Author Topic: Attention: One-Week Challenge  (Read 5311 times)

Offline hans

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #120 on: March 27, 2017, 07:49:30 PM »
I'm going to call first official One-Week Challenge a success and suggest we revisit a similar idea again in a few months.  If we did this a few times a year, think of the influx of new modules that could be created.

For me, I find that I like working on shorter modules with some kind of time-limit to keep me motivated.  Maybe next time we'll make it a two-week challenge or something (open to suggestions).  Should we start a new thread?  Even if we do something six or eight months from now, think of all the prep time people would have...
 

I like the idea of a bit longer build time, which might culminate in mods that are a bit longer.  I don't know how you managed your elaborate dungeons in a single week, Ben, as I had to drop a couple of ideas for mine due to lack of time. 

I also like the idea of that longer prep time.  With only a month to work with on this one, I discovered that searching our archives for appropriate art was taking me longer than to just whip up what I needed myself (so long as I didn't fret over getting every pixel "just right"). 

I actually have an idea in mind that would cover 3 major dungeon areas, not including the introduction and denouement.  I would like to make good dungeon crawls out of them, allowing for lots of exploration. 

On personal note, I've had a bad cold the last several days and so haven't been playing any Challenge mods.  I wouldn't want to allow infirmed lethargy to lead me to think that a mod is less exciting than I normally would.  I expect to return to them soon, as my goal is to play all of the UA entries (the DC crowd are better equipped to judge theirs). 

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #121 on: March 27, 2017, 11:48:27 PM »
I also like the idea of that longer prep time.  With only a month to work with on this one, I discovered that searching our archives for appropriate art was taking me longer than to just whip up what I needed myself (so long as I didn't fret over getting every pixel "just right"). 

I will say, though, that going too far in the other direction can lead to the issue of never getting anything done.  It's the rush of the deadline that makes you abandon perfectionism and push toward getting something done.  If you allow too long to prepare or finish the module, it might have a negative effect and destroy the point of the challenge.  I'm not sure exactly where the point of diminishing returns is, mind you, but there are obviously limits.  You wouldn't, for example, want to allow a year of prep time and a year to make the module.  One only has to look at the many contests that allowed too long for entries and very few entries materialized.
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Offline Dinonykos

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #122 on: March 28, 2017, 02:51:23 AM »
I will say, though, that going too far in the other direction can lead to the issue of never getting anything done.  It's the rush of the deadline that makes you abandon perfectionism and push toward getting something done.  If you allow too long to prepare or finish the module, it might have a negative effect and destroy the point of the challenge.  I'm not sure exactly where the point of diminishing returns is, mind you, but there are obviously limits.  You wouldn't, for example, want to allow a year of prep time and a year to make the module.  One only has to look at the many contests that allowed too long for entries and very few entries materialized.
I think keeping the "one-week-of-editor-work rule" but allowing a longer planning time this time is a good compromise. My main problem in March was that I could not find seven days in a row to work on the design (so I decided to work on it in seven non-consecutive days), but if the next challenge was announced a few months before it started, it might be possible to do it in a "real" week.
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Offline Null Null

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #123 on: March 28, 2017, 03:38:08 PM »
a barely-started-but-I-did-the-research sequel to Treasures of the Savage Frontier

Null Null, out of curiosity, when you say you did the research, do you mean you were looking into the setting and characters and exploring story ideas? Or did you find existing hints of where the developers had planned to go with this series. I always felt that the Savage Frontier games were meant to be a trilogy. But by the time Treasures was released, SSI was ready to move on from the Gold Box engine.

I'll share it in case someone else wants to take up this idea.

Sort of both. I knew they weren't making any Gold Box games anymore and they had counted Neverwinter Nights as the second of the trilogy. But I felt the Savage Frontier didn't really have the epic closure the other two had. In the Krynn series, you travel to the Abyss and just barely avoid facing the Dark Queen herself. In the Pools series, you travel back to Phlan where you began, meet the clerk, and drive off Bane 'for good'. At the end of Treasures you fight a big dead dragon. Whatever.

So my thought was, what characters, organizations, and places are introduced in the first two that could be touched on again in the 'unmade finale'? And what official TSR material is available to keep this centered in the Realms of the era, rather than just my own creation? If SSI had wanted to make a 3rd game, what could they have done?

I took notes from the 'Savage Frontier' sourcebook which Gateway was meant to promote (much as Dark Queen was supposed to promote Time of the Dragon, about Taladas in Krynn) and 'The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier', figuring anything after that was too 2nd-ed (plus you have to stop somewhere), as well as a little from the 'Waterdeep and the North' for Waterdeep itself.

Treasures ends with the party escaping the Masters of Hellgate Keep. Treasures included a lot of renamed special items without special properties like the Golden Battle Axe and the ShearHammer that would have been a pain to put in and used up all the text space. The Blackrobed enemies from the end of Treasures had almost equally powerful items. I would thus have had the party captured by the Hellgate Keepers, stripped of their items, and prepared to be executed (explaining why they don't have their items from Treasures), when the Keep is destroyed by the elves as in the Hellgate Keep module (I know, the module is 2nd ed and hence post-Time of Troubles), allowing me to use the map in the module and allowing the party to have  a chance of fighting their way out. The Blackrobed enemies from the end of Treasures thus serve as a good source of decent items to equip the party for the rest of the game.

When you escape, you find that the Zhentarim are cut off from their home base in the Moonsea due to a strange set of storms blocking all entrance and Zhentil Keep being overrun by drow (these are, of course, the events of Pools of Darkness).  You then have a choice of going after the Hosttower, the Krakens, or the Zhentarim before the finale.

With the Hosttower on the ropes, Redleg of Ruathym and the captains of the North decide to do something about the piracy problem once and for all. You lead a large force to lay waste to Luskan (one of the few locations to be in both Gateway and Treasures) and storm the Hosttower, killing Arklem Greeth.

In Gateway, we are introduced to the miserable people of the Purple Rocks, oppressed by the Kraken Society. We never really get a chance to do anything about it. Well, time for some heroics! You sail to the Purple Rocks and crash into their headquarters at the head of an army, culminating in an underwater battle with the kraken Slarkrethel.

Gateway uses Curse's code, Treasures Pools' code. You can see this with the transferability of characters (yes, you can take your 35th level mage into Treasures and he will be able to drop a Delayed Blast Fireball on the monsters in Geildarr's keep) and some of the monsters and art. What would be the equivalent for post-Treasures? Well, FRUA uses a lot of Dark Queen of Krynn's code, and the graphics are in many ways more 'advanced' with the gray border and preselected icons. How about using the underwater mode to reuse the underwater monsters and set up a climactic fight with the Kraken?

Finally, you are informed there is a way to deal with Zhentil Keep. Despite the storms, there is a gate into the Keep somewhere in the depths of Undermountain. This allows the party to finally visit Waterdeep, instead of just hanging around a smuggler's dock nearby  like in Treasures. You pass through Undermountain, where you meet the mad mage Halaster, who tells you he will take you into Zhentil Keep if you will let him loot Manshoon's laboratory. Just as you are opening the gate, out comes a terrified Manshoon (who you can fight, of course). You then pass through the gate and find the ruins of Manshoon's upper tower. You then have the option to fight the Heroes of Phlan...

Anyway I wasn't too sure how to really crown this ridiculous piece of fanfiction in a way that would have satisfied my 13-year-old self who was disappointed at the lack of a sequel to Treasures. Maybe have them go to Acheron and fight Bane or something. ;)

Offline Dorateen

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #124 on: March 28, 2017, 05:43:08 PM »
That sounds amazing. It would have been a fantastic adventure and conclusion. I like the way you link the story arcs between the Moonsea region and the Savage Frontier.
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Offline Kaz-Keith

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #125 on: March 31, 2017, 03:46:05 PM »
That sounds amazing. It would have been a fantastic adventure and conclusion. I like the way you link the story arcs between the Moonsea region and the Savage Frontier.

Completely utterly agree.

Do it Null Null!  I'm all for projects that link existing adventures (ala Hans' Kill the Heroes of Phlan) as I have always enjoyed experiencing other players' viewpoints when at all possible.  This is a sorely underrated genre that, though bordering on certain labels of fandom, can provide a huge entertainment value bolstered by both imagination and nostalgia/memory even if those memories have been delved and deluged by people and content going 20 years on.

Offline Kaz-Keith

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #126 on: April 05, 2017, 03:21:17 PM »
 After nearly 9 weeks, I've completed the March 2017 1-Week design challenge!  I began culling and editing graphics at the beginning of February and began work in the FRUA editor at the beginning of March until today, April 5th.

 I've uploaded kaz1dnd.zip to the UA File Archive at frua.rosedragon.org so hopefully it should be available shortly.

 This design is a mix of story and crpg and combines the vast lore of Gary Gygax and company's original Greyhawk campaign in addition to numerous events and personages that followed.

 The project included many technical aspects that I've been wanting to try outside of my current ongoing deepdelvers megadungeon design.  These include:

 * a specialised font that can be used graphically
 * a rest system that incorporates customised journal and item use
 * animated pictures
 * specialised combat condition variants
 * conditional story completion
 * customisable single player-character combat icons (to weapons)
 * various graphical touches

 If you intend on playing the story through, even once, please don't spoil yourself by looking at the graphics ahead of time! ;)

 Several of the game icons and pictures take advantage of an extended palette, so viewing the graphical .tlb files inside of Toolbox will show strange colouring and/or artifacting.  This is due to my using the various palettes swapped in to expand the colours available to pictures, sprites, and combat icons.  Viewing of the various graphics from within UAShell with the design applied works fine and as expected.

 It has been a great pleasure to participate in the challenge, and although I missed the target deadline of March 13th, I am very pleased with the resulting effort.  Bugs were squashed, typos were retyped, and colours were colour-corrected.

 I hope you enjoy this humble offering, as much as I will enjoy delving into the new adventures available from the challenge.

 Enjoy and game on!

*edited for times/dates
« Last Edit: April 05, 2017, 03:29:25 PM by Kaz-Keith »

Offline Ray

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #127 on: April 05, 2017, 03:48:09 PM »

This is so...exciting...

Can't wait to experience this!

Offline hans

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #128 on: April 05, 2017, 07:48:20 PM »
I've also been looking forward to this with high anticipation! 

I'm gratified that you kept plugging away even when the deadline passed!   :thumbsup:

Offline Olivier Leroux

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #129 on: April 06, 2017, 04:39:29 AM »
It's up! Downloading now.  :)

Offline Mechanaut

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #130 on: April 06, 2017, 04:58:16 AM »
It's pretty fantastic; I've been playing it for an hour.  It's unconventional, and very impressive.
(Also it's been fun to play.)

Two typos though, but the point of the challenge was anti-perfectionism.  :D

Offline Dinonykos

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Re: Attention: One-Week Challenge
« Reply #131 on: April 24, 2017, 03:17:04 AM »
My contribution to the contest can now be downloaded from my homepage - I had quite completed it one month ago but (as I posted in the DC section) there was a DC bug which made some walls look weird. Fortunately, Paul solved the problem.
Find four contributions to the Pre-Generated Character Mini-Module Design Contest on my homepage.
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