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The Creation Kit with Steam Workshop integration is nearly here!
New diary from Production Director Ashley Cheng:QUOTE
With each game we release — Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, and now Skyrim — modders continue to use our worlds as a canvas to build the most incredibly creative and fun mods in gaming. The fact that Morrowind’s modding community is still going strong 10 years after its release is a testament to how essential our community is to the success of our games.
We’re big believers that if we go the extra mile and make our games as moddable as possible, the game will only be better for it. So the gameplay of “do whatever you want” extends to “make the game do whatever you want.” As we were building Skyrim and its tools, we made it a goal to try and keep the transition from our previous titles to Skyrim as smooth as possible for modders. More importantly, we want to make it easier for more people to enjoy mods. So we teamed up with Valve and created the Skyrim Workshop. We couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turning out. Mods are a big part of what makes our games special, so we urge everyone to try it out. We’re going to keep looking for ways to get mods to more people, and hopefully one day to our console audience.
With Skyrim Workshop, you can browse and search for the latest or highest rated mods, subscribe to any that interest you, rate your favorites and post feedback. Once you’ve subscribed to some mods, start the Skyrim launcher and you’ll see your subscribed mods automatically download. The launcher will even check if a mod has been updated and grab the latest version.
If you want to try making mods (and we think everybody should), the Creation Kit will be a free download via Steam under Tools. The Creation Kit has lots of new features, including the ability to build archives. Plus you’ll want to check out the Creation Kit Wiki, our online documentation and help file, for more details.
Of course, you’ll still be able to use popular fan-hosted mod sites like Skyrim Nexus to find great mods to play. We did not change any functionality to exclude the way mods worked previously. We even added a few features to help out — for instance, custom INI files can now be packaged into mods so you don’t need to backup your INI files anymore.
And we’re not done. Neither is Valve. Give us your feedback on the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop in our forums. We both have updates in the works, so give us your thoughts.
Big thanks to programmers Ken Cockerham, Mike Lipari, and Shannon Bailey for getting the Skyrim Workshop up and running with Skyrim. And special kudos to Joel Burgess (who originally brought up the idea of using Steam Workshop) for shepherding this process along the way.
We’d also like to give big shout outs to Valve. We are all big Valve fan boys. Thanks to David Sawyer, Josh Weier, Pieter Wycoff, Kurtis Chinn, Tom Bui, Alden Kroll and Jason Holtman.
Finally, we’d like to thank all the modders who volunteered to beta test the Creation Kit and Skyrim Workshop. Your feedback has been invaluable.
We can’t wait to see your work!
(Incomplete) list of changes in the CK compared to the CS and the Geck:
- New Scripting language, called Papyrus. Similarities to Ruby and Python.
- Scripts can be applied to references.
- Totally overhauled Dialogue Editor. (Unrecognisable!)
- Grass and water is viewable in the editor.
- Archives can be created in the kit itself.
- Mods can be uploaded directly to Steam Workshop (1GB file size limit) - but can also be saved, and uploaded to other sites, like the Nexus.
The third beta update (1.4.21) is now on Steam. It only features one change though:
QUOTEWe really appreciate the feedback from our Steam Beta. We anticipate the 1.4 update going live this week for all on the PC and being sent to the console manufacturers. The Creation Kit won’t be far behind.
- Fixed bug related to hitching between cell boundaries.
SKSE is now updated to 1.04.08, so if you have Skyrim beta update 1.4.21, go grab the SKSE Update!
Over the course of this weekend Axel and I have been implementing a few performance tweaks on Skyrim Nexus to get the most out of the servers and ensure a more stable and faster browsing experience. It's my opinion that these tweaks have been a great success as the site has been loading a lot faster. If you'd be so kind, please leave some feedback on this article to let me know if you've been experiencing faster browsing on Skyrim Nexus.
A small by-product of one of these tweaks is that some of the file stats; the page views, download and unique download counters, are no longer real-time but update every 10 minutes or so. I think that this small time delay in receiving file stats is a small price to pay for a much more stable Skyrim Nexus but apologise to any mod authors who don't like this minor change. But please know, it's not a bug, and your stats are still being fully recorded and will update regularly.
It’s been a hectic day today. The astute among you will have noticed we’ve done a domain move on every Nexus site to subdomains of our new central domain, nexusmods.com. Don’t worry, we’re not making any funky visual changes to the sites! It’s just better for us this way.
In between all the crazy name server and DNS changes (and all the issues they bring with them!), Kaburke has managed to get the latest version of the Nexus Mod Manager out and available for download. Version 0.14.1 adds some super cool and much needed UI tweaks and features that make the program look more modern, and more functional!
We’ve stuck the download manager at the bottom of the program, and it will pop-up and show you your download activity if you start a new download. You can choose to move this back to where it was before if you prefer, but I think it’s way better in this latest version! Talking of downloads you will now be able to see your download speed within NMM. Normal members are limited to 500kb/sec per file and Premium Members are able to use up to 4MB/sec per file and both normal member downloads and Premium Member downloads are multi-threaded. That basically means if you are far away from the file servers and wouldn’t normally be able to download as fast as possible, you should be able to now. And you don’t need to do a thing to make that happen.
The UI is now much more customisable. You can move the tabs about to suit your needs, and you can even “pull” them out of NMM in to their own separate windows. You might find that handy for debugging certain things. Or if windows really rock your boat! If you make a mess of things and can’t work out how to get it all back to normal there’s a setting under the Tools icon to reset your UI back to the default, so no worries there.
NMM is really starting to gear-up and play the part now and I’m really happy with how it’s starting to look. We’ve got lots and lots of things we still want to do and get in to the program, and we’ll get around to it all eventually. Some people have mentioned the fact that the download page for NMM is hard to find on the sites, and that’s a conscious decision I’ve made to not advertise the program too much because we are still in open beta with the program. Having said that, we’re almost at the 250,000 unique downloads mark for the program, so word-of-mouth really does speak for itself. Version 0.14.1 will mark the start of when I begin to advertise NMM on the sites so you’ll see some more visible links to the Mod Manager page and how and where to download the program on the sites soon. I think it’s time to get the word out.
Edit: It should also be noted that for some people, the domain changes today will have caused a few glitches and errors that you might still be experiencing. These will go away within the next 24 hours depending on how fast your ISP is to update their DNS caching.
It's been quite a while since my last blog post, and there's a very good reason for that. I've been busy, very busy! It's not all been Nexus work, but most of it, and perhaps more than I'd like, has been Nexus work. I'm writing this latest blog to keep you all updated with what's going on right now, and some of our plans over this coming year.
Something obvious that you'll notice coming to a Nexus site near you over the coming days is a move to a central domain at nexusmods.com. Each Nexus site is going to move to a subdomain of nexusmods.com (so tesnexus.com will become tes.nexusmods.com, skyrimnexus.com will become skyrim.nexusmods.com and so on). There are lots of different reasons for doing this, some point to the here and now and some point to the future. But primarily I really want to centralise things more because as it stands right now each Nexus site is like its own island tentatively linked together by the forums. Apart from the domain change you're not going to see a change in the appearance or functionality of the site, and we're not planning to mash all the sites in to one or anything like that. What a mess that would make. Having said that your login will be global across the Nexus sites, so if you're logged in on one you'll be logged in on them all. A nice by-product of this move. The current Nexus domains will still work and automatically redirect you to the current subdomain address, so you don't need to worry about updating any links.
And now for more exciting things. Since the site redesign back in August I relinquished my role as the sole programmer and coder for the Nexus sites as I brought Axel on board, full-time, to work on completely "professionalising" (that's what I like to call it) the code for the Nexus sites. The premise was simple; if you want to build a network that will stand the test of time your foundation must be strong. And to continue the cliché I'll refer to the parable of not building your house on the sandy land: we've got lots of plans for improving and expanding the sites, but before you build your house you ensure your foundation is rock-solid. And that's what our current work is all about. It's a phrase that I've repeated many times over the years and it's why my focus has always been on consolidating and strengthen my sites, constantly revaluating, improving and tweaking them, rather than expanding them and spreading my resources and time thinly and biting off more than I can chew.
Naturally sites that are as complex as the Nexus sites take a long time to recode properly, and it's not just a matter of sorting out the code, but working with the huge database files and ensuring that all the data can be retained as we transition from old to new. Things have taken longer than I would have liked them to and I've had to learn to deal with delegation rather than doing everything myself. It sounds like that should be a good thing (because I'm doing less work and focusing on other areas) but when you're used to being in complete control of your work and deadlines, it's hard to push that on to someone else.
One real advantage I've had with Nexus sites compared to others has been the ability to adapt to circumstances and react quickly. Very quickly. There's a lot to be said for having a system as far away from bureaucratic problems as possible, so when I want to add a new feature to the sites I plan it out, perhaps discuss it with the mod authors or the users on the forums, code it and then commit to the sites for people to use and test. It's a very simple process that is not hindered by the bureaucracy others might have to deal with, like the designer having to write out a design document, who has to pass it through his project leader, who has to OK it with the higher ups, who then pass it to the coder who has to code the system, thoroughly test it, perhaps pass it on to a QA team and then commit the code. It's what I like to call the "no dilly-dallying approach" to site coding. It works because you guys are pretty cool about being used as the beta testers because, I think, you're pretty confident I'll fix the glaring bugs quickly.
I want to hold on to this sense of fast and quick site updating as we finalise our current work and look to improving the functionality of the sites again. This month I have hired on a second coder so we can get to the point where we're pushing through some super awesome new and improved functionality for the sites on a very regular basis.
The fact is we've got lots of really cool and exciting ideas and not enough time to get it all done, and it's starting to get on my nerves! We want to get this boring recode out of the way so we can start pushing out some of the functionality I've been promising, or dreaming of, for a long time now. To list a few of these proposed plans off the top of my head:
- We've got designs and ideas planned for improving the visibility of otherwise invisible files that get lost in the quagmire of the Nexus file databases and really highlighting some of the hidden gems that you might never have otherwise seen. Some of them quite fun and interactive.
- We're completely recoding our file uploading and management system to be fool-proof and much more powerful for mod authors, and this will link up great with the Nexus Mod Manager.
- We'll be completely re-doing the tracking system to make it super powerful and useful so you'll never miss a beat on the files and authors you really like. If you're friends with others on the Nexus then you might get some hints from the stuff they really like as well.
- We'll be adding an achievement system for all users for a bit of fun. So the more you use the site the more achievements you'll earn.
- We're going to create a complete playlist/mod collection showcasing system so users can share their mod lists with others, without trying to complicate the already bad situation of users not actually reading file descriptions/readmes.
- Our moderation system is going to be completely reworked and much less black (you're banned) and white (you're not banned). Moderators will get lots more tools to make their job much easier.
- Continued improvement of the Nexus Mod Manager.
That's just a taste of what we have planned, and we hope to get these features rolled out hard and fast, as soon as this recode is done. The beauty is that some ideas I would never have been able to implement because of my lacklustre coding skills are now a very real possibility, so I can cook up some truly awesome ideas for site functionality that I could have never contemplated before.
As we finalise the recode of the Nexus sites I'll be engaging with the community a lot more on what they would like to see from the sites. And I'm sure that this upcoming Steam Workshop integration with Skyrim will give us all some food for thought. I'm quietly confident that we can happily adapt to any changes or curve-balls that the integration might throw at us, as we have in the past, and I think that we're excellently positioned right now to not only do this, but push on with our plans for expanding and improving this community.
UPDATE 3 (January 27th)
Skyrim Script Extender have now been updated to beta 1.04.07, which is compatible with 1.4.20 (only)!
A new version of the Beta Update (1.4.20) is now live on Steam. It addresses the following:
- Fixed occasional audio issue that would play sound effects louder than intended.
- Master Criminal achievement/trophy unlocks properly in French, German, Spanish and Italian.
- Fixed issue where dragon priest masks would not render correctly.
- Fixed issue where player would be unable to become Thane of Riften if they purchased a home first.
Now on Steam: Beta Update for Skyrim - Read this thread for more information about update 1.4 Beta, and on instructions on how to proceed testing it.
The update also included unmentioned fixes, such as:QUOTEFor those wondering, Patch 1.4 contained an unpublished fix for the day-time bug where the day of the week name would not change over when it was supposed to even though the game day was.
Bethesda just posted a new article on Bethblog about Update 1.4 and the Creation Kit and Workshop!
The update, Creation Kit and Steam Workshop will be ready for the public near the end of the month. And as always, Bethesda is praising the modders!
From Bethblog:QUOTEIt’s been a few weeks since our last update on Skyrim’s status, so we wanted to share details on what we’re working on.
The Creation Kit and Steam Workshop are nearly ready. We’re currently working with members of Valve and our modding community to do some final testing, and we’re on track for a public release near the end of the month. We think Skyrim modding is one of the game’s best features, and we have the best modders of any game. It’s been a lot of exciting work for us, and we can’t wait to unleash it.
Skyrim’s 1.4 update is currently undergoing testing on all three platforms. The update will include fixes and optimizations for the most common issues people have been reporting (see below). We’re hoping to finalize this next week, and submit it to the console manufacturers for certification, as well as release on PC.
Our current update plan for the PC is to first release our updates as “beta” versions through Steam. This is something you’ll be able to opt into through Steam and back-out of if needed. This is an extra safety check for everyone going forward and should expedite and improve our updating process for our PC users. We’ll have more info soon on how this will work.
Echoing what we said back in December, we’ll continue to look into issues that are being reported and subsequent updates will follow. You have all supported Skyrim in a huge way, and we’ll be supporting all of you, and continue to make the game better.
After the break, check out the current changelog for 1.4.
Current 1.4 Changelog (all platforms unless noted)
- Skyrim launcher support for Steam Workshop (PC)
- General optimizations for memory and performance
- Fixed occasional issue with armor and clothing not displaying properly when placed on mannequin’s in player’s house. (PS3)
- Improved compiler optimization settings (PC)
- Long term play optimizations for memory and performance (PS3)
- Memory optimizations related to scripting
- Fixed crashes related to pathing and AI
- Fixed crash in Haemar’s Shame if player had already completed “A Daedra’s Best Friend”
- Fixed rare crash with loading saved games
- Fixed issue with accented characters not displaying properly at the end of a line
- Master Criminal achievement/trophy unlocks properly in French, German, Spanish and Italian
- Fixed issue where dragon priest masks would not render correctly
- Fixed issue where quests would incorrectly progress after reloading a save
- Fixed issues with placing and removing books from bookshelves in the player’s home
- Fixed issue where weapon racks and plaques would not work correctly in player’s house if player immediately visits their house before purchasing any furnishing.
- Fixed issue where the player house in Windhelm would not clean up properly
- Fixed crash related to giant attacks and absorb spells
- Fixed issue with ash piles not cleaning up properly
- Fixed occasional issue where overwriting an existing save would fail
- Fixed memory crash with container menu
- Fixed infinite loop with bookshelves
- Fixed issue where traps in Shalidor’s Maze would not work properly in French, German, Spanish and Italian versions
- Fixed issue where transforming back to human from werewolf would occasionally not fail
- Bows and daggers will display properly when placed on weapon racks
- The Unusual Gem inside the Thalmor Embassy is now accessible after finishing “Diplomatic Immunity”
- In “Breaching Security”, the quest token is no longer required to receive a fortune reading from Olava the Feeble
- Fixed issue where Galmar would not complete Joining the Stormcloaks properly if “Season Unending” was an active quest
- Fixed issue where starting “Season Unending” after finishing “Joining the Stormcloaks” would prevent “The Jagged Crown” from starting properly.
- Fixed issue progressing through “Message to Whiterun” while “Season Unending” was still open would block progression for both quests.
- In “Arniel’s Endeavor”, fixed issue where a quest journal would trigger multiple times
- In “Forbidden Legend”, the amulet fragment can no longer disappear after player leaves a dungeon without taking it
- Fixed rare issue in “Forbidden Legend” where killing Mikrul Gauldurson while sneaking would make his corpose unaccessible
- In “The White Phial”, the phial can no longer disappear if player leaves dungeon without taking it
- “The White Phial” will now start properly if player already has a briar heart in their inventory
- Player can no longer get stuck in Misty Grove after completing “A Night to Remember”
- Fixed issue where leaving Riften during “A Chance Arrangement” would prevent quest from progressing
- In “Darkness Returns”, a door in Twilight Sepulcher will properly open if the player leaves the dungeon for an extended period of time before completing the quest
- In “Under New Management”, if the player leaves the Oculory for an extended period of time after placing the focusing crystal and returns, the quest will proceed correctly
- “Onmund’s Request” will now start properly if player has already found Enthir’s staff before receiving this quest
- Fixed instance where Tonilia would stop buying stolen items and also would not give Guild Leader Armor
- “Repairing the Phial” will start properly if player already has unmelting snow or mammoth tusk in their inventory
- Finding Pantea’s Flute before speaking with Pantea no longer prevents her quest from updating
- In “The Coming of the Dawn”, fixed rare instance where a quest object would spawn incorrectly on the Katariah during Hail Sithis
- Fixed rare issue in “The Mind of Madness” where player is unable to equip the Wabbajack
- Fixed issue in “Pieces of the Past” where Mehrunes Dagon’s Razor will not trigger properly if player leaves the cell for extended period of time before activating it
- “Blood’s Honor” will start properly if you visited and completed Driftshade and an extended period of time passes before starting the quest.
- Fixed rare issue where “Dampened Spirits” would not start properly
- Fixed issue where player would be unable to become Thane of Riften if they purchased a home first
- Fixed issue where killing guards in Cidhna Mine woud block progression for “No One Escapes Cidhna Mine”
- Fixed numerous issues with “Blood on the Ice” not triggering properly
- In “Blood on the Ice”, Calixto can now be killed if player owns a house in Windhelm
- In “The Cure for Madness”, killing Cicero then resurrecting him no longer impedes quest progress
- Fixed rare issue in “To Kill an Empire” where an NPC would fail to die properly
- Clearing Knifepoint Ridge before starting “Boethiah’s Champion” no longer prevents quest from starting.
The Grosjean brothers, amateur film makers, have created a parody clip of what life in Skyrim would be like if it were set in 2012.
It features two brothers making a trip to the store of Gregethor, the descendant of the trader from Whiterun Belethor. The clip pokes fun at the contrived nature of some of Skyrim's gameplay and dialogue as well as containing some impressive visual effects.
The clip has already garnered over a million views despite being uploaded less than a week ago.
You can see more of the Grosjean brothers' work at their Youtube channel.
Two videos featuring the bards songs from Skyrim have been recorded and uploaded to Youtube.
The videos feature Malukah, a music composer for games and films, singing the Dragonborn Comes and the Age of Aggression.
The first video has achieved over 3.5 million views since it was uploaded last month and the second video is fast approaching 500,000 views.
You can see more at Malukah's youtube channel.
Yesterday I let you all know that I would be taking part in a livestream today with some folks from Nvidia and well-known author, Martigen. The livestream is over (it peaked at around 2,700 viewers, which is pretty cool!) but you can watch and listen to it all Twitch.tv.
I speak with the Nvidia folks for about 15 minutes, which starts about 4 minutes in to the video and then Martigen takes over before Nvidia take a look at some of their performance enhancing tweaks for the game later on. Let me apologise for how quiet I am and a few break-ups while I'm talking. I haven't got broadband setup in my new place yet so I'm on mobile 3G, so it went pretty well considering! I've given it a listen and it's not bad at all.
Nvidia ask me about the community, how it started and what it takes to run it. It might be interesting for some of you. It was an enjoyable experience and the Nvidia folks are very friendly. It's nice to see Nvidia doing this sort of stuff, and working to tweak their cards for Skyrim as much as possible, as it seems all we get from ATI/AMD at the moment are excuses. It's very annoying!
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).
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