace. Given the lack of interest, I doubt I'll pursue this one anyway.

So what's next? Haunted mine and the BBEG therein. The haunted village is finished - more accurately, I'm stopping myself from continuously tinkering with the textures, trees and grass, especially as i've set it very dark and misty so you can hardly see half of them anyway...

Good to be more actively building again, and needed the break - although certain announcements from certain Studios make it seem like I'll be distracted again soon...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Evil Dead Halloween tribute

Wyrin is currently preoccupied spending Halloween defending his cabin in the woods from hordes of evil deadites, trusty chainsaw and boomstick in hand. Normal service will be resumed shortly. Hail to the King, baby!

Monday, October 15, 2007

oooOOOoooh shiny!

One of the nice things the new version of the toolset allows you to do is to use custom portraits very simply - so companions can have the images you want - or NPCs for that matter, showing up when you right click on them as a target.
So of course rather than do anything productive with my time on the toolset, I trawled the internet for portaits for all the Dark Avenger companions, just adding a layer of shiny uneccessary baubles that made me feel like I was doing something productive.

Seich was a tricky one, but I think I found the right 'troubled-looking dwarf'. Given my old love of wargaming, I've always been more inspired to follow the Warhammer take on goblinoids rather than the by-the-book D&D system - and found a great miniature that summed up Gork. Contessa was easy - I knew exactly the image I wanted for her...

So there is an updated module on the vault - the main thing I got to do is finally make Black Death a horse! Was glad they gave the horse model some decent animations - unlike some of the other wildlife. The attack animations for the horse are pretty good actually, so it seems to work quite well.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

MotB Thoughts

Just finished MotB and very satisfied with the ending. Overall an excellent campaign, with better pace and writing than the OC. Companion interaction here just shows how much it adds to a story and the playing experience.

That said, i's just reaffirmed for me that I'm really not that keen on high level / epic play. I played with my OC character - the original Wyrin D'njargo inspired by a PC from the days of the 2nd Ed D&D Bard kit,the Blade. Finished as a Ftr4/Bard16/DivChamp5/NWNine5, and by the end even the climatic encounters were over by the time I'd unpaused from issuing commands and my poor processor had caught up with the flow of play. The problem for me is balance - critters either become a cakewalk, or have to be twinked out so much it removes the point of being epic, as they are all your equal. Luckily in MotB for me the great story was a welcome distraction form this.

Even in my ongoing pen-and-paper campaigns, I'm not fond of high level play. I'd say levels 3-15 are my favourite, where the character comes into their own, but still have foes to challenge them. But from a long time of playing D&D, its clear for every player, there's a different view on how the game should/preferably be played. I mean, I love Dungeons and Dragons, but would be quite happy never going in an actual dungeon. But that's another rant about distintegrates and vertical dungeoneering...

ANyway, my period of playing rather than building is kinda coming to a close - gotta restart Sands of Solvheil now new versions aare up as my last trek through got a little out of sync, but not much else drawing my attention at the moment

...apart from the Toolset...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

More toolset insights - (beware spoilers?)

Some more previews of the new content in the toolset - hopefully nothing to give the game away much yet. Interesting to see bloodstains and waterfall effects included given the community content available, and also there's lots of snow-covered placeables too. New content all looks really great, and will be cool to add more variety to interiors especially. Great range of new corpses, boulders, banners, statues etc.