The Raventhal

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Re: The Raventhal

Postby Pongo » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:38 am

Not quite finished, it turns out. I've introduced a monty python bug. It's now possible to have two characters in the party, one dead and one alive, and for the living character to storm off and leave you in control of one dead character. :) heh heh! That's a bit too daft. YN1 posted a script that brought back "dead" characters on 1HP after a fight, and that would sort this out, so i'll get that working before posting later.
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby Pongo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:22 pm

okay! A bit later than I thought, but here it is:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/x7tf9 ... enthal.rar

You need to extract the Raventhal file to the Iceblink folder; and then copy the portraits to the portrait folder in Iceblink. If there are any problems with the download, let me know.

A couple of quick notes:
Music - heh I had a lot of fun writing the music, but don't forget that you can turn it off if it bugs you
alternative ending - there is a point in the module, if you've taken certain options, where it seems to suggest an alternative ending is about to happen - and then, at the last minute, it railroads you into one option. This is something I'll sort out for the next update.

Thanks Karl / Jeremy for the help with the scripting. :)

I had a whole lot of fun making this module - hope you enjoy playing it!
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby youngneil1 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:08 pm

BIG gratz on releasing the Raventhal :D ! Downloading at this very moment... will supply myself with sweets and salty stuff and then enjoy the great adventure that's just about to begin, yeaah!
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby youngneil1 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:41 pm

B R A V O!

I immensely enjoyed my journey through Raventhal and that on many levels:

1. A first, the music had me intruiged right from the start and then actually grooving happily while I played (needless to say I never turned it down). Something like, I do not know exactly, a good Captain Future tune, bit more laid back, just cool and sophisticated with many variations.

2. The companions are very colorful and seem very alive, with strong characteristics and personalities. It was a joy when I had to decide whom to do a favor and what to demand of whom. Even better, the game remembered this on several occasions it seems. So what I decided mattered. I could even possibly (no spoilers here) permanently reject companions. It clearly felt as there was some horizontal depth of choice to certain moments of adventure, which is much appreciated.

3. The writing: You often had me laughing and smiling, but you also had me actually very fascinated. Some scenes have a strong narrative grip and conjure vivid pictures in the reader's head. They are really good literature within a game. Other scenes are light and humorful, fresh and fast. It's a very entertaining mix! Dialogue with friend and foe was very fluent and had a good speed, with puns, but also taking it's right time when wanting to emphasize a scene.

4. The exploration: Had me searching the map and submaps back and forth, it's quite complex. And you have to find your way through it. It's no maze or some such, but it felt good to have to decide where to look next. Companions often made those choices meaningful with their foreshadowing and opinions, which is a device you employed very skillfully with great effect.

5. The plot: It started with a notion of The Hitchhiker's guide, i.e. in a very entertaining humourful way. But soon it became more and more obvious that another more serious layer was waiting. There was one special idea relating to somebody "double" (wont say more cause of spoilers) that I really liked a lot, especially in hindsight. Great stuff.

6. Many monster graphics were lovely and done in a detailed way, also the companions were very fitting choices and unusual in a good way.

7. Great work concerning the exchange of pictures in dialogues in the right moment. Caused some cool effects!

8. No bugs! Well, won't work with combat scripts (attackPC, attackCreature who will not find OnScoringHit script hooks) from 5.4 but that's not related to Raventhal especially.

9. If I had to wish for something it would likely be more challenging battles. I guess though they're easy in an unintended way. Creatures had no to hit boni at all and their armor class was often below 10. Maybe that' s because I played the game with 5.4 (after exchanging the named combat scripts). If it should be intended though, perhaps make it a little bit more difficult (or I was just lucky).

10. Minor stuff collected (pales to the really great impression the module made on me): some repetition in the tiles used for maps and rooms, perhaps a second tune for battles, player walking sound is very effective, more spellcasters for party and monsters (the later is difficult to do right know, but is in the works of course), more creatures as visible entities on the overland map would make it perhaps even more feel like a place somebody lives in.

But really, many thanks for this fresh and yet deep experience, Pongo, all your work paid really off here. I had great hours with it and look immensely look forward for more :D

11. P.S: Extra points for Umgak sighting, harf!
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby slowdive » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:53 pm

Downloading....installed...played for a few minutes, but have to go...will play more later tonight.
So far enjoyed the intro and the music is great. Got sucked in immeddiately and hated to put it down, but RL calls :lol:
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby kamal » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:58 pm

I played this until a group of squirrels killed me. Dang squirrels. :D The tiles looked fine: it's very clear from a gameplay standpoint where I can go and where I can't. The "8-bit" music is amusing, as is the plot/writing. It shows how Iceblink can do custom races/classes, and shows some of the things a module maker might want to do such as start conversations when the player enters a square, add companions etc, so it's good as a demo.
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby Pongo » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:08 pm

Thanks for the extensive feedback, Karl! Its really nice to hear :), and I'm glad you enjoyed your playthrough. The character interactions were definitely fun to write, and the Hitchikers guide namecheck put a smile on my face. Your suggestions for improvements are also really helpful - I agree with all of them.

As to difficulty.... well, I'd always intended for the module not to be overly challenging, but I've also made a classic mistake here. For some reason, I had 2ed D&D in my head when I put armour classes in - ie anything over 10 is pretty terrible. I really must remember that I'm not living in the 90s any more. :lol: This is an easy improvement for the next update. Balancing the difficulty is more difficult, because you can tackle most of the map in pretty much any order (including heading straight for one of the hardest battles in the game!), and if you haven't found many NPCs at that point its quite hard. I do need to increase BABs for some the creatures though - you're right, they are unintentionally low. Feedback is really helpful to get this right! :)

Slowdive - thanks, hope you enjoy playing!

Kamal - yeah, the squirrels are bastards! ;) Thanks for the feedback.
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby Dorateen » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:14 pm

Congratulations on the release, Pongo! I will try to download and play this later today.

For now, I am resisting the urge the check out slowdive's Let's Play, to avoid spoiling the adventure.

Looking forward to it!
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby slowdive » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:29 pm

I would wait and watch the LP after you have played it first... My LP has lots of spoilers of course. Although, the module feels like it has multiple play throughs in mind with all the decisions to make that may make a difference... Not sure because it is my first play, but feels like they will make a difference.
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Re: The Raventhal

Postby Dorateen » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:08 pm

Pongo,

Just started to play The Raventhal last night. I too enjoy the music. It reminded me of the NES system type games that I was playing just before getting into cRPGs so many years ago. So far, I have been doing a little exploring. I like the pseudo-dragon character and his personality. Lots of potential for fun there.

Haven't fought any battles yet, but I'm looking forward to see how that goes with the club I've made.
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