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Author Topic: Grabbed from Slashdot  (Read 44747 times)

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September 02, 2009, 02:01:10 PM

I read this on Slashdot & was wondering how much of it was true.

The following aren't in the game, probably as no surprise to anybody at this point:

          -Multiplayer/DM client.





          -Pushing/grabing objects around in real time.

          -Path over path. You can do this but the pathfinding doesn't support it. In drive mode it works fine, but if you move with point and click or use scripting to move a creature it fails.

          The following can be done, but only in hacky ways and were rarely done in the main campaign:

          -Day/night. This can only be done with area transitions. No real time

          -Placing/picking up objects in the world. Unlike NWN, you can't drop items into the world, or pick up anything that's not in a container. For picking up you have to put placeables into the world (and no model exists for most items). For placing you'd have to put an invisible placeable into the world which you click on, which spawns another placeable.

          -Destroyable environments. Placeables can be destroyed, but they tend to stick beucase the lighting is different, especially large ones that you're trying to disguise as part of the background level art. Our artists have found ways to bake the lighting texture into the diffuse texture to pull a decent blend off, but it's hacky and hard to maintain.

          -Ambient usage of objects. You can't hook an extra object up to an animation. So for instance, outside of a cutscene, you can't have people drinking from mugs, or working a forge with tools. We actually figured out too late that you can do this with visual effects, so hopefully the community can do a better job of it that we did.

          Things that were in NWN that are different/missing from DA:

          -Runtime local variables. All variables stored on an object have to be declared in a 2da.

          -Custom equipment. NWN was more flexibile in allowing outfits to be made piece by piece and selecting different colours. DA's armors are one piece and the tinting is limited.

          -Accessing objects. You can only grab/effect objects which are in the player's current area. If you want to change things in other areas, you set plot flags and update the other area in the area load script.

          -Beam Effects. DA doesn't have beam visual effects.

          -Using items. Plot items can't be usable in DA, and generally making items that are not consumed when used is a bit painful.

          -Instancing. NWN allows you to modify any property of a placed object. DA has a much smaller list of instanced properties, and expects you to use more templates. I quite like the system, but it might take getting used to.

          -Scaling. Creatures and placeables have a fixed size. NWN didn't have scaling, and neither does DA.

          -Putting items into containers. DA doesn't let the player drag items from their inventory into a container. This functionality is actually included in the engine and can be accessed by changing a parameter in the function call to open the inventory, but users of the custom content probably won't realize they can do this.

          -Placeable actions. Unlike NWN where the player can pretty much do any action on any placeable, DA only supports one action per placeable at a time. The state controller has a list of states and each one has an action. So a placeable can be bashed, or it can be examined, or it can be used, or it can be a container, or it can be an area transition or it can be locked, but it can't be multiple of these simultaneously. We did at one point have a second action accessed by shift-click, but I think we cut every place we used it in the main campaign and we might have cut the functionality from the engine. It's something to look into, but even then you're looking at two actions per placeable and not a radial menu.

September 02, 2009, 10:58:09 PM
Reply #1

Looks mostly true.
That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.

October 04, 2009, 09:56:51 PM
Reply #2

Except that there is scaling in NWN.

October 04, 2009, 10:35:16 PM
Reply #3

Quote from: WebShaman

Except that there is scaling in NWN.

I'm sure they mean dynamic scaling of the models & not the reasonably nice but somewhat complex hack we have now.

October 06, 2009, 02:09:57 AM
Reply #4
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I haven't followed DA one bit, but it seems to me that the person was expecting it to be NWN3. How about a list of things that are in DA but not NWN for a fair comparison?

October 07, 2009, 09:42:01 AM
Reply #5

Actually, I think that keeping DA:O comparisons with NWN out of the picture is probably a smart thing to do.

Obviously DA:O is not supposed to be a NWN type game.  It is a RPG, but the game itself is not like NWN.

Comparing it with NWN will just bring up what DA "lacks" which is just not true - DA is designed and made according to how Bioware wants it to - one could perhaps critik DA along the lines of the IP itself (and perhaps controls and handling, etc), but that is about it.

It is a seperate type of game than NWN is.

Now, many may be waiting for another NWN aka NWN3, for example.  But it is beginning to look like the model that was NWN as a game is not really all that desirable from a Developer and Publisher standpoint.  Otherwise, everyone and their uncle would be doing it.

I rather suspect that the expected return does not justify the rather considerable investment of resources to make a game like NWN (SP, MP, DM Client, Server, Toolset).

I think that NWN2 has shown just what sort of difficulties can occur with the model, if it is not done carefully and thoughtfully, with the necessary resources commited to it.

A comparable NWN3 may be very long in coming.

October 07, 2009, 11:20:37 PM
Reply #6
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I liked your analysis. I suppose I was just trying to be objective, in that if you're going to point out what one side has and the other doesn't, you had better list what's missing, too. Perhaps the list is aimed rather to inform ex-NWN scripters. I don't know. All I've seen of DA is two Youtube videos.

October 08, 2009, 01:10:26 AM
Reply #7

Well, the original discussion was about the community that Bioware was trying to build around Dragon Age.  One poster pointed to the above list as why it won't be as sucessful as it could be because it won't have anywhere near the amount of custom content that NWN or NWN2 does.  Granted, he probably doesn't know that the PRC guys are going to tear into it either.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 01:13:13 AM by DM Heatstroke »

October 08, 2009, 03:34:40 AM
Reply #8
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I just think it's flawed reasoning to come to the conclusion that because on the surface DA looks incomplete, it therefore will be less capable. It doesn't take into account the impact of any new features.

October 08, 2009, 10:53:48 AM
Reply #9

Another Dragon Age story grabbed from Slashdot.  Dragon Age is getting DLC on the same day that is released.  Does anyone else here think that is kinda lame?  Why not add $7 to the cost of a complete game so I feel a little less like a sucker for buying it?  I can understand DLC if it is stuff that didn't make it in due to time constraints or if it's a hefty expansion ala Shivering Isles, but this was seemingly left out at completion just for the purpose of another revenue stream.

Honestly, this is just for the sake of discussion since I can't run the game anyhow.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 10:58:29 AM by DM Heatstroke »

October 12, 2009, 12:45:13 PM
Reply #10

It didn't make it in due to time constraints. Happy? :P

October 12, 2009, 04:03:31 PM
Reply #11

Quote from: fluffyamoeba

It didn't make it in due to time constraints. Happy? :P

Are you being sarcastic?  Honestly, I can't tell.

October 13, 2009, 09:53:33 PM
Reply #12

Quote from: DM Heatstroke

Quote from: fluffyamoeba

It didn't make it in due to time constraints. Happy? :P

Are you being sarcastic?  Honestly, I can't tell.

Not really. Bioware have said that the free DLC at launch only got done because of the delay in the release date. Whether slashdotters would ever take their word for it is another thing. They're about as likely to believe bioware saying it as me. :P

DLC does not need as big a gap between finishing it and launch as something that has to be put on disk, then shipped all round the world. So whatever is on the disk has to be done some time before the DLC, even though it is released on the same day. Plus it's likely that the main game was locked down for no new content months ago (if you keep adding new content while also trying to do QA/bugfixing/optimising then the game tends to be buggy and unoptimised). I don't know whether that counts as not having time to put it in the game. Certainly there have been games that have had new content added close to the release date (I'm fairly sure that applies to many games that seem to have a rushed or incomplete ending for instance).

I'm fine with the free DLC stuff. I'm still not sure what I think about the general trend of more games to stick things in paid for DLC.

November 10, 2009, 09:22:12 PM
Reply #13

I'm ok with 0 day DLC, as long as it is OPTIONAL material.

Meaning that one does not need it to play and finish the game.

As one does not need it to play and finish DA, I think that it is a fine addition to the game.

My question about the DLC is how is the revenue going to be spent?  Will it be used to produce extra XPs and Patches for the game, or is it going to line pockets as profit?

I find that a much more important question, because one could support the game by purchasing DLC for it if the proceeds went towards more XPs and Patches (much like the Premium Mods for NWN).

But if it is to line pockets, then it would be better to avoid purchasing it, because as FA has pointed out, if it becomes a "successful model" then one will start seeing more and more of it.

And it will not take long for someone to say "hey, why not offer DLC that will be REQUIRED in order to complete the game?"

And then the cat is out of the bag.

November 11, 2009, 01:41:44 PM
Reply #14