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Tetrodoxin won The Elder Scrolls Nexus’ File of the Month contest with his mod The Synx. I interviewed tetrodoxin, which you can read below. Congratulations, tetrodoxin!QUOTE
Q:Tell us a little about yourselves. Where you are from, what are some of your other hobbies outside of games?
A:I'm from Bavaria, Germany. My real name is Mario S. and my other hobbies are quite different... motor-biking, festivals and music in general are consuming a lot of time for me. I'm also a hobby photographer.
Q:What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
A:Everything started with a female character I created for the image share section. That character was inspired by some characters I've seen here on the Nexus, most of their uploaders were Asian I think. HoneyVanity gave me the inspiration (and support!) for the male version, without her there would probably no male counterpart. After some requests, I decided to release them. The whole idea was to create a human looking race that doesn't look like everyone's a Hollywood star. That's also the reason why I chose Rens Head for the female version - it's maybe not as detailed as Head06, but it's very good for creating unique looking characters.
Q:What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
A:Working with other people! The Oblivion modding community is very supportive. Whenever I needed help with something, I knew someone to ask. A HUGE thank you to Geechan at this point.
Q:What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
A:Well, fitting the hairstyles to Rens Head was the most challenging part for me. The good thing about that is that I finally fiddled with Blender. Now I know some basic stuff, and I am very dedicated in learning more at the moment, hehe.
Q:Do you plan on any more new features in your mod? Specifically anything not listed on your mods page on the Nexus?
A:Yes, the male face texture for example is just a placeholder. I am working on a new one at the moment. Other than that, I may add some more hairstyles. Depends on what the community wants!
Q:What was the first mod you created and how have you progressed from that?
A:I was part of the Battlefield 1918 (a BF1942 mod) dev-team some time ago. My job was texturing some tanks. Next I did was creating some custom maps for the Source engine, for games like Zombie Panic: Source and Day of Defeat.
After that, I textured mostly for myself and games like Fallout 3 and Oblivion finally brought me to character texturing. My work is of course not perfect, texturing persons is quite different than texturing... tanks.
Thanks to Bethesda and their awesome Construction Set, it's very easy to create mods. I will definitely continue to create some stuff for their games, let's just hope there'll be a similar CS for Skyrim.
Q:Do any of you have other mods you are working on or do any of you plan to create other mods? If so what might those be?
A:Other than the Oblivion stuff, I'm not working on anything right now... it's something I do in free time after all. As I said, Skyrim might be interesting in the near future.
Q:What are some of your favorite games besides Oblivion?
A:Battlefield Bad Company 2, Mass Effect 1/2, Dragon Age, The Witcher (2), Amnesia, Pirates Vikings and Knights II, The Legend of Zelda, pretty much everything from Valve, Red Orchestra, Fallout 3, Guild Wars, Rise of Flight, Dead Space (2).....
... and many more. I'm pretty much interested in everything.
Q:Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
A:Don't be afraid to ask the community if you are stuck with something. They're very helpful and patient. And don't forget that there are many great articles available which may be useful for you.
Q:And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
A:I want to give a huge thanks to everyone who downloaded, voted and supported my race mod. It's really cool that so many people are enjoying the Synx!
Remember to vote for this month’s File of the Month contest, so you can see your favorite mod author featured on the site news. Congratulations again to tetrodoxin.
Bethesda has revealed some new information in the latest issue of PlayStation Magazine. A user on the Bethsoft forums, GT409, has a copy of the issue and has summarized some of the information, though it is a mix of new and old.
Five Dragon Shouts are described; three have the dragon language names included: Yol Toor (fire breath), Iiz Slen (ice crystals), Strun Bah Qo (lightning storm). The remaining two shouts grant the ability to slow time or move quickly in one direction. Also on the subject of dragons, Bethesda explained that dragons will appear randomly, battles with them will be unscripted, and they can be grounded with injuries.
The article gives some new information about travel. Horse riding is included, as well as both Oblivion- and Morrowind-style fast travel. Horses are said to be "more detailed" than those in Oblivion and to behave more like real horses.
As previously revealed to GameInformer, dual wielding is included in Skyrim, but the article elaborates slightly more on that subject. Torches can be wielded in one hand and even used as a weapon. Of course you can use spell/spell, weapon/weapon, weapon/spell or weapon/shield too. Shield/spell was not mentioned (but not ruled out), nor was the "Confused Turtle" (shield/shield).
Not much new information about the "radiant story" quest system, except that Bethesda felt that some quests in Oblivion felt "too fake." The new system aims to make them feel "more real."
Three more factions have been confirmed: the Thieves' Guild, College of Winterhold (mages), and Companions (Warriors). Along with the Dark Brotherhood this brings the total number of (confirmed) factions to four.
Though mentioned before, Bethesda has reiterated that each city will have have its own, unique economy which the player can affect, presumably both negatively and positively. Sabotage is specifically mentioned. On a related note, the player's bounty is now separated out by each of the nine areas. You can be a wanted criminal in one area and a complete unknown in another. Guards will also be less powerful than guards in Oblivion.
Some final tidbits: 13 different types of ore for crafting, 60,000 lines of recorded dialog (Fallout 3 has "over 40,000"), more voice actors than Oblivion, and hand-to-hand joins the growing collection of removed skills.
We've had a bit of down-time this evening (5pm-8pm GMT). Initially it was thought the network was under a much more potent DDoS attack than the last one but the hosts have managed to get their heads around it and it looks like they have gotten to the bottom of it. It was a DDoS attack of sorts but I'll keep the details secret so I don't give anyone any ideas ;)
The "good news" is that (unless anyone want to come forward and say to the contrary) this DDoS attack was not directed at us, or the Nexus sites specifically. We were merely collateral damage.
Another one of those lessons that we learn as we grow. Sorry about the down-time.
The best way to stay informed when these kind of things happen is to follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook, where I post updates on situations when the sites can't be accessed.
Andoran is a lore-based mod for Oblivion. While playing this large mod, the player can do whatever they wish. Information and details found as you adventure will be important as you play. Some interesting things you may find are living pieces of cheese and water-walking horses, possibly part of the reason the creators have said that Andoran will show "the dark side of The Elder Scrolls". Every problem in Andoran can be solved in different ways. If you desire an item you can either kill the owner, or steal it. It may be interesting to note that all NPCs will have proper AI. All new music has also been written for the mod as well.
Some lore background to all of this: the island of Andoran is one of three south of Black Marsh. There are many unique places to visit and explore and each city has unique architecture. There will be many quests, both long and short, for the player to complete.
Although it is in Russian the mod looks amazing. A trailer of the mod was recently uploaded to YouTube. It is also on the website. On May 29, BethSoft tweeted about it.
EDIT September 28th 10:27 (GMT -7): If you have a current save, you can continue to Andoran with that particular character and save. There will also be an English translation, similar to Nehrim with only subtitles translated.
As video games get more advanced and the modding scene continues to mature the quality, quantity and size of mods grows with it.
Up until today the file size limit for file uploads has been 300Mb as this size was deemed appropriate for almost all modifications that weren't massive texture replacers. I think that situation has now changed. Bigger and more advanced modifications are released regularly now and in response to requests from various mod authors I've decided to up the file size limit to 1Gb, or 1024Mb, per file.
I've tested the system out with a 975Mb file that got uploaded without a hitch. If you experience any issues uploading large files let me know. Remember that upload speeds are generally much slower than your download speed and can take a very long time depending on your connection speed and how far you are from the main web servers (that are hosted in south-east England).
Please remember to properly compress your archives still so they take up as little space as possible.
Users of TESNexus: the hard-drive storing the mods for TESNexus is almost full to capacity. I have 3 new HDD's on their way that should arrive next week and be installed towards the end of the week. Please do any spring-cleaning on your files and remove any old files that are no longer necessary for your mod; your main file download counters will not be affected if you delete files from your page. Thank you!
In case you haven't noticed there's a new Nexus site on the block, The Witcher Nexus, that has been set up to support the developing Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings modding community.
The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings was released last week across the world and has received very favourable reviews from critics.
The site is fully functional but quite bare, as you'd expect from a new game without an SDK. However I'll be doing the rounds trying to get in contact with the various Witcher mod authors out there and get the word out about the site. There's lots of stuff I need to do now "behind the scenes" and there might be things missing that you think are important.
Skyrim's game director and producer Todd Howard jokingly stated in an interview with the Norwegian magazine Gamer.no thatQUOTEThe game is actually too big.
Not that the map will be much bigger than Oblivion's. According to the interview the maps are about the same size. Howard saidQUOTEIf you put the maps on top of each other it is about as big as its predecessor. But Skyrim is different because of all the mountains that form our routes.
The terrain makes it smaller in practice, but you spend more time trying to move through it because they often can not be crossed. So it probably seems bigger.
He also said that there will be six or seven different types of environments, which should provide quite a bit of variation in the game world. The image to the right shows one of these environments. Howard statedQUOTEYou have already seen the spruce forests and mountain-ranges. We also have grassy tundras, a volcanic tundra, a forest in the theme of autumn and a glacier.
Concerning dungeon, Howard stated that there will be around 120 dungeons in the game. He also said that there will be more diversity among the dungeons/caves in Skyrim than there was in Oblivion. Dungeons and caves in Skyrim will range from ice-coated to vegetation-covered and will all maintain some degree of uniqueness.
Something that a few mod authors have brought up recently is that a lot of the staff team here at the Nexus aren't as active within the modding community as we have been in the past. We've been moderating as per normal and dealing with all the reports that come our way but a few folks have felt saddened that some of us haven't been around doing other stuff within the community as much as in the past. It's true many of us have been swallowed up in various real-life and work issues recently. Hopefully we'll all be coming back gradually over time.
With this in my mind I have worked today on providing a better avenue for mod authors to talk to us, and with each other, without outside interruption from other users who are not mod authors. A private place for recognised mod authors to come and talk with each other, talk about their problems, help each other out and talk with the team here about how we can make your life easier.
A recognised mod author is a user who has 1,000 or more total unique downloads on their files across one, or more, Nexus sites. At the moment that total is at 6,250 members. These members have been put in to a secondary member group on the forums that allows them to view the private mod author forum on the forums. If you're in any special member group that has special features (like being a Supporter or Premium Member) then those features will be unaffected by this change. New members who meet the recognised mod author criteria are added automatically once a day.
It's my hope that mod authors will feel welcome to use the private mod author forums to collaborate, cooperate and get to know one another and provide feedback to us that will let us help you (cliché but true).
The private mod author forums should be visible at the top of the forums for all those mod authors who qualify.
Tomerk's Liquid Water won April's File of the Month. There is an issue with the TESNexus voting which is currently preventing April's votes from being finalized, but Liquid Water was (and still is) the top vote earner with a current total of 58 votes.
Update: That issue is now fixed; Liquid Water ended up with 59 votes.
Continuing with the monthly feature, Tomerk has responded to our interview questions. You can read his responses below.QUOTE
Q: What was your inspiration for creating Liquid Water?
A: When I first got into playing Morrowind, I was a big fan of the MGE water. When I got back into Oblivion I wanted something like MGE’s water to exist for Oblivion. Even before that though, back when Crysis was new, the visual aspect of Crysis I wanted most in Oblivion was the water, so Crysis water was also a big inspiration.
Q: What did you find most enjoyable about creating Liquid Water?
A: Researching models of how water visually looks and figuring out how to implement real-world models of water in Oblivion was a lot of fun. Making my own water rendering system was much more interesting than if I’d just tweaked Bethesda’s default water.
Q: What were some of the challenges you encountered making Liquid Water?
A: Oblivion was never designed to have its water replaced. This meant that I had to figure out both how to stop Oblivion’s default water from showing up, as well as how to create new water with the limited information I had about the in-game world. There are still bugs left over from the methods I took to get around this.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the Oblivion modding tools?
A: To be honest I didn’t spend much time with Oblivion’s modding tools. For the most part I only used the script editor, so ShadeMe’s construction set extender helped quite a bit, as the original script editor is very difficult to work with.
Q: What are some other tools you used to develop Liquid Water?
A: Dreamweaver, pencil and paper, and my calculator were very useful.
Q: Roughly what is the total time you have invested in Liquid Water so far?
A: So far part of my free time for the past three months or so.
Q: What are you working on next for Liquid Water?
A: Right now I’m working with Ethatron to fix the bugs Liquid Water has. After that I’m planning on improving the shoreline effects, e.g. adding shore foam and making waves roll onto shores then recede rather than the chaotic movement of the current shoreline effects.
Q: Are you working on any other mods?
A: Not at the moment, although when I work on other things they’re usually for OBGE.
Q: What would you like to see done next with OBGE?
A: Most immediately I would like to see Ethatron’s work for OBGE completed. That will greatly extend the capabilities of what OBGE can do, as it will enable simple replacement of all of Oblivion’s default shaders for anyone interested in developing shaders and effects.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in Skyrim (if anything)?
A: Playing it, and seeing how much detail has been put into the game’s world.
Thanks again to Tomerk for participating in the interview. Check back next month for another interview, and don't forget to vote for May's File of the Month when you can.
Bethesda has launched the first Skyrim "fan interview" in which fans submit questions for Todd Howard and other Bethesda employees to answer. Questions can be submitted on the BethBlog, the "Elder Council" (Bethesda's Facebook page for the Elder Scrolls), or the official Bethesda forums. Questions will be answered "in a few weeks" but no specific date has been announced yet.
As an example for those wondering what type of questions get answered, you can read the fan interview from Oblivion.
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