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Neverwinter Nights Forum Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by NewsPro, Feb 6, 2002.

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

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

    Jay Watamaniuk, Community Manager:

    Demo movie: Oh, we got something better than a movie in the works...

    And that, my anxious friends, is a promise.

    Frustration over the release date: The use of the Internet as a marketing tool has created a bit of a monster PR-wise. Everything is immediate and cutting edge. The price that is paid is development of large, complex things has not got any faster- just the pipeline through which a developer can communicate to potential customers. The waiting is therefore about- note the careful science here- a billion times harder with constant updates. This is a vicious cycle; on the the one hand no announcements, no news and suddenly the game appears which can hurts sales. Cultivating, on the other hand, a community with news, up-to-the-minutes reports, and designers interviews and so on creates a passionate audience BUT that same audience can become a angry mob or a confetti throwing parade watcher in a split second.

    I suppose each side has it's advantages and drawbacks. Since we have little control over how people react- our job is mostly managing reaction as best we can when things do not go as planned, I can only hope that the constant message of 'we make good games and sometimes that takes time' is accepted. We cannot force people to trust that we are doing the very best for a game. This is odd because our doors only remain open if we make good games- and only the last game counts. The public is very fickle and cannot be counted on to be loyal or even rational sometimes. That is not a negative statement- it is just a fact when you deal with many, many people.

    If we create a community, we also have to be prepared to accept the responsibility for care of that community and cannot hide from it when it is inconvenient. We also accept it is easier to react with complaints then it is to support with praise- that also comes with large groups of passionate people.

    In this immediate medium we have chosen to have a presence within, we will do our best, as we have always done, to contribute to this volunteer community who has provided us with feedback, incentive, motivation and a reason to work until midnight implementing something not terribly important in the grand scheme of things to make a good game. I can assure you that people here care about what goes on within this community as you are the most vocal members of the larger world community who will play this game. You spend time here and contribute here on your own time and that, in itself, is an impressive feat. So when things get rough within these forums, and people get mad, disappointed or downright crazy we try to remember that not only folks here at BioWare invested time into this project. We realize that all of you have as well. That is a our reason for making a good game. Too much time by too many people has been spent to hand over something unworthy.

    I'll say it again- we make good games. The price can be high in patience, but it will be worth it. That I can promise.

    David Gaider, Designer:

    Halfling/Gnome buildings: No, there's no small-size buildings for a settlement. The city tileset was designed to make Neverwinter itself... so has the architecture to accomodate it (and there's only room for so much, after all, though it'd be nice if we could have everything). Halfling/gnome buildings are not a bad idea, though... if enough people are demanding them once/if an expansion is made, that could definitely be done.

    Intelligence and insight option in dialog: That's a good point. However, your own example says that a simpleton with low Intelligence but a high Wisdom might have great insight... insight being the operative word.

    I guess it would depend on how you look at insight and reason. Figuring out how to solve a puzzle, to me, would require reasoning. Having good insight might give you some clues on how to solve it, though. Coming up with a clever idea or a particularly incisive question requires more insight (or intuition) than reason... though having superior reasoning certainly wouldn't hurt in implementing such a plan or in phrasing such a question.

    The lines are a bit blurred in that respect. I'll keep it in mind when I'm putting together the Insight options.

    Dialogue scripting: Via scripting, you can create a variable and set it on a creature (including the PC)... and the variable is then set only on that creature.

    For instance... you could have this script:


    This would set the "I_Am_A_Demon" variable to 1 on the PC speaker (used in dialogue, which is what I'm used to scripting... there are numerous other ways of selecting the PC, tho).

    Then, in the dialogue trees for the peasant, you could have the top dialog tree (the "AAAHHHH! A DEMON!") have the following starting condition:

    int StartingConditional()
    int iDemon = GetLocalInt(GetPCSpeaker(),"I_Am_A_Demon");
    if (iDemon == 1)
    return TRUE;
    return FALSE;

    If the PC speaking to the peasant had that variable set to one, the first tree is therefore true... the peasant screams and can have a script that makes him run away. If it's false, it keeps moving down the list of other starting conditions (looking for high wisdom, high int... or whatever else, in order of importance) until it hits one that is true or hits a default (one that has no script)... which would be the "Hello."

    But you can set as many unique variables as you like, on the PC or otherwise.

    You don't have to script dialogue. If you don't, however, you can only have one place where the dialogue can start.

    And when you script a starting condition, the wizard actually puts together most of a script for you. It automatically supplies you with the following:

    int StartingConditional()
    int iResult;
    iResult = ;
    return iResult;

    All you need to do is plug in the check it makes...making this auto-script good for any simple starting condition you might need to do.

    Derek French, Assistant Producer:

    Localization: Just to be clear, there is no decision on this topic one way or another. Historically, our other games have come out English first, with other languages 4 to 6 weeks later. With BG2:ToB it was closer to 3 weeks for the non-english version. We don't have any more information for you at this time, but we will post when we get this resolved.

    Expansion pack: Adding more is not usually a good idea at this point. We have enough stuff going through testing and shakedown that adding more now would just complicate things and stretch the development time even longer.

    Script editor beta: No, sorry, the script editor is an integral part of the Toolset. And to head off the next question, no, we cannot release the Toolset early because it requires all the game data to be there as well. There is no easy way to separate the Toolset and the game.

    David Chan, Audio Producer:

    Release delay: Honest folks, we are all doing what we can to make sure NWN is all that it can be and more. When we say we are aiming for a certain time period it means we are working our collective b*tts off to get it done as close to that date as possible. However, one thing I have learned from Greg and Ray is that if they or anybody else at the company thinks it's not done then it goes back in the oven until it is.

    Everyone on the project stays extra hours and puts in a lot of work to meet the goals, but from the top down the message has always been quality before quantity. It's not uncommon to see either of the head honchos in late at night playing the game and making notes.

    Greg and Ray are passionate about games and it shows, it's one of the reasons I love working at BioWare. People here play games and know the pain of release delays, so please don't think we are ever jerking people around. We appreciate our fans and are trying to make a game that will keep people playing for years to come.

    The release date has always been when it's done and it's done when we know it's as kick *** as it can be.

    Bob McCabe, Writing & Design:

    Rumor Database for Dialogue: If I had to do something like this, knowing as much about scripting as I do (meaning that I'm at the basic level) I would write up one dialogue filled with all of my rumors. Then I would place a starting condition on the rumors dependant upon global state of the plot or what-filter-have-you, insert a few drop down to the next rumor 20 percent of the time randomness, and boom, you have your rumors.

    Then, I would set up a bunch of new dialogue lines that would check to see who the PC was speaking to. For example, if I'm speaking to the mayor, then have the mayor start with this line. At the end of the dialogue, I'd link to the rumor dialogue lines and have that end the conversation.

    I'm sure that there are much nicer or more elegant ways to do it, but that would be the easiest way for me to go

    You can give every NPC in the game the same dialogue file, should you wish. You could also give that dialogue file to triggers and ambient objects. It would make for a very surreal world, but hey - whatever, right? And yeah, you can script dialogue in so many millions of different ways that someone with real programming talent is going to hurt themselves

    Jonathan Epp, Quality Assurance:

    Tiles: Going with more smaller areas as opposed to fewer larger areas is the way to go, generally speaking. Having 4 16x16 areas instead of 1 32x32 area will run better, especially on lower-end machines.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018
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