Although my wife has been taking some of my time over the last two weeks, I have still been able to make progress with the module. In particular, I have been able to come close to finishing a puzzle I had in mind and am very happy with the final product. Furthermore, I have been taking a closer look at some prefabs, because I have made the decision to include these where possible, simply to expedite the process of creation.
Like most of my puzzles to date, I have made use of the ability to create GUIs in NWN2. Furthermore, I have taken on board the comments over the last couple of weeks and concentrated on a puzzle that only involved simple logic rather than anything too convoluted. I have also added a new feat as an option to aid in this type of puzzle as well as offer the player an alternative way to bypass the puzzle by buying and using "Decipher Devices".
This puzzle is actually supposed to represent a "Coded Mechanism", which can be deciphered by the player being able to decipher simple puzzles with their PC. Here is how the player will first be presented with the puzzle:
Notice that the player is given instructions and a warning that they are about to start a TIMED puzzle when they first encounter it.
When the player decides to start decoding the puzzle, the question is given according to a specified difficulty level and a TIMER is started (unless the PC has the Expert Decoder feat). Each question is randomly set according to its DC at each attempt.
The puzzle comes in 6 parts and the player must try to answer all parts, either by answering each question correctly or using a Decipher tool to bypass the current puzzle part.
The TIMER counts down in the CHAT window. The player may attempt the answer all the while they have time, even if they make a mistake. The TIMER varies in length according to the difficulty of question asked. The SUBMIT ANSWER button is disabled when the TIMER runs down.
If the PC has the new Althéa Expert Decoder feat, then the TIMER is disabled and they may take as long as they need. Here is what the Expert Decoder feat looks like.
I had hoped to avoid using prefabs if possible, for two reasons:
1) I was afraid they may be seen too often in modules and put people off playing if seen again.
2) I was hoping to be able to design all areas myself.
However, purely for practical reasons, it makes sense to make use of other people's work where possible. After all, I can still make tweaks and discard bits I don't want or need. Furthermore, I also reasoned that by the time these areas were encountered, the player will hopefully be too involved with the story and game to be put off by a repetition of a scene.
I am currently considering using all or part of the following prefabs, with the view to consider others in the future:
This is a scene from SGK73 "Just Add Encounters" prefab.
This is a scene from Hosa's "Forgotten Village" prefab
POLL: What Turns You Off A Module?
A reminder ... if you haven't voted in the poll yet (on the left hand side), then please do and feel free to comment. Only two weeks left!