Yes. Lute Hero.
What this is, is a module for Neverwinter Nights 2. It’s somehow related to Dark Waters, which is an adequately impressive pirate fantasy module with a pinch of steampunk and an optional hilariously disturbing gender-bending twist. It’s made by Adam Miller whose NWN modules alone have been downloaded over a million times. And now he’s made Lute Hero.
I haven’t played it yet, but apparently it’s multiplayer so I’m hoping to play it with Ruben over the weekend. There’s an interview with Adam at the NW Vault where he talks about all the crazy hacks he had to carry out to make the game work – apparently he had to commandeer the dialogue window so he could use the number keys for input. It reminds me of the old days of trying to turn StarCraft and WarCraft into Diablo-like roleplaying games by means of the in-editor scripting program, which involved setting the top right corner of the game world up as an inventory based on a player-controlled builder unit you would move over beacons to activate particular items.
Jury-rigging gameplay features like that into being used for something completely different is one of the great joys of modding, though the bigger and more ambitious your project becomes, the more you just want to be able to do what you need. On The Nameless Mod, the aim is to use as few nasty hacks as possible because actual by-the-book feature implementation is far less prone to error. Thankfully the Unreal Engine allows us far more flexibility than most games offer, partially because Deus Ex was constructed a lot like a mod for Unreal, with most features implemented through UnrealScript that was made accessible to the rest of us with the release of the SDK. Of course we have a couple of hacks anyway, but I guess that’ll always be the case as long as there’s any code you can’t touch – even the Deus Ex code occasionally uses weird hacks to get around a problem.
But there’s no doubt Lute Hero is not only impressive and hilarious but also ingeniously constructed within the limitations of the NWN2 toolset. Can’t wait to play it!