Choose Your Language

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Changes ...

There are certainly some changes going on in my life at the moment, and these changes are having an impact on my vision of the module as well. The bottom line, I am making changes that I hope will make things easier to implement both in this module now and any modules I may do in the future. Life has enough difficulties of its own without me complicating this hobby, which I want to be relaxing. So, let us look at the changes am I making ... Basically, the first two changes are a confirming and cementing of the idea changes I had in mind back in July 2012, and the third I had also discussed in July 2011.

No More Fighting Friends!
1: "PlayersCanAttackNeutrals" Campaign Setting Now FALSE

This was originally set to TRUE so that the player could attack any creature they wanted to, be they friend or enemy. While this added a level of "realism", I felt that it was an issue that was not worth the time and effort to "secure" against properly. Furthermore, since I have included the ability for a player to examine a creature and toggle them HOSTILE in given situations, the ability to attack different creatures is still maintained, while not making it the default setting. i.e. The premise has been fixed that the player now intends to treat friendly's as friendly unless they have strong reasons to attack them on sight. Therefore, this campaign setting has now been set to FALSE.

We Can All Be Difficult Now & Then
2: Graded Influence System Abandoned

This has become a real burden to maintain ... and adds nothing useful to the gameplay as far as I have done it. The idea of keeping an individual influence system between the party and NPCs appeared a good idea at the time, but it has turned into a pointless exercise. Basically, I concluded that a game's general time span is too short to mess around with "relationships" that make any real difference as I have currently done it. It just makes the gameplay and resulting relationships appear fickle. (Maybe that is closer to real life than I realise.) Anyway, the point is, while I will leave those areas of code and conversations in place that have been done to date, I will no longer be adding to the conversations in this way in the future, and will instead, concentrate on major player decisions only. i.e. Relationships will be more solid and rely on players actions at certain "crisis points" rather than based on a sliding scale of events. I intend to hide this completely in future modules.

Get to the point then!
3: Simplify Conversations

Actually, to a degree, this "change" will be automatic with the two changes above. Also, having written some now (and experienced them in other games), I am beginning to recognise a more efficient way of writing conversations. Mainly, however, moving forward, I hope to try to keep things simpler (more direct). That's the idea, but how it will turn out in practice I don't yet know. I know I also said this back in July 2011, but as I am designing for a MP environment, I feel that I need to be more streamlined than I am currently. It's a difficult choice to be sure. Cut back too much, and it may leave the player (especially single player gamers) wanting more. Leave too much text, however, and it may interfere in a MP session.

In conclusion, I recognise that I am still trying to escape the same bugbears of my original design concept, and may not be totally free of them until I have finished the current module and can start afresh. I suppose this blog entry is as much about me trying to refocus my efforts where they are required, and to encourage myself back into finishing the module. Maybe with all the changes in my life at the moment, I may be able to take the steps I need to make changes in the module design as well. Wasn't that why Bilbo ("Lord of the Rings") threw the birthday party? So that he could give away things and make it easier to pass on the ring as well. And although my life changes were not set in motion by myself, maybe I can still use them to pick up from where I left off a few weeks ago and carry on with these changes more firmly in mind, so that I can finally finish it!


Kamal said...

I laughed at the first two pics.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Kamal,

Yes, I thought those pictures were quite amusing too. :)

Thanks for dropping by and commenting.


Eguintir Eligard said...

I've always thought there was room for trimming excessive features from what I read in your profiles. It's late in the game to do it, but better late than never. You will gain some measure of control now that you didn't yet have previously.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi E.E.

As you say ... life changes have had an impact on my own initial goals. Hopefully, I can move forward again now with these "restrictions" removed.

Thanks for commenting.