Monday, June 25, 2007

Mucho Progress

The Maimed God's Saga
Well, this weekend saw a bit of a lull in my Ossian commitments, so I really poured on the effort with The Maimed God's Saga. The list of accomplishments for Friday-Sunday is:

  • Completely wrote four conversations from scratch
  • Completed all the scripting for six dialogs (including the four from above)
  • Added ~ 800 words to Tancred's dialog (now up to ~3700 words - and not nearly done!)
  • Finished a dozen or so non-dialog related scripts
  • Made up about 20 item and creature blueprints
  • Finalized plans and details for the only key sidequest of Part I that had not been planned yet
  • Made one tiny map from scratch
  • Got about 75% done with one of the really major maps that remained
All-in-all not much to offer in a screenshot, but a ton of work completed. Looking at the list of things left to do, I'm convinced that I could be in alpha-testing of part one with about three more solid weekends like last one. I would never have said something like that before last weekend, but it was amazing how fast I was putting stuff behind me!

However, Ossian will certainly come calling in the future, so it may be a total of six weekends for me to get three to actually work on Maimed God.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

We've Been Promised Cats!

Maimed God's Saga Update
According to Lariam in the comments section from my previous post, we've been promised vicious cats in the Mask of the Betrayer. Hallelujah! "The Maimed God's Saga" can now continue carefree. Thanks to Lariam for the head's-up.

I finished off that map that was 90% done today, and a screenshot is provided. It's for the lower foothills as we leave the mountains. A few days ago, I only had 5 of 11 maps done for part 1 of the module. Now that's 8 of 11. Sounds much better. For some reason, I've been enjoying the heck out of map-making recently. I haven't made nearly as much progress on the writing or the scripting. Oh well, as indicated the maps are drying up, so it's going to be about the writing soon...


The first chapter essentially has a couple paths one can take, by land and by water. All the land maps are now done and only three water ones are left. So if I hit the dialogs and scripting pretty hard, I could now finish one path through the first third of the module...


Ossian Work Ahead
By way of future plans, Ossian has come calling again. It looks like I have another "To Do"list for the next few days, so progress on "The Maimed God" will slow for a bit. Hopefully, this weekend I'll be able to start again.

I don't want to keep teasing people with Ossian news when I can say so little, but let me just reiterate again that you people are in for some really good times. Just trust me on this!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Little Snag

Maimed God Saga Update
Well, I got my first chance this weekend to really work on The Maimed God's Saga, and I managed to put away both the map for the main floor and the cellar of The Mountain King plus I made some serious headway on another outdoor map. In fact, it's also about 90% done, so that means I now basically have eight of the eleven maps done that I need for the first part of the module.

However, I also hit my first major snag this weekend. There are no models for large cats that shipped with the toolset... I guess I never thought about it. Of course there would be large cats in NWN2, right? Well, if you thought so, you'd be wrong.

This all comes about because, as you've seen, there are a few mountain areas. I was hoping to have some mountain lions as potential adversaries. More than that, though, is that the mountain lions are pretty crucial to a certain plot point - I mean really crucial. Crucial enough for me to moan, wail, weep large tears, and gnash my teeth that they aren't present.

So the plan is to work on other things for now. I wasn't thinking I'd get the adventure out until at least Christmas. By that point, Mask of the Betrayer will be out, as will the so-called "Granny" pack that will make modeling creatures easier, and hopefully, these will enlarge the beastiary enough to have a passable mountain lion that can be retroactively inserted. If not, the "mountain lions" will have to be one of these scary creatures, and won't that just bugger all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back Again

I've only been back about 16 hours, and I'm still trying to get updated on all sorts of different projects. So there's not a lot to report right now, but I thought I'd post some preliminary pictures of Portugal. The trip was a blast, and I found Portugal to be a great country and the Portuguese people to be generally friendly.

First, proof-positive that the Romans were in Portugal. The tower in the background is called "centum cellas", and it's a 2nd-century AD Roman fortification near Belmonte. It's interesting to see already how the classical Roman architecture is morphing into Medieval form even by this point.

Oh, and my wife and I are in the foreground in case you missed us in all this talk about towers and architecture.

Second, a picture my wife took as I goofed around on the old Templar fortress of Monsaraz. I had just spotted the Moors and was shouting for the knights to man the battlements... or something like that. Yes, I'm a medieval history dweeb. I think that's been established by now. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I have the coolest wife in the world because she puts up with this kind of childishness from a 31 year old man.

In general, I was shocked by how much the Portuguese allowed tourists to crawl all over these centuries-old monuments. In other countries I've visited, there are normally lines drawn 100 yards away because idiots like to carry off pieces of history. In the States, you'd also have to worry about lawsuits; It's difficult to tell from the photo, but I was fairly close to a rather precipitous drop on that Templar fortress. There were no rails, and this was not an uncommon situation. A local told us you could not sue someone (i.e. the state trust that cared for the fortress) in Portugal for your own idiocy if you fell over the side. The US could learn from Portugal here (though you still have the first problem mentioned about people taking stuff away from the site.)

Third, a picture of the ruined Moorish fortress above the small town of Sintra (basically a suburb of Lisbon). The picture was taken from the Pena Palace, which was even further up the mountain. My wife and I also ran around these ruins a couple hours later in the day, and, as at Monsaraz, the potential for stupidity-induced death was every bit as real there as well. I don't mean to imply that looking around these sites was death-defying, far from it. I am simply surprised by the lack of safety-precautions coming from such a sue-happy society as the States.

Fourth is the shot in the other direction. My wife and I are looking back at the Pena Palace from the top tower of the Moorish ruins.

Fifth, my wife and I took a typically-tourist cruise down the Duoro River. Here she is with Porto in the background. See, proof that we did actually do something that wasn't history-related! (Technically, there's no proof that I was actually on the cruise, but someone took the picture, right?)

Finally, we took a short drive down to Sagres, to see the south-western corner of Portugal. Yes, it's the Algarve, the home-away-from-home for British tourists. It was so crowded by Brits that I was shocked - SHOCKED - to occasionally hear Portuguese...

Anyway, the Algarve is warm and sunny, right? Not when you're high up on a ledge with the wind whipping around. It was a bit chilled at this point. Yes, I look awkward hunkered down, but it's an instinctive reaction. You see, I'm 6'5". My wife... 5'3". I am so used to random photographers cutting off my head in pictures that I tend to bend down a bit... not that I blame them. Most pictures with my wife and I are better if my head is chopped out of them...

Anyways, it was a blast, but now it's back to work. I may still post a few more pictures, but I'll also try to get an Ossian and Maimed God update next time.