Academy for Modding Excellence

Academy of Modding Excellence Public Forums => Academy for Modding Excellence News => : BenWH August 25, 2008, 06:45:29 AM

: Golden Dragon Interview: Maerduin aka Zach Holbrook
: BenWH August 25, 2008, 06:45:29 AM
Zach Holbrook won the Debut Author Golden Dragon award for NWN2 with his module Harp & Chrysanthemum (, which also won the Golden Dragon Award for Best Sound/Music. We caught up with him briefly to find out what his views on H&C are and how the music came about.

What made you start building modules?

I liked the idea of having so much control over everything--That's true--but I also like to believe that I have multiple creative outlets and that modding uses and combines them in a way few other kinds of tedious labor can. 

Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration for your module Harp & Chrysanthemum?

There were a few things I knew about H&C before creating it--it would be rural; it would be autumnal; it would focus on love.

Were the companions modelled on real people?

Yes, me.  Sort of.  I don't completely identify with any of them, but I can certainly imagine myself as all of them.

If you could, would you have done anything differently?

Yes.  The ending, for one. I also wish that the story I had crafted was less diffuse and more like the story in "The Birthday" ( structure of that module is better than H&C's.  But then it is also much smaller.  That said, I also think "The Birthday" makes the player think more than H&C does--I would like to do something similar with Bron's Daughter.

What's the 'best bit' of your module for you?

The atmosphere, and then Ianth.   

What was the inspiration for the music?

The Drawn Swords theme is something I wrote called "Bleeding-Heart" before I ever started  modding.  It had words and was about a kind of flower supposed to predict whether your love was true to you or not.  The theme for the Backlands was created after the Backlands themselves were created.  My favorite and most overused chords inspired the melody.
How did you compose the music?

The hardest part was translating the Drawn Swords theme, which I knew only on piano, to banjo--which I was and still am learning.  The Backlands theme was far easier.  I recorded both on a digital 8-track and then messed with them in Adobe Audition.

What did you think when you first heard about the Golden Dragon Awards?

I thought it was wonderful that the community had invented so many awards for us modders!

Have you ever tried the other finalists in your categories?

I have started playing a lot of modules, but I have not completed very many of them--I would *like* to, but with work, other projects, and more modding to do--and games that are not NWN2 to play--I tend not to.  I almost always download new ones and play through a bit to get a feel for them, though.  I don't like having my head in the sand.

What are you up to currently?

I'm working on a sequel to H&C called Bron's Daughter.  Progress is slow and I doubt the community will see a 2008 release from me, especially if I do miscellaneous life-things that I have already put off far too long.  That said, I do want to get it out.

Thanks Zach, we're looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

: Re: Golden Dragon Interview: Maerduin aka Zach Holbrook
: sirchet August 25, 2008, 01:08:05 PM
Thanks Ben and Zach.

Looking forward to Bron's Daughter. ;)

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