Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Big Surprise That Wasn't

Well, I'm flying through my latest testing of TMGS, and I’m reasonably pleased with the number of notes I'm taking of things to correct. There's virtually nothing left that would constitute a real bug, and I'm still well below 100 comments while being a ways into Act III. Nearly every note I've taken can be handled quickly.

My two beta testers, however, both came up with a rather nasty bug. Specifically, two small interior maps in Act III cause the game to crash in some instances. After examining the error logs, it appears that the problem isn't with the module or even with NWN2, but rather with the NWN2 call to the MicrosoftVisual Studio 2005 runtime DLL, probably during a screen draw. I'll need to hunt down exactly what the issue is, as the fact that both of my beta testers ran into the same problem is probably a sign that I'm in for a lot of grief when it's released to the general public. Funny enough, neither I nor Alazander had this issue, so it’s not universal, but there’s definitely some hardware or software configuration that doesn’t like those two maps.

Note that if anyone out there is a wiz at external API invocations and thinks they can help me track down the exact issue, I'd appreciate it. I've got both error logs.

Once I track that down, I should have a very polished version. However, I'll have plenty of time to continue testing because in what was the worst-kept big surprise of all time, I recently agreed to collaborate with StrangeCat Productions on custom music for TMGS. The process was initiated early last week, but I'm already excited about the results. I've posted a small snippet of Verona's theme (the love interest for male PCs) below.

Also, I managed to find enough pictures of a similar style on the net to make start and ending movies viable. I’ll be sure to post the start movie as soon as the music for it is ready.

So these two developments mean that the final production will have the far more professional feel I was originally hoping for. Things are looking up!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alaska is Cold in January!

The title may seem obvious, but first-hand experience is an eye-opener regardless. I have just returned from my (hopefully) last business trip to Alaska for a while, but this one just had to come in January. I will say that -35 degrees F (-37 degrees C) with no wind feels a LOT warmer than even -5 degrees F (-20 degrees C) with a 5 mph wind!

Then there was this poor bastard. It wasn't the worst I saw, but it was the worst I saw when I had a camera handy. I can't believe people actually agree to live like this full time, but I guess the world needs all kinds. On Saturday, I woke up to -25 degrees F in Fairbanks, AK, and ended up in 75 degrees F in Melbourne, FL. That means I actually made up 100 degrees in a day. Crazy.

Maimed God's Saga
One of the benefits of my week in Alaska was that I returned with renewed fire to wrap up TMGS. I just received the detailed feedback from my first beta tester, and there are several small issues to handle. However, his wrap-up comment was as follows:

Can I also note I think is is a much stronger piece of work than the SG series despite the character restriction. By the end I was thoroughly enjoying playing the priest character!

I'm currently waiting for the feedback from my second tester, but he seems to be near the end.

In other TMGS news, I have an exciting announcement coming up, but I want to get a little further in before I reveal exactly what. If it all works out, it's going to be cool.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Preliminary Maimed God Business

The World of TMGS
Juan's question in my last post leads me to remind people what the map of the Maimed God's Saga Campaign looks like. As he remembered, the world map was indeed made using the Civilization III toolset, as I revealed in this post. The overall map has not changed since then.

The campaign starts in the center of the map at the village of Riverford, then moves to Navatranaasu, and then moves to the area around Waterdeep. To be clear, the map has a colorized insert of the area around Navatranaasu.

Character Creation Guide
The starting level for TMGS is 6. Enough XP will be given at the beginning of the module to bring the character to the player's choice of between levels 5 (for those who like a challenge) and 7 (for those who like it easy). However, I know there are some who like to take a character all the way from the beginning, which means you'll need to find a suitable adventure for levels 1-5. For those who are ready to start getting their character ready now, I've uploaded the character creation guide here.