Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Joy of Prefab-Terracoppa sex

As I mentioned before, my plan is to use prefab areas a lot more from now on, to really free up my time. So I've had fun with two areas so far - Teper's swamp and SGK's farmlands. So I've mainly been importing and modifying these rather than build my own areas. In some cases there's some fairly heavy modification, but having the basic texturing done is a great time saver. The Terracoppa tool is also handy for manipulating prefabs to get out of them exactly what you want. Good example - the farmlands prefb had an area that would have been perfect to use - but it was in the unwalkable surroundings - so terracoppa let me easily slice out the section I needed and move it around.

The second half of the screenshots are form an area I needed to make myself. I've kinda got to the stage I often find myself in with area building - all the terrain sculpted and key placables fitted... but now I just stare at the texture pallette and try to work out what to do next. It's this first leap into texturing I find the hardest bit.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back in Blighty

Finally back home, back to the joys of UK public transport and delays on the trains from the airport, back to British sandwiches which pale into insignificance next to American ones (pastrami and swiss FTW!), back to poor customer service, back to everything being twice the price... ahh, home! San Diego was fun, if a little hot for my tastes. Got to see Arnie in the flesh (shorter than you'd think), party on the top deck of the USS Midway (bigger than you'd think), drink too much Sam Adams (nicer than I'd thought), and see the Padres beat the Detroit Tigers at the baseball (much more fun than I expected). Man, you guys are really into your sports statistics..!

Well, thanks for the support in the last post. Very much appreciated. I was doing a quick email check before I left the hotel and spotted on the Bioware forums that the AME Golden Dragon winners for NWN2 had been announced. Links to the right, and in the other blogs that have posted already. I'm the very proud recipient of the Best Roleplaying Module. Winning, especially in this category, means a lot. Roleplaying is what I enjoy, and what I wanted to achieve. Plus my two favorite modes were up against me! - Subtlety of Thay and H&C. When I started DA, I did wonder if people would 'get it', and I'm glad so many did. So thanks again, to players, community and the AME. Cue me crying like Gwynneth Paltrow....
If you havent already, check out the AME forums and the NWN Podcast ceremony, completely trouser free!

So, flying 25 hours in the past week gave me time to watch quite a few films/shows I'd been meaning to get round to thanks to in-flight entertainment. complete with Four Word Film review synopsis
  • Cloverfield - not great to watch in turbulence due to camcorder filming (bleurgh!) but OK film. Aliens level Manhattan overnight
  • No Country for Old Men - love Coen brothers movies, and loved this. Lived up to the press. Fun with an Air-Gun
  • There will be Blood - I'm fascinated in history by the period of time, 19th through to very early 20th century American - how the growing frontier was explored and settled. Grew from my love of westerns when i was young. I found this film fascinating if slightly uncomfortable viewing. Daniel Day-Lewis shows what acting is about. Worth checking out. Oil man's slippery downfall
  • Persopolis - I'm a big fan of animation - especially Japanese anime, and comics/graphic novels. I'd heard good things about this film based on an autobiographical graphic novel about a young girl growing up in Iran, moving to the west, then returning. Enjoyed it a lot. Ran from Iran, returned

Also saw Semi-Pro and AvP2 but stopped half way through. Pity as I'm usually up for some Alien vs predator cheesy action, but wasn't taken with it. Watched some TV comedy - mainly Family Guy, old Red Dwarf. Also saw some more of Flight of the Conchords, which is great stuff. Didn't get much of a chance to read some of the Salvatore books I took with me - but did find a copy of a graphic novel version of the early Drizzt stuff, which I picked up.


OK, enough of the self-indulgent blog stuff. OK, one more quick thing - I got 4th edition D&D books - waiting for me when I got home. Really not sure what to make of it yet. I always hated the old school D&Ders who refused to even look at later editions just because it represented change. But I find myself falling into that a little with 4e. Some changes I think make sense, but others leaving me a little cold. For a new system it seems interesting. But I don't think they've achieved the goal of making D&D more simple. More on that some other time.

Basically, there's nothing to report with DA3. Coupla early stage screenies from the opening area. Going to be doing exterior work for the next few weeks I think as I lay some of the ground work.

Saturday, June 21, 2008



...more later but i have a flight home to catch

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Are you going... to San Di...ego...

... OK wrong 'San' city and my hair isn't exactly long (or bouffant) enough to have flowers put in it, but the sentiment's there.

Flying out to San Diego for a weeklong conference on Saturday (Arnie Schwartzenneger and Colin Powell are talking! Will have to stop myself heckling with Conan and Red Sonja quotes (for Arnie, not Colin...). Work building up to this has been a nightmare. I find that stress at work saps my creativity generally, which is a pain, as it means my refuge of the toolset doesn't welcome me. I've made a very crude start on the first 2 areas of chapter 3 - one modifying a prefab swamp in part of my drive to use more pre-built content. Actually, i've made major changes to water and lighting (which can alsmot create the effect of a new area in itself), and quite happy with the result.

The second area is a hamlet on the edge of the swamp. It's my chance to build a village properly, as I Like to think my areas have improved form my first starting village in chapter 1 all those many moons ago, so keen to do his one myself.

But work is crazy and not had much time to get things underway. Might be good to have a break for a bit - although I do have 2 11-hour flights to fill in whilst I'm travelling...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New companion - Ruevena

Feedback on Chapter 2 is positive so far - glad the feel is that its a good development on chapter 1. It's nice to be back on the list on the front page too! Although I think when I released Chapter 1 the minimum score to get in that top 15 was quite a bit lower. 99 modules were released between chapter 1 and 2 coming out. Not bad going really for the community, and signs of it growing and developing..?

As I mentioned, Chapter 3 will bring in the final companion. Ruevena, CE human female Ranger/Sorceress/EldritchKnight/Assassin. She's a 'feral mage' as i've dubbed it - a child of the outdoors with a strong talent for magic she doesn't fully understand. I'll leave more personailty traits to be revealed in game - although I'm not really planning on her being a romance option. I'm trying to pick a good portrait for her, and here are some on my current shortlist, in rough order of preference from left to right. None of them quite right so might have to do a bit more searching. . .