Saturday, 22 August 2009

Quest Writing

As the title suggests, I am moving more into the realms of writing quests than covering mechanics ... at last! I know I have reported on this before, but this is also the first time I have started to write conversations and design areas and not had to stop to sort out a game mechanics issue. I even have managed to pencil in a few more areas in my notebook, which are now ready to build in the tool set.

Having started this process, however, I am reminded of the extremely hard task of writing conversations (and journal entries), allowing for varied player options and depth. And it's not necessarily the number of options as such, but more to do with how the different options have an impact on how the various quests will run and interact with each other - and keeping track of all the variables. You know what I mean: Give the player more options and you have geometrically increased your variable count. E.g. In one quest I am currently writing, the player can react to a cut scene in one of two ways. On the surface on things, this would appear a simple two-way check, but as I have come to code for it, I have been reminded of a whole number of other aspects that must be covered if the "obvious path" is not chosen. How tempting it is to not give a choice to the player at the cut scene stage and just move them into the quest regardless. Hopefully, the extra effort of allowing a choice even at the these early stages will give the module a feeling of greater freedom and less manipulation.

Star*Drive

I have to agree with Frank Perez (Faithless Blog) at the look of the up and coming module called Star*Drive by Yaddaman. The work looks like an absolute masterpiece and done with complete dedication to the task. How one man can have done all that I have seen from the screenshots is simply amazing. I do enjoy sci-fi games as much as fantasy ones, so to have something like this mod available in NWN2 is probably one of the most exciting modules to come along since its release, as it will open up a whole new avenue of interest to me. I remember trying to mod a System Shock 2 module once, using ShockED. Now, if this mod is as good as it looks, I will have the pleasure of being able to rekindle my sci-fi modding as a second hobby outlet. (NB: It won't ever interfere with my NWN2 projects, but will give me something to look forward to in the future.)

The Reward Poll

Only three days left to vote in the poll! If there is a reward system you want me to consider in the module, be sure to vote and add a comment.

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