Mar 24, 2010

Modding Twilight

It's getting close to the end so I took a quick run through of the game so far. A lot of things are slightly delayed, and one broken when it comes to conversatitonal triggers. They are totally incompatible if you arent fully up to 1.23 patch so I guess I will look into those before my final modding push.

I found a really nice screenshot of the 2nd to last area that really kind of gives the high-fantasy theme, with the horizon that seems to lead into limitless possibilities. So here it is.

Mar 21, 2010

Humour in an RPG... at least I tried

The subject of humour is something I've decided to touch on due to the last hour I spent trying to make this over-bred dandy "faint" and stay fainted after you destroy his guardian in your attempt to rob his estate.

Again one of the reasons I found BG2 to be far more entertaining than, NWN2, and still more so than DoA, was the use of humour. To digress slightly, BG2 was the source of my inspiration to mod and many of the mechanics are borrowed from it, such as the party size (of 6), the NON player created companions who have actual lines to speak, and the way they speak (they talk to you when ready, it's not an issue you can force, which was another thing that kept me playing BG2 eagerly).

With DoA, I knew it was to be a dark setting but quite frankly it's too stiff. Far, far too stiff. Constant conflict and desperation at every turn offers little to play for, as you never get to stop and simply take in a scene. With humour, nwn2 made some attempt, but for too few.

I think the only really feasible style of humour given the limited animations, and dated english terms, is in using over the top personalities. And I've gone with this in a few spots, realizing my own campaign had been fairly bereft of humour outside of the bard companions dogged persistence in the sport of skirt chasing.

In the photo above, you are ending the "stealth/robbery" quest, one of my attempts at non-combat/dynamic gameplay. You end up in the master bedroom and the owner sets his magic guardian on you. Once you kill it, he passes out in fear, leaving you free to rob him blind. Probably not actually the best example of character humour, but I just wanted to use this screenshot somewhere.

This is the type of humour I never laughed at as a teenager, but as I grew up I learned to be highly entertained by the sheer "smack you over the head"-edness of the characters, who's only unpredictability is just how much MORE they fit their stereotype than you even expect. Futurama delivered me many of such moments, and it always fills me with disdain that they didn't last, while the simpsons have been on for 80 years and ran out of stuff in 1997. (I literally remember having a discussion with my high school friends that the simpsons has gotten weird and forgetable and had no more material that year). Digressed again :)

Humorous characterizations to look forward to in Islander:

-A sociopathic gnome sorceror (companion/death threatener)
-A "charlie sheen+shakespeare" hybrid bard with a penchant for the party's cleric
-A "valley girl" beholder with verbal diarhea
-A twitchy dwarven rogue who quakes in his boots at any sign of trouble

I think at this point I might continue releasing details of exactly what Islander is about. I wasn't going to, but then I realized of all the 4 people who read this it isn't really going to spoil anything.

I will be finishing the final area/battle of chapter 3 and releasing it to a tester who has already tested 1/2 to see how it goes. And then that's it. No further development, I will fix up what is broken, finish the unpolished areas and add the companion conversations (I'd say about 15 hours work would cover all that).

Mar 20, 2010

Where have I been?

Well in point form:

After windows 7 I was unable to patch and I even have a new laptop with vista 64 that wouldnt patch for a week.

Got the vista 64 laptop working at least.

Bought a midi keyboard to make some custom tracks. Little did I realize there were thousands of dollars to pay to get any decent sounds, so I'm working on mostly solo pieces like a piano only form of chamber music and things like that.

Did not realize how amateurish my piano keying ability was so I'm practicing before I record anything but I do have a pretty suitable little bit written out for an mansion theme.

I asked in the forums how to do soz style nwn1 dialogues and with speaker switching. Did not get an answer to my surprise maybe one of you know? And if so do I have to make cohorts to switch speakers or can companions be used?