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NWN1 - NWN2 - IceBlink Discussion

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slowdive
NWN1 - NWN2 - IceBlink Discussion

What does IceBlink Engine have to do with NWN? Well, it was made by some NWN modders as another option for telling a story (not to replace NWN in any way, just be another tool on a story teller's belt). NWN1, NWN2, and IB all have their strengths and weaknesses. I've worked in all three quite a bit. Depending on the type of story you want to tell, NWN1, NWN2 or IB may be a better fit for that one of your many stories.

 

So here is my Pros and Cons list (just a few points and my own opinion based on my personal experiences...many, many hours in all these toolsets):

NWN1 Pros: Lots of content available, easier to make custom 3D models with animations, easy to use toolset, fast area building with tiles.

NWN1 Cons: Areas can start looking samesy, custom looking objects most likely need haks (tinting, scaling, etc.), no parameter passing.

 

NWN2 Pros: exteriors can look very unique, passing parameters, scaling, tinting, plugins, customize UI

NWN2 Cons: exteriors take forever to make, granny (animations), steep toolset learning curve, modules take forever to make

 

IB Pros: it is free, fast building, flexible systems and settings, custom content is just 2D images, fewer limitations on story, builders can sell modules if they want, no Atari

IB Cons: SP only, no fancy 3D graphics, still in infant state - small community, may be too simple for some

 

IceBlink is meant to have a PnP virtual table top feel in a SP cRPG. It will be closer to reading a book than watching a movie. I believe that it has the potential to tell stories that can't be done (or easily done) in NWN1 or NWN2. NWN1 and 2 have many limitations due to hard coding, fixed system, builder's capabilities, builder's available time, etc. Some of those reasons are why we created IB.

An example: I have converted one of my modules, "The Exile", to all three engines. I have a few conversion tools to assit with converting NWN1 and 2 modules to IB. I spent about 3 months making the NWN1 version, 5 months converting to NWN2 and 2 weeks converting to IB.

Many of us use both NWN1 and NWN2 depending on what we are trying to do with our story idea. Now IB can be considered as well. The IB project is an on going project and will continue to evolve and be a community project, but the core ideas will remain the same.

Thoughts?

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Eat2surf

Thoughts?

... This is awesome! I love looking at NWN1&2 as storytelling tools... and bringing other storytelling tools under the same umbrella of thought.

We (players, builders, nerds, etc) tend to view each of these as an end unto themselves. ... We (builders.. me?) switch between NWNs never quite getting any module exactly how we want because our story gets rails or we (ok.. no more justifying we... just deal with it) can't get one engine or another to do what we want in the finite amount of time we have to build or tell the story. Having more tools to deliver the entertainment we imagine can only help.

... hmmm... or can it? The con of being spread thin between different tools may lessen our abilities in each... and may make it even harder to find folks to play. Wouldn't it be great if we all only played one... then eveyone would still be playing and building together... rather than switching systems we'd have to make do with what we had and players would have to accept it and imagine along with the builders in the imperfect system of choice.

 

... which I suppose comes down to storyteller's choice.... or maybe it comes down to the listener's choice. How many folks do we want to tell the story to?

By having more tools we open up the exposure of our story to more folks... but narrow the ability to listen to the story to folks with all three systems.

...

 

Thoughts? I've had too much coffee.... and ... for me, I enjoy building. I don't like the feeling that I sometimes get from realizing a lot of my work will never be seen... but then I realize I'm not usually building for others... I'm building, to me, is an end in-and-of-itself... and more tools is always a good thing. I'm sure I'll end up getting the new tool and putting it in my toolbox. Whether I ever use it will remain to be seen... but, as a human, it's all about the tools!

 

Now... where did I put my coffee?

Dude!

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slowdive

An off topic comment for me: Hey Dave, great to hear from you. I followed the podcast every week (or two weeks sometimes). We need to have a "where are they now" podcast episode for Trey, Jay, Michelle, Skunkeen, and others cheeky   Listening to Jay's (or was it Trey's) daughter play "Jack and the Bean Stalk" was funny, great stuff.

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Sir Adril
Sir Adril's picture

Thanks for explaining what Iceblink is, I was a bit curious about it. It might suit some ideas I've got running around in my mind, including the possibility of creating a tie-in for a graphic novel I'm in the process of writing the script and designing main characters for - the idea of being able to give readers an opportunity to "play along" with the main plot has a certain appeal.

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Eat2surf

Awesome! Thanks!

It was Trey's kid that played Jack... My version here on my 'puter has Skunk as the strange man that gives the beans to Jack... I never put that in the vault because I can't get my account to let me in... I made a new account but it just didn't feel right putting it up under a new alias... can't get my account re-started as nobody is doin' anything over at the IGN vault.

... anyway.. yeah.. it'd be fun to get back with the gang... Jay and Trey are still workin' hard at the same jobs as far as I know... Michelle has moved a couple of times and his happily in the UK.. Skunk is still Skunk ... he's educating himself and heads a band called, "The Claw Marcs."

It was a lot of work to put those things together ... but it was a labor of love. After our turn at the helm, I haven't listened much... I'm stoked to hear that you enjoyed our run.

.... and I'm stoked to be figuring out how to get my kids into building in NWN!

Thanks for the comment! smiley

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Rolo Kipp

A tiny, sneaky addendum... 

I have other reasons for encouraging IB... I am hoping to invest the IB team into the Vault good and deep so when codename jNwN starts coming together they can bail me out of rough spots!

jNwN is still very much in the planning stages and not officially announced, but Slowdive and I think very much alike in designing tools for our particular community. We want you guys to keep *making* stuff. *Cool* stuff! :-)

If anyone gets heartburn over IceBlink being on the Vault, I'll split it off, but I will be very *very* disappointed :-P

Edit: Now, if I can just lure the Xoreos team over... ;-)


Rolo Kipp
 
From Dreamguard on Needlespire, The Gemworld of Amethyst
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Sir Adril
Sir Adril's picture

jNwN? If that's what I think it sounds like, that's going to be very interesting indeed. I went and poked around Xoreos, and I agree with you, it would be very cool if they could be brought onboard here, they'd certainly fit in well :)

 

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Rolo Kipp

The only thing I will say about jNwN is it's based on the jMonkeyEngine, and goal 1 is to be able to create, edit and use all this neat stuff I curate here :-)

 

Edit: I'll probably have to change the name before release, too. But for now it's codename jNwN. And it will not discriminate between 1 & 2...

Edit 2: Heh. Edited the wrong comment :-P

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Sir Adril
Sir Adril's picture

Looks like I was on the right track in my thinking there then, Rolo. Good luck with that project :D

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DrMcCoy

Well, as a "hardcode" FLOSS person and someone who values portability, I had some...mixed run-ins with members of the modding communities for BioWare games. I for one find it quite sad that releasing sources and proper FLOSS licensing is apparently not standard in modding communities. That said, massive kudos to the people who are the exception there.

Good luck to you with jNwN. I for one can't stand Java, but that's a personal thing of mine. :P
I do hope you'll give it a FLOSS license, though. Information wants to be free and all that jazz.

About xoreos: It's been unfortunately dormant for a while now, for various reasons. Partially a busy RL on my side, partially other projects of mine, but also because my OpenGL knowledge is very rudimentary and not sufficient for this project. Of the people which contacted me, many very willing to help but had no OpenGL experience either (still very nice of them to offer a helping hand); people who had knowledge had no time to contribute to xoreos (which I of course don't fault them either, I can understand having too many things to do). I did receive lots of answers to my questions and those answers lead me to understand that I know jack shit about modern OpenGL practices.

There seems to be a compromise of sorts on the horizon, though. Apparently, it's possible to use SDL2 and Ogre together in a (somewhat) portable, if hacky, manner; at least more so than with SDL1.2. Supermanu has been so kind as to convert xoreos to use SDL2, and I spent the week looking into stuffing Ogre in SDL2 windows. Right now, I have managed to do just that (*), and my next step would be converting all the texture and model loaders to spit out Ogre compatible classes. I'm still not 100% happy with Ogre, but it seems to be my only working option.

(*) Changing resolutions work, as does switching vsync on/off and changing FSAA levels. There's some weirdness going on with SDL2 and fullscreen mode: With XRandR I get a pannable low resolution in a native-resolution virtual area, and XVidMode the windows goes absolutely batty when I change from one fullscreen resolution to a different fullscreen resolution. If someone has any insights there, please contact me. :) Also, I haven't tested it at all on non-Linux systems.

I plan to fiddle around more with Ogre in the next week, and will probably write up a long blog post at the end of the year. But hopefully, this will be a way for me to fully concentrate on the game reimplementation side of xoreos, ignoring my frustration with my inability to write a proper 3D engine.

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Squatting Monk

Have you tried contacting peachykeen, the author of NWShader? He may have the relevant experience with OpenGL.

Squatting Monk

Shadows & Silver | NWN Lexicon

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Rolo Kipp

integrating a proper 3D engine (and both Ogre and Blender integration) is what tipped me in favor of jME. Though I admit that I'm getting pretty excited about shaders and filters, that is not where I want to spend my dev time.

I'm planning on concentrating on the tools and it looks like you're concentrating on the engine :-)

At any rate, if it deals with ways to create, edit and use all this wonderful content we preserve here, I'm keenly interested in it.

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Andarian

Sounds interesting, Rolo. I have backgrounds in computer graphics and Java programming and have dabbled a bit with Ogre and Blender, so I'd be interested in learning more about it.

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