2011 September
selene tan

Archive for September, 2011

Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter

by on Sep.18, 2011, under Portfolio

 Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter was a turn-based RPG on Facebook based on a Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition. Players created a character, choosing one of 4 classes and races. They could then recruit other players’ characters to form a full party and go on adventures. Each adventure consisted of several rooms, most containing a combat encounter. Combat was turn-based on a grid, using a simplified version of the D&D rules. When a character reached level 10, the player gained access to the Dungeon Builder, which allowed them to create their own levels by choosing and populating a dungeon layout. When another player used your character, you had the option to watch their progress as a spectator. You could chat with the player, and had access to some spectator-only buffs you could use to help out. Your character would also gain some gold from you spectating.

skeleton_acidarrow_uiI worked on both the client-side front-end, and the server-side back-end. The front-end was primarily in Flash Actionscript 3, using the Gaia Flash Framework for high-level structure and as3isolib for the dungeon sections. I touched almost every system in the game and, focusing on the dungeons and combat gameplay. I was solely responsible for the abilities system, monsters, AI, adventure scoring, and tutorials, and made revisions to the buffs, looting, and spectator systems. I also did most of the Facebook API integration. When performance problems cropped up, I optimized the graphics and pathfinding. I took over the save/load and spectator systems when the original programmer was moved to another project and was responsible for fixing any synchronizing issues that came up, leading to a deep knowledge of the gameplay systems.

dnd_chestThe server was written in PHP with MySQL, using memcached for caching. I was responsible for setting up the db tables for most systems as well as basic server API functionality for them. This included character status, adventure progress, and monster and other game data definitions. I also worked on the data import tools the designers used to define abilities, monsters, items, etc. I soon became the go-to server expert.

Sadly, the game did not do as well as was hoped, and Atari shuttered it in favor of Dungeons and Dragons: Warbands.

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