Sunday, July 5, 2009

Taking Stock of the Situation

It's been about a while since my last update on TMGS. Unfortunately, my progress has been somewhat slow, but as it has been a month, there's still quite a bit to talk about.

Up front, there've been a couple tough decisions. The first is that I'm about 99% sure that my hope for original music is gone. I'm not going to go really in-depth on my rationale, but I will say that given the current economic outlook as well as my own shifting priorities, I just can't justify spending the kind of money on the software that it will take to get it done. I'm going to try to find some suitable music in the public domain instead. Frankly, I took a long time to come to this decision, and I'm not thrilled about it. Most of the major themes for TMGS are running around in my head even as I write this, so it's not a matter of not being able to come up with them. Disappointing, but life goes on. Maybe one day...

Second, I've not looked incredibly hard, but I have looked a bit and I followed up what leads were suggested to me in various forums. However, I've not found a 2D artist that's willing to contribute around 15 drawings for free, so the intro and final movies are in jeopardy. I've been looking through online images to see if I can get enough to cobble together a movie that looks to have a unified drawing style. I'm close, but there are a few gaps. Amazingly, the gaps are actually what I would think are the easier drawings. For example, I'd like to find a silhouette of a man and woman walking into the sunset holding hands. There are several that I've found online, but all of them have people wearing what is obviously modern clothing, and that won't work. It makes it kind of hard to have a movie that depicts the PC and companion "living happily ever after," and without that slide, the ending movie would be really lame. So, if anyone reading this is willing to try their hand at about 4-5 pictures (and can draw), I'd appreciate it if you piped up.

So what have I done? I finished the play-through I talked about last time and took down 163 notes, 162 of which I have now corrected. The last one is a big one that will take some time. Just yesterday I finished the 162nd note, which concerned a nagging doubt I had in regards to the final dungeon of Act II: namely that it was too short. Initially, it was just a series of three rooms, each of which had an important encounter, but that seemed a little too rushed. After playing it a couple times, I finally gave in and redesigned the whole dungeon, including adding a couple more encounters, a new puzzle (of sorts), and some hopefully interesting things to investigate. To give you an idea, I've included the overhead map of the renovated dungeon. In the top left, if you look hard, you'll see three rooms surrounded by a red box. Those were the original dungeon, and all the rest, including area design, dialogs, scripting, etc. has been the task of the last week or so. I am much happier now with the final product.

The final note from my last play-through is in regards to a crucial point where the PC finally uncovers the identity of the opposing deity. It's done via a complicated dialog that's supposed to be full of pyrotechnics and very dramatic... only I have to admit that it falls completely flat. The idea in my head absolutely does not translate at all into the NWN2 medium, so I'm going to have to do a lot of rework. It might even require a whole new rewrite of the scene. I'm not looking forward to it, but it's necessary.

Other than that, I'd say Act II is now in a pretty high state of polish and fairly bug-free. Of course, I'll probably never be happy with the polish, even after release, but it has to be done some time...

3 comments:

Ree said...

2d does take quite a bit of time, even the simple stuff. What you could do however is make several mockup's in engine take screen and modify them in a 2d software. give them more of a rustic feel. Not as great looking I know, but atleast you can get your story told.

Hoegbo said...

You could try heading over at deviantart.com and ask about in the forums there I am sure someone might be willing to contribute for free. I sugest looking it up , I am probably going to do the same thing eventually.

about the custom music, perhaps I could be of any assistance, seing as I am a musician with my wn studio

Hoegbo said...

just found out myself they have a project forum where you can ask for stuff. well worth a try