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Neverwinter Nights Forum Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by NewsPro, Jun 8, 2001.

  1. NewsPro Gems: 30/31
    Latest gem: King's Tears

    May 19, 2015
    Likes Received:
    (Originally posted by Darien)

    Well, here we go again. Lots to read from the official Neverwinter Nights message boards, so let's get to it. In a couple of spots, I've included the original questions, since the responses alone are unclear.

    Rob Bartel, Co-Lead Designer:

    Characters Level Affecting Item Properties:
    We like the idea and actively considered it for a time. Ultmiately, however, we decided that that was not how D&D works and we wanted to remain true to the license.

    As for scripting it, there is actually a method that is at least reasonably portable across modules. Rather than have the scripting act as a wrapper over the core item, adding abilities, etc, it would probably be easier and cleaner to simply replace the item. If a Lvl 5 character picks it up, a script on the module swaps it out for the Lvl 5 variant of the item. When he trades it to his Lvl 1 friend, the module script does the old presto-chango and replaces it with the Lvl 1 variant. While that item won't upgrade while in foreign modules, it will still be whatever you last swapped in. Should that player ever return to your server (now a proud Lvl 9 character, having travelled the far worlds and killed the Vampire of Garoth), his well-worn blade will be upgraded to it's rightful place.

    More on Tilesets: The Good and Evil castle exteriors are both subsets of the Urban tileset. Piers are another subset, as are what we call "Mix-n-Match" buildings - basically a hodge-podge of urban sprawl that all blends into one another.

    Fixed Sun: (Q. I'm still puzzled by the "fixed sun" requirement. Torches can cast shadows dynamically, but a nearly un-moving sun or moon can't cast shadows fast enough? Vertex shading can't get done once every 15 minutes for a 1024 tile area, to match a slowly moving sun?)

    A. I believe the key is that torches have a very limited radius whereas the sun has to affect the entire area. I might be wrong but I believe that's where things start getting processor-intensive.

    Day to Night Transition: My Copernican quote is pretty old already and getting out of date. For a more recent response, see the "Proposed trick for sunlight based on time" thread below. I also made a similar post before the weekend - not sure where it's buried but some of the news sites might have it.

    Sunlight Based on Time: Q: I have read that the sun won't move due to CPU demands to calculate shadow effects, but how about this as a sort of stand in.

    Have it so that when you enter an area, the sun can be set to defined positions. Ie, if it is evening by your time scale, then when the characters enter an area, the sun will be low in the sky. If it is morning, it is low on the other side. IF it is noon, then it is high, and if night time, then it isn’t out.

    This would allow the calculations to be simply made once when entry to the area is made and would be handled on the client end.

    A further modification would be to allow this change while people are in the area, by having a soft shadowless light for a short period, then have the shadows kick in as appropriate. So if it is noon, and evening is coming, there would be a soft, shadowless period of several minutes, then the evening shadows would kick in. When night time came, another short cloudy shadowless period, then nighttime fades in.

    I will have 2 areas (one of day, the other of night) for each of my outdoor areas if I have to, but I am not going to have the same lighting for everyone no matter what time of day it is.

    A: Not sure if your proposal will work or not. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Just as a point of clarification, however, even if the shadow positions can't change, it's a pretty solid bet that the color and intensity of the lighting can, allowing for day/night transitions similar to those in BG (which I felt were very well done, personally).

    Brent Knowles, Co-Lead Designer:

    Tracking Dynamic Alignments:
    Currently, the plan is to use two 'sliders' to track alignment change (the good-evil axis and the lawful-chaotic axis). Rob's worked out a nifty system that we'll be using in the campaign modules, to allow for minor alignment drift through interactions with the world.

    Random Encounters/Items, Teleport, and Banking:

    Q. will randomly generated encounters have scripts assigned to the monsters? Or is that something I will have to add?

    A. The encounter is spawning in monsters, randomly, but the monsters themselves are not 'random'. They are picked by the encounter list. When we ship, we'll supply many lists with creatures already built. These creatures will have generic AI attached to them. When you build your own encounters, you'll have to make sure that any creatures you add to the lists, have AI scripts attached.

    Q. Will randomly generated weapons have randomly generated features, or will there be set defaults that must be manually changed?

    A. Again, the items themselves are not randomly generated at run-time. They are randomly generated in the toolset, where they can be modified...plus there's a random treasure list system similar to the encounter system, where already built items are pulled from a list.

    Q. Teleport seems a difficult thing to program, but maybe a caster can have a set number of locales, say equal to his intelligence, that he can "study" for familiarization. That will narrow the possibilities considerably, but better than nothing. Teleport is a major feature of several classes; hate to lose it.

    A. Teleport won't be done in the official campaign, but the example you note would be relatively easy to script.

    Q. Will there be any capability for banking, or will this have to be scripted?

    A. Again, in the official campaign there's no real need for banks. We'll probably try and setup some kind of bank simulation as part of our non-campaign modules. It wouldn't be a trivial thing to script...

    Derek French, Assistant Producer:

    Pre-Release of Any Tools:
    No, sorry, there will be no pre-release of any of the tools. All of the tools require all of the game data to be there, so we cannot separate the editors from the rest of the game.

    Bob McCabe, Writing & Design:

    "Localization issues":
    "Localization issues" just means that all of the text we write needs to be translated so happy gamers world wide can play. When you start fiddling with all of the variations on how to get certain information out of an NPC (such as saying wood, woods, tree, trees, forest, grove, glade, etc.), and then think about how well those words translate to different languages (not! :), and then think about structuring keywords into sensible phrases... then you can see our "localization issues." So, if you aren't planning on releasing your modules for immediate translation world-wide, then I think you are safe using the keyword system :)

    No Seamless World: I think it's more a matter of giving the end-user more power. If we create a seamless world, where buildings can be entered-and-exited without a loading screen, then we also have to provide pre-fabricated houses.

    A lot of the reason we went with tiles was so that we could allow end-users to have total control over what the insides of each building looked like, instead of giving you three or four choices.

    Believe me, I love the idea of seamless worlds, and I think they would be so much fun to do in a game, but I don't think we have enough time and artists to deliver on that :)

    And More: The exteriors are pre-fab, while the interiors are customizable, drawn from the "interior" tileset. The point I was trying to make was that if the insides and outsides were seamless, then they would also have to match-up. And if they matched, then you got less customization.

    Mark Brockington, Lead Research Scientist:

    Scripting Information:

    Q. It was stated a "vector" has three components: x,y,z
    Components are accessible as v.x, v.y, v.z
    Can they be ASSIGNED to as well?
    ?? v.x = 1.0


    Q. Is there a "constructor" for vectors?
    ?? v = Vector(1.0, 2.0, 3.0)

    A. Yes.

    Q. Are the components x,y,z "floats?"

    A. Yes.

    (Yikes, I didn't realize that I had left all this stuff out ... The "data types" document that was posted was my second attempt at writing the document, and I had to remove a LOT of very confusing tidbits that I had thrown in from the first attempt.)

    Q. Is there a constructor for "location?"
    ?? loc = Location(objID, vecPos, fFacing)

    A. Yes.

    Q. Are the components of a "location" individually accessible like "vector?"

    A. We have three functions similar to the one given below.

    vector GetPositionFromLocation(location l);

    You can guess what the other two functions are. :-)

    Q. And if so, what are the components?

    A. Finally, since we've "gathered" function lists from A-E, and some G,P and S

    Q. Is there any chance of getting a function-parameter template "dump?" We KNOW it's all preliminary. Or, maybe just releasing it to the sourceforge developer group -- that way it wouldn't be "released" on the boards?

    A. We are evaluating our options on how to divulge further information about the scripting language, but the plan hasn't been finalized.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018
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