A simple solo module: to post or not to post?

Hello all,

I’m writing a very simple solo adventure/story mod, and I’m wondering if it is done to publish modules by chapters. I’m finishing the prelude, and would like to have some feedback about how my module is experienced by you. I have never created a module before, I did even never play the NWN game, and do not care about D&D, hack’n slash or mytical monster fights. I just like to fiddle with the toolkit.

So, the mod is about a very low profile, low level, low magic, low encounter story-prelude gameplay presentation. And I was wondering if there would be any interest by some of you,… or totally none.

So, do I post the prelude for some feedback (to take into account while creating the future chapters), with the new chapters coming with next updates? Or do I best finish the entire story first? How is it normally done on the Vault?

6 Likes

The Vault has other prelude modules here for both NWN 1 and 2. So I would post it if your looking for feedback on your module. The screen shot looks good.

3 Likes

You’ll never know, what you’ll miss, if you don’t post it :slight_smile: What do you have to loose?

1 Like

If you want encouragement to post here is a short adventure that I made some time ago. I made it as a prelude to a series of modules that I still haven’t figured the right set of stories for. This little module is no better or worse for that.

So as @Mmat says go for it.

TR

1 Like

Thank you. I will upload here soon-ish the first chapter of the adventures I’m working on. I still have to find out how a module is packed and uploaded, but saw a few guides here. I’m curious how a rather minimalistic module (low action, low lore, low interaction, simplitic and error-prone language (I’m not anglophone) … but with LOTS of room for imagination) will be received.

Are there elements that are in all cases expected to be included in a module? Language support? Journal entries? Intro cutscenes? Object descriptions? good/evil - lawful/chaotic profiling? Alternate solutions in problem-solving? Anything important that HAS TO be in there for a module to be appreciated? And are the big no-no’s (except for the common ones: expilicite sex, extreme violence, bad language,…)? I’m new to this world.

…I’ll hear it from you… and anyway, until soon.

1 Like

The main thing is that the module is interesting and fun to play.

Of the things you mentioned, journal entries are perhaps the most important, to remind the player of what they’re supposed to be doing.

Object descriptions can be minimal. For example, if it’s an ogre, “ogre” will do at a pinch, but “this shopkeeper looks friendly” is obviously wrong.

Some players care about spell-checking (see recent discussion thread on how to do that).

Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much, not even regarding sex / violence / language. If Netflix can do it, you certainly can.

Some of the best modules have pushed the boundaries of what players expect a module to be - I’d say “go for it” as long as you warn players briefly of what to expect in the module description.

1 Like

Thank you, Proleric. I will work out a journal system then for the module. For the “prelude” it might not seem necessary, but it’s good to have it up and running for when the other chapters are arriving.

You should test your module with different race/class/alignment/sex combinations. Fighters approach problem solving very differently than wizards, rogues, and clerics for example. As does Evil, Good, Lawful, and Chaotic. As a player, I enjoy it very much when then adventure is even a little bit customised for the character. For example, when Druids can speak with animals or when the Dwarven armourer gives the Dwarf PC a discount or charges the Elf double!

But most importantly is to try and break your module. Don’t assume that it will always be played a certain way. Players will go any possible direction, do quests out of order, try to kill NPCs they shouldn’t, etc.

Test, test, and test again.

2 Likes

Agreed. But I would go further. Once you think you have it all nailed down and working perfectly ask on here for somebody to test your module for you before you release it on an unsuspecting world. You will probably be amazed at all the things that you’ve missed. Even if there are few things found you will still add that little bit of extra polish to it. Before you ask, sorry I can’t (not without going totally insane) because I am already testing a module for someone else.

TR

2 Likes

These are all very good tips! It encourages me to strive for better, and test it more thorough. Downside is that you will have to wait a little longer for the premiere. … You asked for it… :wink:

2 Likes

Strange things are happening. The more I correct and improve, the more things I see that need to be corrected. The list of corrections is getting longer in stead of shorter. I believe that is normal? :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Perfectly normal. You are just getting your eye in. Might be an idea to use a spreadsheet to keep track of them all. That way you should avoid missing by accident, any that you find.

TR

2 Likes

As to the general question, I’d say if you want feedback, you should definitely upload it. There is no other way to see whether it would provoke some interest or none. If you’re worried that players could be disappointed because it’s not finished, just provide a good description to accompany it, so that everyone knows what to expect. Additionally, posting here about it like you already did and explicitly asking for people to provide feedback is certainly helpful, too. And it sounds like you’re realistic and prepared for everything, that’s perfect. As you suspect, the audience for a minimalistic and episodic first timer module might be rather low - even a full blown epic might struggle to get lots of players these days - but your main goal should be having fun with the toolset, not getting famous, and even if you only manage to entertain some lone individuals apart from yourself in the process, that’s already a win-win situation. Besides, any kind of feedback - praise or criticism - will probably teach you something. So like Mmat said, what do you have to lose? :slight_smile:

Every player has their own preferences and naturally you won’t be able to please all of them. The minimum that I would expect of a module is that it’s working, that someone has put some effort in it and played through it themselves to check that there are no game-breaking bugs in it. And I would hope that it gives me something interesting to do, that it manages to draw me in with anything motivating, anything that makes me curious enough to play on, whether it’s the storytelling, the combat, exploration, puzzles, area design or whatever. IMO, it doesn’t have to be good in all of those aspects and neither does it have to include any of the things you mention, in order to entertain some players, if it’s good in anything at all.

My personal pet peeve with “minimalistic” modules is when I feel the author hasn’t really put much effort in anything and leaves too much up to my imagination while not really inspiring me. A common complaint in this regard would be that areas feel empty because they are too large compared to the small amount of interaction they offer, so that most of the time playing is just spent on getting from A to B through more or less familiar and samey looking environments with nothing interesting happening in between. Like I said, the interesting bit can be anything, even just creative object description or environmental storytelling, anything that dissuades me from the prejudice that the author just quickly threw some stuff together without caring whether it would provide anything new and entertaining for the players, anything that makes me want to see what’s next and prevents me from getting bored. If that’s achieved, anything else is secondary. Which doesn’t mean that the module is better without it - on the contrary, it can definitely improve the module and widen its audience, if it’s good in several aspects and offers lots of additional features - but it’s not necessarily essential if you manage to get some hooks into the player.

4 Likes

Thank’s a lot, Olivier, for the extended reply.

As you have guessed well, I’m doing it just for the fun, not for glory or fame. But part of the fun of creating, is that other can experience it. I’ll describe clearly what the player might expect from this first trial module, so there is no wrong expectation.

About the minimalistic approach, you are totally right. Minimalistic does not mean empty. My goal is for the player to have an experience, where he/she is driven by curiosity and temptations. An important concern for me is, if there is enough “drive” forward for the player wanting to be curious and investigate. But that is part of the premiere launch: to see if the approach and balance of stimuli has to be adjusted in one way or another.

Again, thanks for your replay. You contribution was interesting to ponder about.

1 Like

For who is curious, I’ve posted my first module: a trial to learn the use of the toolkit and module-making. It’s short, but I hope you have fun.

https://neverwintervault.org/project/nwnee/module/clachan-prelude

edit: corrected the link since it moved to NWN:EE section

1 Like

You posted your module as a nwn1 project, and i got the error message that this module was created with a newer version of nwn1 when using the diamond edition to start. there’s a dedicated project site for all things enhanced edition.

1 Like

I’ll check that. I’m not very familiar with all the different NWN versions. I’m using the Steam version. Thanks for mentioning.

edit: I set it as NWN:EE. I hope that is correct.

Would have downloaded it but at present there are no files to download. Which is not all bad as it gives me the opportunity to remind you to put all your files (but not anybody else’s) into an archive (i.e. 7zip, rar, etc.). The reason for that is because otherwise people will need to right click and select download linked content due to files with the extensions .mod and .erf will be seen by browsers as being media files which results in the browser window filling up with garbage.

TR

2 Likes

I had uploaded the file, but it seemed disappeared (probably my error). I uploaded the file again. I hope it’s now available for download. The procedure of publishing modules is not straight forward, but it’s a matter of getting used to it. Sorry for the complications.

1 Like

Yes, that downloads OK.

If the hak files are identical to Project Q, there’s no need to include them in the zip - just provide a link to Q under Required Projects.

1 Like