Thursday, 10 March 2016

Introducing Deadend - the trilogy finale!

As posted on the Bioware boards:

Hi everyone. The time has come to share the goings on with the final campaign in my trilogy; Deadend. It has been in development for a few months now and the first third of the story is coming together nicely in the toolset.

It is an epic campaign in terms of the scope of the story, the action and indeed the level range, which is aimed at level 20, right up to the maximum of 30. My biggest priority is ensuring that the story ends strongly, wrapping up all the loose ends and leaving the player satisfied - I want the potential 80+ hours they will have invested into the series to be worthwhile! As it stands, the major strands of the story are worked out - on paper, at least. I know that this does not necessarily mean a sound translation when recreated in the toolset! But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

I'm looking at multiple endings for certain story points. These would be more in the style of choosing a "lesser evil", however the player wishes to interpret that. There is going to be a huge battle in the final part of the story and you can't save everyone or deal with everyone; not for lack of trying - it's simply isn't possible.

My recently released second part of the campaign, Umbral Abyss, added a lot of new custom systems and features to the series which generally went down well. For Deadend, I do not plan on adding another plethora of new stuff. There will be some new things of course, But just not as much. Instead, I want to focus on improving what I already have in place and take some of the player feedback into consideration. The crafting, for instance went down well, but there are areas where I can simplify (I dislike excessive micro-management) and balance things better. So a bit of time will go into making this work even better.

One idea I am in the process of testing out is a form of environment manipulation using a special plot item that the player has had in their possession almost from the first campaign. The item is generally used to deal spell damage to enemies. I felt that a great way of increasing the significance of this plot item was to give it a utility role in addition to the offensive. With this new ability, the player can clear paths that would otherwise be impassable to discover new places and hidden treasures. I am looking at other forms of utility too.

As a warning to those who may be considering playing Umbral Abyss; there could be potential spoilers in this this thread - mainly relating to the circumstances of the player and party at the beginning of Deadend.

For those who know their way around Middle Earth, this campaign will take place in the Northern Wastes, The Withered Heath/Grey Mountains and Dale/Erebor. In terms of timeline, we will be running up to and slightly beyond the final defeat of Sauron. The Siege/Battle of Dale, not covered in any detail in the texts, will feature as the entirety of the final chapter of Deadend.

Lots more to share, including bucket loads of shots, but this will do for now. I am excited but also nervous at what lies ahead. But for sure, it will be fun! As ever, I am very grateful for the support I have received.