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Graphical Updates: Pros and Cons

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Andarian
Graphical Updates: Pros and Cons

There's been a lot of talk at Beamdog about demands for "graphical updates" -- meaning, primarily, high-res updates to existing game models and textures. This is something that builders deal with whenever we look at installing a "facelift" hak to update the look of content that we've already built. I've been doing this recently, and I want to take a couple of minutes to rant about the danger of assuming that this can be done without the need to re-work that content.

I'm currently doing something that I've really wanted to do for a long time: re-making the forest areas in the early part of Sanctum of the Archmage: The Sight with Sixesthrice's Wild Woods. Before I decided to undertake that effort, though (which involves re-making half a dozen areas more or less from scratch), I experimented with installing Zwerkules' Forest and Placeable "facelift" haks. These are fine work, and I don't mean the following remarks to derogate them in any way. I'm still planning to use the placeable hak. But I think it's worth pointing out a few things I ran into in the process, to highlight the pitfalls of thinking that of course such content updates can be made without danger of breaking the mods they're used to build.

  • Installing the forest facelift hak immediately broke both of the first two cutscenes in my module. The reason was fairly predictable. The facelift increases the density of the woods in the tileset, which makes it look better in general. This put new foliage right in front of the cutscenes' camera views, so that the player could not see what was going on.
  • This one is illustrated in the image below. It's due to a re-make to the Corpse 03 appearance, and the blueprint is straight out of the OC's standard assets. The original model was face down and fairly androgynous, so the description did fit the original model. It's incredibly wrong for the re-made model, which is neither face down, nor is its gender ambiguous. And the entire forest in the early part of my first mod is littered with corpses using the same blueprint.

None of this is to say that facelifts are bad. I'm not going to reject the facelift or try to re-install the original corpse model just to preserve a placeable description. I'm going to update the descriptions to work with the new and better model. And the way to fix a blocked cutscene camera is to re-work the placed tiles, and/or move the camera slightly, so that it's clear again. But the point is that this is an option for me because I'm still around to fix my work. The authors of most of the many hundreds of modules on the vault aren't.

And THIS is why Beamdog should NOT re-make existing content from Neverwinter Nights. That content has already been used to make countless mods that no one is around to re-make. And even with care and the best intentions, it WILL negatively affect -- or even break -- them.

 

 

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Tonden Ockay

Your wright Andarian with every thing you have said, which is why I have said in another post that I do not belive that Beamdog will update old content. 

The only way I could see them doing it would be if they had a way to turn the new updates on and off.

But I for one don't feel like Beamdog is made up of mostly scripters so going back and creating upgrades for all the standard tilesets  may take more time then the want to spend.

Long story short Andarian I don'y think Beamdog ever will.

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TheBarbarian

To be fair, there's a massive difference between doing a facelift and doing a lore-friendly facelift, and it's one of the things that make this kind of task work rather than play for a modeler. Quality-upgrading something while preserving everything about it is just much more boring than getting to play around, be creative, and/or use similar but better-looking existing assets to save time. Of course people working for fun in their free time would tend towards more entertaining and less time-intensive options. The face-down, androgynous corpse being replaced with a female corpse facing up is just a case of a lore-unfriendly facelift.

Couple of suggestions for solving the foliage problem:

- stay very true to the existing tiles while revamping, add new tiles with denser foliage.

- set the new foliage to be 'second-story', so it can be deactivated if it's in the way of something/automatically fade out if the camera gets close.

Combining those two should yield amazing results.

I'd really like having certainty on whether or not Beamdog will be taking care of the character models. ::chinscratch:: I've basically spent the past few years training for this task, and I'd definitely want to tackle it. But if they've got it covered, there're probably more useful things I could be doing, like maybe helping Tonden with the tileset facelifts, or learning to animate.

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Jedijax

That's the pickle right there. I've been very vocal about this over... maybe a decade? Making a comprehensive override is very demanding. It requires you to make the actual model/texture work, check it and troubleshoot, before moving on. Real, notable changes need a very thorough labor. I spent years working on my own personal overrides, and they have a minimum impact on the modules I play. That's the deal. Your module was instantly affected by a simple facelift project, whereas none of the ones I keep has. Not to demerit your own project, but I think one has to consider a ratio of error in any quest. It's either all or nothing, unfortunately, as I mentioned recently. I doubt one can have a graphical override that works flawlessly in every instance, so either you have one that works on a reasonably high number of cases, or you don't at all. Another poster mentioned new official content would make old custom content look bad and out of sync. So what's the answer? To keep things as they are, subpar? I'd rather have that than overall lower quality visuals, but that's me.


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Proleric
Proleric's picture

I proposed a potential win-win on the Beamdog Forum, which is relevant regardless of whether Beamdog opt for facelifting the old content (which seems unlikely).

Over the years, as a module author, I've often raised concerns about global mods to physics, semiotics and logic.

However, I recognise that global mod makers find this difficult to understand. It's easy to minimise as collateral damage, or dismiss as inexplicible hostility, if you don't make modules yourself.

Likewise, I've rashly assumed that module-making necessarily trumps global enhancement, which, though customary for NWN, is debatable.

Hence the win-win proposal, to remove the underlying conflict.

It is, admittedly, a blunt instrument, the minimum necessary.

I'm soliciting Likes on the Beamdog site, in the hope that it might become a Trello proposal if enough people want it.

NWN and DAO adventures at http://proleric.com/

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Tonden Ockay

First - Module builders do all kinds of things in there modules, and there just isn’t any way to account for everything all the module creators of the past may have done. For example, putting objects on top of each other could cause problems with new roof over hangs, new archways, trees, and so on. Taller or shorter buildings and walls will cause problems if object had been placed on them. You can’t make walls building cliffs or anything like that wider without messing up the walkmesh. So the only kikd of update that would really work would be what we already have which is a reskin of the old textures. But even then you will have some people who wont like some of the textures that are used. There for when going back to rework old content you will never make everyone happy, it just isn’t going to happen.

 

Second – If Beamdog was to create updates for the standard tilesets then it would be permanent unless they made a way where you could turn it on and off, so you could play older modules without it if you wanted. Again there is so much work in a project like this that I really don’t see Beamdog going down this road.

 

Third - One thing to remember just because the community creates an override for the standard content doesn’t mean that everyone will or has to use it. Plus with it being an override players will have the option of not using it if it is causing problems with an older module.

 

Another thing to think about is that some people like the old looks, this may be hard to believe but I have talked with some who don’t mind/ kinda like the current look. So just because you or I like the looks of newer modules/textures doesn’t mean everyone will.

 

This brings me to where I am today when it comes to the standard tilesets. I have thought long and hard about what I want out of the standard tilesets, while how to create it in a way that would work with most older modules. There for, I know and understand with the changes that I’m making will NOT work for everyone, every module, or everything. That being said it should work with a lot of older modules. I have taken the stance of NOT messing with the walkmesh, so that when used with older modules it will not effect pathing or block object that had been placed on the ground. That said I am going with

 

- Totally newer trees that have more branches and foliage.

- Taller and shorter walls/buildings

- Totally changing the looks of some buildings and walls to the point that they look nothing like the old ones at all.

- Creating newer models that look more medieval/medieval fantasy.

- Adding ceilings for the indoor tilesets.

- Using a lot of the same textures, grass, water, roads, and models across the different standard tilesets so they blend well/match each other more then they currently do.

 

Lastly I want this project to have new features, groups, terrains, options for future builders.  

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TheBarbarian

Liked! This sounds like a very good way of solving that problem. This way around, players really will need to open up the module and attach the haks themselves/flip the switch to play a module with non-sanctioned overrides. If they do that, they'll be fully aware that they've done it, and really ought to understand that there's no way the builder can be held responsible or should have to fix the bugs they run into.

But for the record, Proleric, it's not that I don't understand the problem or the frustration it causes, it's that I prioritize the responsibility of the player to mind what they install over the responsibility of the builder to investigate bugs that could be caused by overrides, and that I insist that, when frustrated, annoyed, angry, or upset, it's better to figure out solutions to the problem (like this one!) or (if that's not possible) care a little less than to spread the frustration to others.

Modulebuilders are an important "faction" in NWN, probably even the most important one among the content creators - but they're also one type of content creator, which makes attempts of any one "faction" to claim supremacy over others a case of friendly fire. That's what I object to so vehemently. It's essentially a form of elitism - elevating one group's interests above every other's.

The user types are all important, and all, together, make up NWN. We do our best when working together, rather than against eachother. I'll see if I can raise a couple more likes/upvotes.

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Andarian

The solution (I think) is to make NEW content. Don't try to facelift existing assets in a way that forces them on already created work. Yes, you can try to minimize the damage by taking greater care. No, you cannot eliminate it. All of my experience with expecting the required level of diligence to make it otherwise, from facelifts and non-backward-compatible CC updates over the course of a dozen years of NWN modding, only reinforces that conclusion. I just don't think it's realistic without several years worth of work and a AAA development budget, and we don't have either.

Tonden's idea of at least being able to turn such content updates on and off has some merit, but I think it's a waste of "zots" to begin with. This is a separate issue from the thread topic, but to state it briefly: I think Beamdog faces a choice beteween investing limited developer resources into making the game capable of new, high quality development, or trying to force-fit a facelift onto old content (including mods whose authors are long gone and not willing or available to re-work them). The latter strikes me as a game of Russian roulette at best.

Beamdog began this EE effort with a focus and commitment on leveraging and not blowing up existing mod content, to provide a draw for new and returning NWN builders and players. I support this approach because I think it's the only one that positions NWN as a game that can last another dozen years, rather than being a flash-in-the-pan revision that will be quickly forgotten. I also think it's the way to perhaps, finally, realize some of the game's original potential, which was choked off by Amiga-level mis-management of the property in the late 00s. This is why I think that if you want modern NWN content without killing a priceless fifteen year game archive, then the way to get it is from new and/or author-revised content development in 2018.

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TheBarbarian

It's certainly one of the worse ways they could be spending their resources, especially considering that there is an active modding community who can and will take care of it if they don't. Cost aside, it'll make all the work override creators have done in the past (or are doing right now) essentially have been wasted time. I'm sitting here wondering whether I should be going ahead with the character model revamps for the same reason, and Tonden's new override is shaping up to be nothing short of breathtaking; it'd be madness to spend money hiring a professional to do the same task whem it's already being done for free at this quality level.

Either way, I think they would benefit a lot from producing something visible, and the pre-EE/EE contrast would probably be the most crass with the 3d models. Posting progress pictures, either of a default override or of something new, would do a lot to dispel the "oh no Beamdog are just trying to resell the same game with a few shaders slapped on"-grumbling. It's one of those things you can post a picture of once a week to really fuel a hype-fire. The things we do here won't benefit them in the eyes of their customers, after all.

Tilesets that aren't covered by the modding community so far would probably be the best thing they could do for that. ::chinscratch:: Or updating some creature models. Or adding flying, and flying mounts. The bar's set fairly high, though, what with the general "look at all this cool stuff that's been done for free - paid stuff should be better!" going around.

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Tonden Ockay

I agree that Beamdog isn’t going to have the time/money to do the best possible job at updating the standard tilesets and even if they did, without an on and off switch it would screw over a lot of older modules.

 

This is why I’m more for Beamdog unlocking more of the hard coded stuff and updating creature models like TheBarbarian had said.

 

I really do feel we (the community) could do a good enough job creating override/addon haks for the standard tilesets that would be an option for players and builders to use vs being forced to.

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Andarian

"Posting progress pictures, either of a default override or of something new, would do a lot to dispel the "oh no Beamdog are just trying to resell the same game with a few shaders slapped on"-grumbling. It's one of those things you can post a picture of once a week to really fuel a hype-fire. The things we do here won't benefit them in the eyes of their customers, after all."

I'm not sure we can't do a good bit to help with that. I think that Savant's and my screehshots on the BD forums have already done so. (I've already seen several people say that seeing those has convinced them to get the EE.) I just added your head and Gunner's body packs along with Zwerkules' placeables and my forest update to Wild Woods, so my upcoming screenshots will look even better.

These are all things that are being made possible by Beamdog's efforts with NWN:EE. (I certainly would not have returned to building without them.) We can lean in a bit to help show what Beamdog and modders can make possible for NWN:EE.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

@TheBarbarian - Placing the onus on players is disingenuous at best. Sure, some players understand this stuff better than the builders, but most don't - especially the influx of new players we're hoping for. Expecting them to manage their mod configuration is a bit like arming kids with knives, then walking away when other people get cut.

Given the the history of NWN, where module building has been the core activity, the notion that override builders are somehow oppressed because they're not free to recklessly break things is naive and insensitive. That's not aimed at your stuff, by the way - artwork overrides are not such a big issue.

Nevertheless, setting aside the context, you'll see from my proposal that I'm willing to regard it as an abstract conflict of interest, which can be resolved by suitable controls - in the hands of the builders, not the players.

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Vanya Mia

It might have been said but I think, in simple terms, Andarian has hit the problem on the head.

We all know that once a vertex or face is moved any distance at all on the X,Y,Z axes there's a risk that change will damage the positioning of a placeable in the module using the tileset, requiring extensive checking by any builder incorporating changes just in case. Andarian's description of how a cutscene was affected by something as otherwise low impact as extra foliage is as good an example as it gets. Ask any PW builder how frustrating it can be to incorporate some of them for a tileset they have been using.

Texture changes and related graphical adaptations aside, it doesn't seem possible to change the modelling of standard tilesets without a tile by tile examination of placeable locations for every single original campaign or expansion area because of the impact even minor tileset model changes can have. Frankly I don't think they will want to take the time to do that, as any builder knows just how time consuming it can be, for no potential gain.

These facelifts and upgrades to tileset changes are remarkable. Truly they are. Work of that quality to improve what we have is absolutely wonderful and I will stand there and applaud it with gratitude all day - but it is no longer the standard tileset. It's new content usable in new modules but problematic to incorporate unilaterally for old.

"I took Skill Focus: Craft Disturbing Mental Image as my feat last level." Belkar, OOTS

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TheBarbarian

@Proleric

Override creators kinda are free to build whatever they want, on a "nature of reality" kind of level, though, regardless of what it may or may not break for any of us. None of us here can stop any of us from building whatever the heck we want. We can't control what other people choose to do - we're not in control of their bodies - we just get to decide what we will do in response, and that's where the potential for "oppression by the majority" comes in. 'm not saying that override creators being persecuted and oppressed is a situation we have, but it's definitely a situation I don't want to ever permit to develop here in the first place, not for anybody or for any reason. Same thing goes if the players ever decide to group together and harrass the modulebuilders, or, heck, any other faction.

Picture a situation where we'd collectively conclude that the CPP, for instance, is such a problem that we bring out the pitchforks and mob it and it's creator off the Vault. That still wouldn't mean we could stop it from being distributed elsewhere on the internet, you know? The problem where players install something that creates bugs the modulebuilder might then waste time investigating wouldn't necessarily disappear even if we all agreed that the appropriate response is harsh rejection of the creator and the override. On the contrary, that kind of behaviour is more likely to make an enemy out of people who, originally, had intended to work for the benefit of the group.

Leaving the real jerks out of the picture - half the time, when people do insensitive stuff, it's either because we just don't realize we're stepping on somebody else's toes, or because we feel it's justified since we think the other person has somehow done wrong first - which they mightn't even have noticed they were doing. We've all lived different lives, having made different experiences that our value systems are based on. It's when we assume that our personal value systems apply to everyone else, and that we're entitled to 'correct' their deviation from our expectations in whatever manner we see fit, that (friendly, everyday) social interaction gets messy.

When we want other people to do what we think they should do, we're the ones who need to convince them that it is in fact in their best interests to do what we want them to do. Take me arguing with you on this stuff, for example, right? I've got some principles I feel very strongly about, too, with fairly good reasons for having them - but if I went about trying to convince you of their merit by using the arguments "It's a matter of (my) principles (which are actually everyone's principles!)" and "Your behaviour is inconveniencing me (and, actually, everyone!) and therefore you must change it", you'd be completely right to ignore everything I say.

Also, modulebuilding is not the core activity of NWN! Module playing is. The players outnumber all of us content creators (modulebuilders included) by far. ^^ If we're going with either seniority of the activity or majority in numbers, maybe we ought to be trying to figure out how we can solve the override-creator/modulebuilder conflict of interest in such a way that the benefit to the players is optimized.

I'd also like to argue that people've got to learn this stuff (taking responsibility for failures caused by our own lack of knowledge) somewhere, and videogames are probably one of the best places to do so, hands down. There's opportunity to tinker with technical stuff, you need to apply logic in order to fix the problem, and there's an extremely low chance of anybody getting physically hurt if somebody messes up. It's really more "letting kids loose with foam sticks in a padded cell" than letting kids loose with knives, for the players. The lifetime loss on part of the builders hurts, though, yeah. That should be avoided. They don't get to learn any valuable life lessons from investigating pointlessly caused bugs.

But, yeah. ^^ Love of arguing (and shameless mostly off-topic thread-hijacking) aside, let's try to campaign for a technical solution. It's the best of the options we've got.

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TheBarbarian
@Andarian
 
Yeah. :D Technically, if they inspire us to push forward and produce more and higher-quality stuff, they caused whatever neat things we produce. Y'think I should just go ahead and do the character model revamp, publicly, on the Beamdog boards? I've been considering doing that. It could be pretty fun for people to watch. Going to be awkward, though, if they're already on it.
 
I think the majority of the grumblers wouldn't attribute it to them, though, especially when it comes to the model upgrades. It seems likely to make people go "See what the modders are doing, Beamdog?! Why are you so cheap. That's just shameful, you're professionals, you should be doing better than they are. Look at them, there they are, working for free, while you lot expect to get paid? Zounds!"
 
::chinscratch:: Or I could be trying to organize mini-contests using our existing tutorials as a base, teach newbies, to drag some more hapless innocents into the infinite pits that are NWN modding, so they can rot here for all eternity with the rest of us.
 
Or I could join the modulebuilders, too. I've got a module going on in the back, actually. x_x It has bossfights with phases and chat-command based spellcasting and a whole lot of tunnels and harvestables and a lot of things going on that cast serious doubt on the state of the mental health of the author.
 
Ugh, there's so much useful stuff one could be doing. >_<
 
Some days I hate having options.
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Tonden Ockay

I know that module creators create things they like, enjoy, and or what they want to play or see others play.

 

Players want to play something that they will enjoy

 

Custom content creators create things they like, enjoy, and or want to play/uses or see others play/use.

 

The first two goes hand in hand however the third group CCC only sees the light of day is a module creator decides to use it, unless the CC is an override then the players now have a choice.

 

Now I know some people don’t like the idea of letting players have a choice, but I used to be one of those players. I have been playing RPGs since the 80’s and I bought NWN1 the first week it was out. I sat waiting for someone to make tilesets the way I wanted them to look and then create a really good module using them. I waited for over 12 years before trying to learn to do it my self. It has now been what 15 years and still no one has done what I want yet. I got tired of waiting for some one to make a game that looked and played the way I like.

 

Now I kept being told create new tilesets don’t create overrides. However after learning to create custom content I found out how long it can take. So if I wanted to play my work sooner then later and if I didn’t want to also create my own modules I soon learned that I better not do what most people where telling me to do.

 

The reason is it will take me years to create all the tilesets that I would like to have. Then it would take even more years to learn how to script/create a really good module to play. However I would then also know everything about it so would it really be for me to play at that point?

 

Now on the other had with overrides I could use the content I create sooner. I could use it with other modules and servers and I wouldn’t have to spend the time to learn and create my own.

 

So for me it is a no-brainer I will create overrides for me to use with other modules and or PW servers. I will not care if it screws a few things up here or there for me. Because for me I would rather see a few screwed up things

 

something floating in the air that was meant to be on a branches

something sticking out of a wall that was meant to be sitting on a wall

or a blocked view because of all the nice looking extra foliage that was added.

 

See for me the whole game is going to look Boat Loads better vs the old look and I will take that over the few modules here or there that will have a few things looking screwed up here or there. For me it is more then well worth it. I can not speak for everyone only my self. It is a choice I have and one I feel I should have as a player. Just because the module creator doesn’t feel it looks good for him doesn’t mean that I have to or will agree.

 

Shoot how many times have custom content creators have someone take something out of their haks to be used in a different one or have it reskined to look different. Should that content creator say NO that isn’t how I want that to be used or look. End the end we all are taking another game NWN1 and making what we want out of if. Everyone who plays NWN or uses what we make should be able to do what they want with it. After all we all are doing that with NWN. Are we all better then the people who created NWN? We all should have the right to do what ever we want with NWN. While no one should have the right to do what they want with our work?

 

This is why I have said many of times people can do what ever they want with what I make, I really don’t care. Take it use it how you wish and have fun. It’s a game I would rather someone get some kind of enjoyment out of what I create vs not using it.

 

I feel we all should have the freedom to create what we want and in the end its up to the other people if they want to play our module or use our haks.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

@Tonden Ockay - did you read my proposal on the EE forum?

It's intended to accommodate your point of view without sacrificing module author autonomy.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

@TheBarbarian : getting to the win-win matters here. I suspect we will have different (but equally contentious) issues if EE results in an influx from the TES modding culture, which has very different values from ours.

I'd use queueing as an analogy. In culture A, it's customary to queue, first in first out. In culture B, the strong, scary and persistent go first. Someone from culture B may feel entitled to push in at the front of the queue in culture A. However, whether they like it or not, the physics of the situation is that culture A people will become very angry. If there were a way to make two doors, one for the orderly queue and another for devil-take-the-hindmost, we might have a win-win. If not, and the majority of culture A perceive actual harm in the conduct of individual B (such as injury to children and seniors), then it's both right and inevitable that culture A will prevail...

...but hopefully here we have a win-win.

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Tonden Ockay

Really the BIG difference there “ Proleric“ is that when someone downloads my haks or your module, then use it any way they want and it screws something up the only person it is hurting is them, no one else. Now if the changes they made to the module or hak took place for everyone who downloaded the hak or module from that point on then they would be effecting others, however that is not the case.

 

You can’t give people the freedom to do what they want with a product and then have someone come a long and create something with that product and now say we need to fix things so no one can change what I made (for them selves) just because I don’t want them too.

 

NWN1 is say community B and ever since it was shipped people could make changes to any content that has been put out. However a long the way there has been people who came along from other community A for example that create things and then say I don’t want anyone changing anything I upload. So we need to put things in place so no one can. When in community B everyone has always had the freedom to do what they want with content they make or download on their own computer.

You feel very strongly about what your doing and I feel very strongly about what I'm doing that doesn't make us wrong we just have different points of view/opinions is all and there is nothing wrong with that, unless we force it on others.

The thing is like I said before there is no way you will ever make everyone happy it just isn’t going to happen. Beamdog knows this which is why I believe they aren’t going to touch the standard tilesets and why I keep working on overrides.

Because for me, my overrides make the game better, even if they screw the look of the module I'm playing up a little here or there, but again that is my opinion and its ok if others feel differently because it is taking place on my computer for me and not effecting someone else. Each person should be able to chose what they want to look at on their screen. This freedom is one of the BIG things I have always loved about NWN.

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Andarian

Tonden: Please think carefully about approaching this matter in such adversarial terms.

I will defer any further response until you've had time to do so.

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Tonden Ockay

I'm sorrry if you or other feel I'm attacking/lashing out, because that is not the case.

I just feel very strongly about what I believe in is all. I really have no hard feelings tword anyone here.

 

The problem is that this community has a lot of different people with different ideas that they feel very very strong about. I know I’m one of them and not to be mean but No one is going to change my mind what so ever when it comes to me creating overrides for the modules / servers I wish to play. That is what I want to do and it is what I will do. That is nothing against anyone else at all. Everyone is free to create or play what they want on their own computer. I’m not going to tell others what they can or can’t do.

 

This is a GAME and it is meant to have fun playing. That being said I also know and understand everyone’s idea of having fun isn’t the same.

 

Now if you don’t want Beamdog creating overrides / reworking older tilesets where all older modules will be forced to use I understand and I don’t think that is something they should do.

 

However I will never be on board for not having overrides for older content. If that is something someone wants for me to change my thinking about they are beating their heads against a brick wall.

 

Like I said before we are all different people with different ideas and we all are NEVER going to agree on everything, it just isn’t going to happen.

 

I’m not going on at anyone all I’m saying is that I bought, play, and create content for NWN for a different reason then some other people do.

 

This is a community built up of different people from all over the world who play and work with this game for all kinds of different reasons, all of us are Never going to agree with each other. Shoot Dizzitt and I have been real life friends for over 26 years and we don’t agree on everthing with NWN and he sure doesn’t agree with a lot of people on the forums. But even though we all don’t agree its ok, because we all can play the game the way we want from our home. We don’t have to play together or the same way another guy does.

 

As for what I create, I really don’t care if someone takes and rips it all apart and does something off the wall stupid (in my opinion) with it. Because it doesn’t effect me and my game play. So they can do whatever makes them happy with it for all I care. After all this is a game that we all play to have fun.

 

Long story short I’m NOT for Beamdog updating / reworking the standard tilesets and forcing old and new modules/PW server to use it. So if that is what you want me to Vote on, I am with you and you have my full support. :)

 

If you want to some how prevent people from being about to use overrides with older modules/PW’s then this is where we will NEVER see eye to eye on no mater what anyone says.

 

I know and understand that you all feel very strongly about things you believe in and I don't have a problem with that. However you all also need to understand that other people feel just as strong if not stronger about what they believe in.

 

Edit: I'm really not angry or upset at anyone, all I'm trying to say is that everyone in this community is never going to see eye to eye on everything and people like my self strongly believe in creating and using overrides for old and new modules/content.

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TheBarbarian

@Proleric

Arright - let's go with the queueing analogy.

What I'm objecting to isn't that group A wants group B to be more considerate. I object to group A abandoning their values of respectful, considerate conduct because of anything group B may be doing. If members of group A want to convince members of group B that queueing is superior to pushing ahead, it doesn't help if group A, in response, take to pushing ahead of members of group B. I see the idea, in theory - "if they fight, we need to fight too!", and "if they say being inconsiderate is okay, they oughtn't complain if other people are inconsiderate towards them in turn".

But in practice, that just destabilizes the group. This kind of response to behaviour deviating from the established norm doesn't convert the offender, it just turns the peaceful, stable parts of the population into *behaving just like members of group B*. The percentage of the people who appreciate and adhere to prosocial rules of conduct doesn't riseit sinks.

That's one of the really troublesome things about "goodness", whatever the heck that even is. It's something you can't force anyone else to be, it's strictly something you can decide on being yourself. And, yeah, Proleric. What if the other person doesn't adhere to the same rules? What do we do, then? Do we cease being "good", judging that it's not that important to "be good", after all - essentially agreeing that the other person's way of conducting themselves is superior to ours and we should adopt it for ourselves?

When meeting a jerk, it's neither helpful nor necessary to become a jerk in order to defend what's important to us, is what I'm trying to say. IMO prosocial conduct, appreciation of "good"-aligned laws, are much more important than any individual point people could be disagreeing on. See us here, right? I argue with you because I value you enough to consider your opinions worth time of my life. It's meant to be an expression of respect, rather than an expression of disrespect.

The correct response in the queueing analogy isn't for everybody who peacefully queued to grow hostile towards the queue-pusher. It's for the queue-pusher to be calmly informed that they must wait their turn in the queue, by the peaceful queuers standing united, and to be skipped over by the cashier if they won't listen. Now, if the queue-pusher grows aggressive and we collectively rebuke the aggressivity (such as via an instated police force), that's at least consistent with our own adherence to peaceful conduct. Hypocrisy just undermines everything, you know? If we can't or don't uphold the values we believe in, how can we expect anybody else to? And, if the values we uphold are so easily overturned, are they even worthy of being enough that they shouldn't be replaced with something more realistic?

So, sure, if group A outnumbers/outpowers group B and kills them all or drives them all off, yeah, group A will "prevail", in the sense that we'll be the only group left. It'll just be a horrible dystopia where we become people that pretend to be "good", prosocial people, but will turn on eachother at the drop of a hat over unbelievably petty reasons and feel completely justified in doing so.

Anybody could be labeled as 'not being part of the group anymore'/being a different group (which is inferior to our group, the best group of all), for any reason. This kind of mob mentality can go in any direction, and be aimed at any faction, it just depends on who gets the most supporters. And, splitting the whole up into subgroups and establishing that it's acceptable to attack any one subgroup is just about the antithesis of unity. I don't think advocating that kind of development is logically consistent with your habit of appealing to the greater good of the community, Proleric, and it kind of worries me. :-/

And that's separate from any individual problem - that's about the way we go about solving the problems we'll face. Do we silence and ostracize proponents of solutions we personally dislike, or do we argue our points, respect eachothers' differing views by deeming the other person worthy of explaining and arguing and trying to understand their views and needs, in respect and appreciation for our lives and time and the uni(and/or maybe multi-)verse we're sharing? Far as I can tell, the latter is the only working way the prosocial values we both favor can be maintained (and spread) at all.

 

@Andarian

Tonden's not really reading hostilely to me. It might be the tone you're reading him in. ::chinscratch::

 

@Tonden

To be fair, there's a very valid complaint about overrides. Sometimes, they cause bugs, which players who're unaware of the dangers then report to the module's author, who loses lifetime investigating a bug that doesn't even exist in their version of the module. They're not getting that time back, you know? It's bitter. If there can be a technical solution for that, that's a good thing.

For what it's worth, I kinda love that and how you're arguing. :-)

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Tonden Ockay

"@Tonden

To be fair, there's a very valid complaint about overrides. Sometimes, they cause bugs, which players who're unaware of the dangers then report to the module's author, who loses lifetime investigating a bug that doesn't even exist in their version of the module. They're not getting that time back, you know? It's bitter. If there can be a technical solution for that, that's a good thing."

 

I do understand that I really do. Which is why I will add all kinds of info trying to let players know that my overrides could cause problems with some modules.

That said if I was a module creator or if I was to ever create a module for players to play and one of them was having problems the first thing I would ask is if they are using an override. I would also post that my module will or could have problems when trying to uses overrides with it.

The problem with me is that I'm a very BIG fan of overrides and I enjoy using them. I can also say that I have never complained to a module creator about their module when I have used something that wasn't meant to be used for it. However I'm older and not a young kid who may jump the gun not thinking of something he did may be the problem. 

It might be nice if players had to take a small fill in the blank test about the override they are downloading before they could download it. Just to make sure they do know what could happen while using it.

Or 

Having an on / off switch for overrides. When starting up/loading a module using overrides you have to turn them on each time or something and when this is done there could be an info box pop up or something.

I'm all for helping the process to be better, I'm just not for doing away with overrides.

 

 

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

Glad that the impact on module authors is recognised. In my limited experience, tilesets and other artwork aren't such a big issue (though I get Andarian's examples) but I've spent days on reported showstoppers that completely broke the module caused by scripts. 

I'm not proposing to prevent overrides. I recognise TO's point that it's a way of reaching more players. My proposal is simply that module authors ought to be able to disable overrides, for that one module only, to prevent breakage. So, players would still see the overrides in the OC and modules that didn't have that setting (the majority, in all likelihood).

I see that there is a separate proposal to allow a module to compile a unique hak containing only the content it actually uses, which might fit quite nicely, too.

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Tonden Ockay

There are ways someone could help prevent someone from using overrides on their module.

For example lets say your using the Standard City tileset, if you add a copy of that tileset into your haks then an override for it wouldn't work. Now that isn't to say someone like my self couldn't change that because I could but most players wouldn't know how to go about doing it.

If I really didn't want someone changing things up (I really wouldn't care my self) then I would do something like this. but in the end if someone wants to do something bad enough they will find away to make it happen. However the person going through all that work should understand if something isn't working the way it should it probably has something to do with the changes they made.

I'm for overrides because I'm thinking of other players out there that are wanting a better looking game like I once was. But I really don't have to have the patch or override files to change the way a module or server looks on my computer because I know enough that I could go about it another way. So when I'm fighting to keep overrides its really for the other players out there.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

@Tonden Ockay - so what exactly is your objection to my proposal?

I could go your way, by putting a monster hak of all the vanilla Bioware content into my modules to foil overrides, but that would be onerous for players to download. What's wrong with the module author having a simple switch to do the same thing?

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Tonden Ockay

Hey if someone is willing to create that feature and it would make module creators feel better then I say do it. I just don't think anyone is going to put that much work into something that can still be bypassed is all.

I also don't see Beamdog doing any kind of override for the standard tilesets. Create new tilesets? may be.

Nor do I see them putting in a lot of work for a switch for player made overrides when it could still be bypassed. Plus there really isn't a lot of overrides out there that are even being used other then NWNCQ.

Beamdog is looking to newer content with newer tilesets.

The other thing is that overrides are how some if not most tileset creators start out. Because creating an override is far faster then creating a whole tileset. Plus you don't have to know near as much. So if they can't create overrides and see people using them then they may not keep at it. Speaking from my own experience it was nice seeing people download my work. Because most people will download something and never leave a comment. Again I'm just thinking of other future tileset creators. After all we could use a lot more active ones around, because there is only a few of us really doing anything any more now days.

 

 

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henesua

The old content could be facelifted by taking advantage of the engine's new shaders. This would just be a texture and material upgrade. While it would be subtle, I think it would be worth it. AND it would enable the built-in content to serve as examples to the CC community how to take advantage of the engine's new capabilities.

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Shadooow

The old content could be facelifted by taking advantage of the engine's new shaders. This would just be a texture and material upgrade. While it would be subtle, I think it would be worth it.

This. I am still waiting for a vanilla art upgrade which will not change models or colors. Reskin which will keep the overal vanilla tileset feel and only improve the quality.

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Tonden Ockay

I could see that being nice to see for people who like the looks of the Vanilla game and I can respect that. It just isn't something for me is all, but it would be nice to see the difference using shaders.

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