GtkRadiant could very well be the next big thing in my story development toolbox.

I had problems making the story I’m currently working on a bit more interesting. Faira and Lex are busy robbing the Blannyr manor, which, according to the story, has, er, a kitchen, a few hallways, a hall and a giant ballroom-come-treasure vault, described in the story as being 55 by 46 paces in size, which would make it a nice place to play a bit of indoor football if all the treasure would be cleared up.

But I was thinking… it’s all nice and proper to have this sort of place on paper, but what does it really look like? How does a 55-by-46-paces ballroom really look like, now that you really think of it?

The environment is boring in my mind because I’ve not put my visualisation of the story on paper. I have a vivid picture of the hall in my mind, and I wish I had the patience to draw the thing. Currently, all I can do is to give a description. It’s sad when I can only describe the actual locations where the story happens, when in an ideal world, I could describe every corner of the manor…

If there’s anything I’ve learned from Thief game series, it’s that fully-fleshed-out areas make stories engaging. If the mission involves robbing a house while the home owner is sleeping, you make a house where the guy is actually asleep. The player can fulfill the mission objectives (rob the house) and witness, first hand, that the story is actually true (the guy is sleeping).

So here I am, recreating the image I have of the Blannyr manor in my head… using GtkRadiant, and designing the manor as a level for the good old Quake. Perhaps, when the process is finished, I’ll be able to release the thing so people can play it. And, perhaps in distant future, I’ll be making The Dark Mod missions out of the stories, too, once that mod is released…