Sunday, June 22, 2008

Maimed God Quickie

It was another slow week with nearly no progress... until about Friday night when things started kicking into gear. Instead of working on some small dialogs I could quickly get out of the way like I normally do, I tackled one of the big behemoths head-on. As I started into one particular dialog that is very plot-heavy on Friday night, I started getting the motivation all over again. It's not very humble of me, but I really think this story kicks ass, and I was living one particular scene pretty vividly as I wrote. The scene just flew out of the keyboard, and I barely had to edit a word from the first draft. There's a real emotional punch to some of this story - a lot of the best and worst in humanity; I can't wait to have everyone else enjoy it as much as I'm enjoying making it.

So what did I get accomplished? As a measuring stick, on a good day with proper motivation and no distractions, I can write about 8000 to 10,000 words into the toolset. (Note that this does not included scripting the dialogs, just the writing.) In the last 48 hours, I've managed to get 8,400 words done, which would indicate I worked about half-time. I'd say that's about right. As it stands now, I'm at 34,893 words total, which is 71.32% of my estimated need for Act III.

Looking at the next few days, it looks fairly wide open. I think I'll be able to advance a ton this coming week. Fingers crossed!

Load Screen Sunday
This is close to a screen shot I've already posted, so it won't be thrillingly new, but it's a big one for the module. Players will see it a ton. It's the main loadscreen for Navatranaasu, which is the central hub for Act II.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Real Life Gets in the Way!

Regular readers may have noticed the distinct lack of an update last Sunday. Well, there's a very good reason for that. You see, last week, Mrs. Tiberius209 broke her ankle in a freak accident and is now laid up on the couch. In response, Mr. Tiberius209 now gets to shoulder most of the stuff she was doing in addition to everything I was already doing. The result is nothing getting done on TMGS.

My wife's primary job right now is to get her ankle better. The orthopedist said it will take "four to six weeks." I always thought of broken bones as closer to six, but he's the expert... The reason this is so much fun is that we leave on our summer trip in five weeks. We're already one week into the "four to six," so we're going to cut it close.

Speaking of Trips
Long-time readers may remember my wife and I went to Portugal last year. This year, it was my wife's turn to choose, and she opted for a Rhein River cruise, so it's a little bit of Switzerland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Honestly, I'm not sure what to think about it for two reasons.

First, I had a college internship in Germany back in 1997, so outside of the U.S. of course, it's the country I know best (well, possibly tied with the U.K.). Every city we're stopping at in Germany I've already been to, not that there's not going to be something new or maybe a different aspect to see, but I normally like to go places I haven't been to before.

Second, it'll be a much slower trip than any I've yet taken. Normally, I'm always on the go 'cause there's always something new to see, but this time... yep, we'll be on a river going slooooow. I'm keeping an open mind, though. I guess I'll have to figure out how to relax... and given her ankle, it's probably better anyway.

So next year it's my choice again! I'm still deciding, but the early favorite is to skip the summer and instead travel in the December, 2009, or January, 2010, timeframe, and go to... Peru! Machu Pichu, Cuzco, the Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca... If that comes to pass, I can bore everyone with tales of Francisco Pizarro and the Conquest of the Inca. Yay!

Saleron Reaches 100
I've been keeping an eye out for this for a while, and it finally happened a couple days ago. "Saleron's Gambit Part 1" now has 100 votes. The centennial vote was cast by shar_xx, and he/she ("shar," so probably she) was pretty positive in the review. And, of course, one of the comments seems to indicate we have another Saleron-lover - I mean the actual character. (I still sometimes have to step back and shake my head at that minor phenomenon.)

Anyway, I thought I'd mark the little milestone here... It's odd to think that something I first uploaded in 2004 is still being played at all! But then it's the only thing I've worked on that can be played. It's not like Westgate's out...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My Life as a Moder...ator

Maimed God Update
Not much I'm afraid... Honestly, the thought of writing more conversations this weekend didn't really sing to me, and so I did next to nothing the entire weekend. I did manage to get a few dialogs done during the week, but I've only increased my tally to 26,500 words, or 57.5%. A paltry week's work I admit. Hopefully, I'll get the bug again this coming week.

So what did I do instead? Well, I have more work than I can shake a stick at, but during my computer time I decided on a little world domination, and that meant Civilization III. Yes, I have Civ IV, and while it's technically superior to Civ III in almost every way, it just doesn't have the "magic" for me that the earlier version does. And so I played as the Egyptians... and yes, the world will soon be mine... all mine! Hahahaha!

Witness the fall of the soon-to-be-extinct Sumerians! Uh, that would be the teal to the left of the screen. Yes, I know the orange are the Dutch. They'll get what's coming to them soon enough!

Some time ago, Alan Miranda, CEO and guru extraordinaire of Ossian proposed that I should be the Ossian moderator on the BioBoards. I guess this was because he didn't have the time, and I had this distressing tendency to actually read what went on there and even occasionally report to him when interesting things popped up. I was rewarded for this with... more work.

Stupid me, I agreed. It took about two months for all the approvals to fall into place, but as of about three weeks ago, I am an official moderator on the MoW board... and I'm already ready to gag. I may be about to come off as incredibly rude, arrogant, condescending, but you see, I have no idea how developers keep from absolutely telling off the ignorant masses, given some of the outright stupid things I have read. When I was just plain-old me, I had freedom to say what I mostly type and delete now that the Ossian tag is by my name.

Recently, Keehwan Her announced that MoW would be delayed yet again until July. I won't even start with the reasons for that, but the announcement seemed to provide certain people with all the justification they needed to be outright over-the-top rude. One poster typed three words in their response: "You are pathetic." That, of course, violates the board rules against directly attacking other posters, so I edited the hell out of the post. If you haven't already, it might be interested to scroll through the thread to enjoy the commotion, including said poster's response to me that he had only said Atari was "worthy of pity." You have no idea the amount of vitriol I typed and was ready to post... only to then hit delete.

You know, I'm thrilled to be working with Ossian, but things I say will (wrongly) have the veneer of coming officially from the company even though it doesn't. Oh, to be able to go back to just posting as me when the worst thing that would happen as a result of one of my posts would be for me to get banned...

Load Screen Sunday
If you all recall, part of Act I can take place on the River Delimbyre. Unfortunately, none of the included load screens were suitably aqueous. And so I made one myself. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Load Screen Sunday

Progress Report
No need to post an updated progress matrix; the only number that will change is the Act III dialog box. I have managed to add several thousand words of dialog since last update, and the total word count for Act III now stands at 24,682, or 54.5% of what I project I'll need. Still a long way to go, but I've filled in a couple of the major plot dialogs. I count 29 more dialogs I need to write covering everything from a couple line "commoner" bit to major campaign-changing monstrosities.

First Load Screen
I've decided I'll present the load screens in roughly story order with the ones you'll see first coming before those that come later. There is, of course, some variability in the play of the campaign, so some of you may see a slightly different order (not that you'll remember by then).

The first load screen is a bit of a general one I made for the opening area, though it will also be reused later on at a point I can't talk about. I'll present it without further commentary.