Darkness over Daggerford Wrap Report

Ossian Studios' Alan Miranda has penned a five-page report over at RPG Vault that reflects on the recent release of their Darkness over Daggerford module for Neverwinter Nights.
The challenge of finding the right people is one that every company faces, and the quality of your team can make or break your game. After getting off to a rough start in this regard, we were lucky to recruit a few of the best designers from the NWN community. This is the same community that BioWare likes to hire designers from because there's quite a bit of proven talent there - builders who had the dedication and the skills to develop their own successful NWN mods. We eventually assembled a team capable of achieving our expectations for Daggerford, but it took a while to get there.

The scope of our game was undeniably the dominant challenge throughout the project. Seen as a whole, it was daunting, and the only way to deal with it was to keep thinking about it as lots of little pieces to chip away at instead of one massive chunk. I remember at one point, BioWare commenting that the game looked very much like the original Baldur's Gate some months from ship - too empty. That's the thing about developing a BioWare-style RPG - it requires a massive amount of dialogue. But we were bound to doing it from a trickle-down effect; we needed to have a good number of areas to justify having a world map, which in turn required enough quest content to fill each area so it wouldn't feel empty, which then resulted in having to write copious amounts of dialogue, item descriptions and journal entries. We ended up with almost 200,000 words of dialogue, and the journal alone contained an additional 20,000 words! All of those words though are one of the things Daggerford fans (or "Daggerfans") have loved about the game - the expressive characters, the descriptive details, and the role-playing.