Author Topic: Will there ever be another NWN?  (Read 1648 times)

Legacy_Johnmr531

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #120 on: July 21, 2011, 04:47:13 am »


               Dont know if this has been mentioned but there is this from cryptic
http://www.playneverwinter.com/
               
               

               
            

Legacy_NWN DM

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Will there ever be another NWN?
« Reply #121 on: July 21, 2011, 02:00:25 pm »


               

Johnmr531 wrote...

Dont know if this has been mentioned but there is this from cryptic
http://www.playneverwinter.com/

It has, but that game resembles NWN in name only based on what we know at the present time.  IMO obviously.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_UrkOfGreyhawk

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« Reply #122 on: July 22, 2011, 12:58:54 am »


               Yeah. Neverwinter online looks pretty craptastic.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Birdman076

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« Reply #123 on: July 22, 2011, 04:51:13 am »


               Why not use a game engine like  Unity or the Unreal Engine and roll our own? 'Posted
               
               

               
            

Legacy_UrkOfGreyhawk

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« Reply #124 on: July 23, 2011, 07:31:11 pm »


               Why start over from scratch when we already have a perfectly serviceable and easily modable engine like aurora available?

I certainly see the appeal of modernizing the graphics and I love the rules-set plug-in idea. I still haven't forgiven Obs for not adding a z-axis to Electron, and I'd love to see that implemented. But the project would just be enormous. Even if the core engine was finished can you imagine the tedium of migrating thousands of models over to the new system? Throw in CEP, Q, and D20 modern and you're talking about an epic quantity of material. And suppose a z-axis was implemented. This creates a whole new challenge creating animations and modifying models (which were never meant to fly in the first place). And what then? You have a bunch of low poly models cluttering up your your high poly engine. Create all new models?

It just doesn't seem like a practical venture.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Bannor Bloodfist

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« Reply #125 on: July 23, 2011, 08:02:40 pm »


               

Birdman076 wrote...

Why not use a game engine like  Unity or the Unreal Engine and roll our own? 'Posted


This "thought" gets tossed out into this arena every 6 months to every year or so.  For the last 6 years at the minimum.  The reason it has not already been done is because folks think it would be simple/easy etc.  if it was so simple, it would have already been done.  

Creating a "roll your own" game with ANY engine, will require full time programmers, on the order of 5 or 6 of them at the minimum.  Not guys doing a bit of coding here and there on the weekend, but FULL TIME employees, as in "getting paid for it" type of dedication.

If we had the Aurora source, it would be one thing, but Bioware will NOT give that to us.  They have "licensed" it out to other game dev companies, as in NWN 2, and WItcher both are based on code licensed out from Bioware.  If they gave the source code away, they lose the ability to "collect" on those licensing fees... not a good business decision. I have no clue on what sort of royalties they currently collect, but even if it is only in the thousands per year, that still is enough to prevent a giveaway version of the code.

So, you have to start from scratch.  You have to decide on what sort of ruleset you want, how to implement that ruleset etc.  You have to create an interface for the user/player.  You have to create a toolset to implement building for those that wish to create their own mods, you have to create the back engine code to handle movement, to handle painting of objects... what sort of mdl format you will support, what sort of texturing you will support and the filetypes needed to implement that.

In other words, it takes a large team of folks.  Dedicated to getting the work done, able to work AS A TEAM and not a bunch of individualists with their own plans/ideas/demands/expectations etc.

These folks have to be very widely skilled, and very good at what they do.

Heck, look at the history of premium mods... not a single one of those teams of folks, all of them VERY skilled, are still in existance... they are all gone.  Primarily because they didn't have engine code, OR programmers capable of creating such or they would have all moved on to creating their own games.  

Heck, even some of the "community" members that were eventaully hired by Bioware are no longer employed by them simply because the industry can't support them.  There are thousands of folks that are fairly skiilled in re-texturing, or even in creation of mdls for NWN, and many OTHER games out there.  There is not enough money in the industry to support a game like this, rolled on your own.  There are many failed instances of games that started out as Purchase games, then fell to the "community" to develope their own next installment.  Mast of Orion is one that comes readily to mind but there are dozens of others out there too.

Next up, you have "found" the folks that you want to help you create the "vision" and they all agree to follow the lead... now, where does the money come from?  Who pays the light bill?  Who pays the marketing bill?  How fast does your investor want his/her money back and at what profit point?

6-9 months down the road, how many of the original "team" are still around?  How many got bored, fed up because they thought that they could sneak their own ideas into the plan but were stopped, etc, and moved on?

NWN 2 and WItcher developed faster because they had licensed original Aurora engine from Bioware, they only had to modify the engine.  You are talking about creating a NEW game from scratch... that took Bioware something on the order of 5 years of behind the scenes development work.  How many folks are going to invest in a sub-culture game company that has such a limited market, for 5 years before the first sale?  
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Tanlaus

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« Reply #126 on: July 23, 2011, 10:03:43 pm »


               Bannor, I pretty much agree with your argument- very well stated by the way- but am absolutely puzzled by your use of quotation marks. ;-)
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Birdman076

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« Reply #127 on: July 24, 2011, 12:19:45 am »


               

Bannor Bloodfist wrote...

Birdman076 wrote...

Why not use a game engine like  Unity or the Unreal Engine and roll our own? 'Posted


This "thought" gets tossed out into this arena every 6 months to every year or so.  For the last 6 years at the minimum.  The reason it has not already been done is because folks think it would be simple/easy etc.  if it was so simple, it would have already been done.  

Creating a "roll your own" game with ANY engine, will require full time programmers, on the order of 5 or 6 of them at the minimum.  Not guys doing a bit of coding here and there on the weekend, but FULL TIME employees, as in "getting paid for it" type of dedication.

If we had the Aurora source, it would be one thing, but Bioware will NOT give that to us.  They have "licensed" it out to other game dev companies, as in NWN 2, and WItcher both are based on code licensed out from Bioware.  If they gave the source code away, they lose the ability to "collect" on those licensing fees... not a good business decision. I have no clue on what sort of royalties they currently collect, but even if it is only in the thousands per year, that still is enough to prevent a giveaway version of the code.

So, you have to start from scratch.  You have to decide on what sort of ruleset you want, how to implement that ruleset etc.  You have to create an interface for the user/player.  You have to create a toolset to implement building for those that wish to create their own mods, you have to create the back engine code to handle movement, to handle painting of objects... what sort of mdl format you will support, what sort of texturing you will support and the filetypes needed to implement that.

In other words, it takes a large team of folks.  Dedicated to getting the work done, able to work AS A TEAM and not a bunch of individualists with their own plans/ideas/demands/expectations etc.

These folks have to be very widely skilled, and very good at what they do.

Heck, look at the history of premium mods... not a single one of those teams of folks, all of them VERY skilled, are still in existance... they are all gone.  Primarily because they didn't have engine code, OR programmers capable of creating such or they would have all moved on to creating their own games.  

Heck, even some of the "community" members that were eventaully hired by Bioware are no longer employed by them simply because the industry can't support them.  There are thousands of folks that are fairly skiilled in re-texturing, or even in creation of mdls for NWN, and many OTHER games out there.  There is not enough money in the industry to support a game like this, rolled on your own.  There are many failed instances of games that started out as Purchase games, then fell to the "community" to develope their own next installment.  Mast of Orion is one that comes readily to mind but there are dozens of others out there too.

Next up, you have "found" the folks that you want to help you create the "vision" and they all agree to follow the lead... now, where does the money come from?  Who pays the light bill?  Who pays the marketing bill?  How fast does your investor want his/her money back and at what profit point?

6-9 months down the road, how many of the original "team" are still around?  How many got bored, fed up because they thought that they could sneak their own ideas into the plan but were stopped, etc, and moved on?

NWN 2 and WItcher developed faster because they had licensed original Aurora engine from Bioware, they only had to modify the engine.  You are talking about creating a NEW game from scratch... that took Bioware something on the order of 5 years of behind the scenes development work.  How many folks are going to invest in a sub-culture game company that has such a limited market, for 5 years before the first sale?  


I beg to differ, times have changed in 6 years and a full developement kit was not available then as it is now hence the links I posted. The unreal developement kit is based off the game Unreal 3 and includes a script editor:


"UnrealScript is a simple, high-level programming language that gives complete scripting control. Scripts can be connected via Unreal Kismet, an intuitive visual editor that requires no programming knowledge. UnrealScript lets you build prototypes and add new gameplay elements quickly and easily. "

World Editor:

"Unreal Engine 3 offers a fully integrated editing environment through the renowned Unreal Editor. All of the engine’s key tools are accessible through UnrealEd. The new Unreal Content Browser makes managing assets like meshes, materials, sounds, and animations easier than ever.

Work with a dynamically deformable base height map extended by multiple layers of smoothly blended materials. Then layer on procedural weathering, such as grass and vegetation or the snow on mountain peaks. "

AI:

"Give AI-controlled characters increased spatial awareness of the world around them and enable them to make smarter movements with UDK’s gameplay framework and artificial intelligence system. Add life to your game world by using UDK's crowd system with flocking technology, which can simulate hundreds of characters within a scene in real time."

Networking: 

"UDK currently offers full LAN and direct IP connectivity. Fire up a battle between your buddies and steal the flag from your favorite co-workers! " 

And many other features. Games have been built in under a year with the udk. So yes I would agree if it were just an "engine" and everything had to be programmed and built from the ground up but there are many developement kits available now that haven't been in the past.

 
               
               

               


                     Modifié par Birdman076, 23 juillet 2011 - 11:21 .
                     
                  


            

Legacy_PlasmaJohn

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« Reply #128 on: July 24, 2011, 01:38:50 am »


               Any serious effort using Unity requires significant licensing fees.  The Unreal license is atrocious enough that most developers stay far far away.

Instead of tossing out technologies, why not suggest what you can produce yourself?  The people who have the skills to take advantage of the various engines have already done their homework.  They're either already working on something or don't have the time or resources to build somebody else's project.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Bannor Bloodfist

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« Reply #129 on: July 24, 2011, 03:03:02 am »


               

Tanlaus wrote...

Bannor, I pretty much agree with your argument- very well stated by the way- but am absolutely puzzled by your use of quotation marks. ;-)


Hehe... no real way to "stress" a point in text.  Could, theoretically, use pronunciation marks, and really butcher the words up that way I guess, but sadly, English punctuation/pronunciation, was always a weak point in my education.

Most of what I was stressing is the idea of a "team".  They are few and far between and don't tend to last very long, especially with long term projects.  In our environment here, it has been proven time and again, that teams don't last.  Someone feels slighted in some way by not gaining all the recognition that they feel they deserve when they are included in the group/team congrats and glamour.  The rest of the stressing is relagated to payment.  Direct, cash, payment.  Folks that hang around here are all involved with other things in real life.  For them to devote the amount of time needed to be a successful "team" they have to have funding.  Enough to pay their bills at least.  Otherwise, they get lost in working overtime at their "real" job to pay those bills, and just don't have the energy or the time to accomplish much for a hobby game.

Some folks are really skilled at scripting, some at writing, some at building provided they have a toolset, others at creation of creatures, some more at creation of buildings/environments and still more that have skills with texturing those different things that others create.  Few, have ALL of those skills at their disposal.  Sure, they can dable at this and that, but are they truly all that skilled?  So, it boils down to having the "team" work together for a common goal.  Common idea, common storyline, and being willing to sacrifice some things that they thought they wanted/needed to see happen in the hopes that the final product will reach a point where it is actually playable, much less salable.

When you add in the stressors caused by the gnerally thankless community, it gets really bad.  Sure, folks use the stuff, but they don't care about how much work went into getting it created, nor do they care WHO actually did that work.  So, the artists get frustrated.  Their "name/fame" is lost in the fray, and they move on to doing something else.  When this happens more than once or twice to a "team" thrn the "team" dies, typically a lonely death too.

Hey, I am 100% behind anyone willing to payup and provide a living to me that wants me to help create a new game. Is that likely to happen?  I don't think so.  Definitely not around here.  I work long hours, for little enough pay as it is.  Spending 80 hours a week working on creating a new game would not be unreasonable expectation, provided that I wouldn't have to work 60 hours more, somewhere else just to be able to eat and pay the mortgage.

I have spent litterally thousands of hours of personal time creating for the NWN community.  if I had been paid the lowly sum of $3 per hour, I might be able to pay the car payment and mortgage for a few months... beyond that?  Well, prices keep rising, wages keep falling, and the taxes never cease.

Think about it... say you need 3-6 programmers, SKILLED folks.  Good at getting things done.  Those guys don't come cheap.  But lets say you can convince them to join for the lowly salary of around 80K per year, for a 3 year contract.  So, low end, $240k, high end $480k, just for your programmers... now add in 3-6 graphics artists.... they don't come cheap either, nor should they, but now we are talking close to $1million for a single year.  We still don't have a writer (sotry writer) nor do we have builders, creators whatever you want to call the guy that lays out the areas the players will walk around in.  Sure, maybe some of that can get done by the graphics artists, but truly, their skills are better used for creating the objects than laying them down in various configurations.... anyway, 2-4 builders... maybe they come cheaper... Say $40-60k, will pick the middle and go with $50k... that's another 100-200k per year.  

I am positive that other employees are needed too, and that is LONG before you get to real quality assurance... (Which should be part of the budget from the start, never wait until the end, because by then, it is much too late).  

Equipment?  Would you be willing to turn your own personal computer over to some company so they can make a huge profit while all you get is a yearly salary?  And, does that computer need to be upgraded to the latest and greatest prior to release of said game, say three years down the road?  That's another $5k per seat at the start. (2 computers over 3 years both at top of the line when purchased)  Yes, it could be purchased cheaper, but a business tends to have other expenses too, so just roll that in...

Advertising?  Heh... just how much money are the current folks running for president spending already?  And that is long before the final primaries... so, several million added there.  Granted, advertising can wait until near the end, but it can't wait forever, as the investors want feedback that they have wisely invested in whatever game you are building.

Multi-national?  Whelp, you need translators for that, and not some google webpage translation either, you need someone skilled in the different languages, that can translate the meaings of phrases into something that makes sense in the other language.

Add in a few lawyers.. necessary in this world unfortunately, and another couple hundred grand disappears, the higher the expected profit made from the game, the higher the legal fees will be as well.

So, now we are talking that you need what? 10-15 mill to get started?  Then what, started on what?  You don't have a story yet, you don't have a working game yet, you have nothing your builders can play with yet.

Creating a game is NOT cheap.  Creating a good game, much less a great game, is even more epxnsive.

There are articles all over the web about how MMO's are making money, most are slowly moving to the pay per item type of thing... the game comes free, but the costume that EVERYONE wants to wear is $5 and the Sheild is another $2.50 etc.... So your investors have to wait until folks, real folks, start playing, and paying for that play before they even start to pay off the debt.  It gets harder and harder to convince them that you have the brightest and shiniest sword in the inventory, and that folks want to own that sword... after all, there are dozens of competitors also offering a sword, maybe not the same shape, or color, or weight, but they offer one.

Now, get a "team" to commit to something like this.  Especially in today's economy.  Remember, they have to follow the leader... and the leader has to lead them.  The team has to abide by whatever decisions were made by the "excutives" that created the company... the idea, the goal.

It CAN be done, and 10 years ago it WAS done by more than one company, but that just means that you have all the experienced competition already out there searching for that same $5 per costume payment.

Do it all for free?  Nope, won't happen, sure, you get some folks that like to play around with a hobby, but those folks are not capable of creating a fully working game regardless of the tools given them.  They need the rest of the "team" to accomplish it.  That is the sadest part too... the ego's get in the way.  Since folks are doing it for free, they feel they deserve the credit, and they do, for whatever work they accomplish, but no single person can create it all.  Not by todays standards in gaming... and those standards rise every 3 months or so.  Hardware requirements go up, costs go up, but typiclaly, the free cash that folks can spend on such doesn't go up nearly as fast.
               
               

               
            

Legacy_Karvon

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« Reply #130 on: July 24, 2011, 03:20:14 am »


               All very sad but true.  Appreciate your perspective.

Once again, a very big thanks to you, and all the others out there, who continue to help craft really cool additional material to expand and refresh the game.

Regards

Karvon
               
               

               
            

Legacy_WebShaman

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« Reply #131 on: July 24, 2011, 02:45:14 pm »


               Well, the Combat Engine scripting has been done (see the PRC for details).  Basically, the PRC redid the Combat Engine.  So at least that is done.

Still leaves a crud of stuff to be scripted, however.

Much better would be to create a "wrapper" that could hook into NWN as has been recently discovered...albeit no real progress reported for quite awhile now.

I personally would like to see a wrapper that could access both NWN and NWN2, so that one could "mix and match" things between them.