Team 4: Castle Busirane

By: Colin Doberstein and Chris Bang

 

            The main goal of our depiction of Castle Busirane was to convey the atmosphere that we felt Spenser had created. The text of The Faerie Queene gives the impression that every wall of the castle is lavishly decorated with beautiful tapestries. Since expanding the premade tapestries from Neverwinter Nights 2 to cover entire walls created unsightly smears of color, we decided to express the opulence of the castle in other ways, such as the brightly colored floors in the first two rooms. The shining crystals lining the floor in the second room served to enhance the decorative aspect as well as adding a magical touch to what is a wizard’s castle. Doors were added around the periphery of the larger (blue-floored) room in keeping with the text that said they should be there. We did have to cave and toss in one grossly expanded tapestry for the sake of the guys whose job it was to build a tapestry area (and it doesn’t look too bad, in all honesty). When characters interact with it, this tapestry will transport them to whatever tapestry-world Derek and Lee have whipped up.

            The back rooms of the castle shed the decorative look of the first two chambers, with the masque room being exceptionally stark. The only decoration in this room is a statue (convenient for hiding behind), allowing attention to be focused on the masque characters themselves, who Dan assures me are pimp-tastic. This brings us to Busirane’s room, where our artistic vision dictated a few additions to Spenser’s version of events.

            The most noticeable of these changes is the river of lava flowing through the room. We felt that this was a necessary addition to heighten the drama of facing off with big bad Busirane himself. We made the wizard a crusty, half-dead, looking fellow, and toyed with making him a vampire, but we couldn’t find vampire as a race, and weren’t sure how this would affect his attributes. Amoret…well, she’s pretty much just a decoration. This is Castle Busirane after all. So go, enjoy it. You’ll need something to entertain yourself now that this class of bloggers is moving on.

Team 3- Castle Busirane Forest

By: Sam Fisher and Max Mam

 

Our section of the Faerie Queene was the forest near Castle Busirane. The starting point is in the southeast corner of a large area section. Trees are scattered throughout the forest of various types. The outer area of the map is densely covered in trees and is difficult to traverse. To enhance the borders, there are difficult enemies on the outer parts of the map that are off the path to be traveled.

 

A river runs through the center of the forest and provides the path for the character to travel towards Sir Scudamore. The main goal is to find Scudamore, and early on there is a woodsman. When the player talks to him, there is a conversation where he instructs the player to follow the river to the fountain. There are various bushes, reeds, and rocks along the river’s path for realism and the ground is scattered with trees. This makes the forest more realistic.

 

As the player walks through the forest, one may encounter various forest creatures such as boars, wolves, and bears.  After journeying upstream one will have been in 6 or more interactions with these enemies. At the end of the river, there is a fountain, which was made by lowering the terrain and filling with water. There are reeds and rocks surrounding the fountain and an armor-less next to the fountain. The character can then click on Scudamore for a conversation to occur. Sir Scudamore describes his heartbreak and that Amoret is being held captive in Castle Busirane. There is a bag containing Scudamore’s Arms sitting next to him, which can be picked up but not used and can be examined.  As far as Scudamore’s image, he has very little clothing on and not metal armor. He has a beard and brown hair and is not very menacing in appearance. 

TEAM 5: Maske of Cupid

By: Dan and Amir

Here is where we will give you the insight into our creative genius (and yes we are very full of ourselves)

Before we speak about our area we will discuss our NPC creation, Glauce. Glauce is Britomart’s squire. My first thought when I heard squire was the guys with the coconuts in the Monty Python movies. So we started with that and tweaked it to make it more appropriate (i.e. Glauce doesn’t carry coconuts). Most of Glauce’s design was left up to imagination so we wanted to give him a grandfatherly/protective image over Britomart, almost like a care-taker but at the same time he is just a commonly squire. So his apparel is very common brown tunic, cloak and pants and he has an older face with white/grey hair. Our only disappointment with him is that our original image of him was a slightly hunched over man carrying a bag on his back. Unfortunately the NWN2 Toolset doesn’t have the image of a bag anywhere and it seems none of their NPCs ever have back problems so we were forced to omit these design characteristics.

Our area was the Maske of Cupid which was ironic for two reasons. One, it’s not actually an area: the Maske was the parade of characters that walked through the tapestry room and since another group already had that room we just made the NPCs to fill their space. Two, although our name is the Maske of Cupid we were unable to create him since he is present in another groups area and it would be odd to have two different images of cupid. So to remedy that the other group has generously agreed to place their blueprint of Cupid behind our Maske as it is described in the Cantos.

The Maske of Cupid is fourteen characters in pairs in the following order: Fancy, Desire, Doubt, Danger, Fear, Hope, Dissemblance, Suspect, Grief, Fury, Displeasure, Pleasance, Despight, Cruelty. Additionally, there were supposed to be minstrels in front of the Maske but since that may have been confusing to people we decided it would be simpler to just put a music sound effect in the room.

All of the characters were made as they are for one of two reasons – either they were described that way by Spenser or they were our image of their quality (often times a little of both). Each character had a description in the Cantos, however, some were more detailed than others. This left us with a lot of creative freedom. We kept true to the descriptions as much as possible and some of the creations are exact (Danger for example is spot on) but others we took a lot of liberties with and effects were especially very subjective. Cruelty for example had almost no details given so we used our imagination and created the image of someone we thought was very cruel. We are highly satisfied with the outcome of all of the characters. GO US.

Team 2: Garden of Adonis

By: Lynne M. and Justin C.

Our assignment is the Garden of Adonis and its many inhabitants, including Venus and assorted other creatures. The garden is circular (thankfully, due to Justin’s hard work) and surrounded by a stone wall.  The Garden of Adonis is the most beautiful place in the world. In saying this, we meticulously made sure that every pixel within the garden contains a colorful flower or plant. The Garden of Adonis is also a place of peaceful serenity. Ensuring this are two gates, one of iron and one of gold. Every living thing, upon creation, is in the Garden. Because of this, there are many creatures, like birds and stags that roam around the garden. The garden is overflowing with large trees and countless flowers. Under the shade upon the hill in the garden, Venus wanders while waiting for her lover to return. There are also elements of water within the garden, including a waterfall.

Also, adding to the peacefulness are the beautiful ambient forest noises and serene soundtrack. We have ensured that when the player dies they are in for a treat! I mean hey, when you are getting pwned by a better player, at least when you die you will be inundated immediately with lag of beauty!

The garden is not in any distinct location within the world of Faerie Queene. It is the place where all life begins and ends.  Therefore, during gameplay if a player character dies, they respawn in the garden and must make their way out of it back into the world.

The Venus NPC took a lot of decision making to create. There are many, many depictions of Venus in various mediums that have been created over the centuries. The model we made her most closely resemble is that of Botticelli. Our Venus has (semi) long blonde hair and is wearing a white robe similar to that which goddesses are typically seen wearing.

Team #6 – Merlin’s Cave

~ Jim B. and Kyle O.’s Final Project: [Team 6] Merlin’s Cave Exterior / Merlin’s Cave Interior / Merlin

你们好! Hello, all !

Our team was given the first choice of areas and NPCs for our “Faerie Queene Online” design project. After a short reflection, we decided upon the character of Merlin, as well as his cave.

To begin, we needed to construct the exterior of the cave. The goal was to be as faithful as possible to Spenser and the greater lore of Merlin. As such, Kyle scoured the internet and found the supposed location of Merlin’s cave on a map of England. The result: Merlin is believed to have lived near the ocean in the extreme south-west of England. Therefore, in remediating the cave, we started with an ‘outside’ area and added an ocean to the west (not an easy task). Next, we raised cliffs to the north and east of the player spawn point. A “cave entrance” object finished up the area.

The next order of business was to design the actual interior of Merlin’s cave. From the text, our cave needed to be dark, dreadful, and as scary as possible. There needed to be “Feends” (Spenser’s spelling, not mine) throughout the area, as well as ambient sounds of screams, moans, and metalworking. After fighting past a few Feends, the player would finally reach Merlin’s chamber and be able to converse one-on-one with the famous sorcerer. Feends in the immediate vicinity of Merlin would be non-hostile; Spenser tells us that the wizard’s presence inspires deep fear in his fiendish servants. Using a wonderful program known as Microsoft Paint, I drew up a little blueprint for our humble cave:

merlinscaveinterior

As you can now see, we linked the interior and exterior with “Area Transitions” (that was a pain, lemme tell ya). The non-hostile Feends are building Merlin’s wall (see Spenser). Merlin himself waits in the deepest chamber of the cave. Initially, we wanted to create a Merlin that resembled as closely as possible a certain Vanderbilt English Dept. Chair… unfortunately, we failed in that respect. Our Merlin bears no resemblance whatsoever to said professor.

Merlin the NPC is surrounded by an aura, as well as thunder SFX. Kyle has worked long and hard adding each of these details- the man is a NWN2 Toolset master (as far as I’m concerned anyway, the program refuses to work on my computer). During this time, I busied myself writing the conversation script between Merlin and his player-character visitors. Barring Merlin’s first line, the entire conversation rhymes beautifully! I am most pleased with it. <_<; The wizard’s last line is a little screwy; I ran out of ideas around 3:00am.

And there you have it! Merlin’s (most excellent) Cave. :) Designed by Kyle O. and yours truly, Jim B. Hopefully this was a fun read, it had a picture and everything. :D

And my apologies to you, Ase. I think this is our last blog. :(

谢谢! Thank you ! :)

the time of the DRAGON (green) – late blog

by: Amir Aschner

Three mediums – three handlings of the passage of time.

In the movie The Fellowship of the Ring time passage is the simplest. Simply there isn’t any perceived difference. One moment the characters are going about their lives and the next moment they are sitting and drinking the green dragon. There are no external cues that time has passed at all.

The game does little else however it is different. In LOTRO time is controlled by the gamer. Passage of time in the Green Dragon depends upon how long it takes to run there from another location or however long the gamer wants to spend in the building. There are no guidelines or rules.

The novel is the only medium that takes time into consideration. The text specifies exactly how much time has passed – twelve years. This is completely objective. No question about the time between events or the time spent in the Green Dragon.