Thursday, March 27, 2008

You know when you hit that "remember me" check box it doesn't ever remember you?

Seriously, like every time I want to leave a comment or post a new post I need to sign in. The thing just doesn't remember you.

Alright, well anyway here's the latest screen shots:




These are from the Great Library I was talking about last time. I've since added scholar NPCs to sit around and a librabrian doing things in the area. But I've spent the greater part of this week typing out books to appear in the library. Basically they're NWN1 style conversations where you walk up to a bookshelf and click it, and choose to read a random book out of the shelf and you get a 3-7 line excerpt on the topic. Here's an example of what the type of stuff is in the books, probably my personal favorite, the entry on necromancy:

Necromancy is often misjudged! I swear to you, your honor! The prosecution demands me reveal the inner workings of my field for the layman, only to twist the words into more than they are.

I will admit, as I did when these charges were first brough before me, that I did indeed raise some zombies and a few skeletons for my own purposes.

But! But, it's been long determined, by this very court mind you, that the soul leaves the body the instant of death!

Therefore, how can I be defiling the bodies of the Jones family if those bodies I used gathered from the graveyard were no longer considered the Jones family?

I put it before this court that bodies in the graveyard are not property of any one person, but abandoned by their owners and property of the public for our own personal use!

Furthermore, these charges must be dropped as public property is, indeed, public, and...

So far I've got 11 of these "books" on various topics, with between 6-20 entries each with about 1000 to 4500 words each. So that's a lot of writing, and it doesn't feel like I got a whole lot done in the last few days for some reason. I'm going to do 4 more books for an even 15 and call it a day on all that, then move forward with the rest of the quest I built the library for.

I'm still undecided on the pick pocket system. Early in the poll it didn't seem to be important, then a bunch of google spiders came and voted up the I'll either end up doing something or feeling really bad about not doing it.

Somebody's going to get disappointed is all I know.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Dentist is No Jest!

Man, I've been playing the Witcher lately, and these old ladies say "Old age is no jest" once in a while, and for some reason I think it's just hilarious.

But today I think a lot of things are hilarious, because I'm on Tylenol III with codiene. Yeah man, I had to go to the dentist today to get crowns, that's no jest! Those things hurt, and you're mad sore when it's done. I mean, I'm no stranger to the dentist chair. Honestly, I could probably be driving a Navigator or something for what I've paid to have my mouth fixed over the last few years, but a crown is up there with the worst dental procedure an average person has to go through, and I've been through most of them. Worst part is they're like $800 per crown, and I need to get seven of them.

But today I had to have three of them done, and I'm glad it's over. Well not quite, they need to take these temps out and put in permanent ones, but I think all of the drilling is over!

So I thought I'd drop this post before I start getting all light headed and need to take a nap. So obviously I won't be modding much this weekend, unless I'm feeling better tomorrow or something. Just want to wallow in my own self pity, thank you very much.

In any case, last few days I finished up a cut scene that came out more awesome than I thought it would and started working on the Great Library, which will either be a quick area or a monster of an area depending on what I do with it. I made the bookshelves out of the new MotB estate tileset ones, those are nice but a pain to line them up. I just need to do the little reading areas and tables with stacks of books and some candles and whatever, so there's not much left to do. Well, plus the NPCs and whatever, but that's not a big deal. But I said that about the Inn too and look what happened! But I doubt I'll be putting in dancing NPCs in the libarary. Well give me a few more of these Tylenols and we'll see though.

Once this area is done I can finish up the sidequest chain I'm working on and throw up the new build for those that still have it in them to test further. It will add two additional quest chains and five new areas. The city is getting nearer and nearer to completion, then it's on to the somewhat linear and therefore faster final mod and not far after, release.

OK, but back to the library, my original plan is to add random book dialogues to the bookshelves in there. I did a similar thing in the Museum in Chapter 1 if you've played it, so I can reuse some of that. But let me ask you guys, do you think I should take a week or so out to type up a ton of these for the library? It's a cool way to add a ton of lore about FR in there, but it's also a phenomenal amount of writing. If you'll recall from earlier I put one in the temple to the Triad, and that was about 7000 words. A dozen or so of those is a pretty big project. Would you be interested in reading that? Let me know what you think.

Oh, by the way, I was interviewed by the NWN Podcast crew two days ago. Be on the lookout for that, link's on your left.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

This turned into a project!

Back in 2003 I was in Afghanistan. I'd like to say I was doing heroic things or whatever, but the truth is I was a generator mechanic who got sent to a communications section. They had a few generators, but technically they were owned by the civilian contractors so I wasn't responsible for, more appropriately allowed to do, any work on them. So I was doing the physical labor of the communications, which really boiled down to running internet cable, while everyone else did the thinking man's work.

But I liked that job. I've always been good at doing work.

Anyway, one of the key points I picked up is this old saying, "The lazy man is the smart man, because he only wants to do thngs once." Matter of fact, we had this bulletin board where the boss of the shop used to put up these inspirational messages. I'm a bit dubious on the effects of those messages; I always thought inspiration is kind of for women because your feeling or whatever shouldn't be stopping you from doing your job. That said, I liked that message (didn't inspire me, though, I swear!) because I'm the type of guy that likes to do things right the first time.

You're probably wondering what this has to do with anything at this point. Well, the first step in your understanding is to look at these screens:




That's the Inn I was working on, and it turned into quite a project where I had to go back and redo things many times until it was right. Of course, that didn't require any fancy pants words on paper to motivate me to do it. Anyway, I modified my random spawning system to check if there is a creature at the spawn point, and choose a new spawn point if so to randomly fill the area with a variety of NPCs. Some sit in chairs, others stand, some dance on the dance floor, some are waitresses. It's more crowded at night than during the day. They all have several animation cycles they go through randomly depending on what they're doing. The band sings songs where I took lyrics from recognizable songs and changed them into parodies.

So it's a cool area if you ask me, which you didn't but I need something to talk about, right?

On a completely different note, the Module of the Year contest is going on now. Personally, I'm abstaining as my mod is on the list and I don't really hinge what I consider a success or failure by winning awards. However, as this award represents what you all, the players, think about the modules made for NWN2, this is the award I respect.

Alright, I don't have anything else to talk about right now.


Almost forgot:

Since I'm spending a lot more time than originally intended on the city itself, how important is a theft system for pick pockets? There is currently nothing, and would be a bit of a project, probably like a week's worth of work, to do something reasonable in that regard. But as a player you'll be in that city for hours doing various quests and what have you, so how important is a realistic pick pocket system? Keep in mind it'll add quite a bit of overhead! Is it worth it?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Click There

Click here

I'll do a more substantial update soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Still Chilling

I did a little work on a new area, fixed a few bugs, but I've got some things I need to do this week so not much is going to get done, hence the boring and short post here.

I'll be back later, maybe this weekend I can get back to cracking.