Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mysteries of Westgate Released!

At long last, the sordid saga of Mysteries of Westgate's release has ended, and the sordid saga of the actual campaign can begin for thousands of fans. Over the next few weeks and months, I will comment much more on various aspects of MoW, but for now I implore everyone to go download and play it already! If you like crpgs, you won't be disappointed.

And I also want to draw attention to Ossian's brand new relaunched website. Check it out when you get a chance. It's quite spiffy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Playing Through Act II

Mysteries of Westgate
Well, I probably won't post again before Wednesday, so I'll just again remind everyone that Mysteries of Westgate, the most exciting NWN2 experience ever, is due for release this coming Wednesday, April 29th. I'll also tell everyone to check out Ossian's exciting newly-revamped site... but it launches tomorrow so wait a day. It won't be long until MoW news will be everywhere.

As an aside, Alazander had a magnificent post about the MoW and DRM "controversy" a few days ago. I suggest those who haven't have a read. It pretty much summarizes my thoughts on the subject.

The Maimed God's Saga
My Act II play-through, polishing, and bug-squashing crusade proceeds, and I'm pleasantly surprised by how much of it works. That may sound odd, but there's really no end of stupid things I can do (or forget to do) to break a mod, and I really didn't test anything prior to this past weekend. The worst part of the testing so far was that a number of the placeables that could be "talked to" weren't firing their conversations, mostly because the walk-mesh wouldn't allow the PC to get close enough, but that's all been worked through.

There was a question after my last post as to the length of TMGS. I've played through Act I a ton, and can say with certainty it is about 1.5 hours long. Act III is about 3.5 hours long. I've played through only a fraction of Act II, and I've already hit 3 hours of actual play-time. In all liklihood, Act II will come in at around 8-10 hours, making the total campaign around 13-15 hours.

To be honest, there is starting to be a slight doubt in my mind, though. I'm going to have to play through a little longer and get the core worked out a bit more before I decide to act, but I kind of think Act II might be a bit too linear for my taste. It's really supposed to be a wide-open investigation into the cause of the VanGhaunt curse, but it's not quite feeling that way yet. Maybe it's because I know too much about how it's put together and am just working my way through all the campaign events in a very methodical manner. As I said, I'll give it more time before I do any restructuring.

And now for an actual in-game screenshot, the first one from Act II and the first one period in several months (not including load screens). As regular readers may remember, TMGS started out as an aborted novel. What may not be known is that I had named the cleric protagonist in that novel Sheridan Steele. By the way, to tie this in with MoW, Sheridan is, in many ways, my inspiration for Charissa Maernos, but how that came to pass is another long story.

Anyway all my play-throughs are with a cleric with the name Sheridan. In this scene, Sheridan and her ranger guide (and future love interest) Tancred arrive at the VanGhaunt mansion for the first time and have a look around. More soon, but for now, Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Act II Scripting Done!

OK, so I've been silent for a while, but rest assured I have not been still. I've been sick for ten days or so, and I had a quick jaunt to Illinois for a funeral. But in between I've been making steady progress. But first a couple quick hits.

The Third Sign
Sorry, Hugie, I had it in my notes to plug this next time I updated, and then I got sidetracked by life, but better late than never.

As many are no doubt aware, Ossian-mate Hugie has been working on a NWN2 adaptation of the opening of a soon-to-be-published novel by Gregory Wilson entitled The Third Sign. It's already been on the Vault for about a month, but it looks to need a few more votes. Two votes for 411 downloads (as of this writing) is a bit of a travesty.

Just a few of the things The Third Sign offers:

  • New Music Tracks
  • Voice Acting for Major Characters
  • Pregenerated Protagonist

And, of course, you can get a jump on the upcoming novel.

Mysteries of Westgate
Yeah, it's supposed to be out on April 29th. Realistically, that's probably true, or very near to it, but... well, we'll see. I'll leave it at that.

The Maimed God's Saga
OK, the big news here is that the scripting for Act II is finally done, and I officially started play-testing yesterday. Keep in mind that this scripting included expanding Act II by two more sidequests and adding a few extra goodies including another couple companion interactions. A major step has been cleared.

As always, I got a major thrill the first time I walked through the streets of a world I created. The world was alive at last, even if there was quite a bit of funkiness to it. But the most thrilling thing of all is that I now know I got the feel of Navatranaasu pretty much dead on. I meant to make a town under a heavy pall with decay and despair evident at every turn... and I can giddily say I got it. Dark hues, dim lighting, cobwebs and debris everywhere, and a cast of depressing and depressed people! Sweet!

It won't be long until the screenshots start coming, but I don't think anything I post will quite be the same as playing. Hopefully, people will turn the lights off when they play and feel the hairs on their neck start to stand up... BOO!

Sorry... I just always get psyched at this point in development. In the words of Hannibal from the A-Team, "I love it when a good plan comes together!" More later.