Monday, February 18, 2008

New buzz

Wow, there's been a spate of amazing artistic area building been showcased recently - on blogs and on the forums with some new project announcements.... I know I'm doing something wrong when others can knock these areas up in 5 hours, and this last one's taken me at least 10 to get it to the state it is so far... I'm strongly thinking about looking for help with area building in later chapters, but many of the ideas I have are quite specific, and the prefabs are great but rarely quite right. But whilst it's humbling/depressing to see the great talent out there, it's great form a player perspective, as there seems to be a sudden buzz in the building community - more new blogs added to the right.

So, we all need more time to build and play, right? With February 29th coming up - a extra day's work this year but we're paid the same for this 29-day month as we were for the 28 days of February last year, maybe I'm justified taking a sicky.... :)

Also added a quick poll about sidequests. I think there was only one real 'quest' in Chapter 1 unrelated to the overall plot (the oozemaster), and that was my intention, due to the story-driven aspects of it (and I didn't want someone driven on a quest for revenge to be ferrying packages, or distracted by petty disputes for fear of diluting the impetus and slowing story proegression). When a mod is focussed on a single story, rather than a band roaming for random adventure, can we get away with fewer sidequests? But what do you think? Feel free to comment here after voting!


dirtywick said...

A standard "formula" many RPGs use is a linear>open ended>linear pattern.

The story begins as linear, to get everyone involved in the setting. Then at some point it changes to open ended, usually in a town or something, where some unrelated or slightly related quests are available, but not necessary to the plot. Then it turns linear again to advance the story.

That's not a bad way to do things. At breaks in between plot points put up a side quest or two (or a dozen!) that's not necessary to the plot. Then move the plot forward.

Wyrin said...

Chapter 3 will be easier to work in more sidequests, as its going to be based in a city. But keeping with the story, I can see it harder to fit in sidequests when the plot heads for the wilderness again. But I don;t know why I'm worry a feew chapters in advance when i need to finish this one first....

Amraphael said...

Well, even if those projects are promising I don't think instant beauty areas is necessary for a great mod. (Says the guy who is in the making of a module with a Zero-story Zero-Roleplay, Almost-Zero-HackNSlach. Hehe)

In NWN1 I played butt-ugly modules that were great and some stunning ones that were so boring that I never finished them.

It's a great thing to help each other out on area design though.

I'm pro-side quests - if they makes sense. Killing rats and fetching wolf heads are just boring. But breaking in at the jeweler, stealing some nice gem to give your companions wife to allow him follow you on your adventures are fun.

Amraphael said...

Congratz to be on the candidate list for Mods of the Year 2007!

Wyrin said...

thanks amraphael!

Maerduin said...

I'm a big fan of side quests, but I like side quests that tie in somehow (even if only by theme and not plot). But some people don't necessarily like this--one person on the Valult said he got sick of all the love stuff in H&C.

But I think as long as side quests aren't super silly and random and they don't affect the balance of the mod as a whole, they're awesome. I also think Dirtywick's formula model looks solid.