Choose Your Language

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


I know it was only a short while ago I spoke about the same topic of invisibility, but as I have been working on this in the toolset again, I thought I would blog about it again too. I felt this ability required special attention as it affected the way a PC could interact with the environment more than most other effects. Furthermore, as I have increased the duration of the invisibility spell to 10 minutes per level from its original 1 minute per level, there is a greater chance of its impact during play. (NB: Spells that last 10 minutes per level, like invisibility, are subject to game time warping. i.e. Time passes in game time amounts when lasting longer than ten minutes.)

The idea I have in mind is to try to allow invisibility to make more of an impact in some situations if used by the player. I imagine most players will prefer the direct approach and confrontation to problems in a game, but there may be a few who like the idea of playing more stealthily in some situations if possible. That's the idea anyway, and to this end I have set some "safety-nets" in place. These safety-nets have primarily been set in conversations, where a PC is protected from automatically becoming visible when given the choice to talk to an NPC. I have had to make some amendments to this code, such as allowing a PC to be able to talk to another player or inanimate object, but overall, the tests appear to be quite playable to date.


On a side note, I discovered that using the GetNearestCreature with the parameter to not return a PC (NOT_PC), will still return a companion. (i.e. A PC not currently controlled by the player.) I thought this was a little misleading, so mention it now. I had to make my own function in the end to ensure the nearest creature was an NPC rather than a companion. I then checked over all my other scripts that had made the same assumption and corrected those.

Playing Poll Results

The latest poll ended last week and here are the results from 25 voters:

I was most encouraged to see that 40% of the voters will be playing the module as a multi-player game. As regular readers of this blog will know, Better The Demon (and other modules I make) are designed MP from the base up. This is not a SP to MP conversion, but all systems are designed with MP in mind from the very start. I have to say that I have slipped up on occasion. However, as all testing I do involves a MP test every now and then (using two computers), any MP issues that do appear are addressed as soon as they are brought to my attention.

I am also pleased to see that 16% of players will be trying an "evil" approach to the game. It will be interesting to see if any others change their style during play - simply because the "evil" path is easier to play than the "good" path. Also, if their are players who try both "good" and "evil", I will be interested to see what options they take in each case.

Very encouraging is to see players who will play the game more than once - assuming they are pleased with the module in the first place. In these cases, I will be interested to hear if their different experiences were due to playing different alignments or during SP and MP gaming.

In all, the results were very interesting to me and I look forward to getting this beast out (at least this first part) as soon as I can to start receiving some feedback.


Kamal said...

Related to your spell time posts. Have you seen this new Vault entry?

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Kamal,

An interesting little utility. Thanks for the heads up Kamal.

I checked it out, but, unfortunately, it sppears to only be a simple countdown timer, all be it dedicated to spell and game times in NWN. For instance, you can start the timer to count down as if you cast a (level based) turn, hour or 24 hour spell. It then only counts this one timer.

In my own system, while only accurate to the nearest minute remaining, each and every spell with their remaining time is listed - and the whole process is automatic! One does not have to remember to start or stop the timer, but the timers start for each spell automatically when the spell is cast and the list of spells is updated. Furthermore, each timer is displayed in game-time until the last ten minutes of the spell, which then converts real-time/game-time. (Warp Time System.) If the spell is removed prior to this time, the spell is also removed from the list.

I hope this piece of code has some interest once released. However, it requires editing some spell scripts to implement. :)

I almost forgot to mention one huge difference as well: My own system takes into account player's actions that change the perspective of time, like travelling. e.g. A player casts a spell that lasts ten minutes per level on the PC. Travelling from A to B is said to take one hour. This spell should be over by the time a 1st level PC makes the journey ... but what about a 8th level PC? The higher level PC should have at least 20 minutes of the spell remaining. So, a different duration is applied to the same spell according to level and time taken to do a task. This is the true power of Tme Warped spells.