Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Broken Hourglass: Paused

It's been a while since that last weaponry update, and I'm afraid there's really not a lot to say, progress-wise, so I've been dragging my feet. At present, The Broken Hourglass is on hold as Jason Compton deals with some difficult real-life stuff.

I can't say I know all of what was and was planned in game, but the situation as I knew it last:

NPC-NPC dialogs: Finished, though (as always) we could use a few more, especially with some pairs. I'm a fan of lots, and lots, and lots of NPC chatter.

Interjections: A good amount..

PC-NPC Dialogs: Sufficient. I'd like to add a couple more, when the pause ends. Nekos, especially, needs more.

Romances: Ioanna's is complete and in-game, Makarios' has, I hear, a solid rough. Two more need to be written, one had a possible writer. Carind is slated to be the second romance for male players. The other romance for women is probably going to be Nekos, though we have, on occasion, debated.

Quests:  An abundance.  Fifty-some finished, everything from simple "Please get my cat out of the tree" types to ornate, curlicued quests with multiple endings and possible side-branches (Oh, former modders just love baroque plotting).
     The Grand Finale: Sadly, needed some rewriting. Some of what I wanted to do proved uncodable, so we need to talk about alternatives.
     One major quest needs some minor tweaking. It got caught between two objectives and the journal entries sometimes reflect one, sometimes the other. Could be worse, but it also could be better; it definitely needs some discussion before it goes anywhere. Most importantly, we need to pick one of the two main objectives and run with it.
      One quest in complete limbo. I think it likely we'd end up writing that one off, since it's non-essential. I can't swear to that, though.

Soundsets: All PC soundsets are written, voiced, and in place (That's actually how I first got started on this, in case anyone was wondering). Minor NPC soundsets (You know, the peasants, thieves, and beggars) are written, some are voiced, none are in-game yet, though I've heard a few and they sound good to me.

Other voicing: Still to be done. I'm not sure whether Jason was planning on full-voicing or first-line, Baldur's Gate-style voicing. Personally, I prefer the latter, but I know some find full-voice more immersive. It may very well come down to budget.

Artwork: The backgrounds are done and are gorgeous; sprites are done. I'm not sure how far along spell-animations got. I believe most were done and in-game. Most items had icons, but some--around twenty?--still needed them. See my earlier post on making weaponry. Also, some new quests spawned new items.

Item-making: I don't know. Almost all the quest items were made (See the grand finale needs some revision for the reason I can't say "all").  Some weapons needed effects added.

The music is done, but you all know that. I've raved and raved about it. I'd link, but I can't find Rob Howard's site these days. He's moved around a bit. One day, I hope you get to hear the full sound track.
   Edit: I think this is one of his pages. Looks like he's been busy!

And, I think that's all....

So--how long would it take the game to be finished if we were to go from here? I don't know. I've never done anything quite like this before. It's doable, definitely.

How long will it take to be finished now, the way things stand? I don't know. I've gotten quite fond of the characters and their city. I think everyone should meet them.

I'll let you know when there's something to know, in any case (Trust me. I'll shout it from the rooftops, and the blog may include some all-cap entries).  Thanks all for your interest and your reading.


  1. I have been following the development of this game for years, and I am getting really excited.

  2. Glad you're interested :)

    Unfortunately, I can't give you any idea when work on this will resume.

  3. Whenever you all finish the game, I'll be here ready and waiting to buy it.

  4. Likewise I await any news with anticipation. Is it the general feeling that progress on the game will definitely resume in time, or is the situation more dire than that?

  5. Michael & Mike--Thanks! I shall certainly give out any news as soon as I have it to give.

    Mike--I really do not know. I hope it will continue, but I can't weigh the odds.

  6. Thanks for the news anyway , I Truly hope this comes to a satisfactory conclusion for all concerned , especially J Compton .
    Save the money and dont do full voicing , I prefer BG style anyway , for some npcs all you need is a spoken phrase for flavour , whatever they happen to be saying .

  7. I've been waiting for a notice like:

    Pre-Order now, and get the bonus of having the "TBH" team singing an epic intro! Lol

    With regards to the "Pause." Not the sort of rl stuff one would wish on anyone; I hope it ends with everyone at peace with their decisions.


  8. Tania: Pre-Order now, and get the bonus of having the "TBH" team singing an epic intro!

    Now that would be interesting. I think we'd have to write the lyrics in Latin, though, to go with the intro tone. That could be kind of hard....

    @Tania & J. Webster: Thanks for the good wishes, both of you :)

  9. Hey,

    Best wishes to the team, and especially JC. I hope he'll get everything in order at some point in the future so that we may hope again :)

    And yeah, the team singing an intro would be nice, but I think singing something during the credits would at least not throw you out of the experience ;)

  10. Thanks Jan!

    Maybe we can hum along with the closing credits?

  11. Ooc, why isn't Halima romanceable?

  12. Hm. Two reasons: One is we have to set the limits somewhere, and four romances is quite enough for those of us left to write.

    The other involves mild spoilers:

    Under certain circumstances, you can choose whether she lives or dies. If she lives, you've saved her & Jason didn't want a "You saved me, let's have sex" setup. And, if she dies, we've wasted writing a romance track & male players are down to one and only one romance.

  13. I just wanted to say that I too am looking forward to this game very much. It only seems right that true fans of the Baldur's Gate series should make a proper RPG! And with great modders on the team, I know the finished production is going to be a great one!

    It makes me happy to see how much work you guys have put in to this! It sounds like the game is already well on it's way to being fantastic. ;)

    I'm waiting patiently and I'm definitely going to be one of the first to buy the game when you release it. :)

    I wish you all the best of luck. This is a huge mission you're on right now and you're doing a great job of it so far!

    Oh, and I'd also like to say that I'd skip voicing full dialogs. It's cheaper and it leaves more imagination to the player. Plus, those times you *do* get to hear a voice it's extra exciting. ;)

    To Jason I would like to say even though things are dark right now, there is always a light to be found. I'm stuck in the middle of divorce too and I keep telling myself that the grass will be greener on the other side. It just needs some time to grow.

  14. Thanks for the encouraging words, Linn! I think we'll know soon what's up.

    If you want to send encouragement to Jason (which would be great!) you should probably email him directly. I don't think he reads this blog. He knows it's here (obviously), but I doubt he's read the entries, and almost certainly not the comments.