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November 19th, 2012, 21:37
Originally Posted by bobisimo View Post
A playable story was a part of the package at least as far back as the beginning of 2000 (which I know because I was the first designer hired on to work with the pre-existing story, and that was at the beginning of 2000), though NWN was announced in August '99 — so that does leave about 4 months where they may have been considering going without playable content. I'd love to see the link; too bad the forums got wiped.

EDIT: Actually, I'm going to guess that the idea of "no story included with NWN" was a myth or rumor or misinterpreted comment or speculation that may have been repeated enough to be considered a true statement. Back in August 1999, the week after the game was announced, Marc Holmes (who was the art director for NWN) wrote on the forums:

Rob and James being, of course, Rob Bartel (lead designer) and James Ohlen (design director).
well that's interesting. were you part of the original story that got scrapped? the 1999 timeline sounds about right for the original, unreleased story (link above) because at that the expectation was that Interplay was still going to publish it. There may have been some confusion at that time as well.

I'm contending it was the story that was released was a last minute addition around 2001/2002 which potato points out was so weak - just as the companions in it were slapped together in two weeks were even more last minute.

There wasn't much planning or work done in it and the game was already late. It makes sense it was only the result of a change of plans.
In other words, I agree there was a planned a story; but that was the original story that had to get scrapped "for legal reasons" as Rob Bartel pointed out. It was after they wrestled the game away from Interplay for Atari to publish it was only then they planned to release the toolset without a story because the game was late and ownership of the original story, the original tilesets, etc. were in legal limbo.

It was only when marketing data showed this wouldn't work did they delay the game and slap one together and was so well received that a new rule was put into forums that showed if you actually owned the game or not.
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