That's the question I've been asking myself recently. Since the main focus of this blog the last three years has been released, now what?
In the immediate future, the game's been played and commented on enough for me to have a pretty complete list of the remaining bugs and minor issues, and so I know a version 1.02 is coming. After that I confess I don't know.
I have a four to five page outline for TMGS II, and I spent quite a bit of TMGS I setting up some of the structure for that campaign, but I think I'm at peace with the fact that TMGS II will never see the light of day.
I spent basically three years and hundreds (probably thousands) of hours on TMGS I. That's longer than I took for all five parts of Saleron's Gambit... combined! Looking back on that fact, I have two thoughts. First, if I had known it would take that long, I would have never started. Second, it's painful thinking how much useful stuff I could have done with that time. Maybe that sounds more harsh than I intended it to; it's just that I occasionally get a bit reotrospective on what I'm doing with my life and that represents a lot of time I could have given to my family, friends, dogs, etc. It's a choice I simply will not make again.
So does that mean I'm "retiring" from modding? I'm not prepared to say that. In fact, I enjoy it too much to abandon it anymore than I would abandon any other hobby. It just means my projects - should I choose to engage in them - will be much smaller in nature.
So goodbye TMGS II. It would have been an epic continuation of the saga. Maybe one day I'll post a summary of my thoughts on where part II would have gone. Or maybe not.
So that's what's not next. But what is next?
Well, I'm sure many in the community have heard the news of Ossian's upcoming release. I've known about this for several months, but I now only know probably 1% more of the details of this than the average fan, and that only because I had a brief conversation about the history of certain technologies with Alan Miranda around the beginning of the year. I've no idea if anything we talked about made it into the game. While some fans have expressed disappointment with the game being limited to the iPhone, I am 100% sure that Ossian wants to port the world to a PC format. If they do, I'm willing to help. Indeed, there are some indications that I may have a small project for them in the near future, but everything is still very much up in the air regarding that.
In the absence of Ossian, I've found myself tossing around the idea of another group project - something similar to the Bouncy Rock Holloween module released a couple years ago - if only because that would limit my time commitment. There are a few ideas floating around the community, but all of them are moving in directions that restrict the imagination of the individual modder - as most group projects must do to be successful - but which ultimately dampers my enthusiasm.
So my best idea is to maybe release only very small modules, maybe something akin to a sidequest in one of my larger efforts, but that doesn't entirely satisfy me either. After the massive 15-hour campaign that is TMGS, how could I "settle" for a 1-2 hour module? But that doesn't make sense as a criticism because I started with the notion that I don't want another project the size of TMGS.
Then, of course, comes the nagging thought that there is only a very limited NWN2 community at this point anyway. And while that doesn't negate the enjoyment I get from modding, sharing those creations with others is kind of the point. So I've considered whether it makes more sense to switch to another toolset (say, Dragon Age)? I'm not sure there's much more audience there, although I would have to think that there is if for no other reason than DA2 is in development.
So I guess I'm saying I'm confused which direction to go... but then I've always thought that indecision is a kind of decision in its own right.