Neverwinter Nights Features

Non-bug comments, suggestions, and feature requests for BRPG and/or BGE
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heruca
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Neverwinter Nights Features

Post by heruca » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:44 pm

-- Moved to Submit Feedback by Omni --

A few weeks ago, I dusted off my copy of NWN, which I had never played all the way through when it was new.

Partly I just wanted to get some gaming in, to get my mind off coding for a bit. But I also wanted to see if it had any neat features that I could integrate into BRPG, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Well, I got hooked, and kept on playing, and I thought the game would be over once I collected the 4 Waterdhavian creatures. Boy, was I shocked to learn that that is just "Chapter 1" to a much longer storyline!

If you've played NWN, what are some features from it that you'd like to see integrated into BRPG someday? I'm liking the idea of adding an Inventory feature, to keep track of your character's possessions (even if only in text form). Perhaps it could also be used to store visual aids for future reference.
:arrow: Please help spread the word about BRPG and BGE, and never hesitate to tell me how I can make them better suit your gaming needs.

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Post by greytale » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:45 pm

Since you brought it up I figured I would recycle an earlier post of mine.


[quote="greytale"]

---------

Greys dream tool.

I spent the good course of a year and a half designing in Neverwinter Nights trying to adapt it to play pen and paper D&D. I know many others attempted and failed, or succeeded somewhat, to use it for that purpose. In other words it needed to be turned based, with no AI and the DM controlling everything. Even though I tried, I always fell short of taking the entire game engine out of the system. I didn't want a video game I wanted a tool to play PnP.

Now looking at Battlegrounds I see much of the other direction, you have the freedom to play anything you pretty much want, but the DM most likely has to jump through hoops with creating atmosphere, judging rules, pushing maps, not to mention the storyline. Dont get me wrong; NWN would have been a juggling nightmare as well, but for completely different reasons and this juggling is probably just as prominent in other VTTs, so it is not a fault of BRPG, in fact it could actually be BRPGs moment to shine.

Where NWN failed was the engine, it always got in the way, but it never really was designed for PnP anyways. Where NWN succeeded however was triggers. Triggers that automated audio, cut scenes, traps, area transitions, and anything else that might be of use to you in a game. To me automating BRPG in such a way would be this DMs dream.

Now I dont even know if it is possible and a lot of this may have been mentioned before but I wanted to put the idea in your head anyways. You have already mentioned being able to trigger sounds but that could be just the beginning, what about some of the other trigger based events that I mentioned above? I know that flash has been talked about and I have seen some samples in BRPG already. I have to say this stuff is brilliant. The reason why I think these types of features are critical is based solely on the purpose of the game--creating and maintaining atmosphere, any long pause by a DM kills that atmosphere, so the more that œpause

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Post by Omnidon » Fri Aug 24, 2007 2:16 am

My experiences with NWN were similar to greytales's.
Even before it came out, I was looking forward to using it as a GMing tool. While it turned out to be a fantastic game, it really does not allow for the on-the-spot flexibility that I needed.
If NWN had allowed complex editing of the map and NPC creation during the game, then I probably would be using it for gaming right now. ;-)

As I've mentioned at various times elsewhere, there are many things I liked in NWN that I'd love to see in BRPG. Here's what comes to mind:
  • On-map Triggers
    As greytale mentioned, I think it should be possible to trigger events by clicking on portions of the map. These should range from clicking a treasure chest to open it or clicking on a stairwell to move to the basement. Non-click based triggers can also exist, such as automatically lighting a bunch of (magical) torches when the player enters a certain room.

    I think Flash extensions will (eventually) be sufficient for implementing this feature.
  • Inventory System
    As you mentioned, the inventory system in NWN is very nice. One thing I feel is important for any inventory system is the ability to not only manage your backpack items and equipped items, but also to move items in and out of containers such as treasure chests. Drag & drop also is a must.

    I think a mix of core features + a few flash extensions could make this possible in BRPG.
    I was planning on making a drag & drop graphical inventory for my own gaming system, but would be willing to extend it to work with other systems as well.
  • Chat Interface
    NWN has an excellent chat interface. You may have to play online a bit to fully appreciate it. I love being able to split the output box and filter which messages appear in which box. For example, you can set it so that private messages appear in the left box and public messages appear in the right. I also like having the tiny portraits next to the character name and being able to click them to send a private message to that player. This and more was mentioned in my Chat Interface summary.

    I would love to see those things added as core features when the chat interface finally gets overhauled. ;-)
  • Minimap
    I love having a minimap. For me, it makes navigating around a large map so much more intuitive. My Minimap summary post was heavily influenced by the NWN minimap.
    A good minimap is more than just a zoomed out version of the map. It needs to be a summary of things like unit locations, rather than actually displaying the units themselves. Even a full-screen versions of the minimap can be very handy.

    While this could potentially be added as a Flash extension, it seems better suited to being a core feature.
  • Party HUD
    In NWN, the portraits, health bars, and status effects of current members of your party are shown on the right side of your screen. You can click / right-click on the portraits to interact with the characters (to talk, check their inventory, or cast healing spells on them, etc).
    In BRPG I think it would be very useful for players and GMs controlling multiple characters to have an interface element like that.

    Support for this could be added by expanding the current portraits feature (which I'll discuss some other time) or as a flash extension.
  • Allied / Enemy / Neutral Base Indicators
    In NWN and a few similar games, the color of the circle around a creature's feet indicates its disposition towards the PC. I feel this can be helpful in a cluttered map. While you can manually give enemies different base types in BRPG, I personally don't feel bases are useful to me unless they can have dynamic qualities.

    This is a minor feature and could be added through the use of Flash-based figures.

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Post by Balesir » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:15 am

Omnidon wrote:
  • On-map Triggers
    As greytale mentioned, I think it should be possible to trigger events by clicking on portions of the map. These should range from clicking a treasure chest to open it or clicking on a stairwell to move to the basement. Non-click based triggers can also exist, such as automatically lighting a bunch of (magical) torches when the player enters a certain room.

    I think Flash extensions will (eventually) be sufficient for implementing this feature.
Just basic shortcuts to allow adding or moving specific objects/figures would be useful. A 'nice to have', really, but a good time saver.
Omnidon wrote:
  • Inventory System
    As you mentioned, the inventory system in NWN is very nice. One thing I feel is important for any inventory system is the ability to not only manage your backpack items and equipped items, but also to move items in and out of containers such as treasure chests. Drag & drop also is a must.
What core features would be needed? I'm thinking just a nested list ('folder' style) with check-boxes for 'carrying/not carrying', one or two values that can be subtotalled by 'folder' and totalled and have multipliers that can be set at the folder level. That should allow for weight and bulk tracking and reduction in effective weight due to worn/packed status. Drag and drop between folders, obviously. Any other features as core? Presumably, if the data for this exists then the Flash addons can give graphical versions of it that use the same data source (given the right permissions)?
Omnidon wrote:
  • Chat Interface
    NWN has an excellent chat interface. You may have to play online a bit to fully appreciate it. I love being able to split the output box and filter which messages appear in which box. For example, you can set it so that private messages appear in the left box and public messages appear in the right. I also like having the tiny portraits next to the character name and being able to click them to send a private message to that player. This and more was mentioned in my Chat Interface summary.
Ooh, yes - I'm looking forward to an overhaul, here. Two things from experience with ScreenMonkey - ability to have different colours for different characters and a way to differentiate actions/emotes from speech. Italics works fine for this last one - making it configurable by the GM would be gravy.
Omnidon wrote:
  • Party HUD
    In NWN, the portraits, health bars, and status effects of current members of your party are shown on the right side of your screen. You can click / right-click on the portraits to interact with the characters (to talk, check their inventory, or cast healing spells on them, etc).
    In BRPG I think it would be very useful for players and GMs controlling multiple characters to have an interface element like that.
I would be a little wary, here, to avoid cluttering the screen. One thing with the chat, though, is that using the 'chat as' drop-down can be a pain. Might be better to meld this with the player list on the left hand side, by having figures assigned to players listed under the player name (and indented). 'Chat as' could then be done as for 'chat to' by highlighting the figure name in the list. You should only be able to choose your own figures, obviously (apart from the GM? That might be fun!! :twisted: ) and the highlight would tell you who you were chatting as. Highlighting yourself would set chat to OOC.
Omnidon wrote:
  • Allied / Enemy / Neutral Base Indicators
    In NWN and a few similar games, the color of the circle around a creature's feet indicates its disposition towards the PC. I feel this can be helpful in a cluttered map. While you can manually give enemies different base types in BRPG, I personally don't feel bases are useful to me unless they can have dynamic qualities.
We use these and they seem to work fine. What 'dynamic qualities' did you have in mind?

Actually, a blue one for 'neutral/unknown' would be handy.
Balesir

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Post by Omnidon » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:53 am

Balesir wrote:
Omnidon wrote:On-map Triggers
Just basic shortcuts to allow adding or moving specific objects/figures would be useful. A 'nice to have', really, but a good time saver.
They'll certainly be more than a 'nice to have' if the Flash API is fully added. ;-)
Balesir wrote:
Omnidon wrote:Inventory System
What core features would be needed?
Technically no core features would be needed.

I just figured that heruca would probably want to add at least basic inventory support to go with the table-based turn sequencer he's planning. There's no reason that someone couldn't make a fully independent inventory management extension.
Balesir wrote:
Omnidon wrote:Party HUD
I would be a little wary, here, to avoid cluttering the screen.
Well, it should be optional, as always.
The portraits also don't have to be as big as they are in NWN. Perhaps best as a Flash extension though.
Balesir wrote:One thing with the chat, though, is that using the 'chat as' drop-down can be a pain.
Yep.
Balesir wrote:
Omnidon wrote:Allied / Enemy / Neutral Base Indicators
We use these and they seem to work fine. What 'dynamic qualities' did you have in mind?
I meant that this quality should be more centrally controlled, like in the unit manager. Perhaps that'll be supported when the unit manager becomes table-based.

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