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Tuesday, May 15, 2001
BioWare Pair on D&D, Neverwinter Nights
3:36 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

BioWare has become a prominent name in Mac gaming, with their title Baldur's Gate already ported to the Mac, its expansion set Tales of the Sword Coast due in a week, Baldur's Gate 2 due soon after that and Neverwinter Nights due at the end of the Summer. Simultaneously defining and expanding the genre of computer-assisted role playing games, Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka have created one award-winning title after another, with each eclipsing the previous entry in depth and technology. They know D&D like no one else, period. Their latest title in progress, Neverwinter Nights, is set to accomplish the next logical step in CRPGs -- bringing the live Dungeon Master back into the game, rather than a scripted, predictable AI to battle against as with previous adventures.

This extensive interview conducted by Computer Games Online is part of a series on the intertwined histories of RPGs and computing, and examines the history of BioWare and their various titles. NWN is discussed in detail, and the interview assumes the reader will at least have a cursory knowledge of the title and its goals. Along with user-friendly built-in tools for creating your own dungeon out of premade parts, the game will include many different features designed to encourage parties to band together and conquer online dungeons much the same way as they once sat around a table rolling many-sided dice. Here is an excerpt from the extremely long interview, touching on community-building and the role of the DM:

Are you going to have some sort of community web site to put people in touch with each other? Or will that be built right in the game interface?

Zeschuk: That's still kind of under debate. We'll try to tie everything together with character matching and the interface. At the same time we're sure there's going to be a parallel community. Who knows what the dominant message board will end up being? It could be some obscure one that just seems to be in the right place at the right time. We're going to make a lot of efforts to make sure that people have an easy time locating and downloading content, and we really want to help point out the best DMs to play with, and all those kinds of things.

You mentioned that the DM can let modules basically run themselves; what kinds of things can a DM do if he or she wants to be more involved during the game?

Muzyka: Well, you can take control of NPCs, and you can take over their dialog. If you want to adjust the difficulty of encounters up or down, you can drop in additional monsters, or you can add items to the monsters. You can increase or decrease their hit points, or actually take control of the monster and engage in combat with the party.

For a great deal more information on BioWare and NWN, read the rest of the interview. This cross-platform title is due to ship late this year.

Neverwinter Nights
BioWare Interview on CGOnline

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Archives  News  BioWare Pair on D&D, Neverwinter Nights