Postmortem: Bioware's Neverwinter Nights
December 4, 2002 Page 4 of 4
Some of the visual effects available to players as they explore the vast Neverwinter world and engage in combat.
Though BioWare considers Neverwinter Nights a critically and commercially successful product by most generally accepted standards, it is still far from perfect in our eyes. We try hard to learn from our mistakes, and when we run across a hurdle or a challenge we try to avoid getting caught in the details of what happened and focus on the solution. We cast a critical eye on everything from process to user perception. This critical approach often allows us to spot trouble areas ahead of time and plan for solutions before a trouble area becomes a project blockage.
In the end, BioWare is a reflection of the people who work at the company; Neverwinter Nights was completed by people devoted to a project they believed in completely; as with many similarly successful products, without their hard work it never would have been possible. But we still have a lot to learn, and we can only try to improve each game in relation to the ones that we released before. Our future games must and will be better still than Neverwinter Nights.
Our hope is that the game will help open - and keep open - the door to user-created content for role-playing games. So far things seem to be going well in this regard. As of this writing, there are more than 1,000 user-created modules on the Internet, and this is just a starting point for the hundreds of thousands of players who have purchased the game and who are now using the BioWare Aurora Toolset to make Neverwinter modules. We're hopeful that our players will continue to make new content to grow the game's community, and BioWare's Live/Community team will continue to support them in this effort.
Number of Full-time Developers: 75 at peak, representing approximately 160 man-years of development
Number of External Staff and Contractors: Approximately 40 QA testers at Infogrames, 5 sound contractors, and 20 translators
Project Length : Approximately 5 years
Average Development Hardware Used: P3-600MHz to P4-2000MHz with Geforce 3s, 512MB RAM, and 30GB hard drives.
Development Software Used: Visual Studio C++, 3DS Max 3 & 4, Adobe Photoshop
Notable Technologies: Bink, Miles Sound System, Gamespy, BioWare Aurora Engine, BioWare Neverwinter Aurora Toolset
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