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Hordes of the Underdark Revisited (archive)

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rjshae
Hordes of the Underdark Revisited (archive)

This is a project that I've been working on for nearly a year now; actually much longer when you consider the various custom tilesets and placeables I put together for it to use. The goal is to re-create the much touted NWN Hordes of the Underdark (HotU) campaign so that it can be run in the NWN2 engine. It won't be an exact duplicate, but will be close enough so that players who have previously completed the NWN campaign will recognize many of the elements. Thus far I'm working on the first chapter and I'm perhaps 30-40% of the way through. The introductory areas of Waterdeep have been completed, along with the cut scenes, encounters, shops, conversations, and opening battles. The player can now enter the underground landing and make their way into dungeon.

The build will be replete with custom content. In addition to placeables from hak packs on this site, I'm adding in many new models as needed. For example, I've been taking Callisters very nice Dungeon tileset and adding in my own tile variants to reproduce some of the unique landscape elements. 4760 has been very helpful in supplying new creatures that appeared in HotU, and I'll be using those throughout. I've also gained a lot more familiarity with the visual effects editor so that I can add custom effects as needed.

All told this is going to take a while to complete, but progress thus far has been good and I have high hopes for completing at least the first chapter of the campaign within the next couple of years. Maybe.

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Rolo Kipp

Abso-loooooot-ly gorgeous!


Rolo Kipp
 
From Dreamguard on Needlespire, The Gemworld of Amethyst
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rjshae

Thanks Rolo. With I could get those images to scale to the box size though. I tried fiddling with the HTML naughty bits, but nothing happened.

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Rolo Kipp

Scale to the box size? Not sure what you mean...

Inspecting the element, it's a 1024x640 image. On my 2k monitor, that's the size in the post, too.

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rjshae

Hmm, maybe it's a feature of the Chrome browser then; here I'm stuck with using Firefox and the image width doesn't scale to the width of the posting. Instead it runs past the right edge and off the screen. I tried style="width: 100%;" then style="width: auto;" CSS tags, but it made no difference. Nor did switching it to Full HTML.

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Rolo Kipp

Ahhh, I see the problem... I almost never squeeze my browser down, so never noticed.

Not sure I see an easy solution, though. Not in the forums. The forum module does it's own filtering of image elements and html tags.

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Rolo Kipp

Try this though:

With filter set to full html, click once on image and right click to bring up context menu.

Click on image properties.

In the "width" field type "50%"

This will autoload a value in the height field, delete that so only the width field is altered. Save that and let me know if that makes the width relative.

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Tarot Redhand

Finish this and I may just dust off my copy of NwN2 (and that is saying something).

TR

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rjshae

Try this though:

With filter set to full html, click once on image and right click to bring up context menu.

Click on image properties.

In the "width" field type "50%"

This will autoload a value in the height field, delete that so only the width field is altered. Save that and let me know if that makes the width relative.

Yes it looks like that worked. Thank you!

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Rolo Kipp

Cool! Hey! I did something right :-)

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Sabranic

Checking in, I will migrate some of our development diary to this site as well now that the Bioware forums are shutting down.  Will this be the best place to track your module development rjshae?  :)

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rjshae

More vicious-looking but pointless spikey bits for the dungeon tileset:

The original NWN Undermountain tile set is full of spikey parts along the walls, so I need to come up with a few more designs to provide variety. Any suggestions?

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kamal

My tileset/placeables bits pack has lots of spike type things.

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rjshae

Do you know if there is a hanging cage model somewhere?

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kamal
I dont think there is one in my pack but check with pj as that sounds like something that exists.
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rjshae

I had a look through the Cornucopia but didn't have much luck. 

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andysks

Witcher has one but I don't know if it's on the completed ones or it just exists for conversion.

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rjshae

Thanks, I'll have a look at the ones that are available from Tchos' set. I'm starting to think that various horror-related placeables may be suitable for Undermountain.

 

Ed.: Ok I found it. But it's not that great. I may end up making my own. Ah well.

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Sabranic

Ohhhh my... I always wanted to face off against Halaster!!! 

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PJ156

Which did you find? There is certainly one in there, perhaps dark waters but I would have to search.

I used it in Soul cages so it will be easy to seek out.

PJ

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rjshae

The one I saw in the Witcher set looked more like a bird cage, so I decided against it.

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rjshae

Well here's the first hanging cage, plus a few other creepy placeables for later consumption:

From left to right: drow matron's sofa, wooden horse, hanging cage, judas cradle, drow cage, and a blood-filled cauldron.

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PJ156

I could not find it yet but there's another in the cornucopia I think. It looks like you're sorted though.

The cornucopia also has a spiked coffin and other rws torture nastiness.

PJ

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rjshae

I might as well start posting some of the prior images of the project.

Here is part of the Waterdeep magic shoppe:

Some new additions:

A couple of shots of the Waterdeep exterior:

The Realm of the Reaper:

A couple of key early areas in the toolset:

A screen shot of the opening cut scene:

Here's the Yawning Portal metatile before adding creatures, blood stains, dirt, &c.:

Started work on the undermountain:

Mysterious glowing runes:

Liar, liar, statues on fire.

Throne of a long dead king:

Toolset shot of the University District cut scene. I'm still not 100% happy about this, but oh well.

Umm... party on, dudes?

Implementing a secret door:

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rjshae

Where am I at? Mmm, well I've been distracted lately with tilesets and playing D:OS/PoE/IWD2/W2, but I have got some work done on this project.

I've been completely rebuilding the 1st level central area as the old one got corrupted. This time I make sure I keep 2-3 copies of the area around in earlier stages. It still takes a while to load, but I'm not seeing the same performance issues. Rather than building out room by room, this time I'm doing it component by component. At the moment I'm busy adding light sources in the same locations as the original NWN area. I switched to wall sconces with continual light spells. I'm a little concerned that the general gloom may put off some players, but hey it's a dungeon. Waddayawant?

I'm also building out the surrounding north and south areas, initially by setting up the NPCs and by creating the basic area tile layout. I'm also working on additional placeables for dungeon dressing. There's a couple of creatures I plan to add in when they become available: the harpy and the cockatrice. Meanwhile I'm using substitute models. I think I've just about got everything else now. Maybe just a few more visual effects...

In short, nothing exciting to report. Work continues apace...

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GCoyote

Still great looking work. The Reaper pic gave me a flashback.

 

<b>"Please VOTE on the content you play."</b>

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kamal

In pic 2 a few of those placeables look like they were pieces of existing placeables? Did you get them from my pieces and parts pack?

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rjshae

I think a couple of them ripped from one of the stock workbench models, so they may look alike.

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kamal

ok, I might be able to save you some time, as I've already deconstructed most of the stock stuff. https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/model/kamals-placeables-pack

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rjshae

Thanks. I had actually extracted those back in May, 2015. But I'll have a look at your set and see what I can use.

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rjshae

Undermountain is described as the biggest grave in the Realms, so naturally it has a few skelies. I think I've aquired enough now to provide some variety, as shown below. Some of these are NWN ports; others are from the cornucopia. The one with the crown is for use with the seated kings; I'm going with a static placeable rather than fiddling with the sitting animation.

I'm still busy building out the first area of Undermountain. Right now I'm creating the conversations for Daelan and Enserric. The latter is an intelligent sword that I've given a somewhat bloody visual effect, shown above.

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kamal
Thats a neat visual on enserric. Custom vfx?
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rjshae

Yes, it's my mod of one of the fx_defaultitem_* effects. I just chose different textures and refined the colors and parameters a bit so it looks bloody.

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rjshae

I spent the weekend trying to wrap up the level 1 central area... and I'm just about finished. All the core elements are in place now, and I just need to insert the placed creatures into their proper locations and add some environmental clutter. For the most part I'm pretty happy with the way things look. Hopefully the corruption issue is in the rear view now. Everything seems to be functioning okay.

I did have to spend a bunch of time migrating module scripts to campaign scripts, which was a bit of a pain. That was mainly for the Deekin character so his conversation will work in the next chapter, but it meant I also had to update the other conversations since they use many of the same scripts.

Now I'll probably move on to the level 1 north area. I don't plan to do a play through of this level until all three parts are in place, so there may be some future fixes needed.

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rjshae

I've got the outline of the Undermountain level 1 North area assembled, with all the placeable parts and creature blueprints built and the required conversations complete, so it's coming along nicely. Now though I'm finding I need a little more custom content. A spider cocoon model is complete and added -- I couldn't find one in the cornucopia so I neded up porting the NWN modelo and making some tweaks. Another need is for the Maze room where there are some unusual pillars that emit magical vibes. This effect was pretty striking in NWN, so I want to make something unique and visually appealing for the pillars. But I'm still mulling what form to build. Maybe an electrical resonator from a mad scientists lab? Hmm...

In adding the various doors, I noticed that many are of the Stone variety in NWN (even though they don't look particularly stone-like). What I've decided to do then is have some door reskins to look like various stone dungeon doors. I went looking for some examples, and found... butkis. I couldn't find any illustrations of what a dungeon stone door should look like. Odd, huh? My first thought then is to find some b&w dungeony/evil symbols and use them to create raised reliefs in the door's normal map, plus surround it with a raised rectangular border. Perhaps mix that with different stone materials slotted together. Some doors could include glowing runes. What do you think? Any ideas?

 

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kamal
Cornucopia does have some cocoons i think. My reskins of the stock glowing rune column might fir your needs depending on just what these columns look like, in any case you could just set a different texture cor them since the cloned columns have their own textures and glowmaps.
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rjshae

Yes I recall seeing a model called a cocoon. However, they didn't look anything like a spider cocoon. Perhaps I was looking at the wrong part.

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rjshae

At right is the cocoon model. At left... does anybody need a dragon's treasure horde? laugh

Not sure I'll have a need for it, but it's nice to have available.

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Friar
Friar's picture

When looking at your screen of Enserric and the skeletons.

I thought the skeleton wearing the crown was actually wearing a cat on his head. :P

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Tarot Redhand

Errrm, I don't want to worry you but in that picture the cocoon is actually on the right...

TR

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kamal

errrmm, was there an edit to rj's post?

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rjshae

>Errrm, I don't want to worry you but in that picture the cocoon is actually on the right...

Well that's odd. I typo'd it, then edited and corrected. Looks like you got a cached copy for some reason. Software error? Can you try a ctrl-f5 and see if that clears it up?

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Tarot Redhand

Nope, still on the right. Also, just to make sure it's not a feature of Opera, tried it with firefox with the same result. One other thing I tried was to see if changing from neverwintervault.org to neverwintervault.net had any effect. It didn't.

TR

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kamal

"At right is the cocoon model. At left..."

I think you might be mis-scanning what he wrote.

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rjshae

Here's the first lot of doors:

Ed.: I found a pretty nice collection of door textures here. They are licensed under CC-BY_NC-SA, so we should be able to make use of them. Most of the work will be in generating the height maps for the normal texture files.

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PJ156

These are very nice RJS. I have been reskining some for SOAR too but not to this quality.

PJ

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rjshae

Thanks PJ. Here is the second set. I'm particularly happy with the way the three metal doors turned out. The skull door is based on the BG 1 game symbol; I threw that one in for a little variety.

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colorsfade

Those look great!

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rjshae

Thanks colorfade. Here's the third and (I think) final set of interior doors. I'll convert some to exterior doors then post.

The last one at bottom right uses a charred wood texture, for use in a burnt building.

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rjshae

Okay, I finished repopulating Undermountain with the new doors. I think they look pretty good, so I'm ready to move forward. Working on the north section, it looks like I'll need one new tile and a large placeable, so that's my next task. There's also a large stone door blocking a corridor, and I don't have a matching model. Instead, I may reskin one of the larger double doors. The blueprints and conversations are complete though, so progress is being made.

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rjshae

Meanwhile, somewhere in Undermountain...

Ed.: Decided I didn't like that springy-coil column thingie, so I rebuilt it with a different design. Looks better now.

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