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Sanctum of the Archmage: Enhanced Edition

AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145
edited January 7 in NWN:EE Modules
I've been working in recent weeks on developing an EE compatible edition of the Sanctum of the Archmage modules, which is mostly done now. I should be able to release SotA:EE Edition v1.0 after another playtesting run, probably in a few weeks at most.

I took advantage of the opportunity to add a couple of new features that I had cut for the remake that I released in September. Aside from minor typo fixes and the like, I also did a complete re-write to both the XP and the crafting systems. Players should now be able to advance to level 11 by the end of Chapter 2, and the penalties for using companions and summons have been flattened. Players should also be able to craft many more (and better) items from both mundane and magical materials alike.

I'm not planning to do much more to revise Chapter 1 and 2 for EE, though. The reason is that I've decided that any new modding efforts on my part are probably better devoted to resuming development of Chapter 3, which I suspended several years ago to begin writing my Sanctum of the Archmage novels. I've opened up the third module again in the EE editor, cleaned it up, and finally finished the extensive scripting needed for the elaborate "flying system" that it will feature.

Finishing Sanctum 3 will likely take a while, given my other commitments (writing, work and life in general). But all of it will be done in and for EE. And I'll be looking to take advantage of every opportunity I can to include new content and features made possible by the extended edition.

Post edited by Andarian on
LyraVrenTheBarbarianBelleSorciereSavant1974aarionnLiluratbone1helmo1977HunterRayder93anastiel
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Comments

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145
    edited January 24
    Here are a few screenshots from the EE re-make of Sanctum of the Archmage, Chapter 1: The Sight.

    The Picnic
    The Picnic

    Len's Avatar
    The Archmage

    The Beastman King
    The Beastman King

    March of the Guardians
    March of the Guardians

    Post edited by Andarian on
    YehoyakinLiluraGusindaanastiel
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145
    Here are a few screenshots from the EE re-make of Sanctum of the Archmage, Chapter 2: The Quest.

    Horror in the Deep
    Horror in the Deep


    Flight to Mount Cassandra
    Flight to Mount Cassandra


    Snooping in the Palace
    Snooping in the Palace


    The Storm
    The Storm


    LiluraTheBarbariananastiel
  • cherryzerocherryzero Member Posts: 125
    Those shots look amazing!

    Andarian
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,739
    This looks like my next stop after Aielund.

    AndarianSavant1974
  • LiluraLilura Member Posts: 148
    Some beautiful work here, @Andarian. Looking forward to following your dev of Sanctum 3!

    AndarianZwerkules
  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    You could also use Real Skies for even higher resolution skies ;)

    Andarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145

    You could also use Real Skies for even higher resolution skies ;)

    I'm considering it (and I finally do have them downloaded now). They won't help as much with the first two mods, though, since so much of them take place underground or in a (now much denser) forest. I suspect that real skies would look really good for the upcoming third module, a lot of which is outside (including some scenes that are actually set in the sky). :smile:

    Hm. In fact, I should do some tests of that...

  • Sylvus_MoonbowSylvus_Moonbow Member Posts: 969
    Exit light!
    Enter night!
    Take my hand!
    Off to Andarian-land.

    Andariandjcamodude
  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    edited January 23
    Excellent. The pegasus sections look epic, amazing work there.
    P.S. Those are Artful Skies still ;)

    Andarian
  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    edited January 23
    Once you try Real Skies, you'll never go back to the defaults! Mmm so crisp. I just wish we could see them in the toolset so fog and lightning can be adjusted appropriately instead of having to test the mod, then go back etc.

    Andarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145

    Once you try Real Skies, you'll never go back to the defaults! Mmm so crisp.

    They do look great. At least for some uses, though, I think I actually prefer the Artful Skies. And the Real Skies do introduce a very noticeable increase in area load time. I'll think I'll probably end up using a combination of them.

    The problem, of course, is that the extensive list of other skyboxes that I had Chapter 3 set up to use just don't compare anymore! I think I can replace most of them with the new skies, but there are a couple (notably the mountainscapes) that I'll need to look into getting better replacements for as well.

    Savant1974
  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    So it's about a 3-4 second loading time increase with Real Skies, which raises an interesting point. When @TrentOster and the team go to put in true 4k skyboxes, they may have to take measures to reduce the loading time impact, such as caching the skybox textures or coming up with some other clever method. Personally, I don't mind the slightly longer time as I'm a sucker for a beautiful sky but others might not like it so much :)

    Lilura
  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    So, just discovered why you were experiencing slower load times. Can I presume you are still using diamond? Diamond can't really handle 100mb texture images so stick to artful skies!

    Lilura
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145

    So, just discovered why you were experiencing slower load times. Can I presume you are still using diamond? Diamond can't really handle 100mb texture images so stick to artful skies!

    Nope. Those tests were done in the EE Beta. I don't know if it makes a difference, but I think it was just before I did the last update.

    The load time increase was noticeable, but by no means prohibitive. My current rig has a lot of horsepower, and typically loads even large areas in Diamond and EE very fast. I can try testing it again and timing the difference, but from memory I think Real Skies added perhaps five seconds to what was probably a two or three second load time.

  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    EE takes a couple of seconds more to load an area on my machine, but I found diamond took well over ten seconds longer and sometimes the skies would just remain blank. Possibly because of going over the 64mb texture limit?

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 584
    You have to manually set the value of MaxTextureMemory in the ini for it to make a difference as far as I understand, the default is 64 so play around with it and see if it makes a difference.

    AndarianSavant1974
  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    Well, they work in EE without touching that so I guess that it refers to other textures :)

  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145

    EE takes a couple of seconds more to load an area on my machine, but I found diamond took well over ten seconds longer and sometimes the skies would just remain blank. Possibly because of going over the 64mb texture limit?

    It may depend on our specs. I'm running a home-built 6 core Haswell i7 with 16 gb of RAM, using an NVIDIA GTX 660 with 2 GB of VRAM. 16 gig of RAM is meh these days, and my video card is aging. That might account for some of the difference if you're running a beefier system.

  • Savant1974Savant1974 Member Posts: 212
    Nope, much, much less powerful than that :) (8gb ram, radeon r7, quad core 3.9ghz).

  • HunterRayder93HunterRayder93 Member Posts: 264
    Now I'll remember who you are! I had already seen you long ago you have times of the old NWValut (when it was still managed by bioware I think), and you're just tea I've never played your modest but you promise a fantastic job! I hope you continue with your project! because together with Ailmund Saga at the moment you are among the most interesting projects. your work is awesome!

    AndarianSavant1974
  • myshaqmyshaq Member Posts: 18
    Hey, I just wanted to ask, how's SotA:EE going? I would like to play your modules, but if EE revision is close, I'll just wait for it.

    Andarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145
    edited February 28
    Thanks for asking! Things have been hectic with RL stuff, but I'm making progress. I was able to finish the forest work this weekend, so I think all that's needed to get Chapters 1 and 2 ready to go out now is a full play-test. I should be able to get to that over the next couple of weeks. I think the updates are worth waiting for, so my advice would be to hold on a little longer. :smile:

    Savant1974Atrophiederic
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145
    I see that NWN:EE is planned to "come out of beta" on March 27th. I was hoping to have EE and EE:Steam versions of SoTA ready for that launch, so the timing has caught me a little bit by surprise. I'll see what I can do to get caught up. A Vault release should be easy enough, though I doubt I'll be able to have a Steam version to go in time.

    I'm testing the NWN:EE update now. Except for a few very minor (and already fixed) issues, it looks good to go. I'm getting ready to finish the first module and move on to Sanctum 2. I'll post updates.

    Savant1974AtrophiedericthirdmouseDark_Ansem
  • Dark_AnsemDark_Ansem Member Posts: 910
    Andarian said:

    I see that NWN:EE is planned to "come out of beta" on March 27th. I was hoping to have EE and EE:Steam versions of SoTA ready for that launch, so the timing has caught me a little bit by surprise. I'll see what I can do to get caught up. A Vault release should be easy enough, though I doubt I'll be able to have a Steam version to go in time.

    I'm testing the NWN:EE update now. Except for a few very minor (and already fixed) issues, it looks good to go. I'm getting ready to finish the first module and move on to Sanctum 2. I'll post updates.

    Please do. Your screenshots are quite impressive.

    AtrophiedericAndarian
  • AndarianAndarian Member Posts: 145
    edited March 14

    Please do. Your screenshots are quite impressive.

    Thanks! The Sanctum 2 test is done. Again, there were only a few minor issues that were quickly fixed.

    The only major impediment now is the need to re-make the soundtrack to deal with the audio bug. I can't just keep waiting for it to be fixed, but I still have a lot of BMUs to re-make to work around it. Then I need to update the documentation, and after that, re-package the mods for release.

    Atrophiederic
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