Friday, March 13, 2009

A mixed bag

I used to be indecisive, now I’m not so sure. - W.C. Fields

So the last five weeks have produced a bit of a mixed bag in terms of my NWN2 work. I've been a little scattered with my efforts as I jumped from one idea to another and from one project to another.

BouncyRock's Shattered Dreams module is coming along nicely and you can read more about that on the BouncyRock forums here: BR Shattered Dreams and you can read about the interesting work Elysius is doing on his blog. Now that the module has been announced I'll post some screenshots of the work I've done for Shattered Dreams in the coming weeks.

Aussie NWN - Dark Ages PW (the other project I'm working on) has an alpha module ready and is in the early stages of testing. It's been a long time coming but I'm looking forward to this PW coming to life. They are are waiting on the long promised fixes that are set for release with the 1.23 patch.

In my last post I mentioned that I was going to try my hand at character skinning and
with that in mind I set about making some Roman-like armour to compliment the other work I'd done for Dark Ages. I basically made up a Frankenstein model from bits and pieces using the OC naked model for the arms and legs and one of the chain shirt models for the torso.

Bolting all the pieces together was the easy part and once I started to work with the skin modifier, I soon realised how much work it was going to be. It took a lot of experimentation to get the legs working so they didn't break out of the armour during the character animations. I used a combat animation widget I'd scripted to
help me test the new armour and it proved to be a valuable tool. In any case, I managed to tweak the lower part of the model to achieve a very good result. It wasn't until I ran the OC chain shirt model through the same animations that I realised I'd actually improved my model over the OC model in terms of reducing the amount clipping.

Having finished the legs I moved to the arms. I completed
about 90% of the skinning on this armour before I was distracted by something else but I intend to get back to it soon and complete the model. Here's the model so far.

The combat animation widget that I'd used to test the Roman armour was included as part of an update to my Module Testing Toolkit. Along with a module reload widget and some redesigned GUI functionality, the "Ring of the Dancing Warrior" formed part of the MTT v2.01h update and brings up more than six years of work on this toolkit.

I could not count the number of hours the MTT has saved me in testing time over the years. This little tool started life as a set of NWN1 scripts that morphed into the DM and player widget used on the Aeon NWN1 PW and in 2007 I re-wrote the core scripts for NWN2, adding a GUI menu to replace the
conversation driven menu. If you have any interest in building NWN2 modules you should check out what the MTT can do and how it can help.

I have also released an update to the BTH Weapon Pack to include four new axe models. Three of which are shown below.

And lastly (and quickly, because my weekly NWN2 multi-player campaign is about to start) I did a re-skin of the arrow quiver model for the Dark Ages PW.

So there you have it, a mixed bag of NWN2 goodies.