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  • 09 January 2012

    Skyrim Tweak Guide Livestream featuring Dark0ne

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    If you're a sucker for watching and listening to other people play games and show you how to do things then you might be interested in tuning in to the Nvidia livestream tomorrow on Nvidia's Twitch TV Channel (it's online, not on TV!). The folks from Nvidia will be going through their recent comprehensive tweak guide in detail, and if you're not interested in that, then I've agreed to pop-in for a voice chat with the Nvidia folks during the show. Should be interesting considering I'm on Mobile 3G internet at the moment!

    The Nvidia folks will be grilling me along with Martigen on the modding community. So if you enjoy my banal twittering on nonsensical issues then tune in and have a listen! The livesteam is due to go live at 11am PST, which should be 7pm GMT tomorrow (the 10th of January 2012).
  • 26 December 2011

    Interview with Thepal, 1st place winner for Skyrim Nexus' FOTM contest

    posted by yoba333 Game News
    Rounding off our countdown to the first place File of the Month winner for Skyrim Nexus, we have Thepal with his mod, Nude Females. Thepal won with 415 votes, and graciously agreed to do an interview with us below. Be sure to vote for December’s FOTM contest so you can see your favorite modder featured here on the site news. Congratulations, Thepal!

    QUOTE

    Q:Tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from, what are some of your other hobbies outside of games?
    A:I'm from Australia. I'm an IT teacher who specialises in teaching students how to program (especially games programming). I'll also be developing games/apps sometime in the near future. My job takes up most of my free time, and the rest is mostly spent with my wife. When I do get some extra free time (when I don't feel a need to play a game) I usually use it to get away from screens.

    Q:What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
    A:Well, I started playing Skyrim at midnight on the 11th, then went to work in the morning and came home to play it again in the afternoon. In the evening, I went to the Nexus and thought it was a bit strange noone had done a nude mod yet, and thought that maybe it wasn't possible yet. I decided to take a look and see, and within five minutes I had created the nude barbie-doll mod and knew I'd feel guilty at that point if I didn't release it. After another day my OCD nature took over, and I had to finish the job and create a proper nude mod.

    Q:What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
    A:It was nice to do something simple for once. Every other mod I have made has taken months, if not years. This was something I could do in five minutes, with a couple of hours to upgrade it. It let me be creative on a small level and get something out straight away.

    Q:What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
    A:Trying to find the right balance between quality and making the mod fit in with the game. I think I found a happy medium, where the textures look like they belong in the game.

    Q:Roughly what was the total time it took for you to put this mod together so far?
    A:Five minutes for the barbie-doll mod. Somewhere between 3 and 10 hours for the proper nude mod. It's a bit hard to say. I've spent a lot longer packaging and uploading the mod to the Nexus and other sites, so it has eaten up quite a bit of my time.

    Q:Do you plan on any more new features in your mod?
    A:Maybe. I might see about offering versions with just the top of the underwear, or just the bottom. The nipples need to be placed better as well, but the default mesh makes this kind of difficult. I may eventually release some proper high-res textures as well, but at the moment I'm happy with the way the textures fit in with the game (as are most people it seems).

    Q:Do you have other mods you are working on? If so what might those be?
    A:Most of my ideas are ways that other mods will be able to work together. I have an idea for creating a Furniture Master mod that will allow modders to easily add new furniture so that it will automatically be sold in any furniture stores added through mods. I also want to create a Companion Master mod that will allow modded companions to interact with each other, and let people create companion mods more easily. The main mod I want to make is a "companion" mod (which would actually include a lot more than just a companion), but that will depend on if I have the time to do it. I'm not working on them at the moment. I'll remain patient and wait for the Creation Kit.

    Q:What are some of your favorite games besides Skyrim?
    A:Mostly I'm looking forward to Mass Effect 3 at this point. I usually go for games with story and characters over action and flashy stuff. I play a lot of Adventure games (when I can find them). RPGs (Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc). Assassin's Creed is good, though I haven't had time to play past the start of the second game. GTA. The Ultima series, when I'm feeling nostalgic. The Ultima and Quest for Glory series' are probably my favourites of all time.

    Q:Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
    A:Choose something small and work from there. It is nice when you create something that is the first thing people mention when asked "What mods should I install?", such as happened with my Unofficial Morrowind Patch, but that takes time and you'll never get as much recognition as you hope for. Nude Females was an extremely simple mod for me, and in some ways I have gotten more back from it in a few weeks than I did from the UMP in years. The UMP is in the Hall of Fame for most Morrowind mod sites, but Nude Females is the first mod of the month on the Nexus, won a prize at A site we've had to banlist because they continue to spam mod authors with advertising links, and in four weeks has been downloaded 115,000 times just at the Nexus. But don't make mods for the love and adoration of the fans. Most mods aren't going to be downloaded by thousands. Almost every mod will receive some (or in my case with Nude Females, a lot of) negative feedback. Mod because you love it. Share it for the community.

    Q:And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
    A:Go easy on Bethesda. They've given us an amazing game. It isn't perfect, but it is still better than pretty much everything else out there. Patches will come. They won't come overnight (and they shouldn't, or we'll get more v1.2 issues). But they will come. Try to remain positive. SteamWorks has a lot of people frightened, but let's just wait to see how it turns out. Whether it is good or bad, it won't really matter. We will always have the Nexus.

  • 26 December 2011

    FXAA Post Process Injector wins 2nd place FotM

    posted by Galahaut Site News
    The 2nd place File of the Month for November was FXAA Post Process Injector by Retspadez, with 351 votes. Unfortunately we were unable to reach him in time for this set of interviews. In place of the interview (for now), here is some information about the mod.

    The FXAA Post Process Injector allows you to "enhance your graphics with FXAA and a variety of post processing effects, including bloom, sharpen, technicolor, sepia, tonemap, vignette, and more." The mod currently comes with 4 presets, or you can customize the settings yourself. Many settings chosen by others can also be found on SkyrimNexus (run a search for FXAA).

    The injector is not compatible with mods that replace d3d9.dll except ENBseries. In fact, Retspadez recommends using Enhanced Shaders, which includes the ENBseries patch.

    With 351 FotM votes and over 2100 endorsements, the FXAA Post Process Injector is very popular. If you haven't already, check it out. You can see a (slightly outdated) demonstration video below; there are more videos and plenty of screenshots available on the mod page too.

    Check back tomorrow for the final interview with the author of November's winning File of the Month, and don't forget to cast your vote for December.

    Update: Erroneous information about 1.3 removed. Thanks for reports.
  • 24 December 2011

    Interview with NebuLa1, November's 3rd Place FotM Winner (Skyrim HD)

    Another of Skyrim's File of the Month winners for November was NebuLa1, with Skyrim HD - 2K Textures. Skyrim HD won with a total of 318 votes. Below you can read his responses to our interview questions.

    QUOTE

    What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
    When I played Skyrim for the first time, I was overwhelmed of the atmosphere, but after some hours playing I noticed that the textures had a good style but they were definitely too low-res. I don’t necessarily need HD textures, but this 512px disasters just ruined the atmosphere for me. Right on the first day I tried around with replacing textures, and showed them to a friend. First of all I didn’t even planned to release anything to public or replace many more textures, but then after some days my friend told me to upload it here and within a few days the clicks were exploding! My inspiration is pushed by the amount of good feedback from people who love the game even more with my textures.

    What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
    It is hard to say. I think I just have fun when working on this. I also really love the “before and after”- effect.

    What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
    Since I got so many clicks I try to listen to the users to create a better experience for everybody. The hardest part there is to find the “average-opinion” which most of the users have. There are many users which have another taste in style, but it is hard to fit with the taste of everybody at once. Technically, the hardest part for me was matching the textures to seem realistic, but without exceeding the engine limits. I have had the experience that almost all of my texture replacements cannot be just “photographed and integrated” without editing them, because if the textures are too photorealistic without a bit of artistic style in it, they just look extremely flat. It is actually just normal mapping which makes the textures more 3-dimensional. I hope the Creation Kit or future updates will bring up more possibilities.

    What was your favorite and least favorite parts of the tools you used to create Skyrim HD?
    I mostly use Photoshop for everything that has to do with creating and editing of textures. My least favorite part of Photoshop was definitely the Price, everything else was fine. My favorite part of Photoshop is its possibilities, which helped me creating good textures.

    Roughly, what was the total time it took for you to put this mod together so far?
    Wow, that is a hard question. I do not write down the hours I put into this mod, but now with the working time for 1.2, it is definitely in the three-digit area. For three weeks I worked several hours a day on the 1.2 Update, based on how much free-time I got.

    Do you plan on any more new features in your mod? Specifically anything not listed on your mods page on the Nexus?
    My main goal is to recreate the overall atmosphere, so I try to work on everything that bothers me in the vanilla version. Even if there is already a mod for something it doesn’t mean I will not work on this. I love to give the things my own style.
    If I figured out certain things I’ll possibly mod other things than textures.

    Do you have other mods you are working on or do you plan to create other mods in a team? If so, what might those be?
    Every other mod-part I’m working on will be integrated into my “Skyrim HD” Project.
    Currently I also do not plan to work in a team with others. It is not because I don’t like teamwork, but because of the fact, that I try to create a complete mod with my style. If I would connect my work with other modders, I would need to give up a part of my style.

    Tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from, what are some of your other hobbies outside of games?
    I’m from Germany. This is why my english is not that good sometimes.
    I spend a lot of free time into music, video production, and design. Besides doing things on the computer I regularly go to the gym, cinema, club and other pretty average things. I’m not that nerdy however it may look ;)

    What are some of your other favorite games if Skyrim isn't the only game you play? Any other game genres besides the RPG style games that Bethesda publishes?
    To be honest, I don’t spend that much time in playing games. Skyrim was the first game that totally impressed me. Besides Skyrim I also sometimes play Call of Duty, Anno, Crysis 2 or some other retro games, but not regularly and mostly not for very long.

    Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
    Don’t do it just for clicks! If you upload a mod and just having in mind that you want to have many clicks you will not get happy with your work. Of course everyone wants appreciation for his work, but don’t try to force it.
    And don’t forget: There will be always haters (at least a few): Just ignore them. It’s simple: If you get angry, you loose ;)

    And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
    I want to thank everybody who likes my mod and supports me!
    Also a special thanks to “brandon2u” for his support and the help in the forums. Without him I definitely would have had much less time for the 1.2 Update.


    Thanks to NebuLa for participating in the interview and for creating Skyrim HD! Check back tomorrow for the interview with the 2nd place winner, and don't forget to vote for December's File of the Month (even one vote can make a difference!)
  • 23 December 2011

    Interview with Xenius, November's 4th FotM winner (No more blocky faces)

    posted by Zaldiir Game News
    One of this month's File of the Month winner of your choice is Xenius, who ended up on 4th place with No More Blocky Faces at 296 votes. Hopefully you'll enjoy this interview with Xenius and the insight into the development of his mod and maybe even learn a bit about him. Read his responses to our interview questions below.

    QUOTE

    What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
    The blocky faces just look awful. When Bethesda released the pictures of all face presets many people, including me, noticed this problem, especially on the noses and chins. These pictures were shown months before the release, they could have easily fixed it themselves. The problem was caused by compressed normal maps, on smooth areas artifacts (blocks) will appear when using too much compression. This could have been solved by simply saving the normal maps in an uncompressed format, resulting in a bigger file size.

    I assume they didn’t do this because they wanted to keep the pc and console versions of the game identical. Consoles have very limited memory so it is very likely they would not be able to handle uncompressed normal maps.

    What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
    The big improvement compared to the amount of work.

    What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
    At first I didn’t know this problem was caused by compression. So I got rid of all the artifacts and saved the normal maps using a compressed format like I always did before, then I noticed the blocks returned. I remembered reading something about compressed and uncompressed normal maps and started all over again – I had not saved any of my progress – and saved them without compression this time, this solved the problem.

    What are the tools you used in your development?
    I used Fallout Mod Manager to extract the original game files, Photoshop CS5 with Nvidia’s DDS plugin for editing the normal maps and 7zip to pack everything into archives for online distribution.

    Do you plan on any more new features in your mod? Specifically anything not listed on your mods page on the Nexus?
    I recently updated the mod, there were some less obvious artifacts which I got rid of. Unless I forgot something there won’t be much else to add aside from maybe some optional stuff.

    Do you have other mods you are working on or do you plan to create other mods? If so what might those be?

    Last week I uploaded XCE, which is a compilation of all my separate mods. This will be an ongoing project regarding character enhancement. Once the CK is available I also plan to create additions instead of only the replacements.

    In the future I will also start creating custom races, like I did for Oblivion. Although I don’t have any specific ideas for that yet.

    What are some of your other favorite games if Skyrim isn't the only game you play? Any other game genres besides the RPG style games that Bethesda publishes?
    Morrowind is my favourite game of all time, Skyrim will probably take the second place. RPG is my favourite genre, besides The Elder Scrolls I also enjoyed playing The Witcher and the Mass Effect games. I liked Fallout 3 and New Vegas as well because the gameplay is similar to The Elder Scrolls. For these two games I created a few mods too, but never really got into it.

    Not playing other genres a lot, with a few exceptions here and there. I did really like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, because horror is also one of my favourite movie genres, still haven’t taken the time to finish it though.

    Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
    Don’t get too big ideas that you will never be able to accomplish, start with something small instead, something that you know you can do. Like me for example, before I started modding I already knew a few things about using Photoshop, that’s why I got into texturing 3 years ago.

    And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
    I would like to thank everyone who enjoys my mods and has supported me the last few years, all of that motivates me to continue sharing my work.
    Also thumbs up to Dark0ne and the rest of the staff for keeping this place up and running.


    Thanks to Xenius for participating in the interview and for making No More Blocky Faces! Check back tomorrow for the next interview with the 3rd place winner, and do not forget to vote for December's File of the Month!
  • 22 December 2011

    Interview with TheCompiler, November's 5th FotM winner (Skyrim Total Enhancement Project)

    posted by Galahaut Interviews
    In celebration of Skyrim's release, we will be interviewing all five File of the Month winners for November. A new interview will be posted over the next five days, starting with the 5th-place winner and ending with the highest vote earner.

    TheCompiler's Skyrim Total Enhancement Project (STEP) is the 5th File of the Month for November, earning 182 votes. TheCompiler has responded to our interview questions and you can read his responses below.
    QUOTE

    What was your inspiration for STEP?

    I got the "inspiration" for STEP from another game community project, called "Il-2 Ultr@Pack" for the simulator Il-2 Sturmovik; it's basically an expansion built with the best mods.

    What did you find most enjoyable about organizing STEP?

    Actually playing the game after updating STEP.

    What were some of the challenges you encountered with STEP?

    Keeping the guide up-to-date, since the community is very busy at the moment and lots of new mods come out.

    What are thoughts on the upcoming Creation Kit and integration with the Steam Workshop?

    I'm very excited about the CK, not so much about Steam, through..

    Roughly how much time have you invested in STEP so far?

    Usually 1-3 hours a day, depending on my daily schedule. This since the launch of Skyrim.

    Do you have any future plans for STEP?

    Yes, expecially after the release of the CK.

    Are you working on any other mods or projects?

    Not for now.

    What would you like to see in the next Elder Scrolls game?

    More immersive RPG mechanics, like hunger-thirst-rest necessities, optional of course.

    Anything about yourself you'd like to share? Hobbies, interests, background, etc.

    I love science and I study biology at university, but I also love fitness.

    What are some of your other favorite games?

    Civilization, Europa Universalis, Minecraft

    Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?

    My advice is to don't always pursue glory, but to aim at the good of the community; this means working together to build better mods and ensure better compatibility between mods.

    Finally, do you have anything else you would like to say to readers?

    The Nexus has a great potential, the only thing we need is a "demiurgo."

    Thanks again to TheCompiler for participating in the interview and for STEP. Check back tomorrow for the next interview, and don't forget to vote for December's File of the Month.
  • 20 December 2011

    Skyrim update 1.3.10 released

    posted by Zaldiir Game News
    A small update for Skyrim was released today on Steam, which adds support for LAA.

    Notes:
    • Support for 4-Gigabyte Tuning (Large Address Aware).
    • Fixed issue with accented characters not displaying properly at the end of a line.


    So, it seems a 3rd party software for running Skyrim with support for LAA is no longer needed, hopefully.
  • 08 December 2011

    Editorial: Video Blog on recent community events and CK information

    posted by Dark0ne Game News


    I've been meaning to write an editorial or blog about the recent events in the Nexus community since Skyrim's launch and also to cover a few points regarding Bethesda's recent announcement on their plans for the Creation Kit and their Steam Workshop integration. However, I'm in the process of moving house right now and have come across the webcam I lost when I moved in 2 years previously, so I thought I'd put two-and-two together and try my hand at doing a video blog.

    It's completely no frills, no edits, no cuts and there aren't any visual aids. It is, literally, me talking in to a camera for 37 minutes so if you're looking for flashy logos or video clips of me playing Skyrim then I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed -- it's 37 mins of my ugly mug talking to you.

    I've never done a video blog before so go easy on me! I've been packing up things all day and currently sleeping on the floor so don't expect much, but expect something...because it's me!
  • 07 December 2011

    Skyrim update 1.3 released

    posted by Zaldiir Game News
    Update 1.3 for Skyrim is now available on Steam and is being submitted to Sony and Microsoft!

    Update 1.3 Notes:
    • General stability improvements
    • Optimize performance for Core 2 Duo CPUs (PC)
    • Fixed Radiant Story incorrectly filling certain roles
    • Fixed magic resistances not calculating properly
    • Fixed issue with placing books on bookshelves inside player purchased homes
    • Fixed dragon animation issues with saving and loading
    • Fixed Y-look input to scale correctly with framerate


    Bethesda is also planning on supporting 4GB Tuning for PC (Large Address Aware) next week, so stay tuned!

    BethBlog

  • 05 December 2011

    PHP Developer position open at the Nexus

    posted by Dark0ne Game News
    With the release of Skyrim Nexus and the success of the modding scene to date the Nexus server infrastructure has been stretched to its very limits, and so have I. Working 18 hour days for the first couple of weeks (along with Axel) I began to question the work load I put in to running the Nexus and the obvious options were to tone down the scope of the sites or to bring on some more professional help to alleviate some of the stress placed on myself and the servers.

    I have enjoyed immensely working in and being a part of this community, I have so many fond memories of times past and friends who have come and gone, and I do not want to let go of 10 years of hard work I've spent running these sites and trying to develop sites that are a true service to this community, with the community's best interests at heart. I'd like to continue to do that, providing scope and direction for the Nexus sites (and to continue to do all the crap in the background I bet none of you think need doing, like the dreaded VAT returns of doom!) and leaving the clever stuff (like the coding) to the clever people.

    The last time I asked for help back at the start of April I was lucky enough to find Axel, who has been coding like a true Dovahkiin (as all true Dovahkiin's do...) ever since. He's very close to rolling out the PHP framework he's been working on since he first started and then we can really start moving. You might not notice any differences to begin with, but over the next couple of months you'll begin to notice some pretty major improvements. On that note, I'm looking for another PHP coder. Axel and I have grand aspirations and want to bring modding to the masses, but we need your help to do it.

    We have a full-time, paid position open for a PHP developer who is an avid fan of the games the Nexus sites support and who wants to get paid to work on bettering this great community we've created. You'll work closely with myself and Axel to improve the Nexus sites and expand their scope and reach while remaining true to our free sharing and open community. This position is open to people in the UK and the EU. Head on over to the job opening page to read up on what we're looking for.