Part 1: The Quest Journal

The Quest Journal

The first step to creating your quest in the Construction Set is creating the Quest Journal entries for it. (Well, actually the first step is opening up the Construction Set, but we’re assuming you already know how to do that and won’t be covering it in this guide!)

You first navigate to the Dialogue Window. This is a little icon near the top of your screen that looks like a speech bubble. Click it.

This opens up the dialogue window. In the default view, here you can see all the dialogue ever written into the game. To get to the Quest Journal, you’ll want to navigate over to the tab that says Journal.

Here you will see a list of all quests that have been implemented into the game. To create your own, right click on any quest title and click New.  (It doesn’t matter which quest you do this to, as you won’t be changing it by doing this.) Type in an ID for your quest. Note that changing the ID gets tricky later on, so you’ll want to make this something short, unique, and identifiable to you at a glance. I choose to give my quest the ID "TR_KevaarShiny".


Pro Tip: Adding the same prefix to all your mod's IDs is good modder etiquette, as now anyone who opens up your mod in the CS knows exactly what you contributed to the game world. It also serves the purpose that you yourself can quickly navigate to your own work! TR maintains this philosophy in that we prefer you use the TR_m#_AB_ShortQuestName format when doing TR quests, where # is the number of the map the quest can be found in (m0, m1, m3, etc), AB is an abbreviation of either the city or the faction in which the quest can be found (TG for Thieve's Guild, OE for Old Ebonheart, etc), ShortQuestName is your quest title shortened to just a few words, and TR always goes at the beginning.

The next thing you will need to do is create the title of the quest as it will appear in your ingame journal. You can add this at any time, but since I already know my title, I’ll do that now. First I’m going to right-click in the Info/Response window, and select New. Then I’m going to navigate down to the text box and type in my title, capitalized correctly. As this is the Quest Name, I am then going to click on the “Quest Name” checkbox, so that the game doesn’t inadvertently give me a journal entry that says nothing but Kevaar Finds A Shiny. Because that would be strange. Unless you’re Kevaar.


Pro Tip: If I were making a quest for a faction such as the Fighter's Guild, I would want to be sure to add this to the beginning of my Quest Name, followed by a colon. This is to keep my quests consistent with the vanilla game's conventions. Eg: "Fighters Guild: No Sin Goes Unpunished" instead of just "No Sin Goes Unpunished"

Next I’m going to start making the rest of my journal entries. These will appear in the ingame journal as the player plays through my quest. These entries also help you, the backend writer, to organize your quest in logical steps. I’m going to be making a simple quest, so I’m going to add just three entries to start with.

The first entry should be what appears once the player stumbles upon your quest for the first time. Sometimes you will have multiples of these depending on how many ways the player can find your quest, but I will just have the one. First I click on the Info/Response tab and click New, just like when I made my quest title. In the textbox, this time I will be typing out exactly what I want to appear in the journal entry itself. (The game engine will automatically handle adding a date to the entry). Using the logic of Topic-Based Dialogue, I want to write blandly, so that conceivably any kind of character could be writing this.

I also want to add an Index number to this entry. This is used later on for identifying what stage of the quest the player is on. Since this is the first entry, I will call it 10. I like to use multiples of 10 just in case I forget an entry and need to go back and add others in between. Entries should be in the order you expect the player to come across them, for it makes your life easier later on down the road.

If I haven’t already, I am going to SAVE my mod file!

Next I will add my second entry. For the purposes of my simple quest, this will be the entry that shows up when the player has returned the shiny to its owner successfully but has yet to tell Kevaar. I will call it 50. If I were writing a mystery quest or a quest with multiple steps, I might realize later I need other entries that happen between 10 and 50, which is why I chose such a big gap.

Finally, I need to write an entry for once I have returned to Kevaar and he has given me a reward for completing his quest. I am going to call this entry 60. Since I don’t want this quest hanging around forever in the player’s journal, I will also check the Finished box so that the quest no longer appears once the player has finished it. I should have entries like these in the quest journal when I am done:

Journal Index 0
Quest Name checked
"Kevar Finds a Shiny"

Journal Index 10
"Kevaar found an abandoned ring. He's asked me to find its owner."

Journal Index 50
"Fargoth says he is the owner of the ring Kevaar found. I should tell Kevaar this."

Journal Index 60
Finished checked
"Kevaar thanked me for finding the owner of the ring and has assured me he will give it to Fargoth."

And for the more visual among you, here is a screenshot of the finished product:

And that’s all I have to do for my simple quest journal! If you haven’t already, SAVE your mod file!

Next, we will be handling creating all the objects needed for the quest.