Author Status (Retired from NWN but makes Animated Short-Stories on Youtube):

The Creator of "Surviving Horror 1 & 2", "Calm before the Storm" and "A New Journey Begins" for NWN1 and "Berra's Estate of Horrors" for the "Halloween" NWN2 module.

You can find all of my Neverwinternights Adventures below to your Right! Download, enjoy and vote if you feel like it. :)

Birger is not making Neverwinternights Mods anymore; instead he's going to start releasing animated short-movies on his Youtube Channel Bright Bear Tales.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

BouncyRock Halloween Event-Module RELEASED!





The work of a total of 25 different authors has finally been fully tested and released to the NWN-Vault! Awesome that so many authors (including me) could come together to do something like this for Halloween 2008. Be sure to be the first to check it out! :)

Berra out.

Module-Choice Anxiety

Hey everyone. I just thought I'd do a quick post about some thoughts I've been having about where to go next with my module-creation-business.

As most of you may already know, I've just completed my first NWN2 work which is going to be included in the BouncyRock-Halloween Event Module which is scheduled to be released sometime this weekend for Halloween. But where should I go next? I have a little trouble deciding.

I currently have two NWN1 projects on the line and both are listed at the top of this site under "Current Projects". I've also posted a poll there. This poll is going to let YOU READERS decide whether I should complete Isania Fabula or Puppet Masters first. So be sure to lend me your vote ... YOU can make a difference. :)

I'm looking forward of seeing what you guys think.

Berra out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Mission Completed!

A scary scarecrow is hanging here ... creepy.
(You'll find more screenshots at the end of this post.)


My submission to the BouncyRock Halloween Project, "Berra's Estate of Horrors"; is finally COMPLETED! Man - that sure took more time than I had expected. :D It was a good thing that I had previous experiences from NWN1 because that helped a lot ... most things are actually pretty similar to the the Aurora Toolset (Toolset from NWN1).

Ahead comes my toolset experiences ... these may not make too much sense for someone who has never opened or developed something with the toolset but I'm trying to be as explanative as possible so you should have at least some clue of what I've been through but still, should you feel this is nothing for you, then go below the line I've written at the bottom in this post and read the rest from there ... so here it goes:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About 2/3 of the time that it took to make this module has been invested in bashing my head against the toolset! Man! I mean MAN! Sometimes errors appeared like I'd never seen before!

In the beginning of my mod-making I was bashing my head in trying to think of a solution to get facial expressions (like when an NPC smiles, frowns or looks scared) to appear within the game in a conversation. Eh - - by the way, for anyone who doesn't know what a conversation is, it's basically when you talk to a character in the game. And NPC means Non-player character. Man this really feels explationary ... :D Anyway, in I just couldn't make them appear but enough about the issues ... here's the solution: I had just entered that I wanted the facial expressions to appear by themselves ... that won't work. You'll have to combine them with an ANIMATION (like waving, laughing etc.) for it to work properly. Glad I finally sorted that out. :D

One time, I wanted the PC to teleport to an exterior area (like a forest, for example) from within an interior (basically, a house or castle). The script was perfect, since it works just fine in the NWN1 game (scripting hasn't changed that much from NWN1, thankfully). But it just DIDN'T WORK! NOTHING HAPPENED! So, being the extremely stubborn personality that I am when it comes to creating something, I kept going. I tried, again and again and again ... trying various scripting-techniques to make it work ... but NOTHING.

I finally posted a help-thread back at the Bioware Forums. But just then, actually before anyone had the time to answer, I decided to look in my newly printed copy of the Don't Panic Guide to the Toolset (which I mentioned in an earlier post) ... then it hit me. I hadn't made any walkable surfaces in the exterior I wanted the PC to teleport to (you basically have to PAINT the areas you want the PC to be able to walk on in an exterior, otherwise they'll just get stuck in those areas without walkable surfaces). Once, I did that, it worked perfectly. FINALLY. One problem out of the window BUT ... another one was yet to come ... ;)

Another problem that made me extremely frustrated was when I was trying to make a climable mountain in this exterior area ... I wanted it to be tall. I mean REALLY TALL. But the walkable surfaces that I mentioned earlier just didn't want to go all the way to the top so that you could be able to climb to the very top ... so I basically had to cut about 2 thirds of the mountain in the end. I tried for about 3 hours (!!!) to make it work but in the end I decided to cut it. But it's still pretty tall in the module anyway, so really no loss there ... except for the time-factor, of course. :D

In the latest part of development I wanted an NPC to play an animation (like waving, dancing, etc.) but in my case, I wanted the NPC to lie completely still on the floor. And not stand up again. In my case ... the NPC DID STAND UP AGAIN. I had no clue what was going on. I had made it so that the script would last as long as the module was still active ... but STILL, this NPC refused to stop STANDING UP. I tried various scripting-techniques once again before finally ... somehow, I made it work. Don't ask me how. That's the beauty of mod-making ... sometimes it just works and sometimes it just DOESN'T. In my case, it finally did though. :D

I still have the WORST part left to tell you ... ;) But I'll think I'll place that below the toolset line here ... so anyone can find out about it. :D

But before that I'd like to mention some of the good stuff. :) It was really fun playing around with the toolset (while it actually worked) and making various NPCs and placing appropriate placeables was very fun to do. Conversation writing was one of the funnier things to do, I think ... especially when you can add facial expressions. Really fun.

It was pretty awesome to get back to writing something for Jina & Frogrin again ... they are, after all, two of my favorite characters I've made, I think. I think they translated pretty well to NWN2 as well. I found Jina's hair-cut to not really fit her though ... so I actually made another one that you'll be able to see by the end of the mod. I personally think that hair-cut suits her better. There is also a short haircut that could fit for her ... maybe sometime in the future, if she decides to cut her hair a bit ... for whatever reason. ;) Because if I do something else for NWN2, I'd probably make another story about Jina & Frogrin.

The new character, The Apprentice, was a character that was very funny to write. I think he turned out pretty well ... and he sure is grumpy, isn't he? ;)

Also making other various references to my old NWN1 mods created a true sense of nostalgica ... awesome. :) I thought that since this is my first NWN2 mod, I could as well include characters from my previous works. And I personally think it was a really awesome decision. :)

All in all, this experience sure had a lot of problems and errors while creating but overall, it was VERY FUN making it. :)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's one extreme problem I had that anyone can understand, I think. Here it goes:

I was almost done with the module. It was saturday evening 11th of October and the dead-line for the module was by 13th of October. That was the time it HAD to be done. Plenty of time left, I thought. Man ... was I WRONG.

I was calmly building in the toolset when I suddenly noticed that the toolset moved VERY SLOWLY ... I thought "crap, this must mean that the toolset will crash on me any moment now" (which it actually does pretty frequently) ... so I quickly pressed the save button ... and CRASH. The toolset has crashed. Nothing wrong with that, it usally does a couple of times a day. But not during the time YOU SAVE.

I decided to open the toolset again and open up the only area I had created at the time (the area with most things in it as well ...) ... and an error message appeared. It said something like "Error, can't open, corrupted" or something like that. Finally, the area opened ... but it was blank. COMPLETELY BLANK! THERE WAS NOTHING IN IT! NOTHING! EVERYTHING WAS GONE! Every placeable, character, waypoint, camera, lightning effect, door etc. was GONE! Everything I had worked on the ENTIRE WEEK! MAN, WAS I PISSED! CRAP!!!

So, basically, the rest of saturday was used up by browsing the net trying to find a way to fix my corrupted mod. I found some tools that apparently could fix the corrupted module ... but this site was written in a way that required you to be EINSTEIN for you to be able to fully understand. I can't believe why people write a site in such a way? Why not write it in a way so ANYONE CAN UNDERSTAND IT?! Man. Anyway, in the end, I gave up. My energy was gone.

I rested for a bit, then I decided to pick up the toolset again. I decided that the only way for me to fix this, was to REBUILD THE ENTIRE AREA AGAIN from SCRATCH. Thankfully as I found out, not everything had been deleted. The entire area was gone, yes ... but conversations, scripts and blueprints were left. Thank God for that. Otherwise, I would've probably never been able to finish the mod.

Another awesome thing was when Jclef (the director of the project) decided to extend the deadline to 17th of October instead of 12th. Thanks for that man. :) So basically, thanks to him, the finished mod you'll be able to play in the Halloween Project will be so much better polished and includes a lot of other stuff that would've never make it in-game otherwise ... so, send him your thanks people. :D

Special thanks goes to my friend Archon (the guy who's made the artworks for Calm before the Storm and Surviving Horror 2) for Beta-testing the mod and coming with extremely good advice! You'll also be seeing him within the mod, so be sure to look forward of meeting him once the mod has been released! :) He's hilarious! :D

I think that would be all. As I said previously, the mod will include various characters from my NWN1 modules, so if you've played them, you'll most likely enjoy yourself even more.

I'll finish this post with some screenshots from the game ... enjoy & be sure to keep your eyes open for the release!



The entrace to the Estate as well as a conversation with The Apprentice.



A scary scarecrow, a dark mosaic painting and familiar faces ... I think I recognize those two. Don't you?



Dark mannequins and the door to the basement ... what could be lurking in the basement ...? Be sure to download and find out!


The first picture is of the artist Archon, creator of "DarkSun's Glare". The second picture, yes, you guessed it ... that's me. Pretty cool, huh?


Berra out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

NWN2 Halloween House Closing In ...

Hey there everyone. I just wanted to let you all know that the BouncyRock Halloween House for NWN2 that I'm currently developing is almost done. I just have a couple of more stuff I need to add and various bugs/tweaks that needs to be fixed.

I think most people should be able to enjoy my debut-NWN2 work but this short-mod will be a more rich experience for people who has already played my mods ... since I have various characters from Surviving Horror 1 & 2, Calm before the Storm & A New Journey Begins featured in the mod.

I gotta go now, so I'll make another post once I'm completely finished or almost done (a post which will feature info and a couple of screens, hopefully).

EDIT: I just thought I'd let you all know that there's a dead-line for the halloween mods which is on this friday 17th of october.

SECOND EDIT: The first dead-line was by Monday the 13th but God bless Jclef for letting us have a few more days. :)

THIRD EDIT (17-18/10): I'm just about to send in my finished submission to the Project ... so expect some news & some screenshots pretty soon.

Berra out.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Misc Work & Voice Acting!

Hey there everyone. :) Since my last post I've been adding and mixing stuff to my NWN1 module Puppet Masters. I've changed/added a couple of things to the hak-file that I will use for the mod. Mostly stuff that will be featured for the main villian. ;) Pretty cool stuff, I'll have to admit.

I've decided to use the Alternate Combat Animations v4.0 that was created by Ragnarok_mr4. That is a really cool hak-file as well. For those who hasn't seen or heard of it, it simply put adds more customizable combat animations to characters (and even to PCs!) like Ninja-stances, Samuraij-stances, Ogre/Orc stances, Fencing and loads of others. It now also features a load of new animations like, my favorite one, the Arcane-animations. It's basically that the character floats in the air with his/her arms crossed. Much like a Djiin or Genie. Really awesome.

That's about it when it comes to mod-making. :) So, regretfully no progress on Insania Fabula yet. BUT ... I have some other juicy news for you all:

I've found a couple of people who has shown their interest in recording dialog for Puppet Masters. And *I* am one of them. :D Hehe, well, I didn't really vonlenteer or anything ... it kinda just went that way. ;) But enough about me, here's the people who has currently joined the voice-acting ranks so far:

*Erik Karlsson - The module author/writer. Will be playing an Inn Keeper & a Black Wizard.

*Rachel Peterson - A great voice-actress. Will be playing the daughter of the Inn Keeper.

*CJ Collins - Author of Lolfilmworks on YouTube. Has cosplayed Kefka from Final Fantasy 6. Will be playing a Jester-character that is featured in the mod.

*Skunkeen - Dungeon Master for NWN1&2 back at Neverwinterconnections.com. Has made various other voice-appearances, like for the narrator in A Hunt Through the Dark REMASTERED. Will be playing a mysterious character and the main villian (characters which I will not expose the identity of).

That's about it for now. :)

Now I'm off to finally start building my house for the NWN2 BouncyRock Halloween Event! :)

Berra out.