Choose Your Language

Monday, 9 May 2022

Episode 62: More Areas, More Quests!

Just when I think I have reached the total areas I am going to need for this module, another requirement pops up in a timely fashion, requiring me to have to reconsider more conversations and, more importantly, more quests for the player to undertake. For every time I introduce a new area, I then also feel obligated to make it an area worth visiting, and as any builder knows, this means the need for a quest or two. Read on to learn more about the latest developments ...

It Grows!

It all began when I started to write an important conversation that moves the heroes from one situation to another. Originally, this was going to be a basic conversation with an NPC whom the PCs may or may not know, subject to the background they have originally chosen for playing the module. The problem was, however, I could not easily introduce this female elf NPC in any of the areas I currently had available without it lacking authenticity. i.e. I wanted to have the PCs meet this new NPC in the environment they worked in, rather than the local tavern.

So, I found a rather good prefab on the Vault (details withheld to prevent spoiler), and place my NPC in a suitable location within it. I now had a neat new area with the link I required, but the area felt very much underused. In my mind, there was no other course of action other than to consider some suitable quests for the area to flesh out the experience for the player. It also offered me a way to add some personality for the NPC as the PCs carried out some particular tasks for her. It did not end there, however, as I also wanted to give some depth to the new outdoor area, by allowing some buildings to be enterable. This meant having to create some new interior areas too. It did not take long before I had four new interior areas too, but I am not convinced that's the end of it. i.e. Arguably, I think there should be at least another two interiors to make most use of the area. Thankfully, I also managed to track down a few interior areas on the Vault that I could also potentially use for the ideas I have in mind.

I am also aware that I still have one scenario in mind for another area that will also require one or two (possibly more) interior areas to complete the quest. That quest is also based on an old pen and paper scenario, and so may require a tailored design when it comes to it.

New Tasks!

I now wanted to come up with some additional material to ensure the area was interesting enough to stand alone in its own right. To this end, I decided to flesh out this NPC, making her more fully rounded, and with an agenda of her own. I located my original pen and paper notes about this elf, and expanded on what was already known about her, basing some new tasks around her character traits.

In the process of doing this, I ended up doing some interesting new scripting that gave better interaction with the game environment. Unfortunately, I cannot go into much detail, except to say that something the player does is now reflected in the game environment. It sounds petty, I know, but it looks quite neat when played out. Another task I designed has multiple paths to its conclusion, subject to skill tests and player choices. The conversations involved were quite complicated to put together, but the end result is quite satisfying.

Also, all tasks to date, have included some random elements, which could allow a different gaming experience on any potential replays.

Dynamic Creativity

My approach to the building of module two has undergone a number of changes over the last few years, and so what I may have reported a few months back may not be what I now say. Basically, my approach has changed from a rigid approach of trying to finish one area at a time to a more dynamic approach, after recognising the story forces me to refocus on various aspects as they reveal themselves in a dynamic way.

For example, as regular readers will know, there will be 'were' creatures in module two ... and that means a risk of contracting lycanthropy in the Althéa Campaign ... which means I need to provide a means for its curing. There are also other issues involved when introducing gaming elements where a PC may polymorph at any time! So, in this example, I have spent some time making sure a solid means of a player being able to cure their PC was in place, as well as ensuring such a curse did not detrimentally affect the game in other areas. I also wanted to stay true to the D&D rules with respect to any lycanthropic curse, which meant it was reasonably involved. Therefore, when it came to designing this aspect of the module, I found myself having to deal with a number or items, NPCs and areas all at the same time, which meant I was forced outside of a "one area at a time" approach. There are many such design situations like this I have in module two, which simply do not allow me the luxury of a single area at a time approach.

Anyway, bottom line, this module will be done when it is done, and as much as I had hoped it to be ready by the beginning of the next year, I may simply have to accept that the dynamic story has as much to say about when it is finished, as I thought I had. ;) 

A screenshot from the latest area of work .... 

Casual Enquiries?



Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Episode 61: Mysteries Abound!

I cannot believe almost another month has passed since I last posted. I must be caught in some kind of time vortex, sucking life faster than I realise ... and talking about sucking life, (please forgive my awful textual segue), I now bring you the latest news for the campaign, which includes vampires! Read on...

VAMPIRES!

First mentioned a year ago, in this post, I recently revisited a vampire quest I am working on ... a nightmare side attraction for those that hate these undead in particular. Like all the quests designed for the next module, Predestinated Days, (the second module of The Scroll for the Althéa Campaign), I have tried to make this undead adventure more involved than the player may have initially thought it was going to be. By this, I mean including more steps to the quest as a whole, rather than a simple discovery and resolve. i.e. A backstory with repercussions that have affected the world environment beyond the player's normal expectations. Whether I pull this off or not remains to be seen. At the very least, I hope it will be one of those quests that stands out according to its own story and merit.

COFFIN SEPIA

I have also updated the original basic GUI regarding the vampire coffin information to be replaced by a new sepia style conversation. (See screenshot below.) As I have reported in the past, I have added a number of sepia style conversations that may serve to act as a means of interaction with the environment in a more "pen and paper" style interaction. The vampire coffin is the latest addition. Results can range from a peaceful backing off, an instant slaying, or a dreaded encounter!

LOOK THIS WAY PLEASE

I recently had a long struggle when trying to use a function, SetFacingPoint, to make party members face a certain way during a conversation. It turned out that any member that is "bumped" into as the conversation starts can fail to turn to face a direction when this function is called. I finally resolved the issue by ensuring another facing function was called just prior the line I needed to make the members face a direction. Here are the lines in the order required for it to work ... NOTE: The home brew NowFace function is the one that calls the SetFacingPoint function, and oNearestWP is the object to face. I post it here to help others and to remind myself should I forget.

// MUST USE SETFACING TO "UNLOCK" STUCK PCS BEFORE USING A DELAYED FACE TARGET
                DelayCommand(fDelay, AssignCommand(oFM, ClearAllActions(TRUE)));               
                DelayCommand(fDelay, AssignCommand(oFM, SetFacing(GetFacing(oNearestWP)+ iALLFACTIONCORRECTION, FALSE)));               
                DelayCommand(fDelay+0.1, AssignCommand(oFM, NowFace(oFM, vTarget)));               
MOVING FORWARD

I cannot deny that sometimes there feels like a lot left still to do. Arguably, this module should, perhaps,  have been broken down into two or more, but the structure of the quests and their execution makes doing so extremely difficult. That is, the events of the story at this stage of the campaign require the diversity of quests and their interaction with one another to give the module the depth I am seeking to achieve.

I believe it is working out as I hoped, however, because while I feel almost overwhelmed with what remains to be done, I also reflect upon what I can only call the "fullness" of the experience I feel the module, I hope, will deliver. Considering there are only a handful of key quests compared to (perhaps) many modules available, the overall depth of the module still feels satisfying to me.

This is because I am including a world map with various places to travel between and explore. Some places will not be available until a player uncovers certain paths, but even this varies according to player decisions. However, from these various world map places, areas uncover to reveal further details and plot developments. Finally, these areas break down into further events and adventures, each with unique characters and various special qualities to help them feel new. I know I could sound like I am just explaining the game in general, but I hope I have included enough new game-play mechanics, improved conversations styles, and general control improvements that will make the whole experience an exciting one.

A Vampire Coffin!


Friday, 25 March 2022

Episode 60: The Deepest Darkest Places

Of the three modules I hope to complete for the Althéa Campaign, I believe the second module that I am currently working on, Predestinated Days, will end up being the biggest. At least, that is how it looks to me at the moment. Looking at my original notes, I thought it was going to be no larger than module one, possibly even smaller, but as I start bringing all the various storylines together, it's actually turning out to be quite a size. I'm not just talking about file sizes, but actual gameplay. New ideas and system improvements compared to module one are starting to flesh out this second module more than I realised they would ... and it's all having an impact. Read on ...

Background Conversations

One of the largest changes, especially from a role-play aspect is the way I now arrange some conversations. Previously, I used to rely on just the bluff, intimidate and diplomacy skill checks as a means of offering various approaches from which the player may like to choose. However, these three categories are broad in how they might be interpreted in a given situation with respect to role-play, and so can leave some players not having an option they may be fully satisfied with. 

This is where I have now introduced conversation nodes that may start a line of conversation from one of five personality groups, based on the background feat a player may choose for their PCs. I have covered this in more detail in a previous blog post, but, in brief, rather than be limited to one of three broader skills to flavour the conversation, the new checks I now make against a PCs background feat will, hopefully, begin to offer some more conversation options in line with the way players believe their PC behaves, or speaks. It offers some new node options along more personalised paths before perhaps reaching a skill check like those mentioned above. The idea being that the focus on earlier conversation nodes based upon character background responses helps to flavour the overall tone of the conversation.

The introduction of this style of personality trait system, where backgrounds flavour a conversation, does require more writing, but I am hoping the extra nodes I include will now help players be able to flavour the conversation more to their liking. No system is perfect in a CRPG, of course, but it does help flesh out the options available ... and the overall depth of the role-play.

From Paper To Computer

As I have mentioned before, this campaign was originally designed as a D&D pen and paper (PnP) campaign ... and one of those aspects which has come to light as I transfer ideas and dungeons from pen and paper to a computer environment, is that a translation to cater for various paths a player may take all adds extra conversations and area design that was not required in the paper original. All such alterations to cater for a computer environment add up quickly, but at the same time, offer new areas of gameplay that was not part of the original design. 

Basically, the translation of a PnP scenario increases in size for a computer environment, and so what once appeared a small side quest on the surface of it , can escalate into something bigger than first realised. In PnP, a DM can prepare brief notes for different NPCs and speak as them when required. In NWN you need to have all conversations ready, and all work together if the player decides to explore every detail of your design. This soon escalates into preparing more material than the paper counterpart may have originally required. On a plus side, it is exciting for me to develop these other areas of the campaign, as they allow for both new and old players to experience an area of the campaign previously never explored.

Area Designing

Now that I have sorted a couple of new puzzles over the last few weeks (rotating placeable objects and the new trap disarm GUI), I have gone back to finishing off some area designs. Areas have included a sewer in which the PCs will find themselves and more areas for the mega-dungeon I am hoping to include. 

Let me also just take this opportunity to thank rjshae for pointing me in the right direction to help fix some aspects of the sewer tileset I am using, which I have now learned suffered from broken or missing Projected Textures. With his help I was able to fix over 200 tiles, which now correctly show target UI. (Eg: The circle that appears when you click somewhere to walk.) For while the tileset still worked without this, I did feel the missing UI may hinder some gameplay, so it was good to have fixed.

Going back to the mega-dungeon, I can report that I have started work on the final areas that are involved with it, and been able to incorporate some of the new gaming elements that I have been working on in previous weeks and months, including the new puzzle objects mentions above. 

This week's screenshot is also from an area I have been working on of late ... a shot from a deep dark place ... and demonstrating some neat walk path I managed to pull off. As a heads up, yes, the PCs do take heat damage while standing in that platform.

A Deep Dark Place

Friday, 4 March 2022

Episode 59: Power, Paranoia & Fear!

How a world can change in the time between blog posts. In this case, I am talking about the real world! I'm not going to spend time debating the arguments for or against the current world's situation, but just comment that all injured parties are in my prayers and to say that I find it very sad that in today's age and society that people are still so affected by power, paranoia and fear. In a fantasy world, it's a core aspect of a story for stereo-typical characters, but in the real world ... and in our modern times? It's a crying shame to the human race that we have still not learned to play nice with our neighbours, and respect boundaries and ideologies, even if we do not agree with them. So, with a heavy heart regarding the current atrocities being carried out in the name of ... indefensible arguments, I will try to remain positive and blog about such aspects in relation to my fantasy campaign ...

Conflict

There is no doubt that part of what makes a fantasy game exciting for many is the conflict. When it comes to writing a story, much of what drives the pace of a book involves conflict of one type or another. This is something I learned very early in my campaign writing, but at the same time, I also learned that "conflict" does not always have to end in combat. This is something I have noticed some of the more thoughtful writers have tried to include in their works. i.e. An option to resolve a conflict by a peaceful or agreed solution. However, let us now look at what is usually involved to bring about conflict that ends in combat in the first place ...

1) Power

The direct cause is normally a force or power that desires to make an impact on its surroundings. Ultimately, the "power" normally manifests within or takes control of a creature or being through which it desires to make its influence felt. In the Althéa Campaign, there is only one main source of power, but misunderstanding of that power causes the races to develop a paranoia.

2) Paranoia

History of my campaign tells us that as the races grew, they ventured into regions of land occupied by others and encountered one another. Who were these others? Look at what they do! See what they can do! It's clear they are different! Do they think and say things about us, like we might do about them? What if they think less of us? What if they do not like us? What if they want to hurt us? Such differences between the races and cultures lead to the third and final problem of fear.

3) Fear

Not everyone of the various races looked upon these cultural differences as potential problems. In fact, most would learn to celebrate the differences, or in the worst case, agree to differ and, instead, cultivate those things they had in common. But then there were others that could not accept the differences, or believed, in their ever deepening paranoia, that these other races were a threat to all that they believed about the power to which they held. This happened in every race, and it was those with most paranoia and fear of losing the power that their own culture had brought them that would be the first to bring about war ... the result of power corrupted by fear.

Conflict In Action

The Althéa Campaign has quite a rich history and background, but this is also information that sits more in the background during gameplay, as such detail is not normally the focus of the player's interest when playing a game. For most of us, all we want to know is who is the "bad guy" and what needs to be done. For most, we may pay lip service trying to prevent a conflict turning into combat (especially if we are low on HPs), but, if the bad guy won't listen, we then resort to the combat that the game supports.

In this sense, combat is purely a means to an end to reach the end of a game and feel satisfaction for completing yet another adventure. However, how many games do you remember how and why the conflict came about? For many players, this may not even be a consideration, and may even be considered "boring" and assigned to the same dust-building books assigned to real life history.

My point is that "real" conflict, especially that which results in combat is the result of a much deeper fundamental point of life ... and power. Conflict can be both "helpful" and "challenging" if it can be resolved amicably, but can end in dreadful destructive results if one party involved in the conflict fails to understand that any power they possess must be used for "good" rather than "evil". And loss of control that results in combat is normally a result of fearing a loss of such power, not only in their station, but ultimately also in the loss of their own life, where they have no power at all!

In the Althéa Campaign, I aim to give every conflict that results in combat an understanding that this is the case: a fear of its own existence of some kind. From a creature that simply attacks to protect itself from a perceived threat to its safety, or sees the PCs as a source of food by which to extend its life; to power driven overlords and undead that have lost all perspective of life for others, who only desire to extend their own existence by any means possible!

Thankfully, for Althéa, such evil beings are few and far between ... and there are heroes that will pick up the gauntlet and do all they can to help preserve a fair share of life for everyone. The red line, however, is that these heroes must not lose perspective and indiscriminately destroy life themselves to justify their actions. Unless the laws that govern such power are not observed, then any man "can pass from life to death". The real difficulty is understanding what these laws are, and what ... or who it is that made them. That is the fundamental part of the story of The Scroll.

Other News

Conversations, cutscenes and journal updates ... all being updated as I make progress. I did have one very frustrating moment when I spent more time than I needed to when trying to write a cutscene. Everything in my code and experience said a certain action I wrote to take place should work fine, but it simply was not, no matter how I altered it. In the end, the problem turned out to be a corrupted creature object! Once I had deleted that and replaced it, the original scripts I wrote worked fine. Let that be a lesson to everyone: Consider the associated object!

Finally, just to say that The Scroll (Module 1) v1.50E has finally been uploaded. In fact, it had another upload today, but no version change because the three points it addressed were minimal issues. i.e. Unlikely to affect most players, and even then may not be noticed. (See the download page for more info.)

Death - The Final Conflict!

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Episode 58: Rotation Matching Puzzles

Time has flown past since my last report, and so I thought another quick update was due. Recently, I have found myself making use of the extremely powerful tool MDBConfig by rjshae. Basically, I have needed certain placeable objects slightly altered for my own needs, and this has been a really excellent tool to help me with the process. Read on to hear what I have done lately ...

Rotating Puzzles

As many of my regular readers will know, I enjoy interesting puzzles in my D&D games, and so I suppose it's obvious I wanted to include them in my own module. The first module comes with around half a dozen puzzles already and you may recall reading I have some new designs coming along in module two. However, I finally decided to also include some I had in mind that work by "moving objects". Think either the mirror puzzle in MotB or like those found in Skyrim.

In this case, I wanted to add puzzles where the player may discover a specific sequence, which can then be applied to a set of rotating objects to unlock a path to somewhere else. Thankfully, NWN2 already has some code related to this, but I adapted it (made clearer) to suit my own needs. I still need to add the code to check the sequence and return a result of some kind, but that should be the "easier" part for me. In my case, it was making the placeable objects I needed to be able to provide the clues and for the player to interact with in the first place that was the hardest. Check out this weeks screenshot from the toolset showing my latest puzzle object additions. I hope to make use of these in the second module moving forward.

Growing Conversations

This stage of module building is otherwise being taken up with writing the conversations ... again. One of the largest ones is growing close to 10,000 words! This conversation is not even finished! I would like to point out that this amount of words is not about a large text dump, but due to multiple paths through the conversation subject to player PC choices and situation ability rolls, or character trait. Furthermore, in this particular conversation, the text is also affected by the player's background, which continues from module one (if played), or of that chosen at the start of module two.

Multiple Paths

On the theme of multiple paths, I wanted to report that I have also been coding a new means the PCs can travel, which led to a potential logical flow issue where the player could approach the same quest from multiple angles. Don't get too excited, it's not full blown flying, nor animated swimming, (or anything like that), but is a new approach which will allow the player to choose a different travel path. The point is, however, is that this new means of potential travel involved quite a bit of planning on my part, and only now do I think I have covered all the angles.

For me, allowing the player to be able to approach a problem from more than one "literal" path (as well as a skill path) is what will tempt players to play the module more than once to see how it played via a different approach. i.e. Think pen and paper where players may discuss which way to approach the game before declaring their actions to the DM ... I hope to pull off a similar approach in this module too. It does require triple checking things, which all adds time, but I am pleased with the results to date.

That said, I don't want to put players off, by suggesting the module appeared too "open world". Far from it! Like module one, the second module follows a very clear cut main quest, but also leads the player to explore other areas they may also find interesting ... with some areas seemingly more involved with the main plot than others may first appear to offer.

Continued Testing

Finally, just a quick update to say module one is going through another final SP testing after I decided to make some more changes to the code. It was mostly to do with the container code again and improvements to the way items are collected. As soon as my wife has finished this play through, the latest version 1.50E of module 1 will be uploaded.

Elemental My Dear Friend!



Monday, 17 January 2022

Episode 57: From Paper To Computer!

I have to confess that while I have done a reasonable amount of coding since I last reported, it's still hard for me to say exactly what I have done that will sound exciting to you, as the reader. That's the reason I have not posted anything earlier this year. However, I do have some information, so treat this post as a general update with a couple of screenshots thrown in rather than anything with much specific detail. Read on ...

And Yet Still More Areas

Even though I said there was not much to report, I can quickly add that I recently added three new areas (all interiors). One was a rehash of an official campaign area, which I believe I have altered enough to give it a fresh feel. The NPCs encountered and the objects to be found there are obviously new. The other two areas are being built afresh, as their design demands it. I knew these areas were needed, but I only started them a week ago and they still have quite a bit of work to do. These are all areas I need for the conversion of my PnP scenario I wrote about three decades ago!

The PnP Conversion

I am starting to realise that there are both pros and cons when converting an old PnP scenario into an adventure in NWN2. PROS: The plot is already written and comes with map designs, encounters and gameplay ideas all ready to implement. CONS: Making the design match the original with the toolset is difficult. Also, in my case, my old notes are verbose (I wrote more back in PnP days), and they require "tightening" for the new medium. Puzzles from the PnP have to be coded into NWN2 script and XML, and "paper handouts" need to be converted to "readable" books and scrolls in the module.

This PnP scenario currently being translated into a NWN2 module is called Bloodstone College and is one of three I am converting from my original PnP material. This one is by far the largest of the three, and requires the most work. For instance, I have managed to incorporate most of the material of the other two scenarios into the second module already (with some final scripts to finish off), but this one is complex enough that it could stand alone as a separate module. For those who have played my first module, I would say it is as complex as The Halls of the Goblin Kings. That is, the quest should last a few gaming sessions alone, but should be rewarding for the player who enjoys a mystery involving undead. Now I've said too much already!

Code Improvements

I know this is an ongoing exercise for me as I write the second module, but I still think it's worth reporting to potential players. For instance, improvements to old code this time around has included, automatons and containers. Automaton code: This now works more efficiently alongside the core monster AI code, after I managed to remove the need to recreate the automatons. Basically, as I have understood NWN script more, so the old code is fixed to work more efficiently. Container code: This is an interesting development (at least as I see it), because I was finally able to remove the area of official code that spammed the window upon acquiring a new item. Due to the way I allocated items to special containers, a broken NWN function duplicated "acquired new item" when it was not meant to. In the past, I just put up with this and minimised it wherever possible. However, recently, I finally worked out how I could bypass the official function in one area of the code and bypass the broken function in another area, thereby removing all references to acquiring an item. It involved an XML edit, and writing a new callback, but the end result is that I now control when the player is told they have received a new item. UPDATE: Changed again to use existing xml and new function.

Module 1 v1.50E Coming Soon!

As a final comment for this post, I can report that the latest v1.50E version of module one is in last stages of SP testing. MP testing is already completed, and load times improved. The final testing stages are also making sure all the latest gameplay updates reported in the last few posts are working without any glitches. I am particularly pleased with the combined results of the latest journal/task update alongside the container update (mentioned above), which now means chat window text spamming has been totally eliminated. This latest version also benefits from all the other updates reported in previous posts, including the "fast map travel" and the "enemy counter", as well as the new task GUI and new container code. Add that to a couple of improved area designs (made larger in places) and a general overall improvement to area designs for load times efficiency and v1.50E should be something special and definitely prepares the way for module two!

Now the two screenshots ... The first is one my wife wanted me to include (which she found amusing) showing a combat she had in the first module where one of her party was enlarged and was fighting next to her other much smaller halfling. The second is a screenshot from module two showing a new banner I managed to include.

The Little & Large Show!

The Sanctuary of Narmor (Night Sun)!


Saturday, 11 December 2021

Episode 56: Being Made Aware of the Details

There have been a number of updates and additions made to the campaign over the last week or so. Hopefully, you will already be aware of the new TASK GUI, which helps reduce reliance on in-game TOKENS. Well, now I have added a few other features to the mechanics, a couple of which are to do with the default game colours, which I hope will be especially helpful for the colour blind among us. Read on ...

Continued Improvements

Split Gold GUI

As regular readers of this blog will  know, I have been reworking key campaign mechanics to improve efficiency for the multi-player (MP) game. This has ranged from area load times optimisation to general code tweaks. This week, upon request of a player, I also "fixed" the splitgold.xml, which is very frustrating to use in its default state. First, it does not provide an immediate focus to the editable text box, and secondly, it leaves old data behind that has to be deleted before a new gold amount can be entered. Not only did I fix both of these issues, but I also added functionality allowing the player to use the "return" key to complete the transaction (rather than have to return to the mouse to click the OKAY button), or use the "escape" key to back out and cancel via a keyboard shortcut too.

Enemy Counter

Affecting both SP and MP games, I have now also added a monster counter for the immediate encounter that tracks how many creatures are in the current combat. It can go both up and down, subject to whether new enemy creatures enter the fray, or the heroes kill an enemy. This week's first screen shot shows a combat where the counter is displayed. Note, in this screenshot it shows 9+, which is the highest it will show for encounters where there are more than nine creatures. Once the number drops below ten, the counter updates one for one. An encounter with more than nine creatures is a rare one.

Turn-Based Combat Showing The New Enemy Counter (Top Left)

The Important Details

Only recently was I made aware of some aspects of the game mechanics that I did not know were there. This was due to my colour-blindness and either not seeing a colour at all (positive attribute bonuses) or finding it very difficult to see (on some unidentified items). It also made me think how easy it is to pick up an item and lose it somewhere among all the other items you may be carrying.

I try to go out of my way to keep the player informed of every stage of the story and where they are in it. However, if they should miss an important scroll or book among a treasure they looted, then it is possible for the story to stall if the player forgot they had acquired such an item during the distractions of the adventurer's life. For someone like myself, who struggles to note "new" items among "old" due to the subtle colour background, it can be quite difficult to locate new items among the many items we have collected.

So, to overcome this issue and the issue of not being able to see attribute benefits on a character sheet (in a light blue apparently), I was able to track down where the  default NWN2 colours were referenced (NWN2_Colors.2da) and alter them to be a much more vibrant and obvious blue colour. Furthermore, I added a system that made important unread reading materials flash this prominent blue when opening the inventory or when switching tabs; and to remain "unidentified" with said blue colour until fully read. Note, these books and scrolls (to which the system applies) are so low in gold value that anyone can identify them and they become properly identified (normal icon) once fully read.

Additionally, I have the same vibrant colour briefly flash on unexamined items (the equivalent to newly found items) to draw attention to the player that they have not yet been examined. Unlike essential reading material, they do NOT remain blue after flashing, allowing a player to click on them as normal to clear down the "new" status. Hopefully, this second screen shot of the week helps demonstrate ...

More Vibrant Colours For The Colour Blind
 
Furthermore, if an important reading item is discovered upon opening the inventory, the player also receives some Notice Text and a small sound to indicate they have something important to look at. For someone like me, or for the player who just likes a little more clarification of items, this makes a big difference.

And Finally ...

I have continued to alter areas for both module one and two, allowing more room in areas for larger parties. One point that became clear to me as I test in a MP environment is that while the idea of tight twisting corridors sounds good on paper and may even look quite good in game, nevertheless, it does not make for easy controllable gameplay.

I have also been continuing work on module two conversations. I believe I have finally reworked all the logic to ensure conversations work correctly for both SP and MP games. Now, I am adding to them as I find the time, and continuing to make slow but sure progress plot wise.

Unfortunately, to prevent spoilers, I cannot discuss these as much as the mechanics. However, I will see if I can come up with any teasers next time.