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Icewind Dale meets Heroes of Might and Magic 3 - Horn of the Abyss

ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
edited August 2018 in Fan Creations
Greetings,

after Baldur's Gate has been acquainted with Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (HoMM3), now would be the time
to introduce its little brother, Icewind Dale, to HoMM 3.

Only this time I am going one step further: Icewind Dale is going to meet Horn of the Abyss (HotA), an unofficial, fan-made add-on to HoMM3 that stays so true to the original game that it might just have been an original, official add-on.

This allows me to use new elements for shaping the landscapes some of which come very much in handy when modelling the areas of Icewind Dale. And I think I may have found an interesting way to include the Cove Town faction, a new faction exclusive to HotA.

I would like to show you my first drafts. They are work in progress and not finished yet.

Easthaven:
image


Kuldahar and Kuldahar Pass:
image


Wyrm's Tooth:
image


The Severed Hand:
image


If you'd like to help out on this project, I would very much appreciate that. I am always looking for feedback, positive and negative one alike.

Also I would like to know what Icewind Dale in general means to you. And then I would like to know what each area in Icewind Dale means to you. What feelings does an area evoke in you? What kind of atmosphere does an area convey? Think about Easthaven, Kuldahar, Kuldahar Pass, Vale of Shadows, Temple of the Forgotten God, Dragon's Eye, Severed Hand, Wyrm's Tooth and Upper and Lower Dorn's Deep and also the Fields of Slaughter from Icewind Dale 2.

Since Icewind Dale doesn't nearly feature as many areas as Baldur's Gate 1, I'll also have plenty of free room to fill on the map. Can you think of a anything that is mentioned maybe in IWD1 or IWD2 but we couldn't visit it? For example we know that there is a Drow city somewhere near, it just isn't featured in either of the games.

Also take a look at the world map:
image


What do you think is on the map between the areas? The parts that we can never visit in the game itself. Can you think of any interesting locations that could be there? The vale that the Severed Hand lies in is rather big and on my map it is going to be HUGE. So what else could be in that vale besides the Severed Hand?

Post edited by Shandyr on
lolienAedanJuliusBorisovaqzinaJoenSoGusindaSkatanKenjiTimbo0o0o0

Comments

  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,218
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Aedan said:

    I love you.

    D'aww. I love you, too. :love:

    JuliusBorisovAedan
  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,218
  • JoenSoJoenSo Member Posts: 834
    edited January 2018
    @Shandaxx ... this is just amazing. I really need to get HOMM3 again. It's been far too long since I last played.

    ShandyrJuliusBorisovGusinda
  • AedanAedan Member, Translator (NDA) Posts: 8,218
    Glad to see you are still working on it :)

    Shandyr
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited August 2018
    Kuldahar and Kuldahar Pass, OLD VERSION:
    image


    Kuldahar and Kuldahar Pass in Icewind Dale:
    image


    Kuldahar and Kuldahar Pass, NEW VERSION:
    image

    The new version of Kuldahar is based on the new Highland Terrain of Heroes of Might and Magic HotA. That terrain was not available yet when I started with this map. Not only does it come with many new objects, but it also has a very sweet, lovely music theme.

    This music will play during your stay in Kuldahar:

    Grond0ThacoBellGusindaTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited August 2018
    Update: The Canyon - Part 1

    As you may recall, in the northern end of the canyon lies the Temple of the Forgotten God.

    image


    And right to the south of that lies...

    image

    The New Hand of the Seldarine! Remember what Maralie said in the video above? "The longing in one's heart for the unattainable. For me it was the Severed Hand."

    I have always longed to be able to restore the Severed Hand and bring it back to its former glory. The Severed Hand did come back in Icewind Dale 2. But what Isair and Madae made out of it was an abomination, a perversion of what it once was.

    So the Icewind Dale games never gave me the opportunity. But now I am the author of my own story... The old Severed Hand will stay in ruins. That part is too integral to the games. But...

    There were survivors. Only very few elves survived the onslaught on the Severed Hand. Very few of them could flee. The survivors of the Severed Hand mainly consist of scouting groups that were away when the Severed Hand fell.

    Those scouts watched as their home fell. But they couldn't fight for it, the Horde would have simply killed them. And they couldn't flee south because the Horde was blocking the way.

    So they fled north and found shelter in the Temple of the Forgotten God.

    After the battle of the Severed Hand, most of the Horde dissipated. But not all of it. To the shock of the Elven survivors, a large clan of the Horde settled down right north of the Old Severed Hand.

    So the Elven survivors were trapped.

    Over the years (that is decades or centuries even) they cultivated the barren wastelands that lay between the Orc clan and the Temple of the Forgotten God. They cultivated that small patch of land and even grew a small forest. They tried to bring back some of the former glory of the Old Severed Hand. But eventually the orcs would notice them and that is when the true nightmare began...

    In this screenshot below you can see that the Elves try to bring back their home. They are trying to build 5 towers around their fortress, three of which are finished (blue rectangular) and two of which are under construction still (red rectangular).

    image


    Lastly, some Dwarven scout parties suffered the same fate. Cut off from their home they could only flee north. It took many years for the Elven and Dwarven surviors to get along. But in the end they saw that it was the split of their alliance that had caused their downfall. And so they started to work together. And now, the Dwarven survivors live alongside the Elven survivors in the New Hand of the Seldarine.

    Post edited by Shandyr on
    Grond0ThacoBellGusindaTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    So a little note from the creator:

    As with Baldur's Gate, there is a special problem when it comes down to underground areas. The scaling of distances is different between underground and above ground.

    For example, on the above ground you could travel a long distance.
    But if you traveled the same distance in the underground you would have covered much less ground.
    That is because the scale is different.

    That was already a problem on my Baldur's Gate map. If you assume the same scale there, between the above ground and the underground, then the Nashkel Mines would almost reach Beregost underground. That's bullshit of course.

    The problem comes from trying to recreate the feeling of underground areas. The feel of spending a long time in a dungeon in Baldur's Game. A dungeon with many narrow tunnels etc. To recreate that in HoMM3, I need a lot of space. And that is what tips the scales off.

    But in Icewind Dale this problem becomes even worse. Because Icewind Dale offers many more underground areas than above ground areas!

    While on the surface I need to fill in many gaps, and make up many areas on my own, I am running out of space in the underground. I have far too much space on the surface and far too little space in the underground.

    That is why I will need to have to abstract a lot when I interpret the underground areas of Icewind Dale. I will concentrate on capturing their atmosphere.

    I could almost recreate Kuldahar and Kuldahar pass one by one, building by building. That will hardly be possible in the underground areas. They might look (very) different from the game.

    This mainly concerns Upper Dorn's Deep and Dragon's Eye. To my surprise, Lower Dorn's Deep should work well enough.

    GusindaThacoBellSkatanTimbo0o0o0
  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,357
    Shandyr said:

    So a little note from the creator:

    As with Baldur's Gate, there is a special problem when it comes down to underground areas. The scaling of distances is different between underground and above ground.

    For example, on the above ground you could travel a long distance.
    But if you traveled the same distance in the underground you would have covered much less ground.
    That is because the scale is different.

    That was already a problem on my Baldur's Gate map. If you assume the same scale there, between the above ground and the underground, then the Nashkel Mines would almost reach Beregost underground. That's bullshit of course.

    The problem comes from trying to recreate the feeling of underground areas. The feel of spending a long time in a dungeon in Baldur's Game. A dungeon with many narrow tunnels etc. To recreate that in HoMM3, I need a lot of space. And that is what tips the scales off.

    But in Icewind Dale this problem becomes even worse. Because Icewind Dale offers many more underground areas than above ground areas!

    While on the surface I need to fill in many gaps, and make up many areas on my own, I am running out of space in the underground. I have far too much space on the surface and far too little space in the underground.

    That is why I will need to have to abstract a lot when I interpret the underground areas of Icewind Dale. I will concentrate on capturing their atmosphere.

    I could almost recreate Kuldahar and Kuldahar pass one by one, building by building. That will hardly be possible in the underground areas. They might look (very) different from the game.

    This mainly concerns Upper Dorn's Deep and Dragon's Eye. To my surprise, Lower Dorn's Deep should work well enough.

    Is this a problem because you are assuming the same map size for the underground and overground? If so is that actually a constraint of the engine - could you not have larger maps underground?

  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Grond0 said:


    Is this a problem because you are assuming the same map size for the underground and overground? If so is that actually a constraint of the engine - could you not have larger maps underground?

    yeah above ground and underground are always the same size.

    I could artificially work around that... Making a map that is even larger and then reduce the overland map artificially by building the black "rock" terrain that you usually see in the underground. It would work as a frame for the overland map.

    But boy that'd be so ugly...

    I will manage somehow. I just want you to be aware of it. I think I may have found an acceptable solution for Upper Dorn's Deep. And also for Dragon's Eye level 4. Those two areas gave me quite a headache.

    Some underground maps from Icewind Dale are really hard to "translate" into HoMM3. But even when I finally do manage that, the issue of the scaling always remains. I think it's okay.

    You will just have to keep it in mind, just like on my Baldur's Gate map, where you should never think that the Nashkel mines would really actually reach Beregost from below. I guess it's a bit like suspension of disbelief that is needed here.

    Grond0ThacoBellTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Dragon's Eye level 4 - the Temple of Eldath is a good example.

    How would you translate that map into HoMM3?

    image


    I think it would be very wrong to actually try to build each room of that temple somehow. Impossible. And would be ugly in terms of HoMM3.

    You could also just place one single building on the map and declare it to be the temple of Eldath.
    I will do that but there is more to it.

    And that is what I mean with, I'm going to need to abstract more. The idea of the Temple of Eldath is "a paradise that holds a dark secret".

    And that is something that can be modeled in HoMM3 very well ;)

    Grond0ThacoBellTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited August 2018
    I was thinking about a little plot for Elisia and I've got some bad news...

    Elisia's home town has been invaded by sea serpents and haspids along with some hydras! They are wreaking havoc in Elisia's homeland as we speak!

    Left unchecked innocent blood will continue to be spilled. Who will come to the aid of Elisia and her kind? Who dares to journey to the ground of Lac Dinneshere and put an end to those horrible monsters? Elisia needs your help!

    *dramatic music fade out*

    GusindaThacoBellSkatanTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Update: Upper Dorn's Deep - Caverns



    image

    image

    ThacoBellGusindaSkatanTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited August 2018
    Hmm, so I was thinking. There was an idea for the BG map that I never realized, but that I feel like realizing now.

    No promises, first I'll need to see if it works. Translating the default HoMM3 heroes into characters from Icewind Dale.

    That's what I'd like your help for.

    Have a look at this list. Just focus on the portraits. Which portrait could represent which NPC from Icewind Dale?

    I think this could be Belhifet:
    image

    Obviously, there won't be a one-to-one match for all characters. That's why I would be open for you to submit your custom heroes into my map with one of the portraits that are not suitable for any NPC from the game.

    Also, dead characters from Icewind Dale may very well be alive in my map, because it's taking place in a "parallel universe" so to say. Some of the undead Elves from the Severed Hand may very well be alive on my map because I already established that a very few elves managed to have fled.

    Also, Hrothgar may just have survived the avalanche in my game. Arundel too may be alive and kicking still.

    Could this be Arundel?
    image

    Or this:
    image


    edit: Also some characters from HoW might be around! If their appearance on my map is not too implausible.

    GusindaSkatanTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Larrel and Terikan, two of these?

    imageimageimageimageimage

    Weenog?

    image

    Ghereg?

    image

    Orrick?

    imageimage

    Hrothgar?

    image

    Maiden Ilmadia?
    imageimage

    Kaylessa?
    image

    GusindaSkatanThacoBellTimbo0o0o0
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 4,669
    Shandyr said:



    Could this be Arundel?
    image

    Or this:
    image

    I prefer the second guy, he looks a but more "druidy", though Arundel's stocky body paper doll in-game looks more like the first picture.

    Amazing work so far. Hadn't seen this thread before just now.

    Shandyr
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    Heh thank you :)

    I actually prefer the first portrait I think. My preference may change though.

    I have learned by designing this map and the Baldur's Gate map that often there is no "right" or "wrong". Both portraits would work and some would prefer one to the other and vice versa.

    The most important aspect for me is recapturing the feel and atmosphere of Icewind Dale. I want you to recognize that on my map and especially when you play it.

    Also, creating this project will be a lot more effort than the Baldur's Gate map. Because I have to fill in many gaps on the map. Also this time, there will be a FULL underground map. So basically I'm designing two XL maps.

    Previously I said I would feature Elisia as a mermaid on the overland map. But then I stumbled over this hero from HoMM3 Hota. And I think she would work too as a representation for Elisia.

    Then Elisia would be a playable hero. It's a design decision. And again, there is no real "right" or "wrong".

    Currently I'm pondering which Elisia reference I prefer more. But no matter which one it is, I know I want her to be part of map.

    Gusinda
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited September 2018
    Update: Lower Dorn's Deep - Caverns + Salamander Mines
    As always, work in progress.





    imageimage

    image

    ThacoBellGusindaSkatanTimbo0o0o0
  • ShandyrShandyr Member Posts: 8,263
    edited September 2018
    Update: Lower Dorn's Deep - The Greater Forge (work in progress)

    image

    image


    On my map, Maiden Ilmadia has actually managed to find and capture unicorns. She is conducting experiments on them to turn them into Black Unicorns. So far no unicorn has survived that procedure... most of them already die in captivity...

    ThacoBellTimbo0o0o0Gusinda
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