You are here

NWN1:EE-project in a German school 01 - Introduction

Blog #1 - Introduction:

NWN1:EE-project in a German school

I start with the words I’ve posted to the vault forum ( ), because they also fit here as an introduction to this project. So I quote myself:

“Me being involved in schooling students (between 5th and 10th grade) on computers, I was very fascinated, when I saw the posts of Jimdad55, who used (together with his colleague Matthew) NWN1(EE) in a computer course! For the last few years, I was already allowed to do a regular introduction into (low level) programming course, where the (10th grade - ) students used - amongst others - LOGO, simple Python and the tool “Game Maker (Lite)”. But now seeing one of my favourite real life time eater being used in school, gave me the kick to try to use NWN1 in the 10th grade computer course.

Well, you all know, that NWN holds a lot of possibilities, which makes it a good candidate to give students some basic insight on game design:

  • area design
  • story telling
  • creating conversations
  • balancing
  • and last, but not least, the possibility to add your own content to the game.

So at some point, I contacted Jimdad55 about their project. As you might already have seen from Jimdad55’s post: He’s very helpful and shares a lot.

So, after studying Jimdad55’s and Matthew’s course aims, clarifying licenses agreements with Beamdog (via Niv) and overcoming obstacles with the hardware at our school [see below] (again with the support of Niv), I decided to also give it a try. The OK of the for this from the responsible authority was granted and kickoff will be [by now was!] this upcoming Monday (Sep. 7th 2020).

So many thanks for Niv and Jimdad55 for their big support so far!”

So here I’d like to start with some general info on the school and the course:

This school is in Germany. Here, students are basically classified into three different “learning” levels: A basic one, a more advanced one (but with graduating in this level, you don’t get the requirements to visit a college/university right away) and the regular advance level, which, in the end, opens the possibility to study at a college/university. And there is a forth level, which holds the students, which have eg. learning problems. Our school has students from 5th to 10th grade and it’s a bit special, because we have ALL “learning” levels in the house, in some subjects they’re even all in one class/course.

Now, this computer course is for 10th grader and it’s running parallel to hours of the second foreign language for the regular advance level people. So it holds students from the other three levels. One meeting lasts about 80 minutes.


There are no frame conditions on what there is to teach in this course, but the decision was made to basically stick to the course Jimdad55 and Matthew went through in their school.


Setting up the PCs in the computer room:

The PCs are, of course, no gaming PCs! The general training with office programs is the main aim, so especially the graphic units are very “slim” in what they can handle.  Fortunately they are just good enough to handle NWN1, when tuning down on the graphical extras. But they gave me a bit of a hard time! As mentioned: Niv took the time to live check and chat me through some of the obstacles.


Here are some edges:

1. NWN1 would not start, if there was no possible audio output device like speakers/headphones. That has been fixed with .13.


2. The interactive board - having even worse graphical possibilities - would actually launch the game, but not the toolset (error-message: “Could not create 3D preview window”)! The reason lies somewhere within the OpenGL-capabilities. Niv said, that they are OK, because the toolset only needs OpenGL 3.0 so far, but still it won’t launch (yes, it’s the latest driver, but it’s old). So I decided to do try it with the free program “teamViewer”: I run NWN1 on a capable PC and mirror its screen onto the interactive board. This way, the board can also control the PC.


3. Language change:

I wanted the game and toolset language to be German, so the possible lack of skills in English doesn’t hinder the students here. But running the setup with language set to “German” doesn’t do the trick! For the game I tweaked the language settings in the settings.tml. But the toolset requires the according (German) dialog.tlk in the root-folder of the “My Documents” -> NWN1EE-folder! This is a bit tricky, because see #4!


4. As you read in #3, I prepared a few files for the students, so things show up in German and they can play a special demo module I made for them (more to this in blog #3). But our PCs are running in a network, where each student has its own account bound to their name. So NWN1EE creates a separate NWN1EE-folder in “My Documents” for every student. So first they need(ed) launch the game once, so that these folders are created. Well, “my” problem now is, that I don’t have any access to these folders and could not prepare the complete setup for them. So the students have to do some copy/paste (from a folder with group access) to get the files into the right NWN1EE folders. Why a “problem”? From my experience, this might eat up quite a bit of time, because some students have never done that before. And this at a point, where they might be eager to test out NWN1! So, this will be a “draggy” part, but there is no way around that.


So much for that part. Next entry will be on the first meeting.

First Release: 
  • up
  • down