Sunday, 9 November 2008

The future of the NWN2 builders community

The famous and overwhelmingly nice Liso (gaining influense 2+ ?) from BouncyRock Entertainment wrote an interesting post at their forum:

"I was reading a blog by Wyrin,
Someone posted their concerns that we're starting to see a trend of modders taking long time outs, or retiring all together.
Why do you think the passion is dieing out so fast?
Post your reasons here "if you would like"
Mine are.

1) Building a module in NWN2 alone is daunting and too time consuming.
2) Players do not comment and vote i.e. 5000 downloads, 25 comments & votes
3) The toolset is problematic

That is all I have thus far. I realize I know nothing about the TS. I do however talk to a lot of modders on a regular basis. These are just my best guesses.
So I wonder....
what are your thoughts?

The Halloween module got so many people excited to get their creative juices flowing and knock something cool out in 3 months!


Here's my thought about this:

Building a module in NWN2 alone is daunting and too time consuming
I'd say that because of that we can make so much more complex modules than with other earlier tools (not only the Aurora toolset for NWN1) we tend to shot for the stars. It's like when a amateur one-man-band on the street tries to play like a professional 85 man symphony orchestra led by a world famous conductor. Just because we have the tools for it we, alone, try to beat them who has this as a full time job.

Maybe lower ambitions would shorten the development time and produce more (but still very enjoyable) modules. Instead of ten 9.75 rated modules we would have hundred 5.0 rated (which still would be a good fun).

For me who has really taken on a project that's too ambitious for my competence that's a problem. 18 months now and lots of work to do. And I know that it's a niche-module that only will attract a smaller audience. I really want to close this project and start on a smaller one. But give up - no!

Players do not comment and vote i.e. 5000 downloads, 25 comments & votes
Yes, the sparse feedback on the hard work sucks. But do we build just for fame and appreciation or because it's fun and a way to kill some time? Do you all give feedback on everything you download from the Vault? I try to, but still I feel that I don't do it in a way that I myself would like other's to do. I really don't know if this has an impact on me wanting to go on or not.

The toolset is problematic
I would say no. The toolset has it's quirks but it's better than all tools I've seen (and that's a lot). The problem is that you can do so much with that it's easy to get lost in small and insignificant stuff. This is what differ many of us amateur builders from the professionals. We can fiddle with the color of a hill, the angle of a mountain for hours or why not a script for sitting on furnitures in the most perfect way. The professionals focus on their task and leave all the other stuff aside. The player's will not care of the flagstones are overlapping with the grass or not. The care about the game-play. The exception is people like me that can't play a module without thinking about how I could steal ideas or what I could have done better. Crashes, bugs and such are irritating but if one plan, backup, and have patience and lots of good fellow-builders it's not a biggie.

Just my 2 pennies worth, but it doesn't mean that I'm not concerned with lots of veterans and first-timers leaving or taking long to everlasting breaks. I am.

It' may take forever but I'm not quitting...


Liso said...

+2 influence!! yay! thanks Amraphael, That was very kind of you to pass this along :)

Liso said...

umm.... overwhelmingly nice? some how, I'm not sure if that is a complement or not! :P

Amraphael said...

:) Never been good at complements, but yes it was supposed to be one :)

Wyrin said...

great post
it was definitely ambitions that bit me - combined with a lack of time and busy real life that made me feel it was getting out of hand

But you are right - player feedback was only ever part of it - the personal enjoyment and satisfaction of building/writing something meant much more to me