Monday, May 25, 2009

toolset free week starts ...............NOW !

so I have a week away from the toolset and its going to be a good week from teh looks of it .
sun and ice cream all the way.

today I recived a superb conversation from AUBite. I think the quality of the mod with him joining me to form a team is the greates thing tho have happened to this mod. I can now focus on more toolset related stuff. that is after I get every handwritten piece of information into a digital form. so thats my current objective. to lay down the story and backrounds as well as suplying maps for AUBite. he will have a lot to say on how the story evolves around what I have already made from the original PnP. and I think the story will improve on having a extra set of eyes focusing on the story.

however having a super scripter a 2d artist(for the worldmap(s)) and a 3d guru
would also be good to have a bit further down the road.

but as of now I can see the speed of the mod development skyrocket (well in my mind atleast)
and possible pushing the release a bit earlier.

encounter philosophy.
as much as the story is the main thing in TDM. I want to make the numerous fights interesting as well.this is something I have been thinking alot about. I do not want fights to be trivial. but not impossible either. balancing this is hard but I seem to have found a balance by testing them with different party configurations. some of my battles will require a lot of scripting. to add flavor to it. one thing I did not like with the OC was that most fights were simply "I hit you , you hit me" kind of fights. if you meet a named character in TDM. you can bet he is going to use tactics against you. evil characters will fight dirty. and hopefully I can make it so that players won't find them impossible either.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The fey ri

so I promised to show a picture of the fey'ri here they are.

the siloutte

so I promised to show a picture of the fey'ri here they are.
I only use the standard elf , add a bit of tails and the wings galore pack. and lastly the lineage 2 armor pack. voila the fey'ri . however I might make them a bit different if I get find some better armor or perhaps some wings more like the horned devil's
this is what I wanted it to look like:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A week off the toolset.

yep its comming a whole week "away" from the toolset. and I look forward to it. I have spendt the last few hours figuring out some mind boggling scripts. some worked some did not. but they I will get what I want to happen , to happen. technically i wont be away from the toolset it will be traveling with me however I'll only be getting a few hours a day which is basically "away"

in other new I have a new helper. AUBite. he is going to contribute as a writer and possibly a voice over actor. I have seen some of his writing and it bodes well for TDM. Now all I need is a genious at scripting.

so what have I been doing ? , well I have spent sometime in the studio. making music for another mod.(well 30 minutes) and started mocking up some orchestral arrangement for the first few locations.perhaps I will upload a snippet soon. also I did some work on the trailer.
not so much work in the toolset but running 24/7 toolset mayhem marathons is draining to say the least. I have done a little toolset work however. as I said I ahve done some scripting and fixed some mistakes in one of the earliest areas.
aparently I have written alot about nothing. Again. but hey Its my blog :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Overland map.

I have been playing with the overland map. and I am not able to make it do what I want.
neither am I willing to spend much more time on it as there is so many other things in need of doing. so I will stick with the original plan of a oc like map. however I am not content with what I am using now. So I am using it as a place holder until I get a 2d artist to create something entirely differently.

right now I am just taking a step back and looking at what I have I opened every area in all the campaign mods. it tooks some time. reviewing some of the areas I found some areas needing some minor tweaking(mostly the "chapter one " part but I do not view it as any time sink to slow me down.

Now I am going to create a hak with the custom stuff used. and I found a lot of nice stuff on the vault. however there are still a few things I'd like to find. like a dragon knight armor
I also forgot I have to create the cormyrian warwizard PRC class. but that can be fixed later on.

well thats it for my little update gonna head into 2da land now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Milestone Reached, all areas done. what next

All Areas are done. all exterior and all interiors areas are done. it has been painful, it has been frustrating. but I am finally there. I still have some banners and custom content to add to the areas but that I will do when I start on rebuilding the TDM HAK file. which I should be doing soon
as well as doing the Overland map tests to see what I wanna go for. Overland or OC style. thats gonna be a interesting challenge. so this is what I have left.

1. getting the map done.
2. organizing the hak, and custom content
3.writing conversations and scripting
4. voice overs.
5. The creating the soundtrack (I probably will do this in between conversations and scripting)
6. BETA ! I am not gonna guess when I will be done.

and of course getting the trailer done.

still a lot more to go ,but I am confident that I will be getting there eventually.
as for next week I'm gonna not gonna spend much time near the toolset as I am hanging out with the offspring. and I do need a vacation away from the toolset.
I hope to have some version of the overland map ready soon.
well thats it for me tonight I gotta run off to work again.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aesir complete.

So I completed aesir today. this large city is now complete in the sense I have placed the npc's and completed the areas. some npc's even have conversations to them. well a little at least.
Aesir is large. its where a substantial amount of the play time will be here. I just hope it isn't to large.
there is approximately 54 areas (give or take a few) in the city so there should be more than enough to do there. I am more than satisfied with the city as it is now. I have added a lot of optional lore for those who want to really get into the history of the city (several books npc's etc).
also for those who want. there are several factions in the city to ally with or turn against.
when we played the original campaign in PnP version I gave the players an option of going the diplomatic way or the more violent way. they managed to do a bit of both. and I hope I can make the TDM mod in the same way especially the slums area is very interesting (from my point of view) this way.

Now I am going to do the following. finish up the dungeons. and that I think will be tons of fun. I was reading up on them jsut before I started writing this. I am going to redo the dungeons slightly from the original campaign. the dungeons will be dangerous and will have something for every class.

I also am a fan of "boss" battles , this means there will be lots of custom scripted baddies. so if you see something like Gang leader or Chieftain prepare those potions :)

well thats it for now I gotta run of to work

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Slideshow: added

Added a slideshow to better show off the screenshots

The longest journey.

today I have been creating interiors. a bunch of them. I am almost done with aesir castle district. and there are still more that needs to be made. ( I estimate about 60-70) and I am tired of making them. thus I whine about it here :). but on a more serious note . thigs are actually progressing smoothly and I hope to have interiors done by the end of the month. being able to mod at work is a huge advantage. I also noticed I have spendt about 1200 hours on TDM so far (including the stuff I did before the Hard drives died) which is alot. that number leaves me wondering on how much I am going to spend on TDM. most likely twice that amount or even more. if anyone is interested I'd be more than happy to have someone assist me on interiors.
I'm really starting forward to getting a trailer out. only hinges on the studio getting on line again so I can start on the sounds, music and voice overs. eventually I will be needing people to do some voice overs so if anyone reding this would be interested let me know. (though this bit is still some way down the road.) I am also going to add a gallery of screenshots. which will include many new exteriors. and some screenshots of already known areas that I jsut didn't make public.

well thats my spam for today I still got a "few" interiors to do. so back into the toolset for me

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Background on Aesir.

heres the background on aesir as requested. I'll mark the first line of the actual description of the city with red colored text on hte first sentence.

around the year 908DR Samdar Aeris Leaves Halruua. not being partiuculary good with magic. and not having any real interest in it. He became a outsider among his countrymen. His father, a wizard and diplomat from Cormyr had married into Halruuan nobility. (which of course led to him being replaced from his position). His father Gaedyn Aeris had told him countless stories about the legendary knights and wizards to Samdar. of course being a wizard he hoped that his son one day would return to cormyr to wear the purple garments of a war wizard.

at the age of 17 he ran away from the constant harrasment for not being able to use magic. he was considered a trouble maker and violent. this was due to his facination for the purple knights. prefering sword to magic wasn't much accepten in halruuan society. he left a note explaining his thoughs to his parents. who eventually grew to understand his predicament.

At the age of 20 he was already a hardened fighter. by joining a merchant guild, shortly after leavin halruua, as a mercenary guard. he was taught the way of the warior by some of the older emplyees. After 3 years (from age 17 to 20)of being a mercenary he went on to cormyr to fulfill his dream.becomming a Dragon knight.
the boat he took from westgate took him to a small fishing village whose name is lost to the ages.
there he met a young girl standing under tha branches of a tree waiting for her lover to return from the sea. The girl said nothing only stared with a searching gaze upon the waves that washed ashore. the tree she wans standing under was sait to once be a treant wanting to ahve his final resting place near the sea. it was also said that the tree's branches grew over the girl to to shelter her from the rain.
During his stay the village was atacked by bandits. he swiftly dealt with them while assisting the fishermens defence of the village. by this he quickly became a local hero. he left a week after the incident

He went to suzail the capital and his fathers birthplace. And was strucken by the city's splendor.
he went to the suzail Dragon knight headquarters and passed every test gracefully. He had started his road to climb the ranks to eventually become a dragon knight. He proved himself in many battles and after 5 years he managed to become one of the youngest knighted dragon knights in cormyr. He was then granted land. He asked the king if there was a possibility to be granted the land near the fishing village he once visited. The king was pleased for someone to ask for this area. the fishing village. after the Birth of Sembia earlier that year a more defined cormyrian presence was needed *(See footnote

Here begins the Actuall stuff about aesir
He was granted the land and started to build a castle on the top of a hill in the rocky areas around the fishing area. With him the king had sendt Egèan Danuri. A fellow dragon knight they were to split the responsibility of making the southeast of Cormyr a better place. they shared the castle and the funds, and quickly became very good friends.Danuri was in charge of the local areas around way of the manticore a major traderoute.and Aesir was in charge of the local afairs and the "diplomatic" problems.
Having learned etiquette from his Halruuan life he quickly managed to tie lasting bonds to the surrounding nobles,farmers and hamlets around him. this led to the area around the fishing village to become the most prosperous in the region. eventually he built walls around the castle and including the fishing village.

The woman he had met so many years earlier. now called the silent widow. stil waited for her lover after all theese years. Aesir took a strange fondess to the girl and visited her as often as he could. after the construction of the walls the villagers voted to name the newborn city Aesir. which is the naem it still carries. the docks were built and ships started comming in from all over the dragon coast and the inner sea. during this period a mechant guild built a headquarters in the docks.soon the need to expand came and aesir ordered the building of another city district. the commons. the commons was originally thought of as a market center for inland trade(as the docks was for waterway trade.) unfortunately this was never realized as Aesir was found murdered in his bed, chest cut open and heart removed , alongside him lay a black rose reeking of sulphur. Aesir's fondess for the silent widow had over time evolved into love. Because of this he never took a wife. He died without any children in 935, 47 years old

Aesirs death left a vacuum in the new city's power structure. Danuri knew he was not fit for such a task so he established a ruling city council to deal with the beurocracy. he went on improving roads. hte commons were used as a dumping ground for the middle class. as the nobility claimed the castle area for them selves. a wall was built between the docks and the castle district. this left the city with three clearly defined districts and classes. where the poorest and the dockworkers lived in the docks, the middle class hauled up in the commons, and the upper class in the rocky hills of the castle district.

the nobility of aesir tried to change the name on numerous occations but never succeded due to the protests of its inhabitants.
Egèan Danuri was ultimately striped of any real power, carying only his name and the influence that brought him. which was substantial due to his family's history. the Danuri family Dragonknights was there at the birth of cormyr as a nation. and thus carried a lot of weight at the cormyrian court. He nobility felt his precence at the council meetings were not needed as he rarely was there at all.

during the late 50's a new area sprung up near Aesir. this area would later be known as the slums. people deemed unworthy of living inside the walls of aesir were thrown out ( only a nobles claim of a theft was enough to get one of the lower classes thrown out)
later the slums were filled with refugees from wars and people wanting to find a better life for themselves in a city. skirmishes between guards and inhabitants of the slumms were getting more and more frequent during hte 1360's this lead to the merchant guild giving up on the nobility to act before everything got out of hand. they build a small guild hall in the slums. they organized mercenarys and locals to create a guard unit. however the merchant guards had not much success in calming the masses. after building a wall around the district the inhabitants of the district calmed down. nobles tolerated the slums because of two things. the pleasure houses and a way to get their hands on stuff they otherwise could not.

in 1364 the current members of the danuri family Thaelan and Gregorius was accused for treason by the nobility. the evidence for this was presented to king azoun. who imidiately striped them of all property and titles as dragon knights. He also Sent out a reward for anyone who could capture them alive.
When the inquisitors came to pick them up they had fled their mansion in the castle district. and noone has seen or heard from then since.
in the years after the danuri brothers was striped of their rank. the taxes increased and budgets on repairs ,soldiers etc was cut. The merchant guild has heard rumors of large sums of money being transfered from the capital to the Aesir. this to help the strugling city with repairs.
The merchant guild has requested insight in the city's book keeping. but has been answered only with silence. the slums have grown more violent than ever and the entire city is at a boiling point.

this is where the adventure starts. I hope my wall of text didn't hurt you :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Milestone reached.

Just now I reached an important milestone. completed some of the 50ish exteriors for the mod.
now I head to the tedious task of creating finishing interiors. I already have a good portions of interiors. so I guess the next milestone will be acomplished pretty fast.
the work on the custom sound set for ree's minotaur is also almost done. I have also started some work on the trailer and I have som materials for it . mostly lacking music at the moment.
the trailer will feature some of the voice overs included in the mod.
the part I fear the most is the beta testing. I'm gonna have someone test the first few hours of the mod in the near future. I personally enjoyed it ,but then again its tailored to my taste :P

I hope there is some interest in this mod, as alot of work has gone into it . and alot more is going into it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Interor motive

So I am doing the final few exteriors. and I am going to start on the interiors. I much prefer doing exteriors for some reason. they are easier. but I am looking forward to do some of the dungeons I have drawn. gonna have those skill checks going at a fairly high rate.
did a few scripts after completing a highland area and a few conversations in Aesir. so I dont fall into a apathic state of exterior building. I also revised some of the original story to better suit the CRPG version of the PnP story. I think it changed into something better.
I also am considering slashing down some of the mods content. as the mod is starting to grow and is becoming a fairly large download without the custom stuff.
well anyways I throw in a few screens again from a new area. its a highland exterior located near Thunder Peaks.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jungle fever and Milestones

Now I am close to a milestone. Complete the exteriors.there are close to 50 of them at the writing moment. varying in sizes and locations some of them are complete with quests and and ready to be tested(I have aproximately 3 hours of gameplay ready). just now I am close to finalizing a "jungle" that I am quite happy with. I liked running around in it atleast :)
And come late June I will have a trailer ready. the trailer is delayed due to some studio equipment in need of repairs. and of course it will feature a taste of the original score from The demons melody.

Here are some screens from the area I am currently working on

Still need too finish up this part of the area

Mysteries await the ever enduring the ever adventuring default drow

What secrets does the pillar hide ?

pffff this needs more work

Thank you RWS for making these awesome models

Still got some stuff to do on that area. adding more tree's to make it seem overgrown. And just play run through it a few more times until I like the flow and feel of it.
I also enlisted the aid of another writer to create some generic conversations etc. this should help out on some of the massive workload that this mod requires.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Getting there is half the fun.

My progress seems to have taken a leap and I now have quite a few exterior areas. I still haven't logged a single hour in the sound studio.
some areas I have completed in its entirety, some still needs work. Most of my areas allow for some exploration. Since that is something I love to do myself. one concern I still have is the sheer size of the mod. but I guess I can host the mod myself should it be too big for the vault to handle. Today another piece of custom content grabbed my attention. The RWS monster pack. It has some monsters I just had to include :) . I completed the city of Aesir. its a large city consisting of 4 areas and several hours of gameplay. the four areas are :

docks ,slums, castle, commons and including a sewer stretching across the 4 areas. I am pretty content with the end results.
now I'm trying to get the last areas finished and I am hoping I will have them ready by the end of the month.

and now for a screenshot of some work in progress.

this is the area I am currently working on I got a few more floaing trees to deal with and some more coloring.