Curated Content Program

Hello everyone,

this thread is here to introduce and discuss the new nwsync playable-module repositories, such as the official curated content as released in patch 8193.23.

This is a new SP main menu where the player can download community modules via NWSync. The backing system is entirely “open”, meaning anyone can create repositories of equal value and functionality. However, only the CC repo ships with the game by default; others need to be added by players.

If you want to set up your own repository, your best bet currently is to pattern off the offical CC repo json: http://curated.nwn.beamdog.net/repository.json You will need the newest tooling sourced from https://github.com/niv/neverwinter.nim/ to generate the manifests.

We could set up one for the vault as well, but by my reckoning it faces the same common courtesy issues as the curated content program: We wouldn’t want to repackage a module+dependencies without asking the folks involved, and getting the art to look good is a fair bit of work; at which point it has a good chance to go into the CC program as well.

For the CC repo: There are some additional releases in the pipeline, but for privacy and surprise reasons I will not be mentioning them! Besides, the absolutely best way to ensure something won’t happen is to announce it publicly.

While the CC program is invite-only (meaning Beamdog initially approaches content authors about getting their stuff in to ensure a general level of “shippability”), I’m happy to take suggestions in this thread or if you wish, applications in a PM. :slight_smile: All good/noteworthy/first-class/etc community content should have a chance to be presented this way. As you can imagine, defining this particular bar is not straightforward at all, and maybe it shouldn’t be, but I’m sure we will figure it out if we take it slow. This is also completely open to discussion. It is the curated community content after all.

That’s it so far for the basic introduction. Thoughts?

3 Likes

Excellent beginning.
As for suggesting other content for curation, what do you see as a good etiquette? Just suggest away on this thread, or does it make sense to ask the author (if they are available/around) before making the suggestion?
I’ve really enjoyed Udasu’s modules, for example. Especially Halls of the High King:
FA1 - Halls of the High King | The Neverwinter Vault
Also, Darks’s Eye of the Beholder:
Eye of the Beholder | The Neverwinter Vault

I’m excited to see this for SP modules. Game changer.

JFK

1 Like

Part of getting into the CC repo is acknowledging a small agreement text outlining various rights and responsibilities, and to ensure the author is acting in good faith, not infringing copyright, etc. So, asking the author is a requirement anyways. This makes it tricky getting content of authors that have disappeared from the community into the repo.

Which is where (for PC at least) Neverwinter Nights Mod Installer Tool - NIT comes in.

TR

3 Likes

Yes, exactly.

This curation system is in no way meant to replace NIT and wouldn’t be able to in the first place. Curation serves to showcase great community content for all players without any extra setup. The vast majority of players never see the vault in the first place, so this is giving them a starting point.

2 Likes

A point well made.

Curation removes the level playing field that authors have enjoyed until now, which might need careful handing to avoid tensions in the community. However, on balance, your argument persuades me that the promotional benefit is worth the risk.

I notice that when starting a new game, “Manage” > “Add Repository By URL” doesn’t give the player any idea where to find fan-made repositories. Would it be acceptable to provide a link to the Vault module list (and other fan sites) at that point, with suitable caveats to protect Beamdog commercially?

I’m thinking that we could then put the url on the regular Vault page for the module, giving the player three choices - acquire the module using nwsync, use NIT or install manually.

2 Likes

Is there an idiot’s guide to setting up an nwsync repository?

To be honest, I can’t make head nor tail of the .json and nim tool links. :frowning_face:

I’m looking for the server requirements, as well as a step-by-step guide to configuration, version control & file conflict resolution. EDIT - also any constraints, e.g. file size.

I’m not clear at this stage whether authors who aren’t selected for curation gain any advantage by using nwsync (especially if they are invisible - see previous post).

However, it may turn out that we need to move to nwsync to gain a larger segment of players, and that it’s worth accepting the additional workload for each new release (like Steam Workshop, for example).

While anyone can upload to Steam Workshop if they’re prepared to part with 5 euros, nwsync seems to have a higher barrier to entry, as it evidently requires a server (and more know-how?). Even at this early stage, I’m wondering whether it would be feasible and beneficial for the community to fund a central server for fan-made work?

What do you think?

2 Likes

Taro on the vault is testing getting a nwsync repository setup (in Polish no less). The main thing is nwsync setup is the difficult part. I’d personally welcome a NWVault “not curated, just the fact marm, just the facts” kinda thing which uses uploaded Vault content but it’s a lot of work no doubt :smiley:

Another question - is there any way to deliver module documentation, such as walkthroughs?

This is a significant drawback on Steam Workshop. My solution there is to provide a link on the Workshop page to documentation on the Vault. However, presumably the in-game module description for nwsync content doesn’t allow url links?

The current “Add Repo” page is a bit adhoc, just to get it out the door. We can definitely talk about adding non-nwsync community links there, but only adding the vault and not others is also going to invite disagreements. I’ll put it on the list to discuss for one of the next iterations.

The work-intensive part will be preparing all intended modules for NWSync, as I don’t see this getting automated unless heavily augmented by metadata. Dependencies can span across vault projects, and may differ/break based on versions. And to look well, it will also need description texts, and art banners in a good resolution and aspect.

The hard part will be getting permission and cooperation by module authors to transform their module into NWSync. This is also something the curated content repo is facing.

Not currently. I’m thinking about adding a clickable URL button per-module/campaign, but I’m not 100% happy with that yet, and there are security considerations here.

2 Likes

https://nwn.wiki/display/NWN1/NWSync+Setup+Guide might help.

But this is only for PW/multiplayer repos. Module download repos are very similar, but not currently documented anywhere (still finalising the tooling, etc).

I’m surprised to see adaptations of copyrighted source material officially being integrated into the EE. Aren’t there any potential licensing issues? Not that I’m complaining. Eye of the Beholder is a great multiplayer module and I think I overlooked the other module until now. Btw, it says Eye of the Beholder - Enhanced Edition, does that mean it’s a new and reworked version?

We’re not taking ownership or distribution rights in any way. We just offer a more integrated download of what’s already available on the vault anyways. This is all community content and remains fully owned by the authors!

Dark, the author of EotB, made a few adjustments and fixes before giving me the data to upload to curation. I’m hoping he will return to upload those changes to the vault as well.

Sure, but it gives the content more exposure, draws more attention to it and it at least looks kind of official, like it’s somewhat endorsed by the company selling the game and increasing the value of the latter (even if that’s not really the case), so I was wondering if some rights owner or lawyers might take issue with it once they learn about it. If it’s not a problem, all the better! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the reply!

I’m not sure how one nominates or suggests that a module be included in the curated content program but I think that “The Accursed Tower” by Udasu should be. The module is old enough that it has proven to be very stable and still receives updates Udasu still maintains his submissions as well with regard to player questions on the Vault page.
I did suggest the possibility on the module page in the comments section. I’d like to see The Accursed Tower join Dark’s work in the curated content program.

1 Like