Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Planescape Chant

Progress on Risen Hero has slowed down to a crawl over the last month and will definitely be slow for the next few weeks. Several reasons for this: First and most obvious is the holidays. The season of shopping and weekend parties is here. The second new time sink of mine is the game Left for Dead 2. Normally I have minimal interest in 1st person shooter games, but this one is like crack. So my nights are often spent shooting zombies instead of working in the toolset. Finally Kamal has released an updated Path of Evil to playtest. He has modified a bunch of stuff and added a number of new areas that I am looking forward to playing.

With RH I have been kicking around the idea of adding another companion, because apparently I like to torture myself with massive conversations that have too many branches. I have been mulling this over for a bit and knew if I was going to add this companion I needed to do it very early in the creation of chapter 2. The second chapter will open up and come away from the linear play of chapter 1. If I wait too long to add the companion, updating conversations would be a massive task to include them correctly.

That idea has come to pass but instead of one companion I am adding 2. In a moment of pure genius I figured how to limit conversations, one of them is a mute. He will still have a base conversation and interjections into NPC conversations with probing stares and dramatic fist shaking. The two new companions will be found together and will be using the relationship system. Their relationship will be between level 1 and 2, so they will join with individual bonuses if they are both in the party.

As I started writing their intro conversation, their history and personalities started to emerge. About half way through the conversations I discovered that they were not native to Faerun, but instead came from the Hive in the city of Sigil. This called for a immediate rewrite or modification of the first half of the convo. As I needed to work a bit of chant into the conversation. So now the new companion gets to call people fun things like Berks, Bashers and Cutters. She also gets to tell people to shut their bone-box, or pay up some jink, all while avoiding being added to the dead book.

The key as a research chant is having her conversation lines remain understable. It would be very easy to turn her conversation lines into complete gibberish very fast. Luckily not being overly familiar with the dialect helps, as I need to be able to read and understand what I am writing. For the most part just a word or short phrase is replaced with the chant. These are often easily figured out using the content of the conversation. So my approach will be little pieces here and there and the phrases and words used will be fairly consistent. If she uses a phrase she will generally use it for that saying instead of switching back and forth between common and the chant. I have included several lines with a lot of chant and those will be difficult to understand. But with the PC responses if the player has a high enough lore skill they will translate the line (and earn a small xp bonus) or they can either ask a companion or just say what and have the line translated. These will be very limited. Right now I have two such lines. One is a side-quest opener and the second is how the player discovers where they come from and kind of why they left. "We lived in the Hive half a turn back, but a cony-catcher peeled us into some slippery business and we had to bolt from the Anthill."

At some point I will put together some decent screen shots of the areas I have been working on to break up these rambling posts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No Screen Shots?????

The overland map is just about done.
-I need to work on the goodies. I am planning to create swamp specific placeables and not use the SOZ goodies. Most likely I will be using something similar to wyrin's foraging system.
-I changed the lighting a bit. I received a comment about another green swamp, so I have taken it and changed it to more of a brown area. The lighting I originaly used was the default swamp lighting from the OC, which is very green. I tweaked the colors making everything more grey and brown, generally making more of a drab area. The area fogs have also been changed from green and yellow to tan and grey. It is a darker lighting, but I do think it looks nicer. I did leave the water a darker green, but I figure there is just a high algae count.
-The wandering monsters are all set. I have created three areas within the swamp and each area has a specific creature. Slime, lizardfolk and undead. There will be an sub-area for each main creature type with a boss. Once the boss has been defeated that group of creatures will be gone. This next part I haven't started looking at too much but will give it a try if it possible with the system. I would like to go and if 1 of the groups' boss is killed then they will no longer spawn. But the balance of the swamp has been thrown off and I would like to increase the chance for spawning creatures in the other areas. Kill of the lizard folk and their chieftain and they will no longer have war parties to protect their territory and hunt the undead so the undead numbers will increase and cause the player more trouble. Once all three of the groups have been killed the chance of encounter will greatly decrease and mostly be natural predators: alligators, snakes and such.
-The final thing I need to complete is the area transitions from the swamp to the sub-areas. The placeables are all in the swamp so they won't be spawning like SOZ. I looked at the spawning in but with the true .5 scale I didn't like the look and I don't want all these big blue glowing placeables either. I am either looking at making a trigger that will start a conversation if the location has been spotted. With the spot an area transition VFX will be placed in the trigger location. The other option I am considering is using the SOZ system but instead of spawning in the location placeable spawn in a marker. So all the locations will have the marker outside them to start the conversation to enter. This is most likely what i will be doing, just need to come up with a nice looking placeable to mark these locations.

I have been working on 3 of the sub areas so far. 1 is 100% complete. A smaller cave complex filled with myconids (thanks to RWS). My 5 year old drew up the plans and populated the mushroom caves. I did have to redirect his original plot as it was complete and epic story in itself. The 2nd area is nearly completed. It needs a few conversations and loot. It is for much later in the game as the CR is well beyond what a starting player would be at in chapter 2. The final area is a set of ruins that is populated by a demon cult all it needs is to have loot added and lighting/sounds.

At this time modding has been going very well. I have only try a few areas in game so far. Most likely I will try to get the swamp area mostly complete then go through it tweaking and improving. So it will be a while to I put up a bunch of screen shots.

I would like to thank everyone who has played through chapter 1. The feedback has been great and I have been keeping up on the little bugs here and there that are found. Checking that page is definitely a great way to gain some motivated before jumping into the toolset!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Swamp Overland

Since the last post, I have been working on the swamp overlandmap. At this point I think I have most of the area design all set. May need to reduce a few VFXs to lower some of the memory usage, maybe too many interior tan fogs over the mucky water. I borrowed the OC swamp day/night cycle and just increased the fog and decreased the daytime light intensity.

For the area I tried to maintain a true 1/2 scale, unlike SOZ that uses 1/2 scale for visibility but isn't a true scale. As for creating a swamp it was a true challenge figuring out how to create the land with a workable walkmesh and have minimum dips and bumps. I found what would be nice rolling countryside in a normal area turned into massive hills and holes. After a few different attempts to on how to create the random walkpaths through the swamp I discovered a fairly easy way to do it. I had created all the major points within the swamp first and just had to connect them. I flattened the ground so it was .1 higher then the water, with with a massive brush I used the noise feature at 100%. That created the random low and high points then it was a matter of raising and lowering the terrain to connect the low spots and smooth out the high spots. For doing that I used a inner of 3 and outer of 4 at around 15%. The water is all unwalkable for a couple of reason. The first is there are alligators in there and the second was trying to maintain a walkable height so characters wouldn't disappear just wasn't going to happen.

So now onto the terrain triggers, spawning 2das and whatnot.

Does anyone know of a good overland map tutorial. I search the vault and come up with very little. The official one is garbage and barely tells you anything. Right now I am going through the global scripts and poking through both SOZ and WPM to figure this out.

Below are some screen shots:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chapter 2. Back to the toolset

I have mostly wrapped up play-testing kamal's Path of Evil. It was a fun game and should definitely make every one's to-play list. He did a great job creating an evil game. Until this game I always was never able to complete a game playing evil. I definitely plan to use some of his approaches to evilness when creating evil routes in Risen Hero.

Below is a screen shot from Path of Evil. It is the general area from Risen Hero. In the upper left corner you have the Trielta Hills where the Ruined Village was. Then off to the right is the Sunset Mountains, where the monastery and Dor'Gallon's fortifications were. What took a whole game to cross, my character in POE was able to do in 1 to 2 seconds. But then again that guy was a hell of a runner. When I found the scale in the bottom cornor he could run 120 miles in like 4 seconds.

So building Chapter 2.

I made a bit more of a suspense or suprise ending to chapter 1 than I originally planned for. But it seemed to fit best in that spot and trying to place it into the beginning of chapter 2 wouldn't have worked as well.

For chapter 2 I am trying to grab the player and bring them right back into the game with the start. You get to return to a familiar area, had to do just a little updating to show the passage of time. The bigger twist I withheld for the beginning of this chapter. I won't give it away, but it was something that was very hard to do and I've been thinking about it for quite a while. I've been trying to see if I could avoid it or change it, but for the story demands it so it is happening whether I like it or not. But enough of that.

First day back and I updated an area, spent a bit of time in the visual effect editor, wrote and scripted 2 cutscenes (still need to do static cameras), created a new club with a on-hit script and a bunch of other stuff. So it was probably one of the more productive times I've had with the toolset. Maybe being away for a month just having this stuff rattle around might have helped.

With chapter 2 I plan on opening up the play, breaking free of the linear play of chapter 1. The player is now more powerful and the marauding army has been broken. The player has more allies and is no longer running for survival. To create a bit more of this free play I am working on a wold map. Yes, a world map, I don't really like overland maps. Too much walking and waiting. You have to load the overland map then trek across it then load the area you trying to go to. If there are wandering monsters you need to load the battle area then reload the overland map. So I will use the world map, click and go.

I do plan on using the overland map but more for individual area. I have a swamp that the player will be mucking through. For that area I am looking at using the overland map. There will be the plot area they are looking for and numerous other areas of interest they can look into. I am hoping to create more of a vast feeling to the area and offer more side quests. The swamp will be similar to the Waste area in chapter 1. A bunch of non-plot areas to gain experience, develop the character and just do and find neat stuff.

An another thing I have been thinking about (but no plans yet) is using the overland map to create a city. It will decrease the time needed to develop the city and reduce resources need to run a full busy city with wandering NPCs yelling out speak strings and such. In the overland map I could see some guards, or other NPCs wandering around to interact with. Then the individual areas accessed through the overland map could be a single street, alley, park or building interior. I think creating a single vibrant street would be much easier and a better experience for the player then trying to create a block or two that have maybe 1 or 2 points of interest and the rest is fluff. I hope to cut down on the 3 dozen NPCs either that don't talk or all use the same random talk tree.

So there it is. Chapter 2 is in the works.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Update done just need to pack it and upload it.

Risen hero has been out for two weeks and over two hundred downloads. I am also very excited that the majority of feed back has been very positive. Fortunatley there appears to only been three larger bugs all of which have been corrected.
I managed to break an appearance slimming down the model hak pack
Left out a condition check for a companion that caused a plot conversation to fail. A fair amount of people decided to kill the half-orc barbarian thug.
And for some reason one script didn't fire based on int checks. Added a redundant journal check and everything went fine.

Spent the last day cleaning up some grammar, punctuation and bag spell check choices. Kamal created a great list of things to cleanup.

I have also added a few weapons and suits of armor in my ooze cave so a player isn't left swordless right before the end battle. The items were fun to create. I didn't want to drop mundane items in there but i also didn't want to reward the player for having their armor disolved by a bklack pudding. So a player can now walk away with a suit of dented plate mail, some modly leather armor, a rusty long sword and a bent mace. The moldy armor is by far the ugliest thing I think I every made. I tried to keep every color slightly different and it is a big mesh of clashing greens and browns.

I should have the update up in the next day or so.

I have been playtesting kamal's Path of Evil. This is a great game and does a really good job of making an evil game. Most of the time the evil path choices in other games are just random, meaningless and rather boring.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Chapter 1 has been released and is up on the vault. So I figure I will have a short break then get back to work on the second chapter


Friday, August 13, 2010

Taking the Challange

On a whim I decided that I would take a deep gnome and try to run through the campaign. I was doing just plot stuff, ignoring all side quest and doing only the minimum to move along. I made it 3/4 of the way through without ever leveling up. I still needed about another 500 xp for level 2. If everything was done at that point a player would normally be closing in on level 7. I will have to recommend that: (1) players try to take advantage of as much as possible to maintain balance. (2) avoid character races with more then +1 level adjustments unless a greater challenge is desired.

Below are the screen shots showing how well that gnome fared. The thing that kept this gnome alive for so long was her insane AC. With kaedrin's ninja class and combat expertise she was up to 26, not bad for a level 1 character with no armor.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Why would you do it that way?

Play testing is going well, at this point I think I have made more big errors fixing little things. 1 playtester has made it all the way through and 3 other play testers (my wife being one). Hoping to have at least 2 complete play throughs before release.

There have been 2 game breaking issues. 1 was an ipoint placed in the area of the final battle that somehow wasn't set to plot and the last 2 lines of the end game convo where attached to it. So it an area effect spell destroyed it you can guess how that went. The other game breaking pointt I created fixing something small that I didn't like.

It amazes me all the different ways of approaching something. You rack your brain trying to come up with all of them during creationbut sure enough someone will habe some different idea.

So I am hoping to have a release on Aug 26th. It may get bumped a day or two but it is coming soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Play Testing is Starting

The game has been uploaded and anyone interested in play testing send me a message.

Hopefully everything will go smoothly with no big issues.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Damn You Party Conversations

That is how I spent the other day play testing.

I learned a important thing about party conversations and how starting them differs from other conversations. This issue I had was there were four items that would start a conversation when the player when used. The conversation would start but only the first line would appear as a speak string. Before switch to party conversations, one of the items used a nwn1 convo style and worked fine. On the use script I had the user start a convo with themselves. This however doesn't work with party conversations. If a companion used the item the conversation start but that companion wasn't part of the conversation. So I figured ok a player can't start a conversation with themselves with a party conversation, I could live with that. My next solution was to use an ipoint in the area, and since the conversation could be started anywhere in the area I have the script ignore start distance. With this I discovered that start distance and involved distance (I just made that term up) are different. Again the conversation would start but drop out after the first line since the player and companions were too far from the ipoint. At this point it was time to take a break and work on something else. When I returned I had the script destroy an ipoint with a certain tag then create a new ipoint at the users location giving it the same tag as the destroyed one. This worked. The conversation could now be in initiated anywhere and multiple times.

So don't know if my self taught scripting methods caught up with me or if this is an issue that others have run into as well. Regardless I figured I would share and maybe save someone some time.

Other then this play testing is going well, it is taking a little longer then I thought but nothing real earth shattering. My wife will be doing one play through now that I fixed all I can find. Then it will be going out to beta testers. If your interested let me know.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Play Testing

With the first play through done I found 2 major bugs. One was game breaking badness and the other prevented the PC from completing several puzzles to free the necromancer companion.

The 2nd is fixed and the companion will join. Had an issue of a script looking for a blank tag, then a wrong tag and then I had a trigger destroy itself before the other conditions for the script to work would fire.

The final issue is a little bit of a puzzle but I'm sure I'll get it over the next few days. As promised here are several screen shots from testing. The best I am keeping to modify and make load screens.

What is wrong with the below screen?

Several hill giants throwing boulders and the unfortunate companions about to be smashed.

A random cave litter with dead bodies. I used the cave tile set then the dead end placeable to create the stone walls.

Once I get the last bug or bugs (since it was a game breaker and I could go any further) worked out I will be looking for play testers. As a playtester not only will you be the first to play Risen Hero you will also get to submit a blueprint to be added the meditating monastery monks. You will need to wear the default monk robes but the rest is customizable.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Testing has begun!

The other day the last static camera was placed and all the initially grammar checks were completed.

Tonight I will begin my play-through for any major bugs. Modules 1-3 have been play tested and only mod 4 needs to be checked for game breaking bugs. Once that is done I will move onto community testing.

Screen shots of testing will be posted soon!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Good News

In 4 sittings I was able to script the conversations that took me months to write. The final areas have been finished off and the all conversations as well as everything else has been spell checked (thanks to spellplug).

What does that leave:

Static camera placement and grammar checking the conversations for this last series of I've been working on.

I need to update my 2das to be compatible with Kaedrin's most recent PrC Pack then finish off packaging my HAKS.

That will leave me to playthrough to make sure everything works and there are no problems. Then it will be time to recruit some playtesters (I will announce here and on the bioware board)

Exciting stuff!

-After my play through I will also post more screen shots to make up for my past few text only post.-

Monday, May 31, 2010

10109 Words

The conversations are complete.

In theory all the conversations from beginning to end should be done. Hitting that save and backing up the 4th module after reaching the end point of that final conversation was a nice feeling. There still is a fair amount of work but hardest part for me is done. My estimate for the third path of 10,000 was pretty much right on as well.

I was able to cut back on some of the word count by using the party conversation in several points. This cut down on their interjections since they were the speakers. In the stealth path i used cutscene conversations to scan the fort from the various hiding points. Points of interest are discovered in these conversations. The player will make skill checks to find them if they fail depending on which companions are in the party and what point of interest is being looked at they will interject with skill checks. When the point of interest is discovered an item is given to the player. That item will represent the point of interest and allow the player to interact with it using the party conversation. This will prevent having the points of interest glow blue and give them away and the player can interact with them from a distance since they may be surrounded by enemies.

So now onto scripting the champion fighting, sneaking and talking paths through the fort, and then onto the final battle scripts.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Need to Stop Estimating

Not much time has been spent on the toolset since my last post. The summer is approaching and sitting in front of a computer just isn't all that appealing. Been doing lots yard work and wrapping up some of the exterior stuff from the remodel last fall. I even put in a garden this spring and have several hop plants growing.

For a while I have had a plan for a master brewer NPC to chat with the player. Someone in the basement of a tavern or inn, surrounded with barrels of fermenting ale. He would tell the player his opinion about the best grains and hops to make a truly good ale, not some watered down flavorless thing that most of the taverns carry. But he never quite fit in with the areas. I almost placed him in the monastery as a brew master monk but it wasn't quite right. Maybe sometime I'll find a place for him but until then he'll just have to wait and drink his ale alone.

But back on topic, my estimate of 10,000 words may have been a bit low unfortunately. There will be 5 stages or points while sneaking through the fortification. The first point is in excess of 4,000 words. Granted this should be the largest of the 5 it is still is a lot more words then I thought it would be. Once I start typing and adding companion interjections it just seems to grow. I have started on the second point and I'm still under a thousand words but we'll see what happens...

So I guess that is really it for now. I'm still working these conversations and dealing with very opinionated companions who like to put their 2 cents in based on the player's choices or other companion interjections. There still is a bit too do once these conversations are done but they are the bulk of the work left.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

That Much Closer

Wrapped up another series of conversations. A player can now talk their way through the final fortification to to the final battle using either bluff or diplomacy with the occasional perform thrown in there for good cause.

Two of the three paths now have completed conversations and I have started the final path. The end game conversation is also written. So I estimate probably only another 5000-7500 words left for that last path, unless the companions start throwing in all sorts of interjections. At the most it shouldn't be more then another 10,000 words. The majority of the scripting still needs to be done, inlcuding the conversation switches for all the three paths. I have a script outlined and mostly created for the sneak path with a pseudo heartbeat checking if the player and the party is found; it needs a little more tweaking but not much. The base area design is done. The fortifications need to have NPC placed throughout, all the unique NPC already have blueprints created. In the sneak path all the usable placeables need to be added and scripted and several still need to be discovered or figured out. Currently there are 2 out of about 6 conversation/distraction points that still need a bit more inspiration. Right now they are at this point something should happen.....

So once all that is done and a character can play through the 3 paths I will move onto spelling (spellplug) and grammar checking. Exciting stuff.

So this is just a short post of what is happening, no screenshots. The conversation editor just isn't exciting enough.

Friday, March 19, 2010

In the words of gold five "Stay on Target"

So here it is:

All the conversations for one path for the fort infiltration have been completed. You can now taunt and jeer goblin, orc and ogre champions into single combat. At least in theory. The conversations are done but I am holding off scripting until the conversations for all three paths are done. I know once Is start scripting I will go and complete all three paths and still have no other conversations completed.I have to thank the bioware forum members who threw in ideas for taunts and intimidation lines. This set of conversations actually went a lot faster then I thought it would.

With the combat path complete I am trying to get into the dialog path (bluff and diplomacy). The 1st out of 4 conversations is about 3/4 complete. Having 7 companions with a party of 4 (3 companions and the PC) is quite the undertaking. The number of drop throughs to allow almost all different combinations without redundant lines is time consuming. I am trying to create a little bit of banter between the companions and allowing the PC multiple options with these conversations has quickly become a web of drop throughs, links and whatnots.

The 1st conversation set went fairly fast, the second is much slower. I keep finding myself doing different things in the toolset instead of writing conversations. I have put a stop to all new load screens until I send out the Beta for testing. But then I went and started finding custom portraits for the companions and larger role NPC. -If anyone has a good picture of a bald female half-fiend with horns and flaming halo let me know... See previous screens shots; she must be there somewhere. - I also got sucked into creating blueprints. Artechoke's doppelganger and gibberling both needed some blueprints in my toolset even though I have no current plans to use them (and all the areas have been created). Once I was one the blueprint kick I started creating demon blueprints from the fiendish codex. The trolloc models on the vault make a great demon, I just now need some boot models to make humans and tieflings have hooves. but then again none of this has anything to do with conversations....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Items and a Touch of Evilness


Magic Stuff is Just Cool
As a builder I enjoy creating magic items. I have a ton of these sitting in my toolset, some have been placed in Risen Hero and others just sit there. So far I have only placed a few +1 items here and there. Instead almost every magic item found has a unique description and I have tried to make the properties generally tie into the description.

So is there too many magic items to be found lost in hidden caves or horded by evil critters.

Maybe. So I have made attempts to add some balance and limitations to magic items.

How to Balance?
One approach I have done is to make an item have both bonuses and penalties. Now a player must choose to sacrifice something to gain something. I try to relate these weakness to the description and the other properties. Some examples would be a massive hammer or warwace with an over weighted end. There would be a massive critical property or a Daze effect on hit but the attack bonus would be decreased because it is an unbalanced and clumsy weapon. Also with the above example an on equip script may be used to sure a player has a minimum strength the be able to lift and swing the weapon. Anther example of the bonus/penalty would also be a fire amulet. The wearer would be protected from fire attacks but vulnerable to cold attacks.

The more powerful items are often not found along the normal plot line. A player must find them through exploration and finding secrets, solving puzzles or completing side quest. The more powerful items are also possessed by more powerful creatures. These battles are often optional and the items are often used against the player before they gain them.

+1 is Just Dumb
As a player I have always enjoyed finding those unique items that have a back story in their description and unique properties. The standard +1 or +whatever are boring weapons. The only generic +something items to be bought will be ammunition and most of the + items found are from the global random treasure scripts. Currently only one store will sell magic weapons and it's stock is mostly just ammunition with maybe 1 or 2 unique items. The main black smith will not sell any magic items, just masterwork and standard weapons made with different materials. That smith is able to work with more unique materials as well that are beyond the players crafting skills. A small number of different items have been placed or planned that the player can bring to him to make unique weapons with. The different items can be made into a small number of different weapon/armor types and once done can't be undone.


Item Stealing and Destroying
In the previous post I mentioned some oozes. I have a number of blueprints and will likely release these once all the testing is done. But in regards to items I have 4 oozes that dissolve weapons. Two are below CR5 that can destroy mundane weapons and armor and 2 are above CR5 that can destroy most any items. Only plot items and items that have an acid immune local variable are safe from their attacks. My mimic blueprint will steal a weapon but allow a player to retrieve it after the battle. This is an area I want to continue to explore as the game progress. Forcing the player to rely on their character and their skills opposed to having the biggest nastiest greatsword ever made.

Curses What I Have Been Doing Up Until Now
The curse flag in NWN2 is lame.

I have been using equip and unequip scripts for the few curse items I have placed. They have both bonus and penalties. One example would be a ring that increases combat abilities but significantly reduces social abilities. The curse is to prevent a player from equipping the ring during battle then removing it after to remove the penalties. When the item is equipped the the curse flag will be made true. While the flag is true the unequip script will re-equip the item. A remove curse spell turns the flag to false and the item can be unequipped but should it be re-equipped the curse will be activated again.


That has been the curse system I have been using and there are a couple of items using it, but feeling a little evilier then usual one day I put together a new curse include script that I will be using from here out.

It takes a copy of a normal item with an on acquire and equip script. The item can be anything an on acquire script will run with 2 lore checks. A a higher check will return that the item is cursed and a lower check will return that there is something peculiar about the item. When the item is equipped it is destroyed and a new evil item is created in the slot and is flagged cursed and can't be removed until the curse flag is removed.

The new item can simply be an opposite item, a ring of protect +2 will chance to -2. Or it can be truly evil and be a item with no properties but an on equip script. A fortitude save or turn to stone or even a save vs death. This script really makes most any evil idea possible and adds a bit of risk to equipping random items found in dark dungeons. These items will be rarer then other magic items but they will be included to help off set the other treasure found.

So there it is: magic items, weapon stealing and evil curses.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wrapping up the areas

Wrapped up another area today. Just need to add 2 encounters with RWS oozes, to call it complete. At this point almost all the area design is wrapped up. The fortifications may need a little added here and there but other then that I think it's good. There are a number of conversations and scripts that need to be put together, but a player can now travel through fun scenic areas from start to finish. This leaves 4 areas to write conversations for and script up.

The latest area completed is the ooze cave. There the player will get to fight acid blobs, a black pudding and one of my least favorite oozes from Baulder's Gate the Mustard Jelly. I found a script from NWN1 that seems to be working to make them split with piercing and slashing weapons. I have written up a rather nasty acid attack and damage script for the acid blobs and the pudding. These acid scripts will destroy armor on attack and weapons on damage. The blobs being a lower level ooze will destroy mundane items while the pudding will destroy everything but plot items. When the ooze attacks it first goes after any shield and once that is destoryed it will try to disolve the players armor. When attacked it will go after the main weapon while ignoring the off hand weapon. These will be optional battles so those who can't stomach the risk can avoid it but the spoils of the battle will offer the player some unique items and stuff.

The scripts use a a reflex save to avoid the corrosive acid. Each ooze has a different DC. Higher level oozes obviously have harder DCs. If the player fails the the reflex save their weapon if they attacked or their armor if the ooze attacked will have to make a save or melt away. The more powerful the weapon the better chances it will have not to be destroyed. I loop through the item properties adding +1 for each property. In the items properties there is a variable for how many times the weapon has been exposed to the acid (failed reflex save but didn't get destroy).

The save is d20+#of item properties vs ooze DC + number or exposures.

So eventually if a player has very bad reflex saves they will add so many exposures (weaken the metal) that the save will be impossible and the weapon or armor will be destroyed.

One thing I have been thinking about is the current system doesn't take into account what the enchantments are. A +1 sword and a +5 sword will have the same chances with the current script. Next time at the toolset I will likely look at the item cost and set up different multipliers so that more a power enchantment or combination of enchantments will have a increased chance of standing up to an acid exposure.

The next focus of modding will be the conversations for the champion battles and the Bluff/Diplomacy routes through the fortification then the conversations for the sneak route. I am trying to focus on the conversations as this is the most time consuming and most dreaded part of modding. Once those are done Scripting should move fairly fast. Now time for the screen shots, these are from the ooze caves. The hope is that the lighting looks like it is from a green phosphorescent moss. The area lights are all set to 0 intensity so it is pitch black. The light points are randomly placed throughout the area ,all a different heights and have a very slow flicker with a low variation. The bloom is set so it emphasizes any color but doesn't cause any substantial blurring/distortion effect.

This uses the cave tile 05. The light green on the floor is normally a light grey/tan stone

The mushroom here is a liberty cap from Wyrin's foraging system and the trapped thing on the left side is a brown mold.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Section Done

The monastery is complete and I'm one huge step closer to the end.

That area was an extensive area and took way too long to complete. Granted I did do a kitchen and dinning room remodel, make a hide system for the kobold cave and create a small module for the holiday SOZ expansion. There were also numerous other distractions including editing 2das, creating visual effects, load screens and anything else that didn't involve writing conversations. The conversations were the largest task to complete with this area. There are a number of NPCs most offer plot information. Each of the companions have different conversation trees while in this area and I also introduced two more companions. A dwarven cleric and the ever popular power hungry necromancer. I still need to do the final grammar checks and little more editing but the bulk of the work is done.

I have moved onto the final areas, a large fortification and center hall with the end boss. The area design for the exterior is probably about 75% complete, that is just a random guess on my part. This area like every other part of the game has grown in scope. Initially I was going to have a deserter guide you through a secret entrance and after a number of battles you'd reach the boss and then done. However, the more I thought of it the more I didn't like that approach. A group of four people should not be able to take out an army and it only allowed for a limited approach and didn't make full use of the player's character or the companions. So now there will be three paths through the fortification. The party may try to sneak through the fort and create diversions to avoid notice. Failure will be death, once you are discovered the army will swarm and kill you. The second path is bluffing your way through. Trying to convince them that you are mercenaries to join their cause or foreign embassies trying to bribe them not to attack your land. And then the final choice if you don't feel comfortable sneaking and lying you can challenge the army's champions to single combat until you gain an audience with the final boss. The companions you choose will make a big difference with each approach. The half-fiend bard companion will be able to help you bluff while the half-orc taunting barbarian will ruin any chances at bluffing.

Closing in on the heart of the fort.

The placed creatures are currently set to a non-hostile faction while the area is being created, later on they will kill you.

This hill giant is a captive of the army. He is chained outside the slave pen to make sure that no one tries to free or eat the slaves.
The chain is a beam effect that attaches to his back and he is set to immobile and stuck in front of the door.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Another Update

The holidays are done and it is time to get back to going through Risen Hero. I am hoping to be able to spend a fair amount of time working on this over the next two months. The kitchen/dining room remodel are just about wrapped up so that will open up some more time. Over the past month I have done a complete play through and the first three modules are pretty much bug free and working. Had to go back and do a few modifications to the sneaking system. The player is rewarded for consecutive hides and there is a multiplier added for each hide in a row. I ran into a problem when I used a ranger with his hide skill maxed out. For the last save he got over 500 xp for hiding from some wimpy kobolds. With a cap in place the system is working as intended.

I am working on re-organizing myself for the final few areas that need to be put together and wrapped up. These areas have taken far longer then anywhere else in the game so far. Some of that is due to less time spent in the toolset but the time I have been working on Risen Hero hasn't been very productive. I've been jumping back and forth between different areas, conversations, and scripts. I have started going through the fourth and final module starting at the beginning and working through everything. I need to find what is complete and what still needs work and what is just gone or missing. Hopefully everything will come together fairly quickly so BETA testing can begin.

New and improved monsters
The rescaled and tinted balor has been replaced with an actual minotaur and the war dogs have been changed from hell hounds to oversize dobermans.