Choose Your Language

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Painfully Slow

I tried my hand at doing an interior this week - and how painful it felt! It's not that I did not know how to do it, but that finding the placeables I wanted to use among all those available felt like a very laborious task. And then there were the options to change the different styles the actual tile sets could take in colour and design. The number of options and choices is absolutely marvelous, but having so many options did place my "wanting to do things to the nth degree" under a lot of strain. In the end, I decided that my patience was too lacking to spend too much time looking around at different objects, and decided to say "enough is enough" and kept the design a bit more basic than perhaps I could have done. It still has plenty to look at and do (I hope), but I hope that I can spend the time more productively elsewhere. After all, having nearly finished only one interior, I am not sure I can add much more than 0.5 % to the overall complete score. (I have decided to hold back screenshots until I have more material to choose from.)

World Map Poll Results

The World Map Poll came to a close this week and the results (from this small poll of 23) tend to suggest that most (11 at 47%) are happy with any of the map systems, with some added comments that suggest "as long as the system fits the style of the game". There were similarish results for the next two most popular results for those that definitely preferred the SoZ map system (7 at 30%) or were happy with the original mapping system (4 at 17%). And there was one person (representing 4%) who said they could live without any map altogether.

From this, I think I can be happy that the majority of people do like to have maps in their game, which makes the effort of doing such worthwhile. My only slight concern is for the 30% who really do prefer the new SoZ system, which (at the moment) my campaign is probably going to avoid using. However, as I believe I have mentioned before, I do have some other ideas on how I might be able to put the SoZ mapping system to use. Whether I can do this or not, only time will tell. Other than that, I will have to hope that the modified versions of the static maps I am using adds an interesting element for those gamers.


Anonymous said...

Hey, I hear you. Making areas is a slow process, and one that takes many hours of head scratching before it makes total sense.

I admire your completion score, though. I'm not quite sure where I stand, to be honest.

E.C.Patterson said...

One strategy that has been useful for me is to first lay down a few open floor tiles in one unused part of the grid. Then, I scan through all the placeables with the preview pane open (or use GrinningFool's viewer plugin) and dump onto those tiles placeables I think would be useful for that area. Then as I decorate the place I draw from that pool, copying and pasting as I go. It is much faster than going back to the blueprint pane constantly.

Quickly though you will get a grasp of everything that`s available (though I admit the two XPs have added quite a bit!).

Amraphael said...

Know exactly what you mean. Doing like E.C.Patterson suggests helps a bit.

BTW, the testing phase of my module is really close. Wyrin are performing a first run to ensure that it's ready to test. He have found two quirks that I have to fix first. I have used the HakPatch. It's funny that while I'm were doing my first tests on my idea of HakFixes you published a complete solution.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Chaos Wielder,

I thought I might set myself to a target time limit of one toolset session per (interior) area - subject to size of course. That way, I can look forward to having something done at the end of a session. As for the completion score, I am hoping that as I get better at designing areas, that the plot score may increase quicker. But then I will have the conversations slow me down again probably. ;)

Hi E.C. Patterson,

Making a pool of placeables is a good idea. And I suppose that (as you say) once I have been through them a few times, I will get used to what is available to use. It should definitely get quicker with time and familiarity. What did not help was the first thing I looked for (interior windows) did not exist. I found some on the Vault, but decided to steer clear of any further haks if possible for the time being. Time will tell how much quicker I get at this. :)

Hi Amraphael,

Good to hear your pre-testing test stage is almost done. ;) I had suggested the hak patch idea back in July 2007 on the Bioware forums, but your blog prompted me to repost it on my own blog and as an encouragemnt for your own use. :) It will certainly prevent a *lot* of heartache and frustartion for both you and your players. :)

Thanks everybody. :)


Frank Perez said...

Hey Lance, I highly recommend Smorpheus' Toolset Visual Index DELUXE, which is available at the Vault. This is comprised of several HTML and JPEG files that form an easy-to-use visual index of placeables, creatures, items, and other stuff from the toolset. It's a great time saver for module makers.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Frank,

This looks very useful indeed! I will download it and take a closer look at this then.

Thanks for the heads up!