Thursday, August 21, 2008

OK, So I'm Back

Actually, I've been back well over a week now, but I didn't want to post until I had something useful to report. First, though, a tribute to this little guy.

Those familiar with Brussels will recognize him as Manneken Pis, but I like to refer to him as The Little Pisser. The day we went to see him, they had him dressed up as a tour guide or bell hop. Hey, whatever; I traveled halfway around the world to see a 2 foot tall statue of a peeing boy dressed as a tour guide and wearing a rain coat... and I wasn't alone. There were hundreds crowded into that street.

More about my trip later when I organize all the pictures a bit more. For now, it's on to:

The Maimed God's Saga
So I was standing in St. Michael's Cathedral in Brussels on the first full day of my trip, and a strange thing happened. I began to hear in my head the main theme for The Maimed God's Saga. Some people may call that "insanity," but I prefer to call it "inspiration." I have to admit that my motivation was slipping just prior to my trip, but as I stared up at the vaulted ceilings of the gothic interior that day, I found myself rejuvenated, and I couldn't wait to go to work again on TMGS... only I still had 2+ weeks of my vacation left. Bummer... OK, not really.

So when I got home I started seriously kicking ass, and the recent advent of tropical storm Fay, which has basically hovered over my house the last two days, has meant much canceled work and lots of Maimed God time. The tasks I have completed since my last update are:

  1. All Act III dialogs (~ 50,000 words total) and Campaign dialogs ( an additional 3500 words) finished
  2. All Act II and Act III journals (~ 5000 words) finished
  3. The map updates I discussed last time finished
  4. The Act III scripting is about 35% finished

In addition to all that, I laid out a story board for the beginning and ending movies, wrote the scripts, and approached someone about drawing fifteen 2D drawings. He agreed to try one to see if everything would work. Hopefully, it will go smoothly, but I won't reveal who it is until I'm 100% sure it will. I'm a little stoked because this means for the only time in the development, there are two parts of the campaign being developed in parallel. This, of course, equated to faster progress.

Anyway, the new matrix as of right now is as follows:

I changed the journals so that they are all technically campaign journals, which explains the difference in reporting, but the important thing is that they're all done.

Three major groups of tasks remain. First, the scripting. Second, the extraneous art content (movies and music). Third, the testing. My plan is to bang out the scripting while "anonymous" works on the movie art. Whenever the 15 frames are completed, I'll do the magic to "movie-fy" them and check that off. Otherwise, I'll just script until I can do my own internal alpha-testing. Once I'm pretty good with all that, I'll send the module out for beta-testing while I nail down the music. At that point, I'll alternate music and bug fixing until both are done. Lastly, I'll do a final pass through the haks, one more round of testing, and release. With this coming weekend fairly open and next weekend a four-day holiday for me, I should have plenty of time to crank on the scripting... only football season is again approaching ominously on the horizon...

I also cruised the hak packs again and found some very interesting art content I'm going to add, but I'm going to do it in one big update to all the maps after the scripting and maybe alpha-testing is done, so I can incorporate in whatever new art content comes with Storm of Zehir. These include the vines and splatter pack, cobwebs, and mystic runes.

And that's it for the update: short, but dense.