Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 2 of November

Important: For a spoiler-free playing experience, stop reading the comments. Sorry for the late warning. :S

I got sidetracked writing optional quests (Thayn's quest with different ways to do it and Blu as a short-term henchman and what happens with that). When I think about the module as a whole, it doesn't seem like there is that much work to do, but when I write a list of things to be completed and approximately how many hours each thing will take, I get a hundred hours. Add at least that much testing time and all the time I lose correcting little things. So don't believe me when I announce something.

I'm considering releasing a test version of Prelude + Chapter 1 (meaning no Chapter 2, which should also be in the first module). I'm still stuck on adding journal entries and testing everything in Chapter 1. The last choice, the last cutscene (if there's going to be one) and a few alternate quest paths aren't written/arranged. It would be nice to have someone other than me test the quests and everything, but I'm the one who can do it with the least annoyance, because I can immediately correct things. I don't feel like cutting the story into smaller pieces is good for "the business". It could cause wrong expectations, both too high and too low.

I don't want to turn this into an eternal, never finished project. I don't want to stray from what I call the main plot, but I can't have everything happen between just 5-10 characters, either.

Today, I spent around 5 hours doing something that I wrote was going to take half an hour in my fancy task list. The Journal grew as I wrote and there are now 11 different entries for a very simple quest, and who knows if everything is connected as it should be. The time was mostly spent on inserting the entries where needed and checking and completing the quest giving NPC's crazy tree of a talk, which still doesn't look very branched in game, because you only see the consequences of your choice and a few simple options (tell the truth or lie). I also crossed out a couple of tasks which were supposed to take an hour each in 30 minutes, but I didn't test anything... Disregard my numbers, I just like fancy lists and approximations.

I'm posting on the blog because I've been meaning to post on Sundays (more or less :)). I'm working on this almost every day, when I don't have some social plans (ugh!)


  1. Thanks for the news. It seems that you could use a little help with beta testing. If you decide to ask for help make a list of what you need done. Specific quests to take, what paths need to be tested, etc.

    If you don't make sure people are doing what you need done then you run the risk of beta-testing people not being as helpful in the ways you need help.

    I'm going on a three week long vacaction so this maybe the last time I post a comment for a while. I'll not have access to the Internet all that often while away.

    Good luck and keep up the good work.

    1. I'll miss visiting with you, too, Lamb. And everyone else stepping in and posting here on the Demonheart blog.

      Take your time building and make sure you're happy with what you are doing. Have fun.


    2. Sorry to hear you're going to be away for awhile, Thirdpres. Always enjoy hearing your input. Safe journeys to you during your vacation and enjoy!

      (all I know is that if I were without the internet for 3 weeks, I'd prolly be put in the paddy wagon!) ;)


    3. Yes, I only go on 1 week vacations. :D

    4. Ironically, I'm just back from a 2 week 'vacation'. By which I mean I had no internet and tried my best to keep my sanity. I was almost successful.

    5. My tests at "school" (for lack of a better English word to describe the institution - faculty?) have just started. There will be no vacations for a long time, but that's not bad, because I work on the module best when I'm supposed to be studying. :D

  2. Hi Lamb. If you ever do decide to release a test chapter, one thing you could do is just release it here on your blog and put the mod file on a dropbox link. That way you know you'll be getting friendly testers and you can save the public release for the completed version. If you decide to do a test release in the future I can announce it on my blog when you have it ready or if you decide to do that. They're a friendly group.

    I can sympathize on how hard it is to meet timing goals. I never meet mine. Such a monumental task with large-scale modules. Just pace yourself and have fun with it!

    1. I've had a small mod for another game before and a lot of people wanted to "playtest", but very few reported back to me. I imagine the rest just read all the text and didn't play the game. And possibly laughed. :D That's why I'm unsure how to only give the module to those who will stay in contact.

      I think even the release on the vault will be called beta in the beginning, until people stop complaining about bugs (I try to cover everything, but I think it always happens).