Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Instant Classic

As beta testing wraps up and the NWN2 Community Halloween mod is about to go up on the Vault, I believe I can safely say this thing is an instant classic.

The creativity, artistry, imagination, ingenuity, skill and talent that is on display in this mod is awe-inspiring.

The Community Halloween mod is by no means your typical NWN2 adventure, but it is nonetheless an absolute must-play for all those who love this game.

Thank you to JClef and the Bouncy Rock crew for initiating and pulling this project together, and thank you to the 20+ solo and team builders who rose to the challenge and made of this mod a fabulously fun gaming experience. Happy Halloween!

EDIT: It's heee-eere. Get it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

'Tis the season

Summer and its lingering warmth are behind us. The trees are bare, their leaves cover the ground. The wind and rain batter the few pale flowers that remain. It is cold. The sky is gray.


This means it's modding season in Canada! Let the games be built!

Mod building might be a bit like professional hockey. There's much more happening between October and May. There's less reason to spend much time outdoors (at least for those that hate the cold, like me), and less reason to feel guilty about it.

So I now expect building on Trinity to pick-up.

Still I'm pretty pleased with progress lately. The mod's now about 60% done. Conversations represent one of the big chunks that account for the remainder. Progress on that front is sss-loooowww. I really am rarely able to write fast. And have my fill of it after 90 minutes or so. Add to that the fact that I don't often have 90 minutes-worth of quiet time where my mind is rested and cooperative, and you get the picture.

Wife is taking the kids away for a full 36 hours this weekend. This means one Vin Diesel movie pumped out of the surround sound, and some good quality time with the TS. If I can get in 3-4 90 minutes writing sessions I'll be pleased.

Besides writing, I've been working lately on scripting and gameplay mechanics for a corpse cremation puzzl-ish sequence, some light/ambiance scripts, area design (one has been chalked up in the Completed column), and some custom item blueprints, including a very rare 300-year old bottle of Elverquisst, amongst other odds and ends.

(EDIT: I just realized that Trinity has been in development for exactly one year... Is that cause for celebration, or is it depressing? Not sure... :) My first backup is dated Oct 20 2007 - yes, I have one year worth of backups...)

And this would be the ideal time too for the community Halloween beta mod to go up. I really can't wait for this.

And now for some very interesting NWN2 building community news.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Male Tiefling Head

The new head will be included in our Halloween mod. I created it for my avatar. It's a mix of the old, new, and my own vision.

It's my first head modeled from scratch. As a matter of fact, I'm obviously not much of an organic modeler to begin with. It was also my first foray into texturing a "human" head.

I wanted to do a base mesh that I could use for other projects. Well, this one came out OK, but needs lots of improvements. In particular the nose and the mouth. So, I will be remodeling my base mesh. I don't have time before the release of the mod. Maybe somebody will like it as another Tiefling head option, even if it's not very good.

The head and facial horns are a beard option. I chose to do it this way so the head horns aren't tied to a single hair style. They cover the existing horns. Be advised that the head is normal mapped specifically for the head and facial horns to be used. They are tintable via the "hair accessory" option. I didn't want to infringe on one of the other tint options. The skin and eyebrows are tintable per the usual options.

It's NOT fully rigged. I only rigged the head, neck, eyelids, and eyes(OEI eyes). So, he'll look around and blink. I was happy to get that far. :) Rigging is another of my weak spots. But, I'm slowly leraning. There is no inside to the mouth. Lip flappers and such are out for now. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get better at it someday.

The screenshot was taken in LadyE's awesome Unicorn Run prefab. It reminded me, since I don't play the game much anymore, how good this game can look.

A couple Halloween shots

Our modest contribution to the Community Halloween mod is almost done. Just needs to have a final convo with our avatard plugged in and a final coat of polish. Here are a couple of not-too-spoiling shots (yes, the second one is an actual in-game screenshot. ;) ). Wish I could show the couple of custom items Daronas has made for the GPS goody bag, but we decided to keep that as a surprise...

The mod originally made use of the newish SetLightActive function to turn lights on and off. But since that function is broken for now, I had to come up with an alternate custom function to spawn/destroy the "same" lights at will, and in the same spot. Nothing complicated, except that BPs need to be created for each distinct light...

I personally am really looking forward to playing this shared Halloween campaign. And that's just what I plan to be doing when I come back home from trick-or-treating with the kids on the 31st.