Saturday, May 1, 2010


Now the time has come to speak it out loud:

I think I could use some help over here!

I was really hesitant to ask in the past and I still am, maybe because I'm scared nobody's interested, maybe because I fear my maxime of "no compromises" can't be fulfilled, but now I guess everything's better than stagnation.
As I said in my last post, I have way too many irons in the fire and struggle to organize it or find a point to continue on anymore. So here's an open invitation to join the cause and help Middleforest to get a little closer to it's initial goals. Exciting, isn't it? Please, not all at once!

First, let me quickly remind you and myself where Middleforest is at this moment:
In one sentence, too early to play, too far to stop. Middleforest has a somewhat solid building base, a base hak set that works well enough, a core system that just needs to be put to use, a solid idea for the setting that is partly in the module plus a solid idea how things should work. Area wise there is the main hub in the form of a main city that is, building-wise, finished, plus it's surrounding lands, along with many interiors. Area-wise, it's enough for immersive role-play, however without quests, adventuring and the like. Rounding up this small base with some shops, quests, low level encounters and first and foremost a good introduction into the module will be the goal for the near future.

Middleforests main goals, now what was that about again? I'll spare you the time to read all my past posts, but let's keep it very short and simple:

  • Immersion. Middleforest's main goal is an unique, immersive atmosphere, a living, breathing world. Immersion always comes first, technical aspects second.
  • The european touch: Not aimed only at the european player, but trying to avoid many of the D&D, "americanized" high fantasy clichées in favor for a setting based more on european folklore.
  • Freedom of role-play: Less rules, more freedom. No alignments, less rulebook discussions, play the character like you envision them.
  • Away with only mob-killing for xp: An xp system that does not only reward the one who kills most and fastest.

So, who am I looking for? Experienced and creative people, first and foremost a scripter. I know, that's the first position any new persistent world is offering, and Middleforest is no exception.
What would this person have to do? No, I'm not just in need for someone I can tell what to do. If my only problem was getting a script top work, I could send an email to someone. No, I often fail to see what exactly must be done in the first place. I have often been offered help in specific aspects, e.g. if I need help with a script I can always ask. That's however not what I need, I need people who actively work and invent inside the module.

So, for a scripter there are two main aspects:

  • The first one is: Not to reinvent the wheel as far as the base goes. Middleforest will use Michael's S&S Core system, and if there are specific issues with the system, I think Michael is the best person to talk to. I'd need someone who finds his or her way into this system, suggest changes and improvements and puts it to good use. I believe in Michael's stuff, but I'm far too inexperienced with it too use it's full potential. There are other ideas for ingame systems I have, however, I do not want Middleforest to be overloaded with custom systems and geeky stuff that might overwhelm a player. First and foremost the world should be easily approachable even for relatively new players.
  • The second big construction site is quite simple and yet so complex: Creative ways to fill the world with life. A lot of this would be ambient stuff, things NPCs do, also thinking up creative quests and the like. If you usually do singleplayer stuff, great! I'd love to include a lot of singleplayer aspects and try whatever possible to make them work in a multiplayer environment. If you have experience with longer quests that tell a story, cutscenes and the like, you are more than welcome. If you can think up a good reputation system, have the time and willpower to make a lot of use of factions, you're the one.
That's for scripting. On which ends could I also need some help?

  • Custom content, to an extend. I think I already managed to make a good base. Middleforest has a somewhat well organized hak set (at least on the outside it looks like it's organized, hehe), class and race changes are in, we have custom gods and all that. But, these things tend to get messy fast and need a lot of maintenance. If you know how to fix an issue with a 2da fast or make a change to allow new content, I can definitely use your help.

  • Builders: Now this is a delicate subject. General area design is what I consider my main strength, and the issue on a lot of servers with more than one builder is that you can immediately see the different styles. I'd like to keep the main atmosphere under my own control, and would like to see all areas, interiors and exteriors, following the same main guidelines. If you think you can build in a style that is close enough (or better) than the areas that are already in, I'd be interested in seeing your stuff. However, I'm very picky there. There are aspects though other area builders might be better in, let's take lighting as an example.
  • What I could definitely use though are people who can make interesting adventuring areas, who like to make interesting encounters, creatures that fit the setting and don't mind if I take the main area and change it's visual style to my liking.

A final warning: A lot in Middleforest might not follow general rules or conventions. There are many building rules I happily ignore, and Middleforest could be described as a creative sandbox - throw in ideas first and fix it later if needed. A classic PnP background might also hurt more than it helps - PnP and the D&D manual play no role in Middleforest and are more often than not ignored.

So, if you think this sounds like something you'd like to be a part in, drop me a message - a comment here, or a private message to casadechrisso at the Bioboards, or register at the Middleforest forums and drop me a PM there.
A tour through the module as it looks now can be arranged anytime, however, plan in some time to download the haks and stuff, it'll take a while (about the size of an audio CD).

Casa out.