Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Basilica Thrashes Old One

In my last post, I presented the Basilica of Lost Hope, an area that I recycled from one of the modules of Mask of the Betrayer. Well, I'm junking this area in favor of a brand new one, courtesy of Josh (a.k.a. Anduraga). Josh has done a couple of beautiful area prefabs (namely, Surague Escarpment and Tropical Shore) and is currently designing areas for "Misery Stone," a highly anticipated NWN2 horror module. Seeing that I had ripped the basilica right out of MotB, Josh decided to make a better one. The resulting area kicks serious ash and is even more terrifying than the one I made.

In terms of floor area, the original basilica and the one that Josh made are the same size. The latter looks far more spacious, however, because of its higher ceiling. The stained glass windows are more realistic and are an integral part of the walls. Josh created this area using the RWS Pocket Cathedrals hakpak by Robinson Workshop. He also set up the lighting of the area and added the visual effects of light streaming through the windows.

The one modification that I made to this area was to add beams of light streaming from the ceiling to illuminate the skull piles. The original area had these beams of light, but they were absent in Josh's version. I can understand why he didn't add them. The cathedral tileset doesn't have ceilings with holes to let the skylight through, which makes it awkward to explain the presence of these beams of light. Also, a new VFX would have to be made for the light beams because the one used in the original area isn't tall enough to stream from the ceiling. I figured that the lighting in the basilica is so dark and the ceilings so tall that it's entirely possible that the ceiling has holes that are too far away to be seen. As for creating a new VFX, that is a task that I gladly undertook.

What can I say? The new basilica is scary and beautiful. Don't get married in this place, boys and girls. It isn't called the Basilica of Lost Hope for nothing.

Thank you so much for this area, Josh. The willingness to share talent is what makes the NWN2 community great.


Jason said...

Nice work there, Frank. We are indeed debtors to RWS and others for giving us such great content. The pocket cathedral looks terrific and you've done a nice job using it to create your mood. I also just caught up on the interview you did on NWN podcast and thought it was great. I loved your enthusiasm and openness for sharing ideas.


Frank Perez said...

Thanks, Jason. I'd say that about 90% of the credit for making good use of the RWS tileset really goes to Josh. Only 10% of the work on this area is mine. (See those beams of light shining on the skull piles?)

Josh said...

I took the light beams out, because I didn't really want to open the VFX editor to make it. More of laziness on my part :D

I really needed a break from the Asylum I was working on, so I thought I could make a short quick area :) The Asylum has 4 interiors the largest being an 28x28 and the others vary from 8x8 to 16x16, so you can imagine that it can become tiring when you have to dialogues and scripting and the like. Yea, this area was just the break I needed to trudge on.... especially since my PS3 decided to kick the bucket before I got to play Metal Gear Solid 4.... :(

PS: The Dialogue writing is what is taking the area so long.

PSS: I may update my blog soon with some new information regarding TN and some extra goodies some of you might like.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Frank,

I just wanted to say thanks for the head's up regarding SecuROM. It was exactly that in the end. :(

That has wasted 48 hours of my life, two attempts at reinstalling and a loss of much configuration to suit my tastes.

I wish I had made the connection a few days ago ... :(


E.C.Patterson said...

Looks great!