crown_of_antlers: (DeMordrey Raven)
[personal profile] crown_of_antlers
Although it's been over a month since I added Crow's Rock Castle to the Ancaria module, I'm afraid I haven't gotten much done with it due to other things I've been working on. Not to mention this annoying sinus infection that refuses to go away and has been hanging on for around three weeks. In spite of these distractions, I managed to get a couple of ambient details in place that gives an idea of what Crow's Rock will be like when it's done.

Crow's Rock Castle is the largest settlement that I've created so far. Unlike the smaller villages, Crow's Rock sees a lot of visitors, so I didn't want the same NPCs to be seen there over and over again. To simulate people traveling and being on different schedules, I created a room in the module's creature vault where I added a group of generic NPCs. They are all named "Citizen" and have tags such as "CitizenM1" and CitizenF4" (M for male, F for female). Using the Sparky Spawner, I have these NPCs set up to spawn at waypoints right outside various buildings to simulate them leaving their homes, shops, or the tavern. The percentage that they will spawn is between 60% and 80%. Some only load during the day, and some only load at night.

And no, there is no obvious brothel or prostitutes to be found at Crow's Rock Castle. Such things are illegal in the DeMordrey barony and therefore not out where they are easily seen.

The "sparky" NPCs are mixed with the NPCs who will always be seen wandering around town. Merchants and their families will be manually placed in the area near their assigned homes and businesses. A nice thing about the seasonal forest tileset I'm using is that a number of the smaller buildings have "built in" interiors. This means I don't need to create additional interiors for the NPCs who I want to go home at night, such as the merchants.

Here is a screenshot of the exteriors of two such buildings. To make the houses appear lived in, I will often add a table and a lit candle near the windows inside the structure.

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Here is a screen showing a bit of the interior. Through the open door one can see the town's tavern.

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The merchants' night waypoints are placed inside these buildings, so at the end of the day they close their merchant stalls, go home, and get some rest. They return to their merchant stalls in the morning.

Another addition to the module is a new hak file which adds a nude skin to NPCs and the player character, eliminating the paste-on underwear. No, I'm not planning on doing any adult scenes such as those included in the A Dance with Rogues module. I added the hak simply to make things feel more like-like. It's the same reason I use the nude version of the Better Bodies mod in Morrowind even though my character in that game certainly doesn't walk around naked.

I borrowed a bathing script from the ADWR module, again for role-playing reasons. The script causes the player to remove their armor, and then kneel down and do the "praying" animation next to a basin or tub to simulate washing.

A "naked starting conditional" script came with the dialog template I've been using, so it's easy to set up the NPCs to react to a naked player-character. Most merchants will not do business with the player if he or she is naked. And if the player is seen by a guard, he/she could end up being arrested.

And so, that's what's been going on with the construction of Ancaria. I admit I've been putting off starting Baron DeMordrey's conversation file because it's really going to be complicated with all different directions it can go. I'll worry about that once the town is populated and the residents are fully animated and going about their routines.

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