Author Topic: RELEASED: Hearkenwold  (Read 6717 times)

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #75 on: October 03, 2016, 09:34:40 AM »
I've given some thought to working on a new module that will be a continuation of Hearkenwold. Recently, I updated the campaign for the IceBlink engine with new content that I think would fit nicely into a follow up adventure.

The idea is that players could transfer their characters over from the other module. I believe this is done by "removing" the characters from the party at the start screen, which overwrites the CCH files in the SAVE folder of the design. These can then be copied to the SAVE folder of the new module, and add those characters when starting a new game. Unless there is some other method of exporting/importing characters, but this would work.

Pretty sure you got it right.  You could also release an update for the original module which includes an option at the end of the game to update the characters in order to play the sequel.  Sometimes authors will do that as well.

Quote
I am designing the second part with a storyline that treats the characters as if they already completed all content in the first Hearkenwold. As an example, this is similar to how Treasures of the Savage Frontier handled it, as the party is clearly meant to be the Heroes of Ascore from Gateway to the Savage Frontier. When they meet the central NPC, Amelior Amanitas, his dialogue is that of welcoming familiar friends, regardless of whether the player completed the previous installment or not.

Now the thing I'm wondering about, is if I should open Hearkenwold: Book II with a re-cap summary of events and notable actions. It seems to be the appropriate course of action. But I worry about spoiling someone who plays the new module before going through the first Hearkenwold. Then again, I suppose anyone who jumps right in is probably not interested in the first design anyway.

When I wrote a sequel to one of my modules, I included an option to watch a recap.  Players were free to skip it (it is possible they had gone straight from playing the first game into the second, as sometimes people will play them back-to-back, so they may not have wanted to sit through a recap of what they had just finished).  I did this with a menu option at the beginning of the game, which you can see in the screenshot below...


« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 09:37:00 AM by ProphetSword »
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Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #76 on: October 03, 2016, 09:46:58 AM »
Excellent! That would be the sensible way to go, with a menu selection. I'll go with that.

I am planning to upload and updated version of Hearkenwold, which will address the inflated magic resistance, so it should be no trouble to include a message about saving the characters at the end.
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Hearkenwold

Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2016, 12:56:46 PM »
I was working on one of the new areas, testing a fight with some powerful creatures. This is a party of characters transferred over from the end of Hearkenwold.




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Hearkenwold

Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #78 on: January 14, 2017, 08:03:40 PM »
I have completed the second chapter of the Hearkenwold campaign for FRUA.





This module is designed as a direct continuation of the ongoing adventure. That means the narrative works as if the player has completed all the previous content, and NPCs will react to the party accordingly. Indeed, one of the objectives of this part was to follow up on some of the loose threads left in the first module. In order to "export" characters from the first design, you would first use the remove function at the start screen with the HEARKENW.DSN design selected. This updates the characters in the SAVE folder of the design. You then copy those CCH files (identified by the names of the characters) and then paste them into the SAVE folder of the HEARKENX.DSN folder. When you go back and select this design for Book II, you can add those characters to the party.

If you choose to begin with new characters, they will start with 18,001 XP. That is good enough for 5th or 4th level, depending on class. And they will start with +1 equipment. There is also an option to read about the story so far, which gives a summary and highlights points relevant to the current module. Obviously, if one has not played Hearkenwold, this will be spoilerish.

In preparation of the release for Hearkenwold: Book II, I have updated the first design. The changes include:

1. Mechanics. I have reset the magic resistance of all Monsters to the default 0 value. This will make those magic-user spells such as sleep, stinking cloud and hold person, more likely to have an effect.

2. Cosmetic. I went through and changed all wilderness areas to the Forest backdrop, saving open sky only for roads and paths. I also added passable trees as a border along all roads. This is to ease the transition between backdrops, and helps it feel more like the party is stepping on and off the path when they head under the canopy of a forest. Also, I fixed some of the art for Pictures using the format for FRUA.

There's also a couple of minor encounters and text events I added here and there.



The new design, Hearkenwold II can be downloaded at the link below:

http://frua.rosedragon.org/modulelist/index.php

And the update version of Hearkenwold can be found here:

http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/h/hearkenwold.zip
 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 08:15:09 PM by Dorateen »
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Hearkenwold

Offline PetrusOctavianus

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2017, 08:19:28 PM »
Looks good!

Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #80 on: January 14, 2017, 08:28:49 PM »
Looks good!

Thanks, I should mention that Book II is smaller and more focused, while not exactly linear.

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Hearkenwold

Offline Platinum Bearer

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #81 on: March 02, 2017, 09:23:49 AM »
Just starting playing again (editing my own module to tidy up some things before starting chapter 2) so I thought I'd see what was happening here, I'm really glad to see you've done the second part of this, I'll start it this evening. :)

1. Mechanics. I have reset the magic resistance of all Monsters to the default 0 value. This will make those magic-user spells such as sleep, stinking cloud and hold person, more likely to have an effect.

2. Cosmetic. I went through and changed all wilderness areas to the Forest backdrop, saving open sky only for roads and paths. I also added passable trees as a border along all roads. This is to ease the transition between backdrops, and helps it feel more like the party is stepping on and off the path when they head under the canopy of a forest. Also, I fixed some of the art for Pictures using the format for FRUA.
Good call, especially 2. ;)
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Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #82 on: March 02, 2017, 10:03:16 AM »
That sounds great. Yes, I was never really happy with the way FRUA handles backdrops, and this is a known issue. The switch between the Forest that has the leafy canopy above, makes it more like another "interior" area, and then you get the open sky when walking on the road. It's still not perfect, but makes it a little easier to distinguish the areas and adjust.

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Hearkenwold

Offline Platinum Bearer

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2017, 06:22:07 PM »
Had a wander round to get  my bearings again and see what's about then went outside and saw an old (and horny) friend that got taken for a trip where I've met a couple of people and some brand new monster types. There should be a pass time event there for the journey time, I only noticed because that's something I've just added to mine.

Also this might be overly picky but I think one section of wording in the recap could be slightly improved where it says "...cave being used..." I read it as a 'cave-being' for a second. I think "cave that was being used..." reads better when you're writing properly and the next sentence should be part of the same sentence I think, "...and you were able to kill a goblin chief".

Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
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Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #84 on: March 03, 2017, 08:16:10 AM »
Had a wander round to get  my bearings again and see what's about then went outside and saw an old (and horny) friend

Ha, I thought this was a family friendly module! Yes, there absolutely should be a pass time event on that transfer. I never considered to look if that was even an option. But would work well there given the nature of the travel.

I'll go over that section in the recap. Not sure if I ran up against the character limit in the text box. But saying "a cave that was being used" would indeed read better.

Thanks for the feedback!
 
« Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 08:33:43 AM by Dorateen »
"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
~Charlotte, the Village Elder
Hearkenwold

Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #85 on: March 06, 2017, 05:19:40 PM »
For the seven day challenge, I've started work on a short adventure that will be set in the Hearkenwold campaign. It is designed for 5th level characters, which means a party that has concluded the previous modules would be appropriate to transfer into this one. Otherwise, players can create new characters who will start with 24,001 XP and +1 gear.

The prominent feature of the area will have the party crossing a river. In the toolset, the default wall art "Wood B" includes a half stone ledge, with blue water in the background. I am using this as a means to simulate a stone bridge, and border along the river.

I'm also attaching a sample of the sort of branching conversation that will get me in trouble. This particular encounter alone would use up nearly all the text available in a dungeon. Fortunately this design is small enough, that I can use a separate dungeon level to "contain" this encounter, transferring to the area when triggered and back again when it's finished.

Essentially, the focus of the design will be a showcase of some set-piece encounters, proceeded by branching dialogues.

This is a dangerous environment for the party to be crossing. I am going to call the design:

Bridge over Troubled Water
 
"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
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Hearkenwold

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #86 on: April 23, 2017, 04:02:31 AM »
Hey Dorateen, I've played through Hearkenwold 1 this weekend, and despite initial prejudice of mine against vanilla designs with large areas, it turned out to be pretty good and a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to playing the second part now, and your one-week-challenge design as well. I'll attach a text file with some playtesting notes below (spoilers!), mostly concerning the most evident typos I found, as well as one bug, one suggestion and a description of the quests I got stuck on. I might also write a review later on. I share some of the criticism mentioned in this thread, mainly regarding "rookie mistakes", although it seems the design has already been improved due to the feedback you got - and in some cases apparently "disimproved" a bit as well, which goes to show you probably can't please everyone.

I was surprised to find how powerful my low level spells were, even against the bigger opponents that I didn't expect to fall victim to Sleep spells and such, and in part I guess that might have been caused by your fixes, after other players complained about magic resistance. This is no complaint from me though - I actually loved the new version in this regard! I enjoy tactical combat, but contrary to others here, I really appreciated the balance you've found between adventure, exploration and combat. I thought the amount of combat was just right, and the effectiveness of the low level crowd control spells made the fights more fun and less tedious than I probably would have found them in the first version. And I didn't think combat was too easy because of that either, to me it was just right - slightly challenging at times, but never frustratingly hard.  :)

On the other hand, it seems in the earlier version all trees were passable and due to the feedback you got, you made some (but not all) of them impassable, which leads to an inconsistency that makes it almost obligatory now to use Area View most of the time, because in 3D view you can't reliably tell anymore which walls or tress will be passable and which will block your path, since the same walls/trees can have different properties now. I didn't like that as much, as I prefer the colorful 3D view to the gray in gray Area View myself. With all the issues concerning large, partially empty feeling areas, the required "lawn mowing" of maps, the changing backdrops and such, I wonder whether the outdoor exploration might have been more fun in FRUA if it had been handled via overland maps, with the frequency of events a bit more condensed.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 04:19:51 AM by Olivier Leroux »

Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #87 on: April 23, 2017, 04:39:49 PM »
Hey Olivier, just sent a PM to address some of the questions in the txt file.

I was surprised about the non-solid wall in that one area. Could have sworn I fixed it. I am adding it to the list of changes in the next update.

Regarding the trees. I have long wanted to avoid the idea of making "Forest Corridors" or forest hallways. But without a proper fog of war in FRUA, I think that is the way to go. I am planning to make the trees solid, and design winding paths, that will lead to objectives or points of interest, while still hoping to capture the feel of exploration. This will end up as a different look for the areas from the more open maps of IceBlink, but it is a necessary compromise for 3D view.

I will also put some NPC's who are out in the wilderness (like the bard and the farmer) into separate buildings.

I'm glad you enjoyed the combat. I think this version is better with the ability to render enemies helpless more consistently. As creatures gain more hitpoints, sleep is not as effective anyway. And placing stinking clouds is always fun.

Thank you for the feedback!
"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
~Charlotte, the Village Elder
Hearkenwold

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #88 on: April 26, 2017, 04:38:10 AM »
I've played through Hearkenwold Part 2 now as well. Attached you'll find my short playtesting notes (spoilers!). Just two typos this time, and two observations regarding the design.  :)

Offline Dorateen

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Re: RELEASED: Hearkenwold
« Reply #89 on: April 26, 2017, 08:27:35 AM »
Very helpful, Olivier. I sent you a PM. Thanks again for playing! I'm going to continue to tinker with these two designs to make them a smoother experience.

"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
~Charlotte, the Village Elder
Hearkenwold

 

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