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Neverwinter Dev Journals: Rob Overmeyer on The Foundry

By Guest Writer on May 10, 2013

The Foundry is a content authoring tool that allows players to create their own quests and campaigns for others to play. Using the various features available, Foundry authors can create unique content, make custom interior and exterior maps, and build contacts and dialog tailored to their storytelling needs. When they’re ready, authors can publish their quests for all players in Neverwinter to experience.

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There are very few limitations when it comes to the content an author can make in the Foundry. Whether it is a quick rescue of a drunken dwarf in the Chasm, or a deep delve into the history and lore of the Forgotten Realms, authors can create an array of different quests. We support this creativity with tools that allow you to customize the look and feel of everything, from friendly contacts to the critters players will fight. Our costume editor allows for nearly endless customization of every person or thing you’ll come across in a quest. Within the quests you can really tune the experience for players by having elements of your quest be special for players with specific skills. And this is just the start; there is so much more that can be done with the Foundry.

With the map editor, you can build both exterior and interior maps. Exterior maps come in a few varieties with lots of options to choose from. There are several sizes of detailed and prepopulated maps that are ready to be filled with content and some final details that support your story. There are also “canvas” maps that allow authors to customize every rock, tree, magic portal to Neverdeath, and blade of grass. The interior map editor allows for room-by-room customization of an instanced or interior map. You can build that unique tavern that has a secret door to the sewer that leads to a cave network that attaches to an ancient crypt that is under a castle and leads to the…well, you get the idea! There’s a lot you can build with the interior map editor, and you can add any detail pieces that you prefer, to make your quest feel areas exactly how you like them. In the map editor, you can also set the look of various background elements, like changing the sky or adding fog. You can even select the perfect ambient sounds for your maps to further customize your quest. There is so much you can do to make your world come alive and tell your story.

Every story needs a beginning, middle, and end. In video games, those points are often marked by encountering a contact, someone you might meet on your journey that changes your path. Our dialog editor allows for some truly amazing customization in this storytelling process. If you like, you can build a pretty straightforward dialog, but if you prefer something more complex, you can build an entire game within the contact dialog editor. Even better, this dialog can be ascribed to many more objects than simply a person or monster. You can place your dialog on any object available in the editor and turn your complex dialog into, say, a puzzle or riddle, that could potentially open a secret door. There is a lot of power in the contact dialog editor and we are eager to see what you do with it.

These are only a few of the very cool features in the Neverwinter Foundry. They are pretty groundbreaking, but there are so many supporting features and elements that make the Foundry a tool that enables authors to tell their stories in unique and exciting ways. The only thing left is to save, publish and see your quest be experienced by thousands of other players.

Once an author completes their quest creation process, they can publish it in the game. This puts the quest into a review state, where other authors and adventurers can play and review the quest. Once the quest gets past the initial review stage, it becomes available for everyone to play. Foundry quests are an integral piece of Neverwinter, as much a part of the game as any core quests or content. You can access them at any time, from any zone, but you can also get them from specific contacts within the game. These quests can take place and be completed right alongside your core quests and encourage all players to participate in the Neverwinter Foundry community.

The Foundry in Neverwinter is more than just a tool to create stuff; it’s a place where your stories come to life. It’s a place where you can recreate the quests and campaigns you fondly remember from pen and paper adventures. It’s a place where you can further those quests, changing their stories and writing their next chapters. It’s also a place where you can create new stories, with new quests, campaigns, and adventures to share with your fellow authors and players.  With the Neverwinter Foundry, it’s up to you what path your story takes, and the world gets to play it with you!

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