January & NWN2

Well January seems to be quite a month for NWN2.  With the release of Trinity, Misery Stone and the SoZ Holiday Project, what more could you ask for?   While not quite as great as a module, I do have my own contributions on the way, that is the release of everything I’ve worked on so far.

Misery Stone & Trinity

First off, I would like to congratulate Jclef on his long-awaited release of Misery Stone!  Congrats, bro!  You have poured blood and soul into this module, which we can see all over the module (I mean look at all that blood everywhere, especially in the Asylum!).   And if you haven’t played either Misery Stone or Trinity yet, well, I highly recommend doing so.  Both of these modules are at the top of their class.  And furthermore, they play out like a true classic, something that you really do not see anymore.

Content Release

Over the next few days, I’ll be releasing a series of new content on the Vault dating way back since I started developing for NWN2.  This content will include my works on the Anphillia II PW, Thayvian Nights, Misery Stone and to a much smaller degree Shattered Dreams and the SoZ Sidequest.  Since the last two haven’t been released yet or havent had confirmations of cancelation, I will not release the content until I hear from Dirtywick and Elysius otherwise.

There’s quite of bit of stuff sitting on my computer, gathering dust and I figured I might as well make use of them.  So, I’ll be going through the areas, cleaning them up and sprucing them up a bit if it’s worth it and then releasing them on the Vault.  Tonight, you’ll see 3 new entries (click to open New Window):

Ravenloft Asylum – The old version of Misery Stone’s Asylum.  It was large and complex, but scrapped later to simplify the module and make new room for some of the new content Jonny had made.  There are still some NPCs left in here.  I’ve removed the Hostile Encounters, so you should be able to roam freely.  Make sure you read the note about the portal controls in the tower before checking it out.  It’ll make your life easier I think.

Anduraga’s DayNightSettings – A compilation of my DayNightSettings that I have created and are worth distributing.  There’s probably about 30 settings, 6 of them a complete set.  The remaining being a single Stage (mostly Default).

Anduraga’s Light and VFX Pack – A compilation of my light and vfx palette.  There are roughly 130 VFXs in the pack.  A complete list can be found on the Vault’s description (the screenshots only show a very select few).  I’ll also be taking requests if its within my ability to do so.  See the Vault Descript for more info.

And later on this week, I’ll be releasing my Dwarven Ruins RWS, Corrupted Prison RWS, House Interior Set, Dungeon Set, Bounty Camp and some other areas sprinkled in.  All of which will be leading up to the release of the Taruin Sidequest.

SoZ:  Taruin Sidequest

Some of you might be wondering what’s up with this and why it was not included with the original release.  Not to mention there hasnt been any word of it on my blog.  Unfortunately, when the holidays came, I ran out of time to work on it, and until recently, I haven’t been able to work on it.  I’ll be working on it over the weekend and I hope to have it finished by next weekend hopefully assuming all goes well.  It’ll be patched in the Holiday Project and distributed separately.   Mind you, the separate version will have a bit of a clumsy implementation due to the player having to travel to two different locations via the OLM. 

Post Remarks

Since I’ll be releasing all of my content soon and wrapping up my projects, some of you might be wondering what is going on with me (or not) and my future for NWN2.  Truth is, I’ll probably be leaving the development world for NWN2 unless Shattered Dreams resumes, BouncyRock needs my help or someone can convince me to help me with their project.  Mind you, it’ll have to be of professional quality (minus the VO) to spark my interest likely. 

I actually do have an idea for a module of my own, but I don’t think NWN2 or DA is the right candidate for it.  My plan of execution for it is to write it down completely and transfer it to a toolset of some sort.  That way the massive majority of the dialogue would be finished, and all that remains is the area design and coding.  I might comment on this some other day.  This post is long enough.

Scope Creep

I’ve been hard at work the past few days, trying to get this module done by the holidays. With so little time and still much to do, I doubt I’ll be able to make the deadline.  Initially the final battle was supposed to be pretty bland, but its actually blown up into something alot bigger, because well, I would like to offer a semi-professional product in what I do (which unfortunately winds up long forgotten due to project cancellations). 

You can expect some nifty new VFXs and a really epic battle at the end, which is completely optional actually.  There’s at most 6  and at least 3 meaningful fights (one of which is shown in the screenshots of the previous blog posts) you can engage yourself in over 8-12 areas as it stands, three of which are in the same area.  So as you can tell, its mostly scenery and a fun plot to be had from my little contribution, but don’t be fooled by the small number of fights.  Most of them will provide your characters quite the challenge.

The variation in area numbers depends on whether I have the time to add extra areas for no other purpose than loot.  Provided that Chaos agrees with the extension, I’ll consider adding a small very easy to implement quest for the tavern that I wanted to make.  And no, its not kill the rats in my cellar kind of quest, although it is tempting 🙂  Its actually a good ole tavern brawl with some unsightly and visually offending fellows. 

So, Chaos, if you’re reading this you can remove the gem from my contribution unless you wish to extend the deadline to Dec 31, which I’ll be able to make.  Its mostly just dialogue and variable keeping left.  If you’re wondering when I might be done, exluding all the extra stuff, I’ll wager Dec 26.

SoZ Community Expansion

Work on the SoZ project continues, and I’ve created probably my last exterior for this little mini-project.  Today was dialogue and scripting day.  I suspect I’ll get the scripting perfected for this one area by tomorrow.

Here’s a little more info on the quest I’m creating:

The Village of Taruin nears death and the Samarachan Soldiers are doing little to help them in their time of need.  The Taruin Farmlands have been taken over by an aggressive tribe of Batiri.  The Village does not have enough supplies to last more than a few more months.  In order to ensure that trade with Taruin can continue, you must aid them and rid the farmlands of the Batiri blight.

 

Village of Taruin

After having completed Dragon Age Origins (twice) and capturing a few epic pictures, Chaos Wielder had sent me a message to see if I was interested in creating a dungeon for his SoZ project.  Since Shattered Dreams is on hold for now and the end of the semester is nigh, I accepted.  I pondered a few days on what I was going to do, meanwhile I played Assassin’s Creed 2, which is a good game btw.  Although, the combat is still way too easy.  

On the matter of the SoZ Project, I decided on an idea, which I will briefly discuss below.  I’ve taken the task of designing a village instead of a dungeon, actually there will be several dungeons as well, but the village of Taruin will serve as a hub of quests for my part of the project.  SoZ is lacking in alot of things, interesting quests being the major part of the problem.  So why not add a side-questline to contribute to the project?

I wont spoil the plot details, but I will provide a few screens that I have taken.

Aside from the exterior, I’ve made the temple itself and another interior for the village.  I’ll be making a few more interiors for the quest. Oh and Chaos, if you’re reading this and you don’t mind making another exterior, I could make use of one.  If not, then I probably wont do that particular side-quest.

Dragon Age: Origins…

… the game that has been the talk of many of my fellow friends and of the NWN Community.   I started playing about a week ago, and I believe I’m almost finished with the game now.  There is really only one word to describe it:  Awesome.  If you haven’t gotten it yet you should.  There’s no point in me doing a review (as is Maerduin’s very suggestion as well), so I’ll just mention of few of my more major nuances.

I’m very impressed with the world BioWare has created, although there’s been a few parts of the game I wasn’t fond of.  The going back and forth in Orzammar with their huge load times was ridiculously annoying, not to mention there’s about 6 dungeons to go through and 3 very tough bosses to fight.  The three tough bosses wasn’t as much of a complaint, but they certainly added to the amount of time I had to spend there. 

The area design of some of their exteriors, however, leaves something to be desired.   I suspect it has something to do with the console versions, but who knows.   The only areas I thought were decent looking were the two snowy areas in the game.  From what I can tell in the game also, there are no DayNightSettings.  Not sure if this is true with the toolset yet, but I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

And my last nuance has to do with mages, in particular, that of Morrigan.  If you don’t know about it, you might find out.  I just thought it was sort of a letdown, but maybe BioWare has something planned for DA2, who knows.   And my biggest gripe: the mage hats.  They make any mage you have look like a jester.  Come on, there has to be at least one cool looking mage helm out there…. BioWare?

And I remember reading that there’s supposed to be some very difficult decisions to make.  Honestly, haven’t found one yet, unless its still to come.  The line between right and wrong is still there, and its easy to tell who has been right and who has been wrong (unlike The Witcher where they’re both just wrong).  Well, enough about that.

I haven’t really decided if I’m going to do anything with Dragon Age yet.  Probably will, but unless I’m in a group, I probably won’t have the time to do a full-fledged module unless I plan it a few years in advance.  So we’ll see.  I have yet to crack open the toolset.

On another note, I found this video the other day.  I can’t wait for this game, but I do hope they change his haircut… it looks aweful:

http://g4tv.com/videos/41458/The-Witcher-2-Assassins-of-Kings-Gameplay-Trailer/

Can’t wait!!

Middleforest

I’ve recently discovered a new project recently by chance.  On the side of Amraphael’s blog, there was a blog listing I had never seen before called Middleforest.  So, I decided to give it a visit to see what it was about.  I was pretty amazed at the attention to detail he put into his cityscape.  It’s probably one of the most realistic cityscapes I’ve seen in NWN2.  So if you haven’t seen it yet, go check it out:  http://middleforest.blogspot.com/

In other news, Zork has been out for awhile now.  I get to be a lazy area designer next week and finally play this module and perhaps a few others I haven’t been able to play yet, like Subtlety of Thay 2, Dark Avenger 2, and a few other modules I have on my list.

Not much to report, however I’ll leave you all with two screenshots from Shattered Dreams (well one is from SD and the other is test design for an area in the module).

For larger versions of the file, you can open these links instead:

http://ravenloft.bouncyrock.com/screens/NewTorch.png

http://ravenloft.bouncyrock.com/screens/TribalVillage.png

Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

A few weeks ago I had been rewatching a series that I had previously finished watching while I was in my dorm (and thankfully I won’t be in a dorm ever again).   The title of the series is an anime called Code Geass:  Lelouch of the Rebellion.   It is only two seasons long (50 episodes), most of which is dedicated to furthering the plot.  There are a few episodes that are there for humor as is the case with many animes. 

Some of you might not be huge fans of animes, but this one in particular is probably the best one I’ve seen.  Its pretty much a no nonsense series that’ll keep you engaged for hours on end, perhaps even consuming your entire free time you should’ve been spending working in the toolset.  But, everyone needs a break every now and again, right?  Getting down to the point:  If you have not watched this series, then I recommend Code Geass highly.   If you have kids that are pretty young, then this isn’t the show to watch during the day, although most of the concepts – philosophical and not – would fly right over their head. 

 Code Geass:  Main Characters

So, what is Code Geass about you ask?  The series is set after Japan’s conquest by the Holy Britannian Empire their powerful new weapons, the Knightmare Frames, stripping Japan and its citizens of all rights and freedoms and renaming their country Area 11. The titular Lelouch is a Britannian prince who was disowned by his father, Emperor Charles zi Britannia, after his mother was murdered, and has vowed to destroy his father, the Emperor and Britannia. He gains an ability through the mysterious power of the Geass and becomes the leader of the resistance movement to fulfill his greatest two wishes: to seek revenge for his mother and to construct a world in which his beloved sister, Nunnally, can live happily in.

You can find all 50 episodes on the internet pretty easily.  If you just want to see if the show is to your liking, I’ve embedded a video to this post for your viewing pleasure.  If you want to see more, you can. All you have to do is go on YouTube, search for Code Geass and look for Bandai Entertainment as the author.  They have all episodes for Season 1 posted there.  

Until next time.