Author Topic: Will there ever be another NWN?  (Read 2311 times)

Legacy_ladydesire

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #30 on: July 18, 2010, 12:59:03 am »


               While database systems are nice for Persistent Worlds to use, I don't like the idea of using them for single player content, simply based on the issues that people are having getting the DA toolset to work on their PC's; it uses a database to store the data for the modules and some people have serious issues even getting it to work.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Mordaedil

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #31 on: July 18, 2010, 01:45:36 am »


               Would be a bit easier if it had a perfectly synonymous database in the engine itself, without outsourcing to bigger producers like MySQL and such.



We are after all, talking about storing integers in a single file, right? That shouldn't be too hard if it can store such information after resetting the game.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_MrZork

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2010, 02:02:11 am »


               

ChaosInTwilight wrote...

Yanno, I think one day I may rent a van and hire some goons.. 

Just so I can abduct random NWN players, and interogate them to find out the true answer to  "Why don't you want cool stuff for free?"


Obviously, some players are a bit lazy (:innocent:). But, there are factors besides that that I think contribute to people not installing the great custom content. Here are some thoughts, in no particular order:
  • The game is pretty awesome as it is, just installed from the NWN Diamond retail box and running the 1.69 patch. I think many people who pick up a game that's seven or eight years old aren't all serious gamers. Many may be in the same camp I was, thinking, "Cool! I played AD&D as a kid. I wonder how much of that feel they have captured here." And, the experience of playing the OC and the two expansions is really huge fun. But, even playing several hours every day or two, it can take a couple months to get through the first three campaigns. And, that's not even counting all the people who go through each one a couple times with different characters to see what it's like to play the different classes and so on. So, just playing with no added content (not counting the patch), someone can easily play so much that he gets a little burned out or some other game comes along before he really has much reason to wonder whether there is more content out there.

  • Many new players don't really know that there is new content, or that there is so much of it. Let's face it, very few games have such an abundance of fan-created content and it may not be instinctive for people to assume it's out there. Sure, most players will have ended up at the Bioware site at some point, but it will mostly be for things like the game patch or help with some problem (they are stuck in the campaign or there is something they think is a bug).



  • This point is HUGE: For a newer player, there isn't an obvious how-to starting point for custom content. In other words, "I want to install some cool thing I saw that says it's a 'hak pack'; or I want some new portraits; or I want to change what the Ring of Invisibility looks like. Where's the step-by-step guide for this?" I'm not saying the information isn't out there, but it's not where one might expect to find it. Most people will come to the Bioware's NWN page and look at the NWN FAQ under "About NWN" and hunt around several pages and find nothing. Then they might check under Support and see the Technical FAQ, which also has no help. If they go to the forums, the first check is probably the NWN General Discussion forums. That looks promising, especially the sticky called "Reference Links & Guides (Read This First!)", but one can easily get lost there without finding much that sounds like it could answer his questions (except maybe the dead link to the PRC site). Even way down in the Custom Content forum, there are several stickies that seem promising, but won't help most newer players, and many of those (which are often full of great info) have no top-level description of what they are, so it's difficult to tell if they are going to be helpful and it's often intimidating to open a tutorial thread and drop straight into a discussion of erf files, toolsets, overrides, etc. For example, the "Custom Content Advice and Tutorials" sticky sounds like it might have advice on the above questions, but a newer player finds himself immediately in the middle of something that sounds technical and he may not make heads or tails of it.



    I didn't want to turn that one point into a dissertation, but I recall being a bit frustrated hunting around for that sort of info when I first wanted to add something to the game. The use of custom content would really benefit from a nice, "So, you want to install some cool custom content, do you?" page that has enough descriptive scaffolding that an otherwise intelligent but uninitiated player (someone who has played and maybe install the patch, but that's all) could make use of it. Have a link to a "These are the terms people use when describing custom content and when they talk about installing it" glossary page. (E.g. this is what a tile is, this is what a HAK file is, this is what 'painting' is in the Toolset, etc.") After that, take the first ten or twenty things people might want to do (e.g. "I want to play using a cool-looking battleaxe"), and give each one a link to a page that explains the task step-by-step, and give a couple sentence description of what the player will find on that page before giving the link, so that people don't get frustrating running into dead ends because they don't know how to describe what they want to do.



    (BTW, I know that lots of the content itself comes straight off of the vault with a good readme and installation notes. But plenty still sort of assumes you have done this before and custom content in general would really benefit from a standard and easy-to-find jumping off point for installation and related tasks.)

  • Some people may worry that the custom content they install might mess up the game and they won't know how to fix it. There is a fair amount of "back up this folder up", "add this hak in a certain order", "rebuild the module", etc. stuff that will scare people. A player may be thinking, "All I want are new icons for scrolls / is for my henchmen not to act like such idiots / is to get some items to stack in the inventory / etc.", but they aren't willing to risk a total reinstallation to do it.
I had a couple other thoughts, but this post is already too long. ':blink:'
               
               

               
            

Legacy_pkpeachykeen

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2010, 04:23:08 am »


               For those concerned about databases and especially setup, the proposed engine is SQLite:
http://www.sqlite.org/

The main logic behind using databases is that 2DAs basically are database tables already, just in a hard to work with format (from a code perspective). SQL, on the other hand, is a lot faster and more flexible. With the possibility to add new 2DAs and add columns to existing ones, it's imperative we have a system that can handle that. That's where SQL, backed by the SQLite engine and exposed to scripts if necessary, comes in. Both the engine itself and scripts can look things up. You can even do plenty of crazy things with SQL, like finding all human NPCs in a module from script.

Now, the difference between SQLite and, say, MySQL is this:

SQLite is a software library that implements a
self-contained,
serverless,
zero-configuration,
transactional
SQL database engine.
SQLite is the
most widely deployed
SQL database engine in the world.
The source code for SQLite is in the
public domain.

I've used it before, and I know this is true. SQLite can handle over 10,000 inserts per second, unoptimized. Retrieving a row out of 300,000 takes less than 1/20th of a second. The database is a single file and SQLite itself is 1 DLL. There just isn't any setup, so there won't be any compatibility problems.

In fact, you're probably already using SQLite. If you use Firefox, Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Air, run a Mac, have a Symbian, Android or Blackberry-based cellphone or iPhone (actually, I think most Verizon phones use it too), you already use it.  It's so small, fast and out-of-the-way that you just don't know. If I hadn't said it, we probably could've worked it into this engine and nobody would've noticed.'<img'>
So, no worries about databases. But if you have a better idea, by all means....
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Snowbug

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« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2010, 01:12:20 pm »


               

Lord Sullivan wrote...

Snowbug wrote...

Too bad I don't really have any skills that would be of help with this project, but I can promise to cheer it on, I guess '<img'>


Learn!! '<img'>


Hmmm....

Okay. Where do I start?
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Lord Sullivan

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2010, 06:25:28 pm »


               

Snowbug wrote...

Lord Sullivan wrote...

Snowbug wrote...

Too bad I don't really have any skills that would be of help with this project, but I can promise to cheer it on, I guess '<img'>


Learn!! '<img'>


Hmmm....

Okay. Where do I start?


Well, the best advice I can give is, follow your talents and interests. If you have a nack at drawing/painting? then
start parcticing seriously starting today. Find tutorials on the internet. If you have some programming skills? start practicing and look for codes exemples of things you'd like to know how to do. If you have interest in learning 3D modeling? grabe a free or free opensource software solution and start practicing and learning from tutorials on the internet, etc...

Where ever it would be beneficial for you to start as only you know yourself and your skills.

Hope that helps 'B)'
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Kephisto

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2010, 08:01:46 pm »


               

Snowbug wrote...


Lord Sullivan wrote...


Snowbug wrote...


Too bad I don't really have any skills that would be of help with this project, but I can promise to cheer it on, I guess '<img'>



Learn!! webkit-fake-url://A52C7D3F-A98A-42C6-AE5F-10835F28EB65/pastedGraphic.pdf




Hmmm....


Okay. Where do I start?


Hey, Snowbug! You’ve already started! To be of help to just about any project, game related or not, you have all the skills you need right now. You’re not required to learn anything else. That’s because what you bring to a team or project is something extremely valuable, something no one else can duplicate - you bring yourself. 

Each person on a team is valuable and more important than any of their individual skills is their collective ability to work together. A team of world class professionals who all hate each other and never openly discuss their tasks and concerns, just do what each of them feels like doing without regard to others on the team - well, that will end badly. What they release is terrible. That’s if they release it at all.

On the other hand, a small team of amateurs who have fun working together, openly discuss their tasks and concerns, do what’s best for the project and the team and not just for themselves, and are dedicated to a specific cause - well, such a team can move mountains. What that team releases will shine, as if made by professionals.  

So just speak your mind, share your opinions, voice your concerns, which all around help the team reach their objective. Everyone gets a bit winded on a project from time to time, so having someone appreciating their work and cheering them on really helps. 

Above all, have fun! By simply doing that and being yourself, you’re reminding others on the team what all their hard work and sweat is for. The community. How we best serve that community isn’t just by the skills we learn, its also by taking part by speaking up. 'B)'
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Kephisto, 18 juillet 2010 - 07:04 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_Jez_fr

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2010, 08:41:31 pm »


               I think a NWN3 is very unlikely, but a game/software made to reproduce pen and paper rpg experience in a video game can happen anytime. Bioware is far from being the only RPG company.



I remember very well that in the very first interview about NWN, that's what they tried to achieve with NWN, making a tool to do pnp RPG in video game. That's why there is a DM client (which some people here tend to forget, thats what really make NWN unique), and thats why the Toolset itself was done like a game itself, and not a tool for modders. Any player could create a dungeon easily, which simply isn't possible with NWN2, DA:O etc... (DAO toolset being more of a recruiting tool for Bioware than anything else to me but that's another subject...)



So to go back to OP, a NWN3 probably not. A new RPG creating tool/game that may happen. Its just a matter of a company realizing there is a market for that and to make it. That very well could launch in orbit a smaller company.



When it concern software and video games, vacuum doesn't remain empty for very long so I would remain optimistic =)
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Frith5

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2010, 10:46:38 pm »


               [quote Ben Harrison]
But if what the community wants is another expansion pack-style
campaign... why don't we make one? A "community premium module" wouldn't
even take long to produce if some of us put our heads together.
[end quote]

Hi Ben,

I would love to see, and be part of, anything like this. Creating a complete 'Unofficial Campaign' for NWN, uitilizing the cream of the crop CC and bringing in new CC too, with an arse-kickin' storyline to boot. I have no doubt it could be done, and done incredibly well.

Regards,
JFK
               
               

               
            

Legacy_pkpeachykeen

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2010, 02:10:23 am »


               @Snowbug: As Lord Sullivan and Kephisto said, help is help. At this point we're still in the planning stage, want to get solid docs down before we start moving. Every suggestion makes this a little bit better. Every community member helping, in any way, makes this that much more of a community project. A community engine isn't a small undertaking, but with a community doing it, it's easily possible. And as Kephisto said, just being willing to help helps. The discussion thread for this is pushing 4 pages now on the Citadel, in just a few days. We've gotten some good ideas and some solid starting points, as well as the opinions of a few world builders, modelers, everyone. Knowing where to go is what we need at the moment, then we need the skills to get there.



If you're interested in learning anything, though, there are plenty of tutorials around for almost anything. Do you have any fields of interest?
               
               

               
            

Legacy_WoodsDweller

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #40 on: July 19, 2010, 05:11:21 am »


               An analogous project is OpenMW : http://openmw.sourceforge.net/jaws/



This is for the Elder Scrolls world.

Someone tried to implement Morrowind (TES3) in Oblivion (TES4) by creating terrain with the new heightmap stuff and SpeedTree, then porting the old buildings over (the MorrOblivion project). Bethesda legal shut them down because they would not allow their art assets to be used in another game, EVEN IN ONE OF THEIR OWN GAMES. Contrast that with the way resources have been shared back and forth between BioWare and Obsidian.



OpenMW, however, seems to be avoiding that problem (and Bethesda is apparently aware of them). They (he?) is writing a new multi-platform engine from scratch that loads the original files unchanged. As far as Bethesda is concerned, it is the same game with a different engine.



This sort of thing can absolutely be done. It can bring an old game back from the dead. Multi-platform, 64 bit, additional resource formats, improved/alternate scripting language, the works.



I'm not going to try to wrap my brain around the EULA to see what loading NWN and NWN2 resources into a different game would be. I can see WotC trying to shut down the use of D&D IP. In fact, I would be surprised if they didn't.

So the "same game, alternate engine" approach might be what is required.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_cokeCan

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« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2010, 06:09:16 am »


               OpenMW looks interesting. I am wondering, back in the day we used to play using the caltech rules, which, since the net was not pervasive, you could get and print on your dotmatrix printer from a 51/2 in floppy '<img'>



The gist is that the caltech rules were more detailed for combat than the d&d rules, and come on, WotC cannot copyright mythology. So if it is a different engine, and uses a different rule system but can import NWN CC is there grounds for any legal action?
               
               

               
            

Legacy_WoodsDweller

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« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2010, 07:12:50 am »


               WotC doesn't copyright mythology in general, but they do copyright the Forgotten Realms, and the D&D ruleset. So you can have gods, but not their gods. You can have elves, but not their elves. You can't have a city named "Neverwinter". You can roll for damage, but not the way D&D does it.



I think you either go "same game, alternate engine" and try to get in under the original BioWare contract with WotC (which, for all I know, might have been tied to a specific engine so that wouldn't work), or you go fully independent with clean IP.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Ticladesign

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« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2010, 09:16:26 am »


               That's why I preferred to have Bioware make a Dragon Age game with the NWN concept in mind - less complex toolset (thus less options, but allowing solo builders) Multiplayer and DM client.



The Dragon Age (origins) Engine itself could work with tweaks. But it felt a bit NWN'ish still.



Just the whole Singleplayer only focus, DLC and Cinematic camera make it tricky. That's why I would prefer a spin-off game that uses the DA:O art assets, the ruleset on top of an improved Aurora engine with all the options that NWN has.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_SHOVA

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« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2010, 02:34:16 pm »


               Feeling NWNish, and being a viable NWN D&D game are two different things. I won't spend the money to get the feeling like something game when I can spend the money to get the game that is. I may be alone in that mindset, but I hope that I am not.