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Kelandon

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Everything posted by Kelandon

  1. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    Progress is still happening, slowly. I'm up to 66 towns now, with most of the towns in the first half of Chapter 4 drawn. Most of the dialogue is still yet to be filled in, though, and a lot of the little details. Man, Chapter 4 is dark, both figuratively and literally: I've occasionally felt the urge to go back and fill in little bits and pieces from Chapters 1 and 2, so I've done some of that, too. Those last little bits of Chapter 1 are coming together, although one part is still a bit of a blank. I'm thinking I might do a bunch of filling in around Chapters 1 and 2 and then do a bunch of testing concurrently with building out the core structure of Chapter 4. I'm think I'm getting close to halfway done. I'm finding that when I don't have a large block of time to devote to this, it's pretty easy to do simple technical work for 20-30 minutes — setting names of characters, giving them dialogue to connect to the shops I've already made, adding little details to rooms, etc. It doesn't feel like I'm getting anything done, but it does fill out stuff that I won't have to do later, so at least it's still moving forward.
  2. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    Given the recent level of activity in the BoA forums, I thought now might be a good time to announce that I am in the early stages of designing Homeland, the follow-up to Bahssikava and Exodus! I've actually been working on Homeland on and off for about seven years now, but each time I started working on it again, I hit a wall. The original version of the scenario that I was creating just didn't work. The outdoors was all wrong. The writing style was all wrong. The relationship between the major characters of Exodus (Kass, etc.) and the party was all wrong. Nothing fit, and nothing worked. I'd try to design for a few hours a few days in a row, and I'd maybe draw a single town, or write a little dialogue, or something. It just didn't flow, and nothing I did could make it work. So I'd give up for a few months and then come back, and I'd have the same problems again. So, a few weeks ago, I junked everything that I had made so far and started afresh. I redrew the outdoors. I restructured the plot. I changed more or less everything — although it turns out that I probably will be able to keep a few of the towns that I had previously made (thank god, because that was a lot of work that I tossed out). And the good news is that everything is proceeding well now! Instead of hitting a wall every time I sit down to design, I am having no trouble at all writing the story that I wanted to write. It's a massive scenario, probably more or less the size of Exodus, so unfortunately even with good, steady progress, I don't think there will be even a beta until another year or two from now at the earliest, and there are many life events coming up that could derail my work, but I do intend to finish this. At the moment, I think I will, although it won't be until 2018 or 2019 at the earliest. I think I'd like to post updates every now and again here, mostly because it helps keep me motivated. Those updates will contain very minor spoilers — nothing big, just little aspects about the structure and general topics of the scenario — and at first I'll hide spoiler-y things in spoiler tags, but I will stop doing that after a few posts, so be warned. Also, a bunch of hints about what will happen in Homeland were dropped in Exodus, and even more in The Magic, so things that have already been revealed I figure are fair game to talk about even outside of spoiler tags.
  3. Kelandon

    Geneforge 4 Golden Crystal

    Don't know, but this sounds like a Geneforge question to me. Moved.
  4. Kelandon

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    Also ligers are amazing! Huge and cuddly cats!
  5. That's not entirely accurate. Macs have had a functional right click for about two decades now. The default mouse has only one button, so you have to use a control-click to access it, but if you use a laptop or a third-party mouse, it's easily accessible.
  6. Kelandon

    Golem Factory, A3

    Moved out of General to the (I think) correct forum.
  7. True in German, but I don't think Jeff pronounces it that way in English. Hard to tell from this video, but I think I've heard him say it before. And let's not get started with how many people mispronounce "Geneforge."
  8. Kelandon

    Game pitch to Spiderweb.

    It's been suggested before. Jeff has never shown any interest. From a recent interview:
  9. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    Whew! I had been putting in a couple hours here or there for so long that I'd forgotten what it was like to devote a whole day to this! It's sort of exhilarating, so rather than wait to do a monthly update, I'm posting now. I did a bunch of work on Chapter 4. I created the first couple of towns and put in floors/terrains for the first one. I planned out the shops and added the items to the shop numbers. I created a whole bunch of little outdoor specials. And I planned out the core quest line for Chapter 4 and started to implement the first core quest (out of, basically, three). I think Chapter 4 is going to be easier to create than Chapter 3, which is part of why I'm skipping ahead. Chapter 4 is structured much more like Exodus — it's a journey from one end of an outdoor area to another. Once I get to the end of Chapter 4, I think I can go back and try to fill in those last little bits of Chapters 1 and 2, test that part thoroughly, and fill in the bulk of Chapter 3. I had always thought of the Lava Ocean in Exodus as being at least half foreshadowing Homeland, rather than actually playing out within the scenario. But now I'm realizing how much that's true of other parts of Exodus, too. The Thkhi? There was (intentionally) no meaningful explanation of that. But oh man, in Homeland....
  10. Kelandon

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    Yes — a lot of his earlier books were serials — but that's not what I meant. For his later books, the publisher basically went to him and said, "We want you to write another Foundation book. It needs to be [x] words. We'll pay you a bajillion dollars. Will you do it?" And yes, that's a little different from a serial where you're paid for every 32-page installment, but it's the same basic incentive: you have to hit a word count.
  11. Kelandon

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    This was also true of, for example, Asimov (at least in later years).
  12. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    Progress is still happening, slowly. Man, that scene that I mentioned a month ago took it out of me. After I finished that scene, I couldn't write much for a little while, but now I've moved to the beginning of Chapter 4. Chapter 3 is definitely still highly incomplete, and one lengthy combat sequence at the end of Chapter 2 is still unfinished (as well as a long sidequest in Chapter 1 and another in Chapter 2), but I feel like I just need to get out what's in my head at this point. I know stuff about Chapter 4, so I need to put it into the scenario. Then, once that's out of my head, I can go back and fill in as need be. This is not as straightforward as it sounds — I have a stronger sense of how the second half of Chapter 4 will go than I do about the first half of Chapter 4. I still have to figure out how to put together the elements that I know have to be present to lead to the end of Chapter 4. As always, I'm starting with town design and plot/quest outlines, and then I'll start adding in dialogue and specials. Combat, as always, will come last. I was not sure that I'd ever get to Chapter 4, so this is kind of trippy. It's also trippy for another reason — uh, suffice it to say that the cave floors are unusual in Chapter 4. Also in Chapter 3, but more so in Chapter 4. Not like the fluorescent cave floors in the Strange Cave in Exodus, although like a different part of Exodus. A part that, if I remember correctly — and often I don't, with this sort of thing, but even so — no one has ever asked me about, even though it's definitely a bit unexplained. I'm still projecting that this won't be done until next year at the earliest. I'm finding time to work on it, but not nearly enough to make as much progress as I'd like.
  13. Kelandon

    Ruined World

    Man, who knew he cared so much about dental hygiene?
  14. Kelandon

    How do people feel about Jeff using Icons in his RPGs?

    Given that one of the other active topics in General right now is about recommendations for RPGs that are similar to Spidweb games, you're fine mentioning the names of other games here.
  15. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    I skipped ahead and am now about to write the scene with the biggest twist in the whole scenario. Now that I've designed the sequence leading up to it, which runs across two separate towns and has taken me several hours in itself, I'm at the point where the scene begins. And, somehow, I'm nervous.
  16. Kelandon

    What will happen after Avernum 3 Ruined World?

    I think the general issue was that it's much, much harder to make a BoA scenario with the editor tools that existed at the time of the 2004 release than it was to make a BoE scenario with the editor tools as of BoE's release. Also, there came to be more general tools for making games over time — BoE was more novel in the late '90s/early 00's than BoA was in the mid '00s/late '00s, much less now. At this point, if I were learning a new game-making system, there are a ton of engines that I could learn that are much more powerful than anything that Spiderweb would release.
  17. Kelandon

    Difference Between Avenum, Avadon, and Geneforge

    I didn't interpret you to mean that, either. I thought that you meant that the difference between Avernum/Geneforge/Avadon is like the difference between Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale — which it's not. BG and IWD (at least IWD 1) have a lot more in common with each other than the Spidweb series have in common with each other. (I think Slarty's description of "huge" overlap is overstated, but, eh, differences in opinion I guess.)
  18. Kelandon

    Difference Between Avenum, Avadon, and Geneforge

    It's very much not like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale — those both use Dungeons and Dragons rules, take place in the Forgotten Realms setting, etc. Avernum, Avadon, and Geneforge have similar graphics and user interfaces (including similar dialogue systems) but are otherwise almost entirely different. They have different rules/game mechanics (other than generally having turn-based combat), different settings and characters, etc.
  19. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    I went through and labeled the rest of the scenarios. It's possible I missed a scenario here or there, but they should generally be labeled now.
  20. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    The option to sell to him was never "hidden." It was always there. You just forgot about it.
  21. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    This is not what happened. In Episode 379, at about 27:50, you sold things to the innkeeper when you first talked to him. You just forgot about that later.
  22. Kelandon

    Willpower

    That's correct. Spell descriptions are in the BoA Manual.
  23. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    There is no call to check the difficulty level that the player has set. One could create difficulty levels with a flag — I've considered doing that in the Bahssikava rewrite (basically, insert an "Easy" mode that would tone down nearly all the combat) — but it wouldn't track the hardcoded difficulty levels. It had not occurred to me to create difficulty levels in Homeland, though. I'm sort of inclined against it because it would be a mess to try to balance.
  24. Kelandon

    Let's Play Blades of Avernum!

    Just FYI for everyone, I went back and labeled the first episode for most of the scenarios. I made through about 80% of the posts (to Threnody), but once we started getting into a lot of little short scenarios, I got tired of it and stopped for the time being. I may go back and label the rest at some point.
  25. Kelandon

    Homeland progress report

    This is driving me nuts, but I can't find the post now where the main workaround was revealed. It was before Al posted that in August 2003, although, if I remember correctly, not long before. There was another workaround earlier, too.
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