Nov 24, 2009

Passage of Time

So as my birthday looms in the next few days, I am reminded of just how long I've let this project drag out.

At this point, I have tried playing DA: Origins and it's fun. But I think I can safely say I prefer finishing my campaign before finishing more.

I'm kind of in a lull now, you know the kind where... the toolset is kind of like an ex girlfriend you aren't seeing right now. But you often get back together, and although she seems distant at this exact moment, once you get back around her, everything seems familiar and like you haven't left. That's where I'm at in a nutshell. Well, at the point where I'm NOT seeing her currently.

This is for the best since it's the final two weeks of school and then I'll have two weeks to hopefully wrap this up.

I wonder what people think of changing (expanding) a work already mostly complete. I have 3/4s of chapter 3 to do and it's finished. But I'm feeling the need to make the campaign something broader; until now I just focused on making the quests as fun, physically rewarding, unique, and doable in any order as possible, with a huge helping of custom content. Now I feel like I would like the companions to have some depth, and an increasingly philisophical verbage to their banter.

I just wonder, how bad does shoe horning actually come off to the player? For me I've never noticed it when someone said they did in their campaign. But if I don't know how the project looked previous I don't know what polish might have been ruined. Assuming I don't do it stupidly though (like having silent companions for 2 chapters and all of the sudden a 16 hour running cut scene) is it likely it will be an overall enhancement?

Once again I long to go back in time and PLAN the campaign exhaustively, and even do all or reasonably close to all dialogue first. Then I would know when the story is complete, as I find I only stray because it seems things are missing. One can rip out an impressive amount of work if it's pre-planned so that you don't stop and think. Right now I just feel the need to outlet some thought-provoking concepts; illustrate a point of view on life after death in the realms (and life before, and again after, for some), a remark on mortality and aging. Too heavy maybe, but I think I can delivery it in a way where one can choose to stop and ponder or just reply with generic "you're crazy/you need some rest" remarks like a good little monkey and continue with the conflict.

Nov 9, 2009

Early troubles

Turns out my campaign was quite horribly corrupted. Im working around it, trying to finish it completely, despite a persistent journal bug. At first I was just going to cut it short, but as it showed signs of cooperating, I've actually gone ahead and added not only the content originally planned in the final 2 side quests, but some bonus cut sceneage to make it a lot more story-based. Not just throw-ins to give some personality to the NPCs but some thought out stuff, complete with epic symbolism and foreshadowing.

I have to say cut scenes were not an early interest of mine, but it's almost as addicting as custom particles. Gives me a good reason to make some as well to show all the spectacular dream-scapes and powers being used. Regular conversations I prefer to do in NWN1 exclusively, but when doing something cinematic or from a dream or vision, that's when I let cut scenes out of the box.

So I was on a good role, but school work has picked up and at the same time I am finding toolset work more tedious again. I will just plow to the finish with the release version coming no later than december. Whatever is there at that time will be the finished game.

Here's an example of such a scene, where I did my first real ventures into bloom use. Really makes the magical white balls blurry and dreamlike.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usFree Image Hosting at

Click twice to see the full size images, rather than the 1/4 size one it links to. THANKS :)

I never even gave personalities to the companions until now. In the end my hope is the story, (though light on words when compared to works like Azzen's new "Live Forever" campaign), should be compelling and thought-provoking enough that the campaign would have seemed empty without it. I'm only one third done and it already feels that way to me.