Saturday, 28 June 2008

Bunny Bo (Another New Family Member!)

You may recall that on the 24 May, Jennifer and I took in a bunny, Daisy, that had been rescued by a friend of ours. Daisy has been settling in over the last few weeks, and like us, she was surprised to learn that we were soon to acquire yet another bunny.

This time, we have welcomed "Bunny Boy", renamed "Bunny Bo". He is a bunny that belonged to a neighbour of our friends, Phillip and Jenny. I had once met Bunny when Jenny called me to come and help her with him, after he had escaped from their neighbours into their garden. I ended up spending the whole day waiting with him until the owners got home. He was such a delight to stay with, and I said that if they ever thought of giving him up, we would take him in. That was before we had Daisy, and so when I received the telephone call today, you can imagine the situation at home with Jennifer and myself.

The short story is that we agreed to take him in, even though he will need to be neutered before we can let him run free with Daisy. How easy it will be to bond Daisy and Bunny Bo, only time will tell. In the meanwhile, you can visit PhotoBucket, where you can see Bunny Bo's first pictures in his new home. (Select slide show in the top right hand corner for a show.)

Friday, 20 June 2008

Soul Shaker Enters Top Module Listings

I am pleased to announce that Soul Shaker received its 10th vote today and enabled its current average score of 9.47 to help it become listed in the Top Modules for NWN. It is currently listed as #11, and considering how different it is to the standard game that people might be expecting, I am very pleased with how well it has been received. It is a really great feeling to now have two projects recognised in this way. As I may have mentioned before, my Readable Books is listed as the #1 NWN2 UI interface. However, considering the amount of work I placed into Soul Shaker, I am glad that it is receiving recognition.

The success of these projects does help to encourage me to do more work with the current module. I suppose I will have to take the plunge and buy a new computer soon, or simply try to continue with what I have.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Reaching A Limit

Now that the number of areas I have outlined for the next adventure has increased, I am finding my computer starting to take longer and longer when working with them in the tool set. And while I am reasonably patient, I am finding the slow loads and manipulation quite difficult to work with and may have to consider getting a faster computer sooner rather than later to help alleviate the problem. I know I could work on areas individually and import them, but I do not like to work like that, as it can cause me other issues later on.

The main computer that I use the NWN2 tool set on at the moment (AMD Athlon 64 3500) was built back in March 2005 and is beginning to show its age when running this sort of thing. However, my finances are a bit all over the place at the moment and so I may have to put designing on hold until things settle down. (After all, I have just bought a new camera as well.)

In the meanwhile, I have been making very slow progress, and have managed to achieve some results that I was after. Take a look at the night and sunrise screenshots. (I hope they don't give too much away.) I am probably about 15% of the way through designing the next adventure. However, I would also like to flesh out a few ideas I have to go along with it (as side quests or additional mechanic ideas) that will have to wait until I can build more efficiently. Hopefully, if a new computer does speed things up significantly, then I may be encouraged to open up the tool set more often than I have done of late.

SOUL SHAKER UPDATE: There was no D&D played tonight. I hope to play again when we are back to a full complement of players, which I hope will be in the next week or two.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Countering Evil Magik (ADV)

It was a battle intensive session this week as the heroes continued in their current task of countering corrupt magik rune circles throughout the ground floor of the citadel, which, in turn, were being defended by automatons called Alatrons. The game ran smoothly enough, and I noticed only a couple of minor issues:

  1. The Spirit Disruptor was not returning the correct number of fragments for damaged items.
  2. Corpses would not always turn hostile after being disturbed.
I have brought out patch v1.07 to deal with the first problem, but am uncertain what is causing the second. It could be down to a slower network connection on the offending computer and for the time being I have changed my LAN connection for the computer with the problem from 10 to 100. (I have put the netmeeting on the slower connection as the network card only supports 10 anyway.) I have only been able to do this since removing another computer from the network that had been on the only other 100 connection. I am hoping this action will also deal with my slight delay I experience when playing. Furthermore, this may also deal with the timer difference we have been experiencing. Time will tell.

SYNOPSIS SNIPPET: (REALM LEVEL: 7th) REALM TIME: 21 Hours 05 Mins

"The group went up the stairs and found they led to a large library area. The area was dark, but the group could see mushrooms and spider webs were scattered about the area. Grimbold set about clearing the region of mushrooms with his bow, while the others kept watch for spiders. They did not have to wait long, as suddenly, out of the shadows, groups of spiders came to see what had disturbed their nests." Read the full synopsis here.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Daisy (A New Family Member)

As followers of this blog will know, my wife and I lost our dear little rabbit, Anakin, two months ago. The last two months have been very hard for both of us. In the last two weeks though, we have been trial "parents" for another rabbit that had been rescued by our friends from someone who treated her with cruelty. Our friends already have a number of pets and were fostering "Daisy" until they could find a permanent home for her. As they knew we had just lost Anakin, they had hoped we might be able to take her in. I agreed to a trial period only, simply because I find the grief of losing a pet to hard to bear, and having just lost Anakin, I found the whole aspect of caring for another pet too difficult. My wife, however, longed to fill the empty space in our home, and suffice to say, the two week trial ended in a new family member.



Daisy is a dear rabbit, about ten months old. Initially, she was very reluctant to human contact (understandably) and would often growl and wave her front paws in defence if you went to stroke her. In the last month since being rescued, she has come leaps and bounds (if you pardon the pun) and now wants to be stroked, and will often come up to you for the attention.

I bought a Canon D400 digital camera (I have gone digital at last), so that I could start to take more photographs. Photography has always been a hobby of mine, but prior to now, it could also be an expensive one. And while the new camera was an initial cost, all photos taken since have been for next to nothing in cost. Daisy was, of course, the first subject of my attention, and while she was afraid of the shutter clicks at first, she now loves all the extra attention and is now an obliging model. Check out my first lot of pictures of her at PhotoBucket. (You can look at the pictures as a slide show using the option in the top right hand corner of the page after selecting the album you wish to see from the left.) Hopefully, I will add more albums as I get the time.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Academy For Modding Excellence (AME): Debut Author Nomination

I am honoured to say that I have been nominated for the Debut Author category of the NWN1 2007 AME awards. After all the years of writing D&D adventures, this is a real honour to have a recognition outside of my own immediate group of players (which is still very much appreciated) and a great encouragement to continue writing for a larger audience. There is even a YouTube Video with some of the gameplay from the Soul Shaker module. (You may have to switch to high quality viewing to make the video playback work.)

I have always been interested in writing. As well as writing adventures for D&D, I also wrote a novel about my campaign, entitled "Deep Within". Therefore, recognition of this kind is greatly appreciated. Hopefully, I might be able to continue giving more work back to the community as time goes by. I am already working on the new era of my campaign (NWN2), which is aimed at a wider audience than previous works.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those supporters of my work over the years, of designing and making material for NWN1 and NWN2 and still have great respect for the testers who have helped me iron out problems to make the modules play as smoothly as possible: Herrjeff, Mike9215 and Phantasma. Thank-you.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Perversions (ADV)

This was another session free of any problems, which lasted for a good two hours with much happening in the way of combat and puzzle solving. As before, while the timer showed two hours play, I think we probably played just over that. I had an idea to make the timer more accurate, but as it was a guide to Realm time only, it does not matter.

I have been struggling to concentrate over the last few weeks, and so this session was quite a refreshing change to be able to enjoy the game without too much effort. Hopefully, as time goes by, I will feel more in the mood to get back into designing the next set of adventures. For now though, I intend to try to relax and enjoy a few games and playing about with my new Canon 4ood camera. You may even see some pictures uploaded from it soon ... we have taken in a new rabbit: Daisy!

SYNOPSIS SNIPPET: (REALM LEVEL: Sixth) REALM TIME: 19 Hours 30 Mins

"Apart from the strange circle, the chapel appeared empty. There were some heavily barred windows along the west wall that could not be breached, although the heroes could hear the sound of heavy rainfall outside." Read the full synopsis here.