Author Topic: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)  (Read 32814 times)

Offline Ishad Nha

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Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« on: July 10, 2010, 05:16:45 AM »
Original 1991 version of Neverwinter Nights.
I have managed to port the first town of Neverwinter Nights. In the absence of a cluebook and saved game files this will be a bit tougher than decrypting the other Gold Box games. If ever a game should be ported it is this one, because it can't be saved.
What I can do is form a rough town map from the game's 11x11 area map. As the town map is 16x16, I have to take four screen captures and combine them into one town map. Then I go from square to square and see if the N,E and S,W wedge patterns in the spreadsheet seem to agree with what the area map is showing.
A lucky break, GM menu has a Rgn (Region) command that tells me what each of the 29 main towns is called, it also enables me to go there.
Looking at the table of contents found in each of the four Geo#.dax files, there are 30 towns. I can identify 28 of them:
1:   NeverWinter
2:   Warehouse
3:   Wharves
4:   Southwall
5:   Windy Cliffs
6:   Port Llast
7:   Gallant Prince
8:   Luskan
9:   Vilnask
10:   Crossergate
11:   Lost Hills
12:   Triboar
13:   ??CharGen??
14:   Triboar Lower
15:   Berun
16:   Longsaddle
17:   Longsaddle Lower
18:   NW Woods
19:   NE Woods
20:   W Woods
21:   E Woods
22:   SW Woods
23:   SE Woods
24:   Floodblest
25:   Nightsedge
26:   NS Caverns
27:   Sewers
28:   Utheraal
29:   Trisk
30:   ????

The TP, teleport function is just the thing for mapping. Because the party is composed of only one PC combat is tough or suicidal. Moving around frequently leads to combat, running away takes a bit of time too. But with TP you can go straight to a square.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 06:50:56 AM by Ishad Nha »

Offline manikus

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 03:20:42 PM »
This is awesome news. :D

How does one use the TP function?

Offline manikus

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 04:42:41 PM »
There is a lot of art in those dax files. :) I'm estimating somewhere less than half of smallpics and icons are in FRUA and less than a tenth of the backdrops. The only real drawback is that the images are all such low color count. I'll see what I can do in the coming weeks. :)

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010, 08:49:53 PM »
General notes for anyone who wants to play this game.
Manikus told me it is found at:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/misc/nwn-off.zip
There is currently no ability to save the game. I don't know how this worked in practice. Was it saved by AOL servers?

All the interesting things are found under the GM menu, it is like playtester mode.

   The TP Function.
Walk:   Ghost mode, can walk through walls, fights don't happen&
X:   Change X coordinate of destination by +1 or -1.
Y:   Change Y coordinate of destination by +1 or -1.
Inc:   Toggle increment of X,Y between +1 and -1.
Map:   Toggles "Go off of map" between Yes and No.
Self:   Teleport self only.
All:   Teleport all members of party.
Lost:   ????
Exit:   Exit the TP function.
   
Walk is just the thing for porting towns.
Lost might be a cure for a party that has become lost, I don't know.

   The RGN Function.
Next:   Cycle forward through the list of towns.
Prev:   Cycle backward through the list of towns.
X:   Change X coordinate of destination by +1.
Y:   Change Y coordinate of destination by +1.
Goto:   actually makes the thing happen.
Exit:   Exit the RGN function.

The Wealth command is the Character Editor. Arrow keys choose statistics, then Add and Sub change them.

Item command, not too clear how it works.
Does any one have a copy of the manual?

The list of the town names, that I posted in the first thread of this topic, I copied from the Game.exe program, it is found towards the end, around offset 43,690.

Graphics may have been simple to deal with slow internet speeds? I never played it so I don't know if everyone in a group had a copy of the game on their own computer or not.
If they did have a copy then maybe NWN was getting a bit big in size so they needed simpler graphics to make the thing fit on the floppies of the early 1990s.

Edit:
Text displayed in game is found in various places. For the TP function it is found in Game.ovr at offset 135,359 onwards.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 06:37:37 AM by Ishad Nha »

Offline DesertScrb

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2010, 09:13:20 AM »
First of all, thanks for all your research into all the Gold Box games.  I don't have the programming ability to do anything with your work, but I appreciate it all the same.

Graphics may have been simple to deal with slow internet speeds? I never played it so I don't know if everyone in a group had a copy of the game on their own computer or not.
If they did have a copy then maybe NWN was getting a bit big in size so they needed simpler graphics to make the thing fit on the floppies of the early 1990s.

The Neverwinter Nights software didn't come on a floppy; I think players had to download and install software from AOL in order to play NWN, so all the graphics were stored on the player's computer.  I think AOL's NWN used the simpler graphics because it was ported from Curse or Secret in the early '90s.

Offline Mannast

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2010, 02:18:07 PM »
Well, I found these scans from moby, as well as the actual zip file.  Maybe AOl distributed an actual disk of it at some point.  I freely admit to never having played it on AOL.
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Offline Kaz-Keith

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2010, 02:34:54 PM »
Well, I found these scans from moby, as well as the actual zip file.  Maybe AOl distributed an actual disk of it at some point.  I freely admit to never having played it on AOL.

Yep.  AOL published a 2-diskette offer for folks online (you paid $5.00 usd extra for the format) who wished a hard-copy or a backup-copy.  I still have those diskettes, one white and one gold.  :D  Good times, good times.

Offline DesertScrb

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2010, 04:31:29 PM »
Interesting.  I didn't know that they released NWN on floppy.  I just (vaguely) remember downloading it thru AOL.

Offline ghaaroth

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2010, 06:16:58 PM »
I think AOL's NWN used the simpler graphics because it was ported from Curse or Secret in the early '90s.

Make it Gateway to SF. NWN was made by same guys as GSF and later TSF. And much later POR:ROMD, haha.

Offline Ishad Nha

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 08:37:13 PM »
In town 2, Warehouse, the graphics look they were imported from GSF or TSF. Which is appropriate as Neverwinter is set in the same area.
For those of you who played, were the games saved on an AOL server or on your own computers? It might be possible to figure out how they were saved.

Programming ability is not needed. We only need to decrypt the Ecl#.dax files and then get it into a format that FRUA or DC can handle. That is what I have done with the Geo#.dax files.

Offline Kaz-Keith

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2010, 11:54:18 PM »
Make it Gateway to SF. NWN was made by same guys as GSF and later TSF. And much later POR:ROMD, haha.

Weeell... Ubi Soft didn't make NWN or GSF/TSF so much as acquire the company that did (SSI then Stormfront Studios development house), though they were entirely responsible for Ruins of Myth Drannor and fluffing up that pile of poop just before taking a gamble and buying Stormfront... it did not pay off, and NWN's nonrelated noncousin in Bioware's Neverwinter Nights overtook pretty much every feasible competitor by a long margin soon after.

And then 3rd edition became 3.5 and we all gave more money to the Wizards.  Thems was some crazy times.

Offline Kaz-Keith

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2010, 12:00:59 AM »
For those of you who played, were the games saved on an AOL server or on your own computers?

The game saves were not done locally but instead left only a decryption key and code on the user's computer, saving on AOL's side only.  That code served as a launch point for some pretty outrageous 'character modding', as some of the character variables were saved locally with the code and encrypted... but right next to the decryption key. ???  Not sure what AOL had in mind with this scheme, as it only forced more dedicated hacking which made the few bad apples that much worse to deal with (this problem came to a head circa the time that reward pearls were implemented and then only the decryption keys were saved with an access code and no other variables... it was the same exact problem that led to GeNie dismantling the code for Isle of Kesmai, which led to the new and improved graphically-updated Island of Kesmai).

There are probably some bigger AOL NWN fans out there with better memories of those events as well.

Offline manikus

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2010, 04:07:52 PM »
That "GM" option sure can b e ridiculous. :) It lets you do things like create a longsword +64000, have an AC of -1500, etc.

As someone who did not play this back in the day, can anyone tell me why the levels are capped at such a relatively low level? I couldn't get a fighter passed the 11th level, or a multi-class fighter/mage passed 8/8. It doesn't really matter, just curious. It seems that people would have met these levels  in a shorter period of time than AOL would have wanted to take their money from them for. :)

Offline Ben J

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2010, 04:22:00 PM »
Forgive me for my lack of knowledge, but:

How was the old NWN played anyway?

All Gold Box games were turn-based, so how could this have been an online multi-player game? Did everyone have to wait until the next player makes his move?

Did you see other players move around in the 3D-view? Did every player have his own party, or were several players part of the same party?
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Offline manikus

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Re: Neverwinter Nights Hub (Original 1991 version)
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2010, 04:51:20 PM »
Well, here's what I can tell you from playing with the offline version - still turn-based but there is a time(with audible beeps) for each turn, which I think is 10 seconds; each player controls one PC, but it seems that you could hook up with a group (I don't know how that worked). There doesn't appear to be visual representation of other players in 3D mode, but I'm guessing there was an on-screen message, which of course since I'm the only person playing on my computer, I will never know for sure. :D