• 4 April 2011 18:18:44

    Interview with TheNiceOne, March FotM winner

    posted by Galahaut Mod News
    TheNiceOne's Map Marker Overhaul won March's File of the Month with 61 votes.

    Continuing with the monthly feature, TheNiceOne has responded to our interview questions. You can read his responses below.

    Q: What was your inspiration for creating Map Marker Overhaul?
    A: When I first played Oblivion, I printed out several paper maps with locations of caves/ruins, etc. and marked the location with a red pencil when I had explored one. That was cumbersome, so when I discovered Map Markers Be Done (by Elis) I installed and enjoyed it, but it had one big drawback, that you only could tag a map marker when you were outside, close to it. So if I forgot to tag one, I had to go all the way back to it if I wanted to tag it. That was when the idea was born, a mod where I could just click on a map marker in the world map - and that was the first feature I created for Map Marker Overhaul.

    Q: What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of Map Marker Overhaul?
    A: The interaction with the mod users that came up with new ideas that at first seemed impossible, but then keeping the idea in the back of my mind and slowly figuring out how it could be done.

    Q: What were some of the challenges you came across making Map Marker Overhaul?
    A: Several of the features are more or less overriding hardcoded features of Oblivion. Finding ways to overcome that was challenging, and would have been impossible without OBSE. Things like preventing the world map from centering on the player when opened, or making newly discovered map markers be visible in the hud, but not in the world map until some condition is met.

    Q: What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Oblivion tools?
    A: I am a specialist that almost exclusively do scripting (and a little bit of dialogues and textures), so I haven't really discovered much of the CS problem areas. My favourite part is definitely OBSE - without it I would probably not modded much at all.

    Q: What are some other common tools you used in your development?
    A: Gimp for creating the map marker icons, and Notepad++ for editing the scripts.

    Q: Roughly what was the total time you have invested in Map Marker Overhaul so far?
    A: Hard to say, but several 100 hours (in about 20 months), but I'm not sure if it's 200 or 500 - probably something inbetween.

    Q: Are you planning or working on any new features for Map Marker Overhaul?
    A: No, I consider Map Marker Overhaul complete by now (though I have said so before, and then had some user come up with a new good idea which I couldn't resist implementing). I have a few spots that I am going to rewrite in order to improve it, but don't plan on adding any new features. I am trying to reduce my modding, and get into playing Oblivion again. I want one more playthrough before Skyrim.

    Q: Do you have other mods you are working on?
    A: Yes, lots I have 19 uploaded files on TESNexus, of which 13 are proper mods. The largest (both in number of features and work put into it), is Enhanced Economy, which also has been voted file of the month here. But I have worked quite a lot on the others as well, like HUD Status Bars, Enhanced Hotkeys, Dynamic Map, Display Stats, Soulgem Magic, etc.

    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 Norway, with wife and two kids, so there's not too much time for (other) hobbies. Though I am very fond of music and films, mostly of the quite alternative kind. Like the band my quote and avatar is taken from, the Canadian industrial group Skinny Puppy.

    Q: What are some of your other favorite games if Oblivion isn't the only game you play? Any other game genres besides the RPG style games that Bethesda publishes?
    A: I enjoy all types of games, not only computer games, but very much old-fashioned board games too. RPG games is certainly among the favourites, but also strategy games (Civilization, Total War), good shooters (Half-Life, etc.) and racing games - and of course Portal, I look forward to Portal 2 now. I only play single-player games though.

    Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
    A: To start out small. Even if you have this great big idea, think of one aspect you can start with, and release the result as a mod. Then start adding new features and polishing the old after that. Trying to do everything at once will most likely make you give up before you're finished.

    Q: And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
    A: Thanks for supporting Map Marker Overhaul, and my other mods. I would never have made Map Marker Overhaul what it is now, without all the feedback and suggestions from the mod users.

    Thanks again to TheNiceOne for participating in the interview. Check back next month for another interview, and don't forget to vote for April's File of the Month.

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