The BEAMBLOG

Friday, February 23, 2018

February 23 Livestream Recap


It took a while, but Siege of Dragonspear is coming to tablets!
Beamdog Studio Director Phillip Daigle and QA Lead Kristin Warren shared recent Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition updates and gave an early peek at Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear on Android and iOS.

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

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

  • We’re looking for testers of Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear on mobile devices. If you have a tablet or a phone and want to share your feedback, sign up for the beta on our forums.
  • Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear for Android and iOS will include a lot of features from Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition to make playing on small devices as smooth as possible, including dialogue selection buttons and a "Take all" button on containers. The game will be friendlier for mobile players via a tutorial popup and clearer explanations of buttons on the game screen.
  • Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear on mobile devices will see a Brazilian/Portuguese translation when we release the full 2.5 update. Volunteers have done an amazing work on this translation!
  • We’re adding the Priest of Tempus kit and all other fixes/features that have gone into the 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition into Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.
  • The PC version of Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear update will be released along with the 2.5 patch for these Enhanced Editions.
  • Regarding BG:EE, BGII:EE and IWD:EE - the 2.5 patch is going to be in the beta for a bit longer. We’ll be updating it with new languages, localized V/O, features, and bug fixes soon. We’re giving the translation teams a little bit more time to get their updates into the games. Expect to see a new build in early March.
  • Nearly 500 bugs have already been fixed in the 2.5 patch.
  • System requirements for Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear on mobile devices have been raised a bit compared to our Infinity Engine products for Android and iOS. More details will be available closer to the full release.
Take a tour of the Steam Workshop for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition!
  • There’s no new build for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start this week. You can check all the development news on the Roadmap Trello board and vote for features you would like to be added to NWN:EE on the Input Trello board. If you have ideas of what you want to see in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, let us know on the forums.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will be released this year.
  • It’s been a fantastic week in the NWN:EE Steam Workshop. The game is not even released on Steam fully, and yet there is a lot of custom content already available.
  • Find a guide on how to upload your content to the Steam Workshop here.
The plan with the 2.5 patch is to bring people back playing Multiplayer in Infinity Engine games.
  • We are hiring! We are looking for all kinds of developers, designers, and producers! Check out the full list here and apply.
  • We are always happy to participate in Edmonton events and meet with local fans. Last year our programmers and designers took part in Global Game Jam 2017 and created two games, Water Wizard and The Queen’s Wave. Check out those Game Jam titles here.

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

Friday, February 16, 2018

February 16 Livestream Recap


“The plan for persistent world servers support in NWN:EE is that you don’t have to do a preparation work - hack packs will download automatically.” ~ Phillip Daigle
During today’s livestream Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle discussed the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition news and what players can expect during the second part of the 2.5 patch open beta for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition. Jacob Burgess, voice of Glint Gardnersonson from Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, joined Phil for a live D&D adventure.

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

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

  • The 2.5 update for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is moving along. The second part of the open beta will come soon with fixes, features, and localization updates. IWD:EE is getting a Shaman class and there may be a new kit coming.
  • We need beta testers on tablets! Humans, elves, dwarves, barghests, half-elves, half-orcs, full-orcs, double-orcs, gnomes, and aasimars who are interested in helping us lay siege to our next mobile release - sign up with the form here.
  • This week, the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start program has come to Steam. All Head Start players - your Steam keys for NWN:EE are now available on Beamdog.com. If you redeem these keys on Steam you will enter the beta and the game will be added to your Steam library. Help us test Steam features and share your feedback on the forums.
  • The new 8159 patch for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition focuses on bug fixing. Check out the full patch notes here.
When on Steam, you can opt in the “development” beta.
  • We’re making it easier for those who buy Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and want to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe. Watch out for an update on Beamdog.com.
  • We plan to release new builds for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition every two weeks. But you can opt in the “development” beta on Steam which will get updates more frequently. Caution: the “development” beta can be less stable.
  • Conceptually, we like how the Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition deals with switching between original and improved graphics by clicking one button. We’ll see if something like that is plausible for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • We have just started poking into the NWN:EE toolset. It’ll be awhile before we make progress on it, but we’re excited to get to it.
  • The new model of Aribeth de Tylmarande was a test character. There will be further graphical updates for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition rolling out for next couple of years. Eventually, we are going to facelift everything (characters/tiles/weapons, etc), but it’s going to take time.
Phil the Paladin and Kraak the Kobold Barbarian acting out scenes suggested by the community.
  • Custom shaders for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition are in the active development. As soon as we’re happy with how they work, we’ll document how to use them for modders.
  • Software extension adding VOIP to a party or area are something we’ve discussed, but it makes more sense for players to use tools that already works like Discord, allowing us to focus our efforts on other features.
  • We’re torn on the subject of extra henchmen functionality for the OC in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and would like to reach out to the community about their suggestions on better ways to execute it. Share your feedback on our forums!
  • Recruiting for our open job listings is still going on and we’re continuing to accept applicants. Send us your resume!

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

NWN:EE 8159 Patch Notes and the Steam Beta Begins!



The next step towards the launch of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is a beta on Steam. Over the next few weeks, we’d love to hear feedback from Steam = players on Friend Lists, Steam Workshop, stability, and about any translation errors.

To get access to the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Steam beta, pre-order NWN:EE on Beamdog.com. Find out more about how to get your Steam key here.

Community participation in the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start program has been amazing! Your submitted bugs, feature discussions in the Beamdog forums, and participation with the input and roadmap Trello boards has really helped light the way. Keep on letting us know what features and fixes you want to see!

UPDATE REGARDING THE NEW SHADERS The old means of specifying a custom shader through the .txi had limitations. In particular, the .txi was initially intended to be a place to store information about a specific texture, not as a repository for other information. We’ve decided to create a new file type to encapsulate a material template. Instances of this new material file type, with a suffix ".mtr", can be shared across multiple meshes, and will specify things like textures, shaders, and uniforms.

What follows is a sample material file that includes examples for all currently supported fields: customshaderVS vsSkinned // Specifies a custom vertex shader: vsSkinned.shd customshaderFS fsFancyNew // Specifies a custom fragment shader: fsFancyNew.shd texture0 myDecal // Specifies a texture that will be bound to texUnit0 in the fragment shader. Will override bitmap/tetxure0 in the model texture1 myMask // Binds to texUnit1 in the fragment shader. We support up to fifteen of these textures: texture0 - texture14. parameter float vDiffuse 0.8 1.0 0.65 1.0 // Creates a 4-float parameter that will be bound to a shader uniform of the same name (if it exists) parameter float fModulator 0.5 // Creates a float parameter that will be bound to a shader uniform of the same name (if it exists) parameter int iCount 2 // Creates an int parameter that will be bound to a shader uniform of the same name (if it exists) To use a material like this one on a mesh, simple add the following line in the .mdl file: materialname myNewMaterial These new materials, though not complete in build 8159, will be available in build 8160. Apologies for causing any confusion or frustration in the modding community.

Fixes

  • Added a crash fix happening on the Multiplayer screen.
  • NWN:EE now shows the disconnect reason even when playing on a localhost server.
  • Multiplayer server filters (“Latency”, “Game Name”, “Don’t show empty”) are back.
  • LAN game discovery is back.
  • “Masterver knows our address” no longer spams into the logs.

Features

  • Servers should now enumerate and connect faster
  • Steam Workshop now supports thumbnails properly. To add a thumbnail image, include thumbnail.jpg or thumbnail.png in the root directory of your mod
  • More work has gone into Steam Friends; they should now display properly, regardless of server reachability.
  • Per-vertex color streams, named “colors”, can now be supplied per mesh in model files. This will permit content creators to send per-vertex colors to any shader with the named attribute “vCustomColor”.
  • Previously only one texture coordinate stream (named “tverts” in the model file) was supported per mesh. We now support three additional texture coordinate streams, named “tverts1”, “tverts2”, and “tverts3”, which will be linked to any shaders with the named attributes “vTcIn1”, “vTcIn2”, and “vTcIn3”.  
Writer

How To Get Your Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Steam Key





Steam keys for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start players are now available on Beamdog.com. Redeeming a key on Steam enters you into the beta and will add the game to your Steam library.

If you purchased the Digital Deluxe bundle, Steam keys for each piece of DLC will appear in your Game Key list. Please redeem them all.

To find and redeem your key or keys, just follow these steps:

Step 1: Log in to your account on Beamdog.com using the Sign In option at the top of the page.

Step 2: Navigate to the Game Keys tab and copy the 15 character key code next to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. If you purchased the Digital Deluxe bundle, Steam keys for each piece of DLC will also appear here.

Step 3: Open your Steam Client and select the Activate a Product on Steam option.

Step 4: Paste or enter your Neverwinter Nights Steam key into the Product Activation area and select next.

Congratulations! You now should have Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition in your Steam Library.
Writer

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Neverwinter Nights: Love you to death, Valentine!


Love knows no bounds!


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Your plane is blessed
All because of you!


One of our Beamdog community members, Shaydh, drew these amazing Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Valentine’s Day cards of The Valsharess and Mephistopheles. Shaydh, you are our Valentine! A NWN:EE t-shirt is coming your way!

We’ll have a magical time together!
Who in the Forgotten Realms would you send a Valentine’s card to? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or in the forums!

Need more Valentine's Day cards? Check out last year's set by ButterCheese!

Friday, February 9, 2018

February 9 Livestream Recap


Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is coming to Steam!

Today’s livestream with Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle revealed two big updates for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition - new character models and news about the NWN:EE beta on Steam! They also shared news about the open beta for the upcoming 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

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

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

  • The 2.5 open beta for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is getting a continuation, this time with additional languages. BG:EE will get Hungarian, while BGII:EE will receive Polish, original Polish VO, Russian, original Italian VO, and original German VO. Other languages may be added to the 2.5 open beta, so stay tuned.
  • A translation of Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear into Brazilian/Portuguese is nearly finished, we expect to release it with the full 2.5 patch.
  • Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition will get a Czech localization (currently available only on Steam) on Beamdog, GOG and other platforms soon.
“Normals in action. Lighting looks much better than ever” ~ Phil
  • Check out full patch notes for 8157 & 8158. 8157 brings regression fixes, while 8158 is all about neat stuff: Steam support, better support for Normal and Specular maps, and more.
  • Last week we included support for Norm/Spec maps into NWN:EE. The talented Neverwinter Nights community immediately ran off with the new feature to start work on pretty crazy stuff. It’s still early days, but the difference Norm/Spec maps provides is exciting.
  • Neverblender by Symmetric addedNorm/Spec maps and Symphony, showed us what is already being done with Normal and Specular maps in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
The community has been extremely busy this week. We can’t wait to see what they will come up with next.
“What is going on?!! New character models?!!” ~ Phil

  • New character models are coming to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition! Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande is leading the charge on the new look. We are planning to update character models in steps as we move forward. After NWN:EE is released, you will continue getting updates with new character models.
“Volume and bounds... Vorpal Sassoon... Bouncy volume colors are coming through” ~ Phil

  • New character models for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will be available through the Steam workshop. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to use them or you prefer to play with original models.
  • Once we push the beta for NWN:EE on Steam live, you will be able to populate the Workshop with your own creations.

Normal and Specular map testing on updated geometry are several clicks from the player.
  • We have to finish the baseline before doing new content for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. We’re still skimming and plotting ideas for new content.
  • Animations in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition work fine but we’d like to improve them.
  • The NWN:EE toolset is one of the things we’ll look into. It’s a big project.
Familiar gameplay with the new look! When you use new models, everything works like it should.
  • Throughout the coming week, we will be rolling out early invitations to the NWN:EE beta on Steam. If you hop over to our special Discord channel you will be able to request a Steam key. Invitations will be limited on a day-to-day basis. On Feb 16, we plan to email all Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start owners beta keys.
  • Activating a Steam key doesn’t disable your Beamdog version. When the beta is over, beta Steam keys will deactivate and Head Start owners will be supplied full NWN:EE steam keys for all NWN:EE content purchased.
  • The NWN:EE beta on Steam will support the Steam Friends List. It’s as easy to use as you could think: on your Steam overlay you choose the Friends List and invite a buddy into your game, without any port-forwarding on your router.
Excited for what’s next? Come and join the next livestream next Friday!

Farewell to Dave!


A portrait of the artist at work.
Today, Beamdog bids farewell to our Creative Director, David Gaider.

Dave came to Beamdog during interesting times. Since then, he has been teacher, mentor, and friend to many on the team. We’ve seen Dave conjure new worlds we’d love to play in, and spin stories in places already close to our hearts. Someday we will share the fruits of his labour!

Most lasting, Dave has built a creative team that will shape the stories Beamdog tells in the years to come. He has freely shared his incredible wealth of storytelling and narrative design experience with the developers, designers, and artists around him. We’ve all learned a lot from Dave and we hope he picked up a trick or two from us as well.

As fans of Dragon Age, KoTOR, Baldur’s Gate, and many of the other incredible worlds Dave has helped create, we’re excited to find out what’s next (come on, give us a clue Dave!) be it a new game, novel, or whatever else it is you choose to create.

We’ll certainly miss your lunchtime stories. Best of luck Dave!
Writer

NWN:EE 8157 & 8158 Patch Notes



Patches 8157 & 8158 introduce a number of bug fixes and Steam features in preparation for a  beta on that platform.

An old friend returns with a new look! The brand new Aribeth character model will be available to view through Steam Workshop. This model sets the standard for future Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition content.


Love it? Hate it? Have an idea? Let us know in the Beamdog forums!

Known Issues
  • Server filters (“Localvault only, Max Ping, etc.”) still don’t work. We’re redoing these soon-ish as part of the new-and-better server list display.
Regression Fixes
  • Servers will now grey out properly when the version is mismatching. This also introduces a change from previous versions, where older server versions would not list at all.
  • PvP mode column again displays the correct value.
  • We fixed yet more audio issues related to clipping issues in OpenMP3. This hopefully takes care of all remaining issues.
Features
  • Steam: Support for Friends List through Steam. Support for Steam Workshop. Both are not available to beta testers, as Steam is not public yet.
  • MDL: Normals are read from ASCII files.
  • MDL: Tangents are read from ASCII files.
  • MDL: Animeshes now support TSB and thus normals & specular maps.
Configuration
New configuration keys in nwnplayer.ini:
[Server Options]
AttackBonusLimit=20
DamageBonusLimit=100
SavingThrowBonusLimit=20
AbilityBonusLimit=12
AbilityPenaltyLimit=30
SkillBonusLimit=50


NWScript
BootPC(object oPC, string sReason = “”) now takes an optional string that is displayed to the client being kicked off.


New Script Commands:
// Gets the attack bonus limit.
// - The default value is 20.
int GetAttackBonusLimit();

// Gets the damage bonus limit.
// - The default value is 100.
int GetDamageBonusLimit();

// Gets the saving throw bonus limit.
// - The default value is 20.
int GetSavingThrowBonusLimit();

// Gets the ability bonus limit.
// - The default value is 12.
int GetAbilityBonusLimit();

// Gets the ability penalty limit.
// - The default value is 30.
int GetAbilityPenaltyLimit();

// Gets the skill bonus limit.
// - The default value is 50.
int GetSkillBonusLimit();

// Sets the attack bonus limit.
// - The minimum value is 0.
void SetAttackBonusLimit(int nNewLimit);

// Sets the damage bonus limit.
// - The minimum value is 0.
void SetDamageBonusLimit(int nNewLimit);

// Sets the saving throw bonus limit.
// - The minimum value is 0.
void SetSavingThrowBonusLimit(int nNewLimit);

// Sets the ability bonus limit.
// - The minimum value is 0.
void SetAbilityBonusLimit(int nNewLimit);

// Sets the ability penalty limit.
// - The minimum value is 0.
void SetAbilityPenaltyLimit(int nNewLimit);

// Sets the skill bonus limit.
// - The minimum value is 0.
void SetSkillBonusLimit(int nNewLimit);
Writer

Friday, February 2, 2018

February 2 Livestream Recap



During today’s livestream Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle went through the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition updates and Beamdog news.

They went on to share a few details about the upcoming 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition. They also leaked the theme to a (possible) future module contest for NWN:EE: “Kill Phil.”

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

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

  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start got a new patch today. Check out the NWN:EE Head Start Patch Notes v74.8156 here.
  • If you haven’t heard, the Head Start program is an Early Access to Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. Pre-order the game today on Beamdog and to get access. This is your chance to try new enhancements, share ideas on the forums about what you think may improve Neverwinter Nights. 
  • Don’t forget to vote for the suggestions you like the most on the Input Trello board and follow the development process on theRoadmap Trello board.
  • By popular request, the main menu music now defaults to the original Neverwinter Nights theme. In the .ini settings you can now choose between the Original Campaign main theme, the HotU main theme, the Witch's Wake main theme and the Wyvern Crown of Cormyr main theme. Any of the .BMU files may be chosen for your main menu music.
  • Support for Normal and Specular Maps has been included in this patch. This is an early version of the feature and we’re continuing to work on it.


  • The screen space ambient occlusion post process shader has been improved and re-enabled. See the images above with it turned off (the 1st image) and turned on (the 2nd image)
    • The v74.8156 build re-introduces screen space ambient occlusion post process shaders into Neverwinter Nights. Now floors, stairs, walls and other objects will look better. It’s a cool feature that we’ll be continuing to work on, but take note that it can feel a bit heavy if you play at a large resolution.
    • It’s currently not available for public access, but internally we’re testing the Steam Friends List support. 
    • We have plans for additional portraits for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. But getting back original Neverwinter Nights portraits which were available at the release of the vanilla game and later patched out is not possible due to legal reasons. If you want a feature where you can change your portrait in-game, share your suggestion on the forum.
    • If you’re interested in a feature highlighting in-game chat text in color or bold/italic styles, let us know in the forums.
    A Baldur’s Gate II sword, a gift to Trent from the Bioware team back in the day.
    The first smithing experience of Trent, a tomahawk axe. The coloration is natural, temperature-based.

    • Going forward, we have plenty to do about the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Toolset. We are currently looking for a few good designers, developers, programmers, and more! On our career page here you can find all the recent job listings.
    • We see ourselves as curators of original content. Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is about adding and improving, not reinventing.
    • The 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is actively being worked on right now. Over the holiday break we have got amazing feedback from players and we’re going through it. This patch will restore original German VO for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition. We need to investigate and turn up what other original VO is available to be included with future patches.

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