Advertising the community in the game

OK, after I aced the willsave against the clickbait title “Ads in the game!”, let me get right to it.

Patch .29 and onwards will have support for showing non-campaign/non-module panels on the “NewGame” UI. These are panels that have the same layout, more or less, than the modules - a 3:1 banner, a translated text, and a button to open a URL in the system browser:

This data is sourced per-repository - so each repo can expose a set of panels, including the curated one, which is shipped with the game by default.

To visually distinct these, uh, adverts, from playable modules, they will show up underneath the module list for each repository as a expandable dropdown, collapsed by default. This is what the new player will see initially: I expect those that want to know more to go explore anyways.

Players who don’t want to see these can turn them off with a checkbox in the Manage panel:

Phew!

So, now up for discussion here:

  • What websites do you want to see? Aside from the vault?

  • For the vault, I made a 5 minute banner - do you like it, and if no, what do you want to see there?

  • Let’s bikeshed the text until everyone is happy. Keep in mind that this text is going to be read by people that might have NO idea what NWN can do. It needs to give them a good entry point into the community that won’t raise undue expectations (“where is the one click install?”). That said, the text below I also typed up in 5 minutes, so it is by no means considered more than a sample.

The NWN Vault is the primary hub and meeting place for Neverwinter Nights content creation.

With archival storage spanning two decades of module and art creation, it is the biggest content repository for NWN.

There are community forums and a Discord chat, with most of the core creative community active.

If you are looking for new modules to play, this is the place to start.

If you are looking to create your own adventures, this is the place to stay!

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The WIKI and the Lexicon has to be listed. They are as invaluable a resource as the Vault.

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Are they though, as far as finding content to play goes?

I think it would make more sense to maybe link NIT directly, as that would be the most expedient/fastest way to get to discover and install more content to play.

I see your point. I was thinking from a CC Maker/Builder’s perspective which, if those were listed, might encourage more people to make new content. I know more than one person that has spent countless hours scouring the Vault and Google search for info that’s already contained in the Wiki or the Lexicon.

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I agree that this needs to be done, but I feel like that might rapidly leave the scope of “I want to play more stuff” that the UI currently serves up.

We could add a separate panel next to the Vault one saying “Create your own content!”, we could add more buttons on the Vault panel such as “Forum”, “Wiki”, “Lexicon” so people can discover content on their own, we could introduce a overview page on the vault somewhere, etc. This is all up for discussion.

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“Create Your Own Content!” - I like that. Sometimes I think that’s one aspect of the game that gets overlooked by new buyers because it doesn’t really seem to get promoted as much as playing the game. For example, my cousin initially passed on the game because he thought it was a single-player remake of Neverwinter Online. When I showed him the toolset, he jumped right on it.

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What would really help players find content, and not just ‘find the vault’ is more obvious ‘lists of modules’ - and whether that is for NWN UI or Vault to implement is debatable (but it’s probably Vault).

It’s really hard to find a module list of ‘top rated’ or ‘most downloaded’ or ‘PnP-conversion’ unless you delve deeply into the forums or ‘Media’ searches. Clicking Hall of Fame gives a decent list, but even doing that is not that intuitive to a newcomer. And the ‘Top Modules’ list is also useful of course, but a bit restrictive (and some modules just never appear on it for whatever reasons)

If the NWN UI could give the player an interface to a ‘tag-based search’ (e.g. Forgotten Realms or PnP, etc) that might be a start, but it’s probably for the Vault to present, not the UI. It feels like directing players to the Vault with no easy or intuitive way to find modules they may be interested in is only going to realise half of this opportunity. Even an overview page like you said with clickable links to common search results (by update date/rating/downloads/awards/alphabetically would be good) and a list of tags that can be used in a tag-based search (or just present a page of clickable tags that would initiate a search for mods with that tag(s).

That said, everything you’re doing to promote this is absolutely awesome, Niv (and your text looks perfect to me!) - I just feel the Vault might need to ‘catch up’ a little to realise the potential. And I do appreciate this requires time from people who probably don’t have any to give :slight_smile: so if there’s anything I can do to help, just shout (not sure I have the technical skills required for the website operation aspects, but OCD list creation is something I can do :slight_smile: )

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This sounds like more of something that should be done Vault-side. I’m going to copy this post over to the Staff Board and start a long overdue discussion about this.

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That’s great - thanks Pstemarie - and if I can help with anything, please just ask and if I can contribute I will :slight_smile:

Just a thought but if this is to promote play couldn’t the Neverwinter Nights Mod Installer Tool - NIT (I have nothing to do with it. It’s all @Surazal’s work) have an entry as it is a low click way to get and play games on here. Admitted it is Windows PC only though which might be a barrier to it’s inclusion.

TR

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Can I second NIT here? Just came across it a few weeks ago as I’ve only just got a Windows partition on my Mac. My children’s module had loads of required projects and @Surazal was kind enough to create a NIT download rule which made downloading everything in one go much easier. IMO, it still needs a short video to show complete beginners how it works but in terms of getting new players going it is great.

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Any kind of tag/category/filter stuff that goes beyond a search box will have to live on the vault for now. The UI in the game isn’t set up to do anything except show the full sorted list; so custom repositories will have to keep that in mind.

I’m OK with adding a NIT panel (I suggested it initially), but there needs to be some indication that it only works on Windows, or maybe via wine. NIT seems to be the best option so far. It would also be nice if @Surazal could chime in on the topic.

Next patch I’ll add the option to have multiple buttons, and to have buttons offer nwsync repos and not just web links. That should cover most cases needed for “future expandability” without having to ship a patch to adjust.

I have no problems with any links to NIT (@niv, if that’s what you were asking me to chime in on).

Do let me know if there is something specific you wanted me to comment on or anything else I can do to help.

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Agreement to have it listed sounds good.

Do you have a banner (3:1 ratio) that you want to show on it, much like the curated banners and all others seen in the new UI?

And a text, or should I take the one from the vault, cut down a bit?

@niv With regards to the Banner for the vault - Is there a preferred size for the image? I only ask because it might be an idea to have a fun little contest to create one where the only prize is to have your image seen by loads of people and it is always a good idea to use an images original size (at least detail wise). Winner could be picked on here via a poll or just have BD choose.

Just a thought. I’ll take a look at text that goes underneath shortly to see if I can improve on it. Pity it’s part of an image, I could have copied it to a text document for further study.

TR

Not good with ratios :slight_smile: Can you tell me what width and height the image should be and I will sort something out.

Description could be…

The Neverwinter Nights Installer Tool (NIT) is designed to make it easy to download, manage, install and uninstall your Neverwinter Nights and Enhanced Edition mods. The tool makes it safe to try out new mods because it restores everything to the way it was when you use NIT to uninstall mods.

Requirements

  • Neverwinter Nights or the Enhanced Edition.
  • .NET Framework 4.8 or higher (Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or later). Installed by the Setup program if required.
  • 7-Zip (available from www.7-zip.org).

If more is needed, then use other text from NIT’s Project Description page or let me know how much text is required.

Let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

You can use the template I posted. Aspect ratio is 3:1 (to fit the UI). Resolution should be at least 1800x600 - it’ll scale up and down depending on client resolution and hidpi state. Target resolution for the campaign headers is 1096x354, I believe. Someone will probably rescale it before putting it live.

Here’s the assets I had used for the banner:

NWN logo ai-upscaled from the front page via waifu2x:

logo_aiscale.png.zip (743.5 KB)

Background taken from old page spread/marketing campaign I found that used to be in a games magazine 20 years ago:

NWN_GATE_AD.pdf.zip (1.1 MB)

I thought that one fit well as it’s just as, uh, rough, as the rest of the vault. Truth in advertising etc. It’s also quite charming since it shows a UI draft that was never realised!

Sounds good. I feel like it might be worth mentioning that these modules will not show up in the curated system though, but under Local instead.

Maybe that’s something to change too. Don’t have the time to bikeshed that though. Ugh.

Just saw this. That’s why I had quoted it separately in the initial post. :wink:

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@niv Ooops, that’s what comes from jumping back to the first post and not re-reading the whole of it. Back to the image. Any preferred format (e.g. PNG) or can animated gifs be used. I only ask as I want to clear it up. I can convert from most image formats to other when the need arises.

TR