Wednesday, July 2, 2008

ITFR : Not much building lately. I’ve been having fun.

by E.C.Patterson

I don’t mean to say of course that building for NWN2 isn’t fun. As an act of creation, I enjoy it tremendously and don’t see myself quitting any time soon. At this point, I believe I’ll go on as long as there is sufficient interest in NWN2 mods and the community is vibrant.

No, but sometimes, there are things I’d rather do with my 60 minutes-a-day free computer time than building. And well, since my heart and soul is firmly with NWN2, that often means just playing the game. (I thought sometime ago that Bioshock might steal me away for a bit, but it hasn’t. After a couple of nights playing, it was put back on the shelf.)

So last week I had a couple of good runs on MotB taking me all the way to the City of Judgment. As with any good thing, I wasn’t eager to end the game right away, so I’ve put MotB on hold for now, and decided to finally play the last chapter of Pool of Radiance Remastered. While RP’ing does feel quite limited in PORR, the mod has fun gameplay and well-crafted areas. Because of its general look and feel and its length, I consider it the most professional-grade NWN2 community mod out there right now (for better and for worse ;) )

Nonetheless, Into the Forgotten Realms has progressed somewhat in the past days. Xandurpein (author of Shadow of the Underdark and Tanithiel’s maker) and I have been having some great discussions on plot for the Cormanthor section of the mod. You’ll have to deal with the drow presence in the area, and while wiping them out will be an option (expect tough, monumental fights if you decide to go this way), it will not be the only course of action. Xandurpein, a drow expert of sorts, will be writing much of the drow convos for that part of the story. I’m glad of that because if there’s anything bogging down ItFR somewhat right now, it’s all the writing that has to be done.

Besides that, there’s been a bit of area building happening, including this catacomb, which makes me feel somewhat productive.

So, Joyeuse belated Saint-Jean-Baptiste to Quebecers reading this (if any!) and Happy Canada Day too. This is the heart of summer here with two national holidays within 7 days of each other. This, and the nice weather, isn't helping building on ItFR much either... :)


Jclef said...

I like the look of those screens. The lighting effects are very well done!

Ernie Noa said...

I've got a pile of mods to play but have been splitting my time between light modding work and Age of Empires III. I haven't played AOE3 in a year and it's been fun to pick it up again.

E.C.Patterson said...

Wow, fast replies! Cool. :)

Thanks J. I just realized these shots are missing something important: cobwebs, of course!

One thing stopping me from picking up another game, even if just momentarily, is having to get used, or re-used, to the controls, gameplay, strategy etc. Even if that can usually be picked up quickly, I sometimes just can't be bothered.

That, if anything, tells me I'm not getting any younger. :)

Amraphael said...

I know the feeling. I relax from my work by building on my neverending module. Sometimes I suspect that I don't want to get it finished because I'll miss it like an old friend :)

But sometimes I really feel the need do something else. As I work in the IT business taking a hammer and build real things, large things make me feel good. Today is one of those. I almost got myself fired by calling the board people and some of the larger stock holders: incompetent *beep* *beep* *beep*-holes from *beeeeep*
It was some tense minutes, but I got away with it as I was right (of course)

BTW Good screenies. They have an atmosphere that I like.

Indira Lightfoot said...

That ossuary or whatever it is called is downright creepy, and that is meant as a big compliment, heh!

And playing other games, well I have to, as I have kids that are hooked on those Lego games, from Star Wars and Indy to older ones, with space mines and build-your-own cities, knight realms and what not. Fortunately, I really enjoy playing with them, so np there! :)

Frank Perez said...

That first screenshot looks almost like a painting. Very well done. All it needs now is a lurker in the darkness, and you're all set to frighten us kiddies. :D

Speaking of having fun, I spent the past several days playing Mass Effect, the game that has had a mass effect on decreasing productivity in the modding community. The story wasn't great, but the action was immensely enjoyable.

E.C.Patterson said...

Amraphael, Indira, Frank, thanks for dropping by and for your comments.

Yes, that place screams to have ghosts. I'm reflecting now on how to bring them in logically into the plot.

My goal is to have players experience chills every once in a while during ItFR. That should be one of those places.

My 4-year old is into kiddie Web flash games. I'd rather she spends time doing that than watch TV. The comatose state she gets into while watching DVDs is sometimes frightening. I'll have to check out these Lego games for sure for when she grows out of the simple flash games.

As for non-computer related activities, I'm very much into yoga myself, and some gardening. Kids, wife, house and job doesn't leave you with that much personal free time in the end.

I know that many NWN2 bloggers have fallen under the Mass Effect. I'm of course tempted myself, but when I think about it, deep down, I'd just really rather play some mods. Raith's Solvheil series is next up once I'm done with PORR.

AmstradHero said...

Those areas do look very nice indeed. There's definitely a lot of creepy atmosphere there - it gives the impression that something nasty is just about to say "BOO!"

I managed to play Mass Effect when it came out on the XBox360 - I had a friend's console on loan while they were overseas and simply had to play it, so purchased a copy even though I don't own the console myself! I think its cinematic appeal has brought a lot of attention to the RPG genre again, which can only be a good thing!

E.C.Patterson said...

Thanks amstradhero. I just completed a new VFX that will make pretty convincing ghosts I think. The ghost voices/sounds that ship with the game give me chills every time I hear it, so I think I'm well setup to make this a bit of a scary place.

I get tempted every time I hear about how good Mass Effect is, but I just don't have the time to let myself be pulled in by it. You're probably right, it may have given a bit of a boost to the CRPG genre. I just hope it's not going to take the genre too much into the SciFi direction.