Jun. 14th, 2009

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Today was full of win.

The Viking and the Valkyrie and Anubis and I all got up early and headed out on a road trip. We stopped by Safeway for drinks and grapes and granola bars, and then headed out toward Patagonia. We went to the lake for a while, but were pretty disgusted by all the litter and trash laying around, so we hopped back in the Xterra and headed off for the boonies. We drove out through some old ranch land, out through the San Rafael valley, around through the Coronado National Monument park and then eventually back home.

Did you know that the San Rafael Valley is where the first European traveled west of the Rockies? 1580s, I believe. Middle Ages... I was impressed.

We saw a lot of awesome wildlife, including a coyote (unusual out in the middle of the hot day), a bunch of deer, a small flock of wild turkeys, some ground squirrels, a ton of tiny little trout fingerlings in one of the creek beds we stopped to wander down, and a variety of jays, hawks, ravens and vultures. It was a really great day.

When we got home this afternoon, I started working more with the Aurora Neverwinter Nights toolset, and managed to finish creating all of the "backdrop" for the plot I'm putting together on it. I built multiple Areas, including interiors of nearly a dozen houses/barns/caves, and three different "zones" (A village and two seperate forest zones). I learned how to create spawnable encounters triggered by a PC walking through a certain area, and how to customize those encounters and the creatures within them. When I couldn't get the system to do what I wanted it to as-is (have the rats the PC killed drop treasure) I figured out a stable go-around and made it work.

Tomorrow, along with laundry and house-cleaning, I plan on creating the NPCs to populate my storyline and start drafting the conversation trees that will allow the PC to navigate the (of course, all together too complex for a first attempt) quest. It's a twist on the Pied Piper tale, called "To Pay The Piper", and I'm really pleased with how it's turning out, so far. We'll see if I say the same thing once I dive into the conversational scripting tomorrow. :)
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Thanks to the immediacy of Twitter and FaceBook feed thereof, most of you probably already heard my not-so-great news.

Back in April, I interviewed with White Wolf, for a full time, in-house position with the company. 

Last week, I was told they'd decided to go with someone with more (to be read as any) video game experience than I have. I am, of course, disappointed. I would have loved to have been a part of the in-house team and been able to dedicate my creative efforts 100% towards some of the very exciting projects going on out there in Stone Mountain.

However, I'm not going to waste any time being upset about it. The company made the decision they felt was best for their projects at hand, and I can't fault them for that. I'm still planning on doing as much freelance work for them as they'll send my way (and as I can make time for with the job search and/or taking a full time day job again.) The folks who interviewed me were very kind and supportive, and I hope the candidate they did choose integrates well into the team and really works out well for them.

Since it's getting down to the wire for me to find work before The Valkyrie needs to be in place for next year's high school, I'm redoubling my efforts on tech writing/administrative assistant/receptionist/office management type work while continuing to attempt to spend any spare time I have on honing some of the skills that might come in handy for future work in the game industry. (Thus the recent posts about the Neverwinter Nights toolset. It's easily accessible, and has a lot of tutorials available, so I figured it was a good starting spot for toolset education.)

Anyway, that's my not-so-new-news, provided here for the benefit of those who might not follow me on Twitter or Facebook (I'm jesshartley on both, btw.)

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