Friday, February 29, 2008

Game Diary Summary - February

I created a PDF of the first 4 pages of chapter 10 and posted them on one of the RPG forums. It shows some of the areas I've written about on Aldorus. I can't say I've had many people show any interest (and that's just my own family). ;-)

Today I was working on a map for the Palatine Mts. I was originally going to take a bump map and use it in Bryce, but I settled on using part of the Aldorus map (enlarging it slightly) and working with it in Photoshop. I still need to add locations, etc. but it looks okay so far.

Yesterday I was working on the floorplan for the monastery in the Palatine Mts. If I had software (like from ProFantasy), this would probably be easier, but since I'm currently still unemployed, I didn't want to spend the money. So, instead, I'm just doing it all by hand in Photoshop, which is actually almost as good (almost).

Prior to yesterday, I was writing descriptions for some of the places in the Palatine Mts. This was pretty straight forward, although it came after a couple of days of not doing much.

Over the last few days I've been spending a LONG time working on the monastery floorplan, but I'm almost finished. Last night, I was working on the basement/crypt areas. It took me over 3 attempts, but I finally got it to look more or less the way I want. As for the whole monastery, I plan to have it in a section called Point of Interest, which is basically highlighting a location on the planet that the GM can use for an adventure.

I completed the Devil's Cauldron area descriptions, including the map. Since it's not as extensive as the other areas, it took the least amount of time. Next comes the Notable NPCs section . . .

Yesterday I put a post on The Forge ( I haven't gotten any real responses yet, but then it was just an introduction.

Today, I worked on stats for a couple of NPCs: Big G and Funkmeister Rik. I need to have a few more to fill out the section. At this point I'm not completely sure which other NPCs I'll be including.

Today I was able to get a little done in the Notable NPC section, but not a lot. For the last few days, I've been in a creative malaise with little work done at all. It's possible I've been to preoccupied with finding new job and worrying about money.

I was able to flesh out the stuff I did yesterday. I'm still not 100% happy with it, but it's better than nothing. I've completed two NPCs for the section, but I need to do maybe 2-3 more NPCs before I can move to the next section.

This morning I wrote the description for Shakkar, the Duel Master. He appeared in Chapter 4 of Alexander the Prince. I wanted to include him because he has both some melee and psionic abilities. Next I would like to create the Abbot for the monastery, but I'm having trouble finding a good name for him. I did some research on Buddhist abbots, but none of the names worked for me.

This afternoon, for a change, I worked a little with paper miniatures. Using Poser, I did renders for the four sides of a character (and then the top as well). There are other paper miniatures on the market, but they all use either two or three sides. I wanted to try four, but I discovered that a four sided miniature wants to fold in on itself and isn't stable. Whereas the three sided one is much more solid feeling. Apparently this is why four sided paper miniatures aren't used! Anyway, I may create some of these (3 sided) especially for my game, including important characters, etc.

Yesterday I completed the Notable NPC section by adding Kid Vicious and the Abbot. Next I need to do the Point of Interest section featuring the monastery. I'm unsure right now if I'm going to create some kind of adventure or mission around the POI, or just leave that up to the GM. I think the former is ideal, but I'm not sure if I have something good enough.

I've also been looking at the Skills the game offers, and I've concluded I need to add more, and slightly change a few existing ones. I've made a long list of Knowledge-based skills to add, and I've previously listed some others like Streetwise which I need to include. I think it would be wish to give the Abilities another once over as well since I'm sure there will be some that need to be added there.

Although I took a break from chapter 10 today, I've been very productive. I written notes for 31 new abilities along with another 5-10 skills which I did yesterday. They're still in note form, however, so I still need to add them to the rules. While I was creating the notable NPCs for chapter 10, I felt that there weren't enough skills or abilities, so now I'm a lot happier.

I wrote the rules for 20 out of the 31 abilities today, and will try to work on the rest tomorrow. I still have the skills to work on too, however, but I'm not sure when I'll get that done.

I didn't work on the new abilities yesterday, but I was looking at some of the other sections of the game rules, in this case the Encounters section. I really need to add more creatures to the rules. Right now there just aren't that many, except in the Minor Race section. Also, in general, I'm seeing various typos and other mistakes which just shows that it will be very important that I proofread very carefully. I will have my wife proofread also, but some of the mistakes are how the rules are implemented (ie: which dice to use) which regular proofreading isn't going to catch.

Today I finished the rest of the abilities from a few days ago. I'm now pretty happy with the total number of abilities available.

So good news and bad news: the bad news is that, for whatever reason, the rules file got corrupted and I've lost everything I did yesterday. The good news is that I had back the file up on 2/26 so I didn't lose that much (maybe a couple of hours worth of work, and nothing that major). However, this once again reinforces the need to back up every freakin day. Today, I also sent a backup copy to my email address so it's also saved off-site. I normally backup to my external drive, but if we had a fire or something, that would also get destroyed. By backing it up to my email, it's completely off site so it would be save from such a disaster.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Aldorus Map

Here's the map I created for Aldorus. I used the lunarcell and flexify photoshop plugins to create much of the map. Both plugins are from Flaming Pear.

Game Diary Summary - January

This is the first entry for the new year, a year since my very first entry (1/19/07). After reading that first one, it's interesting to me how much I've gotten done over the last year and how much I haven't gotten done. Although I don't anticipate taking another year to finish the game (since there's really only one chapter left), I'm curious how things will be in January 2009.

I FINALLY started working on the commodities yesterday, but it was slow going. I have plenty of notes, but it's been very hard for me to put it in rule form that didn't sound terrible. However, I did get it started and, like pulling off a band-aid, that's perhaps the hardest part.

I was able to do more today with commodities including examples of how to setup the preliminary supply/demand quantities and prices. I will have to test all of this, however, to make sure the values come out okay. As usual, there will probably be modifications once I get into the actual numbers.

I added my notes to the rules last night, although I was having some technical problems getting the stuff from my google doc into my word doc. I normally use Firefox, but I couldn't copy and paste into Word that way. However, after getting really frustrated, I switched over to IE and it worked fine. I guess there are still reasons to use Internet Explorer. ;-)

Anyway, I have to remember to add a section on cargo licenses etc. Seems like there's something else I'm forgetting, but I can't remember right now.

I worked on the Events table yesterday. Basically, there's a chance (once per week) of an event changing the commodity prices and supply/demand amounts. I had done this table previously, but decided to rework it slightly. I was getting frustrated with it, but I got it done and added it to the rules last night.

I've had a pretty crappy couple of days. On Wednesday, I got laid off from my day job and yesterday I fried my hard drive and had to reformat everything. Although I had a lot of my stuff backed up, I did lose the last section of the current chapter and I also lost the photoshop files for the Imperium and Jova maps. I have jpegs for those, but neither are print quality (at least not the Jova one). So, I have some rework to do which sucks. Of course, I also have to get a new job which also sucks. Meh.

I spent lasts night and part of today redoing the Jova map. I basically started from scratch, although I had a jpeg version as referenced. Actually, the most frustrating part was trying to get the colors of the districts the same as the old version, but I simply approximated the colors instead of matching them exactly. Today, I mostly worked on adding all the star systems in. I got Capitis done and I will try to do Kurai tomorrow.

I completed the Jova map today so it's basically as good as new (and backed up even!). Next I need to redo the part of the rules that was lost. That didn't amount to much and a lot of it was already in my Google docs, so I was lucky there. It's funny, but working today on the map I felt a certain calm come over me: even though I was laid off last week, I guess I still have the game to work on and keep me busy. It helps.

I've been kind of busy lately trying to find a job. Today I had an interview (which went terrible). In the meantime, I redid the header for the rules (which had been lost due to my drive failure). I was lucky because the image for the Imperium crest was still on the wiki AND it was at 200 dpi for some reason (even though it's a JPEG). So, I was able to add it to the header.

My rules are now totally caught up. I spent today putting in the Trade stuff that I had lost. I guess it only took a week to get everything back more or less as before, but it's still a wasted week since I shouldn't have lost the stuff in the first place. Unfortunately, I really have only myself to blame. :-(

It looks like I'm basically done with the current chapter, which means I can start the final chapter of the game now. Today, I added the rest of the Trade section and also a section describing Jova province and the Aldin star system. As I may've mentioned before, the final chapter will describe Aldorus in greater detail, including various NPCs to meet and places to explore. It's really intended as a jumping-off point for characters just starting to play the game.

It turned out that I wasn't completely done with the chapter after all: I still needed to add contraband and smuggling rules, although some of that info will be in the Gear chapter instead. Today, I've been mostly doing preliminary notes on the final chapter about adventuring. I'd like to create a nice map of Aldorus, but I'm having trouble getting something that looks presentable. So far I've been pretty dissatisfied.

Today I was working on the Regalis city map. I had created a map for it a long time ago, but I thought I could do better. So far I haven't. :-( However, I don't think the original is good enough either so I'll keep trying.

Yesterday I decided to go with my old Regalis city map instead of the new one that I had slaved over. The new one just didn't look like a city map to me. Today, I actually started the last chapter (ie: actually wrote in the rules instead of just notes. I didn't get too far however because I found that the world map for Aldorus was far too small. So, I spent the last two hours redoing the map so it would fill the page instead of just of a part of it. I'm much happier now, though!

I was stuck the last couple of days: couldn't seem to write very well. Today, however, I've written quite a lot; describing some of the areas in Regalis. The wife seemed to even like what I'd written so that's something! ;-)