Monday, June 29, 2009

Neverwinter Nights


When Neverwinter Nights came out, I too took my chances with the Aurora editor that allowed players to create their own worlds and adventures. I never finished any of my projects, but I tried out a lot of concepts, tried to accomplish a lot of effects with the scripting system, and learned a lot about designing game stories and scenarios. In my designs, I focused less on combat encounters and more on creating an interactive story with meaningful choices.

Technologies I Used

  • NWN Aurora Toolset (including scripting)

Three Virtues

Three Virtues was the project I got the most results in. I wanted to create a story about the conflict between three virtues, represented by three guiding spirits, called Aeors. The player chooses one at the beginning, and then gains supernatural powers related to its virtue. Whether the player manages to live by the virtue he selected, determines a great deal of the final outcome of the story. The virtues I chose were Courage, Wisdom, and Love (similar to the three principles, Truth, Love, and Courage, in Ultima IV, as I later discovered).

I really liked developing the story and characters and writing dialogue trees, as well as scripts that made the story progress at a nice pace. I was surprised to find, though, that I also enjoyed building the physical aspects of the world: adjusting the color of the sunrise, adding frog croaking into the stream, creating different people, their looks and clothing... It was just enthralling to see my vision of the little agrarian village come to life, bit by bit, detail by detail. I also became quite obsessive about getting the music right, finding themes for the different characters, fading one piece into another in the middle of dialogue to support the advancement of the story.

I only completed one small chapter of the story that was to become a truly epic arc. Nonetheless, good practice and an even better experience.

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