This weekend, like most weekends, I worked at my steady job as a cashier. Its an ok job, but sometimes it can be terrible. There has never been a day in my nearly wo years of working there that I have looked forwards to going to work. I often work in the One-hour photo lob, and that's where I was today. It was suprisingly enjoyable though, because I worked with some of my favorite co-workers, Kristina and Steve. It was an easy day becauase the photo devolping machine was broken, thanks to the weirdo lady that everyone disliked and who got fired for breaking the machine. I brought a copy of The Count of Monte Christo by Alexander Dumas. I really like the movie, but the book is so much better and I'm only 9 chapters in so far.
After work I took a nap, which was nice because I haven't had a lot of sleep this weekend. I worked until late saturday night and every night my girlfriend keeps me up later and later. (No, not for the reasons you would think. I wish) Then my girlfriend and I watched Slumdog Millionaire, which is a really great film and a good way to spend the evening.
Since I don't have English anymore I'm planning on sleeping in tomorrow. Hopefully I did alright on my math test. We'll see. I also with I wasn't broke. So much to do. My girlfriend leaves in less than two weeks and she is determined to spend every possible second of our free time together. Tuesday might be DnD night or some other board game with my friends though.
So tired... I want to play some Left 4 Dead of Sins of a Solar Empire or work on my Mod... but I think I'll just go to bed. I'm so tired in so many ways and of so many things.
Posted by jimminyjojo at 8:56 PM
Following the development of my NWN mod "Nightmares in Rivertown", I've decided to do a sort of Developer Diary to document my progress. Hopefully it will be worth following along.
The first thing I do when creating a mod is always to sit down and plan it out. First, I write down the plot on a piece of paper, then detail how many and what kinds of areas I will need to make. The characters, dialogue, custom items and actual quest lines all come afterwards, but for me at least, I need to have the areas down first.
The areas are the setting for the story. Sometimes they can be dark and gloomy, sometimes they are bright and peaceful. Bioware's aurora toolset gives great tools to mold the setting of your adventure, from the shape of the landscape to the color of the sky, to the background music. (I believe the tracks are composed by Jeremy Soule, my favorite videogame composer. This is the only game I've ever played where I never had to turn off the music and put iTunes on in the background. There are really some superb tracks.)
The story for my adventure revolves around the small town of Rivertown, so logically that is the first area I started with. I wanted it to have the feel of a small rural community, with a few houses, shops and an Inn of course. The community would be sustained by farmers who live around the town center. Then I plopped a major road cutting through the town to show that it is not alone in this world, and other adventures lie outside its boundries.
Since Rivertown is the first area the player visits, (I plan on having the PC spawn there, just outside the Inn) it is important to set the mood right away. I did this by making it night time and having a dark green fog obscure the landscape. This makes all but the closest features seem like dark shapes, and along with some dark, foreshadowing music sets a mysterious and creepy atmosphere.
The outlying farmland was next. This was to be a large open space with fields, and less mysterious since... its a farm. I put several farms with a river dividing them in a large area. To show a sense of division from the townsfolk, I walled off one of the farms- the one with the granaries and storehouses. This may come into play later in the adventure.
After the farms were done I created the Wrymling Hills area, where there is a quarry that miners from town work in for stone, metal and minerals. This quarry will also be the scene of most of the mod's action, since it is one of the mod's two dungeons.
The Wyrmling Hills... not a very friendly place
A misty area of the quarry- I plan on using this for a creepy encounter like with spiders or something.
Only about half of the area of the quarry is actual mine. The other half is a Kobold enclave that the miners had stubled upon and tried (unsuccessfully) to block off with a door. To move the plot forward, the player will have to rescue a certain hostage from the Kobolds' clutches, which means fighing their way through the mines and the enclave.
I've also had time to create a few commoners for the town. Take a look:
"You're probably all wondering why I've called you here today..."
There are still a few areas to be done, mostly interiors. Main characters, farmers and miners need to be created, encounters and traps for the quarry need to be set up, and all the conversations and quests need to be done. Wow, that seems like a lot of work.
This might take a while... but I think it will be worth it.
Posted by jimminyjojo at 8:15 PM
Today as I was driving to class, I was simultaneously chowing down on a Wendy's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. While concentrating on the road in between bites of the delicious meaty wonder, I was suprised to find that someone had added a large quantity of ketchup to the interior of this prince of foods. Therefore, as I took a bite I was ordained to the order of the slob, as a cascade of condiment careened through the air and onto the clean canvas of my white T-shirt.
No amount of furious scrubbing from the little yellow napkins enclosed in my to-go bag could entirely remove the pinkish stain, and I was forced to suffer the embarrasment of a messy eater all through English class.
Fortunately my girlfriend had enough brains for the both of us this day, and took me to the mall to get a new shirt: a kindergarden green affair which I pulled on over top of my shame-rag. A clean look at last! Thus, I was able to endure precalculus without the discerning eye of my peers being cast upon me in the way that says, "You, sir, are frankly a slob. Please don a garment of appropriate cleanliness if you wish my approval. Good day to you sir!"
And so concludes my tale; a tale of cheeseburgers and betrayal, romance and redemption. I hope you have enjoyed it, and I hope you will take with you a knowledge of the dangers of cheeseburgers. Because knowing is half the battle.
Posted by jimminyjojo at 7:32 PM
I know its early in my blog's life, and I don't think anyone has even read it yet, but I've made a few changes to the layout. I added a picture of some swirling galaxies to the header and added a subtitle which I think goes well with the purpose of my blog. I also have been fiddling with the fonts and colors of the text to see what works well. I think I've found a good setting I like with red and black as the main colors.
Tomorrow I get back my analytic trigonometry quiz, which I'm pretty sure kicked my butt. I should have studied more... those questions about proving identities were not good to me. Professor says after the test on thurs we are all done with trig (thank goodness) and on to more "random topics to prepare for Calc I." Great.
Other than that I've got a research paper to write and present for thursday. This is the last week of English. I doubt I'll take another summer course again if I can help it. The pace is just too much to keep up with, especially while working. Having a girlfriend who expects to see you takes up quite a bit of time too. I haven't seen many of my other freinds for weeks, months even.
Yet still I blog. I don't know why, but I'm trying to be honest in it. Maybe its a way to be introspective, a way to analyze myself as I read what I've written. Maybe I just hope that someone will actually read it and care. Maybe I'll forget to update for a month and then decide to screw it and abandon the whole thing to the unforgiving wasteland that is the internet.
Oh, if anyone does read this, you can read some short stories I wrote (mostly science fiction) if you are into that sort of thing. Just click on the EditRed banner on the bottom of the page or my link on the sidebar. Its pretty good stuff, if I do say so myself.
I'll probably wind the night down with a couple rounds of Counter-Strike or L4D before I go to bed, sleep, wake up and do some research...
Posted by jimminyjojo at 8:32 PM
I came across this on youtube today and doubled over with laughter:
Star Trek and Monty Python are awesome! Props to Starship Conductor for superb editing.
Posted by jimminyjojo at 10:19 AM
Its been a while since I've even played Neverwinter Nights, but it has never left my hard drive. After I went on that ghost tour in SC with my girlfriend, one of the stories there suddenly sparked an idea for an adventure that had to be told through a NWN mod.
It's about a Hag, a mythical creature who flies around at night and gives people horrible nightmares, and during the daytime assumes the form of an ordinary person. In the adventure, the player will have to find a way to find and defeat the Hag that plagues a small town, before it erupts into civil war sown by fear and distrust.
I've made a few mods before, my biggest one for NWN is called A Pirate's Tale: Quest for the Pearl. No it doesn't have anything to do with Pirates of the Carribean, it is my own creation. It is not very well made, and needs a lot of work. I keep meaning to go back and clean it up, but it would require more effort that I am willing to commit right now.
I made a mod for NWN2 also, the first french mod actually, called "Le Vol de Mort" or "The Flight from Death" in the english version. Yes, I know a little french, but its not very good which became apparent when people laughed at the language in the mod. It was a short little hack n slash adventure, and I meant it to be a jumping- off point for a series, but I never got around to actually making the rest. Since this was one of the first mods to come out for NWN2, it got scooped up and included on a CD that was put out by German magazines PC Games & PC Action.
I also created a small adventure, more of a side quest really, the same mod for both NWN and NWN2. This was based on a PnP quest I had written, just discovering the secrets of an old crypt. It was short but solid.
The Flight From Death took about a solid week of work for me, but that included learning the toolset. (which is atrocious for NWN2 by the way)
This is why I'm sticking to NWN original this time. I'm intimately familiar with the Aurora toolset, and already after one afternoon of work I've created most of the key areas, set up the transitions, and plotted out the story and the quests. All I need to do now is populate the world with some characters and items, write the dialogue and do the plot wizards, and I should be good. I am challenging myself this time around with adding a henchman, something I did for my NWN2 mod, but something I've never successfully done in regular NWN. I might even get really fancy and add a cutscene or two... who knows?
Who knows if this project will actually even come to fruition... I have so little free time... but one must have dreams...
Last night I saw Bruno, the new Sascha Baron Cohen movie... and I left the theater feeling dirty, like I had just been through a gay porno... except one that I had watched it with my girlfriend and her best friend. They enjoyed it a lot more than I did. There is like 5 minutes of just a penis wobbling around on the screen in that movie... so... unless you are gay and desperate, watch Bruno at your own risk. The few laughable parts are not nearly funny enough to warrant a reccomendation.
Other than that, I'm working this weekend and I've been chilling out to my friend's Aladdin soundtrack he lent me the last time we went frolfing. Good stuff. I remember having like my 8th birthday party and playing musical chairs to the soundtrack.
Go disney! Yeah childhood memories!
Posted by jimminyjojo at 6:02 PM
Just finished a couple rounds of CSS. I pwned some faces pretty hard, but I don't exactly rock at that game like my friend Mik. I should've been studying anyways, seeing as I have a math quiz in 30 mins. (summer classes, yeah I know) GG priorities.
Well since it takes 20 mins to drive to school that means I need to leave soon. I've given up WoW for the third or fourth time. Several of my friends are always in and out with that game and I foolishyly follow every time. Its like Ben Kenobi said, "Who's more foolish: the fool or the fool who follows him?" Wait... I guess that means I'm a fool. :(
I also saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today. It was pretty dissapointing which made me sad. It could have been great, but the scenes were choppy and there were random parts that didn't make sense. ( The Weasley's house getting attacked by Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback on Christmas for no reason?) The acting all around was better though. I still think either The Prizoner of Azkaban or the Goblet of Fire is the best film so far.
Here's hoping that parts I & II of Deathly Hallows will be better than movie #6!
P.S. Blog post number 1! Hooray!
Posted by jimminyjojo at 2:11 PM