Monday, July 14, 2008

ItFR: Moving pictures

By E.C.Patterson

To celebrate our anniversary this year, my wife and I got to spend 36 kid-free hours the other weekend at a hotel overlooking Sacacomie lake. This nearly unspoiled lake (spoiled pretty much only by the hotel) is about 2 hours north-east of Montreal.

What do you think I was telling myself while taking in this view from the restaurant terrace or while canoeing on the lake?

“Damn, another weekend wasted. I could be home in my basement right now working on the mod.”

Just joking! Of course I wasn’t thinking that.

But looking at the islands dotting the lake, the gentle hills crowning it, covered by evergreens, I really was contemplating for a moment just how best I could render this landscape in the NWN2 toolset. This is not by any means the first time I have had thoughts along those lines, and I’m convinced most builders have had them too.

I used to view the world in a similar way at the time, many years ago, when I fancied myself a photographer. Everywhere I looked I wasn’t simply seeing the reality before me, but was constantly evaluating the possibility for a photograph, determining angle, analysing the light.

It got really annoying after a while to constantly see the world as a potential picture. And that was part (albeit a minor one) of my decision to let go of that intensive pursuit, and forget about being a photographer.

I hope to be able to guard myself against this happening with modding. So far so good I think.

Into the Forgotten Realms continues to progress. The mod is pretty much at the halfway point now.

As I mentioned before, I’m producing a teaser trailer to mark this event. So some of my modding time lately has gone into filming and editing game footage for it.

Here’s a bit of assembled combat footage put together for the trailer. It’s still a bit crude, and I’m not at all sure it will be part as is of the teaser, but I thought I’d show it to you nonetheless.

ItFR will have heavy combat potential, while being low in hack and slash, if that makes sense. All combat will be logically tied into the plot. The plans are for somewhere around 15 encounters that could result in combat within the 4-5 hours of the mod. The combat minded will be able to handle all these encounters by force, while those inclined to deal with them differently can cut combat by half probably.

Download version (2 mb)


Jclef said...

Those are very inspiring photos, glad to hear your anniversary was a hit!

The combat video is neat - digging the custom music track!

I must admit that my view on the world has changed a bit since modding - for the better though, because I find myself peering into mother nature's work with more scrutinizing eyes these days, which has helped considerably with area design.

Looking forward to more itFR updates!!

Ernie Noa said...

Awesome pictures sir. Glad you enjoyed your time away. I love my kids dearly but the kid free time is quite valued too.

E.C.Patterson said...

Thanks guys! Always a pleasure to have you pop-in! :)

I'm off on vacation soon for the first 3 weeks of august. The teaser trailer should be out before then (having lots of fun putting that together!).

My wife and I are planning for a record two nights away without kids while on vacation. That'll be like a second honeymoon almost. :)

I love my kids profoundly too and just can't get over how cute they are.

Anonymous said...

Those first two screenshots are amazing, they are almost real!
... :)
good luck with your mod

Maerduin said...

Yep, I've definitely caught the modder's eye from modding. To me it is always a lesson in humility: nothing I can do can ever approach the thing itself; at best I can represent the effect of natural beauty on me.

I remember going hiking last summer and looking out over the landscape: the contours might be doable, the shadows and light, even, if not the many colors; then I looked down at the ground and at the rocks behind me and saw the millions of variations of roughness and texture, the tiny dynamism in each inch of rock and soil. Very humbling.