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About Kelandon

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    Heart of Avadon

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  1. I just wrote the ending. Like the ending of Chapter 3 (which is probably the most pivotal moment in the scenario), it's going to go through a few drafts before I'm happy with it. But holy moly, I wrote the ending. There is a ton of filling in to do. The scenario has 93 towns, many of which are only partially complete, and there are a few more to create. There is a lot of combat to put in, much of which is pretty elaborate scripted combat and will take a lot of work. But this is a major milestone. I've been designing frantically for the past couple of days because I knew I was close, and I finally got there.
  2. Yeah, I learned the dangers of overly long periods of no interaction while designing Bahssikava.
  3. I am losing my mind. I figured out how the second (and, by far, the longest) part of Chapter 5 can work, and it's... nuts.
  4. Haven't had time, will respond later if I'm able. EDIT: Actually, heck with it, I'll do it now. The docs say: "A blow with a weapon does a number of dice of damage equal to the attacker’s strength plus the skill in the weapon plus the bonus." So an additional level of skill or an additional level of damage adds one die to the dice already used. The size of dice is determined by the item's inherent properties (strictly speaking, the it_damage_per_level characteristic).
  5. Lots of progress over the Thanksgiving holiday. I created the core of most of the end of Chapter 4 and the beginning of Chapter 5. Chapter 5 has essentially three main sequences, and I created almost all of the first. The second is going to be long and quite tricky to plot out — I have a seed of an idea, but it could be great or terrible, and I have to really sketch it out before I can start putting it into the scenario — so I think I'm going to write up to the beginning of that part and then skip ahead to the third part, which I have pretty solidly under control. And that's pretty much it. I write the ending, and then I have to go back and fill in all the stuff that I've skipped (which includes fairly large chunks of Chapters 3 and 4). I'm at 84 towns now, and I still estimate that there will be around 100 by the time I'm done. Some of the early work that I did is still paying dividends; I haven't had to work on an outdoor section or figure out which items go in which shops because I designed all that at the beginning.
  6. Something like that, yes. Iliointh was mentioned a couple times in Exodus as the birthplace (well, hatchingplace) of Khalthas. The name is a slithification of Ilion/Ilium, the alternative name for Troy. Aeneas comes from Troy, and Khalthas's story is very, very loosely inspired by the classical epics.
  7. Continuing the work on the last few towns in Chapter 4. It's coming along, albeit slowly. I also spent a few hours today revising my name list. One of the facets of Homeland that makes it very different from my other scenarios is the huge number of friendly towns, which in turn means that there are tons of character names — far more than in Bahssikava or Exodus. By my count, there were 32 character names in Bahssikava, of which 4 were Jeff names (Legare, Sss-Thsss, Phaedra, and Machrone). There were 48 additional names in Exodus. There are already over 200 in Homeland, and there will probably be over 250 by the time I'm done. I'm making the names follow particular regional patterns so as to convey a little more sense of place as you move through the homeland. The Empire of Khalthas has four major regions: the region through which you travel during Exodus (which the sliths of the homeland call "Fathenaka Province"), the northern half of Khitaloss Province, the southern half, and Iliointh Province. Each region has a different set of endings for male and female names, and a general sound that they prefer. Northern names are fairly fluid, alternating between vowels and consonants, with female names ending in -a, -ia, or sometimes -ess, -ass, or -eth, and male names ending in -oss, or sometimes -en, -or, or -er. Typical examples are (female) Nehva or Dakhia and (male) Dokhoss or Orathoss. Southern names have strings of consonants, with female names ending in -a, -akh, -ash, or -eth, and male names ending in -[consonant]ss or -oss, or sometimes -yth or -en. Typical examples are (female) Sfessakh or Nazbash and (male) Narkhss or Venyth. Iliointh names tend to be very vowel-y and longer with a different (though overlapping) set of endings, so you get names like (female) Ageleath or Kiantha and (male) Luthkhinoss or Valenthianen. Each vowel is pronounced separately, so, for example, Ageleath is A-ge-le-ath. There are also variations by socioeconomic class, where generally higher-class names are a little smoother (Northern female: Amarantess; Southern female: Ishmeneth) and lower-class names are a little rougher (Northern female: Thikhnia; Southern male: Ekhthss). Generally, consecutive consonants or consecutive vowels make the name rougher, especially where they are articulated in very different places (e.g., "Ishmeneth" is largely at the front of the mouth, but "Thikhnia" is all over the place). Because I'm using such an enormous number of names, my initial set of notes was really not up to what I needed, so today I went back and recompiled the list with name, character location, regional origin of the name (e.g., Iliointh), and a few other details. Really necessary work, though it doesn't actually show up in the editor or the scripts. Incidentally, the -as ending of Khalthas (and Talas) is archaic and no longer used anywhere. Also, as compared to Bahssikava, where nearly every character was male, there are almost exactly as many male and female characters in Homeland.
  8. Really? It's in the INIT_STATE, so it seems like it would check it every time you enter the town. Errrrr, or does the INIT_STATE for a terrain script not run each time you enter the town, as I thought it did? But, come to think of it, Bain is clearly trying to have the door become locked from within the same town, so my method wouldn't work anyway. So yeah, for that you'd need to do a slight modification on the door script to have it check the flag whenever you walk into the door, instead of whenever the INIT_STATE is run. (The problem, evidently, is that the i_am_locked variable gets dealt with in the INIT_STATE and doesn't check the relevant memory cells again in the BLOCK_MOVE_STATE.)
  9. Yeah, tl, dr, you probably should use the flag in cells 2 and 3. Set the memory cells so that it's impassibly locked, set the flag that unlocks it in a one-shot on initially entering the town (or beginning the scenario, or whatever), and then when you want it to be locked, set the flag to zero. Haven't tested this, but it seems like it should be straightforward.
  10. So... the bad news first. I basically stopped designing for a year because it was hard to find the time to do it. But the good news: I've resumed, and I'm making significant progress. My goal now is to design from where I was in Chapter 4 (basically, the second half) to the end of the scenario, ignoring all side quests and pretty much skipping over all combat, both of which I can fill in on a later pass. And I'm almost to the end of Chapter 4. Today, I started to create the last three towns (as in, pressed the "Create New Town" button and placed town entrances in the outdoors) for the core plotline of Chapter 4. I have to fill in enough to keep the main plot going, and then I'm going to move into Chapter 5. Scripting Chapter 5 is going to be a fairly intense process, so who knows how long that will take -- months, I would expect. But just getting there will be significant.
  11. It's going to be sometime next year. Probably the second half of next year.
  12. Huh. Jeff has never really changed the plot of a game in a remaster, has he? I mean, there have been some tweaks here and there (the ending of the Hawthorne assassination mission in Avernum 1 comes to mind), but nothing big. I'd be interested to see an Avernum 4 with semi-significant plot adjustments.
  13. I played a little more, but I never got anywhere interesting, and I gave up. I'm sure there's something good here, but I just can't get myself to care long enough to slog through the stuff that I find boring to get to whatever I might be interested in. I can't stand the combat system and I dislike the graphics, so even if the plot picks up, it's hard to imagine liking this game. FWIW, I had the same reaction to Planescape: Torment, so this isn't necessarily to say that the game is bad, just that it's not one that I want to put time into. I may come back later, the way I did with GF4. I'm less confident about coming back to Queen's Wish, though, because my issues with QW are not at all like my issues with GF4. I never came back to P:T.
  14. That's almost certainly true. All I mean to say is that, so far, I don't like this game at all. That doesn't mean it's a bad game, just that I am not enjoying it at all. But I'm still going, just to see if anything picks up. I've played every other one of Jeff's games, and I've liked every other one of Jeff's games (most of them a lot). I'm as surprised as anyone else that I don't like this yet. I've been going back and forth on dropping the difficulty to Normal, but I really don't think that's the problem, so I haven't done it yet.
  15. No, not particularly, and here's why. As I understand it, the Calamity happened forever ago, and everybody just kind of accepted that something bad happened. There's like one loony sage who cares about what it was, but it's history, not a current event. Your main task doesn't even relate to that, at least not in the early game. Compare that to, say, the barriers in Avernum 2. They just happened, they're totally screwing with everything, and your central mission is to deal with them. Anyway, for what it's worth, I'm continuing.I made it into the Vol, but it seems like I may have done it prematurely, so I'm backing out and doing some of the quests nearer to Fort Haven first. I feel like I'm just grinding; nothing has grabbed my attention yet.
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