So, you want to be a NWN builder, eh?

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So, you want to be a NWN builder, eh? Empty So, you want to be a NWN builder, eh?

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:42 pm

I got into doing some more area design work for Aenea today, and I had a thought...why not invite players to create some landscapes for Aenea? It worked out well when starting in on the Dark Realm. Smile

So what I'm thinking, and this can be done by anyone that's interested, is for different single-area spaces be created by players that can later be integrated into the module for specific location in Aenea.

For example, if someone were to send in an area for an icy cave, it might get added into the Icereach. Or if someone made an underwater tunnel, it could end up connected to the bottom of a lake, river, or ocean.

What I'm thinking is for area layout only, possibly with a small number of placeables (set as "static") and sounds included. Nothing major, and something anyone with the toolset can create. No need for triggers, encounters, creatures, traps, doors, transitions, etc. (those I would add in when integrating the areas into the module). Just something to both work with and serve as an inspiration for continuing to fill in the game world.

If you want to get in on this, here's some general guidelines that would help me out when integrating:

area size: 2x2 to 16x16 (doesn't have to be square, but a limit of 16 tiles in any direction)

placeable objects: up to 50, trying not to cross "tile boundaries" too much, flagged as "static" in properties

sound objects: sounds help an area feel more immersive!

lighting: play around for some added variety Smile You can adjust individual tile lighting by right-clicking on that tile (when in the "paint terrain" palette), then clicking on the colored squares in the tile properties.

your username: include as the description on a "CREDITS" waypoint on in area properties comments tab Smile

comments: include as description on a "COMMENTS" waypoint or in area properties comments tab, if there's something you'd like to see but can't find.

Important Note: Most placeable object appearances are not listed in the palette on the right in the toolset. You can just drop in any placeable, then edit it's properties to access more appearances. In the properties window, there is a drop-down list in generally alphabetical order for appearance. If you click on the down arrow/triangle (starting to view the list), then start typing in the first few letters of what you're looking for, you might jump right to it.

In addition, you can fine-tune the location of any placeable object. Just right-click on the placeable (in the viewing window or the area contest in the left panel) and "adjust location"...you can put objects on top of each other this way, or properly place object exactly where you want near walls (which can otherwise be troublesome sometimes).

For those interested and looking for a place to start, how about picking one of these general types of areas (with suggestions for suitable tilesets)?

hot desert - sandy, bright, maybe with some desert rocks (desert w/dunes tileset works well)

winter - snowy, icy, could include interiors (frozen wastes(glacier), or rural winter tilesets work well for exteriors)

light forest - grassy with trees, temperate climate (rural tileset, with clearing left between tree terrain for clearings/play)

deep forest - big, old trees with little undergrowth, maybe with added placeable undergrowth (forest tileset)

dry grassland - browned grasses, dusty (drylands tileset)

underwater - under the surface or underground underwater (undersea, desert tileset, or mines & caves tileset)

volcanic - below ground (dungeon or mines/caves tileset with lava) or above ground (using lava placeables)...toasty.

burial ground - above (rural tileset with graves) or below (barrows interior, ruins, or crypt tilesets)

organic tunnels - (beholder caves tileset) you can use area lighting for multiple changes (I use dim purple lighting for inside a purple worm's gut)

underground - caves and tunnels, mines, caverns (mines & caverns tileset)

underdark - just like the one above, but with little to no ambient lighting, maybe some more big fungi...it's the underdark, after all. (mines & caves tileset...don't care for the "underdark" tileset for underground areas)

swamp - dark, watery, soggy (daggerdale swamp tileset)

shallow marshland - open, grassy, wet (rural tileset, grass terrain, with flat water placeables so that the grass pokes through)

dwarven villages - underground or just outside mine entrances (could use dwarven halls tileset)

elven villages - forested, very natural (forest or elven city tilesets)

gnome villages - lightly forested, hills, tunnel entrances, fields (rural or forest tilesets)

halfling villages - open, farmland, light trees, "homey" (rural tileset)

human villages - pretty much anything, from desert to temperate to wintery, open or walled, hilly or flat

shops - small interiors with various placeables that carry the business' theme (weapon shop, armor, food, clothing, etc.)

barren hils/mountains - vertical environment (rocky mountains tileset) or rugged rocks (underdark tileset used as an exterior)

tropical - sandy beaches, palm trees, or even underground, near water (tropical or sea caves tilesets)

various interiors - inns, taverns, businesses, houses, tents, manors, mansions, haunted houses, under-city complexes, etc. (worms fantasy interiors tileset, versatile dungeon tileset, or any of the other castle/city/rural/fort interiors)

There are also the [CEP] tilesets, which have added features to work with...just please, none of the dorky-looking airships. pirat

Also, if you delve into this, feel free to post any questions you might have.

_________________
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------------------------------------- The Amethyst Dragon -------------------------------------
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Post by Elhanan on Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:33 am

I have an idea for a smaller remodeled area, and one that might fit within the theme of the world, though I cannot build it myself.

Within Tradeholm on the outer edge that currently has a small unoccupied Inn and stables, seems to be a very fitting place for a small Keep or Fortress to aid in security against incoming desert raiders, as well as Orcs pressing attacks from their nearby Fort. I was considering placing some Dwarven homes within from my own Clan McJagger, to help give it an occupied look. This might include temple altars currently missing from Tradesholm such as Andra and Mystara; at least two religions supported by a couple of Clan members. And since McJagger is developed as a merchant Clan, running the Inn, tavern, stables, etc could help more Players find a reason to visit that side of the defensive bridge, too.

As I can tell from the maps, this juncture serves as one of the main routes to Calinthia. Though there is some security illustrated within the next transition, from the Orcan Fort side, there only lies Fredtown, Barneytown, and Forest's Edge: three lightly patroled villages. As the Orcs are the more pressing concern for Clan McJagger, these are decent sites to be considered as well, but do not offer the same defensive and trade effectiveness as the one location in Tradeholm.

I believe I have lost all my old coffers, so not all of my Clan can donate 500k per home right away; some can. But gold is fairly plentiful to my Epic PC's, and such an area that could be useful in showing the growing need for security in this area due to the increasing sightings of Orcs past the borders, including their new calvary.

Of any interest?
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Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:00 pm

Elhanan wrote:... Of any interest?
Definitely. How about you save the 500k for "homes" for PCs, and just build the small fort and/or temple interiors? Smile

_________________
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------------------------------------- The Amethyst Dragon -------------------------------------
Creator of Aenea | Custom Content Maker | Dungeon Master | Builder | Scripter | Writer | Player | Sleepless
The Amethyst Dragon
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. : Creator of Aenea / Dungeon Master
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Post by Elhanan on Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:26 am

Alas (how often does one get to say that), I cannot build anything at all.

I had thought that this new Keep may appear as two stone walls converging at a point near the bridge with an access gate in each wall, and the base of this supposed triangle would project beyond the exterior edge of the current Tradeholm tileset; thus allowing a good reason for apprearing larger within than visible from the outside walls.

If there is someone that believes that a small Dwarven made fortress at this location would be advantagious to the game, pls feel free to contact The Amethyst Dragon with their designs. (The design does not have to be Dwarven tiles; just wanted the quality to reflect Dwarven crafting much like seen in DAA).

And thanks!
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Post by RustyDios on Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:37 pm

Okay, so I've been thinking about this for a little while and I've sent off an Area and idea design to The Amethyst Dragon .... ..

Unfortunately, it's not a dwarven fort, though I'll look into that one next maybe...
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