08 Jul 2007

On Wednesday I had to release a quick update to Tintinator 2. One of its victims, I mean users, Finamenon had noticed that his changes to the preferences weren't being saved. It took a bit of hunting (since the there was no problem with the code) however I discovered that the naming convention I was using for my plugins was upsetting the Toolset's preference system, which was why it was refusing to save any changes.

On Friday I re-released the World Map Guide. For some time I have wanted to update and extend the guide however I didn't think it was appropriate to release new versions so long as the guide retained it's DLA branding. As well as rebranding the guide, I took the opportunity to correct a few typos, replace a few images and add a few more points to the Troubleshooting section. While it may not be worth downloading if you already have the original it paves the way for the new content I've been working on. Now I just have to finish those sections ...

Today (Sunday) I updated the website to replace a section that had become surplus to requirements with a shiny new Neverwinter Nights 2 section.

13 Jun 2007

After a couple of false starts NWN2 v1.06 is finally final and so I've updated Tintinator 2 to make it compatible with the new NWN2 assemblies.

02 May 2007

In 2004 I release a VFX Browser for NWN that allowed builders to select and view any VFX or AOE effect in game. It wasn't the first or by any means the only VFX Browser on NWVault however since the data was read direct from the 2DA files rather than being hardcoded into the script it was the only VFX Browser that doesn't require to be updated for every patch.

When I first got my hands on the Toolset I started work on an NWN2 version. I qucikly realised that a Visual Effects Browser wouldn't be viable until the performance of Get2DAString had been improved. Fortunately one of the many changes in v1.05 was to reintroduce, extend and optimise the 2DA caching features from NWN1. Now, by default, the last ten 2DA files will be retained in memory and, if that isn't enough, there is an INI file setting to increase it.

Since this was all that was holding me back I've now completed an initial release of my Visual Effects Browser for NWN2 on NWVault.

23 Apr 07

After hinting for several weeks, DLA finally admit that they are not going to be developing for NWN2 and are instead focusing on an unrelated commercial project.

22 Apr 07

During the NWN2 Toolset Beta program I created a throwaway testing plugin I nicknamed "The Tintinator". Its sole purpose was to tint selected objects with garish, clashing colours to enable testers to see what could be tinted and to what extent.

The Tintinator's untimely demise coincided with the end of the Toolset Beta program however the Spirit of the Tintinator continued to haunt me. Therefore when weby requested the ability Copy and Paste tints I was able to revive The Tintinator; exorcise my demons; and unleash a revised Tintinator 2 on an unsuspecting NWVault.

13 Apr 07

Adam Miller (or Cap'n as us swabs refer to him) has just released the first episode of his NWN2 Dark Waters campaign: DW1 - Highcastle.

I worked with Adam during 2005 contributing a number of systems and scripts to the Dark Waters prototype. Most notable of these is probably the Socket And Gem Enhancement (SAGE) system similar to those seen in classic games like Diablo. Unlike other such systems, which are invariably hardcoded, SAGE is entirely data driven and allows Adam to set each gem's properties to meet his requirements. Admittedly since it was designed in NWN1 it is currently lacking the item properties introduced by NWN2 but nonetheless seems to have made the transition to NWN2 with considerably more grace than some of the other systems we developed. I see bug fixing in my future ...

Anyway I just wanted to add my voice to the other well-wisher: I have no doubt that Dark Waters will be one of the most original and intriguing campaigns in NWN2. It may not suit everyone but, if you have an open mind and like an RPG to have an intelligent story and an interesting setting, I would strongly recommend giving it a try.

26 Mar 2007

GrinningFool (along with weby) was one of the most active testers during the Toolset Beta program. He managed to catch an impressive number of bugs and produce a handful of tools and guides for the rest of us. At the beginning of the 2007 he was "rewarded" by being appointed (along with weby) as one of the NWN2 Community Representatives.

Shortly after that, in February, I had contacted GrinningFool about a joint project to develop a WYSIWYG editor for the NWN2 GUI system. It was something we had both been thinking about doing so it made sense to pool our efforts. He was happy to collaborate however with several changes imminent we decided to postpone the work until NWN2 v1.06 was released.

Now, it seems GrinningFool is out for revenge ...

I had just about settled into being an independent code monkey again when I received an invitation from GrinningFool to join his NWN2 Persistent World project as a developer. My initial reaction, after previous experiences with Persistent World teams, was to decline however something possessed me to accept. And so, after only a meagre week of freedom, I have packed my bags and set off down the road to Khalidine.

19 Mar 2007

I have tendered my resignation from DLA. I can't go into details as to the reasons but suffice it to say it is my intention to continue working on NWN2 projects.

06 Feb 2007

I spent most of this weekend lavishing some overdue attention on the site.

Despite my limited JavaScript knowledge I've managed to hook into the menu system and use it to produce both the breadcrumbs section at the top of the page and siblings section at the bottom of the page. Both have some limitations, especially if you hit refresh, that will need to be addressed at some point but I think it's a great improvement. Unfortunately it probably means I will have to add in several intermediate pages so that the breadcrumbs become fully functional.

01 Feb 2007

I have uploaded the first part of the The World Map Guide which is my first official NWN2 submission.

The World Map is a new NWN2 interface that allows players to navigate around the various points of interest in a module. I had been assigned the task of discovering everything there is to know about the World Map System for DLA. However in the process of doing so it became apparent that many within the NWN2 Community were struggling to master it and so the World Map Guide was born.

At this point the Guide is written mainly for Builders however I am working on polishing up the Scripting and Custom Content sections ready for release.

01 Jan 2007

It turns out 2006 was quite a ride though towards the end, due to being a tad busy with testing and gagged by an NDA, I was neglecting to update this site. To make amends here are last year's the highlights:

  • 01 March: After I highly productive weekend I release my Fog Function Library; start work on my Footprint System; and learn a TileMagic trick involving glow and aura VFXs.
  • 02 March: BioWare's Georg Zoeller awards my Fog Function Library a perfect 10.
  • 05 March: I finish polishing a Footprint System Demo that I had been working on and release it on the BioBoards to provide an indication of what was still to come.
  • 20 March: As a result of an armor-related thread on the BioBoards I dust off my Armor Function Library and publish it on the Vault. It's not cutting edge nor particularly technical but it should satisfy those builders seeking an item's Base AC or a creature's ACP.
  • 27 March: I publish my Footprint System. The system evolved from a request on the BioBoards to find a more efficient way to create ghostly tracks. I don't think it's more efficient than the original request but it's significantly more powerful and flexible.
  • 28 May: I upload TileMagic v2.03 to the NWVault and add various long-overdue guides, tutorials and placeable packs. With Maximus' help I even make a video so that now the only thing left to implement is what I affectionately call "Extreme TileMagic".
  • 10 June: I upload a new version of my Fog Function Library and a demo module to NW Vault.
  • 03 July: My TileMagic System makes it into the NW Vault Hall of Fame which is great in itself, however I'm particularly pleased with the style in which it was achieved. With BioWare's Georg Zoller and community veterans of the calibre of Knat and Primogenitor voting for her it's hard not to be proud of the old girl.
  • 20 August: Suspecting that I had failed to get on to the NWN2 Toolset Beta and in expectation of the imminent release of the custom content from the Wyvern Crown of Cromyr premium module I announce Grand Theft Equine.
  • 27 August: As a result of repeated topics on the BioBoards I upload a replacement for BioWare's Default Transition script. My version resolves issues with multiple henchmen and nested associates being left behind during intra-area transitions.
  • 31 August: Atari offer me an opportunity to be join the NWN2 Multiplayer Beta however I turn it down as I would be occupying a slot that could be better filled by another member of our community. Somehow this persuades Atari to let me join the NWN2 Toolset Beta after all. However as I will be spending every available hour testing I will have no time to devote to GTE. It appears every silver lining has a cloud!
  • 15 October: Out of the blue DLA's Lead Designer Ben Wynniatt-Husey contacts me. Apparently he had been talking to BioWare's Dan Whiteside and my name had cropped up. On Dan's recommendation Ben invites me to join DLA as a Technical Designer.
  • 17 October: After careful consideration I accept Ben's invitation and join DLA.
  • 31 October: I mange to buy Neverwinter Nights 2 three days before the official UK release date. The rest of the year involves playing, testing and developing with NWN2.

All in all it was quite a year. If for any reason you want to find out more about any of the events that precede the Toolset Beta you can try the 2006 News page.

Thank you for visiting,

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