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Friday, April 19, 2002

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BioWare Visit Divulges Neverwinter Nights Details
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story

The lucky folks at IGN's RPG Vault recently tooled up to Edmonton, Alberta, home of BioWare, for the express purpose of checking out the latest developments on Neverwinter Nights. The title has been the subject of much scrutiny in the fantasy role-playing world, with high hopes that it will be the Next Big Thing.

Though the main bulk of the single-player story is being kept tightly under wraps, sheets outlining the introduction were passed out at the presentation. Simply put, the city of Neverwinter is suffering from a mysterious plague nicknamed the Wailing Death. To make matters worse, a caravan of rare and magical creatures has been loosed from their confinement by a group of unknowns, allowing them to run rampant in the area. It is these situations that bring the hero (the player) to Neverwinter.

In an interesting departure from the previous Dungeons & Dragons-based titles released by BioWare, Neverwinter Nights features a tutorial at the beginning of the included campaign that walks players through things such as mouse controls, camera modes, and the quickbar. Neverwinter Nights also features a revamped inventory scheme:

It's based on a square grid, with different types of items occupying different numbers of squares. What's notable is that there are six grids that you access via tabs. This means you have a substantial amount of room in inventory; while carrying capacity is also dependent on weight, you can carry a large number of items before their combined volume becomes an issue.
When playing around with the game itself, the RPG Vault reps also got a chance to fool around with the Dungeon Master client, which allowed them to perform various functions:
Next up was the part I was probably most eager to see, the Dungeon Master client. My interest stemmed from I had not having seen it al all before, from Ray and Greg having been enthusiastic about it a few weeks ago at GDC, and perhaps most of all from its potential to become a landmark of innovation within the CRPG genre. Here again, I came away with a very favourably impression. This part started with a demonstration that involved a couple of writers in an are set up in advance by a couple of non-technical staff, Community Manager Jay Watamaniuk and Communications Associate Tom Ohle. Jay handled the commentary while Tom showed the main sections of the DM client then demonstrated a number of functions such as how to drop in monsters, take over a monster or NPC, give rewards, adjust the difficulty, warp around to anywhere on the map screen, warp players to his location, and more. After this, we were given some time to play with the client. Once again, I was surprised at the level of user friendliness in light of what you can do.
As far as a release date goes, the current target is still a couple of months away. However, according to the report, BioWare seems confident that Neverwinter Nights will be their best title ever. In the meantime, those starving for more information should check out the full report at IGN's RPG Vault, which has some new screenshots (as we noted yesterday) as well as plenty of related links.

IMG News: Neverwinter Nights Press Event Gallery
IMG Preview: Neverwinter Nights
Neverwinter Nights
RPG Vault: Neverwinter Nights Visit Report
Buy Neverwinter Nights

Other Mac Games News for Friday, April 19, 2002

IMG Reviews the Nostromo n45 GamePad3:10 PM
Galactic Patrol Released for OS X11:14 AM
Software Tycoon Announced11:09 AM
IMG Debuts New Forum8:29 AM
• BioWare Visit Divulges Neverwinter Nights Details6:00 AM
Deus Ex Bible Available6:00 AM
Dragon's Lair 3D Previewed6:00 AM
Harpoon3 OS X Fix6:00 AM
Harry Potter Patched6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, April 19, 2002 on one page

Mac Games News for Thursday, April 18, 2002

Neverwinter Nights Press Event Gallery12:59 PM
Lead Designer Leaves Master of Orion III Team10:15 AM
Myth II Rank Testers Sought10:15 AM
New WarCraft III Shots, Beta Info10:15 AM
Shadowbane Audio Q&As Available10:15 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 18, 2002 on one page

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Archives  News  BioWare Visit Divulges Neverwinter Nights Details