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Member Since 16 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active Feb 20 2019 08:07 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Quick question about editing .tra files

26 August 2015 - 10:23 AM

You need to pay attention to encoding (ascii for regular non-EE games), and avoid using MS Word/markup; the best way to avoid having things mess up .tra files is to edit them with a code editor like Notepad++, JEdit, Crimson, etcetera.

In Topic: NearInfinity

11 August 2015 - 03:16 PM

Heh! (By the way, thank you for expanding this tool - it is greatly appreciated. Things like the dialog tree structure, the ability to work on legacy BG all the way through BG2:EE, etc - I almost never use the actual editing tools, but just the ability to look at what is there and see how it is constructed, finding offsets, etc. - I have found it easier and easier to use to solve what I am trying to solve. So thank you!)

In Topic: Love talk guidelines

07 August 2015 - 11:01 AM

I have a whole forum as a "blogging the code" exploration here: http://gibberlings3....p?showforum=159 but it turns out I should probably put up some kind of index if it is going to be useful other than through standard googling for specific issues. There are also tons of specific topic tutorials here, at www.gibberlings3.net, and at pocketplane.net.


Branwen (Kulyok's, not Wounded Lion's) is coded with comments in the code that explain what is going on. Several other mods use the same kind of detailed commenting, but hers gives simple clear comments aimed at beginning modders; not all of them do. Mine tend to be overly wordy; aVENGER_RR's Rogue Rebalancing has very detailed commenting, but not expanded on - basically labels what is changing, not necessarily why/what. Jastey's has comments that can help, but they tend to be in German :)


Numbers are way less important than you are weighting. Keto has no real romance track, and I think less than the number of friend talks you are talking about, and she is incredibly memorable. If you have a story arc for your romance that makes sense, that will give you a sense of how many talks you want to write. Chances are, "less is more, then expand" will be more helpful to you. (Most mod NPCs have significantly more talks and ith much more content than either the Canonical BioWare™ or BeamDog™ characters).


Example (plot points) :


Lady Chatterly and PC Romance Track

[INITIAL INTEREST] 1. you are interesting.

[DEVELOPMENT]    2. I wonder why you are interesting... you are not my usual type.

                                3. Hey, do you find me interesting?

                                4. Why do you find me interesting?

[CHOICE TO COMMIT TO ROMANCE] 5. Who else do you find interesting, and can I chop them up into little pieces and feed them to the fishes?

{beak point if npc is not interested in multiromance or pc says no then exit plot}

[DEVELOPMENT]     6. So, we are together. What do you think of things?

                                 7. I think I love you.

[RESOLUTION]         8. I am going to rock your world now.

[CODA]                     9. That was fun. I am glad we are together.



Some folks write the story, then try to turn it into a mod - others see a series of conversations (either sequential or non-sequential) with a goal of exploring either the NPC's or PC's backstory - but the closest kind of writing that I have found is basically a big "choose your own adventure" book, where the story has plot points like a screenplay, but at the end of the scene the reader is asked to do somehthing that sends them to a different series of plot points.



I run down the basics of The Great Vampire Caper in http://gibberlings3....showtopic=17039 . But to tell you the truth, the best way to really learn what is going on is to look at how several (not 1 - you want 5 or 6) mods handle it, starting with NI or DLCTEP and the Anomen or Jaheira files.

In Topic: Continuous Jaheira

05 August 2015 - 06:04 AM

tl; dr - Definitely not trolling - apt analysis. Direct parallel - Shep vs <CHARNAME>. They even have the same plot-mandtory "game over on player1 death" - a pretty universal BioWare concept, and one of the few things that give players some sense of actual consequence for actions.



the "too long" part -


ME[1,2,3], DAO, etc. have one basic premise that the player is at the center of the game. In ME[1,2,3] a regular combat can only end in a reload by a player death; your "team" can die in combat and then be up and ok, but if Shep/FemShep dies, reload is prompted. There, like in BG, is patently silly to have Player1 replaced by an in-game NPC. For BG, they are not the Bhaalspawn... in game terms, in plot term, and in story terms, Player1 survivies to fulfill destiny, or the game is pointless - "Jaheria has a hidden secret - she is actually Neo/Shephard/Bhallspawn, and the game up until this point is really a trick!" [The Dallas TV show syndrome - recast an entire season as a dream so that the plot can actually continue after the writers have written themselves into an untenable situation]. The only way it makes sense is if the player1 situation can be reolved at the end of combat with ressurection - but even then, the whole point is that the essence of Bhaal is *released by killing a bhaalspawn*. So no matter how you justify it, you can't have player1 die in BG/SoA/ToB.


BUT in ME[1,2 and to an extremely limited extent 3] if a quest requires a "joinable" NPC or a plot "non-joinable" NPC death, the game consequences are carried through with a clone of the bit-player's plot, a new quest giver, and a slight tweak to the existing sub-plot. This means that the overall gist of the game is relatively immune from Plaer Choice™. It means that the player is re-cast from the lead in an interactive movie, to a script director in an interactive movie. The actor's choices have consequences for the way the story plays out, but the same basic "scenery" elements ae brought to play for each and every actor in places where player choice matters long-term; "forced choice points" that are needed to advance the story remain in play even if the player does something like wipe out a plot-needed character.


SO, the crux of the matter is why change the story elements that were put into place in the first place. We modders have answered that question -  because the ruleset is not a satisfactory replication of 2E rules; because there are bugs that were never addressed; because there is a subplot or experience that will enhance the regular story; because the modder in question feels the self-empowering need to insert their demi-god MarySue/Stu and have a story where Harry Potter is a bit-player foil to Ron or Hermione rather than Harry; because the game world needs more scenery and differnt ways of interaction; even simply "because we can". But from a storytelling standpoint, the story can only be warped and changed in specific ways before it is not the story, but a completely new one. We are not talking about just massive hi-jacking of plot like Saerileth and Chloe, where the Goddesses are the real players and "player1" is basically along for the ride left to marvel in the wonder that is a 15 year old etra-planar Paladin - we are talking about changing an *imperative to plot development* element, because we can.


So, if you completely rewrite the story plot points removing Khalid's death, you now have a completely different movie for Jaheira, and any other mod that expects that event to occur (which is any story mod out there - unless it is a fixpack or ruleset or item mod, it expects that point). Ditto Imoen's involvement. Doable? Probably - with enough time and effort, you could even rewrite BG to have a completely different cast of characters, and an altered storyline that has no Bhaalspawn plot at all. You could even use the basic engine and set up a completely different game - AND WE HAVE!! "Total Conversions" like Classic Adventures!


Is that a bad thing, that we technically can completely change the experience and plot and redirect atention from individual NPC story development in favor of a "Jaheria dies and is replaced by her Twin Sister Aheiraj, but she is clobbered so a random blue cloaked NPC named Heiraja steps in..."? Well, for some players, it is completely ridiculous, and they would never play a mod that warped the core experience of the game that way. (By the way, that same statement has been used about the Fixpack, BGT, and even adding NPC mods to an install). For other players, it would be the best thing since Betty White (she came along before Sliced Bread, so the old catchphrase needs updating).


In this day and age of http://www.goodreads...ritten-classics "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies", and the lack of a large and engaged modder base, it is hard to say no to any idea in concept. So if a modder really wants to rewrite the game this way, it is their time and energy, and the reward will be the time and energy spent and the addition to their own game. After all, ME is still a playable popular game, even though they "cheat" by dumping individual NPC development and backstory and importance by creating


{ J aheria | A heiraj |  H eiraja | E irajah | I rajahe | R ajahei | A jaheir  - creeeeepyyyyy! :)


For me, I'd rather play with well-developed new NPCs, or new quests that relate to the main plot. But I am not you. I think it is tough put a value judgement on these things any more.

In Topic: BiG World Setup (an attempt to update the program)

04 August 2015 - 09:25 AM

OK, all fixes integrated, including Roxanne's finding of some problems with the final solar talk - all credit for the update goes to Argent77. The official v7 of Tyris Flare is now up in the regular downloads section at G3 for Windows, OSX., and linux. Since IE Newsfeed is still messed up, here is the link for the official stuff:



G3's Tyris Flare NPC , by Grim Squeaker, has been updated by Argent77, and is now available for your BG2:SoA, BG2:ToB, BGT, and BG2:EE games. Meet Tyris Flare, a red-haired amazon who can kick ass and hurl fire! Sound familiar? That's because she used be in Golden Axe! But now she's lost in the Umar Hills and looking for the love of a good (or bad) Bhaalspawn. This latest version of Tyris has a couple of miscellaneous fixes, updates WeiDU, and is now available for Linux and for install on BG2:EE thanks to Argent77. Enjoy.




I tested it on Windows 10 using BG2:EE. No worries. Cool stuff.