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Friday, June 1, 2001
On the Neverwinter Nights Creative Process
10:10 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

GameSpy has produced the second of two articles concerning BioWare's upcoming online RPG Neverwinter Nights, written in a slightly annoying attempt at pseudo-anachronistic dialect. While the experience of reading it is like listening to someone from South Boston trying to fake a Scottish accent, the actual information will be of interest to anyone anticipating this ambitious RPG's arrival.

Written by an actual BioWare staff member, the two-part article (which is the beginning of a series) details the process behind creating and fleshing out the "backstory" behind this RPG. Role-playing games center around characters, and characters of course need motivation to drive their actions; thus storyline is an integral part of the RPG, as BioWare (creators of many award-winning titles such as Baldur's Gate I and II) knows so well. Although this game is intended to revolutionize online RPG play by allowing the creation and hosting of unique dungeons by live Dungeon Masters, it will also have a full-length solo adventure for those who prefer that type of play. Our friend with the vocabulary affliction discusses the creative process:

I find that the best way to start is with a simple goal. As long as your heroes have a clear goal, then you can build suspense, throw in surprises, and make their story an exciting one. Remember, too, you can change their goals over the course of the adventure. As long as their current goal is always a clear one, it doesn't have to be the same one they started out with. Today, for instance, I thought it might be interesting to create a story around the recovery of a Tyrran relic. See, it's a simple enough idea, but it lends itself to all manner of important questions: should the story end when the heroes recover the item, or is that just the beginning? Does the relic have a use in the story, and do the players even know that they are searching for it? Where is the relic? Who knows of it or possesses it and what prevents the heroes from acquiring it? Is Tyr requesting its return as tithe for past divine assistance or possibly as atonement for some sin? What exactly is this relic: an item, a creature, or something else entirely?
At the very least, a fan of NWN will be interested in the several new screen shots presented. NWN is expected to be released late this year for Mac, PC and BeOS (x86).

Neverwinter Nights Web Site
Neverwinter Nights Adventure Creation, Part One
Neverwinter Nights Adventure Creation, Part Two

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