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Demortia

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Demortia:
Hi, I would have posted something sooner, but I had forgotten my password! As luck would have it, I tried something by chance and it worked! So here goes...

Hmm, where to start...
I first bought Vamp soon after it was released but only ever played the single player game. I was involved in other online games at the time so the multiplayer side didn?t appeal to me until a year or so later.
After a few months of dropping in to random games, I stumbled upon relatively few that interested me, most notably the games where people actually acted "In Character" and brought the game to...well, Unlife.

At that time, I have to admit, the only thing I knew about the WoD was what I had learned from the game so found many of these Role playing groups a little out of my depth. Add to that the constant bickering in the lobby, the fighting, the threats, the hackers, stackers and crashers, the clan wars! I wanted none of it and became a little reclusive and avoided most of the other regular people.

I began to research and study the WoD material and remained only in my own Vamp room and Vamp game, but welcomed others to drop in. I attempted to discourage any kind of Anti-Social behaviour. And so I found an area of Vamp that I felt comfortable in. Over the course of several months, there were others like me who wanted only to play Vamp, to have fun, to not be involved in abuse and conflicts. And so a regular group developed. Soon after, someone suggested I take it to the next level and form a proper gaming group or guild. And so, after some weeks of organising a story behind the group identity and our purpose, the Crimson Keep was created.

At that time, Vamp was beginning to show signs of less frequent use, but was still populated by up to a hundred people. The Crimson Keep prospered as other guilds faded away, yet we remained out of the "public eye" we knew many people but were known by few, Like the Nosferatu, the Crimson Keep lurked in the shadows and watched as the Vamp community gradually disappeared.

After all these years, we are still here, our CK WoD still lives and still grows, even now many people contact us looking for a return to the glorious old days of Vamp, as well as many people entirely new. And that's a very condensed story of how the Crimson Keep began.

Over the years, in an effort to bring new things to Vamp, and something that was undeniably CK, I began to experiment in making maps. I found the Embrace Map editor a little strange to begin with, the interface clumsy and not very intuitive, and a number of usable, but not very impressive maps were produced. It took about a year of experimenting with the various functions, scripts and templates and eventually I developed my own style of architecture and themes, but all were based upon producing an effective role playing environment.

Over the last couple of years, the CK was forced to go into hibernation while the majority of its members attended university and was unable to join games. So, I turned my attention to Neverwinter Nights ( 1 ).
From the tools available I became adept at customising the NWN world, I rewrote hundreds of scripts and turned a world of fantasy and dragons into a world of horror and terror.
Looking at the huge list of game servers, it is evident that there is more than enough AD&D servers, and another one wasn't going to encourage anyone to join yet another "lets kill all the bad guys" type game.

My expedition into NWN customisation began as an experiment, to see how far I could take the NWN engine, to turn NWN into another WoD.
What I had achieved brought a truly frightening realm, a blend of Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.
I had managed to re-script everything, I had found a way to enable a Vampire player to burst into flames in the sunlight, to allow players to change into Werewolves ( all without requiring extra mod files or resources, anyone could join the game instantly and without the need for expansions! ), and had spent 4 months building a huge continent sized world.
Alongside this world lay one of pure darkness and evil, I had been inspired by Legacy of Kain and added to that world another one that players could pass through and journey to the depths of the Abyss, or to simply bypass obstacles in the "Real World".
I began this ambitious project with a specific goal in mind, to make a world where a character can live, work and try to survive the horrors, the goal of my world was not to win, not to reach the end and not to kill the big bad guy, it was simple, the goal was to live.
In no time at all, the server was running almost 24 hours, and players constantly demanded updates ( as well as bug fixes ), new additions and new work opportunities. The workload was immense to say the least.

And then University ended and Vamp games started once more, so my NWN world was shut down, and never returned.
These days, I'm running a business which takes almost all of my spare time, I no longer have the time to make maps for Vampire, and rarely get the time to host a Vamp game. I have plans to produce more maps however, when things with the business calm down to a reasonable level.

And that's a very short summary of the last 8 years of my life in the world of multiplayer gaming.

Demortia

ORI:
Welcome back, too bad I never heard of that NWN world, it could have convinced me to take another look at NWN.

Funny how much time passed and still I have the desire to go back into the crazy vamp multiplayer pnp experience just like all these people but somehow it never happens..

Javokis:
I tried NWN. The game is more picky than Redemption when it comes to actually running the damn game. I never had a problem with Redemption, but NWN kept breaking on 2/3rds of my OS's. Here people kept telling how much more support the game has received with so much less bugs yet when I go to try it, every freaking bug known to the community comes along to break my NWN experience.

Fate keeps bringing me back to Redemption.

ORI:
I dont know NWN worked just fine for me on SP but it wasnt half as good as Redemption when it comes to the artwork storyline and voice acting and otherwise gameplay is pretty much the same point and click so IMO you didnt miss on anything special.

Demortia:
NWN1 does NOT look good, theres no denying that, the single player story is aweful to say the least. When I first bought it, I tried to stick with it just to see the the end but quickly became bored.
However, it has a "Story Teller" mode, and the toolset is very easy to use, so I had experimented with it for some time. I could see it had potential ( and due to the various patches, they are adding new, much better looking content that is up to todays standards in quality )

Also, when it comes to customisation, the engine is extremely limited so I had to be very creative in the ways I employed scripts to function. In particular ( and very difficult to get to work ) was the sunlight effect on undead characters. I basically has to attach a script to an invisible object and place it in the center of an area. The script acted very much like a radar. Every 10 seconds the script fired and scanned the area for any player character tagged as "Undead" as their Sub-Race. It then checked the character for type of undead, applied the relevant graphical ( fire ) effect and applied the appropriate damage before following something like a "Next_Player_Character" command.
The hardest part of this was to ensure it only found a player character in the immidiet area ( if you dont limit the script, it will find any PC anywhere in the world ) and only fired at day time. The script also applied effects to living characters that only functioned during the night ( mutating diseased fog in certain areas ). So it was a vast enviromental effect script that was very, very long and carried out dozens of scan, checks and effects, all while trying to remain within a strict set of parameters.
That was one way I worked around a typical engine limitation.

Being clever with the various fog effects and lighting also serves to improve the appearance of the enviroment. but the most significant, and atmospheric part of the world came from the use of sound. Constant howling winds, frequent thunder storms, the distant howls of wolves, and at night time, a feint but ghostly laughter carried in the night air. When you carefully tailor the small things, it doesnt matter what the rest is like, you just cant help but become lost in the darkness of the horror genre.

NWN does have a potential to become something other than a typical cartoon-like AD&D slay-fest ( I even found that a mansion based on the first Resident Evil game was quite popular )... but, in the end, it takes a hell of a lot of work to make it remotely interesting.
Incidently, I recently got NWN to work without any problem on a Laptop with Vista, I didnt even need to use any compatability mode, it just installed and went. Guess I was one of the lucky ones eh.

Demortia.

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