Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another New Blog

Here is a link to ANOTHER new blog. The Stygius blog project. Michele/Liso told me about this project during my NWNPodcast interview. I had a peak at their wiki and this looks to be a very entertaining project. Here is the link to the Stygius blog.

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Blogs

I found two new blogs this morning. Both look relatively new, but are by names I know well from around the NWN Blogosphere.

I'll add persistent links to my blog as well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More Anti-Virus Woes

I was lucky enough to recieve a copy of 'The Orange Box' from my wife for Christmas. I had a few minutes to get it installed and I tried the first few minutes.

Shortly after the game started I got an onscreen warning that read:

Warning: Paged Memory Pool Low
After a few minutes the game locked with looping sound in the background, just as Half Life 1 Episode 1 used to. For Half Life 1 I found a start up parameter that forced the game to run in direct X8 mode, which solved the problem. I wasn't excited about the solution but was able to play the game.

I did not have the warning in Episode 1. With this new error message and some quick research I found many forum hits and this official support article.

The article said:
In practice, we have found that certain anti-virus applications allocate a large amount of paged pool memory that cannot be freed until the anti-virus software is fully uninstalled from the system. AVG 7.x, Norton and NOD32 have been identified as anti-virus packages that allocate large amounts of paged pool memory and directly interfere with Source engine games. If disabling these applications does not help with the issue, you may want to consider uninstalling the anti-virus application to diagnose the cause of the crash.
I did not want to run with out AV. Totally disabling it, including the resident shield did not help. I pulled it off just to see with the intention of putting back right away. Sure enough the game ran fine. (UGH! Antivirus. Can't live with it, can't live without it.)

I am running a different AV program for the moment. YUCK!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I'm going to be quite busy with my kids and family for the next 24-48 hours so I wanted to make sure I got in some holiday wishes to everyone who stops by this blog.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

12 Days of Starcraft

This is an oldie but a goodie.


More Hythum (Airship) Pictures

I'm still chipping away at the town I posted screen shots from the other day. Here are some updated shots, with a little more detail and polish. Again it's a nice opportunity to experiment with the Airships and the edge of the world that will be needed regularly in Hythum.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hythum Screen Shots and THANK YOU AMRAPHAEL!

Here are some VERY early screen shots from Hythum. Nothing polished, but I could resist showing off the amazing airships from Amraphael.

It's gonna be a while... but Darmok and I are moving forward with this project. The airships are fantastic. You can play the NWN1 version of Hythum now!


AVG detects a false virus in NWNmain.exe

I was excitedly testing an Airship model from Amraphael tonight. Looked great in the toolset then I fired up the game. The menu/launcher started. When I hit 'Play'. AVG (AntiVirusGuard) popped up and told me there was a virus in nwn2main.exe. I choose to ignore, assuming it was a false positive do to a bad/new virus def file I grabbed tonight. The splash screen closed but not game. I tried again, same steps no result.

I looked for nwn2main.exe directly and found it had no icon... odd. I ran it directly. No dice.

I restarted. I tried the launcher and exe directly with AVG disabled. No dice. It did not load.

I ran nwn2main_admXP.exe. Success, but I don't have an amd processor. (The airship rocked by the way).

So... a quick search revealed the following posts:

Bioware Forum Thread # 1
Bioware Forum Thread # 2

The unofficial resolution is to uninstall AVG. I'll disable it while playing, editing or patching but I am going to run AV software. I have also read the nwnmain.exe is not fully patched. So I may be looking at a reinstall. I will watch the forums for a resolution, and hopefully AVG will have a fix for their end of this mess too. If anyone sees a clear/clean resolution post a link in the comments section please.

I am fully patched (whew) ... this can be an issue. Darmok, my Hythum partner found the following solution on the forums:

Solution Thread

If you turn off resident shield in AVG you are back on track. It runs. This is not a good long term solution but it works for now.


Great Reference of Tips and Tricks

I saw the link to NWStuff blog on Amprahael's blog today. Lots of very useful tid bits of info for modders. I'm going to add persistent link on the right hand menu.

Airships by Amraphael/Nihlar

Check out Amraphael's blog for pictures of airships he's working on. These airships will figure prominently into my next project, Hythum. They look amazing. I'll include my own screen captures once I have a the airship in place. Awesome stuff.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema's Back on track for 'The Hobbit'

It looks like New Lines Cinema and Peter Jackson have resolved there squabble and are back online for the film version of 'The Hobbit'. I have read it will be split into two films. Oooh......

read more here

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A new blog

The Gaming Parents Studios blog is now online. Gaming Parents Studios is formerly the NHiN team. As a parent who writes mods constantly I have to give a shout out to this group. Kudos... other people are as crazy as me. (to write mods with kids). Go get em'! Check out the new blog here.


It feels like work on Hythum is under way for real now. There are four areas under construction and a HAK pack full of music. Maerduin, has given me permission to use some of the original music he composed and record for H&C. I need to find a suitable place to include it but I am very excited to have permission to do so.

Also, I've done some work with my partner in crime on this module. I've mentioned him by name before, but I'll have to figure out if he wants to go by his name or handle on line. For now I'll use his handle, 'Darmok' Darmok and I spent the day working in the toolset yesterday. Darmok brings years of testing experience to the table, most of it in the gaming industry. He's also a long time D&D player. We've played D&D together since we've been 15 or so. It's the first time I've worked with someone building a mod.

We spend part of the day getting Darmok ramped up on the toolset, particularly on creating outdoor areas. Although we did not finished with texturing or decoration we have a partially constructed area that looks great. Darmok seems to have that 'oh my I'm addicted to the toolset' look in his eyes. :-)

It was a good start and a fun day.

NWPodcast 41

Neverwinter Podcast #41 is out and it's a barn burner. Monty Markland, from Rogue Dao Studios co hosts newly hired by Obsidian joins Jay, Trey, and Michele as a guest host. You know Monty from the highly acclaimed Rogue Dao Studios.

Michelle has a great interview this time around, Maerduin is the creator of The Birthday, Harp & Chrysanthemum (which I've been raving about).

All in all there is amazing information and fun in this episode. If you are not listening to Neverwinter Podcast, you are missing out. It's fun, entertaining and a great resource. The people behind the podcast are first rate folks.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Door or Area Transition Load Screen Override

Amraphael/Nihlar has posted on his blog and on the NWForums regarding an issue with the Load Screen override field in the Door and Area Tranisition events. You should be able to change the loadscreen by specifying the image you see by entering a value here, overriding the default loadscreen for the area. I distinctly remember reading this very early on, perhaps in the 'Don't Panic' user guide/tutorial or some other resource. I offered a suggestion (which didn't help), and I remain quite curious. I've searched the web looking for an answer but I have only found Amraphael/Nihlar posts and questions, no solutions.

I'm curious myself, and a motivated to help. Amraphael/Nihlar, like most of the community is very willing to share and help others. I was hoping posting here might catch someone eye and lead to a solution.

Any thoughts as to why this isn't working?

Amraphael's Blog Post on this subject.
Ampraphael's NWN Forum Post.

Let's pitch in and find a solution!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ladyelvenstar's Blog

While hopping from blog to blog I found Ladyelvenstar's NWN2 blog. Looks like she's working on her own mod, a bit of custom content and helping Jackyo with sequel to Night Howl's.

Very cool! It's worth a look!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Harp and Chrysanthemum - 9.75 - Outstanding

I finished playing 'Harp & Chrysanthemum' by Maerduin. I posted yesterday but here are my revised thoughts and rating which I posted on NWVault.

Awesome! Fantastic!

I feel like I am playing D&D again. I suppose that sounds odd with all the NWN2 I write and play but it's great. It's better than my own stuff by far. I’m a modder and I’m generally happy with my own creations, but I don’t think I can produce something quite like this. Truly amazing.

It's the game playing experience I've been craving. It looks great. It's stable. It's balanced. It's interesting. I like the characters and care about what is happening. The latter doesn't always happen, I get the plot and I am curious, but the emphasis on companions really does it for me. There is a death very early in the game which 'hooked' me into the story. The Paladin has an interesting back-story and my romantic interaction with her is believable. Camera angles are great and the custom music is excellent.

I used to teach music, and knowing that you composed and recorded your own custom music has earned a special type of appreciation from me. (I want to steal your music for my own stuff.)

Wow. This mod works on every level.

It’s better than most games I have PURCHASED. Some studio should gobble you up and give you a strong creative voice in a future project.

There are some battles are a bit hard, and the battle with the skeletons on the plains is virtually un-winnable. I had to flee the area to revive my companion’s then return and pick off the bad guys. Seemed like a ‘cheat’ on my part to get through it. You might consider making this battle a bit easier, or perhaps use a scaling encounter, although the latter would screw up the perfect cut scene that precedes the battle.

Everyone should play this mod.

Other than the balance issue in the one battle, I’d say it’s darn near perfect.

Please write more modules.

I think I am a decent mod writer, but I can’t hold a candle to this. I’m starting on a new project now, and can’t even imagine reaching this level of quality.

Well done. Well done indeed.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hythum Redux and 'Harp and Chrysanthemum'

If your not aware, 'Harp & Chrysanthemum' by Maerduin is out. I've raved about 'The Birthday', Maerduin's earlier mod. 'The Birthday' looked fantastic and had an amazing ending that actually got an emotional reaction out of me. I enjoy gaming, but only a few experiences have really produced that type of response for me. I'd recommend playing 'The Birthday' if you have not.

I've been watching Maerduin's efforts as he developed Harp & Chrysanthemum' and it looks fantastic. I've really been looking forward to the release of this mod. Between the outstanding look and the positive experience I had with 'The Birthday', it was not something I was going to miss.

I've downloaded the mod, but surprisingly haven't fired it up yet.

I'm doing a little development on Hythum for NWN2. I have a couple of small interiors built and I'm starting on my first exterior.

I'm on a bit of a roll so I don't want to start, but I also know what Maerduin's stuff looks like and the general quality of his work. Frankly, I'm chicken I'll get discouraged and stop working on my mod for a bit. :-)

This is at the top of my play list none the less. It's getting precedented ratings for an NWN2 mod, and even without playing it, I'd recommend that you RUN not walk to NWN vault and download this mod. 'Harp & Chrysanthemum'.

Maerduin's is also on my daily list of sites I visit, and if you're not stopping by once and a while, your missing out. It's quite interesting.

Looks like a bit more Hythum for now, but I am not sure how long I can resist the call of 'Harp & Chrysanthemum'.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Neverwinter Podcast Interview

Episode 40 of Neverwinter Podcast is now online. Episode 40 marks the 1 year anniversary of Neverwinter Podcast, and it also includes an interview with me! I haven't listened yet, I'm downloading as I write, but I am thrilled and excited! I had a blast chatting and working with Michele, Jay and Trey, the hosts of Neverwinter Podcast, and I am grateful to have been invited and included.

Here's a link to Neverwinter Podcast Episode 40, with my interview. I'll add a persistent link on the side menu too.

Looks like the download is done. Time to listen!