Choose Your Language

Friday, 24 June 2011

Dealing With Complexities

This is going to be a very brief post this week for two reasons:

1) Our upstairs rabbit, Honey, has not been very well again. Poor thing suffers a lot with teeth problems and now she appears to have nasal issues on top - caused either by another hidden tooth problem or some sort of sinus issue. I have had to spend some time looking after her (collecting dandelion leaves every so often - the only thing she feels comfortable eating at the moment) and sitting alongside her, trying to make sure she stays warm and content. She had a stressful last week being taken to the vets. It stressed me too (for her sake). She is still not 100%, but I am hoping she is making a gradual recovery. Time will tell.

2) I am writing conversations for the characters and the whole process is going a lot slower than I had hoped it would do; probably partly due to the above, but also due to the fact that the current conversations are quite involved with journal entries and variable settings. This is probably straight forward for most people, but I have to pace myself when dealing with this sort of thing and so only manage a very little towards it in a day. Hopefully, the end result will support multiple paths and approaches to the conversations and quests in question. Yet, once these ones are done (required as I started to design the module this way), I intend to curb my ambitions in future and greatly simplify them if possible. (See next.)

Looking Forward

There are still quite a few conversations to write, which will gradually get easier as I move away from earlier designed ideas and move toward a more "linear" style of writing. Do I here a "gasp" from you when I mention "linear"? Well, let me just clarify what I mean by "linear": The gameplay should remain "non-linear" (as good as any "non-linear" game can be), but quests will not be so intermixed as I have them at the moment. The problem at the moment, is that many of the quests revolve around a few specific NPCs (as normal), but that every NPC also potentially has an input to another NPCs quest (not normal gameplay design). Add to this items that can be found that open more conversation nodes and .... you get the picture? (It's difficult to describe exactly what I mean without giving too much away.) Future quests and conversations will be reserved to a "one on one" design. That is what I mean I will be changing to be more "linear".

Once I have these conversations out of the way, I can look at finishing the last few areas that I decided to add for greater gameplay of module 1, and then begin tying the whole thing together and look at producing a beta for testing. It's probably still a few months away yet, and really depends on how well I can deal with the conversations and design those areas. One thing I can say, however, is that I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel (for module 1 at least) .... Hoorah!


Kamal said...

Ah yes, the exponential complexity of non-linearity. :-)

Shaughn said...

Conversations are one of the toughest parts of building, in my opinion. To do it right they can easily grow into a mammoth, while a player is likely only to be exposed to less than 10% of it.

Quillmaster said...

Hi Lance,

As you know, I've now finished Chapter One of the Relbonian Chronicles for NWN1 (be sure to check for patch updates if you've downloaded it).

I thought I'd have a little rest, but as you know, I can't rest without being creative, so thought I'd have a little dabble with the NWN2 toolset for a change. Easier said than done tho. We should meet up again soon so you can give me a quick crash course ;)

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi All,

I think Shaughn sums it up when he says that for all your input with conversations, a player may only see about 10% of it. :(

Quillmaster: I have emailed you.