Saturday, 26 March 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 8)

Every session I play brings me one step closer to release ... and with each session I play, I am glad that I spent some time doing this last play through. Mainly because it allows me to find those last few bugs that can easily be missed, but are really annoying if you do encounter them. This time around included:-

1) Fixed a GUI image from not disappearing under rare circumstances.
2) Fixed a missing "pick lock" sound if playing a companion rather than the Main PC.
3) Fixed some dynamic light settings that failed due to known "light tag" bug (on a reload).
4) Fixed the journal "NOTES" section, which was randomly losing/changing information. (XML)
5) Fixed a poorly timed beam effect at the start of an encounter.
6) Fixed some missing crafting confirmation and sound for a special brew.
7) Fixed a trap that should have been marked "unrecoverable".
8) Fixed a "rune puzzle" script that had a potential exploit bug.
9) Removed some "beta" code.
10) Added an extra sound for a lower value appraisal result. ("No" for poorer quality.)

Things I will Change In The Future

1) I will widen paths and do less "narrow" areas. (NWN2 path-finding really is bad!)
2) I am considering limiting PCs/Henchmen possible due to same path-finding issues.
CURRENT PLAY TIME: 34 hours and 0 minutes.

When Will It End?

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 7)

I know this may come as quite a surprise, especially considering the amount of beta testing this module has already gone through, but even now, I am still finding some niggling points that need fixing. Even to the point of updating core XML files and tlk entries. Anyway, without further preamble, here is the latest list of fixes:-

1) Fixed a door being opened by creatures. (Missing variable.)
2) Fixed related door (to above) by adding a missing script to ensure fade worked on exiting it.
3) Fixed a function that could (on rare circumstances), cause a creature to spawn in the wrong area.
4) Fixed a "treasure object" from being inaccessible due to not having "useable" in the properties.
5) Amalgamated two "function" scripts to prevent toolset crash on exit.
6) Updated stylesheet.xml to give me smaller tabs/buttons where required.
7) Updated the tlk to give clearer feedback with crafting skills.
8) Removed default "Spell Failure" info, which was giving wrong feedback (and not used anyway).
9) Updated a faction setting for an NPC to prevent improper NPC reaction after a party death.

CURRENT PLAY TIME: 32 hours and 20 minutes.

Time To Head Back Down Again!

Friday, 18 March 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 6)

Beta testing continues alongside the updates I have been making to having better feedback with respect to the party as a whole. E.g. Managing equipment (to prevent encumbrance) and crafting item information feedback have been top of my list. I know these may appear to be "additional" work to the beta testing, but for me, it's all part of the same process. My goal is to make the game as "easy to play" as possible as well as being "bug free". (Updated screenshot below.)

The Reasoning

1) Having access to class and level within the inventory screen is helpful for validating items carried.
2) Seeing encumbrance remaining (or over) makes for quick equipment management.
3) The new Party Craft tab enables players to keep track of the crafting skills and items in the party.
4a) A toggle to make the Party Bar icons smaller when controlling larger parties. (Also "draggable".)
4b) The party bar ( normal or small icons) now ensures the controllable PCs stay at the top of the bar!
4c) Names are also added to the PC boxes to make recognition much quicker and at a glance.

Bug Fixes

1) In some circumstances, some conversations would not fire subject to how many were in the party, due to some "heavy" conditional checks. (Scripts were rewritten and delays added to ensure conversations started even for larger parties.)

2) A sound activation was updated to ensure it always fired. (Now uses own homebrew function.)

3) Some core functions were rewritten and recompiled to ensure loops involving faction members did not include associates, as their testing was NOT required in the functions that had the new condition added. (Helped reduce overhead.)

Updated Screenshot

New Additional Party Feedback

Monday, 14 March 2016

Party Crafting Info (New Character Screen Tab)

To complement the updated bag system, which I spoke about last time, I decided to add a TAB onto the PC Character Screen GUI that would allow access to more information about the whole party with respect to crafting skills and the more common related items, which the party held as a group.

This way, it is much simpler to keep track of which PCs have which skills, and what party crafting abilities are available to the group as a whole. Also, common items such as planks, ingots and hides, along with the lesser and greater essences can be seen in an instance and in one place. I, for one, find this much easier to check what base items I have available to me (as a whole) for any crafting I hope to try, without having to locate and check every individual PC within my group.

Hopefully, this may be of help to other players too:-

Text Colour Determines Access (or Not)

Friday, 11 March 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 5)

Beta testing underwent a few changes this time around as I decided to also add some code to make managing the inventory slightly easier and also help make some aspects of crafting a little easier, in particular the distillation of creature parts and essences.

I will list the usual fixes in a moment, but first I wanted to explain some of my changes:-


I have coded many "party" based skill checks (as opposed to the PC doing the activity) already. However, I decided to also update the code when it came to working with the mortar or alembic. Now, any PC may use/activate these two items to distil or work with essences, as long as the party has a PC with the appropriate skills, is nearby and not incapacitated. (Appropriate feedback is given.)


I have also done a similar thing when it comes to a PC clicking to work at any workbench or smelter. As long as somebody in the party has the appropriate ability, is nearby and not incapacitated, then any PC may start the activity. In fact, most workbenches do not even require the hammer or mortar to target the bench now, and simply make the check when the bench is "closed", because it assumes the workbench has those tools at hand to use. (Appropriate feedback is given.)

The only thing that the player has to be aware of now, is that if the crafting/enchantment is via a recipe rather than at a workbench, then the PC activating the recipe must be the one carrying any items required. (When using a workbench, items are placed onto that instead.)


This update was made to alleviate some of the issues I was experiencing when trying to locate some items to do with crafting in particular.

If a player buys a particular "bag" or "container" item, I use a process to automatically place items found into the appropriate bag for them. However, before now, the bags only worked for the PC that carried them. E.g. If the Main PC picked up a crafting component, but it was a companion that carried the auto-collecting "Crafting Component" bag, then the item would have simply remained in the Main PC inventory and the player would have searched for the container to ensure it was placed correctly. Now, however, I have made the process fully automated, so that irrespective of who owns the auto-bags, or who picks up a qualifying item, the said item will always be placed into the correct container.

There are six such bags, in the following order of collection priority:-

1) "Crafting Components Holder": If large, bulky heavy crafting items are picked up, then they are prioritised to special weight reducing bags if present in the party. (E.g. Ingots, planks, hides and ore.)

2) "Alchemy Satchel": Automatically stores essences and creature parts that can be distilled into such.

3) "Crafting Component Carrier": Automatically collects all those other items that can be used in crafting, including molds, creature parts (not distillable), and other components. (E.g. Fairy Dust.)

4) "Bounty Bag": The bag that automatically catches all that the previous bags miss (or if they are absent). This includes creature parts (all types) and essences (if other bags are absent). Note that if other bags are present, then this bag will only collect creature parts not used in crafting in any way.

5) "The Treasure Bag": The default location for identified gems, amulets and rings. Any items that are acquired unidentified remain in the main inventory to highlight they need identifying. (They can be manually placed into the bag if desired.)

6) "The Key Ring": Any key items are automatically placed onto a key ring you carry.

Note the following:

A) If a party has more than one of the same special bag, then the automatic process checks the PC that picks up an item for a valid bag first, and then checks the rest of the party if it cannot find one. (I have not limited the capacity of these bags, and so there may be little reason to have more than one of each kind, apart from they do still reflect weight of their contents.)

B) If a valid item is picked up and placed into a bag, there is feedback telling you to which companion and to where the picked up item was placed.


1) Fixed some broken crafting feedback. (Noticed during the update.)
2) Fixed distillation results. (Too many being created.) (Noticed during the update.)
3) Updated the name format of essences to be able to more easily recognise their type and purpose.
4) Updated bag auto location for molds. (Component instead of Alchemy.)
5) Updated container XML message text to relate to "recipes" only.
6) Updated various texts and descriptions to reflect changes made and for ease.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 4)

Testing continues. My latest list for those who like to follow:-


1) Fixed a creature location that was stuck in the walkmesh.
2) Fixed a conversation (grammar).
3) Fixed a camera angle (which had moved to looking at the floor!)
4) Fixed some object descriptions that were missing.
5) Fixed a fire VFX (that was missing) and removed VFX "flicker" when active.
6) Fixed a broken beam effect. (It was missing in some situations.)
7) Fixed Cursed Items to destroy when dropped (as per description). (Instead of becoming a placeable object.)


1) Update crafting system to work with crafting items no matter which PC starts the crafting procedure. The code will simply check if there is a PC in the party that meets the requirements and allow the activation to work without having to move items to the specific PC to begin with.

2) Add an inventory "search" system to list party items according to various category tabs. Currently in design discussions.

I already have one of those belts thanks!

Friday, 4 March 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 3)

Once again, I have been slowly working my way through the module, and finding the odd problem here and there that needed addressing. My latest list for those who like to follow:-


1) Fixed a conversation where the object rather than the PC name was being used.
2) Fixed the journal item counter when first acquiring an item for a task. (Jumped to 2 instead of 1.)
3) Fixed the journal item counter if items were sold. (Involved an "Inventory" fix.)
4) Fixed automaton conversation by switching interaction to "use" instead of "auto" and adding some variables back (which had been removed).
5) Fixed remaining quantity of "Decipher Tools" on the puzzle GUI. (Out by one.)


1) Updated the colour for journal items counter to use Dark Green text instead of just Green.
2) Stopped inventory from popping up with description if just looting gold from an object.
3) Set all Main Menu items to "OFF" by default. (i.e. Players must toggle "Spells Active" scroll to "ON" to pop up now.)

And for those that also enjoy a screenshot ....

I told you I could get it working!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Beta Test 9.0 (Part 2)

I have been continuing to test my module. (Sadly, the beta tester who had volunteered dropped out.) I am still being surprised at the number of bugs I am finding even after the beta testing it has already received. Admittedly, these bugs are somewhat harder to spot (unless you are quite knowledgeable with the code and processes involved), and so would probably only have been noticed by myself anyway. Here is the latest bugs found and fixed:-

1) The "REST" system. (Fixed some duplicated and irrelevant feedback in some situations.)
2) In relation to the above, I also fixed a broken homebrew function that was ignoring the Main PC if controlling a companion. (*)
3) Fixed Orechin conversation, where a repeated node was possible (due to missing variable).
4) Altered light flicker rate on main village light.

(*) This function is used in quite a few other places, and is designed to check for the quantity of items held by the player's group of PCs. The problem was that it worked correctly when you were controlling your Main PC, but ignored the Main PC inventory if you were controlling a companion at the time. In theory, this should fix a few other issues that may have been missed during initial testing.

I have also reached a point where the main plot can take two different paths, and continued along the "most likely" route for now, leaving myself a saved position that I may go back to if I feel it needs it.

Still tired? But you only just rested!