Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Conversations, Companions and the Summer

After a quiet month I figured it was about time for an update post. I have spent a bunch of time writing conversations, which is admittedly my weakest point. Over the past few weeks I have written a little shy of 10,000 words but it seems to be a faction of what I need. I have been working on a large plot area with a number of NPC as well as companion dialect specific to this area. This part has turned into a bit of a chore unfortunately but I continue to plug away, if nothing else I at least open the toolset most days and read through the most current conversation correcting grammar and adding lines here and there.

In between working the conversations I have been working on the companions as well. They have turned into a bit of a drug for me. I really enjoy creating them and their personalities. For this campaign I have a total of 8 companions all of which are optional, excluding a small 2 level cave area were one companion is forced. They are found throughout the game and only 2 of them will approach every player. One of my early post talked about companions and using them as a tool to tell the story. Each companion has a in depth back story and will offer something unique to the party. That something varies between the companions, some will have access to special abilities, open different parts of the game or directly effect the plot. Most of the companions will need to either be in the party at specific times or have certain levels of influence with the player to unlock these bonuses.

My addiction to companions has made my conversations that much more difficult. They will often jump into conversation offering their opinion to either the player or the NPC that is being talked to. Many of these interjections are random. In some instances a specific companion will talk but in most one of the companions will randomly be chosen to speak. Now there are eight companions but some will have different responses based on their influence with the player or if their unique ability/or whatever has been unlocked. So eight quickly multiplies especially when companions will also have banter with each other with multiple lines based on inter-party relationships. So it quickly becomes a spiderweb of conversation lines.

On a different note when I should have been writing conversations I was working on a spell that a necromancer companion will have. The end result of the spell is a powerful zombie in advanced rot. Looking through the models available I didn't want to use the zombie appearance as it just seemed too mundane. I have already used the ghast for several creatures so I was left with little other choices. I have been looking at the drowned since I got SoZ and trying to figure out what I could do with it. For most of my custom monsters I have modified visual effects or created glow/tint maps but the lack of feet cause me to look at the diffuse map. With a little copy and paste I was able to take his arm texture and add it to his missing legs and feet. Below is a screen shot of that creation.

I have been considering giving him a visual effect of a green cloud him as he is off gassing. A brownish green cloud just a little bigger then the cloud with the mummy dust effect.

This will likely be my last post for the next several months, but since I am on a once every month or so schedule it may not make much difference. I will be breaking out my old tool belt and doing a remodel on my kitchen and dinning room (the dinning room also happens to hold the computer). So instead of working on Risen Hero I will be banging nails for the first half of summer.

So there it is, my update. And to anyone reading this have a good summer.