Looking back at the year gone by...  

It's close to 10 months since I started working on Blood and Lyrium. When I started out, the story was pretty simple and I had hoped to finish it by October. Then, as I got more familiar with the Toolset and started 'living' the story during development, it gradually blossomed into what is now a far better story. There are still a lot of things I want to add to it but pragmatism dictates that the line be drawn somewhere. I've also spent a fair amount of time working on Craggy Island and that has been a good experience on the collaboration front.

I also started this blog, my first ever. The sole inspiration behind doing this was Challseus' Rose of Eternity Daily Journal. There were times in the beginning when I would easily get frustrated with the Toolset and I would be reading his daily updates and would think - Man, how can this guy do so much in the toolset on a consistent basis?!! And that too with a 4-hour commute! Many a time when I've faltered, I used to read his journal and get motivated to have another go at the Toolset and that's when I thought - it would be good to have a blog to record what I am doing too. And it has helped immensely. When I check the stats on this blog and see the number of people coming to read it on a regular basis, that provides additional motivation - there are people who are definitely interested in BaL and want to play it when it's done.

I've also come to realize some of the limitations that cannot be gotten around within a short duration - cinematics being the prime example of this. Still, I've persevered where I can and while there have been delays, I am still extremely enthusiastic about sharing this story with others.

I've mentioned in many posts that I want to release this before DA2 comes out; more accurately, around the beginning of February. Well, that is not going to happen. So, when is the new targeted release date? At this point, I really don't want to set another release date only to revise it again. So, it's going to be done when it's done.

To that end, the plan going forward is going to be simple - get the alpha out first. Then, streamline the work to proceed with an area at a time. There are times when I have jumped around when I've had inspiration strike only to go back to a previous area later and struggle to get back into the right 'mood' for that area. A simple thing, maybe but when all you have is a few hours daily, it is an avoidable time-sink.

So, what have I been doing on the BaL front these past two weeks? Dialogue and combat-testing. I've been writing dialogue like a man possessed - vast sections of quest dialogue have been overhauled and the companion profiles are starting to come through in conversations better. I have only a few more to go before the alpha is cut and I have already enlisted MysteriXoX to proof-read what I've written. A good story and great combat mechanics will fall flat if the player is not engaged enough to play through the module and dialogue is one of the primary means of engaging them.

Combat testing! That warrants a whole separate post and will be made shortly, along with some additions to this blog. Till later...



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