What’s the plan?
The general plan is quite simple: I’m going to produce new models and textures for “Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition” till the game will look ~10 years younger. I will add fancy mapping, polygons and some details, but I will not add something that was never meant to be there. So don’t expect to get brand new ornaments for example, but do expect to get a handle on the lid of an openable barrel. I will do my best to preserve the original color scheme and ornaments while redrawing them for higher resolution.
The details of the plan should come with some explanations for those who are new to the NWN modding community… For the game world NWN uses such models as:
1. Placeables. These are standalone models for furniture, plants, containers etc. We can easily replace them 1 by 1 with no grouping or whatsoever.
2. Tiles. These are whole patches of terrain of a certain type. And by whole I mean whole, it’s not just ground, there may be a tree, a wall, a few non-interactable containers, etc. To replace one of those objects we need to replace the whole tile.
3. Doors. These models are coming as a separate group, because on one side they are standalone like the rest of placeables, but on another they need to be worked on with tiles in mind, because the doorways are parts of tiles and certain doors are meant to be used with certain tiles.
3. Parts of characters. Yep, our characters are made from pieces and many NPCs are made from the same pieces. So we can replace characters' appearances piece by piece, but we need to keep in mind the need to properly attach those parts to each other.
4. Parts of weapons. Weapons are also made of pieces and could be replaced by pieces, but there is an additional detail that a piece of the same exact form may exist in a few colors. Plus I don’t think you will notice if I replace all the handles but no blades for example.
5. Solid characters. These are used for most enemies, monsters and a few important NPCs like Lady Aribeth, Lord Nasher, Aaarin Gend and for some reason some quite random NPCs like Bethany (that woman that meets us outside the Tyr’s Temple).
I’m going to make my replacements moving mostly in the same order from placeables to solid characters.
I’ll do placeables by batches of 4-5 objects depending on the amount of details and choosing them for each batch by their materials. For example 4 items made of wood of the same sort. This will help me to streamline the process a bit.
Tiles will be done in groups by their terrain of course. But I’ll split those terrain groups into smaller ones and I’ll start with default tiles of a terrain which create most of the environment in the game and then move to more and more detailed additional pieces of the same terrain. For example, for a forest terrain a simple piece of land comes first, a group of trees with bushes and a flower meadow comes last.
Each door will be done right after all tiles of the terrain for which the door is meant.
Parts of characters will be done race by race from naked to dressed in most closed heavy armor.
Parts of weapons will be done by types of weapon. Everything for daggers for example.
At last I’ll do those solid characters. I’ll group them by chapters of official campaigns and areas. So all models for "The Wailing Death" Chapter 1 will be done first, district by district.