Saturday, June 27, 2009

More WIP

This is going to be huuuuge! :D

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In the flow

(Re-) Building a city... again.

After two days in NWN1, I usually had an area that looked almost finished. Sigh. Not in NWN2. I finally found the willpower to rebuild Rungholt, and progess is very slow, mainly due to the stupid walkmesh issues (see last post). But as a proof that I'm on it, here are screenies of the new layout. I changed the canals a little, the small "island" in the right half (the one the curved bridge leads to) might turn out as an interesting detail once it's populated, we'll see. The bridges are only for testing. I also use different walls for the canals now, the ones before look a little more interesting on the side, but always end in that stupid.. what is it, sort of a sewer entrance? Well, in Rungholt v.1.0 it was a detail that bugged me and I wasn't always able to hide it properly. Let's see how 2.0 turns out. At least the basic layout is done, now I can start with texture and houses.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Did you know...

... that it can take more than 12 hours just to make a f*%!ing dock piece walkable in NWN2's toolset?!
Still working on it, my eyes feel like marshmallows.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another short cross-promotion

Yeah, again, sorry for no better subjects.
I started rebuilding Rungholt, that means.... I've made a new area and chose a base texture. Great, isn't it? When it came to the new layout of canals, I couldn't decide anymore and instead went on one of those overnight youtube-tours you might know... and that leads me to that cross-promotion, I decided to finally do what I wanted to do everytime after I went on a youtube-trip: Making a music blog. Sort of a diary, ranting about music and stuff, in no specific order, just what comes to my head during treasurehunting. So here it is: Life's too short for bad music - you can also just click on the link on the right side.
Back to business.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A quick cross-promotion

... following Michael's example, I feel obliged to point my two readers at Ben Harrison's blog about his new persistent world project, The End Times. Ben's been a tremendous help back when I was still working on a NWN1 world, which unfortunately never happened (and I still feel bad about asking for so much help and in the end never making anything out of it).
Talented as he is, I'm sure that PW will be one you want to play on.

While you're at it, make sure to visit Michael's blog more often too - if NWN1 is still on your hard drive, you'll definitely want to try out his world once it's public, he has assembled a nice staff of very talented people by now and I'm sure whatever comes out in the end will be fantastic.

As for my building... I'm slowly getting used to the thought that I really have to start over again. My plea for help at the Bioboards was heard and people came up with good ideas, but nothing helped. Well, maybe I can file it under learning lessons for life. At least I learned a lot about the toolset since I began working on the areas, and maybe a new start will be easier, faster and a little more professional now. Just sad to know I should forget about those huge fields and grasslands, pity, I really liked those. :P

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A new area, a sideproject, a huge drop back

There are a lot of news, however, most of them are not good. The worst is the one I ran into two days ago, and it appears to put me back to zero. Let me start at the beginning.
Like a good builder should, I listened to the advise of the elders and always saved my module as a directory, not as a mod file, and also disabled autosave. A good student I am.
Like every true revolutionary should (see Shirt-post below), I didn't always listen to the elders and ignored some of their advise, like e.g. using just soandso many seeds of trees. I didn't run into problems, and that's why I kept walking on that revolutionary path with my fist raised high.
The one problem I ran into though - and there was no advise of the elders regarding that - was a crash occuring when I tried to erase grass. This seemed to happen from a certain amount either of grass on, or from a certain amount of grass types (there are a lot and I used a lot). But since my stuff always ran fine in game, I didn't care much about it and went on.
Recently though, my toolset kept crashing whenever I switched between areas. Loading a new one required to close the toolset, open it up again and load the area I wanted to work on. It was always an out of memory error, so I checked the size of my Middleforest directory which contains just 4 areas: 841MB. Shock. So I thought I'd better save as a mod and check if the huge size remains. And there it all started: I couldn't save as a mod anymore. Great. I tried to export the areas into an erf... crash. I tried to export them one by one - crash. I thought I used too many tree seeds, so I started deleting trees. Ended up with a module with no single tree or bush in it... still crashes, still the same size.
After much trial and error I was then able to export some erfs, but couldn't reimport them without the new mod giving out of memory errors. At least I figured that the crash occurs on importing the trx (Walkmesh) part of the erf, so I tried reducing the walkable areas to a minimum. But again, no change, a treeless and barely walkable module still crashing.
In the end I came to the conclusion that the grass is the root of the problem. I don't think I have to say anything more *points at Grasslands post*. I can't delete the grass in any area anymore, and it seems as if the grass crashes the module and bloats up area size. There is not even a way to tell the toolset to get rid of the grass at all in one step. Conclusion: My whole stuff is unuseable. Yay. That's months of work, and you can imagine how down I am at the moment, starting from zero is the worst case scenario, and I'm not even sure if I can avoid the bug in the future, unless I never use grass again. So that's what put my moral to zero this week, no idea what to do next... maybe new areas in a new module, putting the old stuff on hold, making alternatives.... rebuilding Rungholt is out of question, it took months to get it the way it is now, only an alternative attempt, basically a whole new city, would be possible.
Just to put a little more salt into the wound, here are some screens from the latest version (before I started to delete trees)...

I haven't taken any screens of the new stuff I'm working on, because it didn't pass my self-censorship yet. Basically it was the Rungholt road and the River crossroads from my old NWN1 module, after which the forest areas begin.

Anyway, there's some progress too, even though it doesn't affect the module directly, and that's my little sideproject of making stuff look nicer. I always hated how custom clothes that show a little more skin were only useable for chars that use the default human piggypink skintype - cursed you be if you use any other race or head variation with a different skin type, there you stood with a green head and a perfectly pink human body. Sorry, I'm getting eye cancer from such things, so I made... *drumroll*... a nude patch. Stop rolling your eyes, Michael... let me explain this embarrassing fact. So there's Jester who made a new nude patch, so to speak. It's a new nude model that looks a little nicer than the old one by Zylch001 which already served as a base for huge clothing compilations - basically everything that shows a little more skin (that already means no gloves or boots in NWN2!) is based on Zylch's model. Now, as for Jester's base, you probably notice it's name is New Nude (with Clothes), and what that means is that he made a dress base that isn't equipped in the armor, but in the belt slot, thereby not replacing the "Nude armor" the PC wears. And since the original skin is shining through, you can paint that skin to fit the PC head you use, and that's exactly what I did - after Jester even immediately listened to my request for a model with a little less breast (more realistic IMHO).
Anyway, I'll let pictures speak (cover your eyes kids!):

As you can see the dress the little drow wears is very basic, but what's more important, the original skin remains (and it's not just tinted, there won't be that ugly gap at the neck anymore, or at least the effect is reduced a lot. There are more pics at my vault submission, where you can as well give me a vote or drop a comment ;)
Next sideproject will be, you guess it, making dresses with Jester's base.
That's all for now, cross fingers I'm either finding an unexpected solution for my Middleforest problem, or the will to start over.