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Tuesday, November 28, 2000
 

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Bioware Q&A
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

The Mushroom has posted a new interview with Bioware's Trent Oster, producer for Neverwinter Nights. He answers questions about the game's adoption of the new 3rd edition AD&D rules, explains how NWN is *not* a MMORPG, and even makes comparisons to Vampire: The Masquerade (another game being published by MacSoft). Here's an excerpt from the Q&A:

NWN seems to cover just about everything a pen and paper RPG does. Is there any aspect of the traditional pen and paper RPG that you cannot put into NWN?


Absolutely. Transferring the D&D rules from pen-and-paper to the computer is much like making a movie based on an existing novel. Things need to be tweaked and adjusted in order to make sense within the context of the new medium. What is fun and meaningful in one medium may fall flat in the next and vice versa. Some things might prove too difficult to implement or, alternatively, sometimes obvious improvements can be made over the original. Sometimes fundamental differences between the two media alter your work in unexpected ways. The pen and paper game, for instance, is an oral medium - the DM describes a scene and the players picture it in their own heads, subconsciously filling it with a million personal details that make it resonant and meaningful to them. Computer games, on the other hand, are a very concrete, visual medium, a simulation of reality. We can't match what might be in the player's head but, as TV and movies have proven, with proper use of sound, color, and imagery, we can certainly influence and channel the imagination in equally resonant and meaningful ways. In short, we put a lot of thought and effort into the process of adapting the D&D rules. On the one hand, we always try to keep the intent of the original designers in mind and, on the other, we do everything in our power to make Neverwinter Nights the best and most enjoyable game we can.

We are very much looking forward to the release of Neverwinter Nights next year. The graphics are stunning, and the folks behind Baldur's Gate should know a thing or two about how to make RPG's fun. It's still a ways off, but should be released sometime midway through next year.

The Mushroom Interview with Trent Oster
BioWare
MacPlay
Neverwinter Nights
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