The Careful Prodding Of A Dormant Willpower

Well, a day has passed and not much progress has been made towards my Neverwinter Nights 2 module. I pretty much spent the day watching TV and playing a bit of Sacred: Gold... the Dwarf is fun, I like his pistols and backpack cannon/flamethrower/mortar. Still, I feel like I should be doing something more productive than play a game, and am mostly stopped up by deciding what to commit to.

Neverwinter Nights 2 is a good way to walk before I start running because it includes a great deal of powerful content and tools. Coming up with ample content and the tools that work well it is probably the most time-intensive part of game development, and they hand it to you on a silver platter. Got to love that. However, using a pre-existing game's modding tools is limited by still being the same overall game.

I'm considering that I should reacquaint myself with Java instead. Unlike Flash Actionscript, I've access both to a good book on the subject and a free IDE. Though Flash is easier to deal with and more prevalent than Java, it's a lot more expensive to dabble with. Neverwinter Nights 2 is a lot less intimidating than wrestling either behemoth, to the point where I stop minding its obvious limitations as an independent development platform.

I'll try to start the paper planning phase of a NWN2 module tomorrow. One thing I learned from my various dabbling with game development in the past is that it's a lot easier to plan things out on paper before you start writing code. Code takes time to write, needs to be debugged to work, and when changes happen you're throwing out a lot of work while introducing a whole new dimension of code compatibility bugs. It's better to try to get it written right the first time, and that's why the paper planning phase is important. (Object orientation helps a lot with this, but does not eliminate the need to plan entirely.)

With this module, I'm not planning on changing the way we play CRPGs. Sure, that might be a cool side-effect because I gots a vision (tm), but I'm mostly writing this just to do something productive. In about a month, I return to school, and I could potentially get a lot done in 30+ days.


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