• 5 September 2011 5:26:28

    August File of the Month Interview feat. Elestat

    posted by LordFrostcraig Interviews
    Sorry about the confusion last month. TESNexus's File of the Month system was messed up, making it hard to decide on who the winner was (the last time was from May!)

    In any case, this month's File of the Month winner of your choice is Elestat, who won with Trade and Commerce at 97 votes. That's a considerable amount! Hopefully you'll enjoy this interview with Elestat and the insight into the creation of the mod and learn a bit about them.


    Tell us a little about yourselves. Where you are from, what are some of your other hobbies outside of games?
    Well, I am 23 years old, I’m a civil engineer and currently I am in grad school for a master of science in structural engineering. Besides gaming and computers I also like to read anything that is physics related, right now I am trying to finish Brian Cox’s "Why does E=MC^2"?

    What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
    Since I first played [The Elder Scrolls III:] Morrowind I wanted to make mods, so I spent a lot if time coming up with the perfect mod but I was very young and knew nothing about modding. When [The Elder Scrolls IV:] Oblivion came out I was already in college and again I spent many hours thinking of the perfect mod, but for whatever reason I never got around it.

    The mod I have always wanted to make is very different from Trade and Commerce, so I wish I could say I have always dreamed of making this mod but honestly I was playing the game, and it just suddenly occurred to me that I could probably make this mod in a relatively short amount of time.

    What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
    The scripting, I really enjoyed coming with ways to simulate a functional business within Oblivion’s world and with the game engine’s limitations.

    The moment I enjoyed the most was when it occurred to me that I could use the item’s weight and value properties to display stats about daily and weekly trading to the player. In the words of Buddha.... or whoever actually said it:

    When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

    What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
    Time, when I started I was on vacation and I spent almost a week just creating the perfect ambient for the store. After I returned to class I realized I only had about a week before exams and homework's began to pile up... So, I rushed to do the scripting, dialogs, quests and AI of the mod. I also had to completely ditch the original interior for the store because it was too big and I could not fit the exterior building anywhere in the city, so I sadly lost that first week of work.

    What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Oblivion Construction Set tools?
    My favorite part is most definitively the scripting, I pretty much hate every other part of Oblivion modding but I endure it so I can give some context to my scripts... Although, at the end, I did some minor AI modding and I enjoyed doing that, but it took me a full day to understand how it worked so it was a bit frustrating.

    What are some other common tools you used in your development?
    Besides the Construction Set I used Notepad ++, because it's ideal for writing scripts.

    Roughly what was the total time it took for you guys to put this mod together so far?
    It took me a full week to build the mod to a point that I was comfortable releasing, then I spent the following week adding new features. A couple hours after release I realized (after some not so kind comments from players) that if I did not add compatibility for better cities many people would not play my mod. That being the case, I scrambled to do that as fast as I could. After that I tried to release at least one update per day until I reached version 1.5 which is the current and most likely last version.

    Do you plan on any more new features in your mod? Specifically anything not listed on your mods page on the Nexus?
    When I released the last version I had a lot of plans for new features, but then I had a LOT of stuff to do in college. Because of that, I had to stop modding for a while. After a couple of weeks of no modding I lost interest in it and decided to stop. However, I do intend to create something similar for [The Elder Scrolls V:] Skyrim when it comes out.

    Do any of you have other mods you are working on or do any of you plan to create other mods as a team? If so what might those be?
    I am not working on any mods right now. I do have some ideas for something I want to do for Fallout New Vegas but I don't know if I will actually do it.

    What are some of your other favorite games if Oblivion isn't the only game you play? Any other game genres besides the RPG style games that Bethesda publishes?
    I must have played every game that came out since I was 12 or so, and Oblivion remains one of my favorites, then comes Morrowind and Fallout New Vegas. But if I had to pick one game it would be Europa Universalis by Paradox Interactive. I played that game for almost two straight years and I still enjoy it.

    Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
    We all have a great idea for a mod, but to get it done you have to actually start modding at some point. Read the Construction Set Wiki, it has everything you could possibly need to make your mod. Modding is incredibly rewarding, once you get the basics you won't be able to stop!

    And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
    Just want to thank everyone for playing and endorsing my mod, it really means a lot for me to see that you guys enjoy it. I never play Mercantile-oriented characters and have not played my mod at all after releasing it, my experience with it is limited to bug testing so it's good to know that some of you think that it's cool enough to be File of the Month.

    Finally, I want to thank Dark0ne and all the staff at the Nexus sites for providing us modders with this wonderful place to upload and show our creations. Oblivion modding would not be the same without the Nexus!

    That concludes August's File of the Month Interview featuring Elestat. Check back next month for September's File of the Month Interview!

Comments (4)