The BEAMBLOG

Friday, November 30, 2018

November 30 Livestream Recap


The new Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition  main menu art from the Google Play Beta will come to the PC version of NWN:EE.
During today’s livestream Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Luke Rideout shared the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and Infinity Engine news. They discussed the latest patch to the NWN:EE Android Beta, answered community questions, and provided an update on the upcoming 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch! Here's a quick summary of the highlights:

  • Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition Official Soundtrack are 40% off on Beamdog.com! The sale ends Sunday.
  • Yesterday a new patch was released for the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. This brings the Kingmaker, ShadowGuard and Witch’s Wake Premium Modules to your Android device, and also introduces long-awaited achievements for NWN:EE!
  • These achievements will come to Steam in the future. We’re currently testing them via the Google Play Beta.
  • The current Beta build is a release candidate for the live version of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android, so play it, test it, and share your feedback via our Service Desk and on the forums!
  • Baldur’s Gate turns 20 years old next month! Watch out on our Facebook, Twitter, newsletter, and forums for more news on a special contest to celebrate this remarkable anniversary!
  • We’re still hiring! If you’re a Programmer, Technical Artist, or Web Developer, check out our career page and apply!
“We’ve seen over 700 resumes. Send out your game demo - it can be a deciding factor in your favour!” ~ Trent
  • We’re waiting for approval on the 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.
  • The portrait highlighting feature (i.e. when you pick a better item for a character, his or her icon is highlighted in yellow) from Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear will be ported to Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition as part of the 2.6 patch.
  • We’ll look into Spanish VO for the original Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II. If we can track down the appropriate source files, we’ll try to re-introduce it in the Enhanced Editions.
“When in business a game is called simply “a product”, it’s horrible!” ~ Trent
  • We’ve made some performance improvements and optimizations as a part of the new patch to the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Android Beta. If you’re still experiencing performance issues on your Android device while playing the Beta, try going into the Graphics options and turning off pre-buffer effects.
  • There seems to be an issue with multiplayer CD-Keys Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android where some players were assigned the same key. If you’re running into this issue, find instructions on how to fix the issue here.
  • The iOS version of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is planned, but it’s going to take a while.
  • The new main menu art which you can see in the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is created by Beamdog artist, Tom Rhodes. Find more of his work here.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition doesn’t have official controller support. Let us know about your feature requests on our forum.
  • We’re planning on getting True Type Fonts support, as well as some other features like keyholing and fine UI scaling, ported to the desktop version of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition soon.
  • Updating weapons’ and shields’ models for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is an ongoing project. The plan is to work our way through and make improved versions of most content in the game.
  • According to Trent, the new renderer for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is still “kinda research-y”, we’re still working on it. Cam is working with Niv and Soren to make sure we don’t break custom content in the process. Our goal with the renderer update is to take the existing content and make it better.
  • UI improvements for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will be a part of the renderer rewrite.

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

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Android Multiplayer Key Replacement




Due to an authentication issue with Android OS, some Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition owners in the Google Play Beta have been assigned the same multiplayer key, causing those players to be unable to access multiplayer features. 

To fix this issue, we have added a one-time Google Play Games authentication step to ensure owners get a unique key that can be used across all Android devices you own.

In order to have a new key assigned, follow these steps:
  1. Sign in to Google Play Games with Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition active
  2. Access the Multiplayer menu 
This will assign a new multiplayer key and delete the old one set to your device. This will only be required once per fresh installation of your game and you will not be required to remain logged into Google Play Games.

If you own a copy of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on another platform, you can add your multiplayer key to your Android device by:
  1. Opening your Android’s Settings Menu under Apps
  2. Navigating Apps: NWN:EE > Notifications > More Settings in Apps
  3. Copying your desktop multiplayer key into the CD Key field
Writer

Friday, November 23, 2018

November 23 Livestream Recap


Trent calls the current NWN:EE renderer rewrite “a reimagining of the renderer”.
Today Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Luke Rideout shared the latest Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and studio news, talked about the NWN:EE Android Beta, and chatted with Grumpycat, a DM on the popular NWN:EE persistent world Arelith, about her experiences as a longtime Neverwinter Nights player and DM.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch! Here's a quick summary of the highlights:

  • It’s Black Friday, and all our titles and DLC are on sale on Beamdog.com and Steam! Enjoy these fantastic deals: 66% off Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and up to 75% off NWN:EE DLC! All the Infinity Engine titles and DLC are at 50% off!
  • Vote for us in the 2018 Steam Awards! We’d love to see nominations for Labor of Love and Best Developer!
  • The Black Friday sale is live on GOG as well! Get our Enhanced Edition titles and DLC at up to 75% off!
  • Want to be the first to learn about our sales, news, and more? Sign up for our newsletter!
  • Embark on your new adventure! We're hiring, and looking for a Web Developer, Programmer, Lead Programmer, Technical Artist, and Network System Admin!
“The Beamdog forum is my direct communication channel!” ~ Trent
  • The Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Android Beta was updated this week to allow cross play between desktop and mobile. Got the beta? Jump into a persistent world and let us know what your experience is like in our survey and the Beamdog forums!
  • The sooner we get responses to the survey, the sooner we can get to your feature requests. Please try to get the survey filled in before we close the Beta. We might keep the survey open for a short period after launch, but not long.
  • Patch 1.78 for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition was released this week in the Beamdog Client, Steam, and GOG. This patch contains client & server changes and new features like NWSync, allowing auto-downloading for NWN:EE server content data.
"I make the worlds players play in more alive!" ~ DM Grumpycat
  • The 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is still awhile away. According to Trent, we’re waiting on a process issue.
  • We got a first look at the updated renderer for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition this week, and there are very interesting things coming down the line for NWN:EE.
  • The first priority for any graphics engine improvements on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is the new renderer, as it very likely will have a big, positive impact on things like replacement for the PLT format, or 2da editing. This is a complete overhaul of the renderer, and it will allow for multiple rendering paths (for PC and mobile).
  • One part of the rendering update is 3D. Toolset updates are currently being looked at and prioritized, but are contingent in part on the rendering update.
  • On the topic of server monetization for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition servers, we adhere to the WotC Fan Content policy, which means that you can create and distribute content as long as it’s free. You cannot require payments, subscriptions, or otherwise gate your content. Read the terms of the WotC Fan Content policy here.
  • Currently we don’t have a way to automatically synchronize your NWN:EE saves between platforms, as they don’t share a cloud service.
  • We have started to look at what needs to be done to bring keyholing (currently available in the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition) to the PC version. We don’t want to completely remove tile fade as we’d like both systems to co-exist.
  • We have plans to bring back the game type filter in the server browser for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • DM GrumpyCat has been DMing for about four years on the popular persistent world Arelith and playing Neverwinter Nights for around eleven years. At first, she was afraid of becoming a DM, but picked up very fast. There are differences in being a tabletop DM and online: instead of 4-6 people, on a persistent world there can be around 200 players, and a DM has to keep in mind interests and desires of all of them.
  • According to DM GrumpyCat, Neverwinter Nights is unique. On a persistent world she can start a story, disappear for some time, and then find all the spin off stories created by player collaboration.
  • If you’re a DM, let us know on the forums about your wishes and feature requests for the DM interface in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.

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

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition 1.78




Today, we are shipping Development Build 8186 to the stable branch of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition as 1.78!

This is the very same build that was recently updated on the development branch and contains no changes since then.

The previous build (8181) is available as a Steam branch, so you can switch back if your favorite persistent world needs more time to update. To do so, select 'oldstable' under the beta dropdown list in the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Steam properties. 

New Feature: NWSync

This update contains a major new feature called NWSync, which will allow players to easily download required content data as they join servers, without having to manually manage HAK and TLK files. In this first iteration, this will mostly benefit persistent worlds, as it requires special setup on the server owner's part.

For details on this feature, please see the source repository that contains all the needed tooling and links to the most up-to-date documentation, here.

Client Changes

Features:
  • We added a new console variable that enables a over-time FPS display. Type "fpstrace 1" into the game console to enable.
  • You can type `Gamma x` in the console, where x is a floating point value larger than 0. The default is 2.2. This value is persisted to nwn.ini (under a new configuration key). Gamma only affects the rendered ingame scenery, not menus or UI, as it is applied through a FBO shader, not GL/system-wide gamma correction. 
  • The game now supports normal DDS textures without having to mangle the header.
  • The game now supports KTX texture containers.
  • The game now writes out all Aliases to nwn.ini even if the file already existed.
  • We bumped the default maximum texture memory to 256MB. Previous settings of 64MB are rewritten to this value. The new minimum is 96MB. The bigger-by-default texture memory should improve stability in some situations.
Fixes:
  • We fixed lighting uniforms not assigning properly on some GPU drivers. This should address some flickering and maybe improve stability.
  • Premium Modules don't show in "Other Modules" anymore.
  • Yet another crash for creature appearances with PERSPACE=0 has been addressed.
  • The multiplayer server browser now shows a progress window when downloading the server list. It also switched over to libcurl, which should prove to be much more reliable than the previous solution.
  • The chat window will not capture mouse clicks anymore, only scroll events. This means you can once again click through it to action the game world.
Server Changes

Fixes:
  • Greater Sanctuary interacting incorrectly with True Seeing has been fixed.
  • A rare server hang when a relayed player suddenly regains direct connectivity has been fixed.
  • A bug in RetrieveCampaignObject has been fixed that resulted in a double free issue, crashing the game. This was another 1.69 issue that was unearthed by us switching to VS2017 for the Windows build.
Writer

Friday, November 16, 2018

November 16 Livestream Recap



“We want to drop the curator hat. I want to make new fun.” ~ Trent
During today’s livestream Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Luke Rideout shared the latest news on the Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, NWN:EE Android Beta, and Infinity Engine Enhanced Editions. They discussed the latest changes on the Roadmap Trello for NWN:EE and provided an update on the upcoming 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch! Here's a quick summary of the highlights:

  • Spend this weekend in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition! NWN:EE and all its DLC are 50% off on Beamdog.com!
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is also 50% off on Steam! Dive into robust Dungeons & Dragons multiplayer on dozens of persistent worlds!
  • The Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition launched this week. Thanks to everyone taking part in the Beta. The feedback you provide on Google Play, the Beamdog forums, and our new tracker on Jira Service Desk is incredibly useful.
  • We’ve seen over 1000 Beta players so far! Purchasing Beta access includes the release version of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, so if you have a phone or a tablet, go try the Beta out!
  • Make sure to sign up for our newsletter to be first to know about Beamdog news, patches, beta updates, contests, and more!
  • We’re still hiring! If you’re a Web Developer, Programmer, Quality Assurance Tester, Technical Artist, or Network System Admin apply!
“With new content, there’s so much potential!” ~ Trent
  • The 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is moving forward according to plan.
  • 2.6 will be released along with the Dice, Camera, Action! Voice and Portrait Pack. We’re just finishing up the DCA! portraits, and the community won portraits are on the to-do list. It takes quite a while to make a good quality portrait, and we want to respect the quality of the original games.
  • The 3.1.4 patch for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition which would bring the Czech localization of PST:EE to GOG, Beamdog, Google Play, the App Store, and the Mac App Store is not ready yet, but it’s coming. According to Luke, it’s all about the manpower right now, as our QA resources are mostly on the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
“For NWN:EE, the order of operations is the following: ship the Android version, then 64bit, and then the iOS version!” ~ Luke
  • We shipped two Development Builds for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition this week. Check out the patch notes here and here.
  • If all goes well, Development Build 8186 will become a new stable build for NWN:EE next week.
  • We also plan to roll out an update to the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition next week. The PC version of NWN:EE will be cross-play compatible with Android very soon.
  • We’re looking into the viability of installing Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition for Android on an external SD card.
  • Infinite Dungeons, Wyvern Crown of Cormyr, Pirates of the Sword Coast, and Darkness over Daggerford Premium modules for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will be purchasable on Android through the in-game store. If you have them on your PC version, you will be able to connect your Android device to your PC and transfer the modules to your mobile. You will be able to move any mods and custom content, not only the Premium modules, because the file system on Android is structured the same way as on PC.
  • Regarding changing old content in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, we don’t want to go back for a number of reasons. Neverwinter Nights scripts are very fragile. If you tweak something in the wrong way, it can break a lot of things in the game. According to Trent, ultimately Beamdog wants to focus on the future and step away from our current role as curators.
  • There are a lot of exciting features planned for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. Cameron continues to work on a rendering system rewrite. Some additional work may need to be done on updated character models once the renderer is completed as we don’t want to break compatibility with existing work.
  • There should be some significant performance increases once the new rendering code is complete and integrated, as it would clean up a lot of the outdated rendering processes the Aurora Engine currently uses.
  • We moved a few new cards to the Roadmap Trello board this week. Features such as allowing custom classes and spellbooks, or introducing the spell buff effect timer, are now on the Roadmap. Check out all the changes here!
  • Achievements for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition are coming soon. They will first be released on mobile with the live full version of NWN:EE for Android. Steam achievements will follow shortly. There are 48 achievements overall, and the achievements will be the same across Android and Steam.

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Android Beta


Attention adventurers of Neverwinter Nights - the Android Beta is here!
We’re seeking players for the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition! It’s time to step away from your PC, pick up your phone or tablet, and journey through Neverwinter Nights like never before.

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Google Play includes:

  • All the playable content of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. Kingmaker, ShadowGuard, and Witch’s Wake will be made available as free downloads for NWN:EE owners at launch.
  • Mobile Features: A new virtual joystick and context-sensitive interaction button makes gameplay easy.
  • Improved Display: Featuring a new re-engineered UI for tablet and phone play. Portrait, combat bar, inventory, and other UI elements adjust in size based on device resolution and can be scaled to your liking.
  • Backwards Compatibility: Works with save games, modules, and mods from the original Neverwinter Nights.

To access the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition:
1. Open the Google Play Store.
2. At the end of the list where you see “Top charts” and “Games,” tap Early
access.
4. Purchase Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition for Android for $9.99
in order to download the Beta.
5. Tap Install.
6. Follow the onscreen instructions.
7. Launch the app and start playing!
Please share your feedback about the Android Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on our forums!

Friday, November 9, 2018

November 09 Livestream Recap


“A few cards from the Input Trello board will be moved to the Roadmap pretty soon!” ~ Luke
Today Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Luke Rideout shared the latest Infinity Engine and Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition news. They went through the current NWN:EE Roadmap, and talked about the upcoming open Beta of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch! Here's a quick summary of the highlights:

“Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android works surprisingly well!” ~ Luke. “And it’s pretty amazing to watch!” ~ Trent
  • The 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is moving forward quickly.
  • The Dice, Camera, Action! Voice and Portrait Pack is nearly finished! We expect you’ll be able to play with the portraits and voices of Strix, Evelyn, Diath, or Paultin in the near future!
  • The Ukrainian localization of Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear is currently 98%-complete. If it’s finished in time, we’ll include it in the 2.6 patch.
“We have some goofy stuff planned for the 20th anniversary of Baldur’s Gate!” ~ Trent
  • The NWSync feature is available in the Development Build of Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. Opt into the Development Build on the Beamdog Client or Steam, and share your feedback at our forums!
  • We have successfully increased the bone count limit in Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition to 82 in an internal build, but there are a few bugs we need to fix before rolling the feature out to the public.
  • Cam is working on a big rendering system rewrite for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition.
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, when you save a game, the whole module is saved to the savegame, including all area state, etc. So with each new patch players have to restart a module to get all the latest fixes and features. We’ll think about ways to redesign how savegames work, but can’t promise anything.
  • We’re always interested in working with content creators on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. Currently, we’re working with Soren on shaders, textures and tooling, and Symmetric on NeverBlender.

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

Friday, November 2, 2018

November 02 Livestream Recap


Luke is playing Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on an Nvidia Shield tablet.
During today’s stream Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Producer Luke Rideout shared the latest studio news and updates on Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and the Infinity Engine games. Luke showed off a “keyholing” feature (work in progress) for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition, which will allow players to see their character even when walls and other objects block the camera.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch! Here's a quick summary of the highlights:

  • Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear is on sale on Google Play! Delve into this epic adventure for only $2.99 USD!
  • We’re still hiring! We’re looking for programmers, web developers, technical artists, and quality assurance testers! Check out our career page, as we’ve recently added a new opening for a Network and Systems Administrator!
  • An open beta for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition on Android is coming very soon! Excited to get your hands on it? Make sure you're following us on Twitter and Facebook, and you've signed up for our newsletter to get the news first!
  • We hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! The Ravenloft - Prisoners of the Mist server for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is running a “Halloween Play A New Character” event - ends Sunday November 4! Check out the details here.
“Making a custom game engine would be brutal!” ~ Trent
  • The 2.6 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition will be released together with the Dice, Camera, Action! voice and portrait pack before the end of the year.
  • The 2.6 patch will include rules and data fixes. It will also lay down infrastructure for multiplayer-compatible DLC voice and portrait packs. No major UI changes are expected.
  • Trent likes the concept of adding companions from Siege of Dragonspear to Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, but from the studio standpoint it’s not a viable project. Sorry!
  • We have been putting effort into fixing issues with CreateCreatureOffscreen in our Infinity Engine games, but we don’t have plans to completely remove the feature from scripts. Report any bugs you encounter related to this feature at our bug tracker, and we’ll try to fix them!
  • The 3.1.4 patch for Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition for Beamdog, GOG, GooglePlay, the App Store, and the Mac App Store is in progress.
A graphics rework for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will involve shadows, lighting, and more!
  • We’re thankful to all the volunteers who helped test the previous Development Build for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and the NWSync feature! The Development branch is available to everyone who bought the game on Beamdog.com and from Steam - try it out, and file bugs you find at our bug tracker!
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Development Build 8184 is out! Among other features, it vastly improves the NWSync client-side storage system. Check out the full list of fixes and features here.
  • We’re continuing to work on achievements for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition!
  • According to Trent, Cameron is working hard on the rendering update for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition. This is going to be a big change, and we’re holding off releasing updated character models because of it. We’re very excited about how Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition will look once this work is done.

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