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Games Entertainment

BioWare Has Neverwinter Publisher 165

Urthpaw writes: "BioWare (maker of the Baldur's Gate series of games, among others)'s D&D-based 3D, multiplayer uber-RPG, Neverwinter Nights, who's future has been recently cast into doubt by some legal trouble will be released, after all. It is currently scheduled for "Early 2002" release, on Linux, MacOS, and Windows. The press release is here."
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BioWare Has Neverwinter Publisher

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  • Is it me or have PC RPG's really gone downhill? I remember back when I was exploring the world in Ultima 6 and it was amazing. This program fit on 6 5+1/4 floppy disks and there was seemingly endless miniquests do and npc's to meet. Granted, no one that was in a recient blockbuster hit did their voices and it wasn't rendered in full 3d but it was a well -written- game.

    It seems that, as technology increase, RPG's are becoming more and more linear. They look like a beautifully rendered movie where I get to play through a few fight scenes and maybe choose from 1 of 3 possible endings.

    Whatever happened to exploring a world and interacting with it, not just watching it go by? Do those not sell anymore? Why not?

    --
    Mike
    Oldsk00l W1z4rdy, b4BY! (sarcasm)
    • I also remember the glory days of RPG with games like "Bard's Tale" (which I *NEVER* managed to beat, yanked it out for a couple of days recently). Mapping and wandering the world seemed to be a big part of the experience, which they've streamlined away to make it easier to play through the game.

      Part of me likes it though, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit. It used to really *SUCK* getting stuck at a certain stage in a game and not being able to progress because I had to be in a certain tile when the moon was full, and I needed to piece together clues from 5 towns people in 3 different towns to have figured out that was what I needed to do.

      Its nice to know now that its shouldn't be TOO hard to keep going and I can enjoy the nice art, better battles, watching my characters improve and a storyline which, as you say, isn't much more complicated then a movie.

      Just my two copper pieces...
      • by FastT ( 229526 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @06:31AM (#2899837) Homepage Journal
        Part of me likes it though, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit. It used to really *SUCK* getting stuck at a certain stage in a game and not being able to progress because I had to be in a certain tile when the moon was full, and I needed to piece together clues from 5 towns people in 3 different towns to have figured out that was what I needed to do.
        These sorts of puzzles were fun when you were a kid and had all the time in the world to mess around figuring them out. But, what toasts my nuts these days is developers like BioWare who build games that take hundreds of hours to complete. BGII was something like 200+ hours, and if you're a careful or slow player (like me), probably more like 300. I'm an adult with a day job and a family, and I can't spend all those hours playing a pointless game, no matter how fun it is.

        I'd much rather see things go the way Serious Sam has, releasing smaller "episodes" that are half the price of other games. I'd like to for once start a game and be able to finish it in a reasonable amount of time (20-30 hours), while the developer cranks out more expansion packs and improvements. It seems like this would be much better for developers too, as they could drastically reduce their time to market.

        • And if you would like to add another 30 or so hours to BG2, go to www.teambg.com. They have the best (and only that I know of) Mods for BG1 & BG2, and a resonably full set of editor so that you can make your own. They also have a lot of info on editing Planescape: Torment & Icewind Dale.

          Jaysyn
        • I'm an adult with a day job and a family

          I hear you man, sucks when real life gets in the way of your serious gaming doesn't it? And when you finally do get a vacation your wife/girlfriend usually expects you to spent it with them, it would be nice to be unemployed with no friends or family for a couple of weeks per year.

          One of my friends takes two weeks off every 6 months to go camping and fishing alone, he likes the change from city life. Me I'm content with the city so mabye I should take a couple of weeks off for a gaming convention ;-)
        • I hope you're in the minority, because I'd much rather have BG2 than a bunch of smaller episodes. The game would just lack its epic feel without its enormity -- although it should be added you can complete BG2 in 40 hrs or less if you stick to the core path. In fact, if you picked the right NPCs, you might be able to finish it in a single sitting if you know exactly how to shave time off. (Buy Balduran's shield to decimate the beholder caves, etc, run the trademeet quest to get your gold for the shadow thieves, etc)

          Anyhow, you're in luck -- NWN has an official campaign broken into 4 parts, and then the variety of user-created content is likely to be astonishing. Whether you want a 3-hr vignette or an 80-hr epic quest, you'll get it. It is probably the best idea to hit RPGs EVER, and I hope they continue to release new content/tile sets/etc to keep it fresh.
      • I can't believe you still have one of my all-time favorite games in this world on floppy!!!! My copies of BTI,II, and III were destroyed, unfortunately. You want to talk about plot? World immersion? The graphics meant very little to me, that game was kick ass.

        E-mail me, send smoke signals, or SOMETHING and let me know if there's someplace I can get these games. I read that there was a collector's set that had them, but it went out of print (dammit!)
    • by Drakin ( 415182 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @05:20AM (#2899743)
      Hmm. Have you played bioware's games? Have you read about Neverwinter Nights?

      I don't consider BG I or II particuarly liniar, there's plenty of optional mini quests, and some others you can just ignore and explore onward..

      Neverwinter nights is going to be interesting, as it's being relased as a game, but also as a engine for people to make their own campains for it. Some will be bad, but some will be good.
      • Throne of Bhall, the expansion for BG2, is very linear. It's still fun though.

        Jaysyn
      • BG I and II were good games, but Torment was the best CRPG ever made. Torment had an interesting plot, lots of dialogue, many ways to work through the game, interesting characters.. It had everything. Well, mostly everything.. Only a human GM can handle players who want to do something that hasn't been prepared for.

        Fallout II was great, too. And I was looking forward to Torn until it was cancelled (and tried to be hopeful even after that), as the SPECIAL system of Fallout was IMHO very good.
        • Haven't gotten to play Torment actually... never managed to find a copy.


          Only a human GM can handle players who want to do something that hasn't been prepared for.


          And here's where neverwinter nights comes in, the fact that there can be a human GM to script things and give the players a truly non liniar game.
    • Well, I have to agree that Icewind Dale was highly linear; do that dungeon, go to base, go to another dungeon... etc...

      Baldur's Gate I was much better, and BGII follows that vein with various side adventures and other stuff. BGII adds to this with some of the side adventures being class dependant (e.g. my fighter/mage had to take on some apprentices). I dunno how Neverwinter Nights will turn out, but it should be interesting. I know of someone who played BG online and thoroughly enjoyed it.

      • indeed, icewind dale was highly linear, and storywise wasn't much. then again, icewind dale was intended to be a dungeoncrawl, with a little story added so it makes some sense. In that respect, I think they succeeded. Just don't think Icewind dale is a good RPG.. it isn't, and wasn't meant to be.

        //rdj
    • I wonder if the trouble with modern RPG's (IE all eye-candy no meat) is down to the marketing types and people funding the development not understanding that part of the fun of rpg's is imagining what the world looks like etc and not having it rendered for you like a movie.

      Look at the number of users who still play text-based mud's... I'm not saying though that we should go back to text but should get the game developers to go back to writing a decent plot and decent game-world then adding the flashy graphics - perhaps with some options to reduce the graphics level for those of us that remember the old days of the Hobbitt on a C64 with fondness (and that was a good RPG that didn't require tons of memory, blistering graphics and cpu -- oh and came on a tape... none of this multi-cd rubbish)
      • oh and came on a tape... none of this multi-cd rubbish)

        I always wanted to write a C64 webserver. Imagine that...

        GET /index.html HTTP/1.0

        receives a...

        100 Continue (Press play on tape)

        The world's only webserver that needs someone full time at the webserver in order to service one request per minute. Baby :-)

    • Not just RPG's but most games I find... linear, short, not a lot of replay value, a lot of repetition (read: spending hours leveling up just to pass such and such a monster/boss). Your standard run here, push button, exit to the next level.

      I wouldn't mind some non-linear games, like how in StarControl 2 (still my fav game of all time) you can accomplish certain tasks out of order (ever get the Chmmr Avatar near the beginning of the game? Makes battles REALLY easy =). Not to mention the dialog! Shame SC3 turned out to be such a let-down, you did find out more about the universe, but it lacked that entertainment spark.

    • by mESSDan ( 302670 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @05:31AM (#2899759) Homepage
      It is just you, my friend.

      The Baldurs Gate series is overflowing with content. The very storyline is shaped by your character (the answers to the questions you are asked, your alignment, your character's class). How is that linear? Granted, there are usually only 2 endings, but how you get there is pretty much up to you.

      Baldurs Gate 2 was an even bigger addition to the Baldurs Gate series, with a huge map of places to go, extended (and interesting!) storyline that never seems to end. I can honestly say that I haven't enjoyed another PC RPG as much as I've enjoyed playing through the Baldurs Gate world.

      Last, Baldurs Gate 2 has probably well over a 500 individual npcs, all with their own likes and dislikes.

      Combine all of that with the beautifully rendered maps, well voiced (and amusing!) dialog, and very easy to use interface, and you will see that Bioware is an industry leader for a reason.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        As far as NPC interaction and the way your character shapes it at least. I played arcanum first, and then played BGII-TOB after it and found that aspect a bit of a let down.
      • Have you tried Planescape: Torment? Everything good you just mentioned, Torment has in spades. I personally think it's the best Infinity Engine (i.e. Baldur's Gate Engine) game there is.
    • Perhaps they are worried we will put down the controller/mouse/keyboard, leave our homes and get lives if the video games inspire us to explore the real world. That would eat into their profits.

      But seriously, I have been concerned about this phenomenon, but not just on PCs. Nearly 10 years ago, Final Fantasy 3 introduced lots of non-linear play. There were about a million things you could do for fun that were not required to finish the game: Magicite to find, exotic items to be won in the arena. Final Fantasy VII took it further, with mini games (Chocobo Racing, Chocobo Breeding, arcade games, etc.) and even introduced enemies that were more challenging than the final boss (anyone ever beat that giant robotic monster at the bottom of the ocean?), but not essential to finishing the game. Final Fantasy 8 cut a lot of that out, and I think FF9 took another step back. I haven't played FFX yet, in part because I'm worried it will be a big disappointment.

      Can Metal Gear Solid be considered an RPG? If so, it should win an award for the RPG with the most non-linear potential that still managed to doom players to linear gameplay. I swear I spent more time watching the FMV scenes than actually playing the game. I got so frustrated I returned the game to Blockbuster a day early.

      • There are numerous side quests in FFX, but you can't really get to them until late in the game (after the airship). There's a sport that you assemble a team for, managing free agents and competing in leagues and tournaments. The prizes for winning these are often items that can't be obtained elsewhere. The game is DEEP. You can just play right through it and ignore all the extras, but what fun is that?
      • Final Fantasy VII took it further, with mini games (Chocobo Racing, Chocobo Breeding, arcade games, etc.)

        Am I the only one who got seriously addicted to the snowboarding game at the Gold Saucer? =)
      • Final Fantasy VII took it further, with mini games (Chocobo Racing, Chocobo Breeding, arcade games, etc.) and even introduced enemies that were more challenging than the final boss (anyone ever beat that giant robotic monster at the bottom of the ocean?)

        Emerald Weapon, and yes, I did. Though it's nigh impossible if you haven't bred the Golden Chocobo and gotten the 'Knights of the Round' materia. Emerald was even harder than Ruby, who's ass I also whooped.

        I haven't gamed that hard since. I remember back in the dorms when FFVII came out, you could walk down the hall and everyone with an open door would be playing FFVII. It became like a competition as to who could finish it fastest (then who could finish with the most stuff...like Sephiroth's sword).

        I played FFVIII, but it just didn't have the same magic for me that VII did. Ah well.
    • As has been said the Baldur's Gate games were great games that allowed limited freedom (much like Ultima).

      Another recent game I'd recommend is Arcanum. I know that it is not yer' classic "Beards 'n Pointy Ears" type RPG, but it has those elements in it too.
      • Arcanum is pretty cool, and in quests does have a little more to offer than baldur's gate, IMO.. (yes, I've played both). The mix of technology and magic is pretty good, but the game does have a bit more power-balance problems than BG. But I guess using a premade gamesystem that's been in use for more than 10 years makes balance easier between characters.

        //rdj
        • Arcanum is a perfect example of a great non-linear game with a great overarching storyline AND plenty of room to do your own thing. It doesn't suffer from the open-ended chaos of Daggerfall, and doesn't suffer from the hand-holding linear nature of games such as the FF series. It's even more open-ended than the aforementioned Ultima VI. But I'm not surpised by that. Most Black Isle games have been open ended, such as the masterpieces Fallout 1 and 2. Many of the great minds behind the Fallout series left Black Isle, and ended up together working on Arcanum. I was doubtful of the gaming industry hype around 'the team from Fallout makes a new RPG'... visions of Daikatana flashed in my head. But I was pleasantly suprised.

          What I'm most impressed with, regarding Neverwinter Nights, is the ability to create your own world and leave it running on a server. Graphical MUD anyone? With a well-scripted huge world built by a group of friends, they can create their own MMORPG.
          • Yea but arcanum just sucked. The magic system was no fun to play and the technology system was just downright frustrating even with a walkthrough. Also the inability to make a mixed charachter and the fact that you NPC's would rebel agianst you (I am a different alignment than my other party guy so I wont help him) just made the game unplayable to me. It should have been a great game but Arcanum just wasnt.

            Now for good RPG elements I would reccomend the japanese FF versions (5 in particular). They dont have the dumb-down part to them like the American versions do. I was/am a big fan of the BG series but I do have to admit that the games take a bit too long. I passed one but just couldnt bring myself to pass 2 let alone the add-on packs.

            Well thats my 2 cents. Take it or leave it ;)

    • by 1%warren ( 78514 ) <{wardon} {at} {xtra.co.nz}> on Friday January 25, 2002 @06:07AM (#2899808) Homepage
      - Minsc.

      Is it me or have PC RPG's really gone downhill?

      Planescape: Torment [planescape-torment.com] is what you're after.
      Fallout, Fallout 2, & All of the Baldurs gate series are good too.

      • To be fair, Torment is a pretty linear game. There are a few locations you can visit in any order, a couple you can skip, but on the whole it's very predetermined.

        It more than makes up for this, though, by having a genuinely compelling storyline, great characters, imaginative locations and a wonderfully sick sense of humour. This all adds up to make it the best RPG I've played to date.

        • The Icewind Dale games were also VERY linear, and not enough gameplay to make them worthwhile in my book.

          The conclusion I draw from this is that if the desire to create a good game is there (BG), good results are likely, but if a quick knockoff game is the goal (IWD), the results are less than satisfactory.

          "Make way, villainy! Hero coming through!" - Minsc

      • Maybe he is disappointed that what would otherwise be a very good RPG features a character with a seemingly unnatural attachment to a "miniature giant space hamster" ...

        Right, Boo?
      • You must gather your party before venturing forth.
    • I see your point, though BGI & II have helped lately as someone mentioned, but technically you're off topic. Pretty much the entire point of NWN is to create and or participate in user created worlds that will be differentiated mainly by the stories they present. After all, they will all be working with same basic building blocks as far as graphics, sounds, etc. (Last I read anyway) Most will surely suck, some will be beautiful but shallow, and a very few will attract the core players that will make them really shine. Hopefully! :)

      LEXX
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Whatever happened to exploring a world and interacting with it, not just watching it go by?

      It came back! Neverwinter Nights!

      You sure talk like someone who hasn't head about Neverwinter, and poster this reply only because of the word RPG in it.
      Read a little about it, specially the articlys on gamespy.com

      Neverwinter is not a game, it is a platform.
      If you are a DM, you can create the adventures (non linear adventures) for your mates to play in. And from what I've read, you can have a game of 16 people playing one adventure -- that the DM created for them.

      Neverwinter is a great game, and I doubt you will dislike it whenever you lay your eyes on it.
      • Is it me or have PC RPG's really gone downhill?

      It's just you. The Baldur's Gate series is old school. There are several gating points, but you're more or less free to play it any way you like. Good, bad, indifferent, press on or seek out the sub-quests, chat to the NPC's, whatever. There's a lot in there, and the content is as important as the presentation.

      Maybe you should give them a try. You should be able to get Baldurs Gate 1 and 2 on budget or in a multipack by now. If you're in any doubt about the depth or care put into them, ponder the pantaloons [gamebanshee.com] (spoiler).

      Yes, Ultima was wonderful, but so is Baldur's Gate. And Ultima never made me actually shout out loud: "What the...? Is one of my own party stabbing me in the back? He is! Stop it! Stop stabbing me in the back! Bad dwarf! Bad! Aaaaagh!".

      • What, you never recruited Saduj in Ultima V?
            • Ultima never made me actually shout out loud: "What the...? Is one of my own party stabbing me in the back? He is! Stop it! Stop stabbing me in the back! Bad dwarf! Bad! Aaaaagh!".
            What, you never recruited Saduj in Ultima V?

          Read carefully. Ultima never made me shout out loud. To be honest, Baldur's Gate 2 only really made me exclaim "What the...?" to the world, but it did do that, and it does have to be said that pretty graphics and swooshy sounds do have more of an impact. If the content is there as well, which it is, in spades.

        • by slaker ( 53818 )
          I could never figure out how to advance levels far enough to beat the dungeons and survive the underworld in Ultima V... Demons and Dragons pretty much always kicked my ass.

          And I spent hours trying to find a way to NOT have to kill Saduj. For some reason I was convinced I had done something wrong... then I realized that his name is, well, Saduj.

          Ultima V was one of the great frustrations of my gaming life.
      • I was quite impressed with Oompa, the amazing exploding ogre :)

        //rdj
      • I carried the damned golden pantaloons forever, and followed the saga. But haven't followed the investigation for quite a while.

        Can't believe someone figured it out. Guess it's time to get Throne of Bhaal.
    • "It seems that, as technology increase, RPG's are becoming more and more linear. They look like a beautifully rendered movie where I get to play through a few fight scenes and maybe choose from 1 of 3 possible endings."

      I am surprised no one has mentioned Morrowind [morrowind.com] yet... :)
      If you want a non-linear rpg with "seemingly endless miniquests", you would want to check it out. :)
      • Re:Morrowind (Score:2, Informative)

        by Explo ( 132216 )

        I am surprised no one has mentioned Morrowind [morrowind.com] yet... :)
        If you want a non-linear rpg with "seemingly endless miniquests", you would want to check it out. :)


        Or the Daggerfall (actually Morrowind is its offspring), which was released around 1995/1996. When I saw it a few weeks ago, I was pretty much stunned how game with relatively low requirements (486, 8 megabytes of memory etc.) could have about every feature that most modern games only dream of. The only thing that truly shows its age is less-than-spectacular visuals, although even those aren't too bad. It's also a bit buggy (no doubt to its unbelieveable size; it must've been a nightmare to hunt bugs in something of that size...), but even that doesn't make it bad.

    • by Squeeze Truck ( 2971 ) <xmsho@yahoo.com> on Friday January 25, 2002 @08:32AM (#2900017) Homepage
      It seems that, as technology increase, RPG's are becoming more and more linear. They look like a beautifully rendered movie where I get to play through a few fight scenes and maybe choose from 1 of 3 possible endings.

      That's because they're mostly made by Japanese companies. Japanese gamers like linear stories. One of my coworkers (I live in Japan) said he didn't like the Ultimas because he "didn't know what he was supposed to do."
      • I've heard similar comments that, during localisation (from Japan to North America), difficulty levels are tweaked upwards because Japanese gamers don't have the patience for frustrating puzzles or levels.

        Seems like a broad generalisation, but, there you go. Makes me wonder how many Japanese Vagrant Story players have replayed just to build ultimate weapons and armour...

        GTRacer
        - I'm not European, I just spell that way...

    • BG2 was one of the most immersive, enthralling and entertaining games I have ever played. The only part I really question is the "replay value"; since I played most of the optional quests the first time through, there is less appeal to creating a new party with a different make-up, and going through all of it again just to see the few that I missed. Apart from that, the storyline was well thought out, both the main arc and the side quests (particularly the personally relevant ones for NPCs who join your party). The main arc is somewhat linear, but that's only 1/3 or 1/4 of the game time if you go for the side quests as well, and even then, there are some serious branches (like the whole of chapters 2-3). On top of the playability that generates, it also has great graphics and sound, reasonably smart AI and good UI for a game of its day. Throne of Bhaal was more of the same, and an incredible expansion for the cost.

      Comparing this with, say, the Eye of the Beholder series from a few years earlier... Well, there really is no comparison. I liked EotB at the time, but that was the linear story, limited interaction version. BG2/ToB is in a different league. I just can't see where the "downhill" and "linear" ideas you've got are coming from...

    • How old are you? Classic RPGs seem to me to be more fun because I was a kid when they were around.

      I remember that Might and Magic I seemed really amazing. It seemed big, in terms of land area. It seemed real. I remember getting out of the first town in MMI and thinking - god damn, there's a world in here.

      Well, clouds of Xeen (MM V?), even though it was a lot bigger, seemed smaller. With the newer Ultimas, they seem smaller because the outside world is on the same scale as the cities. This is a problem for me because it interferes with my suspension of disbelief. It makes the world less abstract, but also less real, because the whole Continent is only the size of Monte Carlo.

      As far as non linear plots go, Wizardry 8 is pretty good. The plot could be more convuluted, but there are a fair number of sidequests and adequate NPCs - there aren't 200 NPCs, but each NPC responds realistically to unimportant questions they ought to know the answers to, which is important for suspension of disbelief. Might and Magic never had NPCs or a plot, and has continued in that vein pretty faithfully.

      If you're talking about Final Fantasy - yeah, FF II had more / more interesting side quests than these latest four. FF X, while gorgeous, is a movie.
    • Then you are in luck, as NWN can be played as closely as you can get to Pen and Paper (PnP) as you can get currently from a computer game.

      So get your group of friends together online, have one of them build a 'module' around a story and the player's character and let 'em Dungeon Master it. It'll only be as linear as you DM.

      The true strength will be the toolset (unfortunately released only on Windows) and how easy it is to make loadable modules.

      If I remember a quote by the programmer, he was aiming for something so easy that even his own grandmother could make a module.

      And with the proliferation of people willing to make mods out there (skins, models, etc.) you've got a game that has some serious replay value.
    • Um?

      Torment and Fallout, man.
  • Good news for Neverwinter Nights means higher spirits, more story episodes, and more frequent updates at Megatokyo [megatokyo.com]... at least until it's released.

    -- q
  • its really nice to hear somthing like this. All the cynics out there need to relax, gaming on linux is still alive.
  • My book fell apart (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Graymalkin ( 13732 )
    What would be really cool even though it is stretching the bounds of reality to the breaking point would be releasing all three OS builds of NWN in a single box. It works financially because you don't need to ship and stock three different packages and don't have to print three different sets of CDs. All of the resource data on the CDs in the same the only differences lie in the binaries. It isn't like they're going to somehow cut into their own sales. I don't buy a game I already own for another OS. I didn't buy a second copy of Quake3 for my Powerbook (which barely runs it) because I'd already paid for all their creative work once. I wasn't going to pay another 40$ for a 1% change in the contents of the CD. The only reason I waited to buy D2 was to see if they'd release a multi-OS package which they did. For 20$ I got D2 that runs fine on PCs and Macs. I can play at home on my PC or when I'm out and about on my Powerbook or take it over to my friend's house for some necromancing monster killifying spell casting blasting monster ass into non-existance. I'd also like to be able to import my characters from BG 1&2 and IWD with my Ankheg plate mail and Ol'Withery.
    • by uXs ( 335 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @05:39AM (#2899775)
      The plan has always been and still is to release all 3 versions in the same box. What has fallen through unfortunately is the Linux and Mac version of the toolset - that will be Windows only.
      The actual game however will be for all 3 systems, and in the same box.

      uXs
      • Ummm, that kinda sucks. Last time I looked into NN the toolset WAS the game. The video I watched the narrator, I forget who it was, was saying that the great thing about NN was that the toolset was the actual game, that an adventure was being shipped with it and that it was created with the same tools that the gamers were recieving. I was looking forward to a high quality version of the software that let you create SSI Goldbox style games. Not that I'm above booting to Windows to use the toolset, it would be cool to be able to work in Linix though.

        I'm hoping the user base exceeds that of the "Gold Box" creator though. It had a large number of people creating mosules and it wasn't overly popular. I'm expecting to see user created adventures created from old (A)D&D modules pop up all over the place pretty quickly following the release, like the Half-Life mod scene on steroids. I wonder if Bioware plans on setting up a db for use created games so that there's a central place for gamers to d/l them,... CPAN for NN.
        • They planned to use the Linux version of Borland C++ Builder, which (as you can see on /. main page) has yet to materialize.

          THere is hope that the toolset will run under Wine, though.

          /Janne
        • Centralized Adventure Archive Network? :-) Yes, I can see that as being a rocking project. I don't think that it would be all that hard to build from scratch if need be. Taking the maximal features implementation route, you could provide something like sourceforge for the module creators (homepage, file management, maybe a mailing list, bug tracking, yaddayadda). Taking the minimal features implementation, you could have a categorized listing with links to where-ever the module developer is hosting their stuff (geocities, yahoogroups for mailinglist, sourceforge, whoever) with maybe a local cache of their latest version. The latter route I could build from scratch in a weekend (openbsd, apache, perl, postgresql; those are the ingredients I'd pick).

          I am soooo looking forward to this game. I'll even spend money on hardware to play it if my current desktop isn't brawny enough (celeron 450 with a tnt 1, hehe it was a rocking game machine about three years ago).

          WRT module development that's not on win32, does anyone think that the community could come up with tools? By that I mean, if BW could release the "specs" on how to do this or if it's something more intricate than knowing how to write a particular file...

        • To expound on the Half-Life route I think it'd be pretty rad seeing Bioware package the most popular modules/adventures onto CD and sell them to registered users for a couple bucks like how CS and such have been marketed. I always thought a good RPG would send you CDs every couple of months for a few dollars so you could keep playing the game for a really long time. BG2 acted sort of like an expansion for the original BG, you could take your old character you've probably put mass amounts of time into and keep playing with it.
      • Your partly right. Bioware said they will start working on them after the release.
      • I sort of wondered about NN's multi-platform plans because I got so pissed off at what happened with BG1&2. I bought copies of BG1&2 (and ToSC) for the PC but I never had the option of JUST getting Mac binaries if I registered with Bioware or something. I already had the media resources, all I wanted was the binaries to play on my Powerbook. They wanted me to fork over even more money to get CDs that only varied from the ones I had by about 1%. They wouldn't be losing any money by giving me a free binary for Mac because I wasn't about to buy the game a second time. I've given Bioware alot of money over the years because I really like playing their AD&D games and have felt before that they were unappriciative of that fact. That's where my query comes from.
  • Why is the dialog in these games always so embarrasingly crappy? Listening to strong American accents in a pseudo-medieval setting just doesn't do it for me...
    • Americans don't have accents, it's the rest of the world that does :)

      Seriously, it is a fantasy game, medieval setting or no, it's not our world so how can you justify any existing accent? All accents are equal in a fantasy game.
    • Personally, I find the Pythonesque British accents to be far more annoying. It is not medieval Earth, it is an entirely different universe. There's no need to sound like Oliver-fucking-Twist.

      • Haven't you seen any movies on Ancient Rome? All the Romans spoke with British accents back then ;)

        As for this game, I still don't get a feel for how much customization I can (or have to) do to create a game with it... if I could create a character with the voice/accent from 'Minsc' of BG2, I'd do it right off the bat ("Butts will be liberally kicked in good measure!"). The game makers have to produce for the audience that they're selling to, and if the big market is North America, well...

    • I can see it now, games released inperiod accents, and dialog. Talk about painfull. Wan't to play a game that takes plece in rome 1500 years ago? better learn latin. Otherwise it wouldn't be authentic, which is pretty much your "complaint",no?
      How many games would someone sell if they had to understand Elizibethian dialog? about 6.
  • by michaelsimms ( 141209 ) on Friday January 25, 2002 @07:47AM (#2899937) Homepage
    If you want to make sure that, if you buy it for Linux it is registered AS a linux version, please do one of the following:
    REMEMBER to send in your registration card and tick the Linux box (or as is more likely add on a Linux box because they forgot to put one on
    Buy it from a Linux retailer that has pledged to report all sales of the game to the publisher AS Linux sales. We at Tux Games are doing this, and you can preorder here [tuxgames.com].
    Please do not forget to do one of these things, or the vast majority of Linux sales will just be written off as windows sales, and that will NOT help to get us the greater recognition by game developers that we all need.
    • Register? Are you kidding me?

      Those not-so-voluntary-looking "registration" cards are nothing more than a marketing scam; an invitation to provide free market research for the opportunity to later be spammed by whoever they sold your info to. No thanks.

      --

      • "an invitation to provide free market research for the opportunity to later be spammed by whoever they sold your info to."

        So lie about your address but still provide them with the free marketing research that supports Linux.

        • Might look a little suspicious with all the linux users living in the the 90210 and 12345 zip codes with addresses that don't match. :)

          (I read somewhere that those were the two most common fake zips given.)

          --

          • So use 54022. I'm sure River Falls, WI could use the attention. I can see them changing the signs outside of town now: "The Linux Capitol of Wisconsin".

            Hell, we've got the "Cheese Curd Capitol" and the "Rudabaga (sp?) Capitol" right up the road...so why not a Linux capitol?
          • 12345 is a real zipcode in Schenectady, NY. General Electric's Schenectady plant uses that zipcode exclusively. It's not residential, but I doubt the marketroids care.
    • A perfect example of why nobody should complain about Microsoft employees passing around URLs to online polls featuring its products. :-)

      Besides, if even 1 Linux user sends in their card, that will be surpass the total number of registered Windows users. (I mean, really, who fills those in? A few minutes, a stamp, a drive to the post office, all in exchange for... telemarketing calls :-)
  • Can't wait to get my hands on Neverwinter for Linux... This would certainly be a game in which i'm interested.

    I also noticed that they were going to release a Star Wars game... would that be coming out on the Linux platform as well? Because that would be great news if it did.. this would mean that there is a good chance that the games industry is getting geared up on Linux. With the demise of Loki this would be a welcoming change...
  • Let us hope that this will be a successful release for Bioware and the Linux community. I also hope this will be a good experience for Bioware with game development in the Linux community.
  • Okay, so I know it's being released for Linux and I gather it's well-known that it'll be released at the same time as the Windows version, but don't you think it might be a good idea to put this information on the official website somewhere? I just hit nearly every page from the NWN front page and searched for linux and didn't find anything. More over, I didn't find anything about a release date, either. I'm not suggesting there's something funny going on here, I'm just annoyed that this, apparently very cool, game would have gone totally ignored by me if various folks around here hadn't confirmed that it's being released for linux.

    Maybe part of the problem with the linux gaming market is folks like me that will buy the games but lose interest very quickly if it isn't clear it'll be available for linux.
    • Don't rush to judgement too quickly. Remember, Bioware has been embroiled in a legal battle for quite some time. As we all know, when legal issues come up the lawyers invariably tell their clients to clam up. Now that a settlement has been reached expect a gold rush of information.
    • These web stats [bioware.com] might explain why Bioware doesn't necessarily feel the need to put "Released for LINUX!!!" on their front page in large, blinking letters...

      eh, maybe the slashdotting this story produced will change their minds :)
  • OOO (Score:2, Funny)

    This is really good news. Now its going to take about another 4 year before the game comes out. I cant wait! I'm going to start camping out at EB right not! WOOOO!
  • by Ashcrow ( 469400 )
    I am very happy to see that they are planning to bring it out on Linux as well! I am going to buy it just for that reason and hope that it is a good game.
  • It may actually force them to do proper QA, although I admit that BioWare is one of the better game developers out there....
  • Does anybody else remember seeing advertisements for a multi-user AD&D game called "Neverwinter Nights" that was available on AOL included with the old SSI games. Like "Champions of Krynn," "Secrect of the Silver Blades," etc... What is the relationship with this game?
  • The Prep Job (Score:2, Informative)

    by The Spie ( 206914 )
    I'm very happy that the legal problems have been wrangled out (and I'm even happier I predicted to gamer friends that it'd be Bruno's Bunch Of Happy Fascists who'd get the distro rights; yeah, obvious, since they own the AD&D computer game rights they bought from Hasbro). I'm really, really happy because I'm not wasting my time.

    I decided a couple weeks ago that I'd actually do some prep for Neverwinter Nights by leading a character through BG1 and BG2 and importing it into NWN when I pick it up. So now I'm playing through BG1 with TeamBG's terrific Dark Side of the Sword Coast [dsotsc.com], and I already have BG2 prepped with The Darkest Day [teambg.net] replacing Throne of Bhaal (sorry ending, which David Gaider and some of the other guys at Bioware have redone out of dissatisfaction as the Ascension mod [planetbaldursgate.com]). That should get me through to NWN quite nicely (and get me a damn powerful character from the get-go). My only regret is that I'm going to lose the ability to mutate the pantaloons.

    I have no idea why this series is being knocked. As a role-player of over twenty years' standing, I think that the BG series is an admirable effort to bring a tabletop feel to a CRPG, which is where the Ultima series falls slightly short. And to the guy who said that he finished BG in forty hours, how about doing some of the side quests? Right now, I've put in over forty hours and am still in Chapter Three, with only about half the maps done.

    Bring on Neverwinter Nights.

  • by maxpublic ( 450413 )
    Betcha this game still won't measure up anywhere close to Betrayal at Krondor, either for gameplay or story.

    So far as I can see, the only advance in 11 years has been graphics. Everything else has been dumbed down to the stupidest, most violent player.

    Max

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