Just for fun, I re-imagined Tivook Inn ...

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Re: Just for fun, I re-imagined Tivook Inn ...

Post  BenevolentDevil on Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:55 pm

Ok, I need to figure out how to "downgrade" to CEp2.1 , and not have the workshop subcriptions over-power use of what's in the hack folder.

On this I gotta be very , very careful ... because I have other haks in my hak folder ( modern d20) that is dependant on latest CEP ( why they did this, I'll never friken know ... D20 Modern has zero to do with CEP , but they created a dependancy. )

My question is ... if I build using Diamond/gog version , will that transfer to NWN:EE? Or do I have to build in NWN:EE for EE modules?

I can probably get started on any updating areas next month, if I can simply put placeables , and you two genius types, do all ness/ext spawning off it? You will also need to add your doors/transition scripts, and such as well I think.
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Re: Just for fun, I re-imagined Tivook Inn ...

Post  GM_ODA on Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:20 pm

Friend Benevolent Devil,

Yes, I use the NWN toolset for all my edits then export an erf to later import into the NWN:EE toolset.

I take it that you have the diamond/gog version? If you do that would be ideal. You could USE the diamond/gog version toolset to do your editing, you could install cep 2.1 on that (after deleting any other cep you have on it*). Yes that would be ideal since I could then import your edits into both the NWN and the material would migrate to the EE module along with my own edits from the NWN module.

* HOW TO CLEAN NWN OF MORE RECENT CEPs : by default NWN is installed to C:\NeverwinterNights\NWN in this folder you will find a 'hak' folder and a 'tlk' folder. Navigate to the 'hak' folder [C:\NeverwinterNights\NWN\hak] and delete all the files starting with 'CEP', repeat this process in the 'tlk' folder [C:\NeverwinterNights\NWN\tlk]. Done.

=====

Now, you note, earlier I mentioned the CTP (Community Tile Project) - which was a conteporary with CEP2.0 and CEP2.1. It was built to be compatible with CEP 2.1 and the CTP team broke-up after that release. The CEP team included the CTP content in the next release, along with the CRAP content and a bunch of other stuff (some of which included converted models from other games). My point is, the new tiles you see in the CEP, are from the CTP. Which means we can use them with CEP2.1 - and I would like to use them in the "other modules". I can split off areas from this module and put them in "other modules", so for example, if I wanted to, I could cut/paste all of Humfoodale and the province south of it (Kragfell's Cliffs) into one of the "other modules" and have them able to use the new tilesets, or I could just incorporate the CTP in any of the "other modules". You'd get use of all those tiles you like from the CEP, or at least most of them because I do not think they added any new tilesets since 2.2 iirc.

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Method to my madness. Sometimes, what I do, looks kinda crazy to an outsider. That's OK. I do things very differently and usually have a reason for doing so even if that reason is hard to divine. Example, some would complain that there are too many areas using the same tileset around the city of Dohral. This is by design (obviously) but the reason why is often not something that leaps out at the player or builder accustomed to the sort of building done on other servers. I would ask you to think for a moment about some rural home you or a friend might own and with which you are generally familiar with the home and the surrounding terrain for some half mile or so in radius. Now, in your mind's eye, roam the trails you know that surround the home - and notice you generally will run across the same terrain/plants/animals for rather a goodly distance. Terrain type, environment type, usually covers a broad region and shifts slowly from one form to another (blurred edges), in the real world. Yes you get terrain features that break up the 'monotony' of it all, but the general terrain/biome typically changes little over a distance of say 160 meters (which is the size of our areas) or even 1120 meters (which is the distance across a 'province' such as Tivook Province, or Humfoodale). I am comfortable with terrain sameness for a reasonable distance since we are building in a "contiguous style" rather than the typical "vignette style". By Vignette style I mean where the builder builds only the start, end and essential places in-between... here we build start-to-end-as-a-contiguous-space. The advantage we have with this is that the important or interesting events/encounters could happen _anywhere_ from here to there and like a good Alfred Hitchcock thriller, tension can be achieved by having 'nothing happen'. These are unusual but fun tools for a DM looking to build some suspense. More all the areas get treated to interesting features such as randomized resources proper to the terrain, as well as random encounters that can be controlled by many factors including time of day, day of month, month, season and more. We rely on the variety this provides to make traveling these byways interesting, and sometimes profitable to the PCs.

I hope this rambly bit makes sense.

I'm enjoying my new quiet fan on the notebook and got into a typing frenzy there I think. I have been missing my notebook computer. lol!

Feedback?

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Re: Just for fun, I re-imagined Tivook Inn ...

Post  BenevolentDevil on Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:51 am

The "continous build" makes sense in a very realistic way.

It was possibly the thing that threw me for my first loop, so long ago on one of my first visits.

Hahaha, I even remember thinking at the time, _this is a lot of city, with nothing in it_. I found how to get out of the city, expecting more immediate "adventure" , and wandered green/rural areas , with only randomized NPCs occasionally.

That was back when , I was experimenting with module creation and design, and most the info back then from other "PW makers" was to do the exact opposite.
Most PWs with large area "cities" , were indeed annoyingly ... dull. And just plain aggravating to navigate. They had a few, very few "places" that were important, the rest was just "filler" and "illusionary" , it was some big place. Most "felt" even more empty , because only NPCs were important ones.

When I eventually made World Serpent Inn ( loosely based off planescape/sigil ) , The Planar Inn itself was the "hub" , and as far as "population" went, technically it was by far larger, and more in depth than the prime material "city" just "outside" it's front door. Probably, mostly because I've never lived in a medieval era setting, I simply do not know ALL of what _should_ be included for flavor at least.
My plan was to have "planar gates" via an extensive, maze like "hallway system" in the INN itself, and thats where players went ... to various planes, different places , having hundreds of "doors" to chose from ( some you had to do things or know secrets to "unlock" ) ... Other "builders" working with me though ... hodgepodged the Prime material plane, because they only put in directly "useful" areas ... but desert butted up against forrest , Rural areas just "ended" ... it was a mess.
I eventually just handed the project over to others, glad I did. It became so hashed together, "spaghetti code"-like, but with EVERYTHING, PRC looks "clean" in comparison.

My Next step was becoming kind of the Lead designer/builder's "assistant" for the old Silver marches server. The Lead guy, was uber picky ... he liked my "decoration style" having played on WSI a bit, and asked me to help flesh out the "next version" of TSM. This was another ... "canon" FR setting, but he only included areas/regions that were canon necessary.
He too was one that said " Don't use 16x16 areas" if you don't have to. If it's not "interesting" or "useful", it gets tossed out.

This was the place, that also "burned me out" on DMing ... It was too "canon" , which in my opinion, stomped on creativity. Players there were spoiled brats too, did not like some of my DM "style" :
I had made a simple "invulnerable snake" via Dm tools in DMFI ... a Party was adventuring around an area, so up ahead I spawned in alot of statues , and dropped the snake in ...
Anything the "snake" touched or bit, turned to stone. Now the PLAYERS didn't know two major things in this, first off no spell, no weapon could harm it ... and that the area they were in sat right over a high powerful Medusa lair. I was dropping a clue that wasn't there, under thier feet was other creatures that could turn you to stone.
A few PCs got "turned to stone", trying to attack the snake.

It was simple Role-Play in my eyes ... if everything the snake touches turns to stone, ( it ate small stones as a food source, but not big stone things) ... then it -could be trapped- by it's own "ability" ... IE , I wanted the players to be "creative" , and use a bag or a box to get the snake to slither into. Thus trapping it...

IF they had actually done so , they could have taken it to a sage, a wizard, ... somebody , and gotten some lore on the medusa lair , and how to access it later on.

But no, they managed to trap the snake after I led them by the bull ring of thier noses to do so ... , and went straight to the main admin crying and whining I used a non-cannon creature, and told him I turned em all to stone and left them there perm statues. ( This was not the case, I provided one of the "survivors" with ample "flesh to stone" scrolls , which he used on his stoned party members. ) ... I even gave them, though they really "deserve it" a whopping 2000 xp for thier hours worth of time, trying to figure out how to beat the snake via "videogame system". XP there was very low ... 1 or 2 points per creature no matter what, unless a "boss" of sorts , which gave 10-20xp depending on how tough it was.
Other DMs handed out pitiful XP awards ... 100 here, 50-70 there , for days worth of RP ...

Afterwards, I was told ... if it wasn't canon, I couldn't use it.
I became ... disenchanted immediately, and suffered from creative "block" ... and eventually I left on bad terms, because I gave em all , admin included a piece of my mind , told the Lead designer where he could stick his picky canon based areas ( one time he made me re-do an entire area, because I used red rugs, instead of blue rugs. I had a chair positioned in the "wrong place" , per some description from a FR novel. )

After all this, I just decided to play places. Server hopping, trying to find a solid "home" ... Argentum Regio here , I found immediately via NOOB-U , and things interesting that you could do. However , I honestly didn't "get it " the first couple times.
What players were here/around most were high to epic level , I was about the only "new/low level" ... and most simply ignored my characters presence. I was struggling then.

I practically had to force RP on Valeron , to interact with my character, Glaindra the wizard. He wanted to kind of horde what he knew, instead of helping a struggling player , and struggling character ...
Everything "felt strained" and "forced" as far as RP went ... I went back to server hopping , just because what interaction that -could- have been there , wasn't there for me really.
After that, when I came back ... the server was practically devoid of other players. I think Hel and Mialee were there, been RPing a while, but not too high level. Right before I came back that time, they had problems via a guild hunting thier ... kind. Sounded like abig mess.
But, other than an occasional person here or there popping on, it was pretty much empty.

and the era of my fiasco where I was hopping walls in the maze to see more of it , lol.

It really wasn't until recently ... I think I developed NWN maturity to the point, THIS place finally 'clicked" with me. But I have a wide-screen laptop, and diamond/gog version leaves a lot to be desired graphically that way ...
I quit playing NWN for a long time , had been playing Arma2 dayz mods, stalker, and such.

Then a friend told me about EE version , I knew it was going to get made , but didn't follow it or care much , until my buddy told me, it solved the wide-screen graphical stretch issues , and offered easy-online again.
I bought it, played once with him ... and he dissapeared again, lol.
I didn't touch NWN:EE at all ...

Then one day, I was bored with Dayz , wanted some RP ... and looked in EE.
I couldn't find a PW I could stomach for one reason or another. Most of them are junk out there, either Canon ones in RP, MMOs like Arelith, ERP MMos like sinfar , or pure action, hack and slash , or some other form of "videogamey" stuff. NO places for me to fit RP, fit me ... and I see AR on EE finally, hopped back in.

But this time ... I am noticing, what I didn't before ... which Is the "style", your methodical madness ... finally makes sense to me. It helps I know more now than I did before , but it's falling together like a big puzzle picture, where as before I looked it at like it was a big pile of puzzle pieces, feeling overwhelmed looking at it.



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Re: Just for fun, I re-imagined Tivook Inn ...

Post  GM_ODA on Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:10 am

Friend Benevolent Devil,

This is a very different sort of place. More, there is still much to be done. We lack many of the books that were planned, many quests need built, many areas need retouched. When built we try to give each area some number of functions depending on the type of area, wild and rural areas get herbs, tree resources and the like, underground get minerals and mushrooms, soon urban areas will get (what else) litter (some of it useful). Each area gets some encounters too, some are rigged to spawn semi-randomly, some at specific times or dates, some are setup to scale to level of PCs in area, some even spawn ONLY when no DM is on the server (to liven things up when they are most dead). Basically we try to allow for every area to be a place where some XP and other useful things can be found. Lairs are really where it is at here - we like to hide treasures in lairs (monsters won't carry all their loot, especially the stuff they cannot use themselves) ... so lairs have hidden caches of treasure that must be found.

Each area we try to give an additional reason or two to exist - be it the entry to some NPC's home or shop, or a place of some history where artifacts of that history are displayed for those who know what to look for (clues to adventures and such). Some areas are 'just wilderness' meant to force time-spending on the trail (travel time can be important to a story, leave too late and you miss the moment of action, getting delayed or side-tracked can have similar effects. I love that the trails and hidden trails and distances here give barbarians and horses a moment to shine here. Mounts (the are FAST), flying and other alternate modes of transportation really make the big areas worthwhile too (in addition to making lots of hiding places for resources and clues). I like that short-cuts are important here, those long walking journeys can often be skipped if you know the short-cuts (portals, wagons, magic carpets, hidden trails, etc.).

I know there is still a lot of space marked 'for future expansion' in the city, but much of that is there to allow for player owned housing, in addition to reserved spaces for npcs that will be involved in future built quests. I only recycle the player owned housing after it undergoes years of disuse - I have had players return after a couple years and exclaim in joy to find their old home still intact (even if the neighborhood has changed).

I love too that the interiors match the exteriors a lot. This makes rogue use of windows work well, and gives PCs a great reason to buy the expensive locks for their POH windows. DM loves a money sink. Very Happy

This is a very different sort of server, for sure.

I enjoyed your narrative about your days with NWN - and I had some similar experiences - I was confused and dismayed to find servers with, as you said desert butting up against forest and the like. Canon - ooooh, one of the main reasons I did not build a module to be part of the FR or similar setting is because I don't have all the books, have not read them all, and I'm sure I'd run afoul of canon somewhere and I don't want to disappoint the players.

Everything here can be what the builder wants it to be - none of this "follow the novel to the letter" stuff. I built what I hope is a good 'light history' placing a few 'major players' like the Legardian Empire at a proper interval in the past that it works like the Roman empire did for medieval Europe; a source of wonderment and envy some for their magic and some for their engineering. Far enough in the past that it leaves a builder and DM lots of skeleton on which to hang their own fleshy creations. There are a few 'modern day' structures also built to give the DM some leverage, such as the mage guild known as 'the Cholla' in far Hadabartha and their focus on the suppression of piracy. The majorly active thieves guild (Shak Tolun) is another of those modern 'leverage' devices built-in for DMs.

Our world has that Feyland alternate world that in a non-contiguous-mapped-way is a sort of parallel world to Dohral with portals that dot the landscape of both. Other locations such as the monster-infested isle of Vestalla are likewise mapped in a non-contiguous way ... these were added to both satisfy the vignette-loving players and those builders who needed such (did not adapt well to the contiguous build method).

Overall our module is built very different and is still rough enough in places that the combination can loose us new players (this is one reason that a friendly greeting and tour of the tutorial can be so beneficial to retaining players). We need some of the near entry areas re-imagined, visually zazzed up and reviewed end to end to enhance the look and feel while retaining and even adding functionality. We need many more quests including mini quests near the entry areas with more general purpose NPCs too to round-out the whole.

I have a host of things on my plate atm - most of which has been there a while - amazing stuff, when I get time to do it - awesome magical tomes you'll giggle to read, local inhabitants very unique conversations that tie into game data-feeds, more than 900 spells we've earmarked for inclusion, more more more. ATM and for some time, I have spent too much of my time just maintaining the place and promoting it as there really is minimal help available so all that has fallen to me.

I'm at a place where I need to get more DMs trained in our systems and up-to-speed with the whole to support players when they do login. You can NEVER have too many good DMs. If you think about it, each DM can usually cover maybe 4-6 hours a week as a volunteer. There are players all over the world and working every crazy shift imaginable in those time zones so to cover 24x7, you need about 42 DMs (at 4 hours a week each). We have never been even close to this level, so DM service is always spotty. I cover a lot of that time myself just to make it all work, but most of that is 'DM Maintenance Guy' rather than running any adventures. Building on the module is minimal atm, as my time is focused elsewhere as noted above - I fix what we find broken and that's about it.

I am hopeful that EE will bring an influx of new players and with them some DMs and maybe some guest builders too. For now, I'm just trying to keep the lights on long enough to see that EE surge, when/if it comes.




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Re: Just for fun, I re-imagined Tivook Inn ...

Post  BenevolentDevil on Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:47 pm

On DMs ... I kinda feel that they _can be_ useful to spice things up, provide some extra stuff to do ... but , a part of me feels as if there is a tad too much banking on having them ...

The players , or player base can be equally "beneficial" ... in the past, i stayed on some servers that I eventually didn't like the content of ( as discovering) , simply because the players there were jazzed about it, and went out of thier way to show new people features, cool things that were included, and of course, involve characters in RP ... if you suck players in, from a player standpoint, due to INCLUDING them ... it goes a very long ways.

We've had more or less before ( elsewhere at least) , what I call "player driven events" ... , instead of having a DM chip in and offer something out-of-ordinary ... , Players would get "inventive" and gather players, groups , party up ... even if it was a simple " let's go to area/region "x" and slay the baddies no one can do alone.
Or even simple things as , taking time to show new people how to craft using the clunky, horrible CNR system ... we did things like, involve new people in our RP, be it conflict between clans or guilds, or getting them sucked into current plots that were ran occasionally by DMs.
Treasure hunts, not the kind where you go raid a beast lair ... but a player would hide things found, ( not useful or wanted by him) , go "write clues" via message boards in game, or making notes ... having players do like a "scavenger hunt" ... which did two things, it provided items players wouldn't necessarily come across always, making trades of what was found, comparing them ... ect. And , it also helped all players gain familiarity with areas, searching all around for these " items".

Players are the "big deal" .... which was why in the past I was kind of aggravated a bit at the players and some DMs too I think.
They had tales, stories, plots to go on ... but the new guy in the corner over there, barely managing to not kill themselves via wild magic ... didn't have anything to go on.
Just spawned in, new ... went through Noob-U , had no idea what to expect, flavor, history ... clues are hidden enough, if you are NOT looking for them, you will miss it not knowing they are there.

I have always been of the mind, if you are going to be a DM, then be a DM ... way more so than be a "player". The "job " of a DM after-all, is providing theme, atmosphere, adventures, tales, plots, .... the things a "videogame" cannot "do". Not be a " I only became a Dm so I could DM my friends, that are also DMs , we keep our epic circle going."
Or "lurkers" ... those with a tenure of "power/authority I'm " lurking around to simply find reasons and excuses to try and assert that authorita.
There's no point really to that in my eyes, of course if someone was cheating or hacking ... yes, do something ... otherwise, don't be nit picky, and try to control how other people RP.

Another thing I didn't say on TSM , was we had 22 Dms , and 2 of us did things for players outside the DM "circle" , the rest would "DM each other's Characters" . They were cliquish , and snobbish to everyone else. They to, were epic and "beyond aiding any new players, or low level characters."
They'd even gripe, if a new player got stuck somewhere, and had to "go do something" other than further thier own little plots and stories.
( these were the same ones, going to head admin over my "stone snake" ... )
The 2 of us, providing for everyone, new players ... stayed in constant contention with the what I call " the circle jerks" , mostly because they weren't getting all the attention, and able to gain DM xp hand-outs to get past level 35 faster.

I'm not saying having DMs is "bad" ... the wrong kinds of DMs can be detrimental of course. I'm also not saying Dms can't play thie rcharacters , but primary focus should be on all the other players ... if things get slow, grindy , players are bored ... then drop out,log in as Dm and spice things up!

But, I do think and kind of know playerbase itself can have a lasting impact and influence , even if it takes a bit of going OOC/Metagaming aspects at times ... because while it's the DMs whom "provide" things, it' s the players that "live" in the world. Interaction should be such, the realm is "alive" , you can't do this via NPC convos alone ...
DMs don't have best schedules either ( as you stated) , nor can they be 100 places at once either.

Back in the day ... if it wasn't akin to basically trying to wring water from a rock, to get val to show Galindra simply how to make and do the "alarm spell", if the other players dropped tid bits, or simply invited one to be a part of the ongoing tales/plots ... letting them decide if it was for them or not , at least they get interaction. I probably would have stayed much longer, found out way more then.
I didn't leave because things were hard ... , I left because I was absolutely "alone" on peak times of many players going to and fro.

I mean, as a Player ... I don't want to come across to new players as desperate for RP, lol ... but I will and can, take Fei to Noob-U , and interact with other players. I'd kind of like to ... wait until they got out of noob-u , and interact with them IC , and in game ...
But I can show em around a bit ... Fei knows how to get to goblins, to lizardmen ( though some of the wilderness paths don't show up visually anymore ), I know how to portal to some places , she could both be somewhat a "guide" and "get to know" the characters as well.
She could introduce them to Joo3's character Padril , if they need a bit of magical ju-ju power or intelligence aid.
She could set up maybe a meeting for Ezem having met him "officially recently" ... if Fei can't cover it , or is "too high level" for the new players, i got other ones. I have goodies, I have neutrals, and I have the haughty, arrogant, racist , priestess of Lolth if we get a group of "evil loving" player characters ... hahaha!

I don't know where everything is, or what to do most the time either ... and I have to toggle some OOC knowledge, with what my characters "know" at times ...
But what I do know, or my characters know ... I'm willing to share, and impart someway somehow.

I think player base, should have the same responsibility to "interact" and provide what they can, in the scope of what thier characters can realistically do and impart of course, as much as "DMs" have such "responsibility" to do what they do. It's not Pen and Paper , not as easily "directed" and kept with-in the expectations of a single small gaming group you face to face with.
Role-Playing on NWN after-all isn't just a two-way street , It's a daggum 4 way intersection! Everyone has to give, take, stop, go, wait thier turn , yield to those that need it, and all that.

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