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Default NWN2 - 'Mod makers won't tolerate poor toolchains'

June 23rd, 2008, 17:59
Develop have a short piece with Josh Sawyer on the NWN2 toolset at GDC in Paris.
"BioWare's approach to the Neverwinter Nights toolset was to go for ease-of-use, so that people could get small things running quickly and then expand from there," said Sawyer. "Obsidian's approach was to cater for the hardcore, though - dramatically increase the level of control, meaning that more things could be altered. That would make the barrier to entry higher, but we thought that would similarly raise the quality of what was produced."
More information.
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June 23rd, 2008, 17:59
Its nice to see that Obsidian is almost admitting some mistakes finally, however…

As has been pointed out only a handful of animations have ever been completed for NWN1 and most of those are choppy.

No standalone server for a year.

The game is a severe memory hog so servers can't get nearly the size of their NWN1 counterparts.

PWC file required for all clients made multiplayer extremely difficult. It wasn't just ease of use on the toolset they've removed, it was ease of use on the network game. Let's not forget how it was broken for several patches.

An attempt to remove the DM Client caused a riot among fans.

The toolset itself lacks variety.

The controls are alien to builders used to Aurora.

Now they've fiddled with the camera options.

With the game 1.5 years old now patches are few are far between with many promised features (like the new DM Client) have not been delivered. Continued support can't be far too long in spite of the announcement for a new expansion. Atari is hemorrhaging money. Revenues for their Adventure Pack have been delayed over six months over some house made DRM.

On the plus side

Game graphics were up to date. (game would have been severely criticized if it didn:t re: DS2)

Official Campaign was very well received.

Toolset is ultimately more flexible.

Game did come with a working DM Client.
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June 23rd, 2008, 19:16
I have to admit I absolutely love the changes to the toolset. The two things that stand out for me are the environment sculpting and being able to pass variables to functions.

Good that Atari have stopped haemorrhaging money too.

On the downside PW resources are just a bit tight, and PWC is obviously a big barrier to casual trying of servers, which is how most people started in the first place.
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June 23rd, 2008, 19:43
My main concern with the toolset is that it's ultimately not suited for people working alone. Sure you can build modules with it, but if you're working alone you'll be way slower than with the Aurora toolset. If you have a look at most fan modules you'll see an obvious difference to the official campaign when it comes to polish and that's a bit sad really. Texturing (and I mean really good texturing) can be a very time consuming job. In the old toolset you could build one area (just building without scripting, dialogues or anything) in a few days inf the new toolset I need several weeks to build one outdoor area. Of course the new toolset has a lot of good stuff in it as well, I won't deny that…

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June 23rd, 2008, 19:44
I had a few reasons why I ceased to work on my NWN2 module. The characters and armor system in NWN2 was far too limited, so it was difficult to make my NPC's look like intended. Also there were no beholders. You cannot make a D&D game without beholders. You need those beholders.
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