Oh, the pain.
The Designers' health was failing, mobility was impaired, pain was a daily thing, help was not in sight. To stay busy and productive in this period of frustrating decline, and to sate a decades-long desire to learn C Programming, I undertook the creation of an original computer fantasy role playing game campaign built using the TOOLKIT from the Neverwinter Nights Computer Role Playing Game.
The Argent Production Team
This engine uses mechanics very like the Dungeons & Dragons Game (with a bit of tweezing for the sake of playability in a single and multi-player environment). The best part about the TOOLKIT is that it uses a sub-set of the C Programming Language to create SCRIPTS which accomplish some of the more complex interactions within the game. In short THIS GAME has what it takes, it has what the original Dungeons & Dragons had which made it successful; the ability for the end user to create and run their own adventures. That is what THIS is all about; telling a story interactively. Allowing each player/ witness to be an active participant in an entertainment form. But, I digress....
I, the Designer (A.K.A. GM_ODA) was basically unwell in 2003, and somewhat uncertain about the future, but determined to make something of the time. A friend introduced me to Neverwinter Nights, suggesting I should look at the TOOLKIT since I was knonwn as both a computer guru and gamemaster in a variety of PnP games. I had been desirous of learning C Programming since the late 1980's but somehow never found the time to do so. Being very familiar with Role Playing Games (RPGs) since the late 1970's, and well versed in a number of computer hardware/software configurations since the early 1980's, and having been a professional game Designer since the mid-1980's, and having been involved in all aspects of telecommunications since the mid-1980's, well, what else was the Designer to do when this friend continually inveighed 'HEY YOU MUST LOOK AT THIS NEVERWINTER NIGHTS GAME!'. Eventually, I did that very thing. It is said, the rest is BINARY.
LEARNING THE TOOLKIT FIRST...
As the designer, I poured over the available materials regarding the TOOLKIT and other tools available to assist an aspiring Module Builder. Eventually, opting to play to the strengths of the tools and design in creating something which was open-ended, manageable by a single BUILDER but geared to operate smoothly as a team-design/build effort should fortune eventually grace me with a team of like minded associates. For four long toiling-over-the-module-to-distract- myself-from-physical-pain years, the team never jelled. Since I was not very mobile, the PC replaced my occasional PnP game - I studied when I could, made notes galore and tried to keep this notion for a fantasy campaign moving along toward completion. I always fancied that maybe someday a team might form-up around the notion, but understood I needed to create the base on which to build. Until spring of 2007, this was one mans dogged effort of about two to four hours a day each day for the five years.
More than ONE THOUSAND (Area) maps later.... It was in the late spring of 2007 that Eriniel happened upon the module online (I had been having the module hosted online in early beta test for a couple months at that time). Eriniel is an accomplished programmer, sagacious in her knowledge, and kindly quite generous in sharing this lore with us. She began here as a PLAYER, and I sussed that she was not quite challenged by the PLAYER CONSOLE so I invited her to examine the DM CONSOLE in conjunction with the online module. She looked around the module in that mode for a brief while and had some _lovely_ suggestions on what might boost the module in a number of areas from scripting to items. In fact, the lady is a natural with games, able to craft compelling plots and scenes, and amazingly facile with scripting and building for the game. Voila! TEAM!
In the years since I opened the server for the beta-testing of the module, I've met a number of truly talented and helpful people. The efforts of the Argent Production Team have attracted a growing number of DMs for the server, and more than 2000 PLAYERS - some single logins, some multiple logins and even some longtime regulars!
Now, it is with great regard and deepest gratitude to all whose
efforts assisted me in my self-education, I, GM_ODA, the
Designer of the Argent Production Team's Acerian Tradeway :
City of Dohral am pleased to announce the ongoing open beta-test
of this extraordinary new Neverwinter Nights Campaign.
READ MORE ABOUT THE CITY OF DOHRAL.
P.S. ( POST SURGERY ...)
My health improves, somewhat. More to the good, the project is
nearing completion. In order to properly test the work and gain
some notoriety for same, the module went online in BETA TEST MODE
in late 2007. It is a HUGE work and even now nearing the end of
beta test. We are about to add a second module - along the lines
of an 'Underdark' but with a slew of sick twists. Alas, this means
a dedicated server, and that costs some dollars ... as of the
writing of this paragraph, quality hosting can be had for $68 per
month. The Designer seeks donations from friends of the Argentum Regio
and the Acerian Tradeway! Help support the Argent Production Team's
Acerian Tradeway : City of Dohral Project.
You can help us "bring the game" with a modest donation
Help defray the costs of bringing this excellent multiplayer online game to the audience - donate a little something today.
As long as this thing shows serious interest from the gaming public - in the form of sufficient donations to keep her operational, I will continue to crank out the expansion work; tweezing scripts, adding adventures, locations, and SERVERS. User-donations will (hopefully) pay the costs of continued operation of this server (and possible expansion servers for this same project into the future). At the present rates, it only requires that we get 82 ten-dollar donations to cover the costs of the server in any given year. The server includes redundant FAT Internet connections too, so lag is perma-banned here.
Other burning questions?
READ MORE ABOUT THE DESIGNER.