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A Community Poll

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Tonden Ockay
A Community Poll

I would love to see a poll on what the community feels would be best for the community and the future of NWN1.

 

Retexturing and updating some of the models for the old standard tilesets.

+ Can be used to change the way older modules and PW’s look.

 

- Limited on what all can be change.

- I'm not sure if this would be best long term/ for the future

 

Or

 

Making totally new stand alone 2.0 Tilesets

+ Better looking area’s

+ More freedom to make more options

+ I was thinking this might be better long term/ for the future.

 

- Can’t use to change the way older modules or PW’s look.

- Builders would have to build new areas using the 2.0 Tilesets.

 

I’m asking this because I have struggled with this question for months now. I would like to put my time where it would best suit the community and the game for the future. I also would hate to spend the next year or few years working on something very few if any will use.

 

I have asked this question before in a forum but very few people replyed, which is why I thought it would be nice if there could be a poll.

 

The thing is I just really love this game and would like to work on one of the two options to try and help the community and the game moving forward.

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joaquim98

I'd go for "Retexturing and updating some of the models for the old standard tilesets.", some good modules use the vanilla tilesets and models and they look terribly bad. I think that there is already good enough custom tilesets and creatures, so much that they make original game look bad.

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Jedijax

As I've always said, anything that overrides original content, rather than adds new one. The sheer amount of modules using original content justifies it. You can be as creative as you want while still overriding original content. There isn't a single module that doesn't use the material the game was released with.


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TheBarbarian

I think for NWN, non-disruptive updates of standard content would be better. Availability of quality-updating mods does wonders to make an old game stay attractive to players.

But any work done on NWN content is by default something very few if any people will use. Go for whatever you'd have more fun with, and make the stuff you want to have made, Tonden. Lifetime is a limited resource; don't spend it working for the benefit of others unless it's coincidentally the very things you want to be doing anyway - when you make a habit of being of benefit to others, the people you attract tend to be attracted to you for the benefits you pose to them, and if you for any reason ever stop being willing or able to deliver those benefits, they may well be gone in a flash.

Watch out for folks that throw words like "community" and "friendship" (or "love") around like they're meaningless, too (especially if they use them to justify why you should be doing something for them). I don't think they necessarily mean ill, but I'm fairly sure they're using the words lightly because the concepts don't have real magnitude to them, and that can lead to some tragic miscommunications, especially when people that do attribute something monumental to those words hear them spoken with such ease and certainty.

Hobby projects are like 90% about one's own personal wellbeing and enjoyment of life. Don't turn that into unpaid work for anonymous people on the internet that may well only throw a passing glance before moving on to something else among the general overabundance of entertainment we've got on the internet. Your time and effort are more valuable than that.

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Surazal

As a player (which is all I am), my vote would be for making changes that improve the OCs and mods that use original content.

I agree with TheBarbarian about spending your time on what gives you the most personal satisfaction.

 

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

I like the CEP approach to tilesets, that lets the builder choose between over-riding the old tilesets or adding new tilesets (same models and textures, different .set files and palettes).

If you force an over-ride, you're implicitly changing the module author's work, with no way of knowing what impact it might have on their story. lighting effects or whatever. Many modders wrongly assume that their over-rides will be welcome, or at least harmless, under-estimating the risk that it's an imposition. So if there were only one option, I'd go for extension rather than over-ride.

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

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Symphony

Despite the unanimity of the replies here, and my personal interests, I would say you should do what you want to do.

From our conversations it doesn't sound like you're happy working with the restrictions of overriding existing material, and would much rather make new content with new features inspired by the original tilesets.

 

It is great contributing something that is statistically more likely to be used at the project onset, but if you lose interest because the project funnels your creativity, you may end up switching to a more appealing project anyways and end up postponing or abandoning a stock tileset reskin, in which case it won't matter how well it would be received by the community or used in modules.

From what I've seen of custom tilesets, really good tilesets inspire builders to make areas with them, I think you would really enjoy working on something new.

If you're comfortable adding slopes, consider using that to your advantage to fill in some "missing" tilesets with some exclusive features. A lot of builders love working with TNO because it has more height control than +1/-1 story, as an example. Something new like that (but not that, of course) could be something you really enjoy enough to put quality time into and produce quality results.

I know this is a community poll, but if you wanted my advice on what YOU should do, then based on the time I've heard you talking about Medieval Castle set, and the work I've seen you do, I think you should do 1 tileset, until it's finished, and it should be a fantasy castle tileset. NWN can do such a thing, and the giant and not-period-correct-really looks of Castlevania castles, Game of Thrones, and perhaps even the new King Arthur movie is something that a lot of people could really appreciate having.

I think you would really enjoy doing it too.

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Tarot Redhand

Had I the talent, patience and skill necessary there is one tileset that I think that NwN desperately needs. Whether you make it is entirely up to you though. I know that I have been banging on about it for years and that it is apparently not regarded as sexy. What I would dearly love to see is a proper non-replacing Sewer tileset. By this I mean one with walkable tunnels with walkable filthy water as opposed to (at least it appears to me to be) the steampunk vast sewers that NwN ships with. In an ideal world, apart from the tunnels and small rooms there would also be sections of cavern that connect to the sewer pipes.

But there again I'll not hold my breath waiting.

TR

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Zwerkules
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Lady of the Cats

I thought Project Q was a great idea for all those who want their old worlds to be enhanced.  Someone please continue Project Q.

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Symphony

Project Q is active, at least as much as anything is active, and has had 2017 2016 releases. (Edit: Wow time flies)

 

Meanwhile, Project Q is an additional content compilation hak suite, and not a project designed to improve the quality of stock assets, but rather a project designed to add high quality new art assets to the game, while occasionally indirectly improving a small amount of stock assets in the process, usually for compatibility reasons.

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MonsterTrainer

Any project that is done for the community is a good one.

You must not rebuild entire Paris, including all roads, all buildings, all tourist attractions, sewers, secret catacombs, presidential palace, nuke shelter, the two airports and of course the violent, cruesome, lawless banlieue´s, including burning cars, barricades and armed-to-the-teeth, kalashnik wearing narco´s.

Most likely, no one cares about your Paris tileset and you wasted your time. Also, the bigger the amount of work, the bigger the chance that you can´t get it done. Just sayin.

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Zwerkules

My advice to you, Tonden, is do it for yourself or don't do it at all! The community won't thank you for the countless hours of work you put into a project.

Listen to what the Barbarian has to say and if you think those bad things don't really happen read what I have to say and you'll see that they DO happen:

 

If the work you do isn't gratifying in itself, don't do it. If you do something new and you don't need it yourself, don't expect the community to use it, because if it hasn't been around since day one or at least for ten years, it is as good as non-existant for the community.

Now you may ask yourself, who is Zwerkules to complain, someone with a project that has more votes than project Q or the CEP? But don't just look at the votes, look at how often a project that took years to complete is used by the community and look at where those votes came from. Most of them came from PW owners who are the only ones who use it. I've yet to see a single single player mod that makes use of one of my tilesets.

When I made the mountainous forest tileset based on Baba Yaga's work, I didn't need water terrain in it, but several people asked me if I couldn't add it, so I did. When it was finished, I got votes and thanks for doing it, but what didn't happen is that anybody actually used it.

Several years ago I was approached by a module builder who needed a very specific tileset for a mod he was building and I built a whole tilesets for him. People who haven't built a tileset tend to underestimate the ammount of work that goes into such a project. When the tileset was finished, he didn't use it, never even gave a reason why or talked to me again.

Do you remember how you and a few others kept asking me to make more overrides because they'd benefit the community and people would use them with old modules? I said I wouldn't do it and I shouldn't have. Still I made another override for the city tileset because when I played old modules this one got used the most while it looked the worst. So at least I got something out of it when I play old modules now. Other than that, it gets ignored by the community. People who are happy to promote NWNCQ which completely destroys the aesthetics of the evil dungeon for example, say that my overrides shouldn't be used "because they don't respect the original aesthetic". You know, when I made the override for the city tileset, I had the concept arts for those buildings and I changed some tiles in a way that those who made the original tileset couldn't because poly count would have been too high for computers of that time. Do you think that this ammount of work would have owned my facelift project at least a mention in the footnotes of such articles as "Grand override compilations..." or "Must have mods" or things like that? Well, it didn't and those people who are asking me now to make an override for the castle interior tileset, can forget about it. This is nothing personal. I'm not refusing to do it because I don't like them, I'm refusing to do it because experience taught me that it isn't worth it at all!

Mind you, these are just a few examples, I could give you more.

You know what, despite all this, I still love this communtiy and I'm still here and won't leave any time soon, but I won't do anything "for the community" any more if it isn't something that is fun to make or something I could use myself.

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Shadooow

I think there is too many projects that were trying to do what you are and all failed. Why they failed? Failed, because every now and then someone like you comes and wants to make an overhaul for original tilesets. Again.

Project Q, CEP tilesets, NWNCQ, Zwerkules overhaul and possibly others.

Assuming you already checked all the alternatives, you probably have idea what those alternatives did wrong and what you want to correctly?

 

Imo, what we need is less intrusive retexture for vanilla tilesets. This is my personal feeling about the above projects but I feel they made the areas feel different. Personally as a builder when I am building area, I play with lights and spend a lot of time to make the area feel as I want to and vanilla textures and mainly their color are a major factor for choosing lights.

If you change the texture colors rapidly, and all above projects did (maybe except first edition of NWNCQ), then my areas doesn't feel the way I wanted and intented. Which is why I am still loyal to vanilla...

So personally, if you want to do vanilla tilesets overhaul, try to keep the colors, improve textures with quality but do not make the tilesets to feel autumn/winter when they are not supposed to.

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Tonden Ockay

My favorite toy as a kid was Lego’s and now as an adult I remodel houses. So I really enjoy creating things. This is why I love NWN so much.

 

All that said I have been looking at a lot of the different work people have done over the years.

 

CEP – Has been around since the beginning of time and has been downloaded by more people then we may ever truly know. That said here on this Vault 2_60 Full has over 30200 downloads.

 

    Builders love that it has everything and even the kitchen sink in it. I have to say years ago I even used it. But that is because a lot of builders don’t make their own haks and/or content. Yet they want as many options to work with as possible.

 

However once I learned how to make may own content/haks and I seen CEP for what it really is in my opinion.

 

In my opinion

- It is boated with a lot of crap I will never use

- Most of all the textures are really bad

- Things are spread out all across different haks making it hard to just use this or that hak.

 

PQ – Has over 4100 downloads on just the full package

 

I do feel that PQ has tried to right some of the wrongs that CEP has done.

 

 

- My main problem with both of these community projects is that they add new content but the new content doesn’t really blend well with the old content/tilesets.

 

- Nor do they really change the way most of the older content/tilesets looks.

 

 

    Also I understand the need for a TOP hak for all the .set files and what not, but tilesets, placeables, creatures, items, and so on should all have their own haks. This way the builder/creater could pick and chose which haks they want to use for their module/PW server and leave the rest.

 

 

NWNCQ – Has a lot of different hak/override packages but the Override Extended Version has over 3400 downloads.

 

+ It does a really good job of changing the looks of the standard tilesets.

+ It goes as far as to do so for all/most of the standard tilesets.

+ It does a really good job of trying to make all the tilesets blend well together.

+ It has an override for players and a hak for builders

+ It has ceilings for the interior tilesets.

 

- Bad Texutures - The problem I have with NWNCQ is the textures that was used. I really really don’t like the textures at all.

- Walkmesh screwed up – The walkmesh has been changed on some tiles which is really bad for some of the older modules/PW that were made without using it.

- Some of the modules in the tilesets are missing parts.

 

Zwerkules BiowareFacelift

 

In my opinion:

+ tries to keep the look and feel of the standard tilesets.

+ Has far better looking textures then the standard tilesets did or NWNCQ does.

+ The textures used does help blend the different tilesets together.

 

- The set isn’t complete - there isn’t a facelife for all the standard tilesets so when using this some tilesets will look better and others will not. So some areas will look new and others will still look like crap.

 

- There isn’t a Hak for builders that adds new options or that changes the models to give the tilesets a total new look.

 

 

The Project that I would like to have as a Player/Builder of older modules/PW Servers

 

A Total NWN Revamp

Revamp - give new and improved form, structure, or appearance

 

    So for me if you were to take Zwerkules Facelift textures and use them to retexture NWNCQ tiles and then finish texturing the rest of the tilesets with textures that would blend well/match Zwerkules Facelift textures. Then go back and fix the missing parts on the NWNCQ tile modules you would have a really good base.

 

(For Players / Override)

I would then change the looks of some models without changing the walkmesh

- GoodCastle

- EvilCastle

- City Raised Ground Walls

- City Walls

- Streem

 

(For Builders / Hak)

I would then add new options for current and future builders.

 

- Hills/slopes

- Towers

- Walls

- uneven ground

- Cliffs/Ridges

- New Buildings

 

    Then go through all the retextured tilesets and make placeables out of all the trees, bushes, shrubs, rocks, fences, walls, crates, barrels, and so that builders would have nice looking placeables that blended with the tilesets to help create the look that they want.

 

I don’t know maybe all this work would be for nothing. May be little to no one would really use it. May be its just a pipe dream.

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MonsterTrainer

So, you want to get this one done and the dark sun project?? Okaaaay.

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Tonden Ockay

Sorry MonsterTrainer

 

    The Dark Sun Project belongs to someone I know in real life (known as Dizzitt_Gardan here on the Vault) who asked me if I would work on it with them. Since I had known them for years in real life and they asked me for my help (plus I like the world of Dark Sun), I put my ideas/plans and things I was working on for NWN on hold to help with the Dark Sun project. Long story short we have had a really bad falling out in real life and we no longer even talk. That person has all the work that I and others have done. So what they decid to do with it is up to them because it was something they really wanted and I was helping with.

    Now that I'm no longer working on Dark Sun I have went back to working on my own stuff. However as of late I have switched over to Linux and started trying to learn blender. While doing so I have been looking a lot at other projects here on the Vault and talking with different people, about some of my thoughts and ideas. Which it would seam that some feel new tilesets would be the better way to go and the more I work with the standard tilesets I can see some of their points. 

    I just enjoy building and making things for tilesets and I thought if I'm going to work on something it would be nice to work on something others wanted and would really use. But again may be no matter want I work on very few people if any will use them, so may be its all just a big wast of time.

The point of the poll was to get other peoples thoughts with in the community, instead of just going off of what a handful of people say.

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Jedijax
 
 

Zwerk, I'm sorry to hear all of this. I wasn't aware you had such a terrible time with feedback and such. But as I told you years ago, over and over, your tilesets, as amazing as they are, won't be used by the vast majority, because they're meant for builders. I encouraged you to override existing content, as I did every custom content maker, because THAT is guaranteed to be used by EVERYONE who likes it. As I said before, there is not a single module that doesn't use standard content. Not a single one. It's a numbers game. How many PW's and modules are being actively developed nowadays? How many are being played? How many play in them? Now, how many modules and campaigns are in the vault? How many use original content? I get people don't like being constrained, they want to let their imagination and talent fly, but working on added content has this as a price. I'm sorry for piggybacking on your comment here, but it proves what I've been telling everyone: Overrides are much more appreciated, enjoyed and accesible. If you're a content creator who is in it for the sheer joy of creating, that's welcome, that's perfect. Just bear in mind it will largely go unused because of its very nature.

 
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MonsterTrainer

If no one uses the project you putted so laborfully together, yes, that´s very frustrating. With the results Zwerkules mentioned. Guess we all made this experience, more or less.

I´d say many content makers entered some state of stagnation, frustration and apathy, including me, which results in a low morale and in a low motivation to create something new.

Recently I sniffed around a little bit and took a look at some playerworlds and their screenshot galleries. I was shocked! There are tons of vanilla tilesets in use. In combination with the CEP. Nothing new since years! I understand that a PW builder doesn´t want to replace & rebuild entire areas with new tilesets. That´s a lot of work and mostly it doesn´t make sense cause you got not more than 10 players max. So, you ask yourself: "What for?"

That´s a chain reaction. Demotivated content makers, demotivated PW teams, low player rates. But hey! It can be avoided easily. Just a few simple steps have to be taken:

- reach more players, via youtube for example

- work together

- talk a little more here at the vault

- give feedback if you download / use in your mod

- bring vault and PW´s closer together

 

So?

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Havelock

I think educating each other is also a viable way to make sure that more content is being done (again, thanks for TheBarbarian who's not giving me the easy workarounds and prompts me to learn stuff for myself :)). I think that CCCs are more or less the bread and butter of community demand and that conktent creators should not force anything on themselves. Like, seriously guys, you don't need to make a holy mission out of something that in the end you won't be using. Honestly, I'm trying to improve my modeling skills, finish up my genasi project and start doing monsters from D&D Monster Manuals that we don't have or have with a really poor quality (because, let's face it not everything on Vault is great). 

Also, to popularize Zwerks work we should have something like "highlight of the month/week", when we could showcase and present some of the best custom content on the vault's main page. I would rather see some hakpaks presented to me, instead of spam of character portraits that aren't even original art of an author (sorry for being harsh and mean, but we know it's true) posted in 50+ separate uploads instead of one decent pack. 

Let's make vault itself more user-friendly, advertise it better and appreciation would come.

Most of you guys are wonderful artists and your content have made my campaigns better for many players for many years. You just need more spotlight. :)

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Tonden Ockay

    I took the time to look at different projects here on the Vault to see how many times they have been downloaded. Then I looked at the different modules and PW servers that are out there for players. Lastly I have found from forums a good amount of builders talking about wanting to create hak free content. Although a good amount of them steam to be fine with CEP because they feel most of the player base has these haks already downloaded.

    Another thing I got to looking at was that it seams that more module/PW server builders are scripters and not model makers. I have been reading where a good amount (not all) of builders don’t know how to combine 2da’s and haks.

I also keep hearing that players want better graphics, they want a better looking game.

    So what I’m getting at it would seem to be that making overrides would be better for everyone. That way builders don’t have to use the haks but the players can if they want. It also give more power to the players vs giving the builders all the power/say.

    This lead me to looking more into overrides and This could not only be done with tilesets but overrides could be done for placeables, items, and creatures as well. So if done right and we were to focus on all the older original standard content we could give a lot of options to players. These options then could be used with the original campaign, PW servers, and most of the modules found here on the Vault.

Once all the original content was done, a project like this could even take it one step more and update the looks of CEP placeables, items, and creatures.

    Now some may say by changing the looks of everything you are changing the look of the game for what the builder had in mind and is some ways your could be right. That said with overrides it becomes a players choice so its up to the player if they want to use it or not. Plus if the overrides were done well enough you might get more people to download and play older modules.

So once I stepped back and looked at the BIG picture it does seem to me that for the community as a whole overrides does seem to be the best way to go.

    Now one may feel that overrides won’t give us all the nice creative options found in other tileset because those options/features wasn’t in the standard tilesets. This is where addons come in, they could also be added to the standard tilesets to get current and future builders more options for the ones that chose to use haks.

    Thee is a lot to think about and I like other content creaters would love to see people using and enjoying the work we have done. The problems with haks is its up to a very small group of people to decide to use them or not, where with addons everyone can make that choice for their self. Now I would think that most creaters don’t want to spend months or years working on something that very few people use or may never be used at all. However as creaters we want to enjoy what we are creating as well and most of us wants to create something that we would use. So I do feel a lot of this could be done through overrides and addons. Now it might require a little more thinking out side the box, and planning ahead to create something you want while getting it to fit with in the standard content. Plus as content creaters can’t be afraid to totally change the look and feel of the standard content. We don’t have to keep the look/feel of the standard content because everyone doesn’t have to use the override and some people want a different/new look/feel to the game.

Anyway after really spending some time to think about everything that I have read, researched, and found, this is what I have come to think/feel.

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Tarot Redhand

When Project NwNCQ was newly released it created all sorts of problems for my module Hrothgar's Resting Place. When I pointed these problems out I was nearly lynched by all the players who thought Project NwNCQ was the best thing since sliced bread. Amongst the problems that it caused were things laying on the ground disappearing because the ground level of some tiles had been raised, areas became totally obscured by all the extra vegetation that was introduced and a custom content tileset was made to look like it was made of mud instead of rock. This latter was caused because in order to save space and to tie in with the default tilesets the creator had used the default original texture for parts of their tileset.

So those are some of the pitfalls to avoid if you do go down the override route. So I hope you understand why I would generally much rather have non-replacing cc.

TR

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Tonden Ockay

    I have played around with and looked over NWNCQ. The thing is that it has two different versions one is more of a reskin (basic version) and really didn’t mess with the walkmesh much. The other (extended version) has a lot of extra stuff that really messes with the walkmesh. For example uneven ground raised ground sticking out to far and so on. So builders are/were more of a fan of the basic version because it doesn’t really screw with that much. However players love all the extra stuff and they like it so much that they still want to use it even though it screws up some modules/PW server.

    If anything the fact that players chose to use the extended version even though it screw the walkmesh and other things up, should tell you that players want eye candy so bad that they will play a module/PW server using NWNCQ (extended version) knowing that some things will not work right any longer.

    As a content creator and player I can see both sides. I don’t want to have to keep going back and fixing my content to work with someone else’s every time something new comes out. Yet at the same time as a player I want the game I’m playing and looking at for hours to look pleasing to my eye. Because I do like uneven ground, cliffs that stick out, bushes, shrubs, and a lush environment. But as a player I’m stuck with what the builder gave me.

    So TR is right there is things to think about when creating overrides. This is why I feel overrides should keep the walkmesh in mind. However there is more to think about other then the walkmesh, for example the height and placement of models that are part of a tileset. Lest take a tree for example a builder may put a bird nest in a tree or even hang something from a branch. So replacing that tree model with a different tree model can mess up what the builder created, while at the same time not messing up the walkmesh at all.

    There for one of the things I have learned over the years with life is that you will never make everyone happy it is just impossible. This is why we just need to decided on what we want to do and go with it knowing some people will like it and some won’t. I guess it comes back to what some of you keep telling me do what makes you happy.

    Now what I have come to think/feel is that a lot of custom content gets unused, while at the same time players want more eye candy. So from what I see the bottleneck is the builders. Because they get to dictate what they want to use or not. Which is also why I feel its time to give the players more options, with the understanding that along with the new eye candy comes the chance that a birds nest may be floating in mid air or a banner that was hanging from the top of the castle wall may be hanging mid way up the wall or not even show up at all because the new model covers it up.

    I can’t speak for everyone but if I make overrides I will do my best to keep the walkmesh intact the way it is currently. Then if I want to create tiles that will change the walkmesh I will do so through addons. However I will change models where I can and this could still cause some problems with the way things look but it shouldn’t cause problems with players being able to walk to or from places. I will also list the changes that I make and try to give examples on how the changes I made could effect game play.

    Once again in my opinion and I know this is just my opinion a lot of players seem to like eye candy and would like for NWN1 to have better looking graphics. So I feel the best way to reach the player base as a content creator is to cut out the middle man and create overrides, because there is just far more content overrides can be used with and it wouldn’t be up to the builders to use the overrides. Then each player can decide for their self if they want the old school look or if they want to use the overrides to give the game a different look. Shoot they could play a module both ways to see the difference, because the choice is theirs.

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Tonden Ockay

    So in short if I have decided in the future " I " (other people can do what they want) will be looking at making custom content in the form of overrides. I just feel that way to many custom content creaters have made a lot of wonderful stuff that never sees the light of day. So I will be making my work so that everyone will have the choice to use it or now. I also like the idea of playing through the original campaign using overrides and then being able to make following adventures (new areas) using addons.

    I also like the idea that if a builder likes the addons (extra options) that I make for the standard tilesets that they could go back and just make small changes to an area using my work without having to recreate everything all over use a totally different tileset.

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Tarot Redhand

As it is no great amount of extra work, why not release 2 versions - your override version and a version of the exact same files in a hak?

TR

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

Good to see recognition that the heart of the matter is whether module builders should have the power to control their work.

Disappointing to see so little understanding of why this matters - but perhaps no one truly grasps anything until they have experienced it themselves, which those who don't build modules never will, sadly.

Perhaps some people think that The Godfather would be a better film with a Hello Kitty reskin. Probably Coppola isn't one of them. But in gaming, the issue goes much deeper than that.

Transferring control to players (in the form of overrides) is democratic, in principle, and has my qualified support, provided there is no impact on gameplay.

Unfortunately, that's rarely the case. Scripts and hacks are the worst offenders, of course, as they can break modules entirely. However, changes in walkmesh, ceilings that decapitate monsters, pillars that obstruct vision (and so on) can render a module unplayable. Even a simple reskin can change the ambience that the author was trying to create.

That might even be fine if players accepted responsibility for their own actions, but of course most don't. It's the module author who has to spend time investigating complaints which turn out to be caused by overrides. I know this is very hard for content makers and players to understand, because it's beyond their experience.

Obviously, NWN is now very mature, with a smaller fanbase, so it makes sense to build for your own pleasure alone - uptake and feedback are sparse for us all.

So, it's tempting to say that it no longer matters, but there are life lessons here that go way beyond NWN.

It often happens that a product doesn't achieve the expected uptake with the target audience (e.g. tilesets for module builders).

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to go - force the product on unwilling customers, or understand why the uptake is low (then fix the product).

 

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Tarot Redhand

If anyone is interested I had an idea that might (or not as the case may be) help with the lack of usage. Rather than clog this thread I have created a new one here and hope that some of you will see fit to comment over there.

Thanks.

TR

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3RavensMore

I had a reply to this thread, but Proleric just completely shattered my train of thought with, "Perhaps some people think that The Godfather would be a better film with a Hello Kitty reskin."

 

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

Of course, great work has been done on custom content. The question here is simply who decides when to use it.

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Tonden Ockay

    I feel that we all should be able to decide for our selves, after all is our work any better then Bioware’s? Don’t we all love this game because the creators of it gave us freedom to do with it as we want? Don’t most of wish they had given us more freedom? I for one don’t care want people do with the content I make long as they enjoy it, because in the end that is what a game is for right? Who are we to want someone to make a game for us so we can do what we want with it and then to make something with their tools and then dictate to others what they should or should not do with it? When if it wasn’t for someone else’s work (Bioware) none of us would be making any of this content/modules/PW servers to begin with.

    So I feel every person should be able to decide for their self on what haks they want to use and how they want to play the game, as long as it doesn't effect the game play of others. When playing on a server you have to follow the rules of that server as to not ruin other peoples gaming experience.

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Jedijax
 
 

The midnight reflush of the site got me again

 

 
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Jedijax
 
 

My thoughts exactly. Custom content is limited in its usage by nature. Players don't get to decide whether they want to use it or not. they can't unless someone builds with it. If they do so themselves, they're not players alone anymore, but builders. The vast majority of players are not builders. This is a very unfair and strict point of view, but still relevant. Overrides are totally left to the players taste, however, and there's rarely any other limit outside of knowing the override folder. As for the "Godfather with a pink hello kitty reskin", I get where you come from, Proleric. I have nothing but respect for builders, but the fact of the matter is there may be people who love the godfater in hello kitty skin, and they should be free to reskin it as they please as long as they don't profit from it. I dislike most custom content, not only for NWN but for any other game I've modded, but I don't think builders have the right to decide how one must experience their module. There is a tacit agreement the player is free to create his own experience as he or she sees fit, including custom content, as long as they don't go about profitting from it, or crediting themselves. This isn't meant for Proleric, of course, as I believe we agree on most issues. This is merely an open statement, where I weigh on this matter. Just bear in mind, I am a player, and most players I have messaged with over the years are of the same opinion. Builders are entitled to their own approach and limitations, but who are you building for in the end? You want players to use your content? Don't limit them, whether by thenature of the content itself, or by forcing strict guidelines of use. I apologize if this seems aggressive or selfish. I'm an aggressive and selfish man, but I just don't want to edit this post, cause I think it's important to let it out as it comes. Ok, that came out wrong too. Sorry. I shut up now.

 
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TheBarbarian

Going beyond NWN into real life, I'd expect an user lodging a functionality complaint that's caused by a third-party service to be politely told to contact the third-party service provider, as the customer support they are contacting is not responsible for that product.

Thing is, even when/if common belief is that an author should have full control over the usage and presentation of their work, they(we) simply don't. No matter the rules we put up, it's not always within our power to prevent others from breaking them. We can try to take legal measures in response if they do, but we can't really prevent it from happening in the first place. No amount of indignation on our part can change this.

Modders should know this well - modifying and adding to somebody else's work is literally what we do, so it'd be pretty strange (not to mention credibility-damaging) if a modding community deemed that morally reprehensible.

It's probably a good idea for modulebuilders to make a habit of asking about installed overrides right away when getting a new problem report, and not feel an ounce of shame over just telling the complainer to turn off potentially conflicting overrides before playing the module. It's really not their problem - they didn't cause it, and they're incapable of preventing these issues from happening again and again no matter what they do, because any fix they come up with could lead to conflicts with some other override somebody else might have installed. If they bother to even try, that's very kind but also not very practical of them.

If a complaining player is unwilling to understand or accept that, it's the player who's being a (expletive censored), and maybe the modulebuilder should go get some ice cream and take a moment to feel glad that they, personally, have good enough problem-solving skills that they're not doomed to look at life from the complainer's "Other people are obligated to fix my problems!"-"I demand to see your manager!"-perspective. Life's got to be ridiculously stressful for that one.

TL;DR - player responsibility strikes me as the most practical way to handle module-vs-override-content conflicts. I'd suggest bolstering the self-esteem and confidence of the modulebuilders on this one. Maybe hang up a big "YAY LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS THAT AREN'T MY PROBLEM :-D"-banner somewhere next to the "Hang in there, Baby"-poster.

But on another sidenote, if avoiding player-installed overrides messing with the standard tilesets is a concern for a modulebuilder, they could try attaching the standard tileset files to their module in a hak. Module haks override the content of the Override folder as well as patch haks. If they do this, a player who wants to use a particular standard tileset override with their module would have to open the module up and attach the override hak manually. Under those circumstances, I'd hope anybody would understand if the original author would respond with "Dude, you modified it and now you're having problems with it? I can't be held responsible for those problems". The IRL equivalent of that is "voiding the warranty".

ps: I support the idea of a Hello Kitty reskin for The Godfather and would like to suggest a Game of Thrones remaster of How To Train Your Dragon and a genderbent H.R. Giger/M.C. Escher mashup of the My Little Pony series as well. x_x

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Oldfog

Custom Content is cool, but there is not enough builders that make use of it. And even IF they use it, -their- module or PW will never see the light of day, and that is the main problem here.

I can honestly say, when a "new guy" jumps in and writes "Hey, I am going to create a new PW", I think like - "Yeah right, another one bites the dust!"

Too many people wants to create a PW or a module with NO idea how extremely tedicious it is. And even if they manage to "release" it, they need to compete with all the other PWs for a small, dwindling playerbase that rather keep to their old server.

Zwerkules: I know how you feel, but you should ALSO know that the ONLY reason I created Hill's Edge was because of Medieval City! :)

 

So, my opinion is - Custom Content is cool, but if you want to create some, be prepared that no one will ever use it! :)

 

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

@TheBarbarian 

"a good idea for modulebuilders to make a habit of asking about installed overrides right away when getting a new problem report"

I guess that's the way forward.

@Tonden Ockay

I liked what you said about designing overrides for compatibility.

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Tonden Ockay

     This post was to get some idea’s / thoughts it wasn’t to get a lot of people upset. So I’m sorry if I have upset anyone because that really wasn’t the point of this post. I also love the some of the scripting and story telling work that builders in this community has done after a if it wasn’t for them their wouldn’t be any modules/servers to play other then the OC. So I do want to thank all of you for the work that you do for this community.

    Here is the thing, I like to make custom content and I would love to play in modules/PW servers that use what I make. Why? Because I don’t like the look of the standard tilesets. I don’t like them so much that I have never finished the OC, shoot I have never got out of the city. I haven’t played on a PW server longer then 5 minutes, and I haven’t ever finished a module that I have downloaded from the Vault. It’s nothing against the builders, because I have seen some really great scripting.

    So the problems I have is if I make haks builders don’t have to use them and well we have all seen that a lot of the time builders don’t like to use haks. I have even talked to builders that say its all about the scripting. But this is what I have to say about that. When I started dating I would see a good looking girl and then ask her out, so I was attractive to her looks first but once I got to know her then that was what decided if we stayed together. So what I’m getting at is as a player the looks is what gets me to play a game first then its the scripting that gets me to stay. There for, I agree that scripting is a main part of any game, however if the game doesn’t look good to “ Me “ (Im not speaking for everyone) then I won’t play it.

    It is nothing against the builders / scripters its me, but if I don’t like what I’m looking at I’m not going to sit there and keep staring at it no matter how good the scripting is.

    This leads me to where I am now. At this point in time I really don’t want to create a bunch of custom content and then build a world/module on top of that. So I can do one of two things then. I can create custom content and hope one day someone creates a module using it or I can create overrides that I can use with any module or PW that uses the standard tilesets. There for, since I don’t plane on building a module it would seam that overrides are the best way to go for me.

 

    Now why will I put my work up for others to use, because before I learned how to create custom content I sat on the sidelines from day one that NWN1 came out (in 2002) until 2015 waiting on other builders/custom content creators to create the module/PW I wanted to play. That is a lot of years just watching again waiting for someone to make what I wanted them to. Now I did play other games during this time and I just kept checking back now and then and I seen some really nice tilesets being made but found very few builders using them. Any way long story short I will upload any work that I do for others to use because there could be other players out there like I was just waiting for nicer/different looking models/graphics.

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Tonden Ockay

@ Tarot Redhand

I might look into making a none override virsion as well

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JFK

Do it because you want to do it; there is no other way you can sustain for long. Create what you fancy; push yourself so you can congratulate yourself when you accomplish what you wanted to accomplish. Revel in your own creations! Boot 'em up and wander through them; play with them. Tweak them. Destroy them and rebuild them.

On the marvelous custom tilesets, and their scarcity of use in modules: my theory is simply that they are so good, they are a bit intimidating. There is a learning curve in creating with them that isn't there with simpler tilesets. A module creator isn't simply a scenery placer, but a writer, scripter, director, props builder.... many, many things. Especially single player modules, I think, are mostly done by a single person doing all the jobs. They probably would LOVE to use these fantastic (and they ARE fantastic!) tilesets to create their module. But they might not feel confident in using this resource. I know I have longed for tutorials, for more sample areas, for documentation, for involvement, in learning to use those tilesets. I see the creator's screenshots, and I get so excited! But, when I try to use them to create my own areas, I get flustered. I feel doubt: am I using these to their full extent? How do you get THAT effect in the screenshot? 
​It could easily just be me. I may be too impatient to master these masterful tools for building. Even so, I do love them, and I'm grateful for them.

​So, yes, make what pleases you most, because in doing so you really will be 'serving the Community'. Burning yourself out serves nobody, not you, not the Community. Do it for yourself. The Community will benefit.

-JFK

 

My other  sword is a +5 Holy Avenger!

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Sabotin

I'd prefer refurbished old content, as there's very few modules still coming out and there's already a huge mass of available custom content anyway. Preferably something that's highly compatible and succeptible to being picked apart, hehe.

 

However, I'd also say that do whatever you feel is best. As far as I can tell, most projects are always in a state of development and never considered "finished", going along until people involved in it lose interest. Looking at other people's wishes won't really get you anywhere as everyone has a different taste. It's all about your own ego and how far it can take you :D .

Looking at myself, I find I like some stuff that's really close to the original Bioware work and other things I prefer totally different. Sometimes tilesets I think look amazing in screenshots feel rather terrible to play on, or just look bad due to area lighting hiding all the texture details. Other times the mood is ruined due to a difference in colors despite it looking "better". The smaller the changes the less difference it makes, yet the bigger the changes the bigger the danger of not fitting a certain module.

I don't know what other people are doing, but coming back to nwn after like 10 years, first I'll install patches and improve the looks to my tastes and then I'm gonna play all the modules I've missed. And replay the others xD .

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Tonden Ockay

Well I have decided to try my hand at totally changing the looks of the Sandard City Tilset  (making an override for it) and see how it goes. I'm not changing the walkmesh, so that it can be used as an override for most older modules and or PW.s. I say most because I'm changing a lot of the models, which could affect some modules. For example if a builder placed a placeable on a wall, or a bird nest in a tree they may show up in the wrong place or not at all. However it will not prevent you from walking any where you would normally be able to.

 

Here is something I'm working on so you all can see an example of what I'm changing.

Here is the Standard City Good Castle

 

 

 

Here is what I have done to it.

 

 

 

Everything you see in the screenshot above is just an override for the Standard City Tileset, without changing the walkmesh. However it may be to much of a change for some people because it's not going to look anything like the original look.

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joaquim98

Great work with the tileset man, it looks like a medieval city unlike the original set, and it's good to hear that you are not changing the walkmesh, can't wait to use the final version yes

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Toro

Looks good !  Great to see you getting better. 

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Tonden Ockay

Thanks

 

Hi there T0r0 its very nice to see you still around. I really love your Rural Addon Hak, So I would love to see more of your work smiley

I have some of my own ideas for the standard rural tileset. wink

 

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Greenman6220
I know I'm kind a late, but as a player that new tile set would look good as Castle Never in my opinion. That is just beautiful keep it up Tonden. Also just in the last few months there has been a few new modules on the NWN1 platform and two on NWN2. Also some of the old builders have been redoing their old module on EE. Savant for one along with new custom content. So all is not lost folks.

Greenman6220

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Tonden Ockay

Thanks " Greenman6220 "

 

I did decide to go with creating overrides and addons to start. However later I may create non overriding ones as well, but first I want to rework all the standard tilesets for the OC.

 

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