31 January 2010

His Girl Fordi

I've had this idea for a while about NPCs talking to each other.  I had envisioned NPCs sharing snappy banter, similar to that between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in the movie His Girl Friday.  NPCs can't do this currently*; they just stand around quietly and wait for someone to bump into them.  I want to change that, so I spent all afternoon developing a new script that will enable NPCs to converse between each other.  And when I say "developing," I really mean "designing."  I have a blueprint for how the script should behave, but I have not done any actual scripting.  I guess that currently categorizes the script as "vaporware."

I'm struggling a bit with how to prioritize this script.  I think that it's important enough to focus upon, for I could really utilize such a script.  I also think that it could blossom into a huge, labor-intensive project that would require more work than its yielded benefit.  I'll need to give this a little more thought; my availability for Clan Lord projects is diminishing, and as I mentioned earlier, I need to be smart on how I spend my time.

And while speaking about how one spends one's time: may I just express how simply amazed I am that His Girl Friday is available on YouTube?  Set aside 90 minutes and watch it.  Enjoy a great classic comedy.

*[Clarification edit: NPCs can't converse with each other in a way that I want.]

30 January 2010

Quest Clutter

The final finishing touches have been placed on the V636 quest, and I am satisfied with what I have.  I can always tweak and adjust the quest on subsequent updates.

Working on this quest, plus some recent comments on the Sentinel, has put my brain into a creative overload. I've been jotting notes on loose scraps of paper and now this collection looks like some sort of a crime scene involving a piñata.  I now have a better idea of how long it takes to develop a quest, implement it and tune it.  I would like to think it possible to get three simple quests in per update, or maybe one involved quest.  This is assuming that the quest is the only project on which I work, which, between you, I and the fence post, is an unrealistic assumption.

Suppose for a moment that I manage to introduce that many quests per update.  Then what?  What happens after a quest is introduced and everyone has completed it?  I foresee an issue of quest overload followed by quest clutter and quest apathy.  The real challenge is making each new quest refreshing and exciting from the previous quests.  It would be easy enough to add a Scavenger Hunt-type quest that involves collecting X number of item Y, but does changing the values of X and Y make the quest any more interesting?

Perhaps one approach is to have temporary quests, where a new quest is only available for the duration of the current Chaos Storm, after which time it becomes history.  Some players may complete the quest, others may just hear of it after the fact.  Once-per-update quests could be a vehicle for introducing new test items: players who complete the special Darshak story-quest, for example, receive a Honed Cutlass as a reward item.

Based on the ideas flowing from the Sentinel, suggestions by numerous players, and plus my own zany ideas, I predict that Clan Lord will one day have more quests than it has players.  I have mixed feelings on working towards that goal.

(And I think that it's time that I add a "Quests" label to this blog.  I discuss them a lot.)

29 January 2010

No longer waiting to exhale


Today was a long day for me, but I managed to finish most of the stuff on my V636 punch list.  I still have a couple of scripts that need revising, but all of my update content is in the mail.  I feel so relived.

The paved road and the secret tunnel leading to the University will need to wait one more update.  Sorry.

28 January 2010

Down to the wire

Today was spent refining the areas and scripts of the new quest.  I'm realizing that it takes longer to polish the details of a quest than it does to create the "big" work (support scripts and area-building).  I find myself hair-splitting phrases: should the NPC say "lead your trustworthy party to victory," or "assemble a trustworthy group and lead them to victory."  Same sentence but with two slightly different feels.

I need to focus on areas first, as they are due tomorrow.  I can slide the scripts in over the weekend.

Tick tock.

27 January 2010


This day was spent reading someone else's script.

The script is an older script – tried and true – but I had wanted to add new functionality to it.  It took a lot of reading and a little bit of luck but I managed to implement a new, novel hack to the script.

It works, but now I need to learn if I can break it.  Getting a script to work is one thing, but making it crash-resistant is quite another.

Two days until deadline.  Tick tock.

26 January 2010

Nicely Nicely

I need to stop rocking the boat.

The problems that I now face are (1) my update is due in three days, and (2) one of the quests that I am submitting keeps getting revised, re-revised and re-re-revised.  Tonight while finalizing the quest, I came up with yet another idea for it, which means another change to it.  The great news is that I think I finally nailed the quest down solid and I think that it will be a lot of fun to do, but on the other hand, the latest revision of this quest is generating more work for me than I have time to give it.

This quest is the priority, so everything else that I've been doing may need to wait.

Why do I do this to myself?  I say to myself sit down.  Sit down, sit down, sit down, SIT DOWN.

25 January 2010

V636 Crunch

This is update week, which means that I will spend the week pulling together content.  I spent today polishing some areas and refining some upcoming quests.  This will be an action that I repeat through Friday evening.

I always get nervous the week before an update.  There's so much to do and so much to manage.

24 January 2010

Love Potion #10?

I've been reviewing the potion scripts while entertaining the idea of making some more potions.  They're simple and fun and gathering ingredients could make for some fun quests.  "What variety of new potions should we have," I wondered.  I briefly thought of making more healing potions, but I quickly discarded that idea because doing so would hurt the game (pardon the pun).

Healing potions are great for emergencies.  They provide instant, one-time healing at the cost of some initial raw materials plus some pack space to hold the potion.  If we were to introduce a new healing potion that had more healing power for the same cost in pack space, then why would anyone carry a bottle of the weaker healing potion?  The stronger potion would be the obvious choice.  Making the ingredients rare won't really impact this choice because it doesn't impact the decision on which potion to carry when the materials become available.  The potion that does more work per inventory slot will be the clear choice.

Then there is the issue of healers.  Why would we need more varieties of healing potions when the Art of Health Recovery is already covered by healers?  If a fighter needs more healing, then the solution should never be "buy more potions," but instead it should be "invite one more healer to the hunt."

Adding healing potions to the game is not going to make healers useless, true, but it does little in the way of increasing their value either.  Keeping that in mind, I have removed healing potions from the list and I return to the drawing table – or in this case, return to the alchemy table.

23 January 2010

The Games People Play

Today was Game Day.

One of my gaming buddies turned 40 and celebrated by holding a day-long gaming event.  One of his friends owns a game store and arrived with a very tall stack of games for us to play.

One game that I played and really enjoyed was Small World.  The short summary is that the game plays a bit like Risk-meets-Settlers of Catan: players control sections of a map and earn money for each controlled area, and the game end after a predetermined number of rounds.

The mechanics of the game are very simple (an area is captured by simply placing more invaders than there are defenders), and the light-hearted, random civilization combinations (Flying Giants! Diplomat Skeletons!) increase the replay value. Once a civilization you control is no longer of value, then you may allow it to decline and select a new random civilization (Mounted Amazons! Heroic Wizards!) to rise and rule the lands.

A game takes around 40 minutes to play, depending on the number of people.  It's not a cheap game – $50 for the basic set – but I think that it could be $50 well spent.  I'll put it on my Bawkmas wish list.

22 January 2010

Feet up on the Desk

Today was a refreshingly unproductive day.  Today was a Clan Lord-free day.

Actually, that's not entirely true; this morning I corresponded with a helper on a new project, and later this evening I have a meeting scheduled with another helper.  Although I personally did not touch any projects, I am still in touch with projects in development.

This is a part of GMing in which I am weakest: I am poor at delegating projects.  I'm more of a do-it-all-yourself kind of guy, but I'm making an effort to assign priorities to tasks and then requesting help from others.  Many hands make for light work, as the saying goes.

I am entering the weekend before the V636 submission deadline.  It will be a busy weekend for me as I prep content for the update.  I should take my feet off from the desk and do some planning.  It's too bad that I can't have a helper assist me with that part of GMing!

21 January 2010

Open Source Quests

I had an idea about offering an open-source-like format for players who wish to create their own quests.

The idea is still young and I haven't given it any developmental thought, but I feel that there is some potential to giving players the tools to write their own quests.  The format would need to be fairly simple and flexible, covering basic information:
  • The NPC's name
  • The Greeting (what the NPC says when you bump into it)
  • The Service provided by the NPC (take an item, give an item)
  • The Condition(s) under which the NPC provides the service
  • The Success message (spoken when the conditions are met and the service is provided)
  • The Failure message (spoken when the conditions for providing the service are not met)
Here are two examples of how the quests could work together.  One NPC could be structured to preform the service of accepting hand axes:
/name "Bevis"
/greeting "Hello! I've been trying to cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with this herring. If I had a hand axe, then the job would be much easier."
/service TAKE=HANDAXE, CONFIRM (the NPC asks for confirmation before accepting hand axes)
/condition EQUIP=HANDAXE (the player must be holding the hand axe for the service to happen)
/success "Thanks for the hand axe, mate! I'll tell all of the other lumberjacks that you're okay."
/fail "If you know of anyone with a spare hand axe, then please send them to me."
    Another NPC could be structured to preform the service of giving the player a log of wood – but only if that player gave a hand axe to the first NPC:
    /name "Frost"
    /greeting "Hello. These woods are lovely, dark and deep."
    /service GIVE=LOGOFWOOD (the NPC gives a log of wood)
    /condition NPC "Bevis"=SUCCESS (the NPC preforms this service only if the NPC "Bevis" successfully preformed his service for the player)
    /success "Oh, Bevis had mentioned that you're a friend of the lumberjacks. He sent this wood to you as a token of thanks."
    /fail "I'd love to chat, but I have promises to keep."
      The idea needs a lot of development, but there's some potential to it.  I would need to address error trapping and error feedback.  I would also need to think on where and how quests would get implemented.  Maybe the player would bump into a Quest NPC in the fairgrounds and speak the commands to it.  If the NPC didn't like a command, then it would complain right then and there ("I don't recognize the name 'Beavis.' Please check your spelling and try telling me the command again").  To place a Quest NPC in the game, maybe the player would go to a location and say "BEVIS COME HERE," and the NPC would automagically appear by the player's side.

      There's a lot to think about before this goes anywhere near The List.  For now, I'd file this idea under "Vaporware."

      20 January 2010

      A Wonderful Thing is a Trigger; A Trigger's a Wonderful Thing

      I spent this afternoon working on a project which I should shelve due to time constraints, but once I started thinking about it I found it difficult to stop.

      The project involves development of a communication network amongst triggers.  Triggers are fairly common in Clan Lord's quests and booby traps.  Most of them just wait around for a player to step on them or bump into them, and once activated, the trigger produces a specific event which typically ends right then and there (like avalanches within the Foothills).

      I am trying to develop a system that enables triggers to talk to each other: when one trigger is activated (like when a lever is pulled) and the trigger declares an event (like opening a door), then that trigger will notify all of the other triggers within its network of its actions.  Those triggers may respond to this notification with their own event (like closing a different door).  The trick is to enable lots of general communication hooks, so instead of just levers (which have two positions: up and down), we can also have, say, dials with the number 0 though 9 on them: when three dials are set to 6-6-6 then one event happens.  When the same dials are set to 9-9-9 then a different event happens.  Theoretically we could rig the script so that the dials and the levers would have the option to communicate with each other.

      This is crazy stuff, but this kind of communication system a lot of fun to create from the ground-up.  Thanks to ServerGM for the guidance on this project.  I'm constantly amazed by how a simple chat with him develops into a wonderful thing.

      19 January 2010

      The Quest for a Quest

      It's challenging to develop a quest.  It's more challenging to develop a quest and then discard it.

      I have been developing a linear quest, meaning it's similar to the alchemy bowl quest.  I chose a linear format for this quest because I wanted to tell a short story.  I created some new areas and expanded some scripts to support this quest.  As work developed on this quest, so did some problems.

      One problem was the lack of impact players had upon its story.  This particular quest had a repeating story: if, for example, the player were to rescue a princess, then the princess would need to be recaptured so that the next player could have an opportunity to rescue her.  Such stories make for better events – onetime short stories that happen over the course of a couple of hours – rather than having a quest with a story that repeats itself.  How does one explain this type of repetitiveness within the context of its own story?

      Another problem was that the story was a little forced with respect to the reason of the quest.  It was little more than a quid pro quo quest: do something for me and then I'll do something for you.  These types of quest are fine, but it was not fitting the situation of the story, and forcing this style of quest into the already-questionable story was beginning to feel more than a little heavy-handed.

      A solution to these problems came to me while I was chatting with ServerGM.  We were talking about an unrelated scripting problem when I became inspired with a new idea.  The solution was to simply throw out what was done and start over.  The new quest is now simpler, broader and is a better fit to the related story.

      As for the old quest, I'll shelve it for now.  I may reuse the new areas for something else, or redevelop the quest for another use.  I'm just glad that I saw the faults of this quest while it was still in development rather than see its faults in practice.

      18 January 2010


      Take a moment today to remember a great man who had a great dream.

      17 January 2010


      I've been working on several quests.  As I've been developing them, I remain aware that once a quest has been solved then the solution to that quest becomes common knowledge.  An example of this problem can be illustrated by the alchemy bowl quest.  Most of us have done that quest more than once, and each time through the quest there is no unpredictability in its next step.  This lead me to think about adding the element of uncertainty to quests.

      Some quests already incorporate this element.  The challenge of one particular quest is compounded by having its goal behave as a moving target (locating and meeting with Ma Tota).  This style of quest adds an element of exploration and searching to its quest, an element which is absent from the stationary alchemy bowl quest.

      One appealing element of uncertainty is to incorporate puzzles into quests.  Puzzles require participants to think and do a little problem solving.  Ideally, the solution to the puzzle would change, like the "guess the number" puzzle where a new number is selected for each new puzzle, but the overall technique of solving the puzzle remains constant.  If the puzzle's answer did not change, then it's not really a puzzle; it's a series of static steps to do, just like visiting the locations of the alchemy bowl NPCs.

      A lot of the older quests in Clan Lord are solved by looking in the back of the book to get the answer.  I'd like to change this habit for some of the upcoming quests.  Does "not knowing" make a quest more fun?  IDK, but I do feel that adding an element of uncertainty makes the quest more challenging.  And sometimes a good challenge leads to fun.

      16 January 2010


      I've been giving a little thought to announcing projects and features.  How much information do we reveal when a new feature is implemented in Clan Lord?

      Clan Lord is a game of discovery.  It's fun – some would say thrilling – to be the first to make a significant game discovery, whether it be a new quest, a new area, a new pathfinding path or discovering a new trainer.  That's part of the pleasure of discovery: it's unexpected.

      If we were to announce "there are three new quests in this update," then we take away the surprise of discovery and replace it with a checklist of expectations.  What are the quests?  Where are they located?  Am I able to do them?  What are the rewards?  And the answers to these questions may not measure up to the expectations of the player.  I feel that that unfulfilled expectations are bad, but expectations fulfilled with disappointment are worse.

      I would love to see some form of a compromise on announcements.  Ideally, I would like to inform players "we have new content this update" and encourage some exploration without taking away from the pleasure of discovery.  I wish I knew how to do that without raising expectations.

      15 January 2010


      I've spent a portion of this morning researching some techniques to support the quest script I mentioned yesterday.  I think the simplest thing to do is to get a basic version of the script up and running on a test server, and then build and expand from there. How hard can it be to spawn a greater death upon request?

      On a related topic, I spoke at length with ServerGM last night (thank you!) and I asked for guidance on mechanics for yet another quest.  He was able to offer some great advice and I'm excited about rigging a test area using this new mechanism.

      This weekend will be busy for me: I want to mend my broken Awaria spreadsheet, finish some old areas, lay out some new areas, and finish some loose quests all by Sunday evening.  I am certainly juggling a lot of balls in the air.

      I'll be away from the keyboard until tomorrow afternoon.  My mind will be elsewhere but my heart will be in Puddleby.

      14 January 2010

      World, Interrupted

      Today was a day of interuptions, and I got very little work done for Clan Lord.  No worries; the weekend is almost here and I already have an itinerary set for myself.

      I had an idea for a quest, and I am going to try to get it done for V636.  It's a rather forward-thinking idea for Clan Lord, and I think that I may be able to make it work.  I will need to review a couple of scripts to get me started, and I will need to give a lot of thought to the overall design.  The design issue is not making the quest do what I want it to do, but ensuring that it does not do what I do not want it to do.  It has the potential of being a fun onetime quest.

      13 January 2010

      Jess, I'll always cut fresh flowers for you

      I don't know why I didn't think of this ages ago.

      12 January 2010

      And now for something completely different.

      I have made an effort to keep the events of my personal life absent from this blog.  Some events have recently happened which could impact and restrict my time devoted to Clan Lord.  What this means is that I may need to be a little smarter in the way that I prioritize my tasks instead of taking on laborious projects with very little in the way of personal rewards.

      Speaking of laborious projects with very little in the way of personal rewards: I spent today combing through the healing scripts in an effort to understand the differences between Sprite and Awaria.  I gathered clips of code from the numerous healing scripts and annotated them, saving them into one long document.  I think I now have a pretty good grasp of what happens when a healer types /USE 3.  Next I move on to the challenge of setting up a spread sheet and plugging assorted numbers into them.  By doing this, I hope to learn what differences lie between the two trainers.

      And speaking of spread sheets: I would like to express my frustration with Apple's Numbers.  I recently installed iWork '08 on my laptop, and after launching Numbers, I could not properly view the spread sheet.  The colors for the cells were nearly invisible, and the background colors were displayed incorrectly (blue was displayed as pink).  After spending nearly 90 minutes of recalibrating my system's color profile, reading the iWork online manual, searching the Apple support message boards, and finally Googling around for some clue as to why the sheet was not being displayed properly, I finally took the idea to check for updates for iWork.  120 seconds later, the problem was resolved.

      Those 92 minutes spent trying to understand Numbers were taken away from time trying to understand Awaria.  Fine, fine.  Fine.  Adopt, adapt and improve.

      11 January 2010


      I have been developing one particular quest and I was becoming unhappy with the direction that it was taking.  Was this a good quest?  Was it a fun quest?  Is it a type of quest that players would look forward to doing?  Would it be a quest that would be avoided?

      I took these questions to the fairgrounds and had a delightful chat with the players.  They had some great feedback on what makes a fun quest.  One player took this discussion in a step that I had not considered walking: include some quests which develop the story of Clan Lord's history and background.  I had been so focused on the technical aspects on quests that I had not given any thought to an enriching story.  This is so brilliant and so obvious that I am ashamed that I had not thought of it earlier.

      We also chatted about events as quests: a simple short story that requires community involvement (like a NPC being captured and requiring rescue).  I found this surprising to hear because it was my sense that interest in these types of events had waned.  Short stories are probably one of the easiest things to do.  More stories and more events are now on the list.

      Speaking of lists, here is a short list of topics that were discussed:
      • Shared quests (where all participants receive a reward)
      • Quests that develop CL's history
      • Expanded parcel quests
      • Single-use reward items
        • Items that summon monsters (make your own invasion)
        • Boosts and/or effects that last for X amount of time, like ethereal items or like butterfly kisses
        • Potions: expanded uses, and collect more ingredients
      • Smithing quests: smiths that create items involved within the quest (like making potions, but using a different set of skills. May be expanded to other trade skills)
      • Restricted quests ("You must be this tall to ride this quest" -- such as pathfinding as a quest requirement)
      • Boss quests (like ethereal item bosses)
      • Wandering trainers, merchants, and traders that need to be located and/or rescued
      • Assist NPCs in distress (like the Marsh Hermit surrounded by jade noids)
      Thanks to all who attended and shared ideas.  The talk gave me a lot to think about, but better than that, it gave me direction.

      10 January 2010

      Drunk as a Darshak

      Sometimes I make myself laugh.

      This silliness exposed a bug: drunk monsters should not speak. I've fixed this bug for V633:

      Clan Lord is a game of surprise and discovery. Sometimes I surprise myself by what I discover.

      09 January 2010

      The Clan Van

      I recently read some suggestions for making Clan Lord a better game.

      All of the suggestions were great – that is to say that, point for point, I did not dispute the validity of the issue, nor did I disagree that certain changes would make Clan Lord a better game.  A question that was never raised nor addressed was "who is going to do all of that work?"

      Imagine that Clan Lord is a convertible car.  Or a VW bus.  Or any vehicle that is fun to drive on a summertime weekend.  Simple maintenance chores for this vehicle are always easiest and fastest to apply: a quick vacuum of the rugs, a quick wipe of the dashboard with some Armor All, a splash of windshield wiper fluid for the windows – all of this takes mere minutes to resolve.  Clan Lord has chores that fall into this category, such as updating a misaligned image or correcting a spelling error within an NPC's text.  These are quick-and-easy fixes.

      Some vehicle chores require a little more time and planning, such as arranging for an oil change or changing spark plugs.  Clan Lord has a long list of such tasks.  Sometimes the vehicle gets a flat tire; Clan Lord has those problems too.

      When players request modern features for a game that is over eleven years old (like scalable images), then I'm left to wonder if the time required for such an undertaking is greater than the returned benefit.  Is the value of the reward worth the effort of the repair?  Returning to the vehicle analogy: if the eleven year old car needs a complete overhaul of the engine, what do we do?  Do we make the repairs in hope of extending the life of the vehicle by a couple of more years?  Do we apply a couple of cheaper (and easier) maintenance jobs to the vehicle and ride the car for as long as it will run?  Do we discuss junking the old car and replace it with an entirely different make and model?

      We've gotten a lot of mileage from the Clan Van.  She may not have all of the features of the modern models, but she still puts the wind through my hair.

      08 January 2010

      Crunch time

      And I don't mean the Zo fighter.

      This day has flown by and I am weary.  I have tried my best to get everything on my punch list done, but only a small portion was completed.  I have mixed feelings.  I worked hard to get what I could completed (and I did make a lot of progress) so I feel that I gave today my best effort.  My best, it seems, is paltry.  Lot of bug fixes, but only a little bit of new content.  That's kinda like getting a lot of underwear for Christmas; it's stuff that matters but it's not really stuff that's fun.

      And now I face a new problem that I've never encountered: while compiling my areas for submission, I received an error that I have never received.  I'm worried.  I'm overtired and I'm hypoglycemic.  My head hurts.  I'm up past my bed time and I need to be up early for work Saturday morning.  And I can't deliver my content with such a bad error message.

      Oy vey. Sometimes I need to force myself to remember the first principal of Clan Lord: Clan Lord is fun, not frustrating.

      07 January 2010


      There have been some heated discussions on the Sentinel.  I admire the fact that people are still passionate about this game, and that folks still discuss its flaws and how to resolve them.  Sometimes I feel that this passion grows disproportionately to the topic, and there are times when I find myself getting caught up in the excitement of the debate.

      And then there are times when I'll see something that puts this eleven year old game into perspective.

      Today I drove to a seminar in New England.  It was cold and windy, and I was relived to be in a vehicle with working heat.  During the drive I passed the time stressing over Awaria, submission deadlines and a couple of upcoming quests.  While I waited at a traffic light, a man stepped into traffic and carried a sign: HOMELESS AND HUNGRY. PLEASE HELP.  He hunched into the wind as he walked the length of the cars at the light.  Suddenly my worrying over Awaria seemed so trivial and unimportant.

      I think that sometimes it's easy to lose perspective on how privileged we are.  We have homes, we own computers, we have internet connections and we have the luxury of time for entertainment.

      If worrying over Clan Lord is as bad as our day gets, then we're having a pretty good day.

      06 January 2010

      Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard

      Today was spent fixing one bug and setting up some quests.

      I was nervous about the bug fix because it involves the system and I'm really nervous about doing anything that involves the system.  Timmer's rule of scripting is DO NOT BREAK THE BUILD. So yeah, I was nervous with reason.

      I had two sets of experienced eyes look over my work and I got thumbs up from both individuals (thank you, both).  Suggestions for improvements were made and I wasted no time in incorporating all of them.  These suggestions concerned style and best practices which pleased me: my script was good, but it just needed a little polishing.  Now I have a solid script and I learned some good scripting habits too.

      The bug fix was the easiest part of my day (and it was also the most time-intensive portion of my day), and I now move onto quests.  Naturally what I want to do isn't currently possible, so I need to rig some existing scripts to support my zany ideas (for example: making a NPC turn into a ghost at will – like those horridly annoying Lesser Spectres).  Wacky ideas like that need wacky script support.  Looks like it's going to be a long evening for me.

      My head hurts from thinking.

      05 January 2010

      Putting out fires with a gossamer

      A scripting priority bubbled to the surface which has halted development of my other projects.

      I came across this problem rather serendipitously: a player had asked about a feature, and while researching the question I discovered a hiccup in one of the peripheral scripts.  It's not a critical problem, but it was a fire that needed to be smothered.

      The good news is that the problem will be resolved for V633.  The bad news is that I still don't have an answer for the player – which is too bad because I'd like to know why rangers can't use the express trainer while training their gossamer!

      04 January 2010

      While it is rarely practical for GMs to respond to a bug report ...

      This week is crunch week.  The deadline for submissions is coming up fast, and I need to organize my priorities.

      I've been twiddling some art for a new area, and it is draining much of my time.  I don't mind doing it – in fact I love doing it – but I shall need to set this task aside and turn my attention to more pressing matters: I still have two quests, a couple of support scripts and a castle to finish for V633.

      Why couldn't there be 30 hours in the day?  I've /bugged this repeatedly, but it hasn't been fixed.

      03 January 2010

      One Stone

      Before my involvement with Awaria becomes too hot and heavy, I returned to Wuchagott and gave her one last kiss on the forehead – and by doing so, I closed another bug report.

      I'll be back to see her someday, but it may be a while before I return to her.  The storage system could benefit from an overhaul, and I have some thoughts on improving it, but for now it works pretty well and it isn't broken.  Storoenna is a whole different ball of ear wax.  We shan't discuss Storoenna.

      As for Awaria, I have some ideas on how to approach this trainer, but it will require some sophisticated enhancements to the overall training system.  Said enhancements would require rewriting a large portion of the training scripts.

      On a related subject, a rewrite of the training system has been discussed in the past.  One GM summarized the problem in this way: we know what needs to be done, but no one is able to invest the time required to support the overhaul properly.  And said overhaul will require a combination of grunt work and bookkeeping.

      On one hand, we have Awaria who needs some enhancements, and on the other hand we have a training system that needs to be updated.

      I'm seeing two birds.

      02 January 2010

      Art for art's sake

      Today I spent the day prepping submitted art for a new area.  No scripts, no debugging, no housekeeping.  Just art.  It was a lot of fun!

      We have some very talented artists, and I am grateful for the work that they do.  Thank you, artists!

      [Edit]: I posted a picture of the new area, but I removed it.  Perhaps it would be better to leave some surprises for inside the game instead of sharing them outside of the game.

      01 January 2010

      Awaria colors

      Awaria colors my dear
      Until you're standing right here
      Next to the one who adores you
      Whose heart is beating for you
      Like a lighthouse guides a shipwrecked sailor
      safely from the sea
      Awaria colors til you come back home to me
      The courtship between Awaria and myself began today. It is my intention to know her better and, someday, win her heart.

      My first step in courting her was to talk to her former lovers. They had some very interesting things to say about her.

      She's going to break my heart.