Skyrim Special Edition

If you're working on a new lands mod and need a tutorial or if you're just curious about the kind of work that goes into making a new lands mod, I spent the past few months writing up a 1000+ page step-by-step guide to show you what my process was for making Wyrmstooth from start to finish.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim New Lands Mod Tutorial

It currently consists of 12 chapters covering the following topics:

  • Chapter 1: World space creation, generating a height-map in World Machine and importing it with TESAnnwyn, manual and region-based automatic cluttering, navmeshing, dividing a world space up into regions, setting up locations, encounter zones and performance optimization with occlusion geometry.
  • Chapter 2: Idle animation markers, setting up patrol markers, map markers, radiant markers and the side quests that use them.
  • Chapter 3: Adding sounds and music to your mod.
  • Chapter 4: Creating NPCs, generating facegen data, and setting them up as a home owner, merchant, follower, bard, innkeeper, or location boss.
  • Chapter 5: Adding random wilderness and road encounter triggers to your world space and creating new random encounters to add to the Story Manager.
  • Chapter 6: The basics of creating quests, scenes, adding NPC dialogue and player responses, and creating a basic MCM to control mod settings.
  • Chapter 7: Generating land LOD, object LOD, tree LOD, TVDT occlusion, .gid files for grass, and making a cloud plane for the map menu of a custom world space.
  • Chapter 8: Importing assets from SpeedTree, Zbrush and Substance Painter into 3ds Max to bring over to Skyrim.
  • Chapter 9: Setting up a skeleton rig in 3ds Max, constraining the skeleton to a biped, importing motion capture data and bringing new animations into Skyrim with Havok Content Tools.
  • Chapter 10: Training a tacotron and waveglow model in Google Colab to synthesize audio using voice acting from Skyrim.
  • Chapter 11: Other tasks that don't fit into the previous chapters, such as optimizing an interior cell with roombounds, cleaning your mod in xEdit, setting up version control so you can work with a team of designers, generating papyrus debugging trace, and so on.
  • Chapter 12: Porting a Legendary Edition mod to Special Edition and packaging it.

This is a work-in-progress, so if you spot any mistakes, know a better way to do something, or would like me to cover additional topics, just leave a suggestion in the comments below. I will be updating this document periodically with new sections and possibly new chapters so keep an eye out for that.

When I started modding in 2012 there wasn’t much out there to follow in terms of guides and tutorials, so a lot of this was learned through trial and error. Hopefully some of you find this tutorial useful in your own projects.

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  1. pamposzek
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    I only read few pages, but the quality is pretty great. And sheer amount of knowledge I will consume... this is pure gold, I am so glad I stumbled upon this treasure. If you could satisfy my curiosity... I have a strong feeling this was done in LaTeX, is it true? I mean, that index at the end, figures nicely explained, nice headers and footers.. table of contents and overall sick quality, just a joy to look at. If I was about to make such a massive document, my choice would be obvious.. so just want to scratch my itch I guess... at any rate, very impressive work, thank you.
    1. Jonx0r
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      I just used Microsoft Word.
  2. TechAngel85
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    Wow! Very nice! If you ever want to get this onto a wiki, contact us at Step Modifications. We'd be happy to help.
  3. DeathVelvet
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    iTS so Well DONe!
  4. cynix3
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    Hell yes! I've had a hankering for taking a stab at new lands dev. This may be just the resource to get me started. Thanks Jonx0r!
  5. tattwood
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    I've just had a quick look through this, and  I see you've put plenty of screenshots in it, which is very helpful, and I find is better than reading a wall of text.

    Many thanks for taking the time to do this! I will have a read through this over the weekend. I've always found the Creation Kit to be incomprehensible at best. Hopefully this doc will help my understanding.