Monday, April 23, 2007

NWN2 Building Journal #1: Being Creative

Module - The Necromancer's Tomb

Step 1: Make a Plan
I'm from the old school of Dungeons and Dragons, when elf and dwarf were the classes you chose not the races. I am dating myself here I know but the point is this; I have an archive of preserved maps hand-drawn on graph paper. So here I go, a 32x32 multi-level dungeon. For this stage I pulled out some of my most well-planned maps and quests and started puzzling them together to produce a mega-module suitable for Neverwinter Nights 2.

Step 2: Digitize
No problem, start drawing out the map. I used the crypt tileset for this one because it suits the story-line. This step is fun, I was able to lay out my rooms with no problems what-so-ever!

Step 3: Populating
Well here is the stand-still. I have to populate every room so it doesn't look like the same old drab tileset at every turn. I've got my initial hallway done and the following room together but I am running across my main problem: Detail. I can't just throw things together, it has to be perfect. If I make a row of coffins they have to line up on all sides (down to the .1 on the coordinates). So making one room of coffins and other items can take me forever depending on the detail required.

Step 4: Scripting
So I've already dealt with the scripting a bit, I have to say that even though I have worked with C and Visual Basic a little I am still a little confused at the scripting. I think I have conversations down but now comes the hard part, all those funky little effects I want? Well I have to figure out how to program them.

Additional Stuff: Lighting
Well my original concept for lighting isn't working well. I had orginally wanted a sort of will-o-wisp type creature to wander the hallways. I have to create a skin for that. I would like to call it a Living Spell (courtesy of Eberron) I think a living dancing lights spell would be fantastic.

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