Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Very Bad Place

Between updating my Battle of the Builds module and creating a new utility program for NWN2 players called Peek-a-BIC, my progress in the Faithless module has been slow. A few days ago, I managed to get my groove back when I resumed work on an interior area that had temporarily taken a backseat.

When I started working on it, this particular area disgusted me. I mean that quite literally. There was something about how the area looked that almost induced in me a gag reflex. Perhaps it had something to do with the greenish brown muck on the floor that, when coupled with the darkness of the place, made me think of sewers. That wouldn't have been so bad if I had been designing a sewer area, but it's actually supposed to be some bad guy's fortress. The fact that I was using the crypt tileset explains why the place looked filthy. The area would have looked more like a fortress if I had used the castle tileset instead, but I liked the chains hanging from the rafters that only the crypt tileset has. They add a sense of menace that is normally lacking in generic castles.

Hence, I had to disguise the area considerably to make it look like a bad guy's fortress while retaining the chains on the rafters. At the same time, I had to convey to the players that this was no ordinary castle but some psycho nut case's playground. To this end, I believe that I am succeeding. The fortress is far from finished, but I have completed most of the ground level to my satisfaction. A few props here, some lights there, and voila -- I've transformed a crypt into a castle that will leave no doubt in the players' minds that this is a very bad place.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thank You for the Music

There's something to be said about being interviewed at the Neverwinter Nights Podcast. I was recently contacted by Henry Solberg, a talented musician who heard my interview, and he offered to compose some original music for "Faithless." Did I accept his offer? You bet I did!

Within a few days, he has already composed three very good songs. One of them is Kaelyn's theme song, and the other two are slightly different versions of a composition entitled "City of Souls." These aren't the final versions yet because they need to be extended by several minutes for use in the game. Nevertheless, the quality of these songs is unmistakable. Henry succeeds in capturing the "avian" aspect of the Dove in "Kaelyn's Theme," and both versions of his "City of Souls" are hauntingly beautiful.

Henry has generously granted permission to share his music with the general public. Needless to say, Henry Solberg has the sole copyright to these files.

I'm sure that as the days pass, we'll be hearing more from Henry.