Neverwinter Nights 2 - Development

Development

Neverwinter Nights 2 was unofficially announced on April 1, 2004, when an Atari employee listed the names of several games in development, including a "NWN2" in response to an inflammatory comment on Atari's forums. The company officially announced the game on August 4, 2004. Obsidian Entertainment handled development of the game, and BioWare, the company that created the first Neverwinter Nights, offered support and guidance to Obsidian. The two companies collaborated in a similar manner on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, an Obsidian–developed sequel to a BioWare game. BioWare joint CEO Ray Muzyka said "Neverwinter Nights remains one of the most important titles BioWare has ever created. We certainly plan to remain involved in the production and development of Neverwinter Nights 2". Obsidian employed several game designers from the defunct Black Isle Studios, which developed other Dungeons & Dragons role-playing video games such as Planescape: Torment, the Icewind Dale series, and the Baldur's Gate series. Development of Neverwinter Nights 2 began in July 2004, when Obsidian assigned several staff members to work on the project. Staff included Darren Monahan, the producer of several Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance games; Marc Holmes, art director of the first Neverwinter Nights; and Chris Avellone, lead designer of Planescape: Torment and Knights of the Old Republic II.

BioWare provided its Aurora Engine from Neverwinter Nights for the sequel. One of the decisions to use Aurora rather than build a new engine from scratch was the toolset—Obsidian wanted players to continue to be able to make content for the game, which may not have been possible with a new engine. BioWare made itself available to Obsidian with technical support on the engine, but Obsidian planned on completely overhauling Aurora, including its code. The designers wanted to improve the visuals of the first game with additions such as better lighting and textures, which required significant changes to the engine. The upgraded engine was referred to as Electron. Electron was designed to incorporate DirectX to make it compatible for a potential Xbox 360 release, but Obsidian eventually abandoned plans for a port to the system for financial reasons. The toolset that was used to create the game was also revamped, and included several additions like a customizable interface, a new dialogue format, and building assistants—similar to the wizards found in Microsoft Word and Excel. Like Neverwinter Nights, the toolset was included in the game's release for players to use.

Obsidian drew on older computer RPGs for inspiration on the storyline and gameplay, like Fallout and the Ultima series. Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart said "We've been thinking about a lot of older RPGs, and we have this feeling that something has been lost with recent RPGs." He compared Neverwinter Nights 2 to Baldur's Gate II, stating that he wanted to expand upon the city of Neverwinter as Baldur's Gate II had done with its setting, Athkatla. "We're looking at how to make Neverwinter a really intriguing place to be, and make it a place where you go and come back to and go and come back to and have it really be a center for the game," Urquhart said. The game's story, while still revolving around the city of Neverwinter, would be unrelated to Neverwinter Nights. Instead of starting the game as a powerful, important character, players would begin Neverwinter Nights 2 as nobodies. Obsidian wanted realism in the game and concrete consequences for the player's actions. The story would be centered on the player character, who would have to gradually earn the respect of Lord Nasher and the city of Neverwinter.

"At the beginning of the game, the main character will run into a person of importance and be ignored like any other lump of crap with legs. The powerful simply don't notice those weaker than themselves. It's this kind of philosophy that promises a more cohesive story." —Dan Adams, IGN

Instead of the henchmen system used in Neverwinter Nights, Obsidian overhauled the game's party format to mimic Knights of the Old Republic II. Like the Neverwinter Nights expansion Hordes of the Underdark, the player would be able to recruit more than one party member. Each character could be directly controlled, but party members would also be able to come to a player's aid even when not controlled, such as summoning a rogue to open a locked chest. Companions would have distinct personalities and their own agendas, but it would be possible for the player character to influence them. Characters can leave the party permanently under certain circumstances. Other changes from the first game include the addition of prestige classes and more exotic races, like planetouched and Elven subraces.

Read more about this topic:  Neverwinter Nights 2

Other articles related to "development":

Economy Of The Maldives - Poverty, Income and Gender Inequality - Current Efforts
... disparities and with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Maldives has implemented policies that directly address these issues ... Nasheed said, “The most important facility for a country’s development is its people… and since women are half of the population in any country, for a certainty their full participation will ...
Leonard McCoy - Development
... Kelley's first broadcast appearance as Doctor Leonard McCoy was in "The Man Trap" (1966) ... Despite his character's prominence, Kelley's contract granted him only a "featuring" credit it was not until the second season that he was given "starring" credit, at the urging of producer Robert Justman ...
Economy Of The Maldives - Investment in Education
... has already committed $17 million for education development in 2000-04, and plans to commit further $15 million for human development and distance learning during this period ... to support post-secondary education development in Maldives ...
Batman (1989 film) - Production - Development
... was less willing to move forward on development, despite their enthusiasm for Hamm's script, which Batman co-creator Bob Kane greeted with positive feedback ...
Economy Of The Maldives - Macro-economic Trend
... Over the years, Maldives has received economic assistance from multilateral development organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme, Asian ... including Japan, India, Australia, and European and Arab countries (such as Islamic Development Bank and the Kuwaiti Fund) also have contributed ...

Famous quotes containing the word development:

    Women, because of their colonial relationship to men, have to fight for their own independence. This fight for our own independence will lead to the growth and development of the revolutionary movement in this country. Only the independent woman can be truly effective in the larger revolutionary struggle.
    Women’s Liberation Workshop, Students for a Democratic Society, Radical political/social activist organization. “Liberation of Women,” in New Left Notes (July 10, 1967)

    The work of adult life is not easy. As in childhood, each step presents not only new tasks of development but requires a letting go of the techniques that worked before. With each passage some magic must be given up, some cherished illusion of safety and comfortably familiar sense of self must be cast off, to allow for the greater expansion of our distinctiveness.
    Gail Sheehy (20th century)

    Every new development for the last three centuries has brought men closer to a state of affairs in which absolutely nothing would be recognized in the whole world as possessing a claim to obedience except the authority of the State. The majority of people in Europe obey nothing else.
    Simone Weil (1909–1943)