Monday, July 30, 2007

New Screen Shots

Crash and Recovery

I got stuck yesterday, I had the toolset crash while saving. I had a finished area become corrupt and a resource of some sort. I was able to restore what was broken using a recent backup! I backed up and restored one area, for the resource I opened the module backup and grabbed a copy of the unpacked resource file from the temp folder created when the module is in the toolset.

I opened the current/broken version, dropped in the valid file and POOF! I'm there.

I did a ton of work on my last major exterior area last night. It needs a ton of polishing.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Personal Post

I maintain a personal blog in addition to this gaming blog. I've got to point out today's personal entry as it has a some very cool photos. Click here to see it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Progress and a break

I made a ton of progress earlier this week. I laced a few major areas together and can walk through them and run through large chunks of dialog along the way.

I learned a ton about HAK packs (see earlier posts).

I also took a 4 day break to read the last Harry Potter book, which was quite good. (Everyone dies on page 50). I was disappointed a bit in book 6 but found the last book to be most satisfying.

I haven't been posting here, but I have been corresponding and posting elsewhere on the net.

I am still crawling foward on my project.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Screen Shots

Screenshots from my current project! Hope you enjoy them. If you have time read my previous post, I'm still stuck...

I finished a large interior area and this exterior. I'm pretty happy with it. :-)

Visual Effects

I am interested in using a few visual effects from NWVault. Specifically, dripping water and some vines. I haven't tried the vines yet, but I have used the water. I placed the five files included

  1. botu_dropsfx.sef (this seems to be the main FX file)
  2. botu_dropsend.pfx (part of the fx file, the start point of the drop or particle emitter)
  3. botu_drops.pfx (I'm guessing the end point of the drop)
  4. botu_dropsend.tga
  5. botu_drops.tga
I dropped all five files in the override with no effect.

This closed thread on biowares forums was helpful. I put all of the contents in the temp file for the module. I was able to copy a place effect, and pick the drops from the list. Unfortunately autosave started throwing a terrible error. I experimented moving everythign but the .sef to the override and the module wouldn't open properly (no worries, I had a backup).

It's exactly what I need, but I'm not sure how to safely install it for distribution and/or development.

I'd also like to slow the drip rate and make it less frequent. According to the author this is possible in the effects editor, but I haven't been able to make sense of it.

The other fx I haven't tried. It requires dumping most of the files in the override directory.

My new modules is already making use of some haks, some override files, some music files. I prefer importing and erf, or importing a hak file. I've never liked putting content in the override directory. It's hard to tell what is needed for what module or resource, and it's horribly messy. I am going to do that to get a few things into the mod I really want, but again, I dislike it.

So... my questions...

1) How to I get the drip vfx installed properly for development.
2) How do I redistribute the drip vfx
3) What is the best practice for including custom content?

Please note, I do not have the talent or time to create custom effects or items. I have a profound respect and appreciation for anyone who takes the time to do so. I sincerely hope this doesn't come across as complaining, it's not. I just want to know how to use these resources. I think there great! I need 'em!.

I'll post this on bioware's forum too.


* Update *

I got a great reply on biowares forums about part of my questions. Good info on best practices here. I've had problems with 2da files and now others have too, so I'm not sure how I will proceed overall. I still don't know what to do with the FX file I've got. The post on the forum is here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Odd Birthday Convergence

There was an odd birthday convergence yesterday, July 19th. I posted about 'The Birthday' by Maerduin. Yesterday was also Adam Miller's birthday, who is also a modder who has produced some amazing adventures. Yesterday also happened to be my birthday.

How odd...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

'The Birthday' Reviewed on NWVault

The Birthday by Zach Holbrook aka Maerduin was reviewed by NWNVault today. The Birthday is one of my favorite NWN2 modules, if not the most favorite. The areas look fantastic. Peak at Maerduin's blog, he frequently posts jaw dropping screen shots of his new project. The story in the Birthday was outstanding. The module is brief but the ending really gave me an emotional jolt.

I greatly enjoy playing NWN1 and NWN2, but there are very few modules that have taken me beyond my basic enjoyment of RPG games, and really engaged me on an emotional level. Those modules are a rare treasure. The Birthday is one of those rare modules. Demon by Adam Miller was another, in the case of Demon I knew the characters so well by reach that module that I had become attached to them. I'm a father and husband, so putting a spouse and child in danger in the beginning of Demon was something I was able to identify with strongly.

You can read the review here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Keep on the Borderlands

* Updated Screen Shot *

I had a nice post on the NWVault module page for Keep on the Borderlands from Mr Darke. He included a screen shot of his adventure through keep on the borderlands. Here it is below.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dialog, Dialog and more Dialog

I had a nice family vacation last weekend, but did a bit more dialog last night. I had a rough plot outline with all my locations to start, and now I'm plowing through the dialog. I'm hoping this works out like a movie script, where I only build the locations I need to tell the story.

I've seen some other posts about folks who have built large areas that people may never see. I've done this in MANY of my modules, and I think that can lend to an open ended feel. Doing all the dialog first is a different approach for me and hopefully it will produce good results.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Amraphael's Blog

I had a couple of kind replies to my last post (Thank you), one of them was from

Saturday, July 7, 2007

More Dialog

I wrote a pile o' dialog today. It's coming along nicely.

I plan on writing most of the main dialog first to help flesh out the plot structure I've got. I'll build the areas I need to deliver the story after that.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


With the custom music and custom henchmen conversation triggers behind me I am back to writing dialog. The story I am telling has an outline and I have envisioned the key scenes but I need to work on the dialog and fill in what are largely 1 sided scenes in my head. I see them unfolding one way but want to allow opportunities for role playing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Music Woes

I had half a day off today and spent just over 2 hours playing with music in my new module. I had already prepared the music clips as MP3s. Today I converted them to BMU files and tried to make sense of the various tutorials I have found on the forums.

Bottom line, although the music is listed in the toolset it does not play. Hmmm...

... rather frustrating.

Here are links on the forum with more on my woes:

Forum Link #1
Forum Link #2

Time to set this aside and work on something else.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Characters & Music

I've been working on some major and minor NPCs that will require the use of a few hack packs. It looks like this will really crank up the ultimate download size a bit.

I started grabbing bits of music I'd like to use an looking for instruction on including custom music. It was a little tricky for NWN1 and it looks like it's going to be even more complicated for NWN2. I have found many contradictory tutorials, some instructions would make your game non-updateable, others include the music in the game but not the toolset.


Hopefully it won't be too bad to sort out.