and the rest of the "IWD Team" won the March FOTM contest for Neverwinter Nexus with their mod
. Congratulations are in order for the entire IWD Team, however, today I got the chance to speak to slowdivefan, and you can read the interview below. Be sure to vote in the FOTM contest if you want to see your favorite mod author interviewed here. Congratulations to the IWD Team for creating the March FOTM.
Q: So, slowdivefan, tell us a bit about yourself. What are some of your hobbies besides gaming?
A: Since the birth of my daughter, I haven’t had the time for multiple hobbies so gaming (NWN and IE games) is about it for now. In the past I have been heavily involved in climbing, golfing, programming, music composing/recording, PnP D&D, outdoors, etc.
Q: For those of us who don't know, what is your mod all about?
A: IWD NWN2 is a recreation of the original Infinity Engine game of Icewind Dale. My goal was to try and recreate the game in the NWN2 toolset as faithfully close to the original as possible. For me, this is not meant to replace the original in any way as I still play all the IE games today. It was just meant to give me another look at the game in a different engine and ruleset. So why spend the huge amount time to recreate something that is still very playable? Because I wanted to, I enjoy it, and because I can :laugh:
Q: What was your inspiration for creating Icewind Dale?
A: IWD has always been my favorite game and the one I have played through the most. It just seems to work for me and my style. After finishing my Chronicles of Charnia (CoC) series in NWN2 I thought hard about what I would like to do next and this is what I wanted to do.
Q: What are some of the challenges you've come across and how have you dealt with them?
A: Staying motivated on a huge project like this is a big challenge. How I dealt with this in the past with my CoC Lanterna campaign was to release a chapter at a time as I finished them. That way I could get feedback and improve the game and fix bugs (from player bug reports) as I went. Another big challenge was trying to learn how to do all the very different skills needed for building in NWN2 (scripting, area design, custom content, 3d modeling, etc.). Fortunately, I received quite a bit of help especially early on with custom 3d models, blueprints and scripting by the following:
Artemis Absinthe - Scripting
Sothis B - IE conversation conversion tool
Bladerunner13 - Creature, NPC, items blueprints
LeeMer47 - Creature, NPC, items blueprints and scripting
dwarven dervish - Area design
MrMonko - UI design and Oswald Airship model
Eguintir Eligard - Kuldahar Tree model
Snakebane - various placeable models
tmorris87 - various placeable models
yoshi864 - NPC blueprints.
It really has been a community effort.
Q: What was your favorite part about creating the mod?
A: I mostly enjoy area design and 3d modeling (maybe a little scripting too), but my favorite part is playing the completed chapters as they are finished. I have enjoyed working with the many talented modders in the community. That has been fun and a learning experience for me.
Q: What are some of your favorite games besides Neverwinter Nights?
A: Over the years my favorite computer games have been Bard’s Tale 1-3, Ultima 3-5, The Gold Box Series, Baldur’s Gate 1&2, Icewind Dale 1&2, NWN 1&2, and a little Kotor 1&2. I also enjoy strategy games like Age of Empire, Axis and Allies (Triple A), chess, freecell, and my OpenDungeon (in beta) game. For non-computer games, over the years, I have enjoyed D&D 1-3.5 ed, Star Frontiers, Top Secret, Dungeon! Board game and Axis & Allies (among others).
Q: How long has it taken you to get the mod to where it is now?
A: I started in early 2009 so it has been in the making for about 3 years. I took a year off after my daughter’s birth and another 6 moths towards the end. I would guess that the team has invested about 2,000+ man hours.
Q: Are you working on any other mods at the moment that you can tell us more about? Or do you have any new features planned for this mod?
A: I will continue to fix bugs and make adjustments to IWD NWN2 as needed. My focus now is shifting towards playing all those NWN2 modules that I was too busy building to play and missed out on. I also will be reworking Lanterna to be even more enjoyable for me and more online Multi-Player (MP) friendly. I will be trying to play more MP sessions of IWD, Lanterna, and other MP friendly community modules with others (send me a message if you are interested).
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors out there?
A: Start small! Make a well-polished 1-2 hour adventure first. Some may complain that it is too small, but most will appreciate the effort and welcome new builders to the community. Always be aware of feature creep as it will inevitably happen, so keep the scope small for your first module. Have fun and build what you want and not what you think others will want. If you mostly are thinking of building for downloads, votes, endorsements, praise, etc. you will most definitely be disappointed. You have to do it for yourself first and foremost and then hopefully others will enjoy it as well (but if they don’t, at least you like it and have enjoyed the process). If building is not fun for you, you will most likely never finish anything.
Q: And finally, do you have anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
A: Take the time to comment and actively participate in the community as that will keep the community going and encourage eveyone to keep building and playing. We may be a smaller community now, but those still here are strong and enthusiastic about the NWN 1 and 2 games. Keep playing, building, and come join us in some MP sessions :tongue: