I’m really excited about this final phase of the course. Game design will be a challenge, but also one that teaches me a lot. As of now, I don’t know the first thing about game design; I look at games like World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online and I’m awed; I simply cannot fathom how they were created. Obviously three weeks will not be sufficient time to create a game as magnificent or even as fun as LOTRO, but nonetheless is going to require a rigorous schedule of work. And due to a relatively lower level LOTRO character, I did not have much control in selecting which character to work on, but in the end I was assigned Timias.
Although not the most prominent character in the book, Timias definitely sounds interesting. In Canto I, in particular, he doesn’t do much, but in other Cantos in Book III and even Book II, he plays a few significant roles in the plot. In short, he chases the forester, gets wounded by villains with spears, gets revenge by laying the smackdown on all three crooks, and even falls in love with the chaste Belphoebe. It may be necessary to somehow integrate those events or ideas from those events into our final game design, as they are what create Timias’ true identity.
Since Timias is Arthur’s squire, his NPC should usually be found standing next to or near Arthur until he goes off in his separate direction in search of Florimell. After skimming through Book III and parts of Book II, I was unable to find an explicit description as to Timias’ physical appearance. I guess my partner and I are going to have to be imaginative in designing his avatar. My premature thoughts tell me that he should be a young lad, since most squires at that time were relatively much younger than their knight. Squires weren’t necessarily puny little things, as Timias proves in later Cantos; they aspired to become knights themselves, remember?
However, in terms of the actual creation of the game and characters, after tinkering and experimenting with the toolset in Neverwinter Nights 2, I see a lot of potential, except there’s one significant problem – there aren’t any horses! It would be tough to emulate Faerie Land without horses. Are the knights supposed to joust on foot? That would be an obstacle to overcome, but someone from class discovered a MOD for horses somewhere online, which would be extremely helpful once I gain access to it.
The quest story line, especially with regards to Timias, is going to be a real issue that we consider while planning the creation of our game. There’s a split along the way; Timias goes in one direction and Arthur goes in another. How would my partner and I integrate this dichotomy into the quest story line? Should we give people the option to choose to go in the “wrong” direction (“wrong” meaning the direction that avoids the more important scenes of the Faerie Queen’s plot sequence)? As of right now, after some self-debate, I’m leaning towards allowing players to view both options, but only permitting them to choose the proper path. This way, players will experience the main plot, even if they forget some facts in the story line. The same exact problem arises near the beginning of Canto I when Arthur and Guyon split paths with Britomart, embarking on their own quests.
Contrary to what most would believe, Timias should be a thrilling character to design. He gets his fair share of the action and violence; after being wounded in the thigh by spears in his search of the forester, he crosses the river and gets revenge, killing all three villains. Pretty tough for a squire, huh?