Saturday, September 29, 2007

NWN2 Patch 1.10

Tomoachan seems to run in 1.10. I've been reading on and off about what would change, but wow it performs better on my computer, or at least it seems to. The mouse was almost too loose and responsive. I also liked the change to the journal system, where journal updates are quickly splashed on the screen. (see below). Makes me want to play a few mods again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Palace of the Silver Princess

I nearly finished Palace of the Silver Princess last night. Excellent module! There are a few very minor issues, but nothing major. It would be nice to see a journal, but I know the PnP module well enough to keep my eye on the goal. I'd give it an 8.5.

The areas look fantastic and the use of sound is quite good too.

I loved the availability of a full featured party. Fantastic, I didn't realize how much I missed that. Kudos for including them. I always like a well balanced party with an extra fighter or paladin, perfect in my book.

I didn't quite finish it. I remember what I have to do at the end, but not exactly where to do it. I didn't find the eye either. It looks like I explored everything but clearly not. I may take a stab at looking again, but I didn't feel like walking back through every nook and crany a 2nd or 3rd time looking for the one door I missed. Not a critique just a lack of patience on my part.

I think this deserves a higher rating than it has overall on the vault.

Check out Palace of the Silver Princes here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Meeting

I bumped into this advertisement at work. It looks more like my gaming project when I visit the web site. Had to post this clip.


Here's a link to their site. Part of it looked like it could have been out of Tomoachan. http://www.defyallchallenges.com/ Is it a programming tool or a game? If the next version of visual studio plays more like I game I'd be very happy.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Return of Hythum???

Amarapher hinted that he would build an Airship after seeing one of my posts about needing and airship to build NWN2 Hythum modules. It looks like he is quite serious, and I am amazing to find the following on his blog!


Airships! Oh boy....

Did anyone read what Bruce posted after seeing that an airship might be build...

No... Don't do it... Think of the poor children yearning to spend some time with their father. But instead he will be caught in the grip of the soul-sucking computer with visions of airships in his eyes.


It calls to me.... the soul-sucking glow of the computer calls to me.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Moonshadows and Palace of the Silver Princess

Here's a belated shout out to Hugie for released chapter one of Moonshadows. It's available on the vault now, and it's being downloaded fast, with an initial reception that is VERY strong. Kudos to Hugie.

I am actually playing a bit of NWN2 at the moment. I have started on Palace of the Silver Princess by Wyrin. Supposedly it's truncated with some unfinished areas do to problems with the mod in the toolset. I'm part way through the mod and I find that it looks fantastic and is a spot on conversion of the original PnP mod, at least so far. It's been highly enjoyable. I'm not sure where the problem spot(s) are, but I have not them yet.

I don't know if it's scripted for multiplayer, but if it is, it would be a blast for a group.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What's next

Tomoachan has been out nearly one week. I've got nearly 700 downloads and a ton of great feedback. People seem to be enjoying it, particularly the original part of the mod, and I'm very happy.

** WHAT'S NEXT **

I've retired from mod writing again. The same way I do after every module...but... there are two or three things running around my brain for the future.

I'd love to do Expedition Barrier Peaks, but I'm missing a few things. I don't have a clear cut backstory as interesting as this. Perhaps if the d20 modern produces the right content. I thought I had seen a modern NWN2 mod around the vault but I can't find it.

2nd, I need something in between Barrier Peaks and Tomoachan to bridge the PC levels together.

I have my own totally unique campaign idea in my head, that has what I hope will be a few interesting characters and interesting dilemmas but it's a crapload of dialog and scripting.

Finally if there is ever an airship model I'd consider doing something with Hythum, my NWN1 campaign, but time will tell.

For now I'm playing Star Trek Legacy for a change of pace.

Oh yeah, and I've retired from mod writing for ever... for now.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tomoachan in NWVault Spotlight

Tomoachan made the NWVault Spotlight. You can read about it here.

I am very pleased with the reception the module has recieved. One of my favorite posts suggested I build more mods, and listed a few PnP classics. Toward the end of the post Tauchitz said

"So stop all this talk on your blog about "breaks" and "burnout", get rid of your life, and start building ;-))"


I thought that was great.

I have been playing Star Trek Legacy and hanging out with my kids with my free time. The Star Trek game is ok but entertaining.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tomoachan v1.0.1

A few quick fixes

Fixes in 1.0.1 include:
* Start Area now labeled ‘Prologue’
* Elora’s voice changed to ‘Female, Healer’, I was using Elanee's voice - so mentions of the Mere and Meredelain were a little odd
* Adjusted a few camera settings in conversations.
* Fixed a typo in a conversation with Navio.
* Tathli now has a glittering necklace to add light and enhance cutscenes if encountered at night time.
* Transition in land of the dead renamed ‘trapdoor’.
* The name for Elora’s bedroom, now reads ‘Elora’s Bedroom’ instead of area 3.
* Re-balanced ship attack. With 5th level characters the battle was over before the area finished loading.
* Fire memphit text should only appear once, it was firing multiple times.
* The metal bird would spawn multiple times. This should only fire once now.
* Increased difficulty of a several encounters.
* Increased hit points of some monsters
* Made some doors in maztican village static

All Hail Maximus!

Hey,

I've got a few votes in, I'm doing ok so far. I've updated the HAK rar, the readme, struggled with a few screenshots and I've updated the main mod rar with a few fixes. All of this is done quickly and efficiently, mostly with help from Maximus, the guy behind the scenes at NWVault. He is awesome. He's always been quick to respond and very helpful.

All Hail Maximus!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Thank you Darmok, Request Submitted to NWVault

Thank you Darmok. The module worked on another machine so I submitted the request to NWVault. I also contact the site admin about uploading the files which are all over 25MB. When I get authorization to transfer via FTP I will upload the module.

Very soon folks!

Then I'm done. Other than bug fixing I'm retiring from module writing forever. Just like I do after every module I write. :-)

Finished!

I'm done.

It's prepped for upload and burned to a CD. I'll take a CD to a friends house (Bruce, aka Darmok). When he's got a few he'll make sure it loads up and I have not overlooked anything. Then I'll post on the Vault.

I am going to play Battlefront with my eldest son, and if there is time, I'll load up a Star Trek game I got for my birthday.

There are some NWN2 mods I'd like to play but for very understandable reasons, I'm going to take a break.

I KNOW there will be bugs and issues after I release the mod, their always are, but I'll work on cleaning them up. Hopefully folks will be just as understanding and patient as they have in the past.

* whew *

Final Test?

I've taken care of all the bugs on my list, including the big nasty ones. I think the module is clean. That leaves two test passes. Once checking for bugs and one checking game balance.

Then I pack it up and deliver it to a friend (probably Monday) for testing on another machine.

If that looks good. The mod is done.

CROSSING FINGERS!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Many down, two to go

I knocked out most of the bugs. Two remaining bugs tomorrow. One I plan to review quickly then probably simplify. The other, I just need to slug it out. It's slow work, make a few changes, save mod, back up mod, test mod. Loading the toolset, saving the mod twice and loading the game take more time then the actual work.

Then another walkthrough with an uber character. Finally a walkthrough with a 4th or 5th level character. Anyone got their keep on the borderlands character. If you want to email it to me I'll use it in testing. Send me the character at enoa42001@yahoo.com and I'll let you know how you do in the final test.

I am sincerely hoping nothing new crops up. If so, I will be uploaded soon. I need to get a test build to a friends computer for testing. Release should be next week if all goes well. If there are more bugs, I'll keep at it.

I am pretty darn close.

Knocked a few bugs out

I've slowly knocked a few bugs out this week, but haven't had much time to work on this.

I took care of a henchmen related bug that was very important. I have one important bug remaining. The others I can always go around, or just change things if I'm really stuck.

I have a critical encounter that ends either with the death of an NPC or through dialog. When both of these events occur I call a jump the party to a new area, the same area. Then an on enter script fires and a dialog starts. This dialog starts if the NPC dies but not if they jump occurs through dialog. I'm not sure what's up. Very puzzling, but I am not out of tricks quite yet.

Another stubborn but non important bug involve using and item to spawn a creature. This is not a critical encounter, and I finally just laid a encounter trigger around the object and would have the creature spawn when you approached it. That doesn't work either. It's active... got a valid number of creatures... very odd...

Otherwise I have three issues I have not tinkered with that will be a big ol' pain in the neck. If I really get stuck I can just do something different, but I'd hate to lose some cool ideas.

Getting closer..

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Progress and a Break

I've was able to test for 2 hours tonight. I got a few things fixed, including one or two major items.

I won't be able to work on the mod until Saturday and then only for part of the day. Then it will be next week or weekend after next before I get serious time in. Too bad as I am very close.

I found replacement music that I like. I'm bummed about dropping what I thought was PERFECT, but I am very VERY happy with the new music.

So... what's left.

* One trigger/trap involving a stone block. I'm probably going to simplify this.
* One heavily scripted trap. I ported the script exactly as it was from NWN1, now it doesn't work very well.
* I need to retest a critical companion driven event. This seemed to work on the last test, but I screwed something up, and think the test is invalid.
* I need to retest the final 'scene'.
* I need to figure out why the epilogue cutscene stopped firing. I suspect it's because I added a tga to the first node, but that's a guess. (It's the only thing I changed)
* I have an issue with a custom creature. He kind of just stands there and he can't be attacked either (No it's not a faction issue)
* I have an on rest issue to correct, I'm 95% sure I've got the final solution.

Then run through it again... start to finish.

When I'll get all these kinks worked out is anyones guess.

I am getting close!

ENoa4

Delay - Copyright Issue

Ok, I love the music I've got in the module. Absolutely love it! Unfortunately it's under copyright, don't bother to ask what it is. It was perfect, it's got to go.

I'm disappointed, and this will slow things down as I find replacement music. :-(

Anyone know a good source for public domain MP3s. Something classical with a bit of variety.

* sigh *

I know music from Baldur's Gate 1 is available and I'll look at that and other music posted on NWVault.

I need a romance theme, one or two travel themes, a bit of dramatic music and something errie (I think I've got something errie).

What was cool about what I had in place was the main themes were the same in all 5 cues, giving it a very connected feel. It was great. :-(

Oh well.

Monday, September 3, 2007

I feel good! Progress made.

I feel great! I have made more progress and I am stopping for the weekend. I have successfully added load screens and tga file to conversations via HAK files. That was the last 'new' technical hurdle, new to me at any rate. The load screens could be sharper but I am happy with the effect.

The bug list is shrinking along side.

I really am closing the gap on the end of this thing. With luck 4-8 hours, no more than 16 to finish this thing up, as long as the last few major bugs fall at the same rate they have been.

I AM SO CLOSE I CAN TASTE IT!

With that said, I am stopping for the weekend.

Another Milestone

I have now moved through the entire module from start to finish in one sitting. It's possible and although there are many things to fix, the list is gradually shrinking. I feel closer having reached this new point, and I will switch gears shortly.

I will fix my current bug list, backup the mod and then play with load screens and including a few tga's in a conversation.

If I get that in and working, there is nothing left but testing.

That light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger all the time. I feel energized by this progress.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Testing and Debugging

I spent a lot of the day testing and debugging Tomoachan, except for some time with the kids, and watching the Illinois Football Game. Go Illini!

It's slow going but good progress. My stuff, my original stuff preceding the 'dungeon' is very stable and good enough to be called done. The dungeon is slowly improving. I have progressed half way through, with luck I'll be able to slug through the whole thing.

I'm presently testing with the beginning of the dungeon moving forward only. If I can get through the whole thing I'll switch from testing to adding loadscreens.

Being able to get through the whole thing will be another milestone in a sense.

The stuff that is vexing me was not a problem in Keep on the Borderlands. Fetching items from placeables, making placeable bashable, talking to placeables, I'll figure it all out, it's not awful, but less is working than I would like at this point.

I'm officially feeling pangs of burnout.

I want to release the module, I am VERY eager to share it and see if people enjoy the story. I haven't released an original story since Hythum II, and this has a lot of original storytelling.

Tired and done for now.

More testing ahead.

Oh... one major bug. The I have exterior area which is actually supposed to be an interior room. When it loaded it was very blurry. Here's a picture.


Anyone seen anything like this?