Choose Your Language

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Day At A Time

Over the last two weeks (when feeling up to it), I have been trying to finish off another area. Hoegbo actually built the area in the toolset for me, but I have been writing the conversations and scripts to bring it to life. This area is a little more unusual in concept, and in my writing I am trying to ensure a balance between logical flow and what may initially come across as absurd. Of course, being a fantasy game, there is always a little room for maneuver and poetic licence, but I still think it needs to be handled carefully so I do not lose/frustrate the player. Hopefully, by the time the player reaches the end of the area, all will become clear and the experience will turn into an interesting one.

Conversation & Sound

During one part of the design, I did run into something interesting, which others may already know, but I will also comment on now for those who may not. If you have a sound object playing and the player enters a NWN2 style cutscene conversation, the player no longer hears the sound object playing. (The sound object is still playing, but it is suppressed during the conversation.) Interestingly, this does not happen with other styles of conversation windows.

A Haunting Flute Sound Comes From The Caravan

For instance, in the scene above the player hears a haunting flute sound coming from the caravan. When they go to investigate, this sound is suppressed (or not) according to the conversation GUI I use.

Smaller Interactable Hotspots

There is another handy tip I picked up when working on this part of the area: I did not want the entire wagon to highlight when approached and so used a smaller collision box to be the target of the conversation. However, a collision box does not have the small portrait picture of a wagon when in conversation. Therefore, I used some script on the collision box to initiate a conversation with the wagon instead (which now had the conversation). In this way, I was able to have a small "hotspot" that worked for a much larger placeable.

Conversations, plots and scripting continues ... all the while I feel up to it.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Back On Track!

First of all, just to let people know that The Althéa Weather System is now on version 1.04. The latest version fixes a bug where the weather changer timer was not suspended when a PC went indoors. This meant an incorrect error message showed while indoors and the weather timer was messed up for a short period. Please report to me if you find any other errors that you believe require addressing.

In the last week I have been getting back on track with writing the quests. I believe I now have many of the final quests that will be in the module in place, and am heading towards the finish line in that department. On top of that, Ryan of Eguintir's Ecologies has been hard at work putting the finishing touches to the final level that needs building for the module. Once I have that area fully integrated, I will be 90% complete, leaving me only the need to finish the quests and upload for Beta testers. However, I don't want that to sound like a release any moment, because there is still quite a few conversations left for me to do, as well as final balancing.

Following Their Marching Orders

In the meanwhile, my goblins are also back on track when it comes to following their waypoints. What it is about the original official waypoint system that makes them fall away from the planned path, I do not know. However, my own system works well, and is now finished, and works with scripted waypoints too. Here are my goblins showing me that they can obey orders:

Goblins Following Their Marching Orders!

And Take On Intruders!
Plugin On Hold

I decided to put my looking at C# on hold. For while I believe creating a plugin may be useful for me being able to create content more efficiently in the future, I do not believe that I should spend time doing that just yet. It would only serve as a distraction to me, and so I will leave this for the time being, and maybe look at it again, or another utility that may be as useful, in the future.

Reality Check

The "level of reality to fun" poll finished a short while ago, and below are the results. I was interested to see the degree of those who shared my own desire to keep the feel of the campaign close to "real" as possible. In translation, I believe that to mean keeping logical flow relatively high, or at least as plausible as possible and to avoid "simple" quests, or those that feel orchestrated. That is a hard task to achieve without spoiling the fun factor, but is something I still hope to achieve.

Erring Towards Realism Is The Preference