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Thoughts on modding


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As I'm going through and writing up/coding dialogues and the encounters required to get through the main plot, I'm actually pretty happy with what we've done so far and the potential of this TC in terms of modding.

 

Since all the areas of BG1 are open with new NPCs, new encounters, etc, it occurred to me that if someone wanted to add say, a new NPC or a quest mod of their own for example, they very well could. This opens up a lot of new possibilities I think, to the modding community.

 

I'm not saying that SH is the answer to keeping IE modding going, life, the universe, and everything, but it does give us empty turf to work with, which can be good for those who are sick and tired of rescuing Imoen from Spellhold and fighting Bodhi again.

 

Just me babbling.

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Good to hear about you... and this mod going along.

 

Now, if you could say which areas you most likelly haven't and will not touch, like say the FW3500 is totally open, free and mod-abliable with some sort of difficulty level request... we might come up with few ideas, and a list of potential mod makers, not saying I would be one, but.

 

As I understand the mod is EasyTutu modification, so the areas and other files will be mostlikelly exactly the same... you'll most likelly need to provide the tool you have that clears the areas out of the creatures etc. but that can be done with PM's... just saying that the people have the choise.

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Re: areas, I couldn't say exactly. The main plot goes through most of the major sections of the Sword Coast, but the subquests we are adding on afterwards will most likely be expansive throughout the game areas.

 

The main reason I decided to speak out about this is because after reading through the posts so far, I realize that we've given very little away concerning the main plot - or what the entire mod is about anyway...except to give a new experience to old and new players. I haven't offered anything about the story because I honestly didn't think people wanted to know...surprises are better. :)

 

I also realize that there are always going to be some people who A) will never be happy with the paths/NPCs/quests/chickens we've chosen, but do not want to mod themselves, B) who like what we've done but want more/different options and C) who claim to like what we have but will nitpick the entire way through in ways that will not speed up the completion of this project. I really do want to move away from IE modding because I've got other stuff going on that I would honestly rather do. But I really like this idea and I'm willing to see it through, so my best way of making sure that it actually gets done is to ignore A, B, and C and just make the mod. (Unless, of course, A, B, and C have something constructive to say or offer ideas or help in some way, in which case it's totally welcome - by help I don't mean "Do you need me to write your NPC?s?" We've got that covered. ).

 

So, yeah when the mod is released (or if there are WeiDU know hows around who want to do it), it's as simple as looking at the code, but freeing up areas like we have is possible and could be done right now. I'm just advertising that if someone hates my NPCs that they can easily create their own or add more subquests, etc. ;)

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Cool, I've actually gotten halfway through Chapter 3! With Kaeloree's help I was also able to get my main "game" script to run properly.

 

I'm hoping to get the rest of Chapter 3 done this week and fix the music/make more music so that it works better in-game. For some reason the original game music is still popping up in some areas but it's probably just a matter of making sure that I put in alternatives for those type of areas (and checking the songlist).

 

I think I'll pin this thread. Since it's rather difficult to do an In Progress thread for a total conversion when I don't want to give away a crapload of spoilers on the story, a little developers diary might work better and I can bitch and complain as much as I want. can let everyone know that progress *is* being made on it.

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HAHA I finished Chapter 3!! Well, for the main core plot anyway. The mod is still lacking the background NPCs and the combat encounters that we want to put in.

 

It helps that I now have a 9-5 job where I can sit at a desk in front of my laptop and mod. Plus I get paid...okay it's not as glorious as it sounds. I work as a math/c++ tutor on campus now and at my tech job on the weekends. So technically, I never get a day off...but when I am on campus, I get loads of free time (except during midterms and finals, when other students come in suddenly forgetting *everything* they've learned - "what's a loop? I need help prepping for my midterms on pointers" :) )

 

I've been having unstable thoughts lately....like changing the gui for the menus. I've seen some pretty cool gui mods and while I'm no artist, I'm wondering if that's something we should pursue or not...or if it would just needlessly complicate things.

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I've been having unstable thoughts lately....like changing the gui for the menus. I've seen some pretty cool gui mods and while I'm no artist, I'm wondering if that's something we should pursue or not...or if it would just needlessly complicate things.

:) If you can find an artist who really wanted to do it, perhaps. I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of things that would need changing, a lot of different files to track down, and a lot of time you'd need to put into this if you wanted it to 1) look good and 2) be comprehensive.

 

But if there's someone out there... I think a dark theme would go well with the mod. ;)

Edited by Mike1072
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Well, I guess, you are only redrawing the MOS files and some BMP files. Maybe some BAMs for buttons. CHU files I think are mainly for the arrangement and placement of the files.

 

I don't know enough, so this is just my uneducated guess at it, and maybe you should look at what things like TutuGUI uses, and emulate that.

 

Icen

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From the research I did today, it seems what you are saying is the same stuff I found out, so that's good.

 

I'll probably consider it later, maybe for an external project after the mod is done. For now, in terms of graphics, I am just altering the main title screen with hopefully our own custom drawing in the center instead of the SoA heads.

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CHU dictates the layout of screens, backgrounds are mainly MOS files, and interactive controls (e.g. buttons) are mainly BAM files. I'd recommend editing them all; having a new menu and chargen screen really spices things up, IMHO.

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I don't think I want to mess with the actual layout or buttons, but I'm pretty confident I can edit the GUI to have a slightly darker look to it and do a decent job on it. :)

 

I have a sample of the new main menu screen but it's on my other computer. I still have to edit the BAM for the buttons.

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Well, the new gui is 90 percent done...I would really like to get the buttons on the main screen edited so they don't look as bright. I know there are a lot of bam editing people over at SHS so I might check there.

 

I've also moved the "Wishlist" to the main forum, just in case others want to see what I'm attempting to do.

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Worked on some path dialogues today. Spent most of the workday helping a student who was having the toughest time with basic algebra so that took priority of course. Then sushi.

 

In regards to the GUI, I am deciding if I should leave it as a Shadow Hand only GUI or if I should edit the normal main menu screen in case people want to use it for their regular BG2 game. It's not that much more work I suppose...

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Did some dialogue additions while trying out the functions Mike made (which are full of awesome btw).

 

Kifor's got a stupid bug where he appears once and then later on when he joins the party, but his original instance won't go away. Need to remember to fix that when I get around to it. I've been relatively lucky so far in bugs, probably because I've been testing consistently every time I write or alter a dialogue or script.

 

The exciting part is that the main plot, aside from the actual challenging enemies (right now I just have dummies), is nearly finished. Once I start working on the NPCs, development should move a bit faster, though I have to say that I'm relatively happy with the progress we've made so far. Can't remember if we started back in December or January...

 

I know that three of the NPCs will have their own quest for sure but I don't know about the rest.

 

I also need to set up the chapter screens, since we've seen the bg1 ones a bazillion times. :)

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Was working on a friend's website so I didn't get a whole lot of time to mod at work but I did get the GUI into its own separate install. What I'll have to do is make a couple more edits so that the title screens will be appropriate for BG2 and BGTuTu (without SH being installed). The GUI also works fine with Widescreen; I should probably put a notice in the readme though to remind people of the proper installation order, since this is a GUI mod...though I suspect there will be people who won't read the readme but...meh. I'll probably have it up for download in the forum so people can test it at their own risk. :)

 

Fixed the stupid Kifor bug. ;)

 

I don't think the developers actually built a simple exit out of Candlekeep that doesn't involve cutscenes or dopplegangers. . ;)

 

A friend gave me some great ideas concerning one of the romances and I think I will go with his suggestion. For now though, it's time for Chapter 4.

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