Monday, February 11, 2008

Round table Round up

Michele did a great job at organising the round table discussion - and keeping it together with the glitches and relocation! Thanks to all for an interesting few hours. I always knew I had the face for radio, but there's something about the north american accent that'll record better i think - blame the movies for giving british accents to goons or villains...

Pity Amraphael couldn't make it - particularly for the custom content question that came up. Was interesting to hear other people's take on things, and trying to offer my sleep-deprived thoughts when I could. The whole thing finished about 3.30 am UK time and didn't get to sleep til 4.30 - can feel it all catching up with me. Man, back in Uni, I'd think nothing of that, several nights in a row...

Was great that some players (and other builders) were in the audience. I do thin it a shame sometimes that the blogs attract more interaction between the builders (not that that's a bad thing) than players - its a valuable input to have. I know since i started building, I play very differently (and more analytically) - sometimes it'd be nice to play without the toolset knowledge (like being able to read a great book or see a classic film again for the first time)

I had one question in my list of 3 that there wasn't time for in the end, but as I left I thought it might be interesting to ask here: Ideas that have been dropped - any big ideas that just became unworkable? Many, i think, have aborted old modules to work on current projects too - what and why? Looking back are the old dropped ideas something you were right to drop, or will you come back to them? Have people started out with a quest or set piece in mind, but had to drop it because the implementation was too tricky, or it became unfeasible? Any big grand ideas that needed that certain something eluding you to pull them off?


E.C.Patterson said...

Good job on the roundtable Wyrin! Congrats on toughing it out too! It was great to hear you speak. You came off as a totally nice guy, in spite of the accent. ;) (Actually, villain is not the image I associate with the British accent at all.)

As for your follow-up question: I'm learning that very little is impossible in the TS, once you understand it and it's limitations (no, two level walkmeshes are NOT possible ;) ), as well as the ruleset hardcoded in the game. There is often a way to do things or a workaround that will allow you to do, in essence, what you wanted to do.

For me, the main reason for dropping features out of a mod or a mod project all together has to do with the time and effort one has or is willing to put into a project.

Mod building takes a LOT of time and dedication. If one wants to release something within a certain horizon, then it is important to scale the project to the time one has available to do it (and this varies greatly from builder to builder). Features that are taking a disproportionate amount of time to implement may have to be dropped or put aside in the hope there is time left over at the end to implement them. Less essential features may be better kept for the end (though it can be fun, I know, to work on a rest system or on custom music and load screens, before all your essential areas are complete, say).

It is worthwhile to mention too, IMHO, that mod building, for most pure hobby builders at least, should be FUN, first and foremost. So if all the planning, projecting and prioritizing, and even the building itself, becomes a chore then it might be good to step back or at least relax a little, or even consider scaling back the project somewhat. To keep it fun. The last thing we need is for our hobbies to cause us stress too :)

I decided some time ago to postpone/drop my planned Garden of All Evils campaign, because, the scope of it being too large, I knew I'd never be able to complete it. I continue to think about it passively from time to time, and am trying to figure out a way to tell the story in a stand alone 4 hour mod. We'll see if that comes about.

But for now I'm concentrating on collaborating on the GPS projects NHIN2 and A Time To Die 1, and on producing another GPS mod. This one will be a standalone 4-hour adventure, which is something I know I can cope with (being a gaming parent et al. :) ). I also have a pretty good sense of when we'll be able to release it, which is nice to know. It gives you something clear to work towards.

Nalencer said...

As you know, I dropped the Siege of Avalon remake I was working on a couple of months ago. I did it because, for one thing, it was such a big project, and I didn't want to be tied down for the next three years with it. Aside from that, as much as I love the original game, I'm not sure NWN2 is the best medium to recreate it. It could work, but it would be an insane amount of work. I might come back to it someday, but if so, probably in NWN1. I actually have about half of the first chapter done in NWN1 already, which I work on from time to time, but I'm basically stopped in my tracks by the lack of some critical custom content -- namely a nice "destroyed village" tileset with some good ruins. The closest thing that exists is the Ruins Tileset on the vault, which would be okay except that it adds the ruins to the Microset, and I need other things from the Rural tileset in those areas.

Maybe someone would be willing to make something like that, but it really is just a side project at the moment, so I can't get too far into requesting a lot of custom content at the moment. But if someone wants to...

Anonymous said...

I wish that question did get out. I actually have scene's I have written that have alternatives to them for fear of do-ability. I have poor Jonny in animation nightmares. I did at least give alternate scenes just in case. hehe

Due to playing so many modules in the past and current. I have a good idea of what I know can be done. I'm always asking "can this be done?" I figure maybe 50% of what I want to happen, may actually be doable. lol

You all did awesome! Even with skypes server/network doing down.


Jclef said...

The roundtable was great - I was sitting there building while listening to a bunch of builders talking about their own projects. It was VERY inspiring!

As for your question:

Guilty as charged!

I halted development on something called "The Rogue". It was slated to be a class specific module, with a lot of mission-based quests.

The focal point of inspiration was the Stealth Animation video Rob released awhile back. (Shallow, yes - still waiting...)

I stopped because of how out of hand things got - Both censorship-wise and Sheer Size!

All in all, a classic example of how "You can't manage what you can't measure". Extensive pre-planning is definitely FTW!

I may re-visit the module one day and give it a make-over with the release of the new City Hak and upcoming Stealth Animation. We'll see...haha

Ernie Noa said...

I'm somewhat concerned that my current project may be too big. When I finished Hythum for NWN1 I said NEVER EVER AGAIN will I create something this large.

Well, technically I'm not creating it, I'm recreating it for NWN2, and I have a friend who's partnered up with me. Still it's HUGE.

The roundtable was a blast. Thanks for participating, and thanks for putting out some of my favorite mods (Dark Avenger).

dirtywick said...

You British cats sound more like documentary voice overs than villians these days ;)

I was going to listen in, maybe even say something, but times are hard and my daughter was down with the flu.

Should be cool to hear it though. Probably end up saying good job after I listen, so I'll just say it now: good job to all involved.

Wyrin said...

thanks for the great responses guys

- EC - i thought garden of all evils was dsounding really interesting - can you work any of the ideas into the other projects?

- jclef - I rememebr the rogue project now you mention it - some of the screenshotrs were great and dark for sneaking around in. Would say its a pity you dropped it but the current project is looking too good ;)

- Ernie - thanks for the plugs for D.D. during the round-table - meant a lot. I only got into modding and playing mods with NWN2 but i'm tempted to reinstall NWN1 to try out some of these classics , in cluding Hythum

Nalencer said...

You mean you don't have it installed? I'm tempted to splash you with holy water...

Ernie Noa said...

If you do I hope you enjoy them. I think Hythum II was my best effort, but I really like the original Hythum as well. Hythum is coming for NWN2, but it may be a while.

Raith Veldrin said...

Now now Wyrin, I'd say the British accent adds a bit of class to the rather brash tone of us across the way. I'm just lucky(?) to have the Midwestern U.S. dialect that is adopted by Hollywood. Although, it doesn't make what comes OUT of my mouth any smarter :(

Had a blast at the Roundtable and listening to the whittled down mp3 of it now.