Choose Your Language

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Stormy Considerations: Zehir Style

I have finally started to get some energy again and back into the mood for using the toolset. It's a bit of a slow return, but at least I have returned! Part of the encouragement came from hearing how many aspects of Storm of Zehir expansion actually reflects quite a few of my own ideas, and may mean I will have less coding (or coding made easier) in the future.

In particular, it seems they may have made customised crafting easier to include, which was going to be one of those headaches that I was not looking forward to. And while they have included a means for different PCs of a party to take part in a conversation, I had already coded that part for my module, and so it will be interesting to see if the two are interchangeable.

I have also been doing more work on the "map system", including designing an item for players to be able to examine the world map without actually being able to travel anywhere. The idea is so a player or players can make reference to the world map if they find something mentioned that might be worth looking up. It is still a work in progress at the moment, and I may adjust it slightly to show "destination icons" rather than not (which it does at the moment), but simply disable the travel function for them. Everything works well, including the ability to switch world maps, which I specifically designed early in the process, and so I am quite pleased with this new map item to date. And then there is, of course, the question of how the new map system will also interact with this one. I think a number of these map ideas may have to wait to see exactly how the new map system works, and whether I wish to adapt a number of the older ones to work in different ways to my first plan.

Another section of the module I have decided to look at now is "ambient life" for things like villages, towns and cities. Originally, I was not going to do as much in this area, and simply place the odd NPC around the place. However, even though I still think this should be something that would be sufficient in principle, when it comes to playing the mod, it just seems lacking. Now, I still don't want to spend too much time with an ambient life system with respect to locals (commoners, nobles and peasants sort of thing), but have decided to spend some time looking at it, but in a way that may work as a generic system for any future settings as well. Then any work I now put into it will be worthwhile for future projects as well.

I have already discovered that, unfortunately, there is no easy way to change the "appearance" between human types (as I thought was possible) because the NWN2 constants don't work; the constants are a leftover from NWN1 code. However, I have managed to find a way to help randomize their clothing. The plan is to make generic waypoints that will logically handle spawn points and then randomly produce appropriate NPCs. This is in the early stages as of yet, but if I can knock something up that will handle the situation to make it look reasonably intelligent, then I will do so.

Finally, another area I want to look at is how players will interact with fallen (killed) companions. At the moment, the fallen companion can be raised, but the part I need to address is whether a surviving PC can pick up their body and/or equipment as well. I need to consider this as a PC may not have the power to raise the PC themselves, and may, therefore, decide to take the companion's dead body (and/or equipment) to the nearest healer who can. I could not find any easy combination of tick boxes in the properties to manage this; therefore it looks like another coding issue to ensure a killed companion can be interacted with in a number of ways. Unless, of course, anybody who is reading this knows any better way to handle it. :)


Nagual said...

Hi there Lance,

Thought I'd write a few lines of encouragement and at the same time thank you for your work so far and contributions to the NWN2 experience. I haven't played your world(s) as of yet due to bandwidth troubles of mine, but love the work you've done with your contributions to the vault.

I particulary like the readable books you've created / enhanced. I dabble a bit with building, and while I have yet to produce anything actually worth playing I still enjoy mucking about with the toolset. The fact you have spent so much time developing ideas and solutions to problems is really something. If I had one iota of your talent and probably more importantly your motivation then I'd be a happy camper :)

I wish you all the best and successes in the future!


Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Nagual,

Thank you very much for your kind words and encouragement. :) Having someone like yourself comment in this way does help keep my mind focused on trying to complete the module.

In case you did not know, my campaign is designed for single and multi-player and *not* a persistent world, and so hopefully, when I have this next module finished, you will be able to play the game without having to worry about bandwidth. :)

As far as "talent", I can only say that all I have I have learned since NWN came out and I simply persevered with those aspects that I wanted to include in my world. If you have the same desire, you will succeed in this way as well. Although, it does take a lot of time and determination to get some things to work as you like.

Hopefully, the end result will be to your liking and you will get the chance to play it. It will have plenty of the Readable Books, and also Readable Scrolls. ;)

Thanks for dropping by and for your comments, which are always most welcome. :)