Sunday, March 30, 2008

Status Update 30-Mar: Schedule Changes

Hi all. I know I haven't updated this blog in quite some time, but that's not to say that I haven't been busy. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. However, the bulk of my time that has been 'spare' time has actually been spent working on a competition entry for Obsidian's Exterior Area Design competition. While it's still pending approval, it should appear on this entry page before too long. Look for the entry "Highlands" by 'AmstradHero' that hopefully should appear shortly! I've spent a fair amount of time on creating this area, and it's been a very valuable experience in terms of coming to terms with the nuances of the toolset and developing an effective workflow in creating exterior areas. Overall, I've had a lot of fun creating it, and I'd love for someone to be able to use it in their module or a Persistent World. (Unforunately, I don't really have use for it in 'Fate Of A City')

There's also two more things. The first is that I may have even less time to spend on the project than I previously imagined due to some fairly significant life changes that are occurring... in that I'm packing up my bags and moving from Australia to the UK later on in the year. Of course, moving is not a simple process, and there are many things to sort out, all of which will take time, which may (read: will almost certainly) reduce the amount of spare time I have to work on 'Fate Of A City'. So I must state (with no small amount of regret) that the release date is now "when it's done."

In addition, in response to the poll that I conducted regarding NWN2 & MotB ownership, I will now be using MotB resources in order to make 'Fate Of A City', due to the unanimous (albeit only seven votes) verdict that visitors (or at least those interested enough to vote) have MotB, so there's no reason I shouldn't be using the full gamut of options available from using MotB-only resources. If you have any objections to this... speak up quickly, else the mod may not be playable if you only have vanilla NWN2!

Finally, know that I'm working hard on 'Fate Of A City'. I'm still looking to make it a fun and engrossing adventure for all, be they a righteous paladin seeking divine favour, or a ruthless assassin willing to sacrifice anyone and anything for personal gain.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Status Update 11-Mar: To MotB or not to MotB...

Just a quick one here. I've now got the Mask of the Betrayer (MotB) expansion pack for NWN2, and so have been debating whether to switch over to making 'Fate Of A City' be a MotB module. So, I need your help! Please vote in the poll on the left so I can get a feel for whether I should make the switch to MotB, or keep going with a vanilla NWN2 module. Also, any comments would be welcomed as well.

I'm here to cater for my players, if the majority of players have MotB, then I feel I should take advantage of its extra features.

The poll will close in a week's time, so let me know!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Status Update 10-Mar: Companion Conversations

As I posted last week, other commitments have meant that I'm destined to fall behind my schedule for a little while - though hopefully I'll manage to catch over the next few weeks. The time that I have had to spend on 'Fate Of A City' this week has been spent working on dialog for some semi-important characters around the city, and also working on one of the potential companions that the player can acquire upon their travels. As I've mentioned previously, the companions have their own beliefs, and they will frequently voice their opinion on events that happen during the game. Of course, if you do something that they particularly dislike, they can be quite vocal with their disapproval. That said, I'm making sure that I don't hamstring the player into making specific choices in order to keep your companions from leaving on a whim, though you might want to be careful if you're continually aggravating and belittling a companion. I must admit that I'm having a lot of fun writing those particular exchanges, and I hope you'll enjoy them when the module is released!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Status Update 3-Mar: Gamestyle defined

A new month has dawned and everything is progressing well. Things would have been going more smoothly had I not had a six hour interruption thanks to a cut above my eyebrow that required stitches, but I guess these are the little setbacks we have to expect in life.

However, it seems that I will have to take a partial break from the development due to other commitments that have cropped up recently. Believe me, this is very frustrating for me, but I don't want to rush things and release something half-baked. I'm aiming to give everyone an enjoyable module with replay value, so it will take time.

Regardless, I won't leave without saying a few more things about the module. I'd like to give people a feel for the kind of gameplay and environment that I'll deliver once it is finished.
  • Alignment is a major part of your interactions within the module, and your alignment will change according to your actions, starting from very early in the module. This covers both good/evil and law/chaos decisions, and of course, there may be times when having a particular alignment may be helpful or harmful.

  • Using Codepoetz's PowerBar, I did a word count on the module, which stands at 29846 words, 26028 of which belong to conversations. Now, as I say this, I have only implemented four of the fourteen quests that are present in the module, and companion conversations have not been started either. Of course, you're not guaranteed to see all of these lines of dialog in a single game, in fact, you can be certain that you won't.

  • Expect your companions to have opinions of their own, and what's more, expect them to voice them, even when you don't want to hear about it. Of course, this isn't to say that you can't convince them to change their opinions, but you'll need to earn their respect and friendship in order to do so.

  • While the module is heavily focused on role playing, there still is plenty of fighting and danger to be had. However, not all enemies can be vanquished with a sword, a spell or a bow, and remember that those weapons are nothing without a mind to wield them effectively...