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Neverwinter Nights Will Go On Win/Mac/Linux/Be 99

Faw writes "In an interview at Stomped Bioware's CEO Ray Muzyka mentioned that its next game Neverwinter Nights will be available for the PC, Mac, Linux and BeOS. I think this is the first time I have heard BeOS mentioned by a mayor game company. You can check the interview out as well." For those of you who don't know, Neverwinter is supposed to be the sequel to Baldur's Gate II [?] - and will have functions that allow DMs to make dungeons, and much better multiplayer support. Update: 12/29 06:53 PM by H :I've been corrected - NN doesn't have anything to do with the BG2 storyline. Must have been wishful thinking on my part. *grin*
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Neverwinter Nights To be Avail. on Win/Mac/Linux/Be

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Todd Hollenshead.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, the overhead of MediaNodes is pretty low, but you obviously know nothing about modern game development if you think that's good enough. Any generalized system will be less efficient than one tuned precisely for a specific task. Its just a fact of software development. Sometimes the overhead is worth it, and sometimes (read: games) its not.

    Having worked extensively with Windows, Macos, Linux and BeOS in both the audio fields (professionaly) and in the gaming field (hobby), I will say that BeOS is a great OS for my professional work, but it has absolutely no advantages for gaming.

    You write games for BeOS exactly the same way as you write games for any platform. You use the OS as a driver to push a internally processed and mixed audio signal to the soundcard, and to drive your 3d hardware in the lowest level immediate mode you can get away with. OS services must be generalized to be useful, and therefore are always too slow for games.

    As for the speed advantage, the only card I own that BeOS supports in 3D mode is my voodoo3, and I was highly unimpressed with the performance relative to windows. Perhaps its different with ATI cards, but having superior performance on one card and terrible performance on the rest (and not even supporting the most popular card!) hardly makes an excellent gaming platform. Even Linux makes a better showing than that.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    it's in things you haven't seen. if you throw nvidia aside because their assholes and won't give information, you can find acceleration. Be's opengl performance for those who've seen it, is incredibly impressive, and blows the hell out of the linux drivers on comparable systems. you'll find drivers for pretty much most popular cards except the nvidia cards. the nvidia situation is a sad one and unfortunately leaves most BeOS users in the dust and possibly 3dfx users in the near future (all 12 that exist ;) ), but until Nvidia drops the lame attitude there's nothing that can be done in this area. Be's experimental 3d drivers that are being beta tested here (and horrible benchmarks have even been posted here), are generally faster than the original makers windows drivers.

    about the media nodes, you're quit wrong about their usefulness. there are capabilities for positional sound, even greater than that of linux and windows. the thing you seem to fail to realize about the medianode architecture is that the overhead is very minimal. atleast in terms of speed and time taken to get buffers to the soundcard. programming wise, it's even less through using the gamesound classes or BSoundPlayer. The MediaNodes also come in handy because they can allow you to map live video and movies onto polygons through BMediaFile and OpenGL. This again is done with medianodes, and control the volume seperately for this as well.

    You could even do as some programs and implement each individual sound through a different MediaNode and leave it up to Be's highly optimized mixing algorithms to mix all of the sounds together so you don't have to. Each channel has it's own pan value and volume, making it even easier to implement 3d sound in your program than say on linux. Using the media nodes you can also add other nodes between the Buffer Producer Node (the sound player or game sound) and have it add doppler effects. it can even be done in many cases if you don't have the original source of if you want to enhance the sounds of an existing game by adding silly echo effects or other such EAX like effects.

    The MediaKit also has hooks to apply audio buffers to specific matrices of speakers and what not, beyond that of even Dolby Surround sound. Making it easily possible through nice implementation on some cards to output to more than 4 or 6 speakers.

    Because of the medianode architecture you can still have different volumes for different sounds. Allowing you to turn down the ICQ volume and turn the game volume up, so you don't get really loud annoying ICQ beeps while playing games. This makes a lot of sense, and is still something i wish would be implemented in windows.

    Do you really need more reasons why this realistic multimedia advantage exists? I've programmed for Windows, Linux, BeOS, and QNX. I can give you the good and bad points of all of them, especially in terms of media and game programming.
  • Isn't the pres. Adrian Carmack?

  • Heh... well.. if Black and White plays as good as it looks, I'd vote for him/them :)

  • Well, id's experience and problems were solely id's. Because id had some bad experiences does not mean Neverwinter Nights will.

    In fact, id brought about a lot of their own problems. They shipped the Linux box later than the Windows box (You know how much gamers hate to wait for a platform release. They'd sooner boot Windows than wait for the Linux release. The only reason MacOS gamers wait is because they can't run Windows games on their hardware). Plus they jumped the gun by shipping a Linux-only box. Most retailers don't give a fart in a high wind about anything that's not going to make them bucketloads of cash (read: Windows). They didn't care about those of us who prefer gaming with the penguin. I tried and tried to find Loki games at any store, even the ones listed on their website, but NO ONE had any Linux games. I finally gave up and bought online. Even to this day, I've only seen ONE Linux game at a store (Quake 3 ironically).

    NWN will ship with all four binaries in the box, so I can buy it right next to my Windows-only roommates. That will lower production costs for Bioware because they won't have to produce three of everything. As long as their dev team has been paying attention to cross-platform coding rules and make the four versions interoperable, it might even save them money.
  • No, it isn't using the PoR engine. These are two different companies working on engines independently. In fact, in the beginning, the NWN engine was just a big hack of the MDKII engine. As far as I know, though, they've changed that, and built their own engine.

    Actually, the big thing about the game isn't just that you'll be able to set up a server with 64 players, but you'll be able to connect servers together. NWN has the potential to be the biggest persistent massively multiplayer online game world ever. Theoretically, server mating should be seamless. NWN is an exciting thing, indeed!

    The /bin/truth is out there.
  • Well, I don't think Linux-heads like Hemos really keep an eye out for BeOS games in general, so it's not surprising. NWN running on BeOS was mentioned by the company what must have been almost a year ago. And I think Lionhead could be counted as a major company, seeing as how it's on almost every game rag's list for being one of the most promising upcoming games, and has Peter Molyneux there.

  • Actually that was the id Software president, although I don't recall his name. It was a business decision, John Carmack still hacks on Linux & UNIX.
  • Of course, those "other platforms" include Gameboy Color, so I'll believe it when I see it.
  • I can see it:

    d00d, send mee dungeon to!


  • I don't think that Lionhead is a mayor game company. They are in an entirely different class than mayor companies.
  • I know Peter Molyneux's work well in populous :) You don't get my point. They may be major but they'll likely never be mayor
  • Deal :)

    I will take a look at several games that are already out for purchase from you, and definately a 'go' for the petitions :)
  • Did any of you actually read the interview? It has two pages, TWO PAGES. It mention BeOS clearly there.
  • - go to
    - Click on VII The Techincal Stuff
    - Click Edit, Find.
    - Type "Linux".
    - Do more research next time you open trap.
  • It's not in the kernel.

  • "Anyways, the latest BeOS, can be run under a Win9x environment I think so you can try it yourself and see if you like it."

    Let me clarify/correct that statement. BeOS is its own operating system. You do not need Windows at all to run BeOS.

    I believe the above poster meant that you can install BeOS as a disk image inside a FAT partition. You then click an icon in Windows and the computer will reboot into BeOS, running off that disk image. You can do the same thing with QNX RtP, btw.

    Of course, you can also install BeOS as a standalone system or partition a hard drive and share the space with Windows and/or Linux.

  • Actually, I'm pretty sure that Win98 has the fastest, best graphics handling capabilities of any OS you mentioned. MacOS graphics, while very feature-filled from a color-matching, DTP point of view, tends to be slow. BeOS graphics are fast, but they don't support color profiles, gamma correction, or anything of the sort. Win98 supports almost as many features as MacOS (it might even support more these days) and thanks the the whole "in-kernel ASM code" bit, its probably the fastest of the three.
  • I am happy to see a new game being sold on so many platforms, but it certainly would be nice to see a FreeBSD version. Lacking that, a FreeBSD-blessed Linux version would be nice.
  • >Just patch the AGP patches in and install the DRM modules

    No thanks. I use BeOS because "It just works". No messing around with patching up the kernel.
    But if that's your kind of thing, fine.
  • NWN will probably be a good test of which OS has the fastest OpenGL. I'd guess it would be BeOS judging from the benchmarks here []
  • Make that four commercial games. I've got Civilization Call to Power and Corum III sitting here. :)
  • "...Neverwinter is supposed to be the sequel to Baldur's Gate II..."

    It is not the sequel to BG II. Neverwinter Nights was an old game people played on AOL that allowed them to create and swap dungeons. It eventually faded out and this is a pretty new 3D version.
  • Not a modified BG engine at all. BG's engine (Infinity) is 2-D isometric view with bitmapped cel sprites. The "3-D" in the Infinity engine just provides a few special effects such as animated water and spell effects. The NWN engine (I believe it is called Aurora) is completely texture-mapped polygonal 3-D, rewritten from the ground up. And it is at least one of possibly two sequels to BG2 as it will allow importation of your BG2 character file.
  • Actually, I think NWN is using a modified version of the engine from the game MDK. Not 100% on that though.

  • Stomped: What was the year 2000 like for your particular gaming projects? Were you happy with the response to your most recent games? if you did not release a game this year, were you happy with the progress made during your current game's development?

    Wouldn't you think that, if you were going to interview someone, you'd at least know a little about what they've done in the past year?

    Tells me I don't want to read Stomped interviews.

    Good news about NWN though. :)


  • is still not out. Be has said that it will be released 'when it's done.' I can't imagine how they'll have those kinds of graphics out for BeOS without a new OpenGL package that supports more than just a Voodoo 3 card. Hopefully Be will release it soon, BeOS users have been waiting for it and BONE for over a year.
  • Monolith did Shogo for BeOS, as well. And despite what Something Afwul had to say about it, I rather liked multiplayer Shogo.
  • Actually, if you read the info they have on the server maximum, there is NO maximum. They throw out the 64 person limit for a DSL or cable connection, it is not a software or server hardware limit.

    Therefore, it would seem entirely possible to have some BIG servers out there if people had some good T1+ pipes. Plus, it supports portals, where one server can link to another to sort of expand the world.

    Anyway, my point is there are no hard-coded limits for connections. No one even knows the limits now, and they are Internet pipe-related.

    Also, you are right on one point, it doesn't seem to be oriented as a MMORPG, anyway :)

  • Since my teenage years I haven't gotten to do any role-playing. My girlfriend thinks that I "grew out of it," but in reality it just hasn't been feasible to get a bunch of interested people together at the same place and time since then. NWN could make it possible for me to play again. Thanks, Bioware!
  • Heh, thats fine, business is business afterall. Sometimes the big boys can give out better offers than we can. However I can guarentee that if you buy from us, Tux Games will call off the sad looking people we have hired to sit outside your house to make you feel guilty {:-)
  • Well, why shouldn't we expect Quake 3 for BeOS when the OpenGL is done? It's the benchmark for 3D performance, so hopefully Be, Inc. understand this is a game that needs to be ported. QNX (which I don't like very much) uses Mesa for OpenGL, so it's not very fast and not well supported.
  • Whoohoo! Now there will be two games for BeOS. No, seriously - this is actually the second time I've heard of a major game that will be released for BeOS. The first one was Black & White []. Which of course will be the best game ever.
  • your performance on the voodoo3 is probably lacking because you current BeOS (5) doesn't have hardware OpenGL. They are rewriting the OpenGL implementation and it is due out real soon now.
  • Nor did he say it was. He was replying to a comment about putting mp3 code into the linux kernel.
  • Will it ship on a DVD? Or just six cd's, as per the norm? :)
    While NWN is not a sequel to BG2, you can import your BG2 char into it, or so the BG2 loading screens keep telling me.
    Ehm, is the NWN engine based on a 3d engine? Isn't there some rpg (maybe scripted) engine that's running in the background?
  • You misread me. I'm not saying it can't be an intriguing and challenging game. I meant only to say that this is Bioware/Interplay's NWN, not SSI/AOL's NWN. Nevertheless, I am excited about the game (and the fact that I can run it under Linux).
  • This is the first I've heard about this game... I'd better start saving money now, because it looks like, when this game is released, I'll most likely be playing it so much I'll lose my job... I'll be a dirty, stinky, no-social-life, NWN-playin fool.
    Hmm... not much of a change from my current living conditions, really. How sad.
  • - Browse to page.
    - Click Edit, Find.
    - Type "Linux".
    - Find one reference in entire article. All four OS's clumped together in parentheticals. No date given.
    - Assumption made: game will be released on other OS's than Windows "when they damn well feel like it".
    - Compare notes: Unreal Tournament, Quake III Arena, etc. all said they would release Linux versions. Linux versions lacked quality and technical support of Windows brethren.

    - Final result: put off gaming on Linux for another year.

  • It IS a sequel (the game, not the engine), and your characters can be imported from BG2 (not BG1)
  • They're porting it because the most technically talented people prefer to work on the operating system of their choice, and it's not windows. Not coincidentally, these are the same folks they expect to make new dungeons and maps with the game. No, not a coincedence at all. They want to get as many programmers as humanly possible to buy this game.

    Go NWN people!

  • sorry, I was thinking of Icewind Dale or something similar using the BG engine
    but I do know for fact it is definitly NOT a BG2 sequal
    NWN has been in development since before BG was ever released
    I suggest you take a look at
  • Neverwinter Nights has been in development since BG was, the only real connection it has is that it uses a modified Baldurs Gate engine
  • for cryin out loud! go to and tell me where it says it's a sequal the ability to import characters does NOT make it a sequel Diablo II is a sequel to Diablo, you can't import your characters character importation does not a sequel make
  • What I can't wait for is DMing as an on-line service. Companies would hire professional dungeon masters (storytellers, etc) and you would pay an hourly fee to play on-line in their game. In other words, everything good about table-top with everything good about computer games. Note: this would take care of 1) cheating 2) provide free range with plots 3) you wouldn't have to search all your friends and acquantainces to get enough people for a game.
  • I was 13 (1991) and we had just gotten AOL when I discovered the original NWN and I ran up our monthly charges to well over $500 on one month. By far the best online game i've ever played. (I perfer thought out strategy over running around madly killing people.. though I do enjoy that too) I'm curious as to why you say this will not be the replacement for that intriguing and challenging game?
  • You write games for BeOS exactly the same way as you write games for any platform. You use the OS as a driver to push a internally processed and mixed audio signal to the soundcard, and to drive your 3d hardware in the lowest level immediate mode you can get away with. OS services must be generalized to be useful, and therefore are always too slow for games.

    You would be right in the old days of DOS, but with today's system being equiped with hardware accellerated 3d video and audio cards, you couldn't be more wrong. If you're mixing audio yourself for example, you're giving away performance on every card that has a built-in hardware mixer (which many cards have these days).

  • A game written with strict POSIX and OpenGL complience should be easily portable to BeOS, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, etc.

    posix has no provisions for graphics or sound, and is therefore largely irrelevant when it comes to writing a modern cross-platform game.

  • That's great news for geeks like me who actually like AD&D, gaming, and alternative O/S's...

    Ok, made my point, not much of a market for them to do this for but it's darn cool that they did it anyways.

  • That was the first online multi-player game I've played. I ran it on 286 (with a hurcules monochrome card. I had to use Simcga for it), with a 2400 baud modem and 512conventional/512k upper memory :). It crashed alot, and I didn't play it for long, most of the time I didn't have a clue on what I was suposed to do (I'm not a real big RPG player, but I do, play adventure games and rpgs from time to time) but it was awesome. These old CGA dos games in some ways actualy give a better RPG experience/feeling better than the 3d - hyper accelerated - 16mb 3d card required games of today.
  • page two of the interview: _2 .html

    "Stomped: What can we expect from you in the year 2001 in terms of the games you are
    Dr. Zeschuk: MDK2 Armageddon for PS2 and Neverwinter Nights (PC, MacOs, BeOs[-- right THERE!!!], Linux) are BioWare's current projects that will be released in 2001. I'm confident both will have a huge impact on the gaming community. The Star Wars RPG isn't due for a little while yet, but it will definitely be a humdinger."

    But I guess it's too much trouble actually reading stuff eh?
  • It won't even use the BG2 engine, it will use the newer engine that I believe will be first used in the Pool of Radiance remake/sequel. By far the coolest aspect of NWN is that you'll be able to set up your own server with adventures on it and have up to 64 people log in. It's supposed to have a decent scripting language for events, etc. You can also do any god things to the people while they are in your world. They're also supposed to have some sort of a character vault to limit the amount of character editing.

  • Neverwinter Nights isn't a sequel to BG 2. I'd call it the first game to actually bring table top gaming to the computer. This game is gonna rock!
  • Seeems that after the Infinity engine, Bioware has learned how to make portable code. (I've heard rumors that the Infinity code is a mess from a portabily standpoint) Most likely horribly unportable... Graphic Simulations started the Mac port of Baulders Gate last year, with the origonal release date of January 2000 announced. Slowly that got pushed back, and back, and back, until it was only released a few months ago... without the Multiplayer component. Mac users are still waiting for the free multiplayer upgrade. I don't know if unable programmers had anything to due with this schedule, but it has obviously been a nightmare for them regardless.
  • What I ment to say is that the creators of BeOS have created an executable of BeOS so that people can run BeOS from Windows without having to partition/install BeOS. This allows people to "test drive" BeOS without fear of losing Win9x. You can go and check this out at:

    Project: To Take Over The World
  • Well BeOS does have some pretty niffty features such as a built-in mp3 decoder and it can handle graphics pretty well for a PC. IMHO, Macs handle graphics far better than PCs, but with BeOS the difference is a little smaller. Anyways, the latest BeOS, can be run under a Win9x environment I think so you can try it yourself and see if you like it.

    Project: To Take Over The World
  • You said:
    Also, this game's website mentions that the player can control the plot of the game, and write it herself. Is that true? I'd be interested to know how that works...

    The idea behind NWN is that it gives players the ability to become Dungeon Masters (DMs) and thus be able to alter the "reality" of the game. That is to say, the DM becomes the story teller and can modify the surroundings/quests/items or create new ones (not sure about the items though). The idea isn't new persay because Vampire: The Masqurade (sp?) had this feature, but it was to difficult to implement (a.k.a. large learning curve). Hopefully, NWN will provide some really good tools to allow players to DM more easily.

    Project: To Take Over The World
  • That sounds great! I can't wait to get it, I've decided to as soon as I have updated my Linux system. It seems to be a very powerful system, and if it is easier to use than Vampire:TM (I can't spell it either - tee hee!) then that is good too, because while I liked that game (my brother had it) it could be a little difficult on that score.

    This would seem to bring a whole new dimension to the computer D&D game. They always used to be limited by the two dimensional storyline advanced by the producer, and then some became entirely free, but without much plot. Now that we can control the plot and have freedom, things should be much better! I'm looking forward to giving it a whirl, thats for sure :o)

  • Frankly, I'm a bit confused to find out that my machine, which happens to run Linux, is not a personal computer.

    I've noticed this a lot lately. When did "PC", a fairly generic term for the type of computer you have, become synonimous with Windows, an operating system which runs on your computer?

    I'm sure Apple contributed to this trend with their never-ending PC vs Mac press. I always felt this was a bit strange considering they were marketting a machine designed to be the most personal of personal computers.

    Then again, maybe I misunderstood and Neverwinter Nights is being shipped for pollitically correct people and also those who use Linux and BeOS. BeOS and Linux both run on Macs and I'm shocked to hear they won't be porting this to MacOS (operating system vs hardware).
  • Lionhead may not be a "major" game company, but it was founded by Peter Molyneux, who is certainly a major player in the game industry, and has been for years and years. He's been the guy behind some truly great games.

  • FWIW, we Fed Ex'ed pressed CDs to people who ordered the game from us as soon as humanly possible--about two weeks after the Win32 CDs were pressed (I think less, actually). So it was hardly months.

    Retail penetration of the boxes is a whole different situation, though, and is of course something we'd like to improve on.

    Loki Software, Inc.
  • Neverwinter Nights, last I heard, was going to have all platform support in the same box.

    Although it might be nice to be able to point to Linux sales of, say, Quake 3, the problem there is that they were slow in getting it out. Very slow. It wasn't available until several months after the Win32 version. I never saw it on the shelves at CompUSA or BestBuy. I want to buy one copy of a game, and be able to run it on whatever platform I desire. They're doing the right thing with Neverwinter Nights.

    Say what you will, but gamers tend to be impatient. I know some people that used linux exclusively and went and shelled out money for windows!!! just so they could play Q3 the day it was out.
  • I'm posting this blind, since nobody has been modded up to 3 yet.

    Anyway, Scott Greig mentioned at a talk that he gave at my University that they would be continuing with the multiple platform projects only as long as there were no serious issues in porting the code. If some sort of BeOS-ism or something got in the way that would take them weeks (or maybe only days) to hack around, they'd drop it. The BeOS thing is something of a pet project for one of the developers, and the Linux thing just happens to be working out as they go. Fortunately, they seem to write clean, portable code, so nothing has really come up yet.

    The /bin/truth is out there.
  • Just remember to register the game for support... and let them know what your operating system is.

    I know I've been filling out 'Linux' under the OSs that I run at home (next to Win9x). I have to believe that when they start to get enough of these in the marketting department, then the engineers start to have the leverage to get managment to try new things.

  • I don't know, as much as I'd like to support Tux Games, Interplay has lately been tossing in 'extras' when you pre-order games directly from them (priming the pump I suppose), including the two extra CDs they threw in if you pre-ordered the Collectors edition of "Baldur's Gate 2" (one from ordering the Collectors Edition and one from pre-ordering it). These contained two new item vendors (high-priced but fun new items) and the sound track which made it worth while to me.

    While I don't agree with these practices, I would still want to see what they might include with "Neverwinter Nights".
  • The answer is because most of these interviews are conducted by the interviewer sending the interviewee an e-mail with a list of questions to answer, and the interviewee replies to whichever questions they want.

    Blame the web.

    Anyhow, I always preferred to conduct interviews live, and tape-recorded for accuracy. Needless to say, when a developer (or any interviewee) tends to get going, they reveal all sorts of juicy tidbits. In e-mail, they have more time to put thought into their responses, but also tend to self-censor, leading to less revealing interviews.

    Follow-up questions rarely happen in e-mail interviews, mostly because the interviewer was so stoked to get the interview, they didn't want to seem to pushy. From a journalistic standpoint, it's the obvious thing to do ... get that story! But it just doesn't happen.

  • is still not out. Linus has said that it will be released 'when it's done.' I can't imagine how they'll have those kinds of graphics out for Linux without a new kernel. Hopefully Linus will release it soon, Linux users have been waiting for it for over a year.
  • BeOS actually does have gamma correction
    Really, and you get this info from where?
  • Why in god's name would you put an mpeg decoder in the kernel? Stuff like that belongs in userspace.
  • While I like the BeOS API, I'd hesitate to say it would be the best way to write a cross-platform game. POSIX, like it or not, is a well-established standard. A game written with strict POSIX and OpenGL complience should be easily portable to BeOS, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. Games are probably the best place to write portable code, because they don't deal with the OS very much. The only place one would really need to break from standard OpenGL and POSIX routines would be in the OpenGL initialization stage, which isn't a very large part of the overall program.

    Still, if you like the BeOS API, there is a cross-platform library called ZooLib that looks an aweful lot like the BeOS API (though the function names are less elegant) and supports X, Windows, MacOS, and BeOS. Also, like the BeOS, it encourages multi-threaded applications and is SMP-friendly. It's still a little immature, and is mostly undocmented, but its progressing, and seems to have a lot of potential. You can find the home page here. []
  • THe sad part is that it seems QNX RtP's gaming library is growing faster than BeOS's. THey have Quake III, and the UT port is in beta.
  • You apparantly missed the subtlty of what I said. I was pointing out that everybody thinks that when Linus says "it's done when it's done" it's a fine thing (as evidenced by the recent "kernel 2.4 is vaporware" article) but when Be says "it's done when it's done" people look on it as more evidence that Be is abandoning BeOS.
  • Which I haven't, as they don't exist. I said that QNX has Quake 3 and UT in beta.
  • True, but it does do networking, filesystem, and a lot of the other stuff a game needs to do. If you use POSIX for this (as opposed to Win32 APIs!) then porting will be that much easier. I forgot about sound, though. Right now there isn't really a standard for good audio. Of course, you could probably just code for DirectSound, since none of the other audio systems are really as feature complete anyway. (No 3D sound, no dynamic MIDI, etc.)
  • Of course, I couldn't really see how they could convert from AD&D 2nd edition to D&D 3rd edition (Wizard's of the Coast dropped the A when they got ahold of TSR)... The only thing I could see you could carry over is your ability scores, but then stuff like 18/50 strength would be more like 19, etc. Thieving abilities wouldn't really transfer, as the new system is entirely skill based. Unless you said every 15% was a skill rank or some such. Dual weilding skill is done completely different, weapon proficiencies are different (not to mention that fighters/paladins/rangers/barbarians all get proficiency in all martial weapons.) and the most non-transferable thing is a multi-class character!

    Multi-classing in 3rd edition barely resembles multi-classes in 2nd edition AD&D. Rather than starting in 2 or 3 classes and advancing slowly (and only non-humans could do it.), every time you gain a level, you can choose to increase the level of your current class(es) or add a new one. You can have as many classes as you want, as well as any race being able to be any class, and any race can multi-class(No more annoying dual-classing). (Of course, you end up being level 1/2 in everything if you get every class)

    In any case, while it'd be cool to transfer characters from BG2, and you're going to be able to do it, it'll be weird.
  • The current version of the kernel handles them just fine. Just patch the AGP patches in and install the DRM modules. The 2.4 test* series has been stable for me for the last 10 patches, and the interface won't change for the programmer anyway. And I know Linux will be around 2 or 3 years down the road. I'm not holding my breath for BE OS. []
  • true, but from a developers standpoint if you approach your design around platform independence, your most likely thinking Windows+Other. In this case they we're probably thinking Linux, and then, I imagine one of the developers got into BeOS and showed that it could be ported to BeOS in X time, they managers realized that it could show a profit, so they said ok.

    However I don't understand the lack of MacOS support, I maybe they are unsure if they will need to support OSX, or OS9. If I am right that 95% of the code base can be ported right across there shouldn't be an issue, then again something like threading is likely an issue in OS9, which while I've never writing for I imagine has flaky threading and memory management .

    By the way I've ported my own project to Windows, Linux and BeOS, starting in FreeBSD. The Linux port was actually harder then the Windows port, mainly threading libraries and autoconf stuff (didn't need to setup autoconf for windows :). BeOS is really nice, if not a little sparse. however the API that is there is very clean and well thought out.

    I'm rambling now aren't I?

  • It will be a very different game for many reasons:
    (Pardon me while I use terminology that makes itr easier for me... I'm going to clal Bioware's upcoming game NWN2).

    (1) NWN was turn based in combat, which leads to invoveld strategy. NWN2 is real-time combat which precludes that level of strategic thinking and detail.

    (2) NWN held up to 500 people in the world at once in a commercially maintaiend persistant environment. You could go online and find your friends fairly easily. NWN2 has a designed maximum of 64 players and fans run the servers ala Quake (including tport gates that log you out of one sevre and into another.). Although there are some fan-dreams out there to bring up servers full time and somehow link them together in such a way as to provide a persistant "massively multiplayer" world environment, the hard scaling limits that are inherent in designing for a maximum of 64 players will probably preclude this.

    I'm not saying it isn't a grat lookign rpoduct, it is. But the original poster is right, it won't be the same experience as NWN was.
  • No, NWN did not let people create and swap dungeons. You are thinking of "Unlimited adventures" which was a non-online RPG toll making kit buitl from the same code base-- the old "Gold Box Engine."

    NWN was a fixed world. There were some limited sysop commands for creating items and I think monsters on the fly and for moving things around the world, but that was about it (I never sysop'd soI might have missed a few sysop abiltiies. Proabably they coudl edit char sheets, too.)

    The rference to the old Unlimtied Advetnures thtough IS a good one. NWN2 is probably most like a modern 3D version of UA with the ability to "Lan Play" witha real-time judge both locally and over the net.
  • Umm...

    What about NetRPG? WebRPG? GRIP? Chat rooms with dice bots?

    Lots of people have tried over the years to bring table-top on-line. This is arguably the fanciest attempt to date.
  • You are correct. See the post above from one of the actual developers.
  • Which, btw noone has mentioned yet, is that 3D map editor is tile based. Building a 3D environment is as easy as using an old 2D editor was.. you just slap down pre-built world-peices.

    This IMO is also the msot significant thign abotu this game as it is going to empower a LARGE number of arm-chair game designers who a renot 3D whizzes to nbonetheless make modules.

    A brilliant idea, guys :)

  • Isn't it confusing calling it NWN? When i heard this proejct orignally annoucend it was NWN2 and I stil think of it that way.

    NWN was (arguably the first) massivley mutli-player RPG and was hosted on AOL (Thats for everyone else, I assume you know this Marc.) It is, in teh end, the REASON this product is called NWN-anything.

    I find over-loading the name more then a bit troublesome in trying to dicsuss the history of this game-area with anyone. Maybe I'm alone in thiss
  • No. Go back and read what was written, dickhead. The interview mentions BeOS in exactly one place (a parenthetical aside, no less). The game's technical spec's page doesn't mention BeOS at all, and only mentions Linux once.

    Again, this Slashdot "story" is not about a game being released for BeOS or Linux. This "story" is just Hemos creaming his pants because the president of a big, important game company incidentally mentioned BeOS in a press release about a game that may or may not ever be released for any platform, much less Linux, BeOS, or even Macintosh.
  • /. is known for horrible reporting and reporting old news more than once.

    I don't mind the occassional story about Perl 6, or Microsoft's .NET platform, or even an in-depth interview with Carmack about what he's working on nowdays.

    I just wish they'd stop linking to marketing material for unreleased and unimportant products. This story contains no real information about a game may never be released, will not break any new ground, and which most of us may never bother to play. That doesn't count as "news for nerds" in my book. And linking to marketing material because it incidentally contains both the words "BeOS" and "Linux" is just palm-hair growing masturbation, any way that you look at it.
  • If I were creating a game to play across as many platforms as this, I would definitely give major consideration to using the BeOS API as a standard OO structure. It's so well laid out and enforces good coding structure so efficiently that it would be worth some time to write libraries for Mac, Win, and POSIX that emulate the API. Then the game need be written only once (plus platform-specific optimizations as needed of course).

    -- ShadyG

  • Actually, as of R5, BeOS's multimedia support is lacking... Most videos created using the Media Kit will not play back on most other platforms (Windows and Mac, primarily)... 0530.html

  • by Macka ( 9388 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @10:09AM (#1422278)

    This will be a godsend for me and a group of my friends. We're all 30-somethings that have been playing a set of D&D campains now for about 5 years in a world our DM has taken about 10 years to develop. Once per month we devote an entire day to get together and play. But due to changing circumstances it looks like our beloved DM will be emigrating from the UK and going to live in Colorado in the US. We're looking at possible ways we could keep the game going and Neverwinter Nights appears to be the strongest candidate. A number of us have broadband at home and we run a mixture of Windows & Linux. So if NN turns out to be as good as we all hope it is, our monthly tradition will be able to continue.

    More power to you Bioware :)

  • by michaelsimms ( 141209 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:21AM (#1422279) Homepage
    You can pre-order this game at Tux Games [] for $46
  • by Evernight ( 165829 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:51AM (#1422280) Homepage
    The original Neverwinter Nights was one of the first graphical multiplayer games. I want to say it came out around 1988, but I'm no good with dates. Built by SSI, it had gameplay similar to Pools of Radiance, but allowed up to 500 people to connect to a central game server (run by AOL).

    NWN was a 16-color DOS-based game that was simply amazing. It was a RPG, but the storyline was rather limited. That didn't matter though, the players stepped in and carried the roleplaying far beyond anything the designers ever intended. This was the first game I ever saw recognise player run guilds and clans.

    PVP combat in NWN was nothing like PKing in any other RPG. There was a strategic element that I've never seen in any other game. It wasn't just reaction time or first strike, you actually had to plan your actions.

    After AOL moved away from hourly rates they found they could make more money off chat rooms than gaming. Even though it was still running at max capacity almost every night, AOL shut NWN down.

    I still know people from that game. Some of them are still members of the same guilds they were in 10+ years ago. We've been waiting for a remake of NWN for a long long time. This will not be that game. This will not be anything close to that game. But it will be nice to revisit the old days. To stroll once more through Triboar and Port Luskan.

  • by SquadBoy ( 167263 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @05:50AM (#1422281) Homepage Journal
    BeOS makes perfect sense as a gaming platform more stable than winders and much better multimedia support than either winders or Linux. If more game publishers did this I might have to consider spending some money with the good folks at Be. BTW and OT has anyone had any luck running Red Alert 2 under Wine?
  • The Linux port of Neverwinter Nights is old news. That announcement has been around since the game was announced. The BeOS port is news to me. Seeems that after the Infinity engine (The engine that powered Baldurs Gate, Planescape, Baldurs Gate II, Icewind Dale) Bioware has learned how to make portable code. (I've heard rumors that the Infinity code is a mess from a portabily standpoint)

    There is a good reason to release a Linux version. Without a Linux version there would be a lack of player run servers. Take a look at just about any game that uses player run servers. Most of the servers are UNIX based. I'm sure BioWare is also aware that Linux gamers are hungry for a RPG that isn't nethack.

    So far Neverwinter Nights looks great. Just check out this 19 part [] preview (Got your mpeg player ready?) from Neverwinter Stratics [].

    I'll be thankful for the Mac version as well as I see myself getting a new Mac (Perhaps a G4 cube with that nice studio display...) as soon as OSX is released.

    As for Be, well, there's definite potential there, but I'll leave commenting further to someone who knows more about Be than I.

    Check out the preview, you'll be drooling in anticipation in no time.
  • by syrupMatt ( 248267 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:49AM (#1422283) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately, this is a trend that has been going for a long time, and has only been aided by the growth of the www.

    It used to be that companies needed magazines and news services to get their name noticed, therefore would submit to a really pointed interview (or at least one that didn't read, as you said, like a press release). However, with the growth of the niche magazine market and the 1000000000000 gamer sites on the Internet, publications now need to fight to get interviews from relevant companies. If they go too hard on the interview, they just might never get another one, therefore denying them site traffic/buyers for the their magazine. Therefore, they basically kiss up and allow their publication to be used as a secondary marketing platform, instead of a informative source for fans and enthusiasts.

    There are some good sites and zines out there that do excellent interviews, however they tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Sometimes, the over-abundance of publications can hurt the quality and veracity of information being released. ugh. FYI - if you look around, you'll notice that this trend is not specific to gaming (or even just computing). Go to your local magazine rack and look through at "exclusive interviews" and you'll notice that they read more like pre-reviewed and press-agent prepared puff pieces, rather than a source of good information.

  • by Lover's Arrival, The ( 267435 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @05:49AM (#1422284) Homepage
    Because it can only help it as a platform to be recognised. I would guess that it would make a good gaming platform too, because of its reputable multimedia capability, though I have yet to try it. I consider Linux exotic, so give me a chance! ;)

    I like the sound of this game, too. I like D&D, and I've wanted to try out a decent online game in the genre for some time. I know that there is Ultima Online, which is perhaps a little dated (am I wrong?) and also Asheron's Call, the Microsoft game, but ideally I'd like something on Linux because I plan, one day when I have the courage, to get rid of my Windows partition. Also, this game's website mentions that the player can control the plot of the game, and write it herself. Is that true? I'd be interested to know how that works, because I would like to make my own atmospheric scenarios and share them with my friends. Oh, and coo, it looks as though it has good graphics too! heheh :)

  • by Kevin T. ( 25654 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @07:06AM (#1422285) Homepage
    Why can't game magazines actually ask questions that follow up on previous answers, challenge the developers to say something more than what products they have in the pipeline, etc.? If we're really moving to the point where everyone can run a graphical MUD server on their Linux box/OSX machine/embedded BeOS refrigerator, wouldn't it be nice if the interviewer asked questions like "how does it work?" or "why are you making this sort of game?"

    Instead, we get answers like this:

    "Game sales have been at 92.3% optimization for the past three fiscal quarters. Market segmentation is decreasing as more developers work hard on great mega-games like our soon-to-be-released 'Everplaying Sites.' Currently, our primary action item is to decrease the potentially tremendous negative impact of the D&D movie on the perception of gaming in the girlfriend-who-was-dragged-to-the-movie market."

    I'm not trying to start a flame war here -- didn't anyone else think that this "interview" read like a press release?
  • by Drone-X ( 148724 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:46AM (#1422286)

    I think this is the first time I have heard BeOS mentioned by a mayor game company.

    Think again, Lionhead [] will release Black and White for Windows, Linux, BeOS, Playstation and probably other platforms.

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @06:01AM (#1422287)
    didn't he say that the Linux platform was disappointing? Doesn't it worry everyone that Q3 didn't even do well in the stores, or is this going to be a Windows game w/Linux binaries on the net? I don't mind doing it that way myself you can then run the game on both platforms...

    I really like the fact that they are supporting alternative OS's, but are we supporting the developers enough for them to want to continue the development for us?

    Just my worthless .02
  • by Waav ( 33401 ) on Friday December 29, 2000 @09:54AM (#1422288)
    Ok as I read through the comments there are a few points that I'd like to clear up as untrue.

    1) The NWN engine is an internally developed engine based on the omen engine which powered MDK2

    2) NWN is not the sequel to BG2. It is an entirely new game based on the 3rd edition AD&D and has nothing to do with the BG story.

    3) The plan, as last revealed to the employees, is to ship all 4 binaries in one box, thus all versions will be complete and shipped at the same time.

    ** please note all comments are my own opinion and may not reflect the official stance of BioWare Corp., Interplay, or any other related companies.

    Marc Audy
    BioWare Corp.
    Programmer - MDK2:Armageddon

The absent ones are always at fault.