Independent Game Festival Finalist: Challseus
Profile by Jay Watamaniuk
The entire premise of a community is of a group of people who want to get together and communicate about what they are passionate about. Add to this mix the ability to create and shape their passion, and you have a community that will take on a self-sustaining and stable life of its own. Neverwinter Nights handed over a lot of creative power to fans of roleplaying games in the form of a Toolset that allowed them to craft their own worlds and adventures. This year, the wide world of game modification, or 'Mods', is being recognized through special awards at the Independent Games Festival. We spoke with one of the finalists for Neverwinter Nights, Challseus, who is being recognized for his work on Rose of Eternity - Chapter 1.
How did you hear about this competition?
Challseus: I initially heard about the IGF Modding Competition over at NWVault in the community news section.
Where do you get your inspiration when creating a story for a module?
Challseus: Music is, without a doubt, my biggest inspiration. I can simply listen to a piece of music from a movie, and immediately start to come up with small scenarios in my head. As many people already know, I truly think music is one of the most important aspects of a fantasy RPG. I can fondly remember playing RPGs when I was a kid, and sitting in an area for up to 10 minutes just to listen to the music. Because of my passion for it, I take great care and time when selecting pieces of music for Rose Of Eternity. In fact, I would say that it could be considered to take 10% of my development time. Back in the early 90's, it seemed as if people didn't care so much about music in RPGs, but thanks to pioneers such as Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy fame), people like me are now going to video game music concerts!
Another thing that really inspires me is real world history. I am a big history buff and probably spend too much time watching the "History Channel" as it is.... If you look closely, you can see many references to major historical events in the world of Rose Of Eternity. I wanted the story to be plausible, so that if you removed the fantasy aspect from it, it could have been something that really happened.
What writers would you recommend for great characters and plot?
Challseus: I am a big fan of Robert Jordan's "Wheel Of Time" series, as well as Terry Goodkind's "Sword Of Truth" novels. In fact, I am eagerly anticipating reading Robert Jordan's latest book in the series ("Knife Of Dreams"), but alas, I am too busy at the moment. I know some people critize him for dragging the series on for too long, but I think it's a great read for anyone who is into fantasy novels.
What online resources did you use to help shape this module?
Challseus: When I first started building in mid 2004, I practically lived on the NWN Scripting forums. To this day, I still make extensive use of the NWN Lexicon as well. Last, but certainly not least, The NWN Modules forum was a great resource, as it helped me learn the types of things that the community liked/disliked. In fact, I still learn a lot about the community from frequenting the NWN Modules forum.
What can we expect from you in the future for this community?
Challseus: As of now, I am working on the sequel to Rose Of Eternity - Chapter 1 - The Coming, called Rose Of Eternity - Chapter 2 - Cry The Beloved. I keep a Daily Journal on the official Rose Of Eternity website, where I talk about the day to day things that come up while developing. Besides giving people a little glimpse into what the module making process is like. It is also therapy to me. It just feels good in my soul to write down what I did for the day at the end of the night.
I am also lucky enough to have many people from the community aiding me in my efforts to ensure Chapter 2 is bigger and better than Chapter 1. Their collective jobs include writing, editing, graphic design, ALPHA/BETA testing, and moral support. In short, Rose Of Eternity - Chapter 2 - Cry The Beloved wouldn't be where it is today without the help of these kind folks. So, I just want to publicly thank them for everything they have done for me.
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