A Neverwinter Nights II Mod by Jon and Dennis Graf

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Latest run through

Ambush in the Wastelands

Other than local testing, I hadn't done a start to finish run through in a while, so my first task for this week was to do that. Mod is currently @ 2 hrs - perhaps a little longer if you check out every little nook and cranny. Of course, I know where everything is ;) - so this may be a little off. All went as expected right up till the end, then found that a fix I had made broke the one alternate ending. Simple to remedy and that is on my short list. Generated a long list of convo mistakes and needed conditional re-do's - again all based on changes I have made since the last run-through. Also want to go back and apply what I have learned lighting-wise to some of the earlier areas.

Another task will be to re-work the content on early convo's to reflect story changes from later in the build. Some of the current ones left me laughing - not a few incongruities. Found a couple of real puzzlers - nothing game breaking, but stuff not working the exact way I intended.  

Re-worked the opening movie - finally beginning to approach acceptable quality. Also figured out a glitch in the sound track where the cello part wasn't coming through. Thats about all for this week.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Flu Bug

Was making some real progress but then alas  - the flu hit with a vengeance. Still not back to work yet (probably tomorrow), but at least able to post this update. Added another interior area - the Silver Stag. Used it to finally work out some interior lighting I was happy with. The possible combinations of color and intensity are pretty amazing. And of course, all the combinations take TIME! Also made my first tentative efforts at creating a minstrel NPC - though I am still messing with the script. Thanks to a post by Spiderwick for a place to start  - it worked right from the go, but I am still not happy with the timing of the speakstrings. Included several new screens - from the Stag (inside and out), and one from a chapel scene early in the game.

Areas are at 29 and counting - though I'm starting to think that the final count will be 30 or so - with an estimated game play time of @ 2 hrs.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Winter in April

Above is another screen shot - this of the Northern Wasteland area - home of the Celestial Bear quest. Spent what little time I had this week adding a small inside area, just for grins should someone happen to "visit", and tweaking various encounters. Also did some conversations. It has been cold, rainy, and even snowy (today), and as much as I love Winter, I've had more than my fill. 

I finished the "sound track" for the intro movie, and spent far too much time experimenting with various compression schemes trying to get the maximum video quality. Still not sure I am satisfied. The sound track was fun - my first go at midi, and seems to evoke the feel I was going for. Its just a short little ditty, but its all mine!

Finally figured out a bug in one of the ending sequences, and reworked it much more to my liking. So thats about it - nothing earthshaking to report, just slow steady progress. Even though percentage wise, most of he mod is done, it sure seems like that last 10% takes a whole lot longer than the first 10% did!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

more screens

If I knew then...

One of the problems I faced as a new builder, was that my enthusiasm to "jump right in", and my lack of knowledge/experience, led to me creating content in a way that would eventually become a roadblock to realizing some part of the vision. Which meant of course either going back and re-doing some of the content - or finding a different way (generally less desirable) of accomplishing the desired effect. I think it also becomes a driving force to do another mod - if for no other reason than to "get it right". I had a lofty set of objectives - wanted to try at least a little of many of the possibilities I experienced in both the official campaign and the community mods I played. The list includes - using pre-fab areas, movies, voice-overs, custom effects, original music - pretty ambitious for a rank beginner. While I have managed to do a lot of this (some on a very small scale) - some things still remain on the list. 

SYNOPSIS: (no spoilers) - This is a single player mod. While it is written primarily for a male fighter, it can be played by any character. The PC is currently looking for work in Fenhollow (see screen above) a small settlement on the edge of the waste lands. He has been away from his clan for 10 years following a falling out with his father. It is the time of the Maerond - a "fight to the death" competition sponsored by a mysterious group of guardians known as the Dwarinth. Many would-be champions have arrived in town, and seem intent on eliminating as much of the competition as possible prior to the actual event. Here are a few screen shots to hopefully whet your appetite:

Saturday, April 5, 2008


This is the story of a journey. It is a journey of healing - though as with any healing process, there are often relapses. The story begins several years ago when my son Jon introduced me to the NeverWinter Nights computer game. Jon was an avid gamer and he particularly loved role playing games. One evening he said something along the lines of "hey - you gotta see this. The graphics are incredible". To humor him I agreed to sit "for a few minutes". He had tried to hook me into games before - without much success. This time was different. I immediately began playing on my own, and played through the original NWN campaign, all the sequels, and many of the mods created by the NWN community. I asked him how people made mods, and he said that there was a toolkit. Now you have to understand that we were playing on a Mac - so we didn't have access to the toolkit.

Then I got a new Intel Mac and set it up so I could play on the PC side. Jon again brought up the idea of creating our own mod. I agreed that it might be a fun project, but when we opened the toolkit, it was all a bit daunting, and we decided to put it off till the release of NWN II. Long story short - we never got around to it. Jon took his life a week or so before NWNII was released.

Now jump ahead a year to the anniversary of his passing. As a part of my attempts to deal with the day, I was reading over some of the things he had written. As I read through one of his short stories, "The Price of Honor", I thought what a great mod this would have made. That evening I opened the toolset in earnest for the first time. In the months since I have been blundering through tutorials, posts on the NWNII community site, and of course reading the blogs of those who are in the midst of various new mods. 

I now have a good deal of work created, and am just about ready to share some of it with the community in hopes of getting some feedback and eventually posting it to the NWNII Vault - much as Jon and i dreamed of doing. The basic plot and much of the dialogue is Jon's - from his short story. I take full credit for all the mistakes, miscues and beginners execution.