Profile for Master Xan


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Wheel of Time in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #16
Actually, there are only 10 more after the first book (I'm excluding the prequel, which deals with Rand's birth/discovery). And no way am I ever even going to pretend to think that I could do all of them... if for no other reason that by the time I did, nobody would still be playing BoA as a serious game (it'll be one of those sweet old classics you always go back to playing occassionally).

Here's my current thoughts on how I might complete the first book... maybe if I open up that can, I'll get ideas (which will then determine if I undertake the project at all or not).

Anywho, I'll provide a party to use. While not quite as fun, it makes more sense considering that the scenario is based on a book, and you will be one of it's main characters. At some point, I'd have to pick one of those characters to be your main character, a one-person party. The scenario would than be built around that person's abilities and perspective. This will cut out parts of the book, as the player won't have access to what's going on in multiple character's lives at the same time. Hopefully, this can be accomplished without confusing the player or loosing plot information.

I don't remember exactly, but I think the first book has several of the main characters together from the beginning to the end (or close enough). Thus, I could add characters to the player's party through NPCs joining, eliminating the one-person party and opening up more interesting encounters possibilities. Other main characters would have to make periodic appearances as NPCs, and this is one thing I'm worried about. Handling the NPCs in battle, making them appear and disappear properly, having them powerful enough to survive battles without having to protect them constantly, but weak enough to actually be realistic.

Add to that the fact that none of the "main" characters can die, the scenario can only really have one good ending (to match the book), the magic system would need to be drastically different (and not used much for the first book), plus you're using a party I made, and you start to get more of a scripted scenario, with too little freedom to be fun.

Another way I could do it would be to make the party be one of the secondary characters, somebody that is mentioned in the books but not focused on. This allows much more freedom; depending on the choice of characters, the player can make his/her own party. Without having to strictly follow the book, the encounters will have a less scripted feel, be more interesting for those who have already read the books, and allow for much less work on the NPCs appearing in battles.

Unfortunately, there are still drawbacks. Almost any secondary character I choose will have no access to "magic", or very restricted access. There simply aren't that many people who can use the Source from the books that aren't main characters; either it's Rand, or a member of the factions at war with each other. Having Aes Sedai in the party would be... difficult to justify unless they were the leaders, making for limited possibilities on quests because of their nature and having to answer to higher powers (too much micromanagement for good adventuring, I think). Plus, then you'd automatically have a high-level character in the party, since Aes Sedai are all kept at the tower until they are fully trained. Talk about throwing a kink into battles! And of course having a male member using the Source presents all kinds of problems (will he go mad? Is he evil? Will Aes Sedai try and hunt him down?). In addition, without following the book, I'd have to create much more of my own material; plot, storyline, quests, towns, etc.

Which do you think is better? Which is more likely to be doable? And is there another way to present this that would be easier to create, or more fun to play?

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Wheel of Time in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #11
I've never based a scenario on something else before, so while it will be larger in scale, I don't have to make up all the material myself. In addition, I really like the series, and that intrest should help carry me through.

I had hoped to form something of a development group, with two or three members to create the scenario. I get the distinct impression it either hasn't been done, or very rarely, which is bad because I know right now I'm not capable of producing the amount of time to work on the scenario, much less willing to forgo that much of my already limited social life. Thus the desire for a team, not for specific things but as genuine co-authors. I suppose I could do this with graphics, but I simply don't have the resources to make the rest of the scenario myself.

Thoughts on this? (I'm guessing you're going to tell me 'good luck, but no'. I can still hope though...)

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Wheel of Time in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #4
That is one of the odd little things about me. I've got experience with scenario building, I've just never finished anything. So while technically this is my "first scenario", it really isn't. This is the reason for my asking for help; I want to make sure it gets completed this time. Plus, it requires artwork (which I simply can't do with any talent at all).

The book series itself has what I'd consider 'scattered plot'. aka not very refined in its original conception, kind of taking on a life of it's own along the way. That's why its so complex (and occasionally confusing). But the first book really isn't a good indication of the entire series; having read them all, I can try and modify the first one in the scenario form, explaining things a bit better to prevent confusion. And considering this is a scenario, it will lack some of the descriptions from the original, good or bad. It simply isn't possible to have that many descriptions; the player would just get annoyed with all the reading if you tried. Only what is useful in setting the mood for things would be there.

The engine work wouldn't be too intense for the first one... well, at least not compared to what would be necessary for the latter novels. The first book is fairly uncomplicated in some important ways (main characters are mostly together, not too much dependance on the Source yet, etc.). I won't argue about whether it would take some work though, just not as much as any sequel would need.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Wheel of Time in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #0
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is great. A nice book series for ever fantasy fan, with an interesting storyline with wonderful descriptions and gripping plot changes, all packaged with some of the best characters every conceived by mankind.

A little like worship? What can I say, it's my second favorite book series of all time (the first being the Ender's Game series and spinoffs by Orson Scott Card).

It may also become the most ambitious scenario attempt ever dreamed up by any scenario creator since the days of BoE and my little 10-year-old brain (which, sadly, failed to create each and every one of those majestic scenarios).

I'm going to attempt to recreate the first book of the WoT series, The Eye of the World. If anybody is already attempting this, better tell me now (as I obviously don't know about it).

For anyone not familiar with the series, you should know this is hugely ambitious because:

1. The book is absolutely wonderful. Recreating it in it's full splendor will be hard, complicated, and time-consuming (assuming it is even possible).

2. The book is long. LONG. I think the first one is something like 800 pages, but I could be wrong. It might be 1000.

3. The series is very popular, and many people will play the scenario upon completion. And surely every single one will have some complaint or another ("It is different from the book at this part..." "I don't like how you portrayed..." etc.)

4. If the first one is completed and turns out alright, everyone will expect the next book to be turned into a scenario. And the next. And so on. With each book being more complex than the last, it will turn into a scripting nightmare. Not to mention there are now 10 (11 books in October! yay!) books, and each is 800+ pages or so.

With all this in mind, I'm still going for it. But to avoid the fate of so many of my other grand ideas (that fate being left incomplete for all time and eternity), I'm asking for help.

I'm looking for a gifted artist or two with experience (or desire to gain experience) with the book series, and experience making BoA scenarios. I need a few talented script writers (as I am not the best) who also have experience with the books. And I'm sure at some point I'll need to recruit a legion of testors and other people who will check for accuracy with the book. But that is for later.

If you're interested, drop a note. At this point, I don't want/need/desire in any way suggestions of how to do the scenario, nor comments on legal issues (I'll deal with that once I discover if I can even attempt this). I only want to know if there's anybody out there who is willing and capable of helping, as I can't do this myself. I'm also interested to hear from WoT fans, regarding whether this is possible (or even desireable).

So, untell I check this tomorrow, what do you think?

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Working for Spiderweb Software in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #18
Someone kind of said this, but I'll clarify it: if you want to be 'employed' by SpidWeb, the closest you can get would be to make your own game and try and get Jeff to publish it. If it's good enough, he just might do that. But I'd suggest making the game first, then trying to get him to publish it. Otherwise, you'd just blend into all the others emailing him and wouldn't have anything to prove you were serious.

Also, for those thinking of making games but don't know a language, I'd suggest doing a test. Learn something simplier then a programming language to find out if you actually like to code things. Learn HTML or Java, then make some web pages or an applet. If you can actually stand to make these, then you could benifit from learning something harder and sinking all that time and energy into designing a game. If you don't like to code, chances are you'll never complete a full-blown program (much less a complex game) and will just waste time.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Homeland: The Stone of Night in Tech Support
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #11
Win XP is notoriously bad for running older games... the games made for DOS never did run very well in Windows, and each new version of Windows just makes it worse. Even the older Windows games don't always run in XP... hence this topic.

Here's some obvious things you may have glossed over...
Update Homeland fully.
Update all drivers (especially sound).
Try disabling sound, extra graphic options, ect. in an attempt to discover the exact problem.
Make sure you are running Homeland in full screen mode (default should be full screen, so this most likely doesn't apply).
Try Win XP compatibility mode.
Reinstall Homeland
Make sure the demo is unistalled BEFORE installing the full (or is Homeland a registration key? if it is, ignore this... I never did order Homeland)

Alternatly, you could install a different version of Windows on a second harddrive... or even partition your primary drive into a second piece, then install another Windows there. Then you'd have to boot to the other Windows... I wouldn't attempt these without some in-depth knowledge.

[ Sunday, August 15, 2004 15:28: Message edited by: MasterXan ]

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
URGENT HELP NEEDED FOR EXILE 3!! in Tech Support
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #9
quote:
Originally written by siobhan:

i know it sounds unhelpful, but really, in the longterm... get a mac.
Win XP isn't a good OS for old games. Just doesn't do anything quite right. If possible, I'd try Win 2000 Pro. (cheaper then buying a Mac, will help with other old games too)

In the long term you should avoid Mac, as they are slowly fading anyway. Windows is losing all hopes for running old games, avoid it as well. Linux is where I'm putting my faith; it's getting more practical every year, and now that IBM has switched... (even Microsoft had to use Linux systems for awhile, due to heavy virus/hacker issues) Though I wouldn't get Linux quite yet, they haven't managed to breach the compatibility barrier entirely. (which is really the only problem with Mac; not enough programs)

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
New distribution...? in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #7
They aren't much for ultimate evil, but they do take money away from developers... unless, of course, whoever uses the crack would not have paid anyway. So it's probly very hard to tell just how much money you loose, even if you can determine about how many people are cracking a program.

It's the hackers that deserve the bad name... they're much more apt to do evil that actually does significant damage. (not all do, and generalizations are bad. but still)

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
New distribution...? in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #3
Sorry 'bout that Imban. Didn't think about it in that kind of light.

I just thought that SW must be missing out on some money... so it's not a big problem, you say? Still... hey, does it do any good to give SW the sites that host cracks? As in, can they sue or anything? (don't worry, I won't post them here)

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
New distribution...? in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #0
This is mostly just my hope... that is, that the newer SW games will be distributed differently then they are now. Any chance somebody high-up can comment on the chances? I'd be happy if intelligent people offered some thoughts too.

So, maybe a CD like Nethergate, and it would have to require the CD to play... and then have some sort of CD protection... okay, scratch that. Any other methods of secure distribution?

[ Sunday, July 25, 2004 12:42: Message edited by: Imban ]

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
AGE? HOW OLD ARE WE? in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #110
Bah, element, compound, you guys knew what I meant. I was kinda in a blind rage at that point anyway, not really thinking clearly. You see, the rather uselessness of school has been getting to me of late, and it's making me irrational.

High school is neccessary not so much for what the teachers are trying to teach you... a majority of that you will never learn, forget, or never even need to use on the off chance that you do learn it. High school is where you go from small annoying child who thinks he's smart, to large annoying child who may actually be smart, but too irrational and prone to mood swings for anybody to really know for sure. Hopefully by the time you're out of high school you've gotten yourself under control, but (as is evident) I haven't made that transition fully yet. Good thing I've got my senior year left...

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When the world ends on Thursday, just remember I told you so.
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
down with the world of avernum in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #32
Actually, don't take that seriously. I didn't watch Johnny Quest and then have nightmares. I ran away from the seemingly endless stupidity of the show. Never understood it and wasn't willing to wait around long enough for it to make sense... I was much more into things like He-Man (where everything was simple; good guy is big and strong, he beats up stupid evil skeleton).

Now that I look back, it was rather silly of me. But since when are kids logical?

BTW, what are you doing with my name? ;)

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
High lvl scenarios needed in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #7
If he submits them all and they're rejected, that doesn't mean somebody won't play them... email me if that ends up as the case (though I doubt it)

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
AGE? HOW OLD ARE WE? in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #98
Eh, middle school. Don't get me started.

And contrary to your guys' opinions, I hate high school. The teachers are a part of that, but since I've gone to two high schools that's obviously not the major problem. Part is the insane pressure to date girls every waking moment (which is just something I'm not good at; they all hate me I tell ya).

But the biggest thing I hate about high school: it's a waste of time. In the three years of my high school education, I learned enough to fit in about 2-3 months if I wasn't surrounded by idiots, teachers with messed up methods, retarded requirements set up by beaurocrats from another universe, and the most pointless trivia known to mankind.

Example: we spent three weeks in chemistry learning how to name a new element. This would require you to first DISCOVER a new element, then you could name it. Can I get a show of hands for all the people that have discovered a new element? What, no hands? It was easy too, should have taken 3 days to learn, but all the idiots in my class (most noticibly the ones flirting instead of listening to any of the lessons; they know which is more important, and it isn't the lesson IMAGE(wink0002.gif) ) didn't understand so it took 3 weeks to learn. American schools are messed up.

[ Thursday, July 22, 2004 08:42: Message edited by: MasterXan ]

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When the world ends on Thursday, just remember I told you so.
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
High lvl scenarios needed in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #4
I realize that... actually, it's why I had to trash my first high level party scenario... it was no fun at all. I'm remaking it, but better and much more balanced... too bad it'll take forever.

I'm just hoping for a good one to play that fits in with my kewl party that finished all the pre-made ones.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
AGE? HOW OLD ARE WE? in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #80
Yes, I'd change that to, "Some kids are too smart" or perhaps, "Kids are too smart in some ways, yet amazingly retarded in others"

Take, for instance, my cousin. He almost cut his toe off while throwing a machete up and down. But on the plus side, as he healed he had an excuse to sit around and make bombs because he couldn't walk. He can also make a decent webpage in about 30 mins using nothing but HTML with a little XHTML and some java mixed in. Go figure.

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When the world ends on Thursday, just remember I told you so.
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
High lvl scenarios needed in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #0
I don't know if anybody's noticed, but it seems all the scenarios out (and likely many in the making) are for new or low level parties.

If anybody has some free time, a few high level party scenarios would be wonderful. I can't really make too many demands, seeing as how I haven't finished my high level (but rather pathetic) scenario yet, but thought I'd mention it if somebody doesn't know/care which kind to make...

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
down with the world of avernum in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #23
Johnny Quest scared me as a child. Literally, if it was on, I'd run away rather then watch it.

I remember He-Man, hehe. Oh, bad joke. Anyway, I watched that occasionally, but it came on at like 5:30 AM so not real often. War Planets was the best one, only a single season of it about 6-8 years ago, it came on Saturdays at 6:00 AM and I got up EVERY WEEK for it.

If you want some really bad kid shows, try watching Power Rangers... the original was pathetic, each progressive version is worse.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Fallout 3 in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #26
I loved Fallout 1 and 2. I played both so many times I can't count them all. But when I played the other 'Fallout' games, it was a serious let down. Brotherhood of Steel and any other 'Fallout' games were crap. Not only were they not the same kind of game, they weren't very good for the type of game they were trying to be.

I hold little hope that F3 will have the same atmosphere as the first two, and I doubt it will be as good in other regards.

On a side note, attacking the Demonslayer like that was completely unjustified. Even if he hadn't played the games in question, there are several very simple tests that help determine if a game will be good, before it comes out. Naturally, they're still predictions, but I've been very accurate in the past about which games will be good and which will not be worth calling crap.

1. Is the company good? Is it a new company, an old one trying to do a different kind of game then usual?
2. Is it a sequel? Sequels usually have better graphics and more features then the earlier part; unfortunatly the story sometimes goes downhill.
3. Are there screenshots, a list of features, somewhere with any technical descriptions? Depending on the game type, these are very useful.
4. Look at reviews of people who have played it. PCGamer often gets a pre-release look at big games, and they usually have decent reviews.

There are other things you can do, but you get the idea.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Avernum 4 or Nethergate 2 in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #37
:eek:

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Collaborative Effort? in Blades of Avernum Editor
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #13
It's the end of the world as we know it... it's the end of the world as... we... kn...ow ... ... *Xan no longer has the energy to sing...*

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Collaborative Effort? in Blades of Avernum
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #13
It's the end of the world as we know it... it's the end of the world as... we... kn...ow ... ... *Xan no longer has the energy to sing...*

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Avernum 4 or Nethergate 2 in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #27
I suppose if A4 was a prequel rather then sequel, I might give it a chance to live on my computer... and I hadn't thought of the slim chance of a vahnatai storyline, which would be cool. If it's a Vahnatai game, then it's more of a game set in the Avernum universe then a sequel, and shouldn't be called A4...

Any attempt at a direct sequel for A3 just wouldn't be that good. A N2 would be much more possible.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Avernum 4 or Nethergate 2 in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #18
After all the times he said he would NOT make an A4, with all the damage it would do to the story line... if he ever did, there is nothing in this world that could get me to play it. I like Exile, I like Nethergate, I'm ok with Avernum and I like BoA, but if it's going on to A4... strategy games and Fallout will be all that's left. There simply aren't many good RPGs these days, and to see Jeff fail so completely would be disasterous.

[ Sunday, July 18, 2004 16:59: Message edited by: MasterXan ]

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00
Avernum 4 or Nethergate 2 in General
Apprentice
Member # 4423
Profile #15
I'd like a SF one too... but since its a sequel, I hope Nethergate 2. I mean, isn't the Avernum universe going to be big enough, with players making all the scenarios they want?

And I liked the Nethergate system better... the extra spells are just good (too bad it's still less then Exile, but I can live with a little less then Exile).

I also agree with what others have said... there's only so many sequels and remakes I can take. Course, Jeff's sequels and remakes are better than anybody else's originals, but still.

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"When your teacher needs a calculator to add up how many you missed more than you need a calculator to take a calc test, that's bad."
Posts: 44 | Registered: Tuesday, May 25 2004 07:00

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