Time for another update!
We at TNM have begun to think of ourselves as The Borg of the DX community. Very few modders have managed to resist the lure of our well organized and talented development team, and then the only reason they could resist is because they all had their own mods to worry about. You may think the popularity our persistant PR has gained us is getting to our heads, and... you're right, it is. Most recently, Smoke39 has been head-hunted and assimilated by TNM because of his mad experiments with Unrealscript in the DX Editing forums. From now on, he will be implementing some of his random ideas into TNM while occasionally taking care of something we specifically ask him to make for our mod.
Resistance is futile.
In the mapping department, it feels like progress has finally been made after a while of down time. Kevo-sama uploaded his re-lighted Slum Sector map a few days ago, which means Trest and I are gonna be putting our next alpha build together within a few days. We still haven't decided exactly how much of the mod we want to put in it, but so far I think the plan is to use all the Mission 20 maps except the ones that aren't done yet (interestingly, 4 of our 5 unfinished maps are used in mission 20, the first mission).
After I drew ZeroPresence a floor plan of the map he's working on, it's really been speeding along. He spent like 3 weeks on the first part of the map, only to create the part I drew in a week. Those two parts are about the same size, I guess that shows the value of a good concept drawing. At the same time he's been working on his own two maps, ZP has also been helping me with some issues I ran into while working on a new map I've started. Basically, I figured Forum City needed some alternate ways to get around, so I decided to make a sewer map for the corporate sector. This will provide some alternate ways to break into certain buildings, as well as make for a lot of awesome exploration gameplay. Beware of greasels though. Since I don't have much more experience with mapping than I've got from adding stuff to other people's maps, I've been learning as I go, and I think I'm getting pretty good. But you'd learn fast too if your mentor was ZeroPresence.
Speaking of sewers, Dazza of the Deus Ex Aftermath mod who you may also remember as the winner of our logo contest, happened to drop by and hear that I was making a sewer map for TNM. Then he sent me another sewer map that he'd cut out of his own mod. This map was a bit smaller, but extremely well interconnected and really good looking. And... it's made by ZeroPresence. I'm not sure if you understand the feeling I got when Dazza GAVE ME an entire map made by ZP. Free content of such quality is a damn fine present if you're a DX modder. I didn't want to scrap my own sewer map, but luckily we needed to expand the slums with a sewer area to pull off an important objective for mission 22, and ZP's DXA sewer turned out to be exceptionally well suited for what we had in mind.
In the music department, things are moving slowly as always, but Sensei and Leo did both send me work in progress music files. I look forward to hearing how it turns out. Redd seems to have disappeared after churning out almost all the tracks we needed for all of mission 21, he pops in occasionally to complain that his website is borking and his webmaster is AWOL, but I'm not sure how this keeps him from working on our music. I just hope he gets his website problems sorted out soon so we can get our most active composer back!
So, I think that only leaves the 2D graphics department, seeing as Phasmatis has nothing left to do on TNM and is devoting his time to the wonderful HDTP project. This past week, our graphics department has been Ricemanu only. Ryan and Breadfan have given us lots of character skins, but don't seem to be very interested in world textures, but Ricemanu is an excellent texture artist, so we'll get by. He's already made a couple of textures for my new sewer map including a rusty ladder texture (which is a great change from the two original DX ladders). I keep poking him to make textures, and he attempts to keep me satisfied while taking care of God only knows what other things he's doing in real life. But as long as he makes one texture a day, I can't complain. Speaking of textures, Trestkon has been coding a texture package patcher by popular demand (ie. my request) so I can keep ZeroPresence's texture package up to date in between the "official" updates. We didn't manage to make it work yesterday, but Trestkon left me a message in the forums that he made it work after I went to sleep, so we'll see what we can make of it when he gets online today.
I hope that satisfied your hunger for TNM news. Cya next weekend!