Sunday, May 4, 2008

Gaming Parents Studios

Well, I have had a blast writing this blog, but I think it is time to move over to my team blog at Gaming Parents Studios. I'll keep this blog up but new posts will only be done on the team blog site at

So, this isn't the end of my posts - just the end of posting here. :)

One note before I go, looks like Phoenixus has jumped on the bandwagon and started his own blog at

I've known him for quite some time now and it is nice to know that I was part of his inspiration for starting the blog... :D I wrote some of the romance dialogues for Tales of Asberdies and I know his module will be a hit when he releases it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Duran Duran Concert

I wanted to let you know that I will be out of town for a few days - I am going to the Duran Duran concert in Vancouver! I've been a fan for 29 years. Ever since high school, I have wanted to see them perform live.

Update: May 1, 2008

I'm back from the concert and what an amazing performance! They sounded just as good live as they did in their recorded works. They played all of my favourites like Rio, Wild Boys, Hungry Like the Wolf, Come Undone, Notorious, Sunrise, Planet Earth, Save a Prayer (all of us waving our cellphones and lighters) among many others. I was impressed with their new CD, especially the Falling Down song. The whole band seemed to be really enjoying themselves and I know I won't ever forget the concert.

Testing on the Act I of the Saga is coming along very nicely, beta testing won't be too far off...I hope! I have plenty of encounters and dialogue to still add in, but the main storyline is basically ready now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Custom Portraits

Now that the latest versions of Neverwinter Nights 2 supports custom portraits, I've been playing around with several portraits trying to find one for each companion that matches the look and personality of their character.

I've found a few that sort of come close to what I am looking for, but some day it would be great to have a talented artist draw one for each that really brings out their personalities.

Here's a screenshot of several companions (Trent, Erik and Logan) with their latest custom portraits - subject to change if I find better alternative portraits.

Tutorial: I place all of the 128x128 .tga portrait images in the My Documents /Neverwinter Nights 2/ portraits folder and then referenced them in the toolset under the companions' property tab - under "custom portrait" without the .tga extension.

For example, Logan's portrait is logan_1.tga and I would use the text "logan_1" in the Custom Portrait slot.

A great place to get ready made portraits are at the Vault: Special thanks to Coli for his portrait packs as well as the Skullport one by Laurna.

To make your own, an excellent resource is - ask the artist's permission before using his or her work if possible. You can edit an image using Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop by cropping it to the required 128x128 size.

Update on April 16, 2008 : Here are the custom portraits (image temporarily removed) that I am using so far for the companions of A Time to Die. All credit goes towards the artists who designed each portrait - I got them off the Neverwinter Nights Vault.

I'd like to get an artist to help me redo the ones for Logan, Ming-na, and perhaps, Ganamiel. I am happy with the rest of them since they fit the personalities and looks perfectly. You can find more information on the companions of A Time to Die on this page of my blog.

Update May 1, 2008 says I am violating copyrights by posting the portraits on their site - so I am temporarily removing the portraits here too until I confirm permission from all the artists involved. Special thanks to Elysius for helping me with several of the portraits (Logan and Ming-na so far.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sneak Peek of Unicorn Run

I wanted to give you a sneak peek of the area I am currently working on called Unicorn Run... I am entering it into the area design contest if I ever get it finished in time! :)

I will be using this area in "A Time to Die Act III: Kraken's Tentacles" for one of the main side quests in that Act. I've also added a few more screenies from A Time to Die and Unicorn Run at my DeviantArt account:
in addition to the ones at my Picasa pic account

UPDATE: March 30, 2008

Well, I have finished the area and have submitted it to the Vault - now I just have to wait for it to be approved... :)

UPDATE: March 31, 2008

It's approved! You can find Unicorn Run at:

Keep in mind that it is uncharted territory so it takes a bit of work to trek through the wild lands of Unicorn Run! A special thanks to my fellow GPS members for all their support while I worked on the area and for Daronas for making me a Unicorn for the area. Much appreciated! ;)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Time to Die Progress

Just a quick note to let you know that I created a new thread on the NWN2 forums on the progress with "A Time to Die" today.

Here's the link to the forum...feel free to post your comments!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quick Tutorial on Creating Haks and Erfs

I was asked how to create a hak, so I thought I would share the steps here in a quick tutorial.

We will be using Tanita's NWN2Packer on the Vault. Once you have downloaded and installed the NWN2Packer according to Tanita's Readme, open the program:

1. Click on the green "new" button on the left.
2. Click on the blue "import" button on the left.
3. Select all the files that you would like to include in your hak (can be dds, mdb, etc.)
4. Click on the purple "save as" button and name the file with the .hak extension

And that's it! You can include 2da files in your hak, but you make want to mention it to anyone downloading your hak... it may throw off the 2da files already in someone's computer.

Please note that there are some blueprints that won't work in a hak as far as builders are concerned, this would need to be saved as an .erf file and imported directly into the toolset. This is a concern for builders, not players. :)

Part Two: Associating your new hak pak with a module.

1. Open up your module file in the toolset
2. Go to "View - Module Properties" (very top toolbar of toolset)
3. There is a spot there to add the hak, listed under properties as "hak paks"
4. Click on the "hak paks", a button with three dots "..." shows up. Click on the button and a new window pops up.
5. Click on the "add" button and then the button with "..." near the "Filename". Look for your hak from the directory where you saved it.
6. Once you have selected the hak, hit the "Okay" button to finalize the hak selection.
7. Save your module.

Your hak files might not show up until the next time you load the module...

Update #1: Erf files

Erf files are perfect when you need to import files such as mdb's and blueprints into your module from custom content makers. You could also use them to transfer one of your areas into another module. To export an area, choose "File - Export" and select the files you would like to extract from your module, then the toolset will save them all as an erf file. (It is a good way to keep an extra backup of important files such as dialog).

You can also create an .erf file using the exact same procedure as above for creating a hak using the NWN2Packer, except in step 4 where you are saving as .hak, you would save as .erf instead.

You would skip the steps where you would need to associate the file to your module though. Erfs are imported into a module using a different method. Simply open your module in the toolset, go to "File - Import" and choose your erf file that you have downloaded from the Vault or the one you have created and it will be imported. Once the import is finished, the toolset usually lets you know how many files have been imported to your module.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

NWNP Episode 46: Developers Round Table

The Neverwinter Nights Podcast team brought together a group of builders, including myself, to share their ideas on module building and the Toolset for NWN2. The Developer's Round Table has now been posted at their site and you are welcome to listen in! But...don't make fun of my Canadian accent! LOL...

I enjoyed chatting with Delak, ENoa4, Raith Veldrin, Nalencer, and Wyrin as well as Amraphael for a few minutes before he had technical difficulties. Thanks, Liso for all your hard work on organizing the Podcast and for jclef for editing all of it! :)