Darius

Part of the fun with modding this beautiful game we know as Skyrim, is travelling about the land I’ve created and studying every detail in the process. Sometimes, when I’ve finished a new area of the mod, I run there manually and don’t use the console cheats when I go there to check out the new additions. It takes time, but it’s more fun.

That’s why I created the first living creature on The Frontier as well. Darius is my horse, based at the West Gate Stables outside Anvil Nova. I’m sure he’ll be a great travelling companion as the land of The Frontier expands steadily and I have more new areas to check out further and further away.

Hey, Darius!

Currently working on…

I am currently working on the landscape. It takes a bit of time. Actually it will take a LOT of time. Pasting rocks, trees and logs is harder and more time-consuming than it sounds. The plan is to do the entire land of the Frontier first as an empty stage with exteriors and interiors done. Then I will release a limited Beta and have you test that empty land. Stay with this blog, so you’ll be the first ones to know when that V1 is released. It’ll be something to tell your grandchildren: “I was there and played Frontier from Beta Version 1. I was there when Frontier was still just an empty stage”. After that, I start adding the NPC’s, NavMeshes, quests and whatnot.

The detail of The Frontier will be stunning already by the first Beta release. It’s all hand-made and will look absolutely smashing, folks!

Morning has broken

A few screenshots of the Frontier taken one beautiful morning.

All these goodies and a bug

Excellent. With the latest Skyrim patch pumped out, we’ve now got mounted combat. Finally, I say. Horses were a part of Oblivion too, but pretty much useless. I was really sad to see that they seemed to be dealt with in exactly the same way in Skyrim, but the latest patch has changed all that. It was about time the people of Tamriel learned basic cavalry tactics.

The NavMesh bug is finally fixed! This is the best news of all, I think, since that bug pretty much prevented any effective modding. I was worried there for a while, because it’s been in Bethesda’s games for years, and they’ve never fixed it. Until now.

Another small addition to the modding world with the latest patch is the Universal Silent Voice function. This means modders can create dialogue for their characters which will show up only as text for a few second on screen and have no spoken dialogue. I plan to get my mods all voice acted, but this silent voice addition is most welcome, since it makes planning and testing dialogue much easier. In Oblivion it was a very popular feature, but added by modders. Now, Bethesda has created a silent voice function themselves, a function which is only aimed at making modding easier. There is nothing stopping me from creating quests for Primby Village right now! I can go right ahead although I haven’t mobilized the voice actors yet.

The silent voice function has unfortunately caused a severe bug to appear in its wake though. Apparently it’s now impossible to edit any sort of vanilla dialogue, since editing that will break it and also cause result scripts to not execute. I’m hoping for a quick fix to that now, but I’m also very happy to see all the new additions with this update of Skyrim. We’re on the right track here, ladies and gentlemen!

About time the people of Tamriel learned basic cavalry tactics! Maybe the addition of mounted combat will see the rise of a knightly warrior class, eh.

 

Depressions

Sometimes I go into deep depressions when everything I do just seems like crap, to put it bluntly. I’ve been down in one of those valleys lately. Even my mod started eating at me, and I thought it was the ugliest, most useless mod ever created in the history of mankind. Such depressions.

Well, last night I was down there, in the deepest pits of depression again. I actually thought about retiring from modding altogether, since I was certain that continuing Frontier would be useless. In the back of my head I knew it was wrong, but when you go down there, into depression, thoughts like that become reality and it’s like an evil downward spiral.

So I fired up my mod, for the first time in a long while. My mind and thoughts about my own creativity and my own mod changed in an instance. I saw the beauty of what I have created and how far it has actually come, and actually what a great achievement it is already at this stage, and I remembered then why modding is my therapeutic tool. It keeps me sane and it keeps me from depression. I did some modding last night too – nothing much – I pasted a few trees and tweaked some interior details here and there.

I’m not a believer in “writer’s block”, or in this case “modder’s block”. I think such expressions are just other phrases for laziness. Luckily I’m a modder, doing this for free and fun, and am allowed to be lazy every now and then, but that laziness has serious implications. I consider modding one of my forms of artistic expression, and as it is my therapeutic tool as well, it’s important to stay on track, and on top of it, since it is important for my own well-being.