Monday, April 7, 2008

The Matrix: Scenes and Skills

Over the weekend, Corrugath and I annotated the story outline to discuss its areas for improvement. We identified what parts of the story to flesh out and what parts to discard. Our comments, together with those of Melirinda, were color-coded for us to easily spot them from the regular text. We each used different colors, and after a series of exchanges, the text looked like a strange patchwork of tints. All told, it was a very productive virtual discussion.

At this point, we have ironed out the main storyline, but there are still a number of side quests and alternative branches that need to be done. Nevertheless, with the material on hand, I decided to create a matrix that identifies which skills may be used in each scene of the story. In this matrix, I blocked out all the skills that players will use on their own as the need arises. These skills are typically the ones that may be used in combat. The skills that I did not block out are the ones for which I need to create situations for their use in the game.

Along the columns of the matrix, I listed all the NWN2 skills. The scenes in the story were listed along the rows. If a particular skill may be used in a specific scene, I marked their junction with an "X." This matrix gave me a view of what skills were underutilized. For those skills, I had to think of situations for their potential use in the story's scenes. I don't need to make all instances of skill use equal to each other, but I had to ensure that their use did not deviate too much from the average skill use in the game.

Having completed this, I am now ready to create more areas for the module. My work over the next few week is definitely cut out for me.


Wyrin said...

I like this approach, actually. would be interesting for me to look at things retroactively myself.

SOunding good so far!

Frank Perez said...

Thanks, wyrin. :)