Saturday, 24 December 2011

Readable Books (Improved Image System)

This is just a quick post to say that I have improved the way images can be incorporated into the Readable Books system of mine. Note, I have NOT updated the Vault code because I do not want to upset other people's usage of the code to date. However, I will be incorporating images into books this way in the future, as it maintains the "image consistency" of the book and allows for text to be placed on a page next to an image, which it could not do before.

This was something I looked at doing a long while ago, but time was always against me with other priorities. However, I finally decided to do it and I am pleased with the results. For those that want a heads up on the scripting involved, I simply saved a separate background image that was the same size as the original, but with the new image on it, and then held the name of the TGA file in a global variable and updated the background GUI image whenever the page was referenced, deleting the global storage between references. It worked a treat and removes the need to rely on a rather complicated bit of scripting to reference different conversation files and keep track of various tokens. i.e It's a MUCH SIMPLER system!

However, as some people may also like the "zoomed in" feel when looking at images, I have not removed any of my original code, so that the two systems can, in theory, be used side by side. Below is a screenshot of the new book images in action.

Meanwhile,I am continuing to plug away at the conversations and scripts remaining in the mod, and while there are still a few areas left to do, I am definitely on the home straight now.

And while, personally, I do not celebrate the Xmas festivals (due to them stemming from a pagan background), I do, however, wish everybody a Happy New Year if I do not post again before then. (If anybody wants to hear more about the histories of such, or simply wants to chat, I am happy to do so via emails.)

And please, do vote on the poll and leave comments as you like!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Better The .... Gods (Manual Entry)

This week I am continuing to talk about the Althéa Campaign in general and the Better The Demon series of mods in particular. As some of you may be aware, this campaign is the continuing adventure of my D&D days, from its original idea in 1989. Therefore much of what I have written below is simply a moving of pen and paper material into the NWN2 format. If you don't mind seeing a website that is still very much in development, then you can find additional information to what I am about to write at this site: The World of Althéa. (Click on each of the books at the top of the page to navigate to the different sections.) Please bear in mind that the site does not receive much attention compared to this blog, and so will only be updated when I have more time. The material that is currently there is mostly copied and pasted material from my pen and paper days that may need editing. However, there are one or two new bits that I have added to test that I had it working.

Without further preamble, this week I show you the manual entry relating to the gods of Althéa and how the players can expect their relationship to them to work when they enter the game world. Please leave any comments relating to this topic or any other you may read in your travels, and I will answer when I can.

The Gods of Althéa

New Gods: With a new world, comes new gods. Some gods (especially for the non-human races) may remain unchanged. (They were kept as such within the Althéa Campaign.) However, all the human gods will be different - and subject to which god your PC has when they enter the world, they may find the god changed to one appropriate to Althéa, or have their deity name labeled as “Uncertain/Searching”. If you are creating the PC from new, then you will be given a choice of valid gods from which to to choose. (See an example of some in the image below.) If the PC is imported, however, then a check is made to ensure no invalid faith enters the world. If you are playing a cleric, the game ensures you enter with a valid faith (rather than "Uncertain/Searching”) and provides you with an appropriate holy book, which is required to learn spells when resting.

MP Alignment Restrictions: If a MP game is underway, then it is possible that the current party of players has already committed themselves to either a good or evil alignment. If this is the case, then the newly entering PC will have their alignment changed to that of the party, which may mean clerics being out of favour with their god and unable to pray for spells. Therefore, make sure your PC’s alignment matches that of the party leader in a MP game to be sure of having access to spells.

POLL: Freewill v Predestination

And while we are on such a topic, why not give your vote on the latest poll; bearing in mind that some may think they had a choice, and others not. ;)

Very basically, the poll is asking whether you believe if everything follows a predestined and determined path - whether because of the laws of nature or an intelligent design or whether the universe is purely chaotic in nature where man is free to make a choice.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Better The .... Items (The Chameleon Stone)

I thought it was about time that I started to share some information with you about the campaign play itself. From now, and in the coming weeks, I hope I may be able to talk about some of the items that you would be familiar with in the campaign world of Althéa, and some of the gaming mechanics (rules) from the manual I am trying to write. At least this way, any writing I do for the manual will act as a blog post as well, so I am not overdoing it. Subject to how much of a spoiler I determine an item (or placeable) to be, will determine how much detail I give, or whether I discuss it at all. ;)

The Chameleon Stone

For this week, I introduce to you the Chameleon Stone ... A small magikal stone that has the ability to transform into the object which it hides. Check out the description of the item as it will appear in the game, along with an example of its GUI upon its activation.
This is just one example of a new item that the players will find in the world. Hopefully, the sporadic placement of such items will help make Althéa an interesting place to explore and discover.

NEW POLL: Freewill v Predestination

As a quick aside, I wanted to take another poll on how people think/believe. It comes from some of my other blogs that talk about the nature of reality and beliefs. (Search this blog for them.) If you have a minute, just give me your response, and feel free to give your reasoning in a comment.

Very basically, the poll is asking whether you believe if everything follows a predestined and determined path - whether because of the laws of nature or an intelligent design or whether the universe is purely chaotic in nature where man is free to make a choice.