Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Inspirations, or why you need a new graphics card

So last week I visited my home and got some new inspirations for the general setting. I tried my best to catch a little bit of the landscape and bring it into NWN2, so far with some success. So here are some first WIP-screens of the farmlands around the fictional town of Niederhoeve, in which I tried to capture the general idea of the landscape I'm trying to form. The downside is, how do you make wide grasslands without grass? You can't, and the area will just be plain ugly if anyone gets the idea of disabling the Render Grass option in game. But, if you leave it enabled (I hope everyone will), you'll get the idea why you need a new graphics card. My trusty 8800GT ran the area smooth, but the noise from inside my computer told me it was sweating really hard. Anyway, here it goes...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What's up, pussycat?

Wohoo, it walks! *points at the cat in the picture proudly*. Major breakthrough, I'm totally excited.
I know what you think now: "A walking cat, so what?". The point is, I didn't expect it to walk. Why? Because I thought my quick and dirty, easy and painless way to bring things to life wouldn't work in NWN2 anymore. I honestly don't know why I thought that, maybe because I held NWN2's toolset in such a low regard. There's that simple little function in NWN, it's called X2_L_SPAWN_USE_AMBIENT. Just add that as a variable with Int = 1 and your creature starts bumping into things... well, and if it doesn't currently bump into something, it walks around too. There are other variations, but this is the one from Bioware's ambient system I copied and pasted maybe a thousand times in the past, to let each and every creature that couldn't run fast enough become a slave of the evil ambient emote system.
And for NWN2 I really expected I had to use paths from waypoint to waypoint for every chicken I place on a farm. You can't believe how happy I was when I placed that cat in the street and thought to myself "hey, it can't hurt to try". Started the module, ran to the cat and it walked. A miracle!

But hold on, maybe Obsidian did just some thing like: Cats just walk around by default, because nobody wants a cat standing around. So the next victims were two nobles I created an hour before:

And they do the exact same stupid things they used to do in NWN1... walk around like lunatics, bump into walls, trees, ignore each other like a married couple should. Hooray! Now I'm eager to see what other stuff from that old ambient system I can dig out again, maybe even that random interaction with placeables is still hidden somewhere?

Oh, what else is there, because everyone will obviously just think "great, there's some 2-year old news, quite impressive"... right, I placed greenery, a lot of green stuff, because green is just so vivid:

And that's it for now, thanks to the massive amount of trees my toolset is always close to crashing now, makes the work kind of slow and the cursing loud when I forgot to save again.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Progress is slow, mainly because of the walkmesh issues I had to deal with most of the day. However, I started experimenting with decorations and more texturing. This is still WIP and I'll move things around again, but it's a relief for me to see it's slowly starting to look like a city.

First basic decoration of the patrician quarter

Adding some mud and dirt to the poor quarters

Trees and first signs. The lamposts need to be replaced, they are too... Obsidian.
The statue shall move to the center of the street again.

Another view.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

As promised...

Some new WIP screens. The haks are done now, mainly because Pretz talked me out of renumbering heads and into using the Dammendrech files instead. Did that, now I'm having a massive amount of content to play with. These screens are just from my "does everything work now?" testround, this time using the default lighting again for a better view. Textures are far from finished, just some basic around the docks and the new churchyard. There's still a lot to do in Rungholdt, but now I'm looking forward to it again, knowing that the haks are done.


I am. The past 3 days I've worked on a new set of haks, dropped the 3C compilation and building everything from scratch. The content was easy to find, a lot of stuff 3C used is still in there for backwards compatibility with my old areas, but I wanted to know exactly where what content is and what I really need, so I went through the whole thing with 2da merging, padding, renumbering stuff... 12 pages of notes on my notepad here, mostly numbers. PHEW! Now I'm hanging at the PC body parts, the old problem of too many heads wanting to share the same numbers, and NWN2 heads are just.... ugh... not as easy to renumber as NWN1 heads. Think I should take a break and get some sleep, but at least this one hak will be THE LAST one to fix up, and then everything's done, back to area design... yay. Um.. I should've made some screenies of some changes I made to Rungholdt, but I haven't thought of it, and I won't anymore today. Maybe tomorrow or the day after. Sleep well you people out there, I definitely will.