crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (LOTRO Deer)
Now this is a crown of antlers.

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And speaking of antlers, we're getting deer cosmetic pets in the near future. One is normal sienna colored doe, the other is a white stag (which of course is my trademark for my line of artwork). With this update LOTRO will be giving me everything I've wanted in a game. It looks like my crying and begging to the developers to give us deer has paid off. ;)
crown_of_antlers: (DeMordrey Raven)
Now that Faeries Crossing is finished I can move on to a new area. Although there are other villages in the Mascarell barony, I'm keeping the path of the module's main quest as the priority and have moved on to the next step of the main quest's journey; Crows Rock Castle, the capital of the DeMordrey barony.

This is a toolset view of the area. Admittedly it doesn't look that large or impressive in this image, but when I checked it in the game I was pleased to see that it gave the feel of a crowded, sprawling town.



The area as well as the quest events are going to take some time to complete. The town needs details such as lampposts, NPCs, and merchant stalls. As for the quest conversations and scripting, they are going to require some careful planning because at this point the questline can branch in different directions depending on whether the player character is a prince, princess, or commoner adventurer. Baron DeMordrey's conversation file will have a variable system which will be similar to the conversations of the henchmen that appear in the Shadows of Undretide and Hordes of the Underdark. For example, if the player is a princess character and she behaves like a vulgar tramp, the Baron's "like" variables will go down and he will respond accordingly.

I'm sure that the Script Generator and I will frequently be working together throughout the process of building this section of Ancaria.
crown_of_antlers: (Mascarell Deer)
Now that the Ronins quest is all finished and working, I've moved on to recreating the fourth quest that players can find when adventuring in the Faeries Crossing area. This quest is a bit more complex than the others and is one of the few in my module that requires its own unique script Cut for image and length )
crown_of_antlers: (DeMordrey Raven)
Two out of Faeries Crossings' five quests are now completely finished, so now it's on to number three; "Ronin".

At the time the module's story is taking place, soldiers from all three baronies are deserting their posts. Some are becoming mercenaries for the Sakaara cult. Others are simply becoming thugs and attacking travelers. In Sacred, the soldiers who deserted from the DeMordrey barony are called the "DeMordrey Ronins".

When playing Sacred, players start seeing the ronins as they travel north from Porto Vallum to Faeries Crossing. Within the village, the Mascarell commander who has been assigned to Faeries Crossing asks the player to go north across the river bridge and defeat a large gang of ronins which are about to cross the bridge and attack the commoners. And that is how this quest has been recreated in my module. Cut for image and length )
crown_of_antlers: (Mascarell Deer)
I managed to get the full conversation needed for the "Runaway Mules" quest done, so now it's on to the next quest for the village of Faeries Crossing. One of the reasons I'm able to set these quests up quickly is because I use Vuldrick's Universal Quest system. This system consists of about eight reusable scripts which can be used for any event which is needed for a quest. Through the use of variables that are placed on NPCs, monsters, triggers, and objects, these scripts can be used to spawn quest-related monsters, advance the quest's stage, give rewards, give objects, take objects, and have the conversation starting conditionals and actions-taken scripts fire. So far I've built nearly forty quests, all using these eight scripts. When each quest has no need for its own set of scripts, this goes a long way toward keeping the module from expanding to an unmanageable size.
Cut for image and length )
crown_of_antlers: (Mascarell Deer)
Earlier this week I finished a thorough test of the areas that have been built in my Heart of Ancaria module. Since I only had a couple of hours each day to devote to testing, it took a little over two weeks to get through everything, but once I reached the end of the areas and quest-lines that had been built I had a good idea of the level range that the next areas and quests would need to be. So today I started working on the quests that take place in the village of Faeries Crossing, which is in the Mascarell barony.Cut for length and image )
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (Bugler Elk)
The search for new image hosting is really getting annoying. For the past few weeks TinyPic seemed to serve its purpose, but now any time I try to upload an image I get "Upload failed. Cannot process image".

The images are the correct format. They are an acceptable size. I am not out of room on my account. What doesn't help is that the site doesn't seem to have a forum or any other way of finding out if this is a site-wide problem and if they are aware of it. I guess I should try out Imgur and see if it works any better.

What I really hate about Imgur and TinyPic is they have the tiresome "like" options. I'm not interested in having my artwork and gaming screenshots in a popularity contest. I just want a place to upload them so I can display them in my blogs. That doesn't seem like too much to ask for, does it?

Edited to add: Based on the recent [site community profile] dw_maintenance entry, Dreamwidth is about have image hosting. This is wonderful news.
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (LOTRO Deer)
Being a person who likes snow and cold weather, I quite liked this zone.

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crown_of_antlers: (Purple Dragon)
[Brought over from Live Journal]

The game world in my module now covers a lot more ground. It's now possible to travel from Porto Vallum all the way up to Crow's Rock Castle. This map of Ancaria gives an idea of just how much of a journey it is. Cut for length and images )
crown_of_antlers: (Purple Dragon)
[Brought over from Live Journal]

While working on the module the plan was to only have three henchmen since Adelina, Alexandria, and Ronas had all the aspects covered that the player-character might lack (picking locks and disarming traps, a tank, and a buffer/healer), but an idea I had for a henchmen when I was working on the CEP version of the module kept nagging at me. Plus, when I was play-testing the Bellevue region I noticed that when the player is female, Ronas the dwarf is the only male in the party. Ronas might have liked that, but it felt off-balance to me.

cut for length and image )
crown_of_antlers: (Purple Dragon)
The rogue henchman in the Ancaria module is Adelina. She uses the same long hair that I like to use on my character, but has a different face. She is inspired by the Adelina character in Sacred whom the player rescues in the wilderness from a small pack of rabid wolves.
cut for images )
crown_of_antlers: (Purple Dragon)
[Brought over from Live Journal]

No, this entry is not referring to Yagrum Bagarn from Morrowind (who was actually a Dwemer, a race of elves, rather than an actual dwarf).

cut for length and images )
crown_of_antlers: (Purple Dragon)
[Brought over from my Live Journal]

My Ancarian module includes a number of henchmen who are based on the characters that can be played in Sacred. One of the first henchmen that the player meets is Dame Alexandria, who I based on Sacred's Vampiress character.
cut for length and images )
crown_of_antlers: (Purple Dragon)
Now that I've set up an image hosting account on TinyPic, I'm going to start grabbing older entries from my Live Journal account and post them here, starting with entries I wrote about the NWN module I've been spending years working on but will likely never finish. ;)cut for length and images )
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (LOTRO Deer)
My characters were heading out to hunt shadow wolves and saw this.

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This screen has been uploaded to my new TinyPic account. The site isn't bad, but I'm not going to upload my images from Live Journal there just yet. There's a lot to transfer and I don't want to do it any more times than I have to. I'd prefer to have those images uploaded here if at all possible.

At least the TinyPic account will work for new images. And perhaps I'll end up liking it enough to make it my primary image hosting service.
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (Bugler Elk)
For the past week I've been considering creating an account on either TinyPic or Imgur. I've been wanting to write more frequent entries here but am finding that not having image hosting is really limiting me. I like to show what I'm working on rather than just writing about it.

For example; my current painting features a swan who I was fortunate enough to get lost of good photographs of during last autumn's trip to Yellowstone. The background is done, the swan herself is blocked in and I've been working on the shading, highlights, and details, starting with her beak and face and going down her neck. I want to be able to show a sneak peek of the painting, featuring a close up of the details I'm talking about.

Another example; if I am building some ruins or a forested area using one of the newly released texture sets for the NwN toolset, I want to include a screenshot showing what I built using the sets that the talented modders at the NwN Vault have submitted.

I guess this isn't so surprising. I'm a visual artist, so images play a big part in how I communicate. Sure, I could still use the Live Journal scrapbook, but I don't think the English side of Live Journal is going to be there much longer, and putting images of my original art there is out of the question now that the servers are in Russia. Their copyright laws are quite different from America. If I put pictures of my art there, the people who now have the servers have full rights and can do whatever they want with it.

So I will have to at least temporarily use the options I mentioned at the start of this entry. Who knows? Perhaps by the time I do it, Dreamwidth will be ready to have the image hosting that they have been working on go live.
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (White Buck)
This afternoon we finally got around to taking down the Christmas decorations and put them away until the end of November. It's always hard for me to find the motivation to take them down, not because it's a big job, but because I like having the house decorated with nutcrackers, garland, strings of colored lights, snowmen, Santa, and reindeer figurines, and of course the tree. As I was packing everything up, I reminded myself that if these decorations were out all the time they would not seem near as special as they do when I unpack them the day after Thanksgiving.

A couple of items that I am leaving out are the white reindeer plushies which I added to my collection last month. The 14" deer is right here on my desk next to my monitor. There's bits of silver tinsel in the fabric that he's made out of, causing him to reflect the light from the lamp.

I'm not sure where the 19" deer will be displayed. Possibly on the round end-table in the corner of the living room.

The reason I'm leaving these deer out year round is because, as anyone who has visited my Cafe Press and Zazzle shops knows, white deer are my "thing" and inspired by the real life albino whitetail buck who used to roam the woods not far from my home. For years I photographed him and strolled through the woods with him until he died of old age. This reminds me, I should bring the entry that I wrote about him over at Live Journal over here. For that matter, I should try to get back into the habit of writing regular journal entries. Twitter is great for promoting items featuring my artwork, or announcing when a new painting has been added, but it's certainly not the same as an actual journal entry with multiple paragraphs. Not to mention the comment options which invite conversations with fellow Dreamwidth users.

This place offers the old style of Live Journal and all of the positive things that came with it. The only way communities can form and grow is if people use the site in the way that it's intended. I guess I figured out my New Year's resolution. A little late, but better than never.
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (LOTRO Deer)
Now that it's known that the license for LOTRO has been renewed I've taken some time to work a bit more on my Neverwinter Nights module. Before doing so I saw that Project Q has now been updated to version 2.2. And so after making backups of the version I was previously using, I downloaded the new Q files. So far the module has not exploded or crashed the Toolset.

Before adding any more regions however I'm going to need to carefully comb through the entire module and see if anything changed. Scripts and journal entries should not be affected. Mainly it's a visual issue, so I'll be checking to make sure that a pen of cattle didn't didn't turn into a pen of orcs, or sheep weren't turned into chickens, etc. I don't really think anything like that happened. The people behind Q are very careful, but it doesn't hurt to check each of Ancaria's residents to make sure they are all still who they are supposed to be.

A spawn trigger I plan to make use of in the graveyards is the "Risen Dead". Instead of the skeleton or zombie just appearing out of thin air, the player hears the gravedirt crumbling, there's a bit of a dirt spay and the undead creature pulls itself up out of the grave before attacking. It's quite an impressive animation and works so flawlessly that one would think that it had been a part of vanilla Neverwinter Nights.

After I finish inspecting the module for any changes that came with Q 2.2 I'll resume work on the areas which surround the Mascarell barony.
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (LOTRO Deer)
This weekend it was discovered that Live Journal servers have been moved to Russia.

As some people have said in the comments of the entry I linked, it's quite likely that Live Journal might decide to shut down the English side of the site. Although I'm not writing any more new entries on Live Journal, I've been using their Scrapbook feature to post images here since that is one feature that Dreamwidth does not offer. At least not yet (I am aware of the "email image, get a link" option, but I'd like more control over my images than that).

Because of this news I'm very hesitant to post any more entries that have images since it's quite possible that those images will suddenly disappear. And unfortunately not being able to share images really limits me since I use this blog for sharing my artwork, screenshots from LOTRO, or images from the Neverwinter Nights module I've been building. Talking about such things just isn't the same without including illustrative images.

And so, there's not much else I can do other than shop around and try to find another place for image hosting until the day that Dreamwidth adds a scrapbook feature, assuming they ever do.
crown_of_antlers: A deer from LOTRO (LOTRO Deer)
Now that it's known that the license for LOTRO has been renewed and that the game is not about to be shut down, I've created a third group of characters to multi-box. I'll be referring to them as "the Third String". They are Halasinda (a warden), Rodmond (a hunter), and Wilena (a minstrel).

ThirdString


Class-wise they are identical to my Second String but consist entirely of hobbits.

I mentally roleplay them as cousins who got a taste for adventure after they were briefly kidnapped by brigands (Strider once again saved the day. I wonder if he gets tired of rescuing kidnapped humans and hobbits). They just finished earning tokens (and LOTRO points) at Frostbluff and are now ready to start some serious adventuring.