Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Shake, Rattle & Crash!

What a disappointment! :( I wish I had better news to share about the transition from Torén Norus into the Soul Shaker module, but alas, it is not to be. In all my testing over the weeks, months and years, I have never had the game crash on me completely like it did for our session tonight. The start of the adventure played along relatively smoothly while the players were in Torén Norus, but at the moment the last player sat in the magik throne that would start the procedure to transfer them into the Soul shaker module, CRASH!

First, let me apologise to my players and say that I hope it did not spoil the otherwise fun experience up to that point. It turned out to be a rough night for them, as they also lost their cleric, Morgellin, to an Iron Golem breath when he rolled a one on his saving throw! Furthermore, as it was the cleric that died and there was still no way out of the tower, it meant Morgellin had to be packed away in a bag of holding until the heroes could find another way to raise him. (Messy!)

Regarding the crash again, the only consolation I had was the fact that it did not appear to be anything to do with my code as such, but it simply seemed that NWN could not handle the module changeover over the Internet where one of the players was accessing the game. Why this would be the case, I don't know, but as soon as they were not involved, the module changeover process went smooth as silk.

So, in the end, I had to reload the game just for the LAN players, allow them to enter the Soul Shaker module from the Torén Norus module first, and then get the player on the Internet to do it separately afterwards. His joining still caused the game to crash, but by then all the data for his PC was recorded, and it meant we could start afresh with the Soul Shaker module and simply rejoin the module bypassing the module changeover step.

Unfortunately, the process did mean the players missed out on the introduction movie, and the opening speeches by Terrell, but at least we reached the point where we could save the game ready for the next time we played. I had looked forward to this moment for so long that the eventual disaster of the transition really annoyed me. I just hope now that the rest of the gaming experience is one of smooth sailing.

In the meanwhile, I ask that all players download and read the manual ready for the next time we play. The game is obviously a lot different from anything you will have experienced before, and even the brief introduction that we did see should have given you a clue to as much. The manual can be downloaded from here: SOUL SHAKER GAME MANUAL. Please spend some time reading pages 5 - 29 so that you are familiar with the basic mechanics of the game. Combat is no different from normal (real time) play, but character development and surrounding mechanics is definitely affected upon this demi-realm of the lich. I advise NOT TO READ past page 29, as it starts to speak of things that the player would not yet know about the Realm and so it would spoil their experience if they did.

SYNOPSIS DELAYED

After that disappointment and the extra time it took me to sort out the problem with the game to make it ready for next week, I have not had time to sort out the regular synopsis yet, but hope to find some time tomorrow - so please check back then.

XML TUTORIAL

On a positive note, I have been making headway with the XML & GUI Tutorial. I am making all sorts of discoveries about XML as I write it,which I hope will help others when the tutorial is finally released.

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