A Timelord's Travel In Thedas | Alazander's Blog | Baldur's Gate II Redux | Community Contest | Creations of AmstradHero | Dark Sun Glare Blog | Ossian Studios | The Sanctum | RP Singh

2016 : Aug | Sep | Nov | Dec
2014 : Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sep
2013 :
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2012 :
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2011 :
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2010 :
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | July | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec
2007 :
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June
2006 :
Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | June | Oct | Nov | Dec
2005 : Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec



I think I mentioned this after my latest playthrough, but 2 party members got to levels higher than I anticipated, levels that justified the creation of new Last Resorts for them. I've sort of had ideas for these abilities for some time, but since I didn't think I needed to execute on the idea, just relegated them to the "one day" section of my notes. Well, looks like "one day" = "today" :)

When adding a new Last Resort, because of the system I have in place, it's more monkey work than anything. The hardest part is the actual implementation of the ability's effect and whatnot. But from there, it has to be hooked into the game through 2DA's, 2DA constants files, spell scripts, and more. Also, because the player doesn't know in advance what Last Resort they'll be receiving, or what level it will come at, I need to do some UI/2DA trickery as well. It's actually a lot of moving parts, and I always, always miss something the first time through. But after a few hours at it, the ability was fully implemented and ready to go. I even did a little combat testing in my sandbox arena, for good measure.

Next up is the Last Resort for the other party member. This one is far more ambitious, in terms of what the ability does, and I'm really excited to see it in action. I know I say this a lot, but this is where my heart truly lies: creating custom systems/abilities/skills. Good times...

Till tomorrow...


Ah, Garland. If only we knew at the beginning of the game! :) Enjoy!


10/22/13 -Tuesday: POTIONS, POTIONS, EVERYWHERE!!!

Now that the floodgate has opened with the fixing of that terrible bug yesterday, I've been able to implement all the custom potions I've wanted to for the past year, hell, maybe 2 years!

I started off with Stamina Tonics, which act as you would expect. I had actually implemented these a while back, but they were crashing the game at startup when added to the quickslot, so I gave up. Coming back to them and finishing them off was pretty easy. At the moment, there are 3 different variants of them, but I may knock that number down to 1, since they may not be something you come across a lot.

Next up were Revival Tonics. These are making successful return from the previous games, though they act a bit differently. In the prior games, when party members died, they would turn into ghosts that while not able to fight, could still be interacted with. Even after the battle was over, they would remain ghosts for a certain amount of time (something that could be lowered with the use of DD points). In this state, you could tell them to drink a revival tonic, and they would come back. Also, you could set them to automatically use these tonics as soon as they died. The system was actually pretty customizable and could be tailored to the player's play style.

This time around, while ghosts when they die in combat, sticking with the way DAO does things, they are revived when the battle ends. So the ghost thing is really just a different visual, rather than just seeing the party member laying on the ground. Will I eventually get things back to my original design, where they will remain ghosts after battle? I'm still thinking about... The main issue is if the player simply decides to wait x minutes until they revive on their own. At that point, it's just wasted time in the game. On the other hand, if you're in the middle of subsequent battles, then you won't have the time to wait around. It'll be a pretty small fix, but I have other things to focus on at the moment. And wow, talk about getting off topic. Long story short, these new revival tonics are now used by other party members on the dead, rather than the dead drinking them themselves. Pretty simple.

Then I came to a fan favorite, Red Berry Jam. Older players will remember, but there was this quest in The Coming, called "Red Bery Quest", or something like that. It tasked the player with picking up red berries for a particular NPC in the first town, Aribine. That was all fine and well, except for the fact that you could never finish the quest. I always knew Cry The Beloved was coming, but I received many comment/reviews/emails from people complaining that they couldn't finish it. The quest was re-branded, "The ***Infamous*** Red Berry Quest" in the next game, and to reward those who were so dilligent in their collection of said berries, once they acquired 40, the NPC would make them red berry jam, an item that would reset the long 10 minute cooldown for Last Resorts. So yeah, I always knew this item had to come back in some way.

The last thing, which I didn't get a chance to implement, are Mana Tonics. Something like this already exists in the vanilla game, but since this game has nothing to do with DAO, I just need to rebrand them, and I'll be good. I may tweak how it calculates how much mana you get back, but to start out, I'll just re-use what the core scripts already do.

Till tomorrow...


It's really amazing how they could squeeze everything out of the NES to make sad music like this. Enjoy!



I've talked about this many times over my game design career, and it definitely needs to be brought up today. Every personal game I've worked on has had one major bug that has hung around for 90% of the development. It's been some bug that I don't know how to reproduce, a bug that rears its ugly head at the worst times. In The Coming, it was the bug that stopped cutscenes randomly. In Cry The Beloved, it was my summoning system I coded up one night on a train ride home from the city... While drunk... Oops...

Unfortunately, since this game has been in development for damn near 4 years, I've actually had 2 of these types of bugs. The first, which was solved 2 years ago, was crashes when entering certain areas in the game. Drove me freaking nuts tracking that one down. I actually think there may have been another, but I've mentially blocked it from brain :) And finally, there is the one I solved today: usage of potions which, yep, you guessed it, crashed the game :(

This has been going on for the past 4 years or so. I never really knew how to trigger it, but when I would drink my custom potions, after drinking a bunch, the game would crash. Thinking something was wrong with how I implemented them, I tried it with the standard healing salves from DAO, and those crashed the game as well. Well, since development is winding down, I knew I had to figure it out, so I got to work over the past few days.

I won't bore you with all of the details, but essentially, the issue was how I initialize the game. At the start, I dynamically add a bunch items, equipment, abilities, etc., to the party. It's here where I add the custom potions. Now, it turns out adding them there is not the issue. However, I am calling a fuction called SetQuickSlot, which allows me to add the potions to each party member's quickslot bar. Hey, I thought it would be nice and convenient for the player. Anyway, for whatever reason, when I do that, once the player has used all the potions in the slot, the game crashes. If I don't set them, and let the player do it manually, everything works fine. This is also the reason why I didn't always get the crash... If I played the game on normal, I didn't need to use as many potions, so I never exhausted my collection of them early on in the game. However, as I would get deeper in testing, sometimes I would need them, and bam, a crash. Even weirder is that I think the crashes would only happen on the original potions I would initialize the game with. Any potions picked up throughout the game would work just fine. Eh, it was just one big mess that I'm glad is finally over.

Besides being able to put this behind myself, the bigger win is that I can finally finished implementing 3 more custom potions that have been waiting in the queue for more than a year. My thinking was, I'm not going to implement any more custom potions until I can fix this damn bug. Bug is fixed, and now, finally, I can finish them up.


Till tomorrow...


Ah, some more standard issue old school RPG town music. Enjoy!



Well, looks like I didn't play my cards right, as I thought I would have been able to when I last wrote an update on Saturday. I really thought I would be able to knock out half the issues recorded during the last playthrough in a day. Fast forward 5 days, and I'm still in the thick of it. I am making good progress, nonetheless.

The first set of bugs I focused on were conditional ambient lines for a bunch of cast members. I recently made a change to the plot architecture in the game, so that I could show each step of a particular plot show as a unique item as it happens. I wrote about it a while back, but this basiclaly consisted of creating child plots under a parent plot, and moving existing plots down to them. This worked for the most part, and while I thought I had updated every reference of the old plot to the new plot, I apparently missed some in the conversation files. I probably would have caught them if I had did a full export of the game before testing, but yeah...

The latest thing I've been focused on is making sure that party members have their custom abilities pre-loaded in their custom tactics sheet. Of course, the player can do what they please with the party member specific tactics, but I wanted to make sure that it's optimized in the way that I think it should be, should the player not change it.

Oh, and I can't believe this is happening again, but.... I think I need to make 2 more Last Resorts. During the last playthrough, I reached levels I had never reached before. Experience point wise, that is :) One thing that added to that were all the codex items I've placed throughout the game. By default, they give 50XP. I may have to override this a bit. Lower it to 25? 10? We'll see... Then there's also the thing I did with Unison Abilities. Whenever one is executed successfully, both participants get 25XP. Again, I may have to tweak this value. Then again, I clearly know how to use them all as effectively as possible, but maybe new players won't? I don't know, I guess we'll see once the game gets into the hands of testers.

At any rate, with the potential for players to reach these new levels, I'll need some more Last Resorts. Lucky for me, of all places, while at the gym, I brainstormed 2 more. I use the phrase, "of all places", because this is usually the place where I never think about Rose of Eternity. However, I was feeling inspired by something, so I just sort of worked my way through what I wanted, and in a few hours, I had 2 solid ideas. I won't go into the details of said abilities, but know that the overall goal was to have something totally unique from the party member's previous Last Resorts. I hate when you get new abilities, and it's just a stronger version of an older ability. That's not how I like to design things. Rather, I want an ability you received at level 1 to still be viable at the end of the game. How do you do that? Make sure all newer abilities are good for different situations. I could go on and on about this, but I won't bore you with those details today.

Finally, with regards to testers, I received a Facebook message from someone saying they would help out with the test. To that person, I say, THANKS! If anyone else would like to join, you can reach me at the Facebook Page, or at

Till tomorrow...


Ah, Matoya's Cave... Enjoy!



After a few days of playing, I finally finished the latest playthrough. While successful, it wasn't without it's issues...

The most glaring problem was that I didn't have the most up to date resources, which in hindsight, seems pretty silly and un-professional. What was I missing, you ask? Well:

  • Latest level updates were missing. When I was doing all of my development on my desktop, one of the things I spent a lot of time on was level design. While all of the changes are checked into my SVN repo and whatnot, I never actually got them integrated into my laptop build. This could have been done by either copying the exported files over and placing in the right directory, or re-exporting them on the laptop. While this didn't cause any game breaking bugs, it was annoying
  • An entire sequence of the game was missing! I created said sequence a few months ago, and was really looking forward to seeing how it fit into the entire sequence of things. But, for whatever reason, it never triggered. It was almost as if the game didn't know it existed. This leads me to believe that not only was I missing art resources (i.e. levels), but also designer resources. Well, not missing, but just not exported properly. Again, simply terrible...

There were of course a number of bugs/task/improvements jotted down, but I am happy to say that this list continues to grow smaller and smaller every playthrough. If I play my cards right, I could get through more than half of them tomorrow.

Regardless, I am taking this build and marking it as the last ALPHA. It may not have been perfect, but it's a good snapshot of development thus far. I *should* be sending this out to folks, but the perfectionist in me wants to get all of these fixes in first. We'll see... Hell, when all is said and done, I'll have gone from ALPHA to BETA by the time it gets in the hands of testers :(

Till tomorrow...


Here's another great track from Final Fantasy. Enjoy!



Today was a day of monkey work for me. A lot of if was done while watching Roger Federer's first match in like a month and a half.

First thing I did was fix the lighting in an interior level. Usually, I like to place static lights that only affect characters at each corner of a level, so that there is never a situation where the fact/body of a character is drowned out by shadows. Unless of course it's a level where things are supposed to be dark as hell. But for mostly lit levels, it looks terrible if you don't do this. So, I did it. Now things don't look terrible.

The only other thing I worked on was trying like hell to get my custom colored trees into this one particular exterior level. Actually, it's the very first level I ever created some 4 years ago *tear drop*. I cannot figure out why, but whenever I place one in the level, it shows up as a huge great oak tree in the game. Even crazier is the fact that they work in every other exterior level I've created. So there's definitely wrong with the trees themselves, it's something with the level. I tried clearing out the export folders and doing a fresh export, but nothing. Since it's purely cosmetic, I'll leave it for now, but I'd really like to get them in. The colored trees are another thing in a long list of things I do to set this game apart from everything else, so it feels like Rose of Eternity, and not some Quest & Adventure mod for Dragon Age.

Till tomorrow...


And now, we come to the game you would think would have been my first RPG: Final Fantasy I. Interestingly enough, even though I had seen pictures of it in Nintendo Power, it wasn't until after I played Final Fantasy IV on the SNES, that I decided to go back and try this game for the NES. So it doesn't hold that much of a place in my heart, but it was a decent game nonetheless.

Here's the track from Cornelia Castle. Enjoy!


10/8/13 -Tuesday: LIGHTING CHANGES...

Today, I spent the little time I had for development on some lighting changes in one particular level. Mostly, because of the way the story plays out, as well as the unique environments you're in, there is only one exterior level in the entire game that takes place during the day with the sun out.

This level is an exact copy of the same level, set at night. Years ago, I already implemented logic to make sure that you transition to the right time of day level, depending on the events of the game. However, I've never really been too happy with how it looked. It just seemed too... bright... That said, it wasn't something so important that I needed to spend my time on it... Until today.

After messing with a lot of sunlight settings in the level properties, I found attributes for sunlight color on the level, as well as the sunlight color on characters. It was there I could lower the... I don't know the right word for it since I don't have the toolset open... um, brightness strongness? Essentially, make the sun not bright as shit :) I also changed the color of it, as the default color was creating this really annoying reflection off of the armor of people in the scene.

I think this is one reason why the crazy colors I've been messing with seemed so extreme. I still have some work to do, but I've also dug in my foot a little. For instance, those 2 soldiers in the blue in the screenshot of the day? They're Knights of Dundalas, something people who played The Coming/Cry The Beloved would remember. There was even a famous one you encounter in the former game: Orelle. You can also see them in the screenshots of Stramadon, standing guard. Point is, they're an established faction in the world of Rose of Eternity, and I will continue to stand by them. I can give in other situations, and have so already, though there is more I can do when time permits.

Speaking of the Knights of Dundalas, in my downtime (ha!), I've been brainstorming a lot to flesh out their story. The player has never had a chance to go to Dundalas, and the more and more I think about, it's something I'd really like to get into a project, whether it's the main story, or something on the side. If at the very least, getting a well written and thorough description along with some concept art would suffice for me.

But back to the topic at hand... I made the lighting changes, and everything looks great. I won't bore you with all the details of how long it actually took me to get it right (change lighting, render lights, check it out, rinse repeat), but just know it took a few hours.

Tomorrow, I will be fixing the lighting in another level. Luckily, it's an interior level, and since I split each section into rooms, I can render light maps for just that particular section, which speeds things up dramatically.

Till tomorrow...


No lie, when playing this game late at night, when I was close to dying, this music scared the HELL out of me! Enjoy!


10/6/13 -Sunday: TIDYING THINGS UP...


While last month was all about creating the intro cutscene of the game, one of the most detailed sequences I've ever created, this month won't be so glamorous. Now that the game is more or less content complete, it's time to tidy things up.

In the past few weeks (where yes, I had no update!), I was systematically going through every high priority item I have jotted down, knocking them out as quickly and efficiently as I can. The bugs were the easiest, while the improvements, which tend to be level design related, were the more annoying ones. Not annoying in the actual improvement itself, but how long it takes to test said improvement, due to the long waits for light rendering/level exporting.

I've also done one of the most important things. I've triaged the hell out of things, leaving may lower priority tasks on the cutting room floor. At some point, you have to say, "Enough!", and move on. So if it's not a P1 or P2, I'm not messing with it. Interestingly enough, I never had this problem with The Coming & Cry The Beloved, meaning I didn't have super huge lists of ways to improve the game every time I did a playthrough. Then again, maybe my standards were lower back then? I'm sure if I go back and play them (which I am looking forward to doing soon), I'll see some things and cringe. Meh, I guess that shows growth in game design, which is a good thing.

After I'm done with the polishing effort, and I play through the game again, I'll need to package it up for testers. Now, I had attempted to do this a few years ago, but there were a bunch of issues with it. I won't get into all the little details, but with exterior levels, you need to export them from the single player module, or any water you have in the level won't show up, and some lighting effects will be off. However, when I packaged things up for Jason Melancon, he reported that the water wasn't showing up. It's not a huge concern of mine at the moment, but I'm sure I'll be spending a few days getting that system down.

Also, I guess it'll be a good time to find out how big this monster is. I want to make the delivery/installation to the player to go as smooth as possible. One ace I have up my sleeve is that this game doesn't make use of any other mods out there, so everything will be self contained. Of course, I'll need to put in bright, bold, huge letters to disable all mods when playing this. I had to deal with this with Neverwinter Nights, and I'm sure I'll have to deal with it here. I don't use mods, and I sure as hell didn't develop this game with them, so I have no idea what issues they could cause. Add in the fact that I have extended many of the core scripts, and that's just a receipe for trouble. Not looking forward to those conversations.

Well, here's to another good month of development.

Till tomorrow...


Ah, the standard overworld music of an old school NES RPG... I'm sure this was the music I heard about 60% of the time while playing Dragon Warrior. Enjoy!


Website contents copyright (c) 2006 by Leonard Bedner