Saturday, February 16, 2008

Screen Shots

The starting point in a quiet destroyed village

A fun kobold cave
*Please note your companion off screen is talking not the severed head as cool as that would be*

A nice forest cave filled with kobold death

A wonderful sunset in a desolate mountain valley

Here are several screen shots from the game, they are progressive through the game. The areas in my opinion have greatly improved visually as I gain experience and comfort using the terrain tools. I have been doing numerous touch ups to old areas as I discover new techniques.


Companions in my opinion can truly make a good game great or long and tedious. Having fun and different companions in your party who interact with the PC and the other NPCs can add a whole new depth to a game. Each companion needs to have their own personality and reason for being in the party. Interjections are also a must. The companions need to let you know their opinions and feelings throughout the game. These are some of the ideas that I have tried to keep in mind while designing and writing the dialog for the Risen Hero companions.

Currently there are five companions available to the PC. Some will come forward and offer their assistance while others will only join under certain circumstances It is likely that when playing this game not all the companions will be willing to join the PC's party. This will be determined through choices in conversations as well as alignment and class, one companion even has a random 50/50 chance in a conversation to join you. Each companion will have thier own back story some will be more elaborate and other will only be revealed in bits and pieces throughout the game. From the start of the story you will be warned about your companions, some will help you and others will betray and try to use or destroy you.

The majority of the companions (currently all but one) have their own class packages with feat and skills. They were chosen based on the companions personalities and history as well as to allow some to multiclass later in the game.

The MOTB influence system has be used and their influence amount will show up on their character sheets. Currently there are no influence feats and I don't even think that I will be using a system similar to the MOTB influence feats. Current plans are to grant some companions special powers/feats based on influence through conversation.

All companions will be added and removed from the party through conversation. They will remain at the location when you dump them unless you have some base of operations and then you have the choice to leave them or send them back.

A lot of time has been spent on companion conversations. There is a common conversation skeleton that is the same with all companions -History/background, -skills and abilities, -Area information/recommendations and -Opinions of party members. These four groups each have dynamic replies from your companions that continue to evolve throughout the game.

A relationship/friendship system is also being established between the different companions. Currently the main backbone script for this has been written. During conversation the companions will interact with you and each other and this will have a positive or negative effect relationship. Most of these changes you the PC are the catalyst that can either improve or destroy these relationships. Other characters will slowly built a mutual hatred of each other despite your best efforts to make them get along. There are only a limited number of relationships between companions for the simple reason that managing too many would be a nightmare for the player and me writing the stupid conversations. This system still has a lot of work to be done but I feel the companions and the game play will greatly benefit from it.

So this is the end of my rambling post on companions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Campaign Announcement

The Risen Hero Campaign, Chapter 1 is nearing the 50% completion point after a little over 7 months of work. It will be a single player game for a new character. It is slow progress due to the fact that I am the sole designer and writer but progress continues. I would like to thank all that have answered my questions in the bioware forums without the help this project would have been dead in the water long ago.

Campaign Description:
You awake in a destroyed village covered in blood, all around you are bodies dead and nameless. Your memories are gone yet there is no sense of urgency or burning desire to discover your past. You are pulled into an epic journey and battle that extends throughout the realm. You will rise to become a powerful hero against an unknown and growing evil that threatens all.
This first chapter has a more linear storyline that will open up as your character advances in level. You start off in the wake of a destructive army and yes your memory is gone (I apologize to all who tire of this cliche start but some things are what they are and you have no memory . . . deal with it.) Your only guidance is that of a mysterious stranger who tells you to travel east into the mountains. From that point you will be sent off into the big bad world and thrown to the wolves or more accurately the kobolds. It will be generally a story for good and neutral characters but there are plenty of opportunities for evil characters and there will be separate paths for good and evil characters to choose. Those choices will be separate paths not opposite paths. All races and classes will be fully supported.

It is set in the forgotten realm world yet it is a independent story line. I will admit my sole knowledge of the forgotten realm comes from playing computer games starting with the SSI Pool of Radiance. It will make references to some forgotten realm history and lore but won't really fit into any time line. It loosely takes place some time after Icewind Dale 2. On a whim I played an evil party and the power that they obtained by the end had me a little worried for the safety of the citizens of the FRW, so this campaign is my solution of how to stop them after they cause way too much destruction and pandemonium.

The game currently includes:
  • 2 modules (1 complete and 1 needs a bunch of work)
  • 23 areas (keep in mind many of these are smaller sub areas)
  • 5 Companions that may join your party -future post on companions coming
  • A whole bunch of NPCs to talk to and a bunch more scripts and crap
  • Custom load screens
  • Custom load hints
  • MOTB rest system, time system and influence system
  • Currently there is probably about 6 +/- game hours

This is my first module created in the NWN2 toolset. Risen Hero did have a short life as a NWN module but was never close to being called complete. So despite all the recommendations to start small and get to know the toolset I did just the opposite. This method has involved a lot of going back and updating or changing things as new techniques are discovered but I feel the end product will be a decent and enjoyable game.