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Neverwinter Nights 2 Officially Announced

simoniker posted more than 9 years ago | from the many-miles-away dept.

Role Playing (Games) 246

An anonymous reader writes "Looks like Atari has just announced Neverwinter Nights 2, to be developed by Obsidian Entertainment, the same ex-Black Isle folks who are making Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic 2 in conjunction with BioWare. However, it's 'scheduled for release in 2006', so we've got a while to wait." A post on the Obsidian forums has a single piece of concept art, and it's confirmed that "[Original developers] BioWare will provide tools, technology, and game assets from the original Neverwinter Nights as well as lend creative input and oversight to the development process."

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246 comments

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881665)

How ironic that the 'Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.' message showed up for me when I first tried to view this article.

To be released in 2006 + 4. ;-)

Game has been postponed... (2, Funny)

memco (721915) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882169)

Because their concept art "is experiencing difficulties at this time."

frist's psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881668)

In related news, Bill Frist was experiencing the first psot

Re:frist's psot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881878)

I hear Bill Frist has endorsed Fellow Tenn. Republican James L Hart [jameshartforcongress.com] ;) Those Republicans are hillarious.

On the subject of NWN, I have just finished HOTU and while when I saw the Subject I was quite excited. But, in 2006 I really couldn't care less. Besides the bugs in NWN are a pain in the ass.

At the end of HOTU I had to turn on godmode because of a glitch that didnt end the movie scene in the battle vs. Mephistopholes (or however it is spelled). As a result good ol Mephy would just pound into my character and I could only attack via reflex. Hell of an ending ;)

Why even post? (0, Troll)

NetNinja (469346) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881670)

2006? you could have waited until 2006 and posted this. But they it's tech news and any chance to get posted is a plus a guess

We need a new vaporware standard (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882001)

Because we need a new standard for vaporware, what with Longhorn going to show up eventually, and with Doom 3 actually released...

How could folks get those "+5, Funny" mods without a Slashdot cliche or three? We've got to start looking now for a replacement cliche to be ready for use in 2006, else it wouldn't be a cliche by then. Lord man, it's only 16 months away.

last post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881672)

nothing to see here, or is this a first post, so fuck it

2006 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881675)

That's a company with a far-fetched business plan !

Simultaneous Linux playability to come out 2010. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881676)

Re:Simultaneous Linux playability to come out 2010 (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881930)

Ahh dont say that. I know they never made a true dedicated linux build. Maybe they will this time.

Anyway, I hope you are all signing the petition to make a native World of Warcraft build. Its at ce. 5000 last time I saw. The plan is to get it up to about 20000!

Maybe we should start a petition for NWN2 on linuxnow while we have time.. : ) ..or else... Cedega 4 ...

Re:Simultaneous Linux playability to come out 2010 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882080)

Come on essreenim, at least post a link:

SIGN HERE [blizzpub.net]

Anybody who's interested in Linux gaming should at least make an effort to "sign" this.

Re:Simultaneous Linux playability to come out 2010 (1)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882151)

Thanx ; )

I hope you signed. As someone who includes links, Im sure I dont need to tell you to spread the word if you haven't already..

Mixed Feelings (5, Interesting)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881691)

I have mixed feelings about this. I loved the concept of NWN but it never seemed to work out quite right. And it seemed to me that the community took FOREVER to get any good standalone mods out. I hope NWN2 has better support and modeling for persistent worlds, because thats what most people wanted and NWN really didn't work out well for it.

I have high hopes though.

Re:Mixed Feelings (5, Insightful)

QEDog (610238) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881786)

I feel the same way. The scripting language sucked, support for other media too. Even the D20 engine was broken (trap detection, pick locking, etc). The campaign story felt too much like "go fetch" (compared to, lets say, KOtoR, that was more smooth). Oh, and the TONS of bugs that it shipped with that made DM almost unplayable. I was very dissapointed, I was hoping more from the guys that created Baldur's Gate.

Re:Mixed Feelings (5, Interesting)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881830)

I'm certainly not going to try to argue with you about most people wanting the persistent worlds, especially since I have no experience with it at all. All I know is that I absolutely adored NWN and the default story lines, the depth, and the way everything worked. I also genuinely didn't feel that the engine was all that bad...hell, you pump your resolution up through the roof, and those rough polygons actually did look rounded, so it wasn't that bad (disclaimer: I have admittedly poor eyesight, even though I had LASIK done a few weeks ago to correct what they could).

In any event, some people claim it was a disappointment, but I thought it was brilliant. I still feel it is the best RPG released to date for the PC, and only slightly behind SNES masterpieces such as ChronoTrigger, Secret of Mana, and Final Fantasy 3(6) (and possibly the PSX FF7).

Re:Mixed Feelings (1)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881977)

the single player campaign was fine, but way too short to be the only reason to buy the game.

Re:Mixed Feelings (3, Funny)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882234)

Getting LASIK to improve your eyesight is like getting kicked in the crotch to improve your fertility.

I hope you didn't like that $3200.

Mana, FF6 kick ass. (1)

solios (53048) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882310)

FF7 had nowhere near the individual character depth that 6 did, in terms of individual skills and abilities. Materia made them modular and consequently, the game boiled down to the three characters you favored getting all of the xp. No reason to use the rest.

Mana is still my favorite adventure RPG- I absolutely love the menu system. My biggest gripe about NWN is the fact that their character menus are about the CRAPPIEST implimentation of the Mana menu concept I've ever seen. Takes too long to drill around to what you want. :-|

They look nice, but fall down on combat use.

Re:Mixed Feelings (5, Insightful)

mike_scheck (512662) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881880)

You have a good point. The community *did* take a really long time to build modules. But the great thing is, the community *built* modules. These days not nearly enough games give the end users the tools they need to create their own expansions/modules to the game. NWN gave the end user the same tools that the game designers used to build the modules and its expansion pack.

I think NWN is one of the best games to come out in years, because of its replay value. There aren't many games I buy (and I buy way too many) that I finish, and of the ones I finish, I almost never replay them. Neverwinter Nights is the exception, because I wanted to play though it with every different class (melee, vs divine magine, vs arcane magic, vs rogue) for several different modules. I would send Atari my check right now for NWN2 if I could.

Re:Mixed Feelings (4, Interesting)

tekunokurato (531385) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881906)

I agree that the game didn't really have much heart. Hopefully the company will take a cue from maxis and release the mod development tools to established modders beforehand so the mod-base can kick off on the right foot.

Makes you wonder if by 2006 (4, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881694)

This makes me wonder if by 2006, Linux versions of games will be commonly released along with or even before windows versions.

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (1)

debrain (29228) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881761)

This makes me wonder if by 2006, Linux versions of games will be commonly released along with or even before windows versions.

Or, perhaps more precisely, if by 2006 Linux will constitute substantial market and mind share for game producers, sufficient to consider the loss of it to competitors of similar games adequate to justify producing and supporting a Linux version.

The cost of producing and supporting Linux games will hopefully get cheaper as the platform matures. One can only it will remain a free platform.

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (2, Insightful)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881856)

>The cost of producing and supporting Linux games will hopefully get cheaper as the platform matures.

Linux is pretty mature as it is now.

What is going to cost them is the different flavours of Linux.

If you run RedHat 9.0, then you need to set this.
If you run Slackware 0.01, then you need to do this.

Publishers are moving towards consoles because its cheaper to produce (there is only one Xbox, one Playstation 2...)

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (2, Funny)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881892)

If you run Slackware 0.01, then you need to do this.

I'm sorry, but if you're running Slackware [slackware.com] 0.01, what you need to do is upgrade. ^_^

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (2, Insightful)

Jahf (21968) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882190)

"Mature" when it comes to games is having the ability to say "do you run Linux? Then run this installer." and not having to worry about which distribution it is.

If you can do that, or ignore all but one distribution, and:

* have a paying install base (ie, not total number of installs but number of people who are willing to pay for your software) at least as big as OSX

and

* can be reasonably well assured that people who have video cards they bought to play your game will have 3D graphics running smoothly -without- your help

The major distribution (as in games, not Linux) houses will pay attention to Linux in a significant way.

For now the ball is still in the court of the major Linux distros to get us to those places. They're working on things but it is not there yet. Will it be by 2006? Maybe, I am not convinced yet.

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (1)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881762)

The likelihood to directly proportional to the likelihood that a game distributor has made money by releasing Linux versions simultaneously. In other words, not bloody likely.

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (0, Troll)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881764)

They won't.

Nobody uses Linux. And by "nobody" I mean a small enough percentage for it to be not worth it.

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881986)

Why not just say what you mean, smartass?

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (1)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882153)

I did say what I mean. There are too few gamers for it to be a worthwhile excercise to launch a linux version of any game on day 1. Once the game is deemed a success, then time and money can be spent distributing a linux version.

Wasn't trolling, just saying that this won't change by 2006. Sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881931)

I hope so. For the record (and I wish I could find it for a link), the BioWare guys have stated that the developing the windows & linux versions alongside one another (and they did until they got pressured to get the windows version ready for a release date), helped them find bugs in the code which manifested differently between the two platforms. Sometimes a bug is more (or less) subtle on one platform than another, making it easier to notice, find, and fix.

Re:Makes you wonder if by 2006 (1)

Perky_Goth (594327) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882299)

as much as i love gnu/linux, no way. unless novell injects a lot of money in making it happen with suse, but it's not their market. mandrake might...

Longhorn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881706)

Will I be able to play it on Longhorn?
With Duke Nukem Forever?

Top Ten List (5, Funny)

stretch0611 (603238) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881714)

I guarantee in 2008 it will be on the Top Ten List of "Most Waited For Vaporware".

Re:Top Ten List (0, Redundant)

Dante333 (25148) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881910)

Will it be above Duke Nukem Forever?

Re:Top Ten List (2, Funny)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882015)


They're going to retire his jersey after next year. It really is no fair to the other competitors.

Re:Top Ten List (1)

arakon (97351) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882138)

haven't they changed the name yet?

Duke Nukem: Waiting Forever

They can ship a box full of mock-screenshots and a book telling aboput all the cool features the game is going to have in the year 21XX when they finally release it.

Seriously though, wth are they getting money to continue developing? THat's some kind of money-pit.

Timeliness of Expansion Packs (1, Interesting)

Mad Martigan (166976) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881720)

That's good to hear. It's amazing that Bioware just got around to releasing the expansions for NWN1 for Mac [apple.com]. It's also amazing that they did such a poor job publicizing the release. I found out from my friends who only found out because Amazon recommended the expansions to them out of the blue one day.

Hopefully, it won't take as long for expansions to NWN2 to come to the mac.

Re:Timeliness of Expansion Packs (5, Informative)

Tirinal (667204) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881907)

All of the files are cross-platform. If you have the mac version of NWN, you could have installed the PC expansions and had it work flawlessly months ago. More information can be found here [bioware.com].

scripting language (1, Flamebait)

The_great_orgazmo (715020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881724)

Well.. I loved playing the first nwn, and hated everything about the scripting language. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that happy about the way nwscript turned out to be. Lets hope they get things right this time around.

Re:scripting language (1)

marco0009 (716718) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881894)

The scripting language was watered down C code. Not that bad, and I bet instead of having to relearn everything, the knowledege gained from scripting in NWN will transfer over to NWN2.

Re:scripting language try out my mod ;-) (2, Informative)

ddraigcymraeg (670617) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882007)

I spent many many hours in front of my computer using the toolset and getting my head around the nuances (and bugs!) in using nwscript. It is very powerful, but to do anything really cool you needed to experiment a lot besides having decent knowledge of OO programming as their was very little documentation from Bioware.
Furthermore Bioware would somtimes break modules with patches by changing the behaviour of the scripting engine. The big one was the 1.62 release whereby they changed how ordering in the action queue behaved and so scripted events in many modules simply stopped working.
Hopefully NWN2 will have better scripting documentation and more versatile tilesets.

pimp/
BTW, anyone interested in a module with lots of custom content set in the Forgotten Realms should try out: http://nwvault.ign.com/Files/modules/data/10690444 05953.shtml

also my first module based on Tomb of Horrors:
http://nwvault.ign.com/Files/modules/dat a/10335193 10550.shtml
(there are more faithful versions to the PnP version on the vault though ) /pimp

Re:scripting language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882268)

I loved their scripting language - sure, there were a few problems with things; namely the way actions are queued could be annoying sometimes, and there wasn't native support for perstinatly saving data, and the worst was that many of the features were hard-coded, but it was fun to try to work around these things.

But then, I've only scripted in two gaming engines: Morrowind's and NWN's. Morrowind's was horrible - way too limited, and it reminded me of those days programming Basic and trying to do things that Basic was much too limited to do :(. So by the time I got around to NWN's scripting engine and found it was C++ based I was overjoyed.

Re:scripting language (3, Insightful)

Doppleganger (66109) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882324)

Personally, the only things I really miss when I'm using NWScript are arrays and function pointers. Aside from that, it's an extremely capable language that's dumbed down just enough that non-programmers can still make some impressive things with a little work.

So.. yeah. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'd have liked a few more things added into it, but I'm really glad it didn't end up as some gimped thing targetted at the lowest common denominator.

Well,finally... (4, Informative)

Ashe Tyrael (697937) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881735)

If this is even half as good as Neverwinter Nights, then 2006 is the new date to watch for.

I suppose the big question is, will Obsidian actually continue the sterling work that Bioware have already done for Linux, by releasing a Linux port of NWN2 at the same time as the Windows/Mac versions? Worst that could happen is that they abandon the Linux side completely.. which would be tragic, as Bioware have done a lot for the image of linux gaming.

gameplay and story as good as NWN? (2, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881736)

"[Original developers] BioWare will provide tools, technology, and game assets from the original Neverwinter Nights as well as lend creative input and oversight to the development process."

So the storyline and gameplay will be every bit as 'good' as the original NWN?

uh oh...

Re:gameplay and story as good as NWN? (1)

Llevar (788850) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881783)

Or at worst like Fallout, KOTOR, Baldur's Gate, and Icewind Dale.

Re:gameplay and story as good as NWN? (2, Insightful)

Dehumanizer (31435) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882333)

Or... Planescape Fucking Torment, which has the best plot of any RPG ever.

Re:gameplay and story as good as NWN? (1)

The_great_orgazmo (715020) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881793)

It was the community that made this game work. All bioware did was create a platform on which people could build their fantasy worlds. The campaigns they released all sucked arse. especially the last one where they ripped out multiplayer support.

this sure is front page worthy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881743)

NNW2, due in 2006... have they even written a line of code for it yet? (other then NNW1)

is it really going that slow that we have to see /. front page news about software X just released a (Beta|RC[1-9]|Preview|New Deadline)

if it ain't done, it ain't news.

i could see starting a cool game being games.slashdot.org news, but not really front page.

Linux Client (2, Interesting)

A.T. Hun (192737) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881775)

I already started begging for a Linux client.
http://forums.obsidianent.com/index.php?s howtopic= 2499

greeeaaat.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881776)

Is it me or is /. having a dry spell when it comes to something interesting?

WOW! A squel to another REALLY SHITTY game! I boring one at that too. Faggot RPGs.

NWN 1's biggest problem (1)

QuijiboIsAWord (715586) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881777)

Neverwinter Nights biggest problem was...it took forever to come out! I put money down on the presell. Then I met my wife, had 2 kids, got divorced. Wife took the kids, car, and house. NWN finally came out, but I couldnt afford to pay it off anymore. That's ok though..because I didnt have a computer to play it on anymore anyway since the wife took it too. Still Dont. Wait....that was all a lie.

NWN 2? I guess... (5, Informative)

KeeperS (728100) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881778)

I'm a fan of NWN and all, but is a sequel really needed? I was under the assumption that Bioware's Dragon Age [bioware.com] was going to be the spiritual successor to NWN.

Re:NWN 2? I guess... (2, Informative)

clandestine_nova (620998) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881946)

Dragon Age is, probably, but remember that Atari owns the rights to NWN - not Bioware. I doubt Bioware really wanted to do this; if they did, you'd expect that they would develop it, wouldn't you?

Article Text for the lazy.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9881784)

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 4, 2004--Atari Interactive, Inc., Obsidian Entertainment and BioWare Corp.(TM), under license from Hasbro, Inc., have announced plans for Neverwinter Nights(TM) 2, the sequel to BioWare Corp.'s best-selling and genre-defining role-playing game set in the popular Dungeons & Dragons® Forgotten Realms(TM) universe created by Wizards of the Coast. Atari, Inc. will publish the title. Originally developed by BioWare, Neverwinter Nights has set a new standard in the role-playing genre with a deep and engrossing storyline; immersive character development; stunning graphics; and, an expansive multiplayer experience like none other.

"Neverwinter Nights is one of the most beloved RPG's of all time and we're pleased that Obsidian has taken on the challenge," said John Hight, executive producer, Atari. "Feargus and his team at Obsidian Entertainment are the best people on the planet to take up where BioWare left off and bring this great game to new levels. They are intimately familiar with what makes Neverwinter Nights special, they know what it takes to make a great game and they have the respect of the RPG community."

The Neverwinter Nights franchise has sold more than two million copies worldwide, is translated into ten languages, sold in more than 40 countries and features one of the largest and most active fan communities in all of gaming at www.bioware.com. To date, fans of the franchise, which includes Neverwinter Nights, Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide(TM) and Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark(TM), have created nearly 4,000 modifications to the original game using the award-winning BioWare Aurora Toolset, the groundbreaking software included with the full game that allows players to create their own universes, quests and storylines.

"BioWare and Atari created an immense community of players attracted by both the immersion of an interactive gaming experience and the ability to create their own pen-and-paper styled modules. Neverwinter Nights changed the very nature of roleplaying games," said Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian Entertainment's CEO. "With Neverwinter Nights 2, we're going to take that incredible experience to the next level by combining a huge new single-player game with deep character development and many new upgrades and enhancements to the already powerful BioWare Aurora Toolset for the modding community."

Neverwinter Nights 2 will be developed by Obsidian Entertainment, founded by Feargus Urquhart who, as the President of Black Isle Studios, was responsible for the publishing of the Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance series and the development of the Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment franchises, both powered by BioWare Engine Technology, as well as overseeing the creation and development of the Fallout series. BioWare will provide tools, technology, and game assets from the original Neverwinter Nights as well as lend creative input and oversight to the development process.

"From our development of Baldur's Gate(TM) and Neverwinter Nights to our engine licensure on Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic® 2, we've been working collaboratively with Feargus and other members of the Obsidian Entertainment team for years," said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, BioWare Corp.'s Joint CEO. "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 and we're delighted to initiate another partnership with Obsidian Entertainment and Atari," added Dr. Ray Muzyka, BioWare Corp.'s Joint CEO.

Neverwinter Nights 2 is scheduled for release in 2006. More information about Neverwinter Nights 2 can be found on the Atari website at www.atari.com/nwn2, which includes user forums, project news, development updates and more.

About Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian Entertainment is a premier software development company passionately dedicated to creating high quality, next generation role-playing games for PC and console systems. Obsidian is currently developing Star Wars® Knights of the Old Republic® II: The Sith Lords(TM) (to be published by LucasArts) for the PC and Xbox. More information about Obsidian Entertainment can be found online at www.obsidianent.com.

About BioWare

BioWare Corp. is an electronic entertainment company that develops computer and console games. BioWare's developers are currently hard at work on Jade Empire(TM), a BioWare-created intellectual property to be published by Microsoft for the Xbox; and Dragon Age(TM), a PC RPG set in a brand new world created and owned by BioWare. BioWare is also developing an unannounced title based on yet another BioWare-created intellectual property plus several other projects internally and also other projects through partnerships with other developers. Star Wars:® Knights of the Old Republic,(TM) released July 18, 2003 for the Xbox and November 18, 2003 for PC, is currently enjoying critical praise and great commercial success with its opening weekend launch ending with Microsoft proclaiming the title as the fastest-selling Xbox game in history. Neverwinter Nights(TM): Hordes of the Underdark(TM), the second official expansion for the critically acclaimed PC role-playing game Neverwinter Nights, was released on December 2, 2003, and has enjoyed critical and commercial success. Previously published projects include: the award-winning Neverwinter Nights,(TM) the genre-defining Baldur's Gate(TM) role playing game series for the PC, MDK(TM)2 for Dreamcast and PC, MDK(TM)2: Armageddon for PlayStation®2 and Shattered Steel(TM). Additional BioWare information can be found online at www.bioware.com.

About Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS - News), is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop roleplaying game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games and their method of play (TCGs) and produces one of the world's best-selling TCGs, Magic: The Gathering®, as well as the celebrated Dungeons & Dragons® roleplaying game. Publisher of adventure games, family card and board games, and electronic media products, Wizards of the Coast is also one of the world's premier book publishers of fantasy series fiction whose novels have made numerous appearances on The New York Times best-seller list and have sold millions of copies worldwide. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at wizards.com.

About Hasbro, Inc.

Hasbro (NYSE:HAS - News) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

About Atari

New York-based Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR - News) develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. The Company's 1,000+ titles include hard-core, genre-defining games such as Driver(TM), Enter the Matrix(TM), Neverwinter Nights(TM), Stuntman(TM), Test Drive®, Unreal® Tournament 2004, and Unreal® Championship; and mass-market and children's games such as Backyard Sports(TM), Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues(TM) and Dora the Explorer(TM), Civilization®, Dragon Ball Z® and RollerCoaster Tycoon®. In the U.S., the Company also publishes and distributes all titles developed by Atari Interactive, Inc. Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext 5257), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit www.atari.com.

Forgotten Realms, Dungeons & Dragons, Neverwinter Nights and Magic the Gathering are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast in the USA and other countries.

2006 Good grief! (4, Interesting)

Powertrip (702807) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881790)

The software industry is becoming more and more like the hardware industry nowadays with the paper launches extremely premature. 2006 - That is a heck of a way off... Think that ATARI is lookign to stimulate its trailing stock price? http://www.stockhouse.ca/comp_info.asp?symbol=ATAR &table=LIST [stockhouse.ca].... It wouldn't surprise me...

Re:2006 Good grief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882069)

"2006 - That is a heck of a way off..."

Yeah, a whole year and five months. Ahh, youth. Bet it also struck you as kind of strange when Sentenza in _The Good, the Bad and the Ugly_ said, "the month will pass quickly". I used to think he was cracked. Now I'm old too.

Re:2006 Good grief! (1)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882334)

Hey...if it's that, or pull an Interplay, pre-announce all you like.

I'm willing to wait for a great game, as opposed to being unable to receive said game because the company is no longer able to pay its bills.

Yay (4, Interesting)

servognome (738846) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881837)

I didn't enjoy the single player original NWN, I did like the expansion packs though.
The concept was great, the tools worked pretty well, and the community is awesome (so many great hacks)
The biggest thing lacking about NWN has been the engine is old, it already looked a bit dated at launch. Hopefully the designers put more focus on an engine that can expand into the future, since it is one of those games that can reside on your computer for years. Also persistant world support would be awesome. For everybody who hates paying MMO subscriptions, NWN2 could be the answer (I hope)

Re:Yay (1)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882133)

The biggest thing lacking about NWN has been the engine is old

For some people a game is more than the number of polygons it pushes. I'm still playing Icewind Dale, Diablo and Dungeon Keeper 2 just as much as newer games. If the story or gameplay is there then the graphics are secondary.

Waiting for a Console-ation Prize? (3, Interesting)

grunt107 (739510) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881851)

With the lengthy delivery date, NWN2 seems to be allowing for design into one or more of the future game consoles.

Or they just got the storyline done now.

If it is the former then there is a huge risk in console delivery delays. If it is the latter: 'Get Crackin, dammit!!!'

They should be using XNA - they'd be done by now!!!

I just hope... (5, Interesting)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881858)

That Bioware will take this opportunity to design the script engine better.

I mean, I do think that Bioware made a *wonderful* job with this game. However, the scripting engine is far from perfect. As a developer, coding NWNscripts makes you feel you'd finish your game faster and easier if you'd just screw NWN and make it from the ground up in Delphi. Well, this is true if your ambition is big enough. Of course it is quick to make a hacknslash campaign, but when you try to go deeper, that's another thing.

Anyway, I didn't play nor script NWN for ages now...

Use python or something like that for NWN2. I saw that RPGMaker XP uses Ruby for it's scripting language. I didn't remotely try it or read further about it, but if RPG Maker made this, it must be possible for Bioware to make the same. Just create, huh... I don't know, a NWN API for python. Screw the idea of having your own scripting language...

I should hope not (-1, Troll)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881876)

BioWare needs to get out of the gaming business. Seriously. Their games are utterly laden with bugs. They're like Microsoft, except they sweep the problems under the carpet with eked-out updates and poor support.

The two bugs I reported a month after NWN came out - two years ago now - are still unresolved (haste and the hasted attack and a grammatical error in the inventory code).

Should another company decide to develop a decent version of NWN that doesn't leave me wishing for more and getting less (My post on the NWN forums has been archived, but I inquired about left-handed characters and animations and BioWare's official response actually was "Yeah, it's too much work for not much return. Sorry.")

Re:I should hope not (1)

willhsmit (802766) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882089)

Feh. At least it didn't CTD on me. Most of the games I've played in the last couple years, including games from reputable developers like Civ 3, took several patch releases to stop crashing every few hours. I'd rather have stable game play than left-handed animations. You're welcome to write your own game with perfect grammar and art and animations for every conceivable scenario. You can make a website for it, get lots of fanboys in your forums speculating on how it will be the greatest thing ever, and every year or so post a fresh screenshot showing an early 90's UI and promising to definitely ship within the next year.

Re:I should hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882100)

You hate the game, and think they should never develop another, because of a gramatical error, and no left handed characters? Better yet, THIS gets modded "insightful".

You are a serious tool. I think the BioWare reply was overly kind, and much more in-depth than any I would have given you. Try "Fuck off and die you left handed, small pricked, wanker. PS, your sister called, and asked that you please stop sneaking into her room and giving her rim-jobs while she sleeps, it interferes with her quality time with dad."

You are the kind of nerd that people enjoy beating, just cuz your such a jackass.

Re:I should hope not (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882106)

Left-handed animations too difficult? Couldn't they have just mirror-imaged the 3d models and be done with it? Good grief, talk about lazy!

Oh good... (2, Funny)

SmokeHalo (783772) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881903)

I was wondering how I would waste all my time once I got tired of Doom 3. Now I have the answer.

Licensing the engine (4, Interesting)

slycer9 (264565) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881914)

I can't help but wonder if Atari will continue and possibly expand upon Bioware's 'vision' of the intended purpose of the game engine itself.

Think about it.

Basically all BW did with NWN was release a set of tools for people/groups to create their OWN worlds/adventures/environments. From the looks of things, Dragon Age is going to be similarly engineered and even enhanced for the same use.

Granted, the single player campaigns sucked, (although HotU wasn't too bad comparitively speaking) but look at it from an Id standpoint. Come out with a great set of tools/engine and let the mod community do what they WANT to do with the game, rather than forcing them to adhere to the developers vision.

I personally think we're going to soon see a company release a set of tools only. Tileset editors, weapon/clothing/misc editors, environment. This wouldn't be a GAME release, but something for the mod community to use as they see fit to create from scratch rather than modifying an existing game. Think d20 in general without the limitations of being set firmly in a fantasy realm. Hell, there's even a mod underway to create a contemporary NWN mod!

I think things like this have the potential to change things in the gaming world far more than the advent of new rendering techniques. Changing the game experience for the end user is one thing, allowing US to change the way we play those games is another entirely.

Re:Licensing the engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882249)

Basically all BW did with NWN was release a set of tools for people/groups to create their OWN worlds/adventures/environments.

Yup, that is what I thought when I first heard the NWN concept pitched. It sounded good and reminded me of games of old that built up huge mod communities. Unfortunately, Bioware, like many other companies these days, decided that the Mac market was too expensive and cut development of the Editing tools for the Mac. They did not, however, cut the price, so Mac users got it right up the arse. I think, perhaps, they managed to screw themselves in the process though. If ever there was a market segment with dollars to spend and the willingness to build both good graphics and stories for add on mods, it is the Mac users of the world. A good game does not need better graphics than NWN, what it needs in engaging stories, and lots of them. That is where it fell down, big time. I never finished the game, because it was just not fun. It was OK for a while, but it got old quickly, and there just were no good quality mods to start a new character on with having to play the same linear story. If Bioware wants my dollars next time around, they will have to do much, much better. I'm not going to take a gamble based on NWN 1, I'll try Blizzard, they have a track record to be proud of.

The Zen of Outsourcing (2, Interesting)

superultra (670002) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881932)

Ok. So Obsidian is doing KOTOR II, and now also Neverwinter Nights 2. Besides finishing up Jade Empire, what is it exactly Bioware is doing for Bioware?

Re:The Zen of Outsourcing (3, Informative)

Babbster (107076) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882192)

Dragon Age [bioware.com] and "New Project - Console" (the latter a quote from their BioWare Games mouseover menu). Considering the Dragon Age FAQ linked to above says that it is a new RPG from the ground up including original ruleset, brand-new engine, etc., I expect that it's quite a bit of work.

What's wrong with the current version? (2, Insightful)

Maagma (714192) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881947)

What do they think they're going to improve by creating a new game? They still don't have all of the bugs worked out of the current neverwinter!

Re:What's wrong with the current version? (1)

hsoft (742011) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882009)

They probably want to *charge* for these bugfixes :) months before the release of nwn, the community (me included) *begged* to have flowing robes in the game, and we were told it wouldn't be done (That almost made me boycott the game. How could I make my DragonLance campaign with a Raistlin in shirt and pants?). IIRC, they added it in the last expansion. It's frustrating, because it should have been in the original nwn. There was also the issue where you couldn't have a character with a walking staff. The staff had to be in a horizontal position. I wonder if it has also been changed in the last exapsnion.

Anyway, all this to say that Bioware likes to charge for their fixes...

Eh... (3, Interesting)

Tirinal (667204) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881953)

I'm more than a little leery of this announcement. Obsidian Entertainment has been in existence for less than a year, yet they are already trying to develop sequels to two of the best games to come out in the last three years. This seems to me at least as another instance of publishers demanding sequels to known brands and outsourcing the work when the original developer is occupied with other titles.

Moreover, NWN2 is scheduled to be released in late 2006. That's less than half of the time Bioware had to develop the original title, and Bioware had both more expertise and more manpower.

Re:Eh... (3, Interesting)

Fourier (60719) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882179)

Most of Obsidian's employees came from Black Isle Studios after Interplay gave it the axe. Black Isle was responsible for gems such as Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, and Fallout 2. The name is different, but Obsidian has a proven track record. There's an interview here [gamespot.com].

The release schedule is undoubtedly shortened because Obsidian will be using Bioware's already-complete toolset. Perhaps some small upgrades to the engine will be necessary, but I'm sure most of their time will be spent adding new artwork and scripting the story.

Re:Eh... (1)

Laser Lou (230648) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882259)

Moreover, NWN2 is scheduled to be released in late 2006. That's less than half of the time Bioware had to develop the original title, and Bioware had both more expertise and more manpower.

That indicates NWN2 might reuse a lot of stuff from NWN1, which I think would be a good thing.

Re:Eh... (1)

Tirinal (667204) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882292)

That indicates NWN2 might reuse a lot of stuff from NWN1, which I think would be a good thing.

It also indicates that upgrades to the rendering engine will be minimal, if at all. NWN wasn't exactly the paragon of graphical glory when it was released, and it hasn't aged well. Releasing NWN-style graphics in 2006 (when Doom III graphics will be considered retro) would be downright suicidal.

Yes I will be buying this game immediately (2, Funny)

evan_th (791330) | more than 9 years ago | (#9881959)

You know the game is going to be good when the new developers' website is slashdotted within 15 minutes. Obviously game stability will be very important to NWN2's development.

Single Player Game!!! (2, Interesting)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882022)

I just hoping that they flesh out the single-player game better, and allow for more than one party member. I was really disappointed with the gameply when I played the 1p version of NWN#1, however, the graphics kick Icewind Dale's clean elven arse, and make Diablo I & II look like Mario Brothers on SuperNES.

What's the point? (3, Informative)

hellfire (86129) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882043)

Okay, I find there are Four distinct elements to NWN:

1) The game play rules. These are primarily set by Wizards of the coast. D&D has specific character building rules that NWN follows. NWN2 can't call itself "based on D&D" without following most of those rules. There are some rules, about 1%, which don't translate well to an online vs paper game, so there is play allowed, but not much.

2) The editor. This is already pretty sophisticated. New features added should be added as an update to an already feature rich application, since you can't add much more to it already.

3) The graphics. These could be updated, but that's little more than "prettying up" the game.

4) The scenarios. Okay, you worked hard on it, so make us spend money to reward your efforts, but why not release it as an expansion of the original NWN? It will be cheaper for us, and even if you don't release the damn thing for Mac on time (grumble) at least the mac community knows how to make the PC expansions work without needing a fully native installer.

Basically I see no reason for a brand new engine other than to force people to pay more money than they have to. The other thing is that I see a lot more people's names on this NWN2 than NWN1 so it might be a licensing thing, but frankly that's hurtful to the NWN1 community. You sold the app, but you haven't really let the community milk it as much as it could be.

Re:What's the point? (1)

kenstcyr (589627) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882093)

The editor? How about cleaning it up to not suck up the system resources and porting the GUI to linux and mac?

Wow, just like the good ol' days (2, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882061)

Activision releases a mega-hit and Atari announces vaporware.

Some ideas for NWN 2 (2, Interesting)

blacklily8 (780659) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882127)

I really enjoyed the original NWN 2, though I usually RPGs where players get to create their own parties of adventurers. I think playing this game on a LAN with some buds makes a huge difference.

Anyway, my biggest complaint about the original NWN was that the game was far too easy, even with traditionally difficult chars like the wizard. Yes, I know I could have artificially inflated the difficulty by adding HP, but this seems more like being a glutton for punishment than seriously seeking a greater challenge. I like games that are easy to start, but hard to beat!

Anyway, I hope they can speed up that production before it becomes Never-ventured Nights!

Most important question... (5, Insightful)

Keltan (800326) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882146)

...will NWN2 support the pen and paper D&D 3.5 edition changes? (Of course, by then pen and paper will be up to 4.0, so NWN2 will still be behind!) :)

Re:Most important question... (1)

ChozSun (49528) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882291)

3.5 is enough for the pure fact that they fix the gorram Ranger class.

So when NWN2 releases, it will have 3.5e and thus will have the Ranger class out of any RPG video game.

Re:Most important question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882295)

Wouldn't it be better overall to make the rules configurable? Picking which version of the rules or even just customizing your own ruleset would add a lot to the game.

Linux client (2, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882162)

This is probably the only reason why I paid for NWN, and both expansions, twice (one as a gift). Besides multiplayer being pretty nice, running in Linux was vital since it's a long game.

If it runs on Linux, I can use my laptop as a second monitor to display KDE on it while I play (it's not powerful enough on its own, P200, 64MB RAM). If I was stuck with having to use Windows then it'd be much more annoying, as I'd lose the ability to do some things I need.

So, if it runs on Linux well (I can live without the movies, there's BinkPlayer, and they weren't too impressive anyway), and plays well of course, it's almost certain I'll buy it.

I doubt this will happen, but it'd be nice if the dedicated server could support SMP. By 2006 my current SMP machine will probably replace my server, and I suppose it should work quite well for hosting games.

Funny, I just started playing NWN ! (5, Interesting)

tyrantnine (768028) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882255)

2 days ago or so -- I've been on slow saga recently to go revisit RPG's I'd missed (or quit)... First Baldur's Gate II and Throne of Bhaal, then Star Wars KOTOR, and now to NWN...

First let me just say those who disparge NWN and praise Star Wars KOTOR just have their Star Wars fanboy blinders on. Having started NWN just a day or two after finishing KOTOR (yes I know, backward Chronologically, but I wanted a switch from fantasy after plowing through BGII+Throne of Bhaal for Weeks :) ) the similarities are amazing. The way henchman/party members have stories which expand (and are only accessible as you gain levels), the way dialog is handled, to the engine itself - though KOTOR is certainly prettier and in a few ways cleaner, its obvious its the same thing. While KOTOR has better graphics, and far more voice acting (I am somewhat thankful NWN switches to just reading more often - the sheer amount in KOTOR had me reading and skipping the voice acting shortly into the game anyway - it just took waaay too long to actually listen), both are 3rd edition D&D (KOTOR stripped down to appeal to console gamers), feats and skills to match (although in KOTOR, skills are laughably useless). NWN is certainly a lot more in depth... but really the two games are remarkably similar.

I am only partway into Chapter 2 in NWN and so far have found it to be really good. I don't quite get where people who enjoyed BG I and II are coming from when they say they don't like the game -- you start of rather slow (just as your first level character in BG I was very weak), but things pick up quickly and the loads of quests, dialog is everywhere, and ala KOTOR, your alignment can shift during the game (though to more useful/desirable effect in KOTOR it seems). Anyway just the first of four chapters in NWN took me forever, and I have so far throught it was great. It seems to have at least as much story and oomph as BG II, and I haven't yet dabbled playing online. I imagine that might be a disappointment given I have played pen and paper RPGs forever (though not many recently), but who knows with as much time as people have had to develop modules and develop communities by this point.

Anyway the single player campaign in NWN to me is so far, so good, and I look forward to seeing some "amateur" work once I complete it, as well as begin dabbling in multiplayer. In comparing BGII+Throne of Bhaal, KOTOR, and NWN, so far I'd say NWN is my favorite, though I enjoyed them all... those that find large differences aren't really looking too deeply at the games, though - NWN is far more expandible and multiplayer friendly of the three :).

Looking towards Dragon Age instead. (4, Interesting)

Maul (83993) | more than 9 years ago | (#9882270)

Bioware's next big PC game is going to be Dragon Age. What exactly is going to be so great about this game? It will have all of the toolset goodness of NWN and the story telling of a Bioware game, without the clunkiness of attempting to implement D&D on a PC. It also allows Bioware to do what they want without having every piece of content triple-approvded by Hasbro/WOTC.

Pinnacle of NWN Mod-Building (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9882285)

For those of you wanting to see the ULTIMATE NWN Persistant World, head over to the World of Charun [windyblade.net] and get a load of the customizing done to even the mechanics of NWN.

Somewhere around 500 areas, dedicated DM staff and it's apparently been up for a couple of years now and still going strong with new content added daily.

Check out their forums at WoC Forums [windyblade.net]

Pretty impressive for a private endeavor.

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