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Neverwinter Nights Forum Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by NewsPro, Feb 22, 2002.

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

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

    Jay Watamaniuk, Community Manager:

    NWN Accesibility Options: Interesting question. Most of the game can be run off the mouse using the radial dial system. The keyboard is used to essentially speed things up by using the Quickbar (the function buttons at the top used for fast retrieval of potions, spells etc.)and communication like Quick Chat.

    Another use of the keyboard is the number pad that is laid out like the radial system allowing quicker sifting through the menus.

    So the exclusive use of the mouse should be fine but you will need to be quite good with knowing where your selections are.

    NWN Wednesdays: I thought I might step in here and talk about the Neverwinter Wednesday stuff as I see that many, many threads have popped up today as we were getting stuff ready to go. I remember writing up a big piece about this last week but I'll write this up as a refresher for people who missed what I talked about before.

    We are releasing new stuff about NWN on Wednesdays. We can't give a specific time during the day as things come up that distract us from having any kind of idea when, exactly, that will be. We also can't be specific on exactly what is being released as we prepare different things ahead of time and they go through the approval process or demand time from specific people who may be caught in something or even out of town. While we may have an idea what will be ready, it has sometimes turned out not to be true. We also have items come back early from the approval process that we were not expecting, and so we end up going with something other than what we were expecting. We can't be specific, that's the bottom line.

    I have seen the reaction to any kind of promise we have made which hit a snag and wasn't delverable. Folks were sorely disappointed and sometimes expressed themselves in ways that are not acceptable on these boards and are not representative of the vast majority of people who post here. So, having learned that lesson, I don't want to make promises that might get derailed along the way. As a result, I need to ask people to expect something on Wednesday but with no details beyond that.

    I also want to avoid the whole big up and 'secret' thing as it resulted in such a strong reaction that individuals were actually threatening our moderators. Obviously that wasn't tolerated. I would rather be very shocked by that sort behavior then be expecting it as was the case when it happened.

    We have a great vocal community here that comes here for information and discussion and a great, silent community that comes here to read the information and discussion. The extreme stuff isn't needed or desired by the looks of things.

    Sorry about the length of this but, as always, I want to be clear.

    10 questions: We have a very fine collection of specific questions from some of the most frequent posters on these boards. These are not Top 10 Questions, but specific questions from individuals that we asked...

    Answers from Greg Zeschuk (with help and sage advice from Trent Oster).

    Q: What is the status of the DM client and are there any major limitations with it?

    [Greg] The DM client is up and running - it is currently undergoing QA testing internally. There aren't really any limitations per se - it allows you to teleport around to different maps, manipulate creatures and items in all kinds of interesting ways, and to even enter command line instructions that can be executed in the module. Overall we think it is both easy to use (with nice and simple GUI driven system) and quite powerful. Post a thread to the board if you have any specific questions that you want answered on it and we'll do our best to address your question.

    Q: I know that the aim of NWN is for small one DM controlled modules. However, many are trying to link these modules together and form a kind of MMORPG-lite environment. Have any tools been created or modified with persistent worlds in mind? Or is this segment of the community going to be blazing it's own trail through script writing?

    [Greg] We haven't developed specific tools with only persistent worlds in mind, instead all of the tools and code take into consideration that the game can contain multiple players and act accordingly. Some of the basic features like encounter groups scale to match the number of players in a group.

    As far as linking modules together (and servers together for that matter) you're probably aware of the portal system that's been coded to allow players to travel from server to server. That's as far as we've gone at this point.

    Q: How hard would it be to script an NPC raising in level, and what would the script/trigger be like?

    [Greg] We've developed an easy way to script NPC leveling that will be available for review in the campaign we create. The quick non-technical summary - when a NPC levels he or she will be replaced by an identical NPC of the new desired level. It's a quick-switch maneuver that should be transparent to players (and quite effective).

    Q: Just how easy (or hard) is it going to be to insert user created art? Also, is there a way to update a client from the server, installing these new objects when the server D/Ls the module, and if not, and the module says "obj01 at xxx/yyy", what shows up there if that object file is not on the client?

    UPDATED - we double checked the following information and this is the updated version
    [Greg] It's easy to support user created art - we're developing a system we call 'hack packs' that refers to content created by players beyond the stuff normally done in the tools (including new models, textures and animation). These hack packs are associated with specific modules within the toolset and are required on the client side for you to play that module.

    If you want to play on a server running a module with a specific hack pack, you will need to have just that specific hack pack installed, prior to connecting to the server. If you don't have that hack pack installed, you won't be able to connect to the server. The client does not require the entire module. This is our current plan for initial release. If required by time pressure we will hold the hack pack support for post release.

    Q: Can we have an overview on just exactly how cut scenes will be developed using the tool set? For example...will there be a scripting wizard specifically built for creating cut scenes? Can a player be forced to carry out certain actions during a cut scene? Can players be frozen while a cut scene is playing? Are cut scenes presented in letterbox format? Can you put a pitch-black screen with nothing on it except for text, to simulate a chapter title announcement? Can the camera pan across the screen following a moving object such as a squirrel? Any information regarding cut scenes will be very much appreciated.

    [Greg] Cut scenes are a very complicated issue - you have to consider them in the context of a multiplayer game.

    We have a movie player that will be used to compile rendered movies (as well as other graphics used to tell the story) outside the game, such as before modules - these cut scenes will be features of the campaign we ship with the game. This is the first layer of cut scenes that will be present in the full release.

    For in-game cut scenes things get a little more tricky. Because there is a possibility of multiple players in a game, and there is also a possibility that all of the players aren't going to all be at the right 'spot' to trigger a cut scene we're trying a few different things to make the cut scenes viable. The first thing we're trying to do is to integrate the cut scenes into the game in real time - instead of stopping the game for the cut scenes to occur we do them as the game is running - and the player sees them from their perspective. The reason we can do this is the game AI and pathfinding is considerably more sophisticated than the Baldur's Gate series and NPCs should be able to execute their scripts to completion even if they are interrupted. With regard to actually stopping the game, we can do this (an easy way within the system is to trigger a Timestop spell and allow the characters you need to move to execute their actions) but it's not something we recommend in a multiplayer setting. Currently we're not giving specific scripting control over camera actions due to the incredibly large number of things that could break. Also, cut scenes are not letter boxed (with the exception of the rendered ones if we so choose).

    Q: So what's your favorite spell affect so far? Describe it please.

    [Greg] The snazziest spell effect so far is Firestorm - at its name describes it rains fiery death down on the game world with spectacular flame and explosive effects. It fills practically the entire screen with destruction, regardless of the camera positioning. Overall, it's just plain jaw-dropping.

    Q: Is variable movement going to be implemented for races (Halflings, Dwarves, and Gnomes), and not just the classes (IE Barbarian and Monk)?

    [Greg] Variable movement will only be in for the classes. Variable movement will not be in for races.

    If that question has been already been asked or cannot be answered...

    How will tower shields, not to mention partial cover, work in NWN? More importantly, will it be implemented?

    [Greg] We do not account for cover in the game, and tower shields will give an AC bonus.

    Q: As you may or may not know I am a big Sorcerer fan. And in big I had a lot problems searching stuff while in a battle. Lucky the pause function was there, but in NWN its not. So my question is how have (or if ) you have simplified the user interface for faster game play. So pretty much I would like you to explain how the user interface will look and how it will help us be more efficient.

    [Greg] There are two things that should make casters with a lot of spells (like Sorcerers) quite happy. First, using the radial menu with the keypad is shockingly fast - once you know where the spells you frequently use are located you can get to them with a few simple taps of the keypad (all of the numbers on the keypad are assigned to each of the eight directions corresponding to the radial menus).

    Understanding that the keypad/radial menu combo might not be enough - we have three levels of quickbars available at the base of the screens accessible via the function keys - F1-F12. Also, by holding Shift or Controls you will get alternate bars - giving you a total of 36 quickslots into which you can place spells, feats, and items.

    As a Sorcerer you can load up your quickbars with all of your favorite spells and with relative easy they should all be one key press (or one combined key press) away.

    Q: The lack of the toolset for Linux and Mac is unfortunate but understandable. It has been speculated whether the toolset is runnable under various emulators; specifically my hope lies with Wine, a Windows API emulator for Linux. What I'd like an answer to is whether anyone at Bioware has tried running the toolset under Wine, and what happened. Did it work at all? Maybe worked well? And if you managed to get it to run, will you post tips/instructions on what settings are needed for Wine to manage it?

    [Greg] We have yet to try this. We'll have someone here run it and see what happens.

    Q: Will the game have tutorials for the toolset, scripting, and if so, will they ship with the game or be downloadable?

    [Greg] Due to time constraints we're probably not going to be able to create tutorials as lavish as we would like to ship with the game. Currently our plans include the creation of primarily online tutorials on how to build modules that will be available shortly after the release of the game. Also, we're counting on the active members of the community to help out each other by trading tips on building modules. Also - we're going to include the 'source' to all of our modules so people can see how we do things.

    Emotes: There are some great emotes I have seen so far like salute and bow.
    I'm not sure if an emote but, I did manage to see one of our designers making a room with a bunch of skeletons on the ground worshipping something. Looked pretty creepy.

    Running/jumping: Well we were considering jumping horses that can climb but we had to cut that along the way
    Your question, however, was answered correctly- you can run but cannot jump.

    David Gaider, Designer:

    Treasure for encounters & placed creatures: 1. Is it possible to assign treasure to placed creatures (not encounters)? For example, the goblins placed in the E3 2001 demo movie.

    Yes, you can place it in their inventory.

    2. For encounters, do we populate a treasure list the same way we populate the creature list? For example, can I design an encounter to drop either 1gp, 5gp, or 10gp?

    Yes, you can put this in their script. We actually do this in the official campaign...we have on many creatures 'generic' treasure that we use a number of scripts to generate, assigning it a value of 'small', 'medium', 'valuable' and so on.

    3. Can I, either by script or toolset design, base the treasure drop on the creature selected from the list? For example, can I configure an encounter that spawns either 1 orc, 2 orcs, or 3 orcs to load 1gp, 2gp, or 3gp depending on the creature that is spawned?

    Well, sure. Using the encounter wizard, you can have a variable number of orcs spawn in, right? And then the amount of treasure that is on each of them will be determined by the random script above. Such a script could also be applied to, say, a chest... and you could very easily alter such a script to put more treasure in the chest the more orcs that were spawned in (as an example).

    Tile levels: I'm no artist, beeglebug, but I know that we can have a player walk on 'top' of a building or tower that is three or four transitions high and have them 'look down' at the city below. I also know, like you mention, that several tiles (like the pits) physically go below 'ground level'.

    While I can't answer just how deep a tile could potentially be constructed below ground level, it would certainly be possible to build a very high tile that looks down not only four transitions 'deep' but below ground level, as well.

    I've built areas previously where I raised every tile to the fifth heigh transition...making that the new ground level, in effect (I did this to make a canyon, fyi)...so I know that can be done. Hopefully someone can come on and tell you whether there is a limitation to the depth or not, but this could work for you as well (if I'm making sense).

    Height transitions per area: Ok, my bad... I thought there was a limit of five 'heights' in an area, simply because I've never worked with a full-size area, I guess. Ratbert is completely right, however...the limit is 1 height transition per tile.

    I just went and made a 32x32 area and picked a point on the far right of the map and kept raising it. The result literally looks like a mountain. I was blown away. It is HUGE. A plunked down a bunch of ramps so you can climb it and jumped in-game... and the resulting feel of height is incredible.

    So there is a LOT of room as to how high you can potentially make your model. The only limitation, of course, being that there is an 'edge' to the landscape that an aerial view might look kind of funny (depending on where you looked down from... I suspect a large tower in the very middle of a 32x32 map would still look impressive). There is also a limit to the distance you can see, too, even with the minimum fog effects on. Still looked fantabulous, though.

    Halfling feet: Nope. Halflings don't have bare, hairy feet in 3rd edition anymore.

    Armor on NPC monsters: For most of the monster animations, you will be able to give them whatever equipment you like...whether or not you will see it on their animation depends on whether or not it was set up for that creature.

    For the most part, you won't see armor that you put on a creature. The majority of them, however, can display all weapon types and (often) shields. Some of the humanoid monsters that have variations to their models have varying levels of armor, tho.

    As mentioned above, the sheer number of armor skins required for the player races alone prohibits this from being extended to all creatures as well.

    Blade Barrier: I haven't seen the Blade Barrier spell in action in the game... but I did pull up the NWN spell description and it reads as it should. According to the description it is an offensive spell, not a defensive one, with an area effect.

    Seeing as the Spell Pass has already been done, I imagine the description would have been changed if it was otherwise.

    Multiple throwing weapons: No, you can only equip one throwing weapon at a time.

    Stanley Woo, Quality Assurance:

    D&D turn system ans combat in NWN: I'll try and give combat an explanation.

    Combat is real-time. Everyone moves, and does all their actions at the same time. There is a six second round, in which, you can only do as much as you would be allowed to, based upon the 3E D&D rules.

    An example:
    You are playing a Sixth level fighter.
    You are fighting against 4 Orcs.

    In the first six seconds of combat:
    You attack the first orc twice.
    All four Orcs attack you.
    The Guards on the other side of the map keep patrolling.
    The other people exploring the module keep doing whatever they are doing.

    There's no pausing, stopping, or "Turns" as in PoR2.

    Craft skill rank: For the cosmopolitan gamer on the go, BioWare has included shortcuts to all your favourite parts of character creation. Has this ever happened to you?

    BioWare has automated everything from recommended ability scores to recommended feat and skill selection! We'll have you going in no time!

    But BioWare, you say, I don't want to play POR2! I acutlaly want to choose my skills, ability scores, and feats!

    And you CAN! For the high-maintenance, detail-oriented gamer, we've included a fully operational point-buy system! Everyone from your little brother to your mom (who, buy the way, is a hottie) will be able to sit down with the game and make a character in less time than it takes to explain to your loved ones what Neverwinter's all about!

    So say goodbye to limited character creation rules and awkward character sheets. Don't worry about your inability to look sohpisticated and worldly while throwing the dice. You'll never have to be ashamed of your CRPG again!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018
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