I decided to take the plunge and incorporate some elements of Pains Monster Pack this week. I already had quite a number of these creatures added to my module, but felt that it may be easier for the player if I organised the new creatures as hak packs rather than being incorporated within my campaign. In theory, this also allows for possible future updates to the haks. However, due to the size of these haks (when combined) I may rearrange it again so that I incorporate only those creatures I actually end up using. Time will tell. The important thing is that I will use Pains appearance.2da to help ensure consistency for the creatures.
UPDATE: I decided to remove this hak in the end as it did change a number of humanoid creatures (as also pointed out by Kamal). Instead, I will look through the additional creatures I may use and add them as required. This does also mean the file size drops considerably, which can only be a good thing.
Area Design Progression
In the meantime, Hoegbo, of The Demon Melody module, has been working hard to create new areas for me. He has worked incredibly fast and has managed to do more exterior areas in one month than I have done in 3 years! And they are far superior to my own! Matthew Rieder, of The Wizard's Apprentice module, has also contributed an outstanding interior area for me, and I can't wait to start writing more towards the quest that uses it. Eguintir is also working on both an interior and exterior area for me, and reports he will be updating me once his own module gets released any moment now.
With the current help, module 1 of the campaign has most of its areas completed. Hoegbo is currently working on the last external area for the module, and I have a few interiors to complete, and then all that remains is to finish writing the quest code. In theory, I may even have a working beta of the first module by the end of the year. It all depends on my own health and what the future brings.
I am slowly working my way through the quests, writing conversations as required, and even adding the odd small cutscene. I am not very good at managing cutscenes, as they take me a long time to get right. I always worry whether the effect they bring to the game will be worth the time they take to do. There is even a chance that the cutscene will not be seen if the player does things differently to the way expected.
I am also adding to the Readable Books selection in the module one format or another: scrolls, placeable and item books. I feel they are a good way to give the player background and depth to the story in a way that is more appealing to the eye.
On a more humorous note, you may recall a while ago how some of my NPCs kept ending up in the tavern due to some error in the code. Well, this week I was working on my own version of the ActivetFleeToExit function and I ended up having a dog end up at the tavern as well! What is it with this tavern? Must be something in the ale. ;)