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The Nexus 2.5 millionth member competition is coming up on its closing date. Set to mark the 2.5 millionth member to register on the Nexus sites, modders have the chance to win some cash prizes ($350, $100 and $50 respectively) for Oblivion, New Vegas and Dragon Age. All you have to do is create a mod that reflects the modding community:QUOTEThe theme of this modding competition will be "The community we are in". I'm hoping to see some great mods that cover users in the community that might have influenced you during your time here, the various sites of the community that you are a part of (it doesn't just have to be the Nexus!) and what you like about the community.
The type of mod you make, be it a quest, a new landmass, a house or castle, NPCs, weapons, armour, etc. is totally up to you but I will look more favourably upon entries that have a quest in them because I'm a sucker for a good quest! That doesn't mean a mod with a quest in is going to win, however, and if you come up with something really unique then I'll probably love it! A Nexus defence mod, for example, where you defend fort Nexus from a horde of trolls with your fellow moderators wielding ban hammers by your side is something I've dreamt about...
We've just moved past the 2,465,000 mark, but it's not too late to start on your entry. There should be approximately another month until the competition finishes.
Remember, I'm not looking for quantity, I'm looking for quality, and the winner of the 1 millionth member competition won it with an entry that took roughly 20 minutes to complete. If some of you give me 10 hour epics to play I am going to cry!
I'll be posting up information on where to post your entries soon.
Bethesda Softworks spokesman Mr Pete Hines announced via twitter that a demonstration video of Skyrim would be ready for release by Monday (US time).
The video will contain footage similar to that aired in previous game conventions such as E3 and Quake. Mr Todd Howard will feature as the narrator.
Bethesda Softworks has said that this will be the best chance to see how the game will appear and play before it is released. The game is currently just over two months from release.
In some of my past blog posts I've been alluding to a project in development for the Nexus sites that, at the time, I wasn't prepared to go in to details on. I am now happy to announce that a Mod and Download manager, named the Nexus Client, is going in to Closed Beta with some select mod authors from Fallout 3 Nexus and New Vegas Nexus in the next few days.
Plans for the Nexus Client were laid down back in December of last year when I was approached by Kaburke, the current developer working on the Fallout Mod Manager, after I expressed an interest in linking the concept of downloading mods with installing and managing them. Kaburke is a veteran of this community and a proficient software engineer and it's been excellent to work with someone who not only knows what he's doing, but also knows what mod authors want and need. 10 months on, we're really excited to be going in to this next stage of testing our creation.
So what is the Nexus Client? In a nut-shell, it's the Fallout Mod Manager on steroids that will be compatible with every game the Nexus sites support. It's a completely optional piece of software you can choose to install on your machine that will download, install, manage and keep up-to-date all your mods for your games. Its whole purpose is to compliment the Nexus sites, and not replace them, so if you're not keen on installing new software on your machine you're not obligated to do it, and if you don't your modding experience won't change.
From a user perspective the Nexus Client will streamline the mod downloading and installing process. File pages on the Nexus sites will have a new download link on the page that, when clicked, will automatically add the file to the Client's download manager and download the mod you've chosen through the Nexus Client. The Nexus Client will have full download pause and resume functionality for every member, not just Premium Members, so you can queue mods to download and install for later, at a time of your choosing. Premium Members will get the fastest download speeds possible (while normal members will still be limited to 500kb/sec) and will also be able to multi-thread their downloads to ensure they get the fastest download speeds possible. Once downloaded, you can click a button to install the mod and it will be added in to your game without you having to do anything (no more extracting files to specific folders manually and all that jazz).
Once installed you will be able to manage all your mods, turning them off, on or uninstalling them completely without having to worry about going in to the program folders looking for specific mod files. If there are any problems with the installation process you'll be told and the client will clean-up after itself without leaving redundant files and half-installed mods in your games.
The Nexus Client will also inform you when your files are out-of-date and give you the option to update your mods. For Premium Members, updating your files can be done with the click of a button and we're also hoping to bring in a "mod memory" function so you can mark the mods you always use as "essential". That way, if you lose a hard-drive, reinstall windows or uninstall your game and then come back to it later you can run the Nexus Client and tell it to automatically download and install all your essential files, saving you a load of time.
Mod authors will get the same advanced functionality that FOMM currently provides and we believe 99% of all the mods on the Nexus sites will be compatible with the Nexus client without you having to do a thing, so the Nexus Client expands your options but adds no workload to you if you don't want it to. Similarly the mods released by mod authors who are no longer active will still work with the client, and no files will be changed or modified to accommodate this. Some particularly advanced mods may have issues but we will happily work with any mod authors who find their mods not working with the client.
Kaburke has kindly provided a few words on the Nexus Client:QUOTEThis version of the Nexus Client is the first step in expanding the scope of the mod manager. Instead of having multiple different managers, one for each game supported by the Nexus, the Nexus Client will be able to manage mods for all games from a single install. Currently, the Nexus Client only supports Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, but the other games will be added in due course. This homogenous design ensures that all new features that are added to the Nexus Client will be available for all games.
Past users of OBMM and FOMM will be familiar with most of the principals at play in the Nexus Client; however, the Nexus Client improves on just about every feature and aspect. The goal of the client is to streamline and simplify the modding experience, from mod creation through to mod installation.
If you're new to OBMM or FOMM then you might not know that they provide mod authors with additional tools, including configurable scripts control that let you define how your mod can be installed, and give your users choices. You can write powerful install scripts using the flexible XML Configuration scripts, the more powerful C# Scripts, or event the traditional OBMM/OMOD script language (the OMOD language is planned for a future version).
In the future, we'll also be adding a Mod Packaging GUI, a full-featured mod packager. Authors will be able to select the files they want included, specify the desired directory structure, identify dependencies on other mods, edit mod info, and upload the mod to the Nexus, all from one convenient interface. Authors will be able to save these mod projects, so that when they wish to upload a newer version, they won't have to repackage the mod from scratch.
We are releasing the Nexus Client under the GPL license, which is something you'll probably not find with any other site that releases this sort of software. This means you'll have access to the source code of the client to make sure we're not up to any funny-business. It's not just to show that we're being completely transparent with our software, but also because the GPL enables you to help us with the development of the client, or make your own versions, plug-ins and adaptations to it. We really, really like it when mod authors work together, share their work with others and allow other mod authors to use their work. We want to set an example here and say "here's what we've made, please, use it, modify it to your liking, make it better and share it with others". Copyleft licensing is something we think more mod authors should aspire to.
I'm obviously really excited about moving on to this testing stage of the Nexus Client and it's been very difficult for me to hold-my-tongue in past blog posts and when people have sent me messages asking why the site doesn't have its own installer program. I think the Nexus Client will really streamline the modding experience, breaking down the barriers to entry that prevent people from modding their games while reducing the amount of technical support mod authors have to deal with from some users that aren't technically gifted and can't install their mods.
You might be apprehensive about this or you might think it's a step in the right direction (I'm hoping you're thinking the latter!), and I'll try my hardest to answer any questions you might have, but right now we're still working hard on developing the client and focusing on the upcoming Beta test so try to keep the rabid scepticism to a minimum!
I'll keep you all updated on the Client's progress as and when I have more information, but I think you'll find the Nexus modding community is going to get a lot better soon.
Sorry about the confusion last month. TESNexus's File of the Month system was messed up, making it hard to decide on who the winner was (the last time was from May!)
In any case, this month's File of the Month winner of your choice is Elestat, who won with Trade and Commerce at 97 votes. That's a considerable amount! Hopefully you'll enjoy this interview with Elestat and the insight into the creation of the mod and learn a bit about them.QUOTE
Tell us a little about yourselves. Where you are from, what are some of your other hobbies outside of games?
Well, I am 23 years old, I’m a civil engineer and currently I am in grad school for a master of science in structural engineering. Besides gaming and computers I also like to read anything that is physics related, right now I am trying to finish Brian Cox’s "Why does E=MC^2"?
What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
Since I first played [The Elder Scrolls III:] Morrowind I wanted to make mods, so I spent a lot if time coming up with the perfect mod but I was very young and knew nothing about modding. When [The Elder Scrolls IV:] Oblivion came out I was already in college and again I spent many hours thinking of the perfect mod, but for whatever reason I never got around it.
The mod I have always wanted to make is very different from Trade and Commerce, so I wish I could say I have always dreamed of making this mod but honestly I was playing the game, and it just suddenly occurred to me that I could probably make this mod in a relatively short amount of time.
What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
The scripting, I really enjoyed coming with ways to simulate a functional business within Oblivion’s world and with the game engine’s limitations.
The moment I enjoyed the most was when it occurred to me that I could use the item’s weight and value properties to display stats about daily and weekly trading to the player. In the words of Buddha.... or whoever actually said it:QUOTEWhen you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.
What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
Time, when I started I was on vacation and I spent almost a week just creating the perfect ambient for the store. After I returned to class I realized I only had about a week before exams and homework's began to pile up... So, I rushed to do the scripting, dialogs, quests and AI of the mod. I also had to completely ditch the original interior for the store because it was too big and I could not fit the exterior building anywhere in the city, so I sadly lost that first week of work.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Oblivion Construction Set tools?
My favorite part is most definitively the scripting, I pretty much hate every other part of Oblivion modding but I endure it so I can give some context to my scripts... Although, at the end, I did some minor AI modding and I enjoyed doing that, but it took me a full day to understand how it worked so it was a bit frustrating.
What are some other common tools you used in your development?
Besides the Construction Set I used Notepad ++, because it's ideal for writing scripts.
Roughly what was the total time it took for you guys to put this mod together so far?
It took me a full week to build the mod to a point that I was comfortable releasing, then I spent the following week adding new features. A couple hours after release I realized (after some not so kind comments from players) that if I did not add compatibility for better cities many people would not play my mod. That being the case, I scrambled to do that as fast as I could. After that I tried to release at least one update per day until I reached version 1.5 which is the current and most likely last version.
Do you plan on any more new features in your mod? Specifically anything not listed on your mods page on the Nexus?
When I released the last version I had a lot of plans for new features, but then I had a LOT of stuff to do in college. Because of that, I had to stop modding for a while. After a couple of weeks of no modding I lost interest in it and decided to stop. However, I do intend to create something similar for [The Elder Scrolls V:] Skyrim when it comes out.
Do any of you have other mods you are working on or do any of you plan to create other mods as a team? If so what might those be?
I am not working on any mods right now. I do have some ideas for something I want to do for Fallout New Vegas but I don't know if I will actually do it.
What are some of your other favorite games if Oblivion isn't the only game you play? Any other game genres besides the RPG style games that Bethesda publishes?
I must have played every game that came out since I was 12 or so, and Oblivion remains one of my favorites, then comes Morrowind and Fallout New Vegas. But if I had to pick one game it would be Europa Universalis by Paradox Interactive. I played that game for almost two straight years and I still enjoy it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
We all have a great idea for a mod, but to get it done you have to actually start modding at some point. Read the Construction Set Wiki, it has everything you could possibly need to make your mod. Modding is incredibly rewarding, once you get the basics you won't be able to stop!
And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
Just want to thank everyone for playing and endorsing my mod, it really means a lot for me to see that you guys enjoy it. I never play Mercantile-oriented characters and have not played my mod at all after releasing it, my experience with it is limited to bug testing so it's good to know that some of you think that it's cool enough to be File of the Month.
Finally, I want to thank Dark0ne and all the staff at the Nexus sites for providing us modders with this wonderful place to upload and show our creations. Oblivion modding would not be the same without the Nexus!
That concludes August's File of the Month Interview featuring Elestat. Check back next month for September's File of the Month Interview!
Earlier, Pete Hines (the Vice President of Bethesda’s PR department), stated on Twitter that same-sex marriage will be allowed in Skyrim. He responded to someone who called the topic “hush hush” by sayingQUOTENot hush hush, just not making a huge deal out of it. You can marry anyone.
He later clarified his previous tweet by postingQUOTESorry, should clarify. Not any NPC, just mean any male or female. Doesn't matter what you're playing.
It appears that Skyrim is taking after games like Dragon Age and Fable, where same-sex marriages/relationships have always been allowed.
Feel free to express your opinion on this in the comments, but please refrain from trolling, flaming, or anything else that would get you banned.
So here we are, almost at the end of day 2 since the Nexus site redesign launch. I've been spending most of my time on bug fixes and tweaks based on the feedback you've all been giving me. Thank you for, in the most part, remaining calm and constructive during this period.
I'm just going to go through a few of the major and minor things that keep coming up in the feedback and run you through of the changes already made, and a few upcoming changes.
First of all my apologies to the IE8 users who experienced issues with the sites, especially with comments missing. I've been using a piece of software called "IETester" to test the functionality on IE8 as you cannot have IE8 and IE9 installed on your system at the same time. The sites worked fine in IETester during the testing stage but I was able to troubleshoot the issue on an old laptop and things should now be better for you. Once again a good reason to actually pay attention to the site news and help during open beta test stages rather than just ignore it.
Next the fixed width isn't going to change no matter what is said. However, a few people have brought up some nice ideas in the mod authors forums for some pages to be rearranged so they can use the full width of the central content area by pushing the content on the right in to the centre. It's something I'm going to explore tomorrow.
There seem to be sporadic reports of people not being able to download files because the modal pop-up box isn't showing for them. I don't know if this is IE8 specific but I cannot reproduce this. However, I'm hoping to update the download links slightly so you can middle-click (to open a new tab) a link and it'll just open a completely new page. I know some people like to "queue up" their downloads like this and the current system is preventing them from doing it. So hopefully a "kill two birds with one stone" tweak, that one.
Some of you will have noticed the file tracking centre has been changed. This is a temporary stop-gap until we move over to Axel's code that's going to be much better than this, and similar to before, but better. It was a "time allows" thing...I didn't have the time to port it over and knowing Axel would be updating it anyway made my decision easier. Just hang in there on that one.
There are a few features missing that were in the original site but aren't currently in this new design; seeing who has endorsed your files/images and premium notifications spring to mind. These will be coming back in the coming days or weeks. Negative endorsements are gone, as per the blogs and discussions that were had with mod authors up to the launch.
I've just put up the first "skins" for the space either side of the content area. These are skins made by me and spruce things up a little. At least now you can't complain you don't know what games each Nexus site supports. The plan here is to allow members to upload their skins for approval in to a "skin pool". You'll then be able to choose from a long list of skins for the site you're using through your preferences, or choose to have no skin at all. Similarly mod authors will be able to make their own skins for their mod pages or choose a skin from the pool that others will see for their mod pages.
A few minor tweaks and fixes have been added; thumbnail images will no longer stretch to fit a specific size in most areas of the site now, the "File temporarily available" issue has been fixed on newly uploaded files, comment threads will now be properly created when adding new files and small downloads will now work through the modal pop-up like the large file downloads rather than redirect you to a totally different page.
As mentioned in my last announcement this is just the beginning of many, many improvements to come. The foundation. Some people are acting like I've turned the light off and walked away for some reason. If you keep the constructive feedback coming I'll continue to improve things where I can. You'll get some things, you won't get others, but if you're going to throw all your toys out the pram because you're not getting it all your own way pleeeeease can you do it away from me? Thaaaaanks!
Finally a quick note on your bug reports: I'm sorry if you're experiencing bugs but for the love of all that is holy will you please tell me what browser you are using when you report a bug? I can't help you without this very simple piece of information!
I'll continue to update the news with more information as we go along.
If you're reading this then you're looking at the new Nexus site design. If this is a surprise to you then sorry! I've been keeping people informed through the site news and blog posts over the past few months so try and check in every now and again and see what new stuff is getting added to the sites.
This new design is the combination of many months of hard work between myself and a professional web designer trying to get things, to start with, how I wanted it and then following some constructive feedback from the community, tweaked more towards how you want it.
Before you huff, and you puff, and you blow my house down please know that this is just the start: a starting place from which myself and others can work from. A necessary first step. Over the course of the coming days, weeks, months (and dare I say it, years) the design is going to be tweaked, fixed, updated, expanded and improved so this isn't the end, it's just the start.
You see, the sites are growing. A new format for the sites was needed so that someone much better than myself at coding could come in and provide you with some great new features and services. When I first launched TESNexus my scope and vision only extended so far, now, the old design has been presenting a major stumbling block to my current and future plans. Think of it as building extensions on a house; there's only so many extensions you can put on to a house and only so far the original foundations run before you become strapped for room to expand and improve. Once you run in to this snag it's much simpler to start from scratch and rebuild things bigger, better and stronger for the future.
There's lots of work still to go and I've no doubt that some of you are running in to a few issues which I'd really like to hear about (so I can fix them!), so get in contact if you're experiencing problems. I've tried my hardest to make the new design compatible with all the major browsers out there. A note on this: IE7 is not supported (please update your 5 year old web browser!) and the sites will not display correctly in IE9 compatibility mode (as it shows sites how IE7 would display them). If you have IE9 and the site isn't looking right for you then turn off compatibility mode for the Nexus sites.
Some bugs from the old design have been fixed and a few small features added in this version of the redesign. Here's the changelog:
- Members with editing access to files now get borders on their comments like the file uploader
- You can now rep a post if you've neg-repped it, or neg-rep a post if you've repped it (originally once you'd given reputation you couldn't change your mind)
- The time limit for having your images displayed in the "Hot files" on the site index has been reduced from 21 days to 7 days (except on The Witcher Nexus, which has a limit of 28 days) to provide a greater variety and change to the files from day-to-day
- Changed the timer for rating files from 3 hours to 1 hour and changed it so it checks the time against your first download, not your last download of the file
- Negative endorsements have been removed
- A link to the change log for files will only show if the author has provided a change log
- The video that plays for normal members before downloading a file will now only show once every 4 hours
I understand if you're not a massive fan of the new design. The Nexus sites kept their design for 4 years and change is never easy. But give it some time, and look forward to the future. Because I am, and with good reason. Happy 10th Birthday, Nexus. Just be glad I didn't give you a hat...
A few weeks back I posted a heads-up regarding my plans to launch a redesigned look to the Nexus Sites by the end of August. The feedback to the redesign was mostly good and some of the constructive criticism provided has either already been incorporated in to the final design or has been noted, perhaps for addition later on down the line.
Listed below are test examples for each of the Nexus Sites. These are very close to final now and I'm not going to be making any major changes before the change over.
Dragon Age Nexus
Fallout 3 Nexus
New Vegas Nexus
A few things:
- Some thumbnail images will be broken in the test sites, they won't be broken after release.
- You might get a cookie error page if you're logged in to a Nexus site and trying to look at the test site for that Nexus site. To fix this just log out of the Nexus site you're using.
- Don't try to upload any images for your files through the test sites.
- These sites are not IE7 compatible; we dabbled with the idea but making them IE7 was too much work for the 1.5% of people who still use IE7 and visit this site. It would have also limited some of the things we've done in the design. Seriously, consider upgrading your 5 year old browser!!
I will be doing the change-over early next week and there will be some short down-time while I get the designs rolled out. Hopefully no longer than an hour or so for each site. Having said that I'm still taking on feedback, especially bug-reports (please remember to tell me what browser and version you're using!) so feel free to leave any comments.
After the release Axel is very close to finalising his rework of all the code for the sites. This is very, very exciting news because he's a genius and he's already made lots of awesome stuff, and there's lots more to come. Mod authors, you're going to love him. I'll post up more information about this via my blog posts and in the news closer to the time.
This week in August marks the 10 year anniversary of the Nexus sites. I launched Morrowind Chronicles at the age of 15 back in August of 2001. What started as a general purpose news and information site for Morrowind has now spread in to a multi-site network of mod databases that are some of the largest modding sites in the world. I feel a great sense of achievement and pride for this great community which is a testament to some great games and some great modders. And what's best, I feel like I've only just started.
Looking back it's very easy to fall in to a nostalgic day dream of all the people that have come and gone over the years; some are still with us and lots have moved on in the constant ebb-and-flow of this community. Looking far, far, back I remember fondly my time working with the doomed MEMod team. Some of the best banter I've ever had. Feel free to share some of your experiences in this community.
To the Nexus *raises glass*.
- Morrowind Chronicles (Aug 2001 - Jul 2003)
- The Middle-Earth Mod for Morrowind (Nov 2001 - Sep 2004)
- Morrowind Mod Library (Oct 2002 - Jul 2003)
- Morrowind Mod Hosting (Jan 2003 - Jul 2003)
- Morrowind Source (Jul 2003 - Jan 2005)
- The Elder Scrolls Source (Jan 2005 - Sep 2007)
- The Mod Site Creator (Sep 2005 - Feb 2007)
- The Elder Scrolls Nexus (Sep 2007 - Present)
- Fallout 3 Nexus (Oct 2008 - Present)
- Dragon Age Nexus (Nov 2009 - Present)
- New Vegas Nexus (Oct 2010 - Present)
- The Witcher Nexus (May 2011 - Present)
*annoyingly I accidentally deleted the topic thread for this news while doing some maintenance. Thank you to the 88 people who left nice comments before!
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