the last month or
two, several different people have told me that
they couldn't possibly make a new adventure for The Witcher.
that might be true for some people, but I think a lot of folks who
think they can't do this actually could
if they wanted
I thought I'd post an example of what happens behind the scenes when
I'm trying to do something that turns out not to be as easy as I'd
hoped it would be.
people of my
followers of Melitele. They're not very religious, but what
they have is focused on Melitele. So I wanted a statue of
the center of my village, and it seemed as if that would be
We've all seen the statues of Melitele in the main game,
one in the swamp forest and one in St. Lebioda's hospital, so having a
statue of Melitele in my village should be easy, just grab the right
file for the statue and plunk her down.
guess I should
a bit and mention a few basic Djinni facts, for those who haven't
worked with it before. The places in the world where Geralt
around and does things -- outside, inside, cave, crypts -- all of those
things are called "areas," and they come with the game. Most
buildings, trees, fences, large rocks, and so forth are just part of
the area -- they can't be removed. The smaller things, like
herb bushes, campfires, and so forth are called "placeable
Things that are in Geralt's inventory are called "items," and most
items aren't seen in the outside world, only in his
are exceptions to this, though -- things like his sword are both in his
inventory and in the world. But in general, big, unalterable
are area, medium-sized movable things are objects, and stuff that's
only in the inventory are items.
I thought the
Melitele would be an object, and placing an object in Djinni is really
easy. And when I looked through the files of objects, I found
called ob_melitealt01. That should be the statue,
turns out to be a small table with a carving of a woman on it -- it's
probably a small altar for at-home devotions, but it's certainly not a
big, three-part statue. Hmm.
where IS the
opened up the area of the swamps from the main game in Djinni and tried
to click on the statue. I couldn't click on the statue,
could only click on an empty box next to the statue.
St. Lebioda's in Djinni showed the same. Oh, hell.
Melitele is part of the AREA; that means there's no placeable object
I WANT a
statue. It will look cool in my game and
it will also help to establish a bit of background that's important to
Melitele is a
three-part goddess. There are a lot of three-part goddesses
mythology, and most of them have one part that's Maiden (a young,
unmarried woman), one part Mother (a woman of child-bearing age), and
one part Crone (an old, wise woman). Well, we have women of
relevant ages in the game. How about if I just get three
stand back-to-back, after first giving them clothing that makes them
look as if they're made out of stone?
no artist -- I mean, I'm really, REALLY no artist -- but I can do some
elementary recolors, so I try to find a way to make an ordinary woman
look as if she's made of stone.
I open up the
peasant woman (the file, amusingly enough, is named "boob2."
in PhotoShop, then tell it to remove color. Okay, now she's
looking more stonelike already. She still looks too alive,
not the right texture. Hmm, texture. There's a
Filter menu in PhotoShop, and one of the possible textures is
"sandstone." Sure, give her a sandstone texture.
but her face and chest are a lot lighter than her clothes, which would
be kinda weird if she's made out of a single block of stone.
the texture. Select the face and chest and make those a
more like the color of her clothes. Reapply the
exactly what I
hoping for, but not bad.
let's start again from the grey woman. How about if we apply
"emboss" filter instead? That looks sort of statue-like, but
kinda like a METAL statue, and we want stone.
how about if
combine them? Go back to the sandstone woman, then apply the
embossing on top of it?
but still not what I want.
I'm a dolt! We have plenty of stone textures, all through the
can copy one of those, tell PhotoShop it's a pattern, and apply that to
the woman. Okay, so let's try that.
features are a little too blurry that way.
what if I
stone pattern at 70% opacity, and not 100%?
not too bad,
the stone texture seems kinda small, compared to the size of the statue.
so I'll go back to the stone texture and blow it up, then save that as
a new pattern. Okay, apply this bigger stone pattern to the
this one. It's not perfect, but it will do.
so I have a woman who looks like she's made of stone; I'll just add a
line to the appearance.2da file, and that'll give me a new set of
clothes for good ole Boob 2, one where she looks like stone.
if I want her to be a statue, I don't want her wandering around or even
fidgeting; I want her to stand still in one spot and NOT
sounds mean, but she's only pixels; she won't get thirsty or get muscle
cramps. :-) So, let's look at the character
"movement" line, with several possibilities to choose from, one of
which is "Immobile." Perfect. Okay, Melitele-to-be,
need to give her an "action" in her Story NPC file; is there a
stand-still-and-don't-even-breathe action? Hmmm.
called "monster pause," maybe that would do it. Okay, let's
stone, and she's standing
perfectly still. Okay, I have the Mother for the three-part
statue; now to make the Maiden and the Crone.
fairly obvious. There's only one old lady in the game, so
her -- the Vaska, Shani's Landlady, Old Woman model. Okay,
to look like stone. That's a lot faster, now that I don't
a hundred things that don't work. Apply large stone texture,
opacity -- wham, she's done.
how about the
little girls are too young; it needs to be definitely a woman, but one
who's kinda just old enough to get married. Hmm, the Maiden
real Melitele statue is naked; I never noticed that before.
we take Shani or Triss or Adda in her nightgown and remove the
nightgown.... She's older than the standard Maiden age, but
face is stone, we won't be able to tell much about how old her face is,
and her body certainly looks young in that model. Or maybe
model? Check Morenn's model -- no, she's wearing lots of
stuff, which doesn't really work for the simplicity of the
Shani's hair is shorter than is usual for the Maiden, and Adda's
wearing that headpiece. Okay, naked Triss it is, then.
apply stone texture to naked Triss, and she's all set. Make
template for her and for the Crone. Make NPC story file for
for the Crone. One spawnpoint for the three of them, and
points, arranged in a back-to-back circle.
I hope this
It doesn't. They spawn fine, and each of them is immobile and
stone-like if I put her by herself, but they won't stand close enough
together to look like a three-part statue. If I put the
that close together, one of them stays at the spawnpoint so that she
doesn't have to get that close to the others. What, have they
or something -- why won't you stand back-to-back with them?
so that won't
I can still use the character models to make a statue,
of using them in a character template, I can use them in a placeable
object template. The placeable woman! But if I do
existing character models, then I can't specify an outfit, the way I
can for a character. That means that the default outfit would
be stone. Hmm. That's not so good.
I can COPY the
character models, rename them to something else, and edit the internal
specifications to match the new name.
right, so now we
Boob 3 and Grand 2 and Naked 6. And they're things, not
can place them however I want, even one half inside of another one or
it doesn't look like the Melitele statue in the swamp forest or in St.
Lebioda's, but it doesn't have to. It's not like there's some
that turns out identical Melitele statues; in the medieval era, each
statue would be made by an individual sculptor, and it would make sense
that different sculptors would have somewhat different
it even makes sense that the sculptor would use models from the village
when working on the stone, so if the faces look rather a lot like the
locals, that's not just okay, it's even good.
took me three
days. It involved much flailing about, a lot of
lot of telling myself that I'm awfully stupid, and why didn't I think
of this or that or the other thing SOONER. And what I ended
isn't fabulous, but it will do.
average player will probably walk right by the statue and never even
notice it's there. :wall:
am I telling you all this? Well, people see the finished
they think, "Wow, *I* could never do that." They don't
many false starts and blind alleys are involved before one stumbles
across something that will do. So I thought I'd give you a
behind-the-scenes peek at how this works -- or at least, how it works
for me; it's possible that all of the other modders are
all about not
up, really. There WILL be a statue of Melitele in Riverford,