This is part of a series of interviews with past Mod of the Month winners here on the Nexus, which should come out approximately weekly until we've caught up with all of the past winners. These will be posted in order of their completion.
This interview is with Fallyn Rayne, for the mods Gladiatrix
and Gladiatrix II: In the Shadows of Darkness
, both of which won Mod of the Month awards on the Nexus. These large-scale modules follow the adventures of a young noblewoman who takes to gladiatorial combat in a custom world setting.
Be sure to vote for your favourites for Mod of the Month. Each person can vote for one mod each month, by clicking the "Vote for me" button on a mod's page. This applies to any mods in the database, not only mods that were submitted in the current month. Vote for anything you think deserves a spotlight!Q: Thanks for agreeing to discuss your modules. As a little background, what can you tell the readers about yourself?
A: Hi! A little about me... well, I'm definitely a right-brained individual. My mind has to constantly be creating or I'm afraid I would go insane. Making NWN modules is a great outlet for creative energy. It's ironic that my career is that of a systems analyst, which is very left-brained. I spend way too many life hours in front of a computer, whether it's work or hobby. I'll probably die of overexposure some day!
Besides that, I'm a bit of a flirt, but very dedicated to my boyfriend. I share a house with him, a cat and a dog. He works on computers a lot too, so he forgives me for all the time I spend in front of one. When I manage to pry myself away from my laptop, I enjoy playing piano or just going out.
Since my modules are sexual in nature it's safe to say that I'm a sexual creature. Where I differ from a lot of people is that I see sex as one of life's greatest gifts. I don't see anything sinful about it as long as people are responsible. It is sad that society places so many taboos on such a wonderful treasure. I find the human body to be erotically beautiful if taken care of. That's why I take care of mine. It's also why I love the beach so much. It's one of the few places I can remove most of my clothes outside of my home without causing a scandal :)Q: What originally attracted you to Neverwinter Nights, and what do you enjoy most about it today?
A: I've always liked role-playing games. I played Dungeons and Dragons as a teenager and was the only girl in my neighborhood that did, so that made me popular with guy gamers. Baldur's Gate might have been my first experience with computer RPG, even though it had been out for awhile at the time I played it. That eventually led to NWN, which I actually avoided at first because I thought it was more of a single-player game with just an added henchman. I've always been partial to having a party of adventurers and didn't realize you could do that in NWN at first.
By the time I got into it there was nearly an endless world of community content for builders. The toolset is relatively easy to work with and the endless supply of community content gives much freedom while creating your own world. It's also fun designing all the sexy armor and clothes =)Q: What can interested players expect to experience in the Gladiatrix modules?
A: The player starts as a daughter of nobility. Her name is Sierra Westhaven, but the player has the option of creating their own character. The story leads Sierra down the unlikely path of becoming a gladiator. She starts by having to prove herself at a female academy. She eventually makes her way to the city of Waycross where she starts out fighting in tavern basements, works her way to pit arenas and eventually to the main coliseum itself.
The player can expect a variety of different arena fights with some surprise elements to keep things interesting. During her gladiator career, Sierra comes to the attention of a secret organization called the Shroud where she'll be doing undercover work. The module contains unique elements such as no-kill arena fights, win-loss stats and there is even a foot race at one point. Intimate encounters are fully-animated thanks to Ninjaweasel Man's mod
. There are also many different romances that can develop throughout the series.
Gladiatrix II takes Sierra deeper into her undercover work with the Shroud and even explores the temptations of walking on the dark side. In Gladiatrix III, Sierra will be searching for alliances in an upcoming war against the Scourge. The war will determine the fate of the realms. The player will face temptations to switch sides during the course of the adventure. It is up to the player to choose Sierra's destiny.Q: What inspired you to create this world and story?
A: I've always wanted to play a video-game that had elements of sex and erotica while maintaining a strong story. That's hard to find. If you find a video game that is based on sex then it is typically all sex with little or no story behind it. That quickly gets boring. A Dance With Rogues
was the first game I've played that I feel achieved a good balance of sex and storyline.
On a side note, Gladiatrix was actually a series of short stories I wrote a couple of years ago. I eventually decided to try and turn the story into a video game using NWN as the engine.Q: You estimate about 20 hours worth of content between the two released chapters of Gladiatrix. I would probably take longer with them myself, since I take my time to explore and consider my responses in conversations. How much of that time do you estimate is conversation?
A: That's a tough one. Maybe half? There's about 100,000 words of dialog in the first module and close to that in the second. Probably more in the third. I didn't really design the modules to where players feel the need to explore every inch of the map and turn over every stone in hopes of finding a hidden gem. The player will get their missions and assignments and can pretty much stick with the task at hand without being concerned about missing something important.Q: What were the high points and low points of the process of making these modules?
A: The high points are the feeling of completing something this monumental and getting such great feedback from the players. Also, knowing that there are many who are anxiously waiting for the final release is a good feeling. There have been several thousand downloads from the sites that it is posted and I have a blog that has a lot of activity on it. Knowing that people are that interested is enough to keep me going.
For the low points, I actually quit about a month into creating the first module. The scripting was very frustrating for me to learn and I reached a point where I thought it was beyond me. A couple of months later I decided to give it another try. I guess I was driven enough to not give up, although it was still frustrating. There were a couple of times where I spent almost a week just trying to make one script work. Looking back, I think my mistake was trying to force the game to fit my story and that took a lot of scripting that wasn't part of the natural behavior of the NWN engine. Now I force my story to fit the game engine, which makes building a lot easier.
One really low point was towards the end of the first module my laptop died and it had been two weeks since I made an offline save. I literally cried over that one and had to redo two weeks of work!
The only thing that is currently a bit of a downer is that I'm getting a little burned out. A project like this takes up a huge chunk of life. I'm sure other large-scale module designers know what I'm talking about. I just don't have the motivated energy that I used to, so I'm putting in less hours a week. I don't know how I built Gladiatrix II in a six month period! Gladiatrix III is taking me much longer, but never fear, it will get completed in the not too distant future!Q: As an adult player myself, I'm glad to see more modules that incorporate adult-oriented content. Why do you think such modules are so seldom seen, even when authors are free from corporate brand-management restrictions and other such factors, and with the well-publicised data that the average gamer's age ranges from late twenties to mid-thirties?
A: I think a lot of it has to do with social programming. It's almost as if society it being programmed to fear sex. As I said in the first question, there are all kinds of strange taboos surrounding sex and sexual expression. As a society, we seem perfectly content to watch heads blowing up on Prime Time TV on a nightly basis, but if there happens to be a boob-slip it makes headline news and the FCC gets involved. That all seems really backwards to me. At least that's how it is here in the USA. I'm sure that other places in the world don't have have those concerns.
Since there is enough anonymity on the internet I decided that I have nothing to lose by posting my creation. Worst case scenario would be that people would ridicule it and I would go on about my business and just take it down. I was fully expecting to get backlash about the sexual content, but surprisingly I haven't gotten any. If anything, I've actually had people request more
sexual content.Q: At the time of this writing, you're working on a third chapter of this series. What are some of the new elements you're putting in this one that might not have been in the last ones?
A: There will be at least one new possible love interest as well as the return of past love interests. Sierra will have her hands full trying to decide who she is going to be romantically involved with or if she wants to try to have multiple secret romances and flings.
There will be times where Sierra might question if she is fighting for the "right cause". She will actually have the option to switch sides if she chooses. It's not going to be, "Hey, I want to be evil now, Rarr!" It's going to be more of a moral dilemma where she will need to determine if the other side could possibly be a better option. If the player chooses to switch sides it will be for a reason. I'll also be trying to create the atmosphere and tactics for a war campaign, so that might be different.Q: Any idea when the next chapter might be released?
A: Well, I hate to set hard deadlines because I start feeling pressured to meet those. There is still much to do so I'm projecting early 2013, hopefully within the first few months of the year. I know it's taking longer to complete this one than it did the last one, but hopefully it will be worth the wait.Q: To wrap things up, what would you like to see more of from your fellow modders?
A: Hmm, more sexy content? Don't be afraid of sexy material! There are plenty of players who will appreciate it as long as there is a story behind it and it isn't too crude.Fallyn Rayne, I'd like to thank you for taking the time for this interview.
A: Thanks! It was my pleasure.Everyone else, watch for more interviews coming soon! Again, be sure to vote for your favourites for Mod of the Month. Each person can vote for one mod each month, by clicking the "Vote for me" button on a mod's page, and keep in mind that your choice does not have to be a mod that was released in the recent month. Bring the spotlight on all worthy mods!