Jump to content

28th May 2009 - New Dwarf Quest: Diary 4 & Postbag


Mil

Recommended Posts

[hide=Development Diary]Development Diary

 

The implementation phase involves two main tasks. I've got to write the code to make everything work, and I've got to write all the in-game text. One of the exciting things about this job is that the same developer gets to do both of these tasks, whereas in other games companies they might be divided between different people.

 

 

 

Coding

 

 

 

You may know that RuneScape is written in Java - our company name, Jagex, stands for JAva Games EXperts. It may come as a surprise, then, that my job as a content developer involves no Java at all.

 

 

 

We write in a scripting language called RuneScript, which our Game Engine team has created specifically for making RuneScape content. The Java-based game engine then reads this RuneScript code and makes it all work. RuneScript is constantly being changed and expanded as we add new features to it to allow it to do new things.

 

 

 

Writing

 

 

 

Writing the in-game text (character dialogue, messages, item descriptions, etc) requires a different set of skills and techniques from writing the code. It is also difficult to know when it is good enough. A piece of code either works or doesn't work, but a piece of dialogue can be quite bad without being wrong in any definite way. It's a delicate balancing act conveying all the necessary information, while also being entertaining and dramatic, and doing all that in the smallest amount of text that I reasonably can.

 

 

 

Most of the time, I write dialogue straight into the code as I am coding it. For some of the more important passages, I plan them out first in a text file using a screenplay-like format. Whichever technique I use, it's important to then test the dialogue in the game to see how it looks.

 

 

 

One of the trickiest parts of writing is making sure that each character has their own voice. I have to be aware of that character's personality traits, how they are feeling, and their relationship to whoever they are talking to. This is especially tricky when dealing with existing characters such as Commander Veldaban, who already have some dialogue in the game.

 

 

 

Placeholder graphics

 

 

 

The new quest involves NPCs, objects and areas that the Graphics team haven't created yet. I need to be able to test the content I'm writing, so I'm using placeholder graphics to stand in for them. These placeholder graphics tend to be bright blue and blocky they're designed to be clearly visible rather than to look good. They're a little like a 'blue screen' in movie-making.

 

 

 

Once I've got the quest working with these placeholders, the Graphics team will go through and replace them with the final graphics for the quest. In a later diary, Ill be able to show screenshots that give a better idea of what the final quest will look like.

 

 

 

Right now, the 'bare bones' of the quest are just about playable using these placeholder graphics. It's ugly and obviously incomplete, but it basically works. My task now is to fill in all the gaps and add polish, which is a larger job than getting it working in the first place.

 

 

 

placeholdergraphics.jpg

 

 

 

Graphical rework

 

 

 

Last time, I told you that we were planning to graphically rework all dwarf NPCs, but I didn't know whether or not this rework would go live with the new quest. Since then, it has been decided that the dwarf graphical rework will not be going live with the quest; the quest will go live with old-style dwarf graphics, and the dwarf NPC rework will happen later. This means that the Graphics team now have time to rework every dwarf in the game, without having to worry about getting them ready in time for this quest.

 

 

 

Mod John A

 

RuneScape Content Developer

 

http://www.runescape.com/kbase/view.ws? ... ry_dwarf04[/hide]

 

 

 

[hide=Postbag from the Hedge]

I've been getting an increasing number of letters for Zanik, asking what she's been up to since her Bandos-bothering escapades. Well, I finally managed to catch up with her to deliver a letter from one of her biggest fans - PP

 

 

Dear Larry,

 

 

 

How did you first become interested in penguins? And why do you not try to ally with them, rather than being all sneaky? They could be powerful allies: spying on Ardougne's enemies, sabotaging machinery and such...

 

 

 

All they want is to FLY!

 

 

 

Yours suspiciously,

 

Yan tveskoeg

 

 

 

Operative Yan,

 

 

 

It seems youve been taken in by the cute flappy penguin feet, the endearing way they slide on their bellies, and how they huddle together over their eggs in the cold. This is a FRONT, sympathiser! DO NOT ACCEPT IT! I can only hope to persuade you with a story that also happens to be my first encounter with penguin subterfuge.

 

 

 

I was doing my usual spot-check for contraband in the penguin enclosure, as I do with every animal. Four penguins were huddled in the corner farthest away, upright and asleep or so I thought. They werent asleep. They were...I don't know if you've got the stomach to hear this, operative...

 

 

 

...they were regurgitating the bones of the fish they had eaten that day, making them into a scale model of Ardougne Zoo!

 

 

 

All I could do was stealthily run out and make an oath with myself to keep an ever-present eye on them. With your help, we can scupper their every move.

 

 

 

Larry out.

 

Larry

 

 

 

Dear Armadyl, or whoever reads this in his place,

 

 

 

Hey Armadyl! We haven't heard anything about you for a very long time, and I was wondering what you were all about. You have an army in the God Wars Dungeon, and your staff is in the Temple of Ikov quest, but it ends there. How come you don't have any followers aside from the guardians of your staff and your army? They were frozen for a long time, which suggest you used to be very powerful. If so, what happened? I have also heard some rumours of a new God War soon, and Zaros returning. If these are true, will you come back, because I will probably fight for you. Also, what happened to all of your aviantese? Did the war wipe them out, or was there a large-scale epidemic of bird flu, or was it something even more gruesome or horrendous?

 

 

 

From your curious enquirer,

 

 

 

Soren J1

 

 

 

Sir,

 

 

 

My Great Lord is regrettably unable to answer your letter, as He has left the lands of RuneScape to weep for His great losses, a sorrow only a god as sincere as Armadyl could know.

 

 

 

He still has followers, I assure you, most significantly ourselves, the Guardians of Armadyl. It is our sacred charge to guard what little remains of His works and to preserve His memory in all our deeds. There are more of His followers, of course, but in these days of suspicion and dark plots, few who openly embrace the Lord of Justice.

 

 

 

The aviantese were slaughtered during the God Wars, for they were among the greatest of Zamorak's foes. The Dark Lord's legions sent forth assassins and poisoners, demons of the air and horrors from beyond all sane worlds - indeed, whole armies of each of these nightmares - to put an end to Armadyl's noble children. The last few were left frozen when the Dark Lord woke Guthix with his final assault upon the flesh of this world.

 

 

 

Finally, we too have heard that agents of the god you call Zaros are abroad; it is good that someone is there to remember those who have left this realm. Rest assured, we have our own agents scattered across the world, and we shall surely know if anything arises.

 

 

 

Justice through Armadyl's judgment,

 

 

 

Idria

 

Marshal of the Guardians of Armadyl

 

 

 

Dear Mother Mallum, Queen of Sea Slugs...or however you would like to be addressed,

 

 

 

I have been wondering, WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY? I've been sitting in my parlour, throwing chinchompas around the room to keep myself from worrying about when you are next 'coming'. It's been a busy year I'm sure... and you do seem pretty slow at getting around (which Im glad about, or I wouldn't be here writing this letter. I would be wherever you are at the moment...) but it can't take this long to do whatever you are doing!

 

 

 

Lilly181

 

 

 

Carrier,

 

 

 

I have taken the mind of this skull momentarily so I can update you with our progress. You carriers have an irritating need to communicate externally, so I must gain control of your mouths and fingers if you are to comprehend my news.

 

 

 

I am birthing, filling the tunnels beneath your cities with my spawn. It is tiring, for this world is more populous than any other we have encountered, and each carrier above ground demands one of my spawn as a companion. This, alas, is our nature: the slow, inexorable crawl of the slug across your world.

 

 

 

Do not worry, for it will not take long. And, once I have a perfect mirror of your surface world one slug for each carrier above we will unite and become family. It makes me happy to think of that new world, and you will no doubt understand my happiness completely, and soon.

 

 

 

Mallum,

 

Your Great Mother

 

 

 

Dear dwarf,

 

 

 

You know how scorpions and skeletons are always guarding precious ores? Now I think of it, it's kind of weird; is it because they are just plain greedy? Or is it like dragons - they keep the ores so it will protect them (they swallow precious ores to protect their bellies, I think)? Why? For what reasons do they guard them? Thanks for answering all these questions.

 

 

 

The 'Ores' Hunter,

 

 

 

Wallace Lin

 

 

 

Dear Wallace Lin,

 

 

 

Hello, friend - Nurmof here. Thought I'd field this one, being something of an expert on mining (if I do say so myself). Right, to start off, let's talk about scorpions. Scorpions are addicted to a peculiar residue commonly called scorpionite, which can be found on certain types of ore. Scorpions can't get enough of the stuff, and they seek out all the ore they can find in the hope of getting a bit more scorpionite to eat. It has the bothersome side effect of making them violently territorial, as I'm sure you have noticed.

 

 

 

As for skeletons, it's usually the case that the ones that you find near ores are the ones that used to be miners, back when they still had some flesh on their bones. They're just acting on instinct, by returning to the places they occupied when they were alive. It almost makes you pity them.

 

 

 

I hope that answers your question, my friend. Good mining!

 

 

 

Nurmof

 

 

 

Dear Vanstrom Klause,

 

 

 

As an accomplished member of the Myreque, I have stopped your evil deeds again and again. But something puzzles me greatly. Being a vampyre, your patron god is Zamorak, god of chaos. But Meiyerditch seems to be very orderly, almost as if Saradomin controlled it. Why do you do the exact opposite of what your god says? Also, when will I get to fight you in person? When will war break out between Misthalin and Morytania? What type of spread do you use on bagels? What does human blood taste like?

 

 

 

Balance is Power,

 

Power is Peace,

 

Peace is Good,

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

"Murtagh Four" of the Dwarves

 

 

Pah, foolish bloodsack!

 

 

 

Worship Zamorak? We vampyres have no need of your gods; our home is godless and bloody, its inhabitants are mere cattle for our pleasure, and ours alone. The closest thing to a god that the vampyres know is Lord Drakan, Prince of the Blood and Regent of the Sanguine Fields. You would do well to know that Zamorak was an ally at best, and that the bargains we made with that upstart were to our benefit - without our support, he could never have achieved his great deeds.

 

 

 

In answer to your other questions: plans are in motion to bring you to us in chains, anaemic and scampering to do our will. Wars do not interest us, only conquest. Blood. Human blood tastes like enslaved cattle.

 

 

 

Immortality is the greatest of all gifts, for we recall days older than the Mahjarrat.

 

 

 

Yours bloodily,

 

Vanstrom Klause

 

Dispatches from Zanik

 

 

 

No matter what, Zanik would never have remained in Dorgesh-Kaan. In this edition of the Postbag from the Hedge, we hear of her explorations and some unusual sightings.

 

 

Dear Zanik,

 

 

 

I hope your ventures in the surface world have been fun, and, as I'm sure you're still busy dealing with the wonders of surface life, I won't keep you. But I'd like to ask you a few things we never really got around to before you left. How are you, for one? Last I heard, you were still recovering from the War God's attack (I can't tell you how worried I was when you didn't wake up). If you are still hurting, I wish you a speedy recovery. Next, what do you intend to do when you finish adventuring? From our time together you never mentioned any plans to settle down or anything similar.

 

 

 

Is there some way I can contact you besides a letter (I know you are busy, don't get me wrong). I do miss spending time going on adventures. You always told me you enjoyed the treks we went on together, so maybe I can accompany you on your current trips. I travel light, and I know you can always use an extra hand. I look forward to hearing from you again. Godspeed.

 

 

 

Thinking of you,

 

 

 

Deigo7

 

 

 

Dear Deigo7,

 

 

 

It's so good to hear from you! How have you been? I'm doing great! You'll never guess what's happened to me! I'll tell you in a minute.

 

 

 

I'm okay. I was pretty badly wounded after that last fight, and the doctors made me stay in bed to rest, which was boring. I managed to sneak out a few times, but I wasn't up to doing much. I'm all healed now, though. I'm feeling great!

 

 

 

Well, maybe that's not true. Physically I'm better. I'm still having the nightmares, sometimes the ones where it's in my head again and it's making me do all these horrible things. But I'm getting them less and less often now. The whole thing is like a nightmare, one that's all over now.

 

 

 

I've just read that back and I'm still not sure I believe it. It's really over! My whole species has been hiding away for so long, and now we don't have to. We can get out into the world and explore, and our destiny can be whatever we want it to be! And you saved us. Thank you so much. Without you, things would have been very different.

 

 

 

Anyway, enough about that: I was going to tell you what's been happening to me. I'm writing this letter in Port Sarim, sitting in a little inn called the Rusty Anchor. It's decorated with nets and stuffed fish, but not all the sailors who drink here are fishermen. I introduced myself to them and they said they were PIRATES. Well, no, what they said was more like, Arr, lassie, yo [garden tool] [garden tool], we be pirates, that we be, but I got the general meaning.

 

 

 

I can't believe the surface sometimes. Pirates thieves! drinking in a bar plain as day! Captain Undak would have a fit if he saw it.

 

 

 

Actually, it's not the first time I've met pirates. I've just got back from a sea voyage to a place called Mos Le'Harmless. It's full of pirates, but I didn't find out that's what they were until later. (Don't laugh at me! We don't have pirates in Dorgesh-Kaan so I didn't know how they talk and dress.) I went there to explore the jungle on the island it's full of these things called 'jungle horrors', but I didn't see what was so horrible about them and that evening I had a drink with some of the locals. I tried something called Braindeath 'rum' (the quotation marks are apparently part of the name) and I can't actually remember much of what happened afterwards. There was definitely some sort of song, and talking parrots. (Can parrots really talk, or did I just think they could talk because I'd drunk too much 'rum'?) Anyway, the next thing I knew, it was morning and I was on board ship again, heading for Entrana.

 

 

 

Entrana was boring. They wouldn't let me take my crossbow onto the island. (I don't remember if I told you, I got a new crossbow to replace the one I gave you. I've customised it a bit after visiting the dwarves in Keldagrim and taking a look at the kind of crossbows they make. I won't bore you with the details, though.) Entrana was kind of peaceful, I suppose, but I didn't see the point. The monks act all superior and holy just because they shave their heads, wear ugly robes and talk about Saradomin the whole time. But they're not doing any harm to anyone and I didn't want to get into an argument with them, so I just kept quiet.

 

 

 

But I haven't told you the most exciting thing! I saw a sea monster! We were on the way back from Entrana, going around Mudskipper Point. The sky was dark and a bit of a storm was blowing up. All the monks on the ship were getting scared and praying to Saradomin. The captain monk was shouting for them to do something to the sails (I still don't understand nautical jargon), then suddenly there was a sort of CRUNCH as the ship hit something! The monks were too busy to see anything, but they wouldn't let me help so all I could do was watch. I saw something big and dark moving under the water beside our ship. Then the lightning flashed and I saw this thing sticking up out of the water, like an eye on the end of a stalk. It looked around for a moment and I'm sure it looked straight at me, then it went back down into the water and the monster went away.

 

 

 

zanikseamonster.jpg

 

 

 

The storm cleared and we made it back to Port Sarim. The damage to the ship wasn't too bad but none of the monks or sailors knew what had caused it. One sailor (I mean PIRATE really) muttered something about the 'Leviathan'. He was pretty shaken and said he needed to go and have a drink, although, to be honest, I think he would have had a drink anyway.

 

 

 

So now I'm writing this in the Port Sarim bar and outside the monks and the pirates are still arguing about the sea monster. The monks are writing it off as a hidden sandbank or something, but I know what I saw. There's definitely something down there.

 

 

 

I'll leave this letter with the barman to give to Postie Pete and then I think I'll get the next ship for Karamja. I hear there are still some parts of the jungle down there that haven't been properly mapped. After that, I'll probably go back to Dorgesh-Kaan for a while since I'm starting to miss Oldak and Grubfoot and the others, but I'm sure I'll leave again before too long.

 

 

 

You asked about what I'm going to do when I finish adventuring, and whether I'm planning to settle down. Well, to be honest, I'm not even thinking about that right now. I suppose I'll have to stop travelling eventually, and I'll stay in Dorgesh-Kaan or maybe settle in one of the surface cities. But that won't be for a long time. There's still tons of places to see, things to do, people to meet.

 

 

 

Anyway, it was great to hear from you! Maybe I'll see you around somewhere in the world, and I'd love to get more letters. I'm sure you're having adventures just as exciting as mine!

 

 

 

Lots of love,

 

Zanik

 

http://www.runescape.com/kbase/view.ws?guid=postbag_40[/hide]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah! Finally a postbag!

 

Gonna read the diary on first oppurtunity..

 

EDIT: Read the diary- didn't get many hints about the quest, but I think the reason for this certain diary was to introduce some techniques Jagex uses. Too bad the dwarves don't get their long-wanted update with the quest, but I hope they will look better because of that delay.

joke33.png

archsupportei2.png

My Blog of pure... Uhmm... Well... Something...

Proud owner of Quest Cape, achieved 05.08.2008

29062th to Woodcutting 99, 02.05.2009

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too bad the Dwarf graphical rework won't come out together with the Quest, but at least it won't get rushed. Enjoyed the Postbag as always, and it contained some interesting information. We now finally know that Armadyl is indeed the God of Justice, and that Vampyres aren't that loyal to Zamorak as we thought. And the mysterious 'Leviathan' has got me all excited :D I think it's the submarine sighted at various docks, 'cause it kinda looks like the periscope. And what animal makes a CRUNCH sound when you hit it anyway? Zanik said the thing 'looked around, and then straight at her.' Then it went away. Sounds like penguins. ;)

Due to my epic stats, I have now started WGS (but I still hate spoilers).

sighistorian.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But I haven't told you the most exciting thing! I saw a sea monster! We were on the way back from Entrana, going around Mudskipper Point. The sky was dark and a bit of a storm was blowing up. All the monks on the ship were getting scared and praying to Saradomin. The captain monk was shouting for them to do something to the sails (I still don't understand nautical jargon), then suddenly there was a sort of CRUNCH as the ship hit something!

 

 

 

OMG SAILING HINTS JAGEX!!!11 :wall:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The blue screen thingy was interesting. Really wanted the dwarf update with the quest, but oh well.

 

 

 

The postbag was cool, and the penguins are at it gain with their submarine. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the trickiest parts of writing is making sure that each character has their own voice. I have to be aware of that character's personality traits, how they are feeling, and their relationship to whoever they are talking to. This is especially tricky when dealing with existing characters such as Commander Veldaban, who already have some dialogue in the game.

 

 

 

Are they adding voices...?

_p3_minato_arisato_signature__by_x0sandylicious0x-d3hnk6v.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the trickiest parts of writing is making sure that each character has their own voice. I have to be aware of that character's personality traits, how they are feeling, and their relationship to whoever they are talking to. This is especially tricky when dealing with existing characters such as Commander Veldaban, who already have some dialogue in the game.

 

 

 

Are they adding voices...?

 

No, they mean the way in wich the caracter "talks". (example: compare talking to a pirate and talking to a man)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the trickiest parts of writing is making sure that each character has their own voice. I have to be aware of that character's personality traits, how they are feeling, and their relationship to whoever they are talking to. This is especially tricky when dealing with existing characters such as Commander Veldaban, who already have some dialogue in the game.

 

 

 

Are they adding voices...?

 

Don't think so. It means that he has to make sure every character uses language appropriate for his/her role in the quest. Veldaban will surely talk very different than the baddies like Colonel Grimsson.

Due to my epic stats, I have now started WGS (but I still hate spoilers).

sighistorian.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too bad the Dwarf graphical rework won't come out together with the Quest, but at least it won't get rushed. Enjoyed the Postbag as always, and it contained some interesting information. We now finally know that Armadyl is indeed the God of Justice, and that Vampyres aren't that loyal to Zamorak as we thought. And the mysterious 'Leviathan' has got me all excited :D I think it's the submarine sighted at various docks, 'cause it kinda looks like the periscope. And what animal makes a CRUNCH sound when you hit it anyway? Zanik said the thing 'looked around, and then straight at her.' Then it went away. Sounds like penguins. ;)

 

 

 

It's also good to know that we finally have an answer to people who debated before that Vampyres = Mahjarrat (was about a year ago!). The Vampyres are an older race, not descendants or anything else, just simply 'allies'.

Dark_Jab.png
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, lots of interesting information. I'm a bit annoyed that my letter to Ivan Strom and/or Reldo concerning Vanstrom's possible lineage (a bit that I thought up using Ivan Strom's name as an anagram, which was originally believed by members of WOMDA (we're a bunch of nerds trying to get inside jagex's head) to be a message of I Vanstrom, but I instead believe to mean Vanstrom I, with the I being a roman numeral).

?r=191108

image.pngimage.pngimage.pngimage.pngimage.pngimage.png

Currently will be using my Oni Tsurugi account to attempt to get 99 on all free skills without spending any gp, just for the sake of doing so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm...So here's what we saw in the postbag.

 

The Dark Lord woke Guthix according to the Armadyl guardians. This further points towards the elves not trying to bring back Zamorak, as most people believe. Personally, I think the Dark Lord is Zaros, or even some other unknown god/entity we haven't yet seen.

 

 

 

Vampires follow no god, according to Vanstrom. I'm not sure how important that is, but it says that Mortanyia isn't a Zamorakian land, as it appears most of the Saradominist NPCs believe.

 

 

 

Zanik's sea monster is probably a sub. That's the obvious one. With the appearance of the sub south of Catherby, the timing fits, and a sea monster would make a noise if it got hit by a boat, not just crack the boat. Though, I don't think that there will ever be a Cold War 2 quest. I think it'll be something like a minigame, but not an actual quest.

My skin is finally getting soft
I'll scrub until the damn thing comes off

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm...So here's what we saw in the postbag.

 

The Dark Lord woke Guthix according to the Armadyl guardians. This further points towards the elves not trying to bring back Zamorak, as most people believe. Personally, I think the Dark Lord is Zaros, or even some other unknown god/entity we haven't yet seen.

 

The aviantese were slaughtered during the God Wars, for they were among the greatest of Zamorak's foes. The Dark Lord's legions sent forth assassins and poisoners, demons of the air and horrors from beyond all sane worlds - indeed, whole armies of each of these nightmares - to put an end to Armadyl's noble children. The last few were left frozen when the Dark Lord woke Guthix with his final assault upon the flesh of this world.

 

I think this quote rather proves the Dark Lord is Zamorak. The Dark Lord is mentioned right after Zamorak, implying they are two names for the same person. Furthermore, Idria states the Dark Lord has legions, and Zaros wasn't even in this realm during the God Wars, while Zamorak had thousands of 'assassins and poisoners, demons of the air and horrors from beyond all sane worlds'. And finally, the Dark Lord woke Guthix with a final assault with these legions. There are ways Zaros could have woken up Guthix, but a 'final assault' isn't one of them.

 

 

 

This proves that Zamorak = the Dark Lord = the God the evil Elves are trying to resurrect.

Due to my epic stats, I have now started WGS (but I still hate spoilers).

sighistorian.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Though, I don't think that there will ever be a Cold War 2 quest. I think it'll be something like a minigame, but not an actual quest.

 

What was that cutscene about then at the end of Cold War? The penguins want to be The Beatles in a yellow (albeit penguin shaped) submarine?

Many believe that the 1980 eruption of Mt. Saint Helens was a catostrophic geological event, in reality it was the day that Jimi Hendrix returned to Earth from the next world and actually stood up next to a mountain and chopped it down with the edge of his hand.

-Random Youtuber

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.