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 #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:


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. 😀

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

谢谢! Thank you ! 🙂