The BEAMBLOG

Friday, January 26, 2018

January 26 Livestream Recap


“My Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition goal is to be the best Neverwinter Nights it can be” ~ Trent Oster (with an elven dagger, no less)
Today’s livestream with Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle brought more news about Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start, the 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, the mobile sale of all Enhanced Edition titles and our current open job listings. During this, Phil played Shadows of Undrentide while Trent shared secrets of making an iron-shod dagger.


Missed the stream? It's on YouTube (part 1 and part 2) and Twitch!


Here's a quick summary of the highlights from the livestream:
  • Enhanced Editions on Google Play and the App Store are on sale for just 50% until the end of January. Beat those January blahs and escape to the exciting world of Dungeons & Dragons!
  • The team is working on the 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition. The beta turned up a number of fixes required before the release of the update. We'll have more to share about it soon.
  • Based on feedback from the community we’ve decided to move the update cadence for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start from 1 week to 2 weeks. When we update the game too often, NWN:EE persistent worlds servers have to constantly migrate to new builds, so we’re trying to find a balance.
  • There’s no new patch for NWN:EE today but the work continues. This week has seen quite a few exciting updates on the Roadmap Trello board. Cards for armor.2da full customization, more custom animation "slots", more data in character .bic for persistence support, separating "hearing" from render, allowing invisible objects to speak (with chat) and making other sounds (footsteps), as well as exposing more requirement parameters for custom classes (gender, custom variable, etc.) have been moved from the Input board straight to the Active column of the Roadmap board.
  • We have also included cards for getting walkmesh/surface type via nwscript, NWScript PlayMovie() function for custom content, improving shader communication, improving shaders to be able to render on objects, not just textures and allowing tab-/mouseover-highlight/aura colour customisation through NWScript into the list of things we’re currently working on for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • You can see what’s coming with the next patch on the Roadmap board. Among new features, the patch will make possible Multiplayer Tunneling (which we’re calling “NAT hole punching”), and players will be allowed to connect to servers behind NAT without having to deal with port forwarding. At the same time, servers will be allowed to list on the masterserver without having to port-forward or having to handle proxy/NAT port remapping issues.

  • Congrats to Obsidian Entertainment on the release date announcement for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire.

    • A UI Refactor of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition has many facets. We want to pursue this upgrade, but it will come later on the Roadmap as we still have a lot to investigate regarding this.
    • We cannot show examples of normal/spec mapped textures in the game yet, but some great looking stuff IS coming, so get ready!
    • Character animations in Neverwinter Nights are something we’re looking into for the Enhanced Edition that may not happen for launch.
    • Officially adding Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition portraits to NWN:EE would require us talking to Wizards of the Coast. We’ll see what we can do.
    • Our goal with NWN:EE is to go forward and create new exciting stories. Trent has been replaying the original campaign lately and has been creating his “hate list”. That said, we don’t see us changing the existing content.
    • If there are bugs in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start, submit them to Redmine and we’ll try to get to them.

    • We play NWN:EE modules with custom content on stream and during personal time. What’s your favorite? Let us know!

  • We’re not sure the Frame Rate Slider from Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition will come to Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition with the 2.5 patch, but it’s an interesting suggestion.
  • Phil would love to do an official Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition stronghold for the Shaman class. We’ve got a lot on our plate right now and can’t promise it as a feature at this time.
  • We are currently looking for a few good designers, developers, programmers, and more! Head over to our career page here to check the latest job listings. If you’ve got the skills, apply and send a resume.

Excited for what’s next? Come and join the next livestream next Friday!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Cool January App Sales!





It's time to beat those January blahs!

To help you through those cold winter months (or hot summer months for our friends down south) all our Enhanced Edition titles on Google Play and the App Store are on sale for the rest of January!

So grab your phone or tablet to get a deal on your favorite adventure and curl up under a blanket (or hit the beach) and escape to the exciting world of Dungeons & Dragons!

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition ~ 50% off!
iTunes            Google Play
Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition ~ 50% off!
iTunes            Google Play
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition ~ 50% off!
iTunes            Google Play
Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition ~ 50% off!
iTunes            Google Play
Writer

Friday, January 19, 2018

January 19 Livestream Recap


“The thing I’m most excited about NWN:EE is fixing the clunkiness” ~ Trent Oster
During today’s livestream Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle discussed the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition news, explained recent updates to the NWN:EE Roadmap board, and tackled some really meaty modder questions. Between all that, Phil jumped on the Castle Defense persistent world server where he launched a few heavy loads from catapults a great distance.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch!

Here's a quick summary of the highlights from the livestream:

  • The latest Head Start update for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start is ready to download. The new v74.8155 build is about bug fixing, while we have a lot of big-factor features on investigation. Hop over to the full list of patch notes here.
  • We’ve been updating the Roadmap Trello board. Cards for more portraits and making premium modules possible to play in multiplayer have been moved from the Input board to the Proposed column of the Roadmap board.
  • Within the Roadmap board, we moved the card for Returning the original menu music back from Proposed to Active while also adding a new label - a “UI Refactor” label - to show the dependency between UI Refactor Investigation and other features which cannot be done unless we do the full UI refactor first.
  • If you want to get involved into the development of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition - join the Head Start, have fun playing the game, share your suggestions on the forums, report bugs, and vote for your preferred feature requests on the Input board.
  • There’s a lot for us to do while we are updating character models in NWN:EE and the Head Start (although it obviously will be called otherwise) will continue long after the release.
  • We need player opinions about requests in the “Needs More Discussion” column. For example, there are currently 8 ideas about how to fix the Parry skill in NWN:EE expressed by the community. While we’ll definitely do something with this skill (in the same time keeping it not overpowered), it would help a lot if a consensus in the community could be reached.


“I’m most excited about bringing Multiplayer back and make it easier, make playing on the servers and in the modules a seamless adventure” ~ Phillip Daigle

  • Right now our team, while considering the GUI update, is looking at third party frameworks we find promising. We investigated Chromium but found out it doesn’t offer the level of support we need for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • There’s no easy solution to custom portraits being shown to all participants of the Multiplayer game in NWN:EE. There’re a few ways to approach this request which we’ll investigate.
  • According to Phil, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition would be a pretty natural fit for the Nintendo Switch. Phillip really likes this idea, but to be fair, he likes a lot of ideas! We don’t have anything to share about it at this time.
  • Keep an eye on our career page here - we’ll be hiring soon. Most of our programmers work on C++ but what is more important is an ability to transition between programming languages.


“Potions are your friend” ~ Trent to Phil

  • We want to stick with the role of being a curator for the Baldur’s Gate franchise, so there are no plans to officially support the Ascension mod for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition. We’ll allow it to work - yes, but we won’t include it into the game.
  • There may be a couple of features coming from Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition to Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition with the 2.5 patch. Stay tuned!


Excited for what’s next? Come and join the next livestream next Friday!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

NWN:EE Head Start Patch Notes v74.8155




This week’s Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition patch focuses on more bug fixes as we work towards some of the larger features mentioned on previous livestreams.

Head Start players, keep voting, suggesting, and discussing the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition features and fixes you’d like to see in the future. The feedback you’ve all shared has been instrumental in bringing NWN:EE this far. There’s a long road ahead to the release (and so much more beyond that) of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, but with the community along for the ride, we’re confident this is going to be the best version of NWN ever!

Head on over to the Trello Input and Roadmap boards to see community suggestions make their way (ever so slowly) to becoming features and fixes!

Don’t forget to tune into the Beamdog livestreams every Friday at 10am PST! Every week is another chance to get the latest news, ask questions, and win prizes!


v74.8155 Fixes
  • Fixed a rare case where custom content with empty scripts in the caching list would trigger a nullptr dereference.
  • Fixed three more memleaks in ResMan, in Party Object handling, and in mouse cursor loading respectively.
  • Fixed a client crash on game exit related to the ingame messages UI.
  • A serious issue with shadow edges generation has been fixed. Complex custom models, like some Project Q creatures, would show visual corruption. In 1.69, this resulted in writing to invalid memory and likely triggered random client crashes.
Regression Fixes
  • TXI command rotatetexture was not handled properly in the new shaders; as a result, some models had misaligned textures (cf. city interior carpets). This is now fixed.
  • SetName used to crash when multiple players were online. It doesn’t anymore.
  • We missed sending updated area names to load screens and the DM chooser list.
Writer

Friday, January 12, 2018

January 12 Livestream Recap


“You gonna love something bones to bone to make something very cool” ~ Trent Oster
Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle kicked off 2018 sharing the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition news, updates to the NWN:EE Roadmap board, and answered all kinds of questions from the community. They also spoke about the the 2.5 patch for the Infinity Engine games and hinted at announcing unannounced internal projects in 2018.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch!

Here's a quick summary of the highlights from today’s livestream:


  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start is available now. The new v74.8154 build focuses on bug fixes, but also contains new features and new script commands. See the full patch notes here.
  • The team has been busy adding and organizing community recommendations on the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Trello boards. Watch the NWN:EE Roadmap board and the NWN:EE Input board for all the latest development news.
  • There’s no third separate Trello board for bug fixes, but we always format each patch notes on our blog. You can also see them in the “Shipped with” categories of the Roadmap board.
  • One of the things that moved from the Input board to the Roadmap board this week is the card for updating the player character models. More than 160 people voted for this feature and we’re investigating the request.
  • The most interesting is the “Active” category of the Roadmap board. Cards in this category are features that are currently in development. You can see such items as New Master Server Integration, Add Steam Workshop support, Multiplayer Tunneling (NAT hole punching), Steam Friends List and Add new tileset there.
  • The card for New “Build Hak” function using only module utilized assets is now in the “Icebox” category, which means we’re looking into it, but not immediately.
  • The request to resize characters (scaling) has turned out to be a bigger task than we had actually anticipated, so it’s still in development.


Game development reflects on rolling your face at the brick wall. Eventually, the wall breaks” ~ Trent Oster

  • Regarding restoring the cut content in original Neverwinter Nights, - we can look at it on the case by case basis. Adding new content is more appealing to us, though.
  • To those voting for the “Director’s Cut” version of the original Neverwinter Nights campaign, - be very cautious for what you’re asking for. Trent’s vision for it has an emphasis on “Cut”.
  • Regarding requests for new classes in NWN:EE, - we’re more receptive for this type of feature, as it’s about add something new. In the same time, we’re also interested in making modders and module creators able to design new classes, such as Eye of Gruumsh and Shoe Disciple.
  • We are not going to introduce a ton of balance changes to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. If something is a bug, it’ll be fixed, but if it’s a decision made by the original game designers - we’ll leave it.
  • We’re waiting on the investigation on the UI rework options: one option is to make the existing UI fully moddable, and another option is to rework the UI from scratch and provide a mod support.
  • The UI scaling is going to be improved - a lot of changes and improvements are expected. Stuff will come, but not overnight. The UI of NWN:EE needs love and in the same time it needs a kick in the ass.
  • If you want to get involved and help and guide what improvements Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition should get – grab the Head Start and share your input on the forums. Then during triage meetings we’ll look at the Input board, see what features are top of the voting list and might decide to move them to the Roadmap board.
Trent’s favourite class is the Barbarian, while Phillip prefers the Blackguard.

  • Thanks a lot to everyone who participated in the 2.5 update open beta for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition and shared feedback.
  • As soon as the 2.5 patch finishes the beta stage, it will be available across all stores and platforms, including the Mac App Store. We thank every Mac App Store customer for being patient.
  • There’s no news about localizations for Siege of Dragonspear, but it may be something we’ll address in 2018. More news on development of Siege of Dragonspear for tablets soon.

Excited for what’s next? Come and join the next livestream next Friday!

NWN:EE Head Start Patch Notes v74.8154




Attention Head Start players! Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition patch 8154 is ready to download in the Beamdog Client! Today’s patch focuses mainly on bug & memory leak fixes, but also sets a few things up for the future.

If you’ve been watching the NWN:EE Trello boards, we’re sure you’ve noticed the team’s been busy adding and organizing community recommendations suggested through the Beamdog forums.


If you’re not watching the NWN:EE Trello boards, what are you waiting for? Check out the Roadmap Board and the Input Board to see what the team is working towards!

Bug Fixes
  • Servers will not crash anymore when applying damage to a caster will trigger a Concentration check, but the originating player has left the server.
  • Servers will not read invalid memory anymore in OnApplyTrueSeeing if no blindness effects were present.
  • Servers will now update internal effect pointer housekeeping properly on Effect Removal. This fixes a rare case where a movement speed penalty would not go away after removing an ability penalty (and maybe others too).
  • A dozen memory leaks have been addressed.
Regression Fixes
  • Server will not crash anymore when you queue up a player character export and then the player leaves before the export runs.
  • Area instancing: Player- and DM-clients are now kept in sync properly about new/deleted areas (no more empty names).
  • Area instancing: Server will not crash anymore when areas are added/removed and internal exploration bitmap array goes out of sync.
  • Familiar/DM-possession: Server will not write to bordering memory anymore on unpossess when areas are added/removed and the player is in someone else’s body.
  • Area instancing: CopyArea should now copy all objects into the new area properly 
  • Area instancing: CopyArea will not create duplicate object IDs, sowing confusion.
  • Direct Connect UI Panel: We broke it in 8153, and now we fixed it again. 
Features
  • [VM] SetDescription(..): Limit bumped to 128KB. (Was: 8KB). Although we increased the size limit, we recommend keeping this as small as possible as this is sent to clients on each view.
  • [C++/Low-Level]: NWNXEntryPoint for Windows and macOS has been exported, paving the way to support it on those platforms. GetBuildNumber has been exported too, which will allow nwnx to fail gracefully on version mismatch, instead of catching fire.
New Script Commands
These new scripting commands allow more options for player minimap management. They go hand in hand with area instancing, as they will allow save/load of exploration states on a per-player-and-area basis (with some scripting).

// Sets if the given creature has explored tile at x, y of the given area.
// Note that creature needs to be a player- or player-possessed creature.
//
// Return values:
//  -1: Area or creature invalid.
//   0: Tile was not explored before setting newState.
//   1: Tile was explored before setting newState.
int SetTileExplored(object creature, object area, int x, int y, int newState);

// Returns whether the given tile at x, y, for the given creature in the stated area is visible on
// the map.
// Note that creature needs to be a player- or player-possessed creature.
//
// Return values:
//  -1: Area or creature invalid.
//   0: Tile is not explored yet.
//   1: Tile is explored.
int GetTileExplored(object creature, object area, int x, int y);

// Sets the creature to auto-explore the map as it walks around.
// Valid arguments: TRUE and FALSE.
// Does nothing for non-creatures.
// Returns the previous state (or -1 if non-creature).
int SetCreatureExploresMinimap(object creature, int newState);

// Returns TRUE if the creature is set to auto-explore the map as it walks around (on by default).
// Returns FALSE if creature is not actually a creature.
int GetCreatureExploresMinimap(object creature);

Writer

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 - The Year of the (Beam)Dog



2018 is here and the Beamdog team is back in full swing!


The 2.5 update beta wraps up today. We’ve had lots of amazing feedback from players about the features & fixes added, multiplayer stability, and what players would like to see in future patches.


What’s next for the update? The team is currently going over all the feedback players have given in the Beamdog forums, Google Play, and through the 2.5 update beta survey. Developers are hard at work fixing issues found by the community and adding more fixes to what will become the 2.5 update final release. We’ll have more to share timeline-wise as we get closer to release.


In the interest of making sure all our 2.5 update beta players savegames remain compatible, we’re keeping the beta branch open until the full patch release. Until 2.5 is released, you will have access to the beta. When 2.5 is released, Siege of Dragonspear will also see an update.

If you haven't already filled out the 2.5 update survey, this is a good time to do so! We'll be closing off the form next week, so if you're hungry for that Beamdog forum 2.5 beta badge, let us know about your experience here.




Our weekly Twitch livestream starts back up this Friday! Join Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phil Daigle to find out about the next Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start update and the latest Infinity Engine news. We’ll be giving away t-shirts and possibly a key or three, so join us at 10am PST, Friday!


If you missed out on all the holiday sales, now’s your chance to remedy that. All our Enhanced Edition games, soundtracks, & DLC are on sale at GOG. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition & Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition are both 75% off!


And don’t forget to tune into this year’s Awesome Games Done Quick on Saturday the 13th! They’ll be speedrunning Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition around 10am!


2018’s going to be a great year and we’re glad to have you all along for the ride.
Writer