Monday, 27 October 2014

Assorted updates

I have put together a number of systems recently to help give our chapter 2 side quests a little more bite.

 1. (As seen in the Umbral Abyss Demo) Dynamic Map Pins - Throughout the game and future entries in the series, Map Pins will only be revealed when the player is in close proximity to a point of interest. We felt this a better alternative to adding a shroud to the exterior maps. A good incentive to explore and poke around here.

2. Secret treasure objects - Similar to the secret door system (see below), you and your companions search skill comes into play whilst exploring. Find additional treasure, interesting and unique items.

3. Secret door system - NWN2 is a bit of an ass with this system so we have written our own. Make use of search mode when exploring ruins and other unfamiliar interiors.

4. Party banter - Whilst IP worked with 3 companions at most, we never had to worry about who was in the party. This made giving them their one-liner comments easy. Now in Umbral Abyss, with any 4 of 7 companions in your party at one time, it's not so simple. So I've written up a system for a random companion who is in your party to pipe up and speak. So just like before, they will offer suggestions and thoughts on the situation. This could add a lot of difference between play-throughs, if only in flavour.

I've finish making one monster of a Mirkwood side quest. It took some putting together but I've come out of it with some more scripting knowledge which is going to come in very handy later.
This quest contains many little features for you to enjoy, from assembling silver weapons for a particular enemy, finding cunningly hidden stashes of loot, repairing damaged special items and even baiting a trap with a live Orc... oh and causing an incompetent spellcaster to set himself on fire - we have it all! Intense action, strong story, a bit of horror and mischief and a few laughs thrown in.
Now to work on our new Elf companion and her introduction scene and mini quest.

 And now a few pictures (I have been quite tight on pictures recently as I've been doing a lot of main plot work and don't want to let anything out of the bag!)

The Blue Maiden Inn will be your party's "base" in Dale. Go here to rest in your rented rooms, select your party (as seen in the image, though this was taken mid test, so you'll see more names ingame) and talk to the locals and potential employers.

The party come upon a scene.

Exploring a swamp within Mirkwood. We have increased the gloom of the region in this campaign, as the evil possessing the forest has grown over the last year. It will be very hard to distinguish between day and night in these areas.

More swamp exploration.

The party enters an interior within Mirkwood - The Haradruin.

Exploring the Haradruin.

Eyes staring back at you in the Haradruin.

More staring.

This special item is found damaged. With the correct component and the right amount of craft armour skill, it can be restored to it's full properties. Alternatively, pay a suitably skilled armourer to do it.


Ivan Balros



The party battles Black Uruks in the Haradruin

Dale - Outside the Blue Maiden

Leaving Dale, off on another adventure.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Chapter 2 Progress!

Milestone reached! The entirety of the main plot for chapter 2 is complete. Lots of twists and turns, layered with intrigue and (hopefully) interesting characters. And of course, some intense action with enemies new and old. While the events of IP made your character, those of chapter 2 will bring them to a whole new level on a much larger scale.

Attention will move towards the 3rd and final chapter in Umbral Abyss very soon. But first, we will be putting together a group of side quests which are on our must-include list. They include continuations of storylines started in IP (and are affected by your earlier IP and UA choices), some entirely new adventures and some adaptations of PnP MERP campaign quests with particular reference to Mirkwood which will feature heavily this time around.

Chapter 3 itself is intended to be a shorter chapter which is focused on one large adventure and is partly based off some quest ideas put forwards for the old Untold Tales of Tolkien NWN1 PW which are still in my possession after what must be knocking on 10 years now. Credit for these goes to Dave Oliver and Ben Cole. Your names will be in lights at the end of the game Merging these ideas with our planned ending for UA, we hope to produce a grand adventure sporting a horror/survival theme leading to an awesome conclusion, setting us up nicely for the third and final campaign in the series - and what a tale that is going to be!

Stay tuned and thank you for all the support
Kevin + Sophie