I feel like I am back to the point I was when I wrote A Beginning ... last March. Once again I have just finished doing some decorating this week and feel like I can finally get back to the module ... and again, at the point of actually writing the plot! To this end, I have made a design decision to stop working on other ideas (i.e. Holy Books) and get back to the side-quests themselves. After all, it's all well and good having an "interactive" world, but no good if there is not much to actually do in it in the way of a story. And considering the results of the poll are starting to shift in the direction of "action" over "reading", then I thought I would go with the flow. ;) Don't worry, I intend to keep the conversations and reading material in place, but simply decided to start coding for the quests for now rather than any more books that can be found.
Basically, the campaign journal and conversations are starting to get more attention, and I have currently picked out one path that the player will be playing at the start of the game that helps determine the background to which they approach the module (which is also why the plot progress has increased to 3%). As regular readers may recall, the player has a choice of backgrounds at the start of the game: Do they start as if familiar with the story so far (if they played Soul Shaker) or are they starting completely afresh? Each path requires careful attention in the early conversations to ensure the player is made familiar with the story without implying the wrong background. Hopefully, once the start of the game has been done, the conversation paths should get a little easier as the choice of path becomes less intrusive to the new plot.
The Current Poll
The poll still has 17 days to run and I am still interested in any outstanding results and comments. The "action" choice currently leads roughly 58% to 42% (in one translation), and even this result has helped me to reconsider not spending too much time on creating "books" that take quite some time to do if they are not going to serve much purpose in game. I am trying to be careful what I say here, because I do not want to suggest that those who like books will be disappointed, because I hope they won't be. I have simply decided that I will concentrate on placing reading material that may be of benefit to everyone rather than one or two players, and will instead be designed to appeal in other ways.
Real Life Interaction
On a final note, I have finished the code that handles "bashing" of doors when there are witnesses around. Witnesses can be those NPCs in earshot as well as visual range. Of course, if players have the ability to cast silence on the area and are out of sight of witnesses, then they can still bash the door. :) Some doors bashed this way will move the party one point towards chaotic, and so those who prefer to stay within the law will prefer to find alternative ways to get past a door, even if it is as simple as getting permission. ;)