Monday, June 30, 2014

Mapping it out

Recent modding efforts have been dedicated towards level design - putting the finishing touches on existing levels as well as getting the last few levels completed for the game itself.  I'm currently working on the decoration and walkmesh stage of the final large level in the game - once that's done, I'll have three small interiors (which should hopefully not require too much effort), and then one small exterior in order to complete all level design.

This will see all of the functional structure completed, and should basically require a test run-through of a few things to ensure that all the scripting elements are in place to ensure that events occur as they are supposed to based on player decisions. I've also recently gone through and tidied up the minimap appearance for all the areas - the generation of these is done automatically by the game, but unlike the original game, the minimap is basically a zoomed-out snapshot of the level from above rather than the sepia line drawing style.  While I could potentially produce minimaps in-line with the original game, I don't feel that this is entirely necessary, nor particularly worth the time that it would take me to do.  2D art isn't really something I'm particularly good at, so it would probably take me a while to create something that would be suitable. I'm happy that the level design is of a high quality such that the change in minimap style won't be an issue.

Part of a recently completed level

Once this is done, I'll have a bit more work to do to finish off a puzzle that has caused some real hassles in terms of scripting not behaving reliably, ensure that the last few special set items are added at appropriate locations within the game, and then add a very small amount of writing to one of the characters in the game and ensure the epilogues are put into the game.  At that point, all that remains to do is a full test run of the adventure, and attempt to get voice acting for the remaining unvoiced characters.

Thus the end of this modding venture is in sight - I'm hopeful that it will deliver a great roleplaying experience for people!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Levels, scripting and hooking together

My supposedly regular updates have not been forthcoming, and my apologies to people for that. However, on the whole, a lot of what I've been working on hasn't necessarily been that exciting to write or read about.
A large amount of my modding time over the past few weeks has been working on getting the overall flow of the mod strung together and debugging issues relating to plot progress. If that sounds unintelligible, put simply, I'm writing scripts to make sure that the game continues properly.

To explain in more detail, this work is what ensures that the game carries on when the player completes quests and works towards completing the main plot.  When the player completes sub-quests that progress the main plot and change the situation of the setting and The Shattered War, it is this scripting that ensures that the next key part of the plot unravels, and that characters react appropriately to the player's decisions thus far.  This scripting is what makes other characters remember the player's actions and then react to them - if the player has aggravated particularly individuals with their choices, they may act to hinder the player instead of help them.  There are a lot of different options in The Shattered War, so working through the different possibilities and combinations of player choices takes a lot of time to ensure that the appropriate consequences (both good and bad) come about as a result of those choices.

That said, I have also been working on a few new areas, including a couple of areas that I had previously planned to cut out entirely.  This means that there is even more content in the game for players to explore and experience...

Are these merely abandoned ruins? Or are they something more?

I will attempt to make more regular updates (I think I've suggested I'd do that in my last few irregular posts), but at the same time, I do want to make sure that the content is interest for people to read. If there is something people would like to know more about, please leave a comment and let me know, and I'll endeavour to answer your questions!