TeamBG.CoM

Mods in Progress => Athkatlan Expansion => Topic started by: Lord-Jyssev on July 27, 2012, 01:31:32 PM

Title: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on July 27, 2012, 01:31:32 PM
Hello there, everyone. Still around and interested in modding! I'll be using this thread for updates, which hopefully will happen more frequently.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on July 27, 2012, 01:32:20 PM
First things, allow me to explain what has been taking so long. It's the area art. I am a fanatic about it, and I'm Athkatla Expansion as a vehicle for teaching myself 3DS Max, a 3D modeling tool. Luckily, I'm starting to get to a better place with my models. I have gone through about 3 iterations of the main Area, two of which were totally completed and even coded. I didn't feel as though they were good enough however. Maybe I'll release them to the public, for someone else to use them if they wish.

As I have gone through this artistic process of creating and the tossing away (which is all too common in the art world), I've been learning a lot. My models now conform much better to life scale and building conventions. My end goal is to make an area that blends seamlessly with the pre-existing Athkatlan areas. It is a challenge and likely an impossible one at that. The original game assets are forever lost and the modelers were no doubt professionals, despite the humble beginnings of 3d modeling at that time.

I have and will continue to work on this mod. I will also likely be adapting it for Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition. The modding accommodations introduced in the enhanced editions are invaluable!

Anyway, just an update of where I'm at: I am slogging through the 4th iteration of the Gem District and it is going well. I'm working slowly and distancing myself if need be so that I don't get fed up all at once, as has happened in the past. I feel as though what I'm creating fits more with the Baldur's Gate style than what I've done in the past. Also, my geometry is getting better (I think).

All-in-all, it is a slow process. I am entirely self-taught with 3D modeling, so I just ask those with even a slight interest in this mod to bear with me! Thank-you!

-Lord Jyssev
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lava Del'Vortel on July 27, 2012, 03:10:41 PM
Any plans to offer us some new screens or just any pictures?
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on July 27, 2012, 03:26:55 PM
I may have more to report by the end of next week! Finishing up one of my summer classes, at the moment and trying not to procrastinate by modeling.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on July 28, 2012, 11:37:01 PM
In the process of reworking the mod info sheet.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Adanedhel on July 29, 2012, 03:05:13 PM
Discovering this long term project only now ^^ Looks interesting, the screenshots back from 2009 already look very good.

The mod info says you plan a major quest and some side-quest stuff, is it already written/built?
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on July 29, 2012, 03:36:03 PM
I had a fair bit written, but with each new version of the district, a different story emerges. The last story was far too focused on a single class and I didn't want it to become some sort of stronghold-like adventure. I also am likely going to throw out the old NPC as well, as he was integral more or less to the last main story.

It's kind of being back to square one. Once I get an idea that I am able to run with, progress picks up very fast. Until then, it's a lot of fumbling through the dark. If you have ideas, I'd be happy to hear them! The content is very open at this point. Feel free to send a PM.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Suru on August 05, 2012, 04:50:02 AM
Looking very interesting, just joined today coming from Chosen of Eilistraee, Suru has come to spread her wings.  8)
I will definitely be watching for your start up.
Suru is a moon elf widow of a wealthy merchant, I will be posting me bio soon.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Shemp on August 05, 2012, 05:12:01 AM
A very good idea for a mod.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on August 10, 2012, 10:34:52 AM
Thanks for your kind words and welcome to CoM, Suru! :)

I'm still modeling the main area. I've made some changes to my layout, so expect some revised area descriptions. I've made progress with two more buildings that I'm happy with. So far, that's six in the area. I'll likely need about ten or twelve to fill out the rest of it, but we'll see!

Just did a scale test in game and they're looking good in proportion to a PC!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Sir_Carnifex on August 10, 2012, 06:51:45 PM
Athkatla is a part of BG2 that I thought really needed more expansion.  Really, a lot of the game could have used more, like in BG1, but the city, I felt, was where it lacked because it just didn't have a large city feel that I had in Baldur's Gate.  Anything that adds more in that spot is good idea to me.  Good luck on your project!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on August 13, 2012, 11:24:19 AM
Thanks, Sir Carnifex! I appreciate your support :)

I'm having problems with everything looking way too perfect and manicured. Matching original game assets is a headache :S.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on August 30, 2012, 09:06:04 PM
Got back into the swing of modeling once again! A good bit more done of the main area and some stories and quests written up roughly. Hopefully I can close in on this main area, then all that will be left is interiors (which are a whole lot faster to do!).
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Sir_Carnifex on August 30, 2012, 10:38:14 PM
So you 3D model areas, then take screenshots of them and "Baldurize" them to make them fit the game?
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on August 31, 2012, 08:14:18 AM
Nope! All of the "Baldurizing" should just be the models themselves. They're simply 3D Models, but the part that makes them seem more Baldur's Gate-like is the style of the architecture and the quality of the textures. I find myself half-copying a lot of existing Athkatla buildings, in order to replicate the architecture more believably.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on September 02, 2012, 08:40:35 PM
Classes are starting in a few days again for me. Expect delays! I'll still be working where I can, though.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Sir_Carnifex on September 02, 2012, 09:07:47 PM
Oooh!  New classes... Oh wait... You mean real life classes, don't you?   :(
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Smiling Imp on September 15, 2012, 10:10:57 PM
Hey Lord-Jyssev, Smiling Imp here. Just wanted to know how things are coming along. Looking forward to shopping in the Gem District.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on September 17, 2012, 08:01:23 PM
Not a lot to report, sadly. Work's at a bit of a stand still due to me still getting used to juggling school and everything. I want to get back to my modeling soon, though! Thanks for asking :) Sorry I didn't have better news.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on October 13, 2012, 09:26:22 PM
Made a lot of progress on the main area. I think I have everything modeled, now to attempt texturing. Wish me luck!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Smiling Imp on October 13, 2012, 09:32:14 PM
Nice! Please keep up the good work Lord-Jyssev. My girlfriend has been bugging me to take her shopping in the Gem District.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Sir_Carnifex on October 14, 2012, 10:31:43 PM
Glad to hear about progress.  I never get around to downloading a lot of mods (aside from NPCs, because that's easy!), but I hope to try this some day.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on October 18, 2012, 12:31:41 AM
Texturing is going a lot faster than I had expected. I hope to be done soon, though my course load is pretty heavy right now. I may have something more visual soon!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on December 09, 2012, 07:21:28 PM
In a rut with area modeling at the moment. I started the other big area that is part of the main plotline, but it has stalled due to some complications. I've been coming up with a character concept for the NPC and I've been slowly working away at that, however. So far, I've completed the custom kit and item that they join with.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Sir_Carnifex on December 10, 2012, 11:46:29 PM
The funny thing about ruts... they're easy to get into!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on December 12, 2012, 12:07:40 PM
All too true! I've got a few banters written, coded, and implemented, though I'm finding it especially difficult to write for the Bioware NPCs in a believable and seamless manner.
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Sir_Carnifex on December 12, 2012, 11:52:49 PM
I find writing conversations difficult, even if they're all NPCs of my own making, because as soon as you have to do both sides of the conversation everything goes from being a natural response to a forced dialogue.  It takes (in my opinion) a special skill and a lot of practice to be able to do that well.   This is why I find it fairly easy to make a believable character with realistic reactions/responses in a tabletop game (or a server) but not in a mod. 
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Smiling Imp on December 14, 2012, 07:49:41 PM
I find writing conversations difficult, even if they're all NPCs of my own making, because as soon as you have to do both sides of the conversation everything goes from being a natural response to a forced dialogue.  It takes (in my opinion) a special skill and a lot of practice to be able to do that well.   This is why I find it fairly easy to make a believable character with realistic reactions/responses in a tabletop game (or a server) but not in a mod. 

What helps me is a nice glass of red wine and a total lack of conscience for editing. Just write.. and don't judge it, just write. Proofreading is for the weak!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on December 14, 2012, 11:53:22 PM
Haha, so you're following the old adage of "write drunk, edit sober?"
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on January 13, 2013, 04:36:01 PM
Got back into the swing of modeling. Two floors of Silverale Hall are finished and looking pretty cool!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on January 20, 2013, 01:38:01 PM
Silverale Hall 1-4 finished. Three other areas, including the northernmost building and the two tents also completed!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on January 24, 2013, 09:34:59 PM
Twelve interiors completed (6/10 buildings on the main map are finished, interior-wise). A fair bit more written and planned!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Creepin on September 16, 2014, 11:27:02 AM
Heya Lord-Jyssev!

I'm afraid it's kind of obvious with this thread being frozen for 1,5 years, but I just had to ask: any possible news on this shiny new Athkatla District? :)
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Lord-Jyssev on April 30, 2015, 11:41:42 AM
I really do appreciate the interest, Creepin! I apologize that this post comes more than half a year after yours. Athkatlan Expansion is a project that has been on my mind since I started it. Since my last update, I've been trying to learn a new 3D program that will let me get back into creating assets. This project may have a development time longer than some AAA game titles, but I'm only one guy.  ;D It's a passion project; one that I will release one day!
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Raven on May 09, 2015, 10:04:27 AM
So we're not there yet? :(
Title: Re: Updates Thread
Post by: Austin on June 22, 2020, 11:14:46 AM
Hello! Is this project dead? According to the description, it was a very interesting mod, and so much work has been done on it. Maybe if you yourself do not plan to finish it, can you transfer the materials to someone from other modders?