Area Object

An area is a single setting within a Neverwinter Nights module. In simplest terms, it is a space wherein a player character can move and act without going through a transition. Each module can contain multiple areas, and each area can reach a maximum size of 32x32 tiles (320x320 meters) and a minimum of 2x2 tiles (20x20 meters). They do not need to be squares.

Builder notesEdit

  • Each area can be constructed using only one tileset.
  • Some tilesets have raise/lower functionality that alters the elevation of an area. The maximum elevation in the Toolset is 32.
  • Tiles cannot be stacked on top of each other. To get this kind of effect, TileMagic must be used.
  • High tile towers placed next to an elevation will cause shadows to disappear into thin air. That is, the tower will cast a shadow on the upper part of the elevation, but not the lower part.

Custom content notesEdit

  • Each area is defined by three files, with the extensions .are, .git, and .gic. These files contain, respectively, static area information, such as area properties and tile layout; dynamic area information, such as game object instances and sound properties; and comments (viewable in the Toolset only) on game object instances.
  • If the module is saved with the extension .nwm, then the module's saved games will only contain a copy of the .git file for each area, while the rest of the area information is loaded from the original .are file. This is what makes it possible for BioWare to patch the official campaigns and have some of the changes affect saved games.
  • The Toolset has a few restriction when it comes to building areas. These restrictions only apply to the Toolset, so an external hex editor can be used to circumvent these restrictions without causing problems when playing the game.
    • The terrain rules — defined in each tileset's .set file — dictate which tiles can be placed next to each other in the Toolset.
    • The Toolset only allows an elevation difference of 2 or more in a few cases. First, the tileset must support the difference, which none of the standard tilesets do. (This restriction cannot be overcome with an external editor.) Second, this elevation difference must be isolated; there cannot be two next to each other.
      • Some custom tilesets get around this restriction by defining copies of each tile for each possible elevation, allowing an area to be built using only one tile-elevation. This has the drawback that the number of tiles required in the tileset is multiplied by the number of elevations. This has the advantage that it allows much better shadow rendering. In addition, since the tile models are quite small and easily compressed, the increased size of the tileset is not very noticeable when downloading it.

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