You are here

Pilgrim (Chapter 2 in development)

45 posts / 0 new
Last post
Grog
Pilgrim (Chapter 2 in development)

EDIT: Chapter 1 is now available here.

 

So about a year ago I posted in the old forums with a few screenshots from an in-progress campaign - a kind of Dying Earth setting that played up the stranger edges of DnD.

Well, surprisingly, it's not dead! In fact, I'm steadily working towards what might just be a working beta of the first chapter, so I thought I'd share a few screenshots to hopefully get it on people's radar.

Enjoy!

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
kevL's

looks good

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
rjshae

Yes, I remember your original posting, Glad to hear you're still working on it. Please keep us posted. Thanks.

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Trinital

love the aesthetics!!

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Since it's a 'dying sun' world, I'm currently trying to figure out a way of imposing occasional cold damage on the player. (I'm no great shakes at coding, so this is troubling me a bit.)

I tried installing Edret's Environmental Fatigue system, but I can't decide if it's going to work for me, even with some tweaks. The damage method itself is likely to be a frustration to the player, rather than an additional threat (your strength and dexterity decrease at first slowly, then rapidly, so you'll just end up unable to move, stuck in a wilderness zone and taking damage).

It also damages *everyone* in the area equally, which means that any outdoor NPCs just stand there, patiently freezing to death - I came back to an area playtesting just now, to find an entire quest hub wiped out, which was pretty creepy. 

Edret provides solutions for this kind of thing (there are 'warm' waypoints, and characters in the vicinity warm up again) but I'm not sure if it's a perfect fix - do I need to make all NPCs non-bumpable so the player can't gently nudge them to their deaths, for instance?

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Trinital

I would just make it affect players..

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
rjshae

I would just make it affect players..

Yes, I agree. You could accomplish the same visual effect by just having NPCs tend to huddle around warm locations.

Are you including the visual breath effect?

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

No, I didn't actually know that existed! Thank you, that looks like a really helpful atmospheric tweak.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

 

Whew.

I've still got a few final quests to round out, and some companion dialogue to bulk up, and some extra items, and a thorough check on all my typos...

...but it feels as if I might have a workable beta for this thing in the next few weeks, if the gods are kind.

We've got 60 areas, 4 party members, 30-odd quests, 200-odd conversations (as well as a bunch of other work that fell by the wayside due to terrible creative planning).

That feels incredibly good, and I'm really excited to share what I have. I've been messing with this toolset on-and-off for almost eight years, and it feels great to actually have a near-finished product, no matter how late to the party it is.

If anyone is up for a bit of playtesting when the time comes, I'd really appreciate it (I haven't exactly been around and active as a member of the community, so I totally understand if nobody's interested!)...otherwise, I'll see you back here once this thing is ready. 

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
PJ156

I love the concept, at least the concept I percieve it to be.

The cold damage could be like the soul eater in MoTB, a bit marmite for the players, it's a good concept though. If you've not already solved the cold problem then you could consider triggers. easy to script with Lilac soul and you can control the rate of decay carefully to suit your plot?

PJ

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Thanks, PJ!

Well, the Spirit Eater mechanic was really what I was thinking of. The characters are meant to be trudging a long, hard, cold road south, so I wanted to underline the mod's themes and underscore the mechanics by having the environment gradually eat away at them...and create a sense of relief when they find shelter.

I think the trouble I found was:

1) whacking the player with cold damage or a hit to attributes every so often really doesn't convey that, it's just a frustration that makes the wilderness areas less fun to explore

2) that kind of attention to detail throws the loot system out of balance. Should clothes help the player resist the cold? Is it really an intimidating environment if you can just run around naked in it? 

3) I really don't know if I have what it takes technically to create something more intricate, so the problem kept stalling me and delaying everything else..

For the time being, I've kept the cold to environmental cues, the story, and a limited resting system (with benefits to finding a proper warm bed). And I figure if players feel that there's too much gameplay-story segregation in just wandering the wilds without cost, I can have another go at putting something in.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Foghopper

This looks really good, love the aesthetic you've got going in the screenshots. 

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
GCoyote

Have you looked at the mechanics used in NWN1 Hordes of the Underdark? 

  • Cold dmg applied beginning a 1 hp every few min near the gate, and increasing to 5 in the worst areas (hopefully there are scripts already written that you can copy out)
  • Safe indoors or near a fire
  • Limited supply of fire wood to purchase or scavenge
  • Standard energy protection spells work if available
  • Protective clothing and items available
  • Merchants trade in cold resistant potions, items, and crafting materials while NPCs huddle near the fires and bemoan their hopeless situation. 

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

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Merchants trade in cold resistant potions

Now that was something I hadn't considered! The entire setting (even as it's in the middle of collapsing) is meant to be an advanced techno-fantasy - heavy emphasis on golems, guilds wielding corporate power, arcane power creating comfortable bubbles for the very wealthy, environmental waste and wild magic zones caused by industrial magic use - so that kind of thing would fit in very well.

Wrote in another few conversations, added in some encounters, ran another playthrough and got a few more screens. Slowly grinding to the end that's distantly in sight - in the main arc, there's really only a few faction-based quests left to resolve (the idea being that the player needs to win the favour of a guild to get onto the boat heading south), but they're the awkwardly complicated ones!

 

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
kamal

Is that an illithid party member?

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

It is! He's a biologist who's worked some time for the Commonwealth (the most advanced / utopian empire) as a deal-broker and a diplomat. 

I figure a big part of the fun of doing a kind of farflung future is that you get to mix it up. So in this setting, on a world that's been cut off from the Planes for centuries, the few remaining illithid are wanderers and academics; distrusted by surfacers, but prized for their ability to read minds in cut-throat trade disputes.

Meanwhile, gnomes have developed such a culture around golem-crafting that they've begun worshipping their most advanced constructs. The lizardfolk races have begun to vanish as they descend into one final hibernation. Outsiders are nothing but legend - and consequently, aasimar and tieflings are treated more as the result of rare magical mutations than anything else. You're more likely to find travellers riding a burden beetle than a horse. Etc.

Basically, I just wanted to do that Dark Sun thing of giving familiar DnD elements a quarter-twist.

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
kamal
  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog
I've got a few days off after the weekend so I'm just...well, still trrudging ahead. Know that feeling when you're so, so close but every time you check, you realise the end is slightly further away than you thought?
 
I don't have much in the way of new screenshots, but I do have quite a lot of bits and pieces of lore, if anyone's interested! It hopefully gets a sense of the tone of the thing.
 
 
From your journal:
The world is dying.
 
It was the Last Prophet Imri, in the great northern capital of Lystere, who broke the silence of the secret council and announced the truth that had been whispered and rumoured in the streets for so long; that the sun was burning itself out. That the cold ravaging our harvests for so many decades was no temporary woe. That soon our earth would no longer be able to sustain us.
 
After Imri's murder on the steps of the Capital by fanatical followers of the Old Gods, one question arose.
 
'What next?'
 
Imri had calculated a single lifetime of fifty-one years was all that was left to us, in the northern cities, before our arcane fires and artificial defences would fail and the Agony began - our final generation, living in pain and suffering, struggling to sustain ourselves on an earth without vegetation, without livestock.
 
And so it was that the great merchant houses, defying our lords, began to put preparations in place for the Grim Pilgrimage - one final journey south, to the equator of the world, where the sun's heat will be more keenly felt. 
 
A few more years of life - or life worth living.
 
On The Commonwealth
As you unclasp this datafile's latch, a tinny gnomish voice emanates from within:
 
It is often remarked upon that the Commonwealth - greatest of empires, herald of a new era of trade and global unity - was founded by gnomish entrepreneur-kings. The implication, of course, being that some manner of gnomish conspiracy was afoot.
 
The truth could not be more different; in the diplomatic meetings of Jerei Cavyndish and Polka Rim that led to the Commonwealth's founding, we see a kind of arms race towards peace. Both of the great entrepreneurs understood that it was only a matter of time before the centralised peoples of civilised Fayrn - elves, gnomes, halflings, dwarves, and humans - united across the continent.
 
The race was on, therefore, to see which business empire would weave itself into the new unity of the species most thoroughly, for whichever empire failed was certain to fall...
 
 
The Book of Endings
 
This slim book has clearly been mass-produced on cheap paper. For the most part, it is a complicated series of astronomical equations and diagrams depicting celestial bodies. The foreword, however, is quite clear:
 
'I have given you knowledge, and from it we must draw three inescapable conclusions:
 
#1: The light is going out. The sun's heat has been fading for centuries, if we had but the wit to understand it.
#2: We will not see the sun's light fade entirely. Before the end of the world will come the end of humanity; an Agony, of blistering cold, dead crops, and dead animals. Our agriculture will fail, and with it comes our suffering.
#3: There are fifty-one years left, at our latitude, before this Agony begins.
 
What you choose to do with this knowledge is in your hands. But we cannot turn away from it.
 
I am sorry to have written these words. I am sorry that you should have to read them.
 
Imri Gheth, Master Astronomer of Lystere.'
 
 
From The Eight Hundred Blasphemies of Semyon Roi
This is a particular favourite of mine. This village-in-the-sticks buys one of those new gnomish machine-gods, because their beetroot won't take root in the soil. The pedlar swears it's omniscient, but the god doesn't respond to any of their prayers. It just sits there, saying one word - ‘Dog. Dog.’ - over and over.
 
So the hillbillies bring it a dog. But it doesn't even seem to notice, just keeps saying it. ‘Dog. Dog.
 
’OK, the hillbillies say. Perhaps that isn't enough dog, and they bring two, three, eighteen dogs, barking and yowling and rutting, as gifts before their god.
 
Nothing. ‘Dog. Dog.’ Well, the hillbillies decide, maybe we’ve got the wrong end of the stick here, and they begin to butcher the dogs, in whatever manner of sacrifice they think might be most pleasing. Fire. Decapitation. Bare-handed dog murder.
 
One hefty pile of dog corpses later, they decide to bring in a linguist. It's not ‘dog’, she tells them, it's ‘dark’. Damn thing’s optic lenses have burnt out.
 

 

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

I've been playing about with the day/night cycle, just easing back on the fog while adding a bit of colour back in. It doesn't look quite as desolate as before, but I think it probably makes up for it in terms of character / prettiness. (Too much red, though?)

Three final quest stages left. Then...I think I might be done? frown

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
SeriousSams

Awesome screenshots, really dense atmosphere. I look forward to playing this so much!

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
kamal
Theres some Misery Stone daynights that would probably work. Pinkish doesnt seem very end of the world to me.
  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
kevL's

agreed, personally i admire the ambience in the earlier screenshots

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Fair enough, I'll dial it back towards white/grey mist. (Maybe I've just been looking at the areas for too long - I actually based the original ambience on Misery Stone, but I was worried it was looking a bit colourless and drab). Thanks!

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

OK, the first beta version of Pilgrim: Chapter 1 is up! You can download it here.

It'll still need some polish in the second half, but should be playable to any of the endings - if anyone does fancy a playtest of the rough cut, please go ahead, I'd really appreciate your thoughts and advice - I've pretty much been going it alone since I started building this!

Otherwise I'll just keep hammering away and aim to get the finished version up in the next couple of months.

I play with Xaltar's facelift pack but it definitely shouldn't be necessary to enjoy the game, so I haven't included it in the files for ease of use.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
GeorgeBurnet

OK; I tried Pilgrim until I reached a dead point (we'll get to that). I note here my thoughts and, above all, the problems that I've found in order to try to help the author. I think that most points are things that I missed given my choices and not author's fault, but I note them nonetheless. Most of them, as you'll see, are minor glitches. Please, bear in mind that I began playing without having read almost nothing in  this post. I apologize if some of my notes are stupid mistakes results of my ignorance: I wanted to have an open-free-of-info-mind when I began. Obviously, SPOILERS abound from this point on:

-Will there be a history/world/theology guide included? For example: reading in this post the theme of the adventure, I thought that I could be a Khelemvor cleric... are Khelemvor and other gods of FR compatible with the story environtment? Also, I learned about the scar/parasit quite late in the adventure. And who are the Thiskans? Shouldn't the character know more about them? I should have been warned that I was a slave before creating my character. And why I am in an elven ruin after having seen the intro? Did I miss something?

-Nephias attacked me when I said her that she had no bolt in her crossbow and I had to kill her. Is this OK?

-Is the contain of the alm box in the mountains suppossed to be accessible? My character can break the box but can't reach the "remains".

-The Old King is (from my point of view) too much for a lv1 cleric. Perhaps some strong warnings and the posssiblity of returning latter are in order? (I couldn't once I reached the caravan, by the way: is thata OK?). I didn't kill him and I don't know if it's important for the story doing so; if not, I would consider lowering it.

-I couldn't reach the sewer pipe. Is that OK? When I got a rope, I was in the caravan and couldn't return to the mountains screen.

-I agreed to pay 400 gc for Betany but was charged 600 gc automatically.

-The conversation with the first caravan guard didn't trigger when I first arrived; it did when I was with the Illithid on my way to the gnome-related quest and then I lost points of influence for saying that I came from the mountains. Sounds a little bit strange to me.

-In the road where the charred inn is, there is a campfire. In the conversation options, I had the option of adressing Nephias even when I killed her at the beggining of the adventure.

-I had the option of talking with Lurk about his spider even when he hadn't called for her or talked about her before.

-Perhaps in the NW road the returning point should read "Towards the South Road" instead of "South Road"?

-Is the amount of XP for killing the Spider Crimson Queen correct? I was awarded the same for killing her as for killing one of the lesser spiders.

-Shriekers don't have description. Also they are (my oppinion) extremelly powerful. In fact, from my point of view, there are too many monsters with immunities/damage reduction and concealment in the adventure (I'm thinking in the wraith's of the magic zone and the revenant mansion), specially if you've begun with a lv 1 character and have not any +1 weapon (perhaps I missed something). Also too much powerful is the bear in the NW road. Perhaps wolves or a injured bear (the gnomes could have damaged it and somebody could say that) would be better.

-In the mountain-top, a strange conversation about a runestone from Nephias triggered.(I had killed her at the begginig)

-Is the searing light spell of the camera supposed to work? I couldn't make it work.

-The Film-and-Flash journal entry remained as current when completed.

-Is the elven prince's corpse supposed to be accessible? I couldn't reach it.

-In the camp outside Khundir, the conversation with the half-orc triggered in a strange way. Perhaps the player should receive a message of "Those guys' description fits the one that Myrelda gave to you etc", or something like that. Also, the one named Henning is shocked and I get the option of "opening his eyes". He was not guilty? Do I know him?

-There is some chit-chat in the circus. All goes right if you enter, talk once with every artist, exit and talk again with Mrs. Albe. Not if you talk twice with the artists: you began the quest without knowing it. Sadly, I lost my notes and can't be more accurate here.

-I can say to the ogre in the camp tha the Lantern Co. wants him without having talked with the Co.

-I didn't find Trellawney outside in the camp. I found the key in the ground, entered the lighthouse, met Trellawney who said something about poltergeists, reached the top and let him pray for some reason. Then, the quest triggered as complete even when I haven't received it.

-Irritating Bugs in Khundir: I can get out of the bookshop neither the Lantern Co. building in the market place an return to the streets. That was what stopped me from playing more: I had not saved games and the dm_jumppoint trick don't work: it always sends me to a spellcraft area. PLAYERS: save often and in different slots when you reach Khundir.

-Thandar is alone in Khundir camp and seems to be waiting for some kind of info. I think that it's supposed to appear with the caravan inside the town and ask you for something. (?)

-When I found Laldriissa, she only gave info to me, but couldn't get no quest from her or fight her, only some influence points. The quest that leaded me to her didn't trigger as completed or actualized, so I couldn't return to the Shands and tell about the Maycliffes. Did I miss something?

I must say that the mix of D&D with "High"-Technology is not my cup of tea, but this module is appealing and fun, and the story is very well worth a try. Visuals and music are great and give you the grim-dark feel that this "The Road"-kind of tale deserves. Conversations with NPCs and companions are good! 

Shouldn't this BETA be on a "project" page of the Vault? It would get more attention and possible testers.

Please, let me know if I can help with anything or you've questions. Next try when Pilgrim is updated!

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Thanks so much, GeorgeBurnet - that's incredibly helpful! (There's clearly a lot more left to fix than I thought, some of the bugs you mention are definitely cutting off content)

I'll try and put out an update in the next week that's hopefully a bit smoother. A lot of your questions have 'because I screwed up or wasn't clear enough' as an answer, but here are a few:

- The campaign description should mention that you're an escaped slave from Thisk (before it's then mentioned in the prologue). Do you think that needs to be clearer for roleplaying purposes? I'm not sure how to spell out the theology of the setting before character creation without becoming over-detailed: basically, the dialogue and lore should make it clear over time that the gods are still worshipped, but have been partially supplanted by 'new gods'.

- Laldrissa is a big bug, dialogue should fire that helps you recruit her as a companion / resolve the quest.

- There should be a rope near the sewer pipe that lets you descend, so long as you have good Dex (or let Nephias live)

- Speaking of Nephias, I meant that dialogue line to be straightforwardly threatening (making her attack), but it's obviously too ambiguous. I'll change it.

- I wasn't going to put it up as a project unti it's done, or at least in a more polished state so it makes a good first impression. Do you think that's unnecessary?

Thank you again, and I'm really glad you got some enjoyment out of it so far even if the genre isn't your cup of tea.

 

 

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
GeorgeBurnet

It's me who must thank you for your quick answer, Grog. And for Pilgrim, that is a great work, clearly, fruit of passion and respect for the game. I'll begin again and explore all the Nephias'dialogue options... and go to the sewer. Probably my poor undesrstanding of English language is to blame for me not understanding the slave-past question and the menacing tone of the dialog. I'll check it and say you something. One line in the same description saying that the gods of FR are OK should be enough for dissipating doubts; perhaps it should also say that New Gods aren't avaliable for players.

As for putting the BETA in projects, I'll vote yes: it has enough entity for that. But you should ask more experienced people in the Vault: they can guide you far better than me. I've seen that GCoyote follows this post: I would ask him.

Believe me, I got more than "some" enjoyment from Pilgrim: good stories are good in every genre, era or environment.

 

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
GeorgeBurnet

My apologies, Grog: I think that I pushed the mouse right botton before the intro ended and lost info. So, I would wait for more inputs before changing the texts that you already have. If nobody feels a little bit lost, it's OK. Also, picking up Nesphia gives more background. If you do so and bring her to the sewer, you can make her go descent and bring gold one time and another and, also, change the influence you have with here every time she returns.

I think that passing Pilgrim to project would get more attention and possible help to you. When I enter the Vault always look for New Modules and rarely for forums or conversations. I think that most of players do so. In fact, I reached your conversation by chance.

If you think that I can help or have questions, let me know!

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Ah, good spot - thank you again! 

I'm just uploading a new quick-fix version which should hopefully solve most of the issues you mention - should be up once I get back from work. I've struggled to replicate your problems with getting out of Khundir doors in playtest, so I've just tried setting up fresh transitions for now. Fingers crossed :)

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

Ok, new beta version is up. Going to focus on filling out the wilderness areas with extra content and points of interest for now, then start building up merchant stores with more exciting / necessary items! 

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

OK, second update is up in the Projects pages: https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwn2/module/pilgrim-chapter-1

I'm sure there'll definitely be more to fix, but all things considered, I'm really happy so far. Going to take a week's holiday in Portugal, then come back afterwards and look at it again for a spit 'n' polish.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

I've started messing about, trying to figure out how Part 2 might look in the first couple of areas (it's going to be more of a maritime / island-exploring experience).

It's an interesting one - I want to try and preserve the aesthetic I established in Chapter 1 (towering spiky architecture, weird trees, desolation), but I also want to ensure it doesn't get too monotonous by making changes to the foliage and architecture as the player gets closer to the equator.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

A few more glamour shots. I'm starting Chapter 2 in the traditional 'you've been shipwrecked, why does nothing ever go to plan' fashion, with a great big island to explore for the first third of the module (which ends when the player finds appropriate transportation, and then opens up the adventure to new areas).

Lighting needs work, but I'm enjoying myself so far.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
GeorgeBurnet

Looks great and attuned with the first part! Nice work, Grog! I liked lightning (or its absence) of the 1st chapter!

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Trying something with a slightly different feel: an underwater locale for Chapter 2, using RWS' placeable pack (not included with the all-in-one pack, sadly). There are some nice elk coral pieces that look suitably tentacled, which helps a lot in setting the mood and makes for some semi-plausible illithid statues.

My concern for this is 'faking' the underwater feel effectively while still giving the player a fair amount of freedom and stuff to do - since inevitably the player ends up being stuck in a diving suit, and missile weapons make zero sense, a lot of the NWN1/NWN2 underwater levels I've played have ended up being very strictly controlled and limited.

I seem to remember Candle Cove has an underwater sequence, so I might check that out for inspiration!

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Trinital

I absolutely love the morbid backdrop to these modules.. This has been very high on my Todo.

We should chit chat sometime

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Cheers, Trinital! Definitely let me know what you think if you do give Chapter 1 a go - I'm really keen to improve and rebalance however I can. (And hopefully carry those lessons into Part 2.)

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Happycrow

I think your observation about how the module changes radically and possibly involves "too much" in Ch. 1 was spot on, and would love to see that carry into Ch.2. 

I loved Ch. 1, but having the feeling that you've got the freedom to engage in lots and lots of side-quests tends to pull away a bit from the ABSOLUTE tension you created in the first half, where to a great extent it's "yeah I know there's this thing I could do, but do we really have time to screw around with that? This is survival at stake here..."

It's very, very rare that a module can bring out that feeling in a player, and I think you did a really good job doing so. Can't wait for more of it.

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Thanks, Happycrow - that’s much appreciated and very helpful.

I do totally agree - and I think a major challenge for me going forward will be maintaining that sense of vulnerability and threat, when there’ll be other factors pushing against it (the player will have a bigger party of more powerful characters, and according to the rules I’ve established, the landscape will grow more temperate and therefore less bleak...)

Anyway, that’s my problem to solve!

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

 

Well, I took a break from the module for a couple of months - now I'm just sitting back down to it. 

Going on hiatus tends to make modders jittery (a number of times I've seen people posting very minor 'updates' just to prove to any readers / themselves that they really are still working on the damn thing), but I think it can be vital to the finished project.

In my case, I ended up thinking a lot about where I'd overwritten things, both in Chapter 2 so far and in Chapter 1. I'm paring back a lot of what I'd created so far - because for a deserted island, I'd really made a bit of a theme park experience, with a companion, multiple quests, and too much dialogue. There was no sense of desolation, and that needed to change.

And, when I'm done with Chapter 2, I think I'd like to re-release Chapter 1, having cut back on the player's convoluted backstory and making things simpler. Exposition is a deadly enemy for pretty much any hack fantasy writer, even outside of video games.

I also came up with a neat concept for one of the main Chapter 2 areas, Brightshore - a rickety town and monastery perched on a hilly island. At night, the luminous algae beneath the surface of the water begins to shimmer and glow (hence the name).

 

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
rjshae

Placing stuff underwater for players to see can be tricky, as what shows up is usually just the ground.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

The algae, you mean? Yeah, I wasn’t even going to try and create any - I’ve just simulated the effect with violet fog FX over the surface of the water, which (with the help of sympathetic lighting) becomes brighter and more lurid when the sun goes down.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
brothermutant

GAH! The atmosphere of the pics are AMAZING! I would love to see this chapter out. Hopefully, I'll have time to play it in my spare time.

Lub U ;)

  • up
    100%
  • down
    0%
Grog

Glad you like them! Yeah, I'll try not to keep you waiting too long if I can.

 

I was messing about in-game tonight, so managed to come up with a few extra screens.

Somewhere completely different...

 

Somewhere we've already seen...

 

Some much-needed enemy variety with the help of kamal's creature project...these crabs are pretty hardcore.

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%
Grog

OK, decision time:

 

Since this is the 'ocean' chapter, the majority of it takes place on a small archipelago, with one hub island and a few other key locations, trying to find a way south through the storms.

I'm torn between the following:

Restricted travel: the player can make a few short journeys on a hired skiff around to the different islands, and can visit one at low tide only

+ This keeps things nice and low-key, and creates a sense of being trapped

- It makes the chapter more linear and funnelled, with too much of the travelling action happening via the dialogue box

 

Unrestricted travel: The player can enter a smallish overland map 'as' the skiff and visit the different locations manually. Venturing outside the 'safe' area will result in damage, encounters with high-level foes, etc.

+ This creates a greater sense of adventure, and provides more opportunities for optional locations and hidden content

+ The overland map is never a bad thing

- It runs the risk of killing the sense of threat and hardship - if the player can just futz about sailing from island to island, it becomes less of a 'trekking, bargaining, fighting for survival' adventure and more of a 'wheee, I wonder what's over here' adventure.

 

  • up
    50%
  • down
    50%