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Hello! long time, no...boring you with my long blog pieces.
We're about to post up a news article about us looking to hire two new web programmers. Unlike our previous hire-calls, however, this one is different because it comes with the caveat that the job is based in Exeter, in the south west of England. Why? Because we're setting up an office. Our first office.
Revealing such news comes as bitter-sweet to me. For the past 15 years Nexus Mods (and the names it previously operated under) has been run from bedrooms, dorm rooms, campus computer rooms and home offices. It's been a success story up to now, an example that you can build and run a complex, high profile website, community and heck, business, from home. It's had practical uses too, allowing us to operate with smaller running costs and freeing up money to be spent elsewhere (like on more staff or hardware). Finally, it has allowed me to maintain the image in my head that we're still a small, niche "garage run" site despite the sheer size of the site (silly, I know).
This is an image that I am loathe to lose as it can affect thinking, specifically, my thinking. In moving certain aspects of the business into a formal office setup I fear that illusion I have in my head is going to dissipate and with it, the strong memory I have of running these sites as a middling teenager foremost as a hobby, as something I did to give back to a community I was so excited about and appreciative of before and after Morrowind's release. Such strong memories have been a driving force for trying to maintain that starting spirit of Nexus Mods, of a community that was created to service a bigger and most excellent community at the time.
My passion for the video game modding community coupled with the success of Bethesda's games and the modding support they've graciously provided with each release since 2001 has fueled a steady (and sometimes explosive) growth in Nexus Mods that has been hard to keep up with. Similarly, my vision for a community that transcends Bethesda modding in to modding for all games has seen us go from supporting a mere handful of games to over 400 games, and counting. While Bethesda games still make up the bulk of the reason why people visit Nexus Mods, last year we saw an 80% increase alone on file downloads for mods unrelated to Bethesda games (and a 50% increase on file downloads for Bethesda games). As such, there is a growing demand for modding for any and all games on Nexus Mods rather than just for Bethesda Games.
Ultimately, success brings its own stresses often with little or no respite. The cliched "victims of our own success", if you will. To say that one man (or woman) cannot do it alone would be an understatement.
I hired the first Nexus Mods employee back in 2011 before the release of Skyrim. Axel is still with us today, working from his home in Scotland almost 500 miles away from where I am in Exeter. Since then, we've added a further 8 members to the Nexus Mods team to fill a diverse range of roles with people in south west and south east England, Italy, Germany and both the north and south of the United States. It's safe to say that we're pretty spread out with a...diverse...range of geographically related opinions to match! Over the years it's been hard to avoid riling each other up with our national stereotypes which has provided a good amount of comic relief, if not dubious legal positions related to employee relations and "discrimination" in the workplace. I won't lie, it's normally the Italians' fault.
While the Nexus Mods team remained relatively small, 2-5 of us, things were fine. Managing 2-5 people, even remotely across great distances, is a sinch. Provided the individuals involved have good personal discipline it's perhaps even better than having a small office setup as it's more comfortable. More free flowing. More flexible. People can be left to get on with things in the comfort of their own homes without the stresses placed on them from an office environment.
In a 2-5 man setup each person is typically handling a different area of the sites, whether it's the site programming, NMM, the hardware, support, the community and so on and so forth. The team jigsaws together fine because, ultimately, they're not actually working on projects together, they're instead working on their own projects and conversing with the other departments to make sure everyone is aligned and on the same page. However, once you begin to add one or two more members of staff who are going to be working in the same area and working on the same projects as each other things become a lot more difficult.
The internet is awash with SaaS applications designed to help in this regard. Slack for communication, Pivotal for task tracking, Vagrant, Git, Google Docs, Appogee, and so on and so forth. They're all designed to help teams work together towards common projects and goals. However, from our years working in these environments it's begun to show that while this software can help immensely in that task, it's not a bonafide 100% substitute for real face-to-face interaction. The type of interaction you get in an office setup.
Over the past year we've been trying to stop-gap this shortfall with regular Google Hangout meetings (webcams and everything), team programming and screensharing sessions and so on and so forth but after a while you begin to realise that all these applications designed to replace or replicate "the real thing" just aren't as good as "the real thing". Inefficiencies creep in. 30 minutes here. An hour there. Someone's come to the door unexpectedly. Someone's taken a late lunch without letting the others know. One person is waiting for a response from another person in a different time zone. A message has been missed. Someone didn't get a notification about a meeting. The list goes on.
None of us at Nexus Mods are unaware of the fact that we started our redesign process for the sites all the way back in September 2015 when we sent out a news article looking for a UI/UX designer. Mockups were created and we began coding work in earnest back in February 2016, over 13 months ago. It's been a rocky ride and a trying time as we've come to terms with the serious technical debt we'd accumulated over the years while trying to transition from a team of just 1 web programmer to a team of 3, and reworking a lot of our framework to accommodate the changing dynamic of the way we were working. It's my personal belief that, were we in an office setup, at least some of the issues we've experienced over the past 13 months would have been mitigated somewhat and we'd have made faster progress to the ultimate end goal of releasing this new design.
To me, setting up an office is a logical progression towards not only increasing the efficiency of people working at Nexus Mods but also improving my ability to understand, appreciate, relate to and manage the team moving forward, and this is why we are setting up an office. Logically, the office is in Exeter because that's where I live, and I'd like to be there managing it.
In the past when we've sent out hiring calls we've posted them in the community here first. It's my thinking that the best people for the job are going to be the ones who know this site, who like this site and who use this site regularly. They're going to be the people who have the most relevant and the best ideas. They'll also be easier to bring up to speed. Everyone currently working for Nexus Mods was hired from within the community itself, with the exception of Paul and Tom, who I knew personally already.
Naturally, enforcing that new staff work from Exeter in England limits the pool of available applicants in this community somewhat drastically and I understand that. However, I still feel it prudent to announce and highlight this hire call on the site on the off chance that there's someone out there that is either local to Exeter (while it's only a small city of 127,000, I've met plenty of people who've used the site in and around the city) or who is open to a new adventure in their life. If you're willing to relocate to the city, we're willing to help out however we can to make it a possibility. Heck, I'll even put you up in my home and cook you some dinners while you get on your feet if needs be (subject to satisfactory hygiene levels!).
So there you have it. We're getting an office, and we're looking for staff. The hire call article will be posted up following this blog piece soon.
This week we're back with some more staff and community picks. I am really pleased to see a submission for a game other than those from the Bethesda series with Minqmay picking one from Legend of Grimrock. SirSalami has this week turned his attention towards a really nice armour mod, Terrorfox1234 has chosen one to help with your sometimes incredibly stupid companions and I have gone back to my childhood and chosen a mod to put posters on the walls.
We love to hear the communities picks so keep them coming by using this new and handy form.
Please fill out the form completely and ensure that you add some details about the mod and why you have chosen it (similar to how our community members have below).
Just remember that other mods on the site may do roughly the same thing, so keep your eyes peeled and understand that these are just personal picks. That said, hopefully, you'll find something you may not have seen before.
Submitted By: Terrorfox1234
Game: Fallout 4
Mod Author: Greslin
Mod: Companion Heal Thyself
This is one of those “quality of life” mods I love so much. It simply gives your companions the ability to heal themselves with Stimpaks in Fallout 4.
As the author explains, on normal difficulty downed companions will get back up after a period of time and keep going. On survival difficulty, they will remain on the ground until you heal them with a Stimpak. This can become very tedious and you may not always be in close proximity to your companion when they go down.
Besides the inconvenience and tediousness of having to play doctor, it’s also a bit silly that these people don’t have the cognitive ability to just heal themselves. Seriously… how did the human species survive without The Lone Wanderer for 200 years? I mean really, you’ve got a Stimpak in your inventory, you’re on the ground in need of a Stimpak, but you’re going to make me cross the battlefield (and risk my life/save progression) to give you your shot!? Nope. You’re a big boy/girl/super mutant now. Pick yourself up.
Submitted By: BlindJudge
Game: Fallout 4
Mod Author: mindkiller316
Mod: Proper Flyers and Posters
The subtlety of this mod is one of the features I love about it. The fact you can install and activate it and it just makes your whole experience that touch better is great. I don't have to worry about choosing a plethora of options, nor do I have to tweak any settings.
Running around the wasteland can often feel a bit empty, so I have been looking around for mods to bring that little 'something' back. This mod by mindkiller316 is just one that helps alleviate that problem by replacing the torn paper look that adorns many of the walls with realistic looking and lore friendly posters. This fantastic mod adds a stat point to that all important one people look for in these games - immersion.
The more I play Fallout 4, the more I want to tweak the little things rather than huge game changing mods and I'm over the moon that I stumbled across this one.
Submitted By: SirSalami
Game: Fallout 4
Mod Author: m150
Lately, I've been realizing that my weekly picks tend to be very focused on gameplay related mods. In fact, in the several months we've been running this feature, I've neglected to choose from one of the most prominent categories of submissions in our community. Well, that changes this now with my first armor pick, Jagimet from the amazing m150!
As loving tribute to the character Jagi from the manga/anime Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star), even if you're not familiar with the series, these menacing looking accessories fit right into Fallout's similarly mad-max inspired, post-apocalyptic world. Featuring massive spikes on the pauldrons and mouth-guard, this set makes any character a more intimidating while the rusted materials and subtle markings ensure that they maintain a rather realistic appearance that's not too garish. So even though these seem tailor made for someone supermutant size, they'll look great on any character that might find themselves in need of some more noticeably sharp attire.
The author, who simply goes by "m", has created many other varied and wonderful creations for Fallout 4 and Skyrim too. You should be sure to check those out as well!
Submitted By: minqmay
Game: Legend of Grimrock
Mod Author: Phitt
Mod: The Mine of Malan Vael
The Mine of Malan Vael is an adventure with superb original artwork and puzzles. The new models and textures fit the game perfectly; the ensemble feels remarkably professional and complete.
It is short, with only five levels, but there's no filler content; every challenge and puzzle is unique, and there's even a climactic final boss fight.
There are no obtuse puzzles or unfair traps; anyone who's played the original Legend of Grimrock can and should dive right into Phitt's masterpiece. Just remember to bring a torch - or a magic Light spell.
Submitted By: Acacophony
Game: Fallout 4
Mod Author: Slevin4Mods
Mod: Chems and Alcohol Visual FX
I cannot play a game without this mod. It is something that feels like it should have been there from the start, and in all previous fallout games, and just fits seamlessly into gameplay.
Although it is simple, it enriches the experience of the game by making chems something more than just a stat boost. Some of the visual effects are strong enough that they actually can impair you in combat, which makes it feel more realistic and makes chem use a little more tactical. You can't just take one and turn into a god for a few minutes, the trade-off is that combat is a little harder because you can't see your enemies as well.
The effects really do change the mood of the game and give a better sense of what your chem trip is like. DayTripper feels light, active and euphoric with bright vivid colors that make you want to explore and see everything, whereas Buffout feels more stark, intense and makes you want to just curl up and stay inside until it passes.
This mod also has a "light" version with less dramatic visual effects, which keeps the tactical aspect but is easier on the eyes because of lower contrast.
Alcohol also now blurs vision, which is a modern gaming staple and should have been there from the start. If I could only play with ONE mod, this would be the one I would choose. It is a must-pick for any character who uses chems, or alcohol.
Every week, we feature a few mods that have caught our staff's attention, as well as some that were submitted by you, the Nexus Mods community. If there is a mod you'd like to see on this list, then please check out this quick and handy form.
If you haven't already, feel free to follow us on our social media channels where we'll keep you up to date with the latest site news, articles and much more.
Thanks, and have fun modding!
This week I got to chat with Robbie922004, a mod author who primarily creates mods for Skyrim, though has been known to tinker in Fallout 4. Robbie started his Steam game collection even before owning a gaming PC and began creating mods, like many, to fix things that he discovered weren't quite up to his taste in the vanilla game.
Hey Robbie and welcome to the Sunday discussion, would you mind letting our community know a little bit about you?
Thanks very much for having me. Unsurprisingly, my name is Robbie. I’m 24 years old, and I’m from Maryland in the United States, on the East Coast for foreigners who might not know. I like to play music, and I play games probably a little more than I should.
Do you have any hobbies and interests outside of gaming?
I’m a musician, which is without question my biggest hobby outside of gaming. I play guitar and piano mostly, but I’m also addicted to the ukulele and play that a lot. I can play a little bass, and I have an old full electronic drum kit lying around (never got very good at the drums!). My go-to instrument is a 12-string acoustic guitar. I play lots of classic rock (Beatles, Queen, Elton John, Clapton, Billy Joel, you name it), though I’ll learn any song I enjoy from any genre or artist. I like to record from time to time because I have the equipment. On the digital side of things, I use Propellerhead Reason when I need to emulate sounds from other instruments.
I’m also currently a part of two writing projects collaborating with one of my friends, although it’s nothing that’s ready to share, and mostly just for fun.
It seems we have a lot of musicians within Nexus Mods, our Terrorfox1234 loves his music and FadingSignal last week gave us a link to his SoundCloud (which I now use as my go to Gym music). Do you keep your music private or do you have a Soundcloud page or a link to a band that you would like to share?
Haha, nothing worth sharing. They say that art is never finished, only abandoned, and I’m very much guilty of never finishing anything I start when it comes to music. I have dozens, if not hundreds of recordings that I start, and then get excited about something else, and never go back to the last one. It’s a habit I should break, but in my heart, I’m more of a player than anything. Recording only occupies a tiny portion of all the time I spend on music.
Would you say music is your go-to activity to chill-out and relax?
Yep, it’s playing music, definitely. The first thing I do every single morning is either sit at the piano or pick up the guitar to wake myself up. I do that for fifteen or so minutes and then either eat, or exercise then eat, and that’s how I start my day. It’s a great hobby for when you’re feeling down, tired, or bored. It’s deeply rewarding so long as you’re willing to put in the time, effort, and dedication.
In addition to that, my group of friends and I like to get together to play games whenever we can, usually a few times a week. Different time zones can make this challenging, but it’s been many years, and we haven’t given up yet.
And as seems to be becoming pretty popular these days, I’ll sometimes go on a binge-watching spree when a TV show catches my attention.
Playing games with your friends would entail a lot of multiplayer/co-op games, what would you say is your go-to multiplayer game at the moment?
Overwatch was definitely our most played game of last year, but it’s finally coming to a close and we’re going back to other things. Right now we’re on For Honor (go, Samurai! NIPPON!!!) or Rainbow Six Siege when we have a whole group. We went through a Tabletop Simulator binge thanks to the Heroscape and Eldritch Horror mods, plus some tabletop RPGs, and I recently played through about a 16-hour Civ VI game with one of them. A few of us really enjoy Stellaris. Rocket League was a big hit, and I still play doubles from time to time with one of my friends. As you can see, we have diverse tastes and can get into a lot of different games and genres. It’s good because we can constantly switch it up when we get bored of something.
Any game that someone in the group suggests, we’ll all try to get and play at least a little bit. Steam or GMG sales are big for us because we can all suggest something or gift it to the others, and we’ll all get to try it.
I’m very much looking forward to the multiplayer update for Stardew Valley. That was my GOTY 2016, and I can’t wait to play it with my friends.
Also, binge-watching TV is pretty popular. I know a lot of us here at Nexus Mods like a good TV series, anything you can recommend us at the moment?
I finished up Tom Hardy’s Taboo last night, and Mob Psycho 100 a few days before. Obviously two very different series, but I enjoyed both of them to pieces. I’m super into the Marvel films and movies so I’m anxiously looking forward to Iron Fist, (even if the critical reception is bad!). I’m also really enjoying the new 24 spin-off, mostly because I was a fan of the original. For 2016, I watched Westworld, Stranger Things, Mr Robot, Better Call Saul, The Strain, Luke Cage, and a few others.
My favorite show in years has been Westworld, though. Everything about that show was great. And the Fallout 4 parallels didn’t hurt for the Bethesda fan in me.
If you wouldn’t mind, please can you tell me how you got started in gaming? At what age did you have your first PC/Console and what games did you play?
The original Playstation was my first proper console, although I think we had an NES lying around in a closet somewhere, and a Sega Genesis (Megadrive for those outside the US) that we played a bit but didn’t have many games for. I had just turned six years old when me and my siblings got the PS1 for Christmas, and I was hooked pretty quickly. Most of the games we had when we got it were licensed games like movie or TV show tie-ins, and it wasn’t until later that we learned the difference between those and “real” games. The only iconic game we had when we first got it was Twisted Metal 3, which we played tons of.
The series of games that seriously gave me my interest in gaming was the Spyro series. That series of games were the first I played that me, and my brothers could tell were just... better than the other games. I think those games have aged wonderfully and I still like to go through them from time to time. I can remember thinking “Wow, I wish more games were like this” even when I was very young and still discovering what my tastes were and what good game design was. Even if I couldn’t put it into words at the time.
What first brought you to Nexus Mods? Did you come as a mod author or mod user?
User, initially. This was in the Oblivion days. The truth is that I didn’t have a PC capable of playing Oblivion at the time, but I bought the game anyway and had a list of mods I wanted to use. I was heartbroken when I found out my family’s PC couldn’t handle it, and I didn’t start PC gaming properly until 2013 when I finally took the plunge and built my own machine. As a matter of fact, my mom surprised me with the Elder Scrolls Anthology the day after I built my PC (I’d just spent my whole budget on the PC, and my plan was to wait for the then-upcoming Steam Winter Sale to buy more games!), and as soon as I installed it, I ran to the Nexus to finally start using all the mods I always wanted to.
Ouch, having to wait all that time must have been excruciating, but what a nice gesture from your mum. What PC did you end up getting and is it still going strong?
It wasn’t so bad because I had accrued a bit of a Steam library from promotions and friends over the years, so I had a lot of good easy-to-run games ready to play.
Still running like the day I built it. My CPU is starting to show its age (AMD FX 6300) but I recently got an 8GB 480 to replace the 2GB 7850 I had. I was worried my CPU would be a significant bottleneck but I played some notoriously hard-on-the-CPU games and I’m getting 60FPS on high/ultra, so I’m feeling good. Other than that it’s just 8GB RAM, two 1TB HDDs (one was added later), a 600W PSU, and an ASUS mobo.
When did you decide to create your first mod and what was your inspiration?
The primary motivation for every mod I’ve made: No other mod exists that does what I want mine to do. I build mods for my use first and foremost and then consider how they can be improved for a public release.
The first mod I made was “Linear Smithing Tree”. I just didn’t want to have to waste so many perks on Smithing just to craft armor for my companions! I had absolutely no idea how the kit worked but was committed to learning, and it took much longer than it should have for a mod so simple.
That was soon after I installed Skyrim. I didn’t want to have to always add the perks via the console, and I wanted to learn to mod anyway, so I took a stab. The implementation was okay for what it was, the first attempt.
After looking through all the mods you have produced, I like the sound of ‘Equippable Tomes’. How did you come up with the idea for this?
I have peculiar tastes about magic scaling/perk mods. I’d never found a magical damage scaling mod that was really up my alley. The absolute biggest thing I feel is missing in Skyrim when playing a mage is a sense of equipment progression -- As a warrior, you’ll be getting new armor and weapons throughout a whole playthrough that changed your effectiveness. With magic, your equipment only affects how much it costs to cast, not the damage. This can lead to a sense of stagnation for me.
My inspiration for Equippable Tomes was the idea that the tomes could function like magical weapons. You’d get new versions of them as you progressed, and your damage with spells would increase accordingly, much like finding new weapons with a warrior.
When I felt like I might want to do it, I asked Dragten of Bandolier fame for permission to use his book-on-belt mesh/textures. He said yes, and I felt obligated/encouraged to start straight away, so I did. Everybody should be thanking him, or there would be no Equippable Tomes.
Taking a mod such as either ‘Mainland Stalhrim’ or ‘Equippable Tomes’, can you let us know how long mods like this would take you to produce from start to finish? How many hours would you say you have put into them?
Mainland Stalhrim was made in a morning when I was bored, maybe three or four hours all told (with plenty of idle time). It was a really simple thing that just required a wiki tab open to a list of Nordic Ruins so I could consider which spots would be best for Stalhrim to be added to the mainland.
Equippable Tomes was actually only a few days of real development. I hadn’t worked with meshes or textures before so as soon as I got a handle on that (which took a few hours spread across a few days) I set out on making an actual mod of it, and it was mostly a lot of what I like to call braindead busy work, that involved copying and editing dozens of records that were all somewhat similar, then tweaking values or copying conditions as I needed.
Extended Stay took probably a few days, but that was for a different reason: Lots of trial and error in figuring out how the vanilla inn rental system worked and then mimicking it. Surprisingly small amount of info on that available, so it was a little challenging for me.
And Patron Gods was about a week of development after about a week or so of thinking up various ideas for each buff, although the initial goal was a weekend challenge mod. Couldn’t make the deadline, though.
Just taken a look at Witchhunter, they are awesome spells that you have added to the game and what a fantastic mod! My personal favourites being the freeze time and lightning speed (very Matrix like to me). Where on earth did you get all your ideas for these spells and how much time, effort and research went into that mod?
I just wanted to play an arcane archer character a la Fable, but there’s no good way to do that in Skyrim because you’d have to switch between weapon and magic constantly. A few mods already existed to alleviate this, like Smart Cast, but I wanted something that had a focus on synergizing with weapons, rather than casting existing spells. It was originally only going to be spells that augmented your weapons with powers like elements or paralysis, but grew from there. I’d learn to do something accidentally in the kit and then realize that I should include it, and it just spiraled out of control.
Witchhunter took me the longest of all my mods by far. That was probably about three months of off-and-on work, and it was the first “real” mod I made. Most of that time was learning the kit and following tutorials. I bit off more than I could chew, and as a result it took a lot more time learning than developing. There are quite a few things about that mod I’d do differently in hindsight, but it’s mostly backend. It might be rough on the inside, but I think it works pretty well all-told.
The prayer spells in Witchhunter are where Patron Gods came from. A friend said the prayers were cool, but he missed the patron deity angle from old RPGs or tabletop games, and said I should do that. I didn’t feel like it fit with Witchhunter, but I kept it in mind for the future and then we came up with all the ideas for Patron Gods together.
How did EPO (Efficient Perk Overhaul) come about, it's a very good idea, was it one of those epiphany moments where you just thought to yourself “You know what, I just don’t like how the vanilla game operates”?
I sometimes feel like I’m the only person in the modding community who is mostly okay with the vanilla perks. Big exception is that I don’t like how big of a perk sink crafting can be, and I don’t like the “base perks” that just give +20% effectiveness to a skill. I was tired of wasting so many perks points on boring perk sinks and not having enough left over for the more interesting perks.
So my remedy was to make it work a bit more like Oblivion. If you level the skill, your effectiveness is increased to the point of viability. I’ve literally played a character where I had almost 100 Block, but my blocking was still bad because I put my points into other skills and had none left for Block. It was crazy to me. Maybe I wouldn’t be a master shield-bearer without the perks, but it shouldn’t be as useless as it was.
Then the crafting trees were just rebalanced for fewer wasted perks. Crafting feels almost mandatory to me, and it never made sense that you’d have to sacrifice so much from your other skills for it. Plus, you can be a master Daedric Smith, but can’t work with glass unless you’ve gone down both branches of the tree.
I’d say EPO is my most niche mod, and I wasn’t even going to release it because I felt the interest was low. Although it’s not popular, the people who do use it seem to like it a lot, which I feel means I found some people within that niche and provided exactly what they wanted. In a way, it’s kind of cooler than a mainstream hit like Equippable Tomes. Fewer users, but the ones who are around are very pleased.
Your mods are (from what I can gather) mostly aimed at the Mage class, is this the role you like to play Skyrim?
This might surprise some people but no. I mostly play warriors! If anything, I’d say my mods that pertain to magic are directed at battlemages or hybrids, at least for my use. Making magic more useable/accessible for non-mages. And even then, the only two that I’d say are fully about magic are Witchhunter and Equippable Tomes.
I’ve played many hours of Skyrim over the years for both console and PC. I’m not one of those guys who mods for a million hours and then only plays once. In all that time I’ve only done one pure mage character, compared to probably a dozen other characters that were warriors or thieves, and only two battlemages. Even so, I like to use my mods because it seems like every character I play uses at least a little bit of magic, even if it’s just healing. Witchhunter was designed specifically because I wanted to play an arcane archer build, for instance, but it was still an archer first and foremost.
Do you ever create mods that are solely for yourself? Ones that you don’t put onto Nexus Mods?
Sometimes. There’s maybe one worth mentioning. I wanted to have one of my characters have a pet Snowy Sabre Cat, so I have a little mod that uses a summon power to permanently call a custom sabre cat called “Nym” (ASoIaF references!) that levels with the player and has damage that scales based on level as well. Then she can also be dismissed with another power. I was going for a “when Nym’s not hanging out with me, she’s out hunting” vibe so I only called her while outdoors. Not really good for release, but it was fun for me.
I do make a lot of edits to mods I download for my personal use. So many that I’ve considered throwing a “Robbie’s Miscellaneous Patches” page up on the Nexus just in case anybody wants similar edits to popular mods for convenience, bug fixes, or minor changes.
Is there any game that you would like to learn to mod that you don’t currently do?
XCOM 2 and Civ V/VI, definitely. They have amazing mod communities, and part of me regrets not getting in on XCOM 2 modding during the height of the hype. The toolkits are huge, though! They include all the uncompressed game assets when you install their development kits, so whenever I feel like trying I remember the 65GB size and feel a bit discouraged. It’s also quite a different experience from modding Bethesda games, because all work requires direct editing of code and text. One of these days I’ll finally give it a go.
Small shoutout to our very own GrimyBunyip of SkyTweak fame, who created and maintains one of the most tremendously popular mods for XCOM 2, Grimy’s Loot Mod.
And I recently did a mod for Tabletop Simulator, a full scan/stitch of a game board and all the pieces. That was a fun process, and it was mind-blowing watching something go from an old board game I have lying around in real life to being available digitally for everybody. I could see myself doing more of that.
You mention other communities that you think are amazing - are you a member of these and is there anyone in any of them that you would like to give a shout out to?
Absolutely. Although I’m only an author within the Skyrim community, I love to use mods for many different games.
I already mentioned XCOM and Civ, which have huge and thriving mod communities.
For Civ, there’s so many it’s hard to choose what to mention. I love the Mass Effect civilizations mod, whose author was so committed making it perfect. The Elder Scrolls civilizations mod is great too and would be something many Nexus users would love. There’s also a really great Song of Ice and Fire mod that really fits the Civilization gameplay and setting. Plus tons and tons of smaller, quality of life mods.
XCOM is no slouch, either. XCOM 2 has crazy mod support, and that’s a direct result of a famous mod by the name of Long War for XCOM: Enemy Unknown/Within. Those authors formed a studio to create their own game, now called Pavonis Interactive, and even worked directly with Firaxis during development of XCOM 2 to help create the mod support for the game. Then 2K commissioned them and spent good money for a series of semi-official mods, which are frankly better than the official DLC! And that mod support is only possible because Jake Solomon and Firaxis were such huge fans of the original Long War, going so far as to say "We're basically a 20-hour tutorial for Long War, and that's okay.". The humility from both the developers of XCOM and Pavonis is inspiring. In many ways, I almost feel like this is where the Bethesda modding communities might go someday. Modders contributing directly to the game, working with the developers.
Going back a little bit, the Sith Lords Restored Content Mod (TSLRCM) for KOTOR II is hands-down one of the most brilliant mods for any game, ever. Some backstory is that the game shipped very unfinished because of a publisher rushing the development, but Obsidian left the cut content on the disc, unfinished, in the hopes that modders might someday restore it. It took years, but they did it, and the results are a game that became one of the finest and most complete RPGs ever made. All possible because of mod authors. Chris Avellone personally acknowledged them for their hard work, and encouraged everybody to use the restored content mod.
I mentioned Tabletop Simulator. The Heroscape mod is superb, complete with dozens if not hundreds of 3D models that take so much time and effort, but the author does it anyway out of love of the game. Then you have mods like Eldritch Horror that are a little more straightforward and involve scanning lots of cards rather than many 3D models but are no less impressive.
And finally, I even discovered that the Zoo Tycoon modding community is still active to this day, sixteen years later, albeit on mostly private sites, when I installed it last year for some nostalgia.
Modding communities never cease to amaze me with their dedication and fantastic work. It’s astounding. The gaming world would truly be lesser without the mods for all these different games.
If you had to only choose ten mods for your next run through of Skyrim, what would they be and why?
That’s such a hard question. I don’t run crazy huge load orders like a lot of folks, but I have so many QOL mods that it would be hard to give up my content ones for. If I had to guess, it would be something like this:
Cloaks of Skyrim
A Quality World Map with Roads
The Notice Board
Moonlight Tales Overhaul
Can I cheat a little and count my holy trinity of magic mods, Apocalypse/Lost Grimoire/Phenderix all as one?
I love weapons and armor mods for two big reasons: Variety, and helping you achieve a look for your character that you like and identify with. I think armor goes a long way for RP. Immersive Armors and Cloaks of Skyrim are my two favorite mods for Skyrim, ever. Immersive Armors because of the high quality of included armor, expert implementation, and crazy customizability (thanks Hoth and Eckss!) and Cloaks because it’s something that we always dream about being included in the vanilla game, and is done to a very high quality. Add Immersive Weapons into the mix and you’ve got so much extra variety compared to the vanilla game.
A Quality World Map is such a great mod; I don’t think I could live without it. Roads being marked goes such a long way.
The Notice Board is my favorite quest mod. It’s everything that’s good about the radiant quests and is in my mind unmatched as a “bounty board” type mod. Great way to delve into dungeons you’ve missed/never done, and plenty of variety.
Moonlight Tales Overhaul is, bar-none, my favorite lycanthropy mod ever. It gives me everything I want out of a werebeast experience, and it’s all customizable.
True Storms is honestly the only weather mod I use. It’s just what I want. It’s simple, to the point, and works perfectly. I was initially sold by the sound effects and heavier rainfall, but what ended up being my favorite feature is the interior rain sound. It’s just perfect in every way.
With Warmonger Armory, what I like the most is the Dragon Priest masks that you can wear on the belt. The armor sets are great too, but there’s something satisfying about beating a Dragon Priest and then strolling into town with his mask on your belt. This was also a big inspiration for Equippable Tomes!
Quick Loot is a perfect Fallout 4-style loot menu that I really feel weird playing without now. Absolutely amazing mod.
And finally, the magic mods… I know, I cheated a little bit, but it’s too hard to pick! All of them add so many cool spells that extend the utility of magic in such a big way; it’s impossible to pick just one. They all go well with each other, and they’re all great in their unique way, and I’d never play with one of them but not the other two.
And if I’m allowed to name one of my mods as a bonus, I find it very difficult to play without Efficient Perk Overhaul (EPO) these days.
This is such a sadistic question because I have so many favorite mods that I’d love to sing the praises of, but if I did that we’d be stuck here all day and I’ve rambled too much as it is!
All, bar one, of your mods is for Skyrim. Did you play through Fallout 4 and if so, what has stopped you modding more for that particular game?
I adore Fallout 4. But the truth is that I only get inspired to make mods just before or during a playthrough. My most recent mod, Mainland Stalhrim, came one day after I started a new character, for instance.
I binged Fallout 4 hard right at launch, and then took a break and wasn’t feeling terribly inspired to make mods when the Creation Kit rolled around. It’s more exciting when you’re about to play through, I think. Considering how to customize the experience that you’re about to have, or how to add something you’ve always wanted to play with. Just yesterday I was playing catch-up on all the amazing Fallout 4 mods that I’d missed and feeling really into doing another playthrough soon. I have no doubt that when I go back to Fallout 4, there will be things that I want a mod for, but no mod for it exists yet. When that happens, I’ll probably make some more mods.
I did have a perk overhaul mod planned right near launch but finding out you couldn’t freely rearrange the perk chart was a huge bummer. You can’t even move the icons that already exist because they become misaligned in the chart without some knowledge on editing .swf files.
How about Skyrim Special Edition? I can see that you have added a few of your mods to the Nexus Mods Skyrim SE page, do you have any plans to transfer anymore?
I ported everything I felt was good enough to be ported or that I wanted to use myself. The ones that I haven’t ported are ones that I feel are unsupported, namely Linear Smithing Tree and Simple Enchanting Tree (they’ve been superseded by EPO). And the Slow Time bug fix, because that’s now included in the unofficial patch.
When you play Skyrim now which version do you tend to use, Skyrim SE or Oldrim?
OG Skyrim. SSE is missing a lot of my favorite mods, and I don’t really use any graphical mods at all, so the added performance isn’t something that has any effect; I get 60FPS regardless because I’m running the game with vanilla visuals, and my hardware can handle vanilla just fine.
It’s a matter of choosing whether to play the old version, which still has my favorite mods, or giving some of those mods up for enhanced visuals. For me, I’d rather have the content and excellent work of the mods I love than the visuals of SSE.
The #1 SSE-only mod that I’m missing out on is the newest edition of True Storms. I’ve played a bit of SSE, and the blizzards from Fadingsignal’s latest update are insanely good. I hope the update finds its way back to OG Skyrim someday. The mod page indicates that it will. It’s a top-notch mod, absolutely love it.
Are there any mod authors that you look up to or have helped you out in the past?
Dragten helped me out big time with Equippable Tomes. He made the book meshes/textures and then gave me permission edit/release them. Also tueffelachtein, Oaristys, stoverjim, and Blary for their excellent resources.
Two of my non-modder friends helped with some mods. One with ideas, balance, and concepts, and the other with technical work in Papyrus (he’s a real programmer by trade, unlike me who just fakes it until it works). Thanks to Marshall for the ideas and Journal of a Reveller. Thanks to Jordan, for the support. Couldn’t have done it without you.
The authors I look up to the most are ones who both make great mods, and are positive influences within the community.
Chesko comes to mind here. He’s always polite and willing to lend a helping hand, and always goes above and beyond. He’s really one of the very best authors in the community. Great content and a great guy. His frameworks and documentation are second to none, and they’ve enabled me to make Campfire add-ons for a few of my mods. Thanks Chesko!
Fadingsignal, Hothtrooper99, Eckss. Darkfox127 for his great tutorials. Gopher for both his mods and his Youtube content. IsharaMeredin is very active on the forums to help with questions and obstacles in mod development.
I love Steelfeathers’ work for both Skyrim and Fallout 4. His creature cage overhaul for Fallout 4, Beastmaster, seems like it was torn directly out of my dreams for what I wanted beast taming to be in Wild Wasteland.
Elianora, Expired, Verteiron, meh221, Brevi, GrimyBunyip, opusGlass, the list just goes on and on.
And finally, the Skywind team over at TESRenewal is one of the greatest corners of the community. The quality of their work is extraordinary. They’re still making breakthroughs five years later. They recently figured out custom animations and skeletons without the use of FNIS, which is something the community had written off as impossible long ago. I’m proud to say that I’m every bit as excited for Skywind as I am for the next Elder Scrolls game.
There are so many authors who do such great work. I know I’m forgetting a fair few just because of a lot of talented people who are part of the community. Hope that answer wasn’t too long, but the community has so many great contributors it’s easy to get carried away.
What would you say are the best resources out there for learning how to mod?
Darkfox127’s tutorials on Youtube were the biggest thing for me when I was purely a beginner. They’re great, and if they didn’t exist, my mods might not exist. He covers so much in a very approachable way. They still help me from time to time when I’m stuck.
The Creation Kit wiki is go-to for syntax, but also good old-fashioned googling for example scripts and forum posts (which are usually from the Nexus). Can’t tell you how many problems I’ve solved by googling “best way to do X with papyrus” or “how to do X scripts” and following the Nexus forum links.
If you could give any advice to a new modder, what would it be?
Start small. Always start small. If you have big goals that involve many areas of the kit, you need to learn each area so you can implement everything to a high standard. I think many modders might be familiar with biting off more than you can chew, and it’s a problem that’s worse when you jump straight into something huge instead of starting small. I know, because it happened to me.
Thank you so much for agreeing to talk to me, it’s been a pleasure. Do you have any mods in the works that you would like to plug? I for one am definitely looking forward to seeing what comes next from you.
Thanks again for having me, it’s been fun. I don’t have anything in the works right now that I’m fully sure will see the light of day, but something tells me that I’ll be revisiting both Skyrim and Fallout 4 in the future with a few ideas I have in mind.
This week we turn entirely to the community to let us know some of their top picks for the games they are playing. We will be interspersing the Staff Picks every now and again to show some of these submissions, so please continue to get them into us using this new and handy form.
Please fill out the form completely and ensure that you add some details about the mod and why you have chosen it (similar to how our community members have below).
Just remember that other mods on the site may do roughly the same thing, so keep your eyes peeled and understand that these are just personal picks. That said, hopefully, you'll find something you may not have seen before.
Submitted By: jazzar23
Mod Author: AceeQ
Mod: Fantasy Soundtrack Project
Fantasy Soundtrack Project adds 235 new tracks to Skyrim and an additional 20 tracks with the combat plug-in, bringing an unbelievable amount of diversity of sound into the world many of us have been wondering around for ages.
This mod brought Skyrim back to life for me, because while the default soundtrack is an amazing series of incredible pieces, after 400 hours of the same thing over and over it got old and another 100 hours later and I was ready to mute the in-game music outright. Then I found this gem and the adventures were wondrous once more and the battles were intense and fulfilling unlike they had been in ages.
One of the best parts is it has an optional replacer or add-on feature so you don’t have to abandon the sounds of Skyrim we’ve come to love after so long, they just don’t have to be the only thing you ever hear.
Sound is half the experience in any game, and this soundtrack makes the Dragonborn's story one worth living all over again.
Submitted By: Rcoll
Game: Fallout 4
Mod Author: TinyManticore
Mod: Start Me up - Alternate Start and Dialogue Overhaul
Well, on the...off chance that you play Bethesda games, you'll probably know that nearly every one of them lets you create your own protagonist. They plop you down in a huge world and leave the character's morals, personality and past up to you and say "Go, go and explore our wondrous creation!".
Except Fallout 4 isn't really like that. Sure, you choose your character's face, but beyond that...they are and always will be the 200 year old soldier/lawyer looking for the people who killed their spouse and kidnapped their son. It really is hard to feel like you're playing as your own character, because you're not, you're playing as Bethesda's.
Yes, technically as soon as you leave the vault you can just go anywhere and completely ignore the main quest, but does that really make sense? Does it even remotely resemble something close to reason that a parent searching for their child would stop to do favours for every random stranger they meet? You are kind of forced into playing through the main quest or to throw all logic out the window and just pretend the first part of the game didn't happen or was a dream or something. Even then you can't seem to go two side quests without the SS wanting to say something about being 200 years old or how they miss their damn son.
Enter, Start Me Up. It lets you start the game as just some guy in the wasteland at a location of your choosing. You are also given some choices to further define your character(Are you a Trader, a Doctor, a Raider etc?) and a list of New Vegas style Traits to choose from.
By now you might be thinking "Okay, but how is this different from every other alternate start mod that has ever been made for the game?". Well, what really makes this mod truly S.P.E.C.I.A.L is that the author has gone through all the dialogue in the game, and replaced all references to the vault, life before the war, your spouse, and that freaking kid you would otherwise feel obligated to track down. Never before have I felt such freedom in the game to just...explore, as my own character with their own story. And that's really what these games are supposed to be about.
Mod Author: andrelo1
Mod: Alchemist's Journal
This mod is both useful and a natural fit for anyone who enjoys playing with alchemy. In the vanilla game, if you don't have an ingredient for a potion that you have made before, you just won't be able to see that potion, nor find out what you are missing.
With this mod, it adds some realism in that you use it the way you would in real life. It keeps notes about what potions you've mixed from what ingredients! Now if you need to make another batch of some particular potion, you can check your journal to see which ingredients you've discovered for it, and go on the hunt to those places where you know you can find the ingredients, just like a "real" alchemist!
Submitted By: Enkidu98
Game: Fallout 4
Mod Author: Hozsa
Mod: Easy Homebuilder and Working Double Beds (Rebuild your Sanctuary) by Hozsa
I really like to have Sanctuary 'restored'. Codsworth's presence there and his attention to his duties can easily explain why at least the players house (and perhaps because he is neighbourly and anxious.. the neighbours houses) has been kept in good shape.
As such, having this mod and its fully navmeshed homes, plus all the other little pieces in addition to his beds fixes, made this a 'no-brainer' mod.
On top of it all, Hozsa's very responsive to his users and has made efforts to help others with their mods, make reference to them on his page, and is a genuine gem in the community.
Submitted By: kestrelhawk
Mod Author: Mike Hancho aka Balok
Mod: Helgen Reborn
In simple terms, this mod gives the player a quest to rebuild Helgen after Alduin destroys it.
This isn't a simple mod, but a story that the player can fully immerse in, not only with well-fleshed characters but a gripping storyline that will draw the player in from start to finish. I love the ways Mike Hancho and his team blend every facet of the mod into Skyrim, even making sure it works with the vanilla beginning of the game, as well as many other mods.
Also, despite being 'retired' from modding, he still maintains a presence on his mod page, helping everywhere and everyone he can if they have any problems with his mod. That he devotes that time is very telling as to his character, and how he truly feels about what he has made.
He has now made Helgen Reborn available in SSE, and even more people, new to Skyrim due to the remaster, can play and enjoy this fantastic mod. Besides the great story, I've seen effects in this mod I've never seen in any other, and the play is neither over or underpowered (He does have a level recommendation to start). I will always have this mod in my load order, whether or not a particular character plays it or not. I am a role player of TES, Skyrim in particular, and also write some fan fiction set in the world of Skyrim.
The first time I played through Helgen Reborn, it was so good that it figured heavily into the story of the character I played in it. I love this mod, and the many endorsements it has only shows how much others do as well. I cannot recommend it enough to other players, and I hope you and the Nexus Team can see this as well.
Submitted By: zcul
Game: Skyrim Special Edition
Mod Author: sialivi
Mod: Blowing in the Wind
Skyrim is windy, you can hear that when playing, but you do not see it. Hanging signs and lanterns stand still in the windy Skyrim environment, villages and cities like in an image or a screenshot. "Blowing in the Wind" changes that. Signs and lanterns now swing in the wind – and that brings more immersion to the game.
The author calls it a "subtle immersion mod“, but actually s/he provides the user with 3 selectable levels of intensity the signs and lanterns react to the wind (light, medium and heavy) and a boatload of patches for a huge number of notable mods and plugins. The fomod installer (if using a mod manager like NMM) is easy to handle and automatically detects whether the user has installed any of the mods or plugins (over 50) the author made a patch for. A cracking immersion mod that I can highly recommend.
This week I am really pleased to bring you the Sunday Discussion with FadingSignal. This popular mod author has provided us with a number of high quality and incredibly popular mods over the last few years, with 'True Storms' deemed a necessary mod by many of our community. Last week CDante named FadingSignal as one of his top mod authors and this week I have managed to have a chat with him. So without further ado, please give a warm welcome to FadingSignal.
Hey FadingSignal, welcome to the Sunday discussion and many thanks for agreeing to talk to us. As with the previous interviews, would you mind letting us know a little bit about you please?
Hi! Thanks for having me! Well let’s see, I’m a designer, turned programmer, turned product manager, currently living in Los Angeles. I’m also a musician (I write synthwave/dance music under the name “Vogel”.) My background of software, digital art, sound/music, and user experience/product is why modding became so attractive to me. I get to use it all!
I really enjoy finding out a bit about an individual's gaming history, would you mind sharing yours with us?
I’ve been a lifelong gamer, with some pauses of inactivity here and there. My first intro to gaming was a dusty old Atari in 1985, then in around 1987, my family got an NES. Even back then, games like Contra and Super Mario (2 is my fav) totally pulled me in. Metal Gear was my absolute favorite on that system. Through the 90’s I moved into PC gaming, and played all the usual suspects like DOOM, Wolfenstein, Space Quest, and some lesser known like Commander Keen and Mean Streets. The year 2000 marked a pretty big gaming year for me with the first Deus Ex being released. That was when I really felt like open-world style games were going to finally be possible. My gaming was light for a couple years in the early-mid 00s after that, but I was into the Splinter Cell games a bit. I got back into games heavily by way of the Playstation 3, and then when Fallout 3 came out, it’s what pulled me back into PC gaming (and the Bethesda realm in general.)
Do you still own any consoles or are you solely a PC gamer now?
I still have my PS3 but it pretty much acts as a Blu-Ray player exclusively. I’ve been tempted to pick up a PS4 for some of the exclusives, and the new Zelda game looks so good that I’m debating getting a Switch.
What game would you say you have the fondest memories of?
Probably Fallout 3. It was the first game I sunk serious amounts of time into after a long break from gaming, and for some reason, there are so many instances where the soundtrack, the visuals, the general feeling of being there (especially during a 4-hour marathon) just locked into memory. Whenever I hear the soundtrack I have distinct memories of locations/situations in the game.
How about now, what is your current favourite game?
From sheer playing enjoyment, I’d have to say Witcher 3. It’s almost nice not being able to mod it very much. I have a huge list of games I need to install and check out, but so much of my game time goes toward modding Skyrim and Fallout 4!
How much time per week/month would you say goes into modding a game compared to the amount of time you play it?
I would say 90% of it, to be honest. I’ve only played through Skyrim and Fallout 4 one time each! I did savor those playthroughs and played all of the DLC, etc. but the rest of the time it’s been pure creation and learning. I might be a workaholic.
So when you're trying to stop being a workaholic, what do you enjoy doing outside of gaming to chill out, do you have any hobbies or activities that interest you?
I mentioned it initially but I also write/perform music. I DJ sometimes as well. I’ve been known to take a decent picture or two here and there, and have made a few music videos for some artists. If you can’t tell already, I like having my hands in many things at once! I also like to hike, go for long drives at night listening to music. I’m also a pretty big reader.
Do you have a SoundCloud account or similar where people can go to check out your music?
I do! All of my releases are available on Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Google Play, etc. You can search “Vogel Hologram” to find my first EP. Most stuff is up on SoundCloud as well, which is http://www.soundcloud.com/vogel
Going onto your mods, obviously True Storms for Skyrim and Fallout 4 are ‘kind of a big deal’ mods. How did you come up with the idea and how much planning went into them?
Every mod I’ve ever created began with me playing the game and wishing for something that wasn’t there, then rolling up my sleeves to make it. Sometimes my wants are very specific, and when there aren’t any mods out there that do what I want, the way I want, that’s when I dive in. I do start with a feature list, a “spec sheet” etc, but in the modding world, there’s a lot of poking around and unplanned changes so you have to stay a bit loose sometimes.
True Storms initially began as just a sound overhaul. I noticed that the thunder sounds in Skyrim were pretty repetitious, and more in-the-background. I play on a 5.1 surround system with a sub, so I love deep, loud sounds. I started to work on crafting the sounds, but quickly realized the visuals and particle effects needed to match the new heavy sounds, so I dug in and learned all I could about the weather systems and visual effects, and kept experimenting until I had everything just right. The other big part was getting interior rain sounds running. Overall I’m a very big fan of mods that stay close to the vanilla feel of the game, but just obsessively improve upon and expand the details. I think True Storms accomplished that, and thankfully lots of people do too!
For Fallout 4, I knew from the first time I saw the vanilla rain storms that I was going to bring True Storms into the wasteland. I didn’t want to just “port” it though, so I rebuilt it all. Todd Howard said in a launch interview that “these big radiation storms in the glowing sea blow through the commonwealth” and it got me thinking, why not creatures, too? And the random ghoul attacks feature was born.
How long would a mod like that take you to create?
True Storms for Skyrim took me probably a week or two off and on since the weather system was a new world to me. True Storms for FO4 was a bigger challenge because I made it before the CK came out, when the game was barely a month old, and a lot of us modders were still figuring out the bits and pieces with the available tools. The first version of True Storms for FO4 took me about a week. The updates with the ghoul attacks and all that was probably 2 or so weeks beyond that.
You created the mod, so it’s only fair that I ask you what weather effect you would say is your favourite?
I would say the SOUNDS. Having interior rain/thunder, and such intense outdoor thunder just feels good. For Fallout 4 I gotta say the random ghoul attacks are definitely a favorite!
How would you like to see the modding scene evolve, grow or change?
Firstly I’ve been lucky enough to get to see it evolve over the last few years. The tools, community, etc. are stronger than ever IMO. And it being wild, open, unstructured, is part of what makes it so great and so diverse, so it’s tough to say! I would like to see modding become more “mainstream”, with possibly more direct involvement from game developers, and ways for creators to be empowered to make more, if not turn it into an actual career path somehow.
In terms of career path for modders, did you see the recent news that the creators of Ark: Survival Evolved, Studio Wildcard, are going to be paying 15 modders a considerable amount of money each month to design, create and release mods for that game? What are your thoughts on that?
I think this is a new frontier that has clear benefits to both developers and mod creators if it can be done right. The fact that they are jumping in front of it early on, and with generous compensation is a smart idea, IMO. Because it’s such a fairly new realm, we’ll have to see how it pans out longer-term, but I like the idea of talent being recognized and rewarded appropriately.
In one of our most recent Sunday Discussions, we spoke to GamerPoets, a lovely guy who creates YouTube video tutorials and videos based on modding. What do you think of YouTubers that use mods as a way of getting a viewer base and making some money while Bethesda still shuts down mod authors from utilising sites such as Patreon?
Ooh, we’re getting a little controversial now! This is a touchy subject, so forgive me if I tread lightly. I have no problem with YouTubers doing their thing, and getting views, and getting paid. There’s supply and demand going on, and it gives great exposure to mods and their authors. That said, I feel like the finer points of where those lines are drawn for mod authors could use some work and some open discussion.
How about paid modding, we haven’t spoken about it for a while and I know you have some views on that subject - would you mind sharing those with us?
Another touchy one! I do hold the (unpopular) opinion that it would be great if there was a path for mod authors to somehow do this as a living. I personally would love for this to be my actual job. I have tons of detailed documents for mod projects I may never build because I don’t have the free time or resource.
I think a primary issue is that it’s such a new frontier (marketplace as opposed to a community), you can’t just set up shop at the edge and turn on the “open” sign. What we experienced so far just felt a bit detached. A lot of care and consideration has to go into doing it in such a way as to actually improve things, and not harm the ecosystem that has been there for many years. I don’t think it’s an inherently bad idea at all, it’s just a complex one, but I do believe there is room for it, and that it could be very positive if done correctly. I have a lot more thoughts on this, but I don’t want to take up the rest of the interview :)
Do you have any current or upcoming projects that you want to talk about or disclose?
For one, I’m slowly but surely porting all of my mods over from Skyrim classic to Skyrim SE, which includes publishing them for XBOX. I’m also wrapping up my Remote Explosives mod for Fallout 4 as we speak, which adds C-4, IEDs with a real working detonator, new meshes, animations (thanks Hitman!)
Do you use a lot of mods on your own playthroughs?
TONS. The last couple years I’ve got to the point where I mod mods for my own personal load order, so I spend tons of time Frankenstein-ing things together into something custom. I think in Skyrim classic I had around 500 mods merged and crammed and morphed down into the 255 limit.
Ha, amazing, think (if time was no object) you could ever merge them into one “Mega Mod”? What if I was to give you a limit of 10 mods to install, both for Skyrim and Fallout 4? And no, you are not allowed to merge any. What would you choose?
I’ve always wanted to take the mods I always install as “must-haves” into a single, massive ESM package for both Fallout 4 and Skyrim for personal use, but that’s quite a lot of work. And people would be hounding me for the files, which is a big no-no. Either way, I’d have 254 slots free!! :)
Regarding limit of 10 mods -- THAT’S A TOUGH CALL! There are so many! But if I HAD to pair it down, here are the big ones off the top of my head:
Skyrim Top 10
- Enhanced Lights and FX - It’s unreal how much this adds to the game.
- Immersive College of Winterhold - Another incredible mod
- Immersive HUD - Give me a clear view, or give me death!
- Interesting NPCs - Adds so much life to the world, gotta have it.
- Immersive Armors+Weapons - Sorry I know that’s two, but they really are a pair!
- Gamwich + aMidianBorn Textures - Another pair, but it’s texture mods so it doesn’t count! :P
- True Storms - yeah I know it’s my own mod, but I made it just how I wanted it! :)
- Campfire - Camping in Skyrim is wonderful, I can’t touch the game without this anymore
- JKs Skyrim (for Special Edition I use the FULL edition, because SE handles it like a champ, no FPS loss whatsoever.)
- Inhabitants of Skyrim - Vanilla hair version. Very minor tweaks that adjust odd proportions of some vanilla NPCs. Goes a long way.
Fallout 4 Top 10
- Immersive HUD
- Survival Options
- True Storms (again ha!)
- Darker Nights
- Pip-Boy Flashlight
- Any of DOOM or asXas’ weapon mods (pick one!)
- Interiors Enhanced
- PreWar Binoculars
- Legendary Modification
- Ammunition Crafting (Crafting Workbenches)
Okay, do you mod any other games? If so, do you have any favourites for them that you can give us a quick rundown on?
Currently, no. I’m itching to try out some Witcher 3 modding though!
What about mod authors? Which mod authors do you look up to?
Oh tons! There are a number of modders who are flat-out professionals and inspire me all the time, some of whom I’m lucky to call friends: Chesko, Isoku, Elianora, Expired6978, Ousnius, Jon (NifSkope), Registrator2000, and DOOM/Valdicil/Gambit77 who did a lot of pioneering work in Fallout 4 and laid groundwork for things like slot standards.
You are a very positive person and produce really popular mods, so do you get negative criticism and if so, how do you cope with it?
Thank you! That’s a big compliment. I welcome constructive feedback, ideas, conversation with open arms, but I do get some flat-out negative criticism or unwarranted angry comments sometimes. It can get under my skin, but thankfully it’s rare, so I’m able to just brush it off. No matter what a person does, or how successful, there will always be someone who is unhappy with it, or who wants to troll or fight, so you have to just take it in stride and focus on the positive.
On the flip side, you must also receive a lot of positive messages, have any of them ever stuck out and made you smile/regain your faith in humanity?
Yes! People send me messages sometimes telling me that something I made greatly added to their game experience, or that some little bit of modding advice I gave them helped them learn to create something themselves or fix an issue, and it always feels good. My motivation for doing this has always been because I just want these cool little things to exist, and so when other people express their enjoyment, it’s just nice to hear. My favorite is when people in the comments sections on my mods start helping each other out with config/install issues and such.
In terms of advice for our readership, what would you say to someone who is just getting started in modding?
Most importantly, have an idea before you try and learn. That keeps the focus. If you just want to learn “how to make mods”, there’s just too much to spread yourself thin with. Think of it like the human body -- doctors spend years learning about a single organ, and become a specialist on just that one thing, with only peripheral knowledge of everything else. If you love storytelling, think about making quests. If you’re a digital artist, or want to become one, look at how to make textures. Learn each component before trying to assemble the whole.
After that, it’s passion, and patience. There is a LOT of work in even small things, reverse engineering, figuring out workarounds, and flat-out walls you’ll hit when making mods, and if you don’t have the passion for the end result, and the patience to unwind the ball of yarn to get there, it can lead to frustration and burnout.
I see a lot of people asking how to start learning the CK so they can build their big DLC-sized new land mod. Not gonna happen. You HAVE to start small. We’re talking about an entire game engine at your fingertips here. My first mod idea was a big quest / story with new locations, lore integration, etc. and I quickly realized I had no idea what I was doing. So I retextured Skyrim’s moons instead! I only focused on texture mods for some time before I moved onto more complex things.
Hit YouTube and learn the very basics of xEdit first. Then get into the CK. Don’t try to skip ahead, just learn the controls, the interface, the very basics. Change some weapon damage, change an NPCs default outfit -- small moves. Over time all of those small moves will end up in a large skill set. It’s only now after 3 years of having my nose in this stuff day-in and day-out that I can do HALF of what I would like to do. So think big but start small and stick it out!
You said to hit up YouTube, would you say that this is your primary resource in learning new things? Where else would you suggest people go to learn?
It definitely is. When I first got into installing mods at all, Gopher’s channel guided me through that. DarkFox127’s channel was a huge help when I started cracking open the depths of the CK. Tutorials for Blender or 3DS Max are always everywhere on YouTube for anything I need to learn how to do.
The NexusMods forums and official Bethesda forums were both incredibly helpful when I was just starting out. Lots of people there ready to look at code snippets and give input!
The best way to learn is to reverse engineer. Look at how Bethesda did thing
Thank you so much for chatting to me, it’s been a pleasure. I wish you all the best for the future and look forward to seeing what comes next from you.
Thank you for the opportunity! It’s always a pleasure. I wish yourself and Nexus all the best as well!
I come bearing gifts! Some of you may remember the Witanlore: Dreamtime Giveaway we ran back at the end of January. Well I’m back at it again with keys for the game Butcher, by Transhuman Design!
THD is a great group of developers and have been kind enough to grant us 10 keys to hand out. As the developers themselves describe the game:You can check out Butcher on the official website.QUOTEBUTCHER is a fast-paced 2D shooter and a blood-soaked love letter to the cult classics of the genre. If kicking corpses into a lava pit and adorning walls with blood is your idea of a good time, BUTCHER is THE game for you.
We've also just put up a Nexus Site for Butcher.
(Our very own SirSalami has kicked things off over there with a punishing level called Exile!)
To enter for a chance to win you must do the following:
1. Follow Transhuman Design on Twitter
2. Follow Nexus Mods on Twitter
3. Retweet any of our Butcher Giveaway tweets with the hashtags #NXMGiveaway and #Butcher2D
(You must do all of these to be entered for a chance to win!)
1. Go to our pinned Butcher Giveaway FB Post
2. Like that post and leave a comment as to why you should win.
3. Share the post using the hashtags #NXMGiveawayand #Butcher2D
(You must do all of these to be entered for a chance to win!)
The giveaway starts today and runs through Sunday night (11:59PM on March 12th).
On Monday we will pick 5 winners from Facebook and 5 winners from Twitter.
You do NOT have to enter on both Facebook and Twitter for a chance to win.
Only doing one or the other is fine, as long as you meet all the listed requirements for the social media platform of your choice.
Good luck to everyone and happy modding!
Last month, we put a news post onto the site giving everyone an update as to the current state of Nexus Mod Manager version 2 and at the bottom of this news post we advertised a contract position for a UX/UI Designer. Despite receiving a number of applications, we have yet to find the individual who we believe can help us to create an intuitive, yet powerful piece of software. We are looking first and foremost at recruiting a member of our community who has the skills and abilities listed below to steer the interface design over the next few months.
This position will entail approximately 10-15 hours of work a week on a freelance paid contract basis (to be negotiated), you will be working closely with the Nexus Mod Manager v2 development team via our team Slack.
Details on how to apply are below.
This particular role will require the applicant to have an understanding of design principles, user personas and of course, the various current mod tools that are available to users.
- - Work with our team to create the UI for our new 'Mod Manager' from wireframe to implementation.
- - Provide visuals such as concepts and journey flows.
- - Provide advice and ideas to enhance the User Experience.
- - Provide own ideas while also adhering to team requirements.
- - Produce HTML and CSS for primary interface and additional themes.
- - A team player with a sense of humour
- - Previous professional experience within a UI/UX position.
- - A thorough understanding of how a user interface is essential to a smooth user experience.
- - Be an expert of known design packages such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Sketch and prototyping tools such as Balsamiq, Marvel or Invisionapp.
- - Excellent organisational skills.
- - Strong communication skills both verbally and written (English).
- - Experience with React
- - Experience with Bootstrap
- - Lives in Europe, east coast US or similar time zone.
In order to apply, please send an email to [email protected] detailing why you would be suitable for the role, attached to this email we would also like:
- - Your up to date CV / Resume
- - A quick (no more than a couple of hours) wireframe, sketch or mockup example of your vision for the 'Mod Page' in the mod manager. The "Mod page" is the page that displays all the mods the user currently has installed or downloaded (the mods tab in NMM).
This week I am pleased to bring you a modder that I have been following over the past few months, CDante, the author of the incredible 'Push Away Companions', a mod that our own Dark0ne liked so much he added as his Staff Pick. This week we find out what got him started in modding, what he is working on at the moment and what we can expect in the future.
Hi CDante, and welcome to the Sunday discussion. Firstly would you mind letting us know a little bit about you?
Hello Paul, and thank you for this amazing opportunity. My real name is Daniel, I’m a 35-year-old web developer from Budapest, Hungary. I have a masters in electrical engineering but I majored in applied informatics and computer architectures. I've been working in IT for the last 12 years, mostly in online media and bank informatics. Besides the obvious love for video games, I also spent more than a decade collecting, playing and popularizing tabletop miniature games such as Warhammer 40k. Some of my other hobbies include playing the bass, playing basketball and the occasional games of airsoft.
What first got you into gaming and what console/computer did you start with?
My grandfather is an electrical engineer like myself and he managed to get a Commodore 64 in the early ‘80s. He was the one who taught me how to list, load, run games on the C64 and even made me a floppy disk with my favorite games on it. I was 4.
I’ve been a gamer ever since.
In the early '90s, I fell in love with the Amiga so much that my first PC only came in the Pentium 1 era. I have always had my own gaming PC ever since, and the first one was the only one I haven't built myself. Besides the PC, I also had a SEGA Master System in the '90s and now I own an XBox 360 as well just for party games like Rock Band and such.
Did you have any favourite games while you were growing up?
Oh so many. I most fondly remember classic point & click adventures from LucasArts like Day of the Tentacle, the Monkey Island series, Full Throttle and similar games from Revolution Software like Beneath a Steel Sky or the Broken Sword series. But I also remember playing months on end of strategy games like the original X-Com and Terror from the Deep, the good old Settlers games, Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2, the Heroes of Might and Magic series and the first Red Alert game and RPGs like the Baldur's Gate and the Icewind Dale series and of course Fallout 1 & 2.
I could go on but if I look back, growing up as an only child I guess my favorite games were always the ones that granted a long single player experience with a great story and lovable, interesting characters. Not unlike reading a great book. So guess that's why my favorites were always adventure games and RPGs.
In terms of modding, you have hit the limelight recently with a series of releases for Fallout 4 that have grabbed the attention of not only our ‘Dark0ne’ but also PCGamer. What made you decide to mod Fallout 4 and did you have any previous experience?
I'm so glad you didn't mention the Kotaku article haha.
I never had any modding experience before Fallout 4 although I always played previous Bethesda games, and was constantly altering and fixing things via console commands. So it kinda started with playing Fallout 4 for 300 hours in the first 30 days after its release... I know. Guess I can't say I hate Fallout 4 haha. Then I started to test out mods and wanted a full MultiCam camo outfit for my character because that was our pattern of choice in our airsoft team. While there were a lot of camo retextures for outfits even back then, that wasn't enough, I wanted to add our team badge to the shoulder and the beret as well, so I quickly figured out how to edit texture files. That feeling right there, when I actually did something that changed the game, and the result was exactly the way I wanted it, that feeling I won't ever forget.
So I didn't stop there - one thing led to another and in February 2016 I released my first mod ever that added more than 200 standalone camo retextures for 7 different vanilla items. That was ‘All Camo Uniforms.’
When I started to receive more and more positive feedback about something I made for the game, and hundreds of users were downloading and enjoying my very first mod, I knew I found the best hobby ever.
Well, you’ve mentioned it now - so I’m going to ask! What about the Kotaku article?
There’s a technical issue in Fallout 4 with inactive radio stations. Let’s take Diamond City Radio for example. If the player turns off the Pip-Boy radio or is listening to another station, and there are no other radio receivers playing DCR nearby, the radio station will continue and finish playing the track the player was last listening to, then it will just stop playing tracks in the background, and starts rapidly skipping from one track to the next as if the songs were 0 seconds long. When the player tunes back into Diamond City, it will start playing the next song it reached during its inactive state.
While this is not a very noticeable problem with vanilla radios as they all play songs randomly anyway, it is a huge problem with radio mods like Old World Radio where most stations have a specific order of tracks. Which is especially important when it comes to episodic radio dramas.
So last summer I came up with the idea of spawning a completely muted and invisible actor near the player for 3 seconds that acts like a settlement radio, preventing the inactive station from rapidly skipping tracks when a song would end.
While the idea worked in theory, I made a big mistake thinking it would be a good idea to use the smallest actor in the vanilla game as a blank radio receiver: a cat. People started reporting issues with sneaking, or sometimes hearing dying, screaming, drowning cats in the background while playing the game. Then I was pointed to the right direction by fellow mod authors that the best way to use this technique is not with a cat but with a simple X marker. The bug was fixed within one or two days.
Now half a year later enters Kotaku exposing my mistake thanks to a Twitter post and making an article about it. Frankly, it wasn’t spiteful, the main message of the article was that modders sometimes come up with the weirdest solutions to make something work. Just like the game’s developers themselves.
The Kotaku Article
"Push Away Companions" was a stroke of genius and not only very funny but genuinely useful to have in the collection. What made you decide to make this mod and how long did it take you?
I remember the exact moment. I was watching a Nuka-World gameplay by Gopher and he got stuck multiple times in a maze because Codsworth was constantly in his way. I remembered Papyrus having a function called PushActorAway and that was it. It was one of my quickest mods to make. Even with adding player dialogue and making a video for the mod it took me around a week. I quickly showed it to Gopher and I was so happy he even covered it in a Mod Vault video. He really seemed to enjoy the mod a lot. These are the moments that motivate me the most.
It’s these moments when you wonder why it wasn’t thought of by the developers themselves, easy to implement and infinitely useful. Do you have any pet hates in the game? Things that really grind your gears?
Basically, I’m a completionist. Especially when it comes to huge open-world games. So because of that, what really bothers me the most when I can’t finish a quest, recruit a unique settler, loot a certain legendary item or reach maximum level in a skill just because of the many minor bugs throughout the game. Thank god there are console commands! And of course starting to mod the game helped too.
Do you have any ideas for future releases? Can you give us a sneak peek into what you have in store?
By the time this interview goes out Transfer Settlements should be released finally. I’ve been working on that mod for 2 months now and it’s by far my most anticipated mod to date. It gives you the possibility to export settlement data into external files, and import them back to any savegames of any characters, or publish these blueprint data files on Nexus pretty much the same way as LooksMenu or BodySlide presets. I will also release a Win32 tool that will allow you to convert exported blueprints to standalone mods that do not require Transfer Settlements or F4SE. These generated plugins will have the single feature of only importing that blueprint, adding the settlement to your game. That way these generated mods can be uploaded as XB1 mods to Bethesda.net as well.
Another long-awaited project of mine is the real-time hair and beard growing mod. It doesn’t require much explanation, it will work pretty much like the beard growing mechanism in The Witcher 3 except it will add hair growing as well for both male and female characters. I’m planning to finish up that mod after Transfer Settlements.
Those who follow me on social media might have noticed that I was also working together with the ShoddyCast for months on an interactive Storyteller radio and lore database. This is a huge and very exciting project, and the basic idea is to create a radio station with all 75 Storyteller episodes, around 100 lore-friendly commercials as well as lore-friendly cooking recipes and archive historical footage that teaches the player about different parts of the Boston area. The radio will always dynamically react to player actions: enemies encountered, looted items, active quests, locations, NPCs, etc - always trying to play relevant ST episodes, commercials or educational stuff. Some of the radio content will be locked by default to not give away spoilers and can be unlocked by progressing through the game, thus building a lore database in a holotape form as a result where the player can initiate the playback of any unlocked content from the radio. The ShoddyCast’s Psycho episodes will also be included as Easter Eggs that can be unlocked by finding various items throughout the Commonwealth.
Another radio-related project is the Pip-Man 3000, a complete Pip-Boy radio overhaul that features volume controls and the possibility to play any songs or even schedule or discard multiple tracks in a radio. This should be compatible with all vanilla radios as well as the most popular radio mods on Nexus.
I also had plans such as a working Mad Max 2-style gyrocopter as a vehicle mod, an immersion mod that adds scars and bruises to the player’s face dynamically during combat, and a weapon mod that adds a Batman-style grappling hook.
A lot of your mods are based on companions and followers, is this particular type of mod something that takes your interest?
Actually the largest portion of my mods are radios which is easy to miss if you check my profile on Nexus since none of those are uploaded by me haha. I made Kooky Radio with Skinnytecboy, GTKYMA Radio with Darren (DDProductions83) and I became tech lead in Brandoman's Old World Radio - Boston project when it had around 10 radio stations. Now we have 30. I also helped Casey with the first iteration of WRVR.
But yeah, I’m certainly not denying I love companions, one of the few things I believe Fallout 4 did better than earlier Bethesda titles are followers, their backstories, and the affinity system. One of the reasons I got so addicted to Fallout 4 is that I wanted to reach maximum affinity with all of them. Constantly checking their current affinity in console made me realize I need this fixed, so I learned how to decompile, modify and recompile Papyrus scripts and Visible Companion Affinity was born. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw how quickly my second mod became a hot file.
Then 8 months later I made a mod to shove them to the clouds haha.
Have you created all your mods yourself or do you have to call on fellow mod authors or friends to help you out?
Lately, as I was struggling with the implementation of my very first F4SE plugin I got huge amounts of help from Expired6978 and registrator2000. I’m also very lucky that last year I was accepted in a small group chat of some of the most talented and helpful mod authors. I want to mention ousnius, jonwd7 and Skinnytecboy, they helped me with a lot of issues since I had the pleasure to get to know them.
I’m always open for collaborations with other mod authors, the radio mods I mentioned are good examples, but I have plenty of projects to finish on my own as well.
What software suites do you use to create your mods?
I almost never use the Creation Kit for the kind of mods I make. I don’t really need to change celldata, put objects in the game world with the editor or create complicated dialogue trees. I completely understand why the CK is important, I just don’t need it for my mods. I’m much more comfortable using xEdit to create plugins, not to mention how important xEdit’s scripting possibilities are for me. There were many times I had to edit hundreds if not thousands of game records and I simply can’t imagine doing that without xEdit scripts.
For Papyrus scripting I’m using Notepad++ with Papyrus script extensions. I usually compile my codes with Caprica or sometimes with the Creation Kit’s command line compiler. Occasionally I use Python scripts with Notepad++ on my Papyrus scripts if more complicated text replacements are needed.
I use NifSkope and Outfit Studio if I need to alter meshes, 3ds Max if I need to create new things, Photoshop for texture work, Adobe Flash for creating new sprite animations like new HUD elements and a lot of Visual Studio 2012 lately for C++ and F4SE stuff.
Have you ever modded for Skyrim or Skyrim SE as all your mods on Nexus Mods are based around Fallout 4?
No, I haven’t. When SSE came out last year I felt like this is my chance to finally mod Skyrim as well. But, by that time I had so many ongoing FO4 projects, I still haven’t got to modding Skyrim. Lately, I’m more hyped to try modding The Witcher 3, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up modding Skyrim.
Actually, I got multiple requests to port over my Push Away mod. Even though Skyrim obviously has Fus Ro Dah it seems people still want this “harmless” way of shoving NPCs on Skyrim as well. I also believe there’s no reason for the real-time hair growing to be a FO4 exclusive either.
Do you have any mod authors who inspire you? Have you seen any mods recently where you have said “I wish I had thought of that?”
Pretty much everything by fadingsignal. I’m not at all envious I just think he has amazing mod ideas.
But in the very beginning, I was most inspired by Darren (DDProductions83) which is funny cause I believe we have absolute opposite personalities. But his mods were great, very unique and much needed, always showed a high level of skills, and his idea of creating the “Get To Know Your Mod Author (GTKYMA)” podcast series was spot-on. I remember always listening to the latest episodes while modding and wishing that maybe someday I will be one of those mod authors who he would consider having an interview with. (So you can imagine how I feel about this interview right now as well.) So “I got to know my mod authors” through Darren’s podcast and I became a big admirer of the amazing quality and presentation of Elianora’s and fadingsignal’s mods.
Later, while still having time to actually play the game, some of registrator2000’s mods became essential to my game such as the Outfit Switcher. His mods are always so innovative and inspiring, not to mention he always uploads his source codes so others can learn by studying them.
Much like reg2k’s mods, everything Expired6978 does are also game changers. He is an extremely talented and very smart mod author also working on F4SE, so I’m always looking forward to the innovative mods he comes up with.
Last but not least I’m also a huge fan of Skinnytecboy’s hilarious companion mods.
Talking of FadingSignal, I’m having a chat with him at the moment - is there anything you would like to ask him?
Actually, he was the one who invited me to that group chat I mentioned. We last spoke yesterday. He helped me with explosions, I helped him with radios.
Your mods have always been well received, but have you had to deal with any negative criticism?
Not really, no. The rudest comments always come from people offended by some radio content. Like jokes about a president named ‘Drumpt’ in West Vault Radio. Or the term ‘gopnik’ in Gopnik Radio’s title being a social slur in Russian. I don’t really get these types of offensive comments. I mean people can be offended by almost anything, I get that part, but they’re always welcome to not use a mod in a video game.
Is there any feature you would like to see implemented on Nexus Mods that you feel would benefit our community?
I can think of two things right now.
The first one actually came from Gopher if I remember correctly. There was this huge thread not long ago about YouTube reviews and mod authors who don’t like their mods being reviewed by others who make money off of their work. And the idea was to add a feature that allows you to flag your mod pages whether you like your mods being reviewed or not. Me personally, I don’t mind YouTube reviews at all. I think of it as a symbiosis between mod authors and YouTube reviewers. Modders get more exposure in exchange for the free content they provide for video content creators.
But I can understand the viewpoint of others who don’t think of this the same way and with a feature like this, they could notify YouTubers that they don’t want their mods being used in this fashion. And as a result, YouTubers could do their mod searches with a filter and only review mods made by authors who are happy with this concept.
Another cool feature, in my opinion, would be an early access type of user right to certain mod pages. Mod authors would be able to grant access to certain users before releasing their mods thus inviting whoever they want to test their mods in earlier stages before releasing it to the public. This way testers would be able to see the mod page with all the essential instructions and use the Bugs section or the comments to help mod authors fixing issues before the initial release.
If you could only install 10 mods to your Fallout 4 installation what would they be?
- True Storms by fadingsignal
- Unlimited Companion Framework by Expired6978
- Achievements by Expired6978
- Outfit Switcher by registrator2000
- Infinite Settlement Budget by DDProductions83
- Shaikujin's Better Alerts
- DEF_UI by Neanka, Valdacil, Old Nick, ParasiteX and sekoms
- Valdacil's Item Sorting
- Full Dialogue Interface by Cirosan and shadwar
- Old World Radio - Boston
If you could offer any advice to up and coming mod authors what would they be?
Have a LOT of patience. Prepare for a huge amount of trial and fails. 90% of the time you spend on modding is about that. That’s why it’s very time-consuming. And that’s why it requires an extreme amount of dedication.
Know the game, play the game for at least 100 hours before trying to mod something. Don’t start modding without having a good idea about what you want to mod. After playing the game for awhile, you will know exactly what you want to change, fix or add to the game, and if you feel you have enough dedication, you are ready to find out how to do it.
Try learning as much as you can on your own. Only ask others if you feel you tried everything and still don’t make progress. There are a good amount of great tutorials out there by modders like Eli, fading, also Kris Takahashi started his Mod SCKool series recently. Everything you need in order to start modding is out there, all you need is the ability to find things on the internet. At least for the basics.
Mod authors are much more helpful if they see you did your homework, found out everything you could on your own and only need someone to point you in the right direction. You should never expect a mod author to spoon-feed you with information that a google search can give you in the form of a video tutorial.
Once you’ve learned the basics I believe there are three main pillars for a mod to be successful, and they are equally important in my opinion: a good idea, the quality of implementation and the quality of presentation.
If you did a great job implementing your mod and your mod page looks awesome but the mod has been done by dozens before you no one will care.
If you have a great idea and great presentation, a lot will download your mod but if it’s not tested thoroughly, people will be disappointed and you will spend the next couple of weeks fixing bugs.
And if your mod is a solid, original idea, and your implementation is spotless but your mod description consists of three sentences, no one will notice your work.
So to sum up: patience, dedication, patience, learning as much as you can on your own, patience, good ideas, patience, quality of implementation and presentation. And did I mention patience?
Thank you ever so much for talking to me, I wish you all the best in your future mods.
Thank you, Paul! I really appreciate this opportunity and looking forward to the next interviews in this awesome series.
On Monday the 6th of March 2017 Nexus Mods will be down from 08:00 GMT so that we can perform some essential database maintenance. We expect this maintenance to take around 4 hours, but due to the nature of the work there is scope for this to be shorter or longer.
The website and the forum will be down during this time.
We’re performing this at the quietest time that we possibly can so that it has as minimal impact as possible.
Thanks for your understanding,
A slightly smaller Staff Picks this week as we go without a guest submission. We have had plenty sent in, but they have only contained a very brief description (usually a sentence or two) about why the the user actually enjoy the mod and what it does. I will post these up in the next few weeks, though probably in a large group. If you are submitting a mod for this feature, please try and include some details as to what makes it special to you and what the mod actually does - a bit like we have below.
For us, SirSalami has this week been back in the world of 'The Witcher 3' trying out a combat focused mod, Terrorfox1234 has been chatting to crabs and I have lost my sense of immersion for a more in your face health bar system.
We love to hear your selections, so if you have a mod you would like to submit to the community (not your own), please check out this new and handy form. Please fill it out completely and ensure that you add some details about the mod and why you have chosen it (similar to how we have below). Just remember that other mods on the site may do roughly the same thing, so keep your eyes peeled and understand that these are just our personal picks. That said, hopefully, you'll find something you may not have seen before. Who knows, maybe we'll even learn a little about each other along the way.
Mod: Disable SoftLock Targeting v1.22
Game: Witcher 3
Though I personally like The Witcher 3's combat a lot, as they say, "there's always room for improvement". This is especially true for us modders. This one aims to give players more precise control over Geralt's acrobatic sword attacks, as well as sign/spell usage.
By default, when initializing an attack close to an enemy, the game will automatically make Geralt advance with a predetermined animation. Even without using the game's lock-on system, Geralt tends to focus on only one particular enemy at a time. By installing this mod and disabling this "SoftLock" however, your character will no longer automatically advance toward a fixed target when attacking. Instead, depending specifically on your movement input, Geralt will initiate specific attacks in the precise direction of your choosing.
This can lead to both embarrassing whiffs, as well as satisfying combos and multi-hits, depending on skill. The difference is akin to comparing the fluid and accessible combat featured in the Batman Arkham series and the precise and demanding combat of Dark Souls, with vanilla being the former and this mod providing the latter. This video from the original author explains these changes quite well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ1959hkgMQ.
So not only does this mod enhance your control over the character but it can also force you to be more deliberate with your actions, which I feel ultimately leads to a more rewarding combat experience. Originally created by FoxHoundSWE, the latest release from Sunkid supports v1.22 and v1.31 of the Witcher 3. Great work!
Mod: The Mudcrab Merchant
Mihail has been churning out some high-quality beasts and creatures lately ranging from massive dwarven automatons to normal-sized sewer rats. This latest effort though is something else entirely.
Seriously. Look at that cute little guy. He talks. He sells things. He buys things. He carries those things on his back. Those of you that played Morrowind may remember the original mudcrab merchant. Bringing this little crustacean into Skyrim may entice feelings of nostalgia and brand-new excitement. Dressed up mudcrabs have that effect.
I’m not sure what else there is to say. It’s a mudcrab merchant, and that is a wonderful thing.
Mod: Nameplates - Floating Healthbars
Game: Fallout 4
There is many an occasion when I would like to be totally immersed within my game, the HUD off and it being just me and the world around me, other times I quite like the sense of knowing what exactly is going on despite the fact it means my screen is covered with icons, maps, suggestions and whatever else the developer has thrown in for good measure.
So after coming direct from a few evenings of playing Guild Wars 2 (Yes, I'm still going), I decided to try out this mod and have actually come to love the fact I can see exactly what is going on at any particular point. The enemies are now very easy to distinguish but also easy to see who to target first. My companion's health is also visible, which is nice as it allows me to see how much of a battering MacCready is taking for me.
As with any good mod, it is highly configurable, from the colour of the various bars, to whether you would like it enabled or disabled for a particular type of NPC and even the scale. If you don't mind your immersion in the game being a little less than usual, then I would recommend giving it a whirl. It really is quite helpful.
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