Incremental testing

It's important to periodically test your work. Leaving all testing until the very end of a project is a mistake. Not only is it discouraging to think you've completed a project, only to be blindsided by a mountain of bugs, it's also easier to track down the cause of those bugs. If you test periodically, you'll know that any new bugs you discover were created since the last time you tested. It's also important to have a feel for how your scenario plays as you write it. If you discover that your latest combat encounter is too difficult, or too bland, or too unfun, it's easier to adjust it then, rather than later, when changing one aspect of a scenario means you have to change a dozen other aspects. Finally, it's good to test things in-game if you're trying something you've never done before. And if you're reading this tutorial, chances are good that pretty much everything is new to you.

Start Blades of Avernum, create a new party if you don't already have one, and enter the scenario. If you don't see it in the list, make sure you have a registered copy of the game, and that the scenario folder is in Blades of Avernum\Blades of Avernum Scenarios. As you play, make sure that everything we've created on so far is working as intended:

I tested the bridge fight with the default party, with no additional training or items. I was able to win handily on Normal difficulty. On Torment, my fighters got beat up pretty badly, but I was still able to win. For a scenario intended for level 1 parties, this is about what we want the difficulty to be. But combat balance is one of the more important aspects of scenario design, so it's important to keep an eye on it as you do your testing. If fights are always too easy, consider adding either more enemies, or make the enemies tougher. Likewise, remove enemies or replace them with easier ones if combat is too difficult. Some problems might not be as obvious. It might take playing through a scenario to realize that no one sells arrows for your archer. If a big dungeon is too hard, you could make the enemies easier to fight, but you could also place some scrolls and potions as loot, or have a cheap shop selling them in a nearby town.


Next, we'll create the dungeon where the last pesky goblin is hiding.