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Friday, June 8, 2001

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Neverwinter Nights Chat
8:03 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story

The chat at rpgvault was certainly a success, plenty of key players from BioWare turned out a full read of the chat log is a must for all those looking forward to Neverwinter Nights. There was a lot of talk of the enormous levels of customization available in NWN using scripting and the NWN Toolset. These tools are sure to be used in some imaginative ways by both Dungeon Masters and the more general community to create their own creatures, landscapes and entire modules. It's a real first in Computer-RPG's to have such control over the initial set-up of a game, while at the same time having immediate and instant control over a lush 3D environment in real time. I've split a selection of edited highlights into two sections, one concerning general gameplay and one for the customization features.

Dungeon Masters, Modules and Scripting:

Let's say you're a DM and there are 4 players in your dungeon and you want to separate them. Can you, as a DM, move walls or make teleporters on the fly to separate the party?

You cannot move walls on the fly. You can, however, physically move those players if you want. The DM will also have the ability to award experience points during play if they feel a player did something really well.

How hard will scripting the NPCs etc. be?

It depends on your problem-solving skill levels. For someone who has never programmed before, jumping into the scripting language can be difficult. However, for those who have programmed before ... most of the designers are finding it relatively easy. It's the little differences from familiar languages that are catching them off-guard.

I want to know about importing custom tilesets and textures. Will that be possible and how easy?

We cant really support user created stuff in any real sense - there are too many things that could go wrong. But we are not doing anything to make it difficult to create your own art and we are helping where we can, by making the tools available tilesets are created in 3D Studio Max, and have to be exported into the game - we can make those scripts available after release.

Making custom creatures is also possible, but you will have to understand how to make low poly creatures and you'll have to stick to the skeletons we provide. A nifty little editor has been added to the NWToolset already...and we'll be evaluating it over the next while.

General Gameplay

How 'fixed' will the camera be? Can you pan left and right or is it always centered on your character?

You are always in the center of the screen, you have manual control to rotate the camera or zoom in and out, but you cannot translate away from center. There will also be automatic camera control to some degree. We are polishing that right now, so I cannot say how it will finally work.

How will portals work between large amounts of interlinked servers? Will it be set up like a web, with portals going every which way, or will it be like a quilt, how only "adjacent" servers can be connected.

Yes, it's a web. You can have have inter-server portals (and in-module area transitions) going to and from wherever you want. If you want to set it up as a quilt, you can do so but we won't limit you to only that.

I wonder how and if these things are handled in the game. Can I take my thief character, attack a merchant, steal his money and run away only to come back the next day and have him treat me as a valued customer?

We've been working on the reputation system over the last week. If you don't script your merchant, you could =] The default will probably be that the merchant will have forgotten most of the earlier transgression, but a lot of NPCs are like elephants. They never forget the really bad things that happen.
In a persistent setting you could have that merchant have as long a memory ars you want. Within the few hours of a module though, we may be a little more forgiving.

A Mac version of Neverwinter Nights is expected to ship around the same time as the PC version this Winter.

Chat Log at rgpvault
Official Neverwinter Nights Webpage
Neverwinter Nights
Buy Neverwinter Nights

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GarageGames Q&A with Jeff Tunnell7:10 AM
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Information on realMYST UK Release Date10:52 AM
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Neverwinter Nights Online Chat9:50 AM
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