Jan 13, 2014

Blog Closed

 The blogosphere of game modding with Neverwinter Nights 2 has become so thin I have decided to close mine as well.

However my exploits will simply be posted on the forum I use, as seems to be the current trend. Here I go, and feel free to follow me, Eguintir Eligard on these forums:


Aug 28, 2013

Leaving Dodge always takes forever

As always I seem to get really hampered by the start of a module. Just making a couple cinematic twists and information gathering scenes to set the party off from, has taken all my time so far.

Lots of the same old problems that never changed have been the cause recently (starting conversations when near death in combat, so on...).

But now that the Karmic Troupers are (un)safely off into the overland map, I can start building the 5 or so key areas that comprise this short(ish) episode adventure.

There's going to be some custom content to make one of the first areas a reality, so good luck on me remembering 3d studio.

Jul 30, 2013

Lessons from Islander

To this end I think Islander was a hybrid test/playable work.

It was my first campaign and it was intended to break the ice. Now when something goes on as long as it did (I still cringe thinking about the years filled with 10 month development voids throughout), it certainly qualifies as a finished work and then some. So again I say, it was a hybrid.

I knew I had to make something to test the toolset, as I did not want to do work for the sake of learning and destroy it after.

I also knew I would not put up anything that didn't make the player want to play. The term "sample adventure" comes to mind, and those completely turn me off.

So what I ended up with was Islander. It's actually very long, fairly depthy in parts and I went the extra mile in some areas such as voice acting, original music and art from community members who helped me. I also managed a few "escapes from the norm" to break up the monotony that can build in a stereotypical D&D game. Some inventive quests, the odd pull to another plane, a rogue only mission that was unusually generous in loot. In my opinion, there are parts (such as the flashbacks) where it is polished and cinematic enough to rival any commercial game. There are also parts where I found the fun/creativity level very high.

...however there were a lot of shall we say "holes" along the way. The campaign never was fully stable because of corrupted data that caused me to question completing it. This resulted in a lot of hit or miss areas for the public unfortunately. It was still largely a "test" adventure in parts. I will remedy this in my next campaign, Karmic Troupers, currently in progress.

I also noticed, that a lot of peoples comments both positive and negative actually coincided with my own thoughts. Which is good because as an author you always assume yourself immune to perceiving your own deficiencies. I don't need to post about the positive remarks, I just need to keep those features strong going forward. These are all things I noticed and were also pointed out by players as flaws:

  • Inconsistentcy... companions are lively then go silent then talk too much at the end.
  • Plot pacing: same as above. Too long of a silent portion followed by a information dump later
  • Creative quests/puzzles were fun but too sporadic. Essentially, do more
 I would agree with all this. I authored my campaign fully aware that I was putting less effort in some areas and I was actively curious if it would even matter or be noticed. Now I am aware.

Creative writing on it's own I would enjoy, and I think be at least above average in my ability to do so. But within the toolset it seems like a time waste, I despise doing it, I tend to dump information and then change a word here and there to create a personality. And I find my characters all sound the same because I spend as little time thinking about it as possible.  Using a smaller cast and going "back" after the game is complete to establish personalities behind the "shell" conversations is how I plan to handle this going forward. I will also work on adding foreshadowing after the fact as well, once I know the plot fully.

Creative quests... say no more. I am going to spend a lot more time in this area. I didn't do many in Islander as I wanted to keep the infinity engine theme (largely combat based) going. But I found it is far too easy to do much more with the nwn2 toolset. And people liked what little I did. It's also something I will enjoy if it ends up being a really fun break from combat. It's also a theme that is largely missing from the original game and the vault... the menacing room of traps, where no monster looms but it's just as deadly none-the-less.

A personal observation is just the general polish of Islander. I left too many "meh who cares" spots where I could have went the extra yard to clean it up. Design, writing, scripting, many spots really. I blame this partly on a lack of interest as the project lagged on, but also on the repeated fixing of the same bugs over and over that no one in the community seemed to understand ( due to corruption again). I think having a cleaner shorter campaign will be a lot easier to work on. I'm keeping a tidy "workspace" this go around.

Planning: I've always harped on this but never got to do it by the time Islander was done. I know how many maps and the layout of each of them already, for Karmic Troupers. It's helped a lot. And on a personal note knowing you are xx% done your campaign is a lot easier to stomach than "when will this end??".

I have to learn to enjoy authoring as I seem to want to do it in my head, but the toolset gets in the way often.

Here's promising the players of Karmic Troupers a polished work worthy of their time. Next update will be specific on Karmic Troupers.

Jun 21, 2013


Well this is interesting:

The vault seems to be dead, more literally than figuratively to be honest.

I had never really worried about it because I hard heard of the nexus, but upon seeing the ridiculously low download counts for modules on there ( see my post on the forum) I'm a little concerned about the whole situation. It sounds like vault 2.0 whatever that is, is the best hope.

I can already see a discussion about a new voting format... I don't see the point of putting my two cents in as I seem to prefer more objective approach than most modders, who I find may prefer to insulate themselves from the true scores of their modules.

But I'd like to add my two cents here just to get it out there:

Personally I would like to see limited high votes as had been bandied around and already squashed by Rolo.

If the vault system of votes were actually adhered too, I would have a much better benchmark of where I stand and other modules before I choose which ones to play. By vault voting standards I would be very happy if my works reach seven.... anything over 8 would make you an all star. Likewise I would find a 4 vote very informative as it indicates a near miss... room for improvement. And a 5 puts you middle of the pack. All useful places to be in my mind.

But the existing system of trying to figure out how a module that is a 9.4 is about 1/10th as polished and inventive as one rating 9.7 is basically useless. So if that's the alternative I say go with the equally uninformative thumbs up and down as per the nexus and how it seems to work. As has been echoed by my fellow modders, voting isn't necessary at all if it's done poorly. Personally as many know, I like my download counts. Without them I wouldn't have the energy to make free gaming experiences.

Oh and Karmic Troupers continues... I don't get many days off these days but it's going to be a shorter work with a reasonable release time as promised. You may even enjoy it. But more on that next post.

May 24, 2013

There is a pulse...

With most things sorted out, I will be doing some modding again.

My blog (and reflected experiments) have kind of been all over the map.

I want to focus on finishing my 1 month challenge mod (that I started... can you believe it... TWO years ago). But it will require some more basic and if possible, advanced custom modelling, for it to meet my plans.

My plans are probably unreachable. But plans are plans.

So I'll handle the module first, make it playable end to end and then I'll have a chance to get as far as I can with the custom modelling I've learned. I still think the crocodile is finishable, I did get it to animate but all of the steps involved made my head almost cave in so I kinda took a step back from models, for now.

So Karmic Troupers Episode One is back on. And a short time frame, as originally planned.

Jan 2, 2013

Gotta say something

Sorry to have put this blog on life support.

I'll update with what I think I'm maybe doing.
I moved into a place of my own, need a roommate and a better job stat so I don't think there will be any production to speak of anyway till I nail down the essentials of life first.

Stay tuned.

Jul 8, 2012

Talk to the Hand

Currently I am trying to both create (and learn whilst doing) how to model a good hand. Things are always more complicated than they seem at this early stage of learning modelling. This is the crude design... I would like to see it look a little more human and a little less goof troop. There is a ton of usage once I get it looking like a real hand... for Neverwinter Nights 2 applications...

  • A standing statue of a hand (for Helm and any other hand symbol based deity)
  • Enhancing Bigby's line of spells visual effects
  • A floating and attacking hand creature
  • A clawed handed
Once the hand is good, I can create an animation skeleton so I can freeze it into various poses, alter the detail level, size, nails, and finger fatness to get various results.

Jun 27, 2012

I'm here, I'm here...

I haven't disappeared or anything just busy between switching a job, buying a car, selling an existing car, fixing a former car.

3d modelling is a lot of work. But I am determined to finish the crocodile now that Elysius has gone to the strain of creating a book on it through his blog. I may lean more towards placeable creation than creatures going forward, but I retain the ability to create a necessary creature if a need should arise. Particularly when you can steal the animations of a similar one. That is a useful skill.

Recently I fleshed out the EXP and area table for my episodic adventure, and completed an area for chapter 1 of the Althea campaign.

Ps you didn't hear it from me, but I processed a few major plot points in a possible Islander 2. But seriously nobody said anything.

Apr 23, 2012

Getting Hammered

Obligatory picture

Well I've just been too busy with a second job so I just wanted to say nothing has happened, but there is reason to believe I can actually complete the crocodile when my time frees up again in about 3 weeks. I had to re-work it again, but I did get to the stage of it having more than just an idle animation (walking will be the hardest), and I also realized from TV that crocodiles walk like a dog, not with its legs spread way out like a spiders.

Until then, get hammered I guess. Those are just some concept weapons I did in 20 minutes.