Author Topic: Hearkenwold  (Read 2273 times)

Offline Dorateen

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Hearkenwold
« on: May 27, 2014, 01:06:03 PM »
I recently updated the module I have been working on, and thought it was time to make a post here. This campaign has a lot of Gold Box influence, and uses artwork that I have borrowed from the fantastic FRUA cor hub site.

The module itself plays like a classic create your own party adventure, with an exploration mode that is similar to Storm of Zehir's overland map. In the sense that the party is represented by one character, who can be swapped out for another at any time. Also, conversations make use of the party-chat system, allowing for various dialogue options based on the conditionals like class, race, and stats of the characters.

A more detailed description and file to be downloaded can be found at the neverwinter vault page I created:

http://neverwintervault.net/project/iceblink/module/hearkenwold-demo-v-100

While still under ongoing developement, this version does feature new area music that was created by Islet Sounds. The latest content includes two multi-level caverns that can be explored at the party's peril! Here are some screenshots attached.
"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
~Charlotte, the Village Elder
Hearkenwold

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 07:47:47 AM »
Awesome.  Keep us up to date with the development.
LANDS OF ADVENTURE: An Old-School Style CRPG

More Information Here: http://landsadventure.blogspot.com/

Offline Dorateen

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 09:05:24 AM »
Thanks! I am going to try to work more consistently on this project. The next part involves a city location that will be spread out over several maps.

I should have mentioned in the above post, that combat in the IceBlink engine switches to the top down tactical battle maps, which is where it really plays more like the SSI games. One of the issues that will require constant testing and tweaking is combat balance. However, I do have as a design objective the possibility for players to venture into difficult areas, or grow in power and then return to lower level places that will seem easier. Trying to use a structured "critical path", but then giving the freedom to explore side content wherever the player wants to go.
"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
~Charlotte, the Village Elder
Hearkenwold

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 12:53:01 PM »
My favorite adventures in Unlimited Adventures use a similar "open world" technique, and award exploration and fighting things higher than your level.  Nothing is more satisfying than having your party beat an enemy that they shouldn't have been able to successfully defeat under normal circumstances and getting good XP or treasure as a reward.  But, I also enjoy adventures that hide things in the hidden back-corners that make exploration worthwhile.

What's your take on that?
LANDS OF ADVENTURE: An Old-School Style CRPG

More Information Here: http://landsadventure.blogspot.com/

Offline Dorateen

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 01:49:56 PM »
Definitely, anything that encourages thorough searching of the map. I tend to be a completionist when I play cRPGs so I will walk every square, every tile and it is a great moment when you stumble upon a secret treasure.

I was just thinking this over, and in fact I have an event square that comes to mind, which will allow certain characters to make a weapon. It is not distinguished from the rest of the area in any particular way. The player would have to explore carefully to discover and select this option. I like using event squares, as they appear "hidden" until stepped on, and triggering some surpise/reward/nasty encounter. Eventually, I want to fill the various maps with such content, including out of the way locations.
"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
~Charlotte, the Village Elder
Hearkenwold

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 10:55:16 AM »
That kind of stuff is definitely awesome.  I may not always explore every square in a game, but I do tend to poke my nose into places and have a look around, so CRPGs that make it possible for me to explore things are always welcome.

I'll be looking forward to playing your completed project.
LANDS OF ADVENTURE: An Old-School Style CRPG

More Information Here: http://landsadventure.blogspot.com/

Offline slowdive

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 05:48:18 PM »
Haha, I hit up that event square and the storm and pile of rocks every time  ;) plus others too.

Offline Dorateen

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2014, 06:14:35 PM »
I have decided to make a monthly post, to keep me motivated and working on this project. Recently I have been spending time creating one of the first cities that the players can encounter, the city of Khyn. Here, the Monastery holds great influence, and is in fact ruled by the Abbot Thespar Wordsmith (who the party probably ran into back at the Castle).

I've done the connecting maps that lead around the wall to the entrance gates. The city itself is made up of multiple maps, and I plan to fill it with dozens of NPCs and encounters. Outside, there will be combat encounters along the way.

Here is an early screenshot:



If I didn't go into much detail previously, the conversations in this module are being set up in the fashion of Storm of Zehir's party chat style. That is, various dialogue options become available depending on a party member's conditionals. In the screenshot above, the cleric has choices available based on high wisdom, his ranks in diplomacy, and also a low constitution score. Other characters would have options (indicated by the speech bubble on the portrait) because of their race or class. 
"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: Hearkenwold
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 08:37:55 PM »
Over the past few weeks, I have been continuing work on the city and some of the NPC interactions that will be available. However there are also adventures to be had in the outlying areas. One of them will be a unique cave that has the property of being pitch black within, unless the characters have brought a torch with them. (And choose the option to light it before entering the cave!)

IceBlink is largely event based, with multiple events able to be assigned to one square trigger. This has allowed me to create two transition events when the player moves onto the cave entrance. Because the conversation system allows for checking conditionals, it is simple to run an item check searching for the torch in the party's inventory. If the option is selected, then the map of the cave will reveal itself through further exploration.



And if no torch is used, and the party enters the caves anyway...

« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 08:39:43 PM 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: Hearkenwold
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2014, 11:56:23 AM »
For this month's update, I'm going to share a couple of aspects I've been working on. The original outdoor areas used a texture called scrubber, which looked nice and lush for a grassy/forest field. But I made the mistake of doing a single resizing to configure with the iceblink map. Instead, I should have pasted the texture down like tiles. I have started to correct this in those areas, so it will look more like this:



Graphics were never going to be a focus of this project, but I will try to improve as I go along.

The other feature has to do with using the names of party-members in DM narration text, the way the Gold Box games would do. In this case, it will call the currently selected character. But this can always be swapped out on the adventuring maps. It's a small thing, but I find it more satisfying and rewarding in those places instead of saying, "You detect..." or "You discover.." but insert a party member's name. Here's an example:



Finally, I had a new music track added to the city of Khyn, thanks to Islet Sounds. That will be available in my next update, which should be near the end of September.
"The curse is time, and the tragedy that we have not enough of it."
~Charlotte, the Village Elder
Hearkenwold

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2014, 03:55:17 PM »
I'm looking forward to playing this.  I went ahead and downloaded the demo to give it a spin, even though I really would prefer to wait for the final version.  How much is included in the demo?
LANDS OF ADVENTURE: An Old-School Style CRPG

More Information Here: http://landsadventure.blogspot.com/

Offline Dorateen

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Re: Hearkenwold
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2014, 07:12:20 PM »
The version of the demo right now goes as far as the first two "chapters" of the main quest/story-line. There is some additional side content as well.

As I am planning on making this a large open world to explore, there are unfinished quests or NPCs you might encounter. I've been polishing up some of the earlier areas and expanding conversations. The demo right now does not include the city or latest cave location I have been talking about. But those will be available in the next update (late September).

If you want to take a look, and let me know any feedback or suggestions, there is certainly room for improvement!

Thanks.
"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: Hearkenwold
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2014, 06:15:12 PM »
The much anticipated next update for the Hearkenwold Demo has been released for IceBlink!

Version 101 contains some additional locations including a city, as well as new enemies to fight. The city areas use a new music track provided by Islet Sounds.

The module file can be downloaded here:

http://neverwintervault.org/project/iceblink/module/hearkenwold-demo-v-101

And it does require IceBlink v100 to play. The engine is available here:

http://neverwintervault.org/project/iceblink/other/iceblink-engine-and-toolset

Comments and feedback are always welcome.



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