Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

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Darkelfguy
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Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:14 pm

Hey everyone, Darkelfguy here from Morrowind Modding Showcases, I was talking with Luxray over on Reddit about doing a series of interviews/developer logs with members of the Skyrim - Home of the Nords team, and it was suggested I should get into contact with you guys over here on the Project Tamriel forums. Unfortunately, I can't send private messages due to permission requirements, so I thought I'd make this topic instead.

So basically, I was thinking we could do a couple of things with regards to the interviews/developer logs. We could do a straight-up developer log of a region, which would basically involve recording a bunch of video footage from an area and sending it to you guys to comment over, or we could do a hybrid developer log/interview, where we discuss a particular region of Skyrim but also delve into other questions about the project with some community submitted questions as well.

I don't know which you would all prefer, but we could of course do both if that's something you'd like to do. I know Luxray mentioned that Berry, Muspila, and Roerich might be up for doing a sort of group developer log/interview, so let me know what you guys are interested in doing.

Of course, I'd also really like to get some interviews/developer logs with the Province: Cyrodiil team, if anyone is up for it.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:47 am

Hey Darkelfguy,

nice to see you again. We were speaking about it in the internal skyrim - section, but couldn't yet manage to settle on a date for a skype meeting.
I personally would probably like to answer some questions. Just doing a monologue of what we did and why we did it, seems a bit one-sided to me.

If Roerich and Berry have time-issues, I'll be prepared to be the one giving the interview. But I'd be happy to have them both in, again, to make the whole thing less one-sided.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Mon May 30, 2016 8:23 am

Alright, sorry for the long delay here, I have a few interview style questions that could be applied to anyone or to a group setting, so just look through them I guess and let me know what you guys want to do in terms of an interview/group podcast.

Questions:
SpoilerShow
[Intro Questions]
Alright, so I want to start off with a few basic questions, when did you first start playing Morrowind and the Elder Scrolls in general?

Have you ever made any mods outside of Project Tamriel?

What draws you to modding videogames?

[SHOTN General Questions]

Now Skyrim - Home of the Nords is a pretty massive undertaking, building the entire province of Skyrim in Morrowind, can you tell us a bit about the history of the project?

How much of Skyrim would you say you've finished so far, and when can we expect a new public release?

Speaking of public releases, the first major release for the project was Vorndgad Forest back in 2012, but since then that area has gotten a massive overhaul. Can you tell us a bit about what players can expect to find in the new version of Vorndgad Forest?

What part of Skyrim is currently being worked on? Is there a particular county or region that's being prioritized right now?

Now Skyrim - Home of the Nords is taking a pretty different direction from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in terms of your interpretation of the province. Less Dwemer ruins and more cities that are larger than three houses. Can you tell us a bit about those differences?

On a similar note, would you say there's anything that Skyrim - Home of the Nords has borrowed from The Elder Scrolls V in terms of art or design?

Is there going to be a central main quest or storyline in Skyrim - Home of the Nords, or is there going to be more regional storytelling rather than an overarching main quest?

[Druadach Questions]

Now going on to a particular region, one of the areas we're looking at in the background footage here is the Druadach region, home of the city of Dragonstar and many other smaller settlements. Can you tell us a bit about the design and landscape decisions here?

What's the lore behind this region? Obviously it's pretty close to Hammerfall, so can we expect a big mix of Redguard and Nordic cultures?

Are there any plans in place for quests in this region, and what kind of factions or storylines can we expect to find here?

Anything else you'd like to add about the Druadach region?

[Project Tamriel and Recruitment Questions]

Going on to something a little different, Skyrim - Home of the Nords is apart of Project Tamriel, a collection of massive modding projects working on the various provinces of Tamriel. Can you tell us a bit about the setup at Project Tamriel and what other projects are currently being worked on?

Now for people looking to join up with Skyrim - Home of the Nords and Project Tamriel, is there anything in particular they need to do in order to sign on with one of the province teams?

Is there any particular advice that you might have for modders submitting their first showcase, like common mistakes first-timers often make?

What particular area does Skyrim - Home of the Nords need modders in the most? Like interior design, exterior design, questing, or asset creation?

[Final Questions]

Is there anything else you'd like to talk about with Skyrim - Home of the Nords?

Kind of going into our closing questions here, do you have any plans to utilize OpenMW when it hits 1.0, like with new features such as world spaces?

Are there any modders or modding projects outside of Skyrim - Home of the Nords and Project Tamriel that you're looking forward to?

Finally, is there anyone in the community or on the Project Tamriel team you'd like to give a shoutout to?

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Mon May 30, 2016 7:54 pm

I've honestly lost a bit sight of this whole interview business, but it's probably time that we tackle this thing together.

I can do this thing in a solitary act, if it needs to be. But having the input of Roerich or Berry would still be welcomed. They have committed themselves quite a bit to this exterior work.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:28 am

Well, let me know if Rorich and Berry want to do it as well, otherwise we could just do a one-on-one interview if you'd prefer.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by roerich » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:38 am

I'm really busy these weeks, but I promise I'll return when I have some more time.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:51 am

Aye aye, missing time is always our enemy. It would be best, if you or berry just proposed a date and time for the interview, so we others can see, if it fits for us. If we keep it vague all the time, we'll maybe never manage to do an actual meeting. :P

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:50 pm

What about Scamp? I know he's already been interviewed, but he also seems to be working on the Druadach region. Anyway, just need you guys to decide on a time really, let me know what the plan is.

Also, I was planning to do a trailer for Markarth, but never got a clear answer on the permission for that. I'd love to get a "Streets of Markarth" trailer out sometime this month if that's alright with you guys.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:48 pm

Scamp has been partly absent in the recent months and he didn't follow the whole proces as closely, even though he reviewed berrys initial work on the overhauled areas.

I'll send you a pm. The other two people don't seem as interested, so I'll handle it myself.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by roerich » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:55 pm

Still interested but dealing with heavy amounts of uni work for a few weeks more. I'll have some free time later this week perhaps

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by berry » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:01 pm

I'm sorry, I've been meaning to answer here earlier. I know how shitty it looks like when one is called out and then he seems to deliberately ignore the conversation. :|

How I said on internal boards, I don't think I'm the best person to interview, at least for the time being. I read these questions you proposed, and I actually wouldn't be able to answer 90% of them, and as for the Druadachs I mostly creatively followed the outlines from the others. Chores and duties've been bursting out IRL for me these past months, and it already looks like I'll have a better part of a summer occupied too. What little time I have left for Morrowind, I rather try to spend pushing forward SHotN exteriors, interiors, and now hopefully quests too. So it's not a "no" from my side, but definitely a "not now". Sorry.

By the way, thank you for all the work you've been doing, DEG. These beautiful videos, alongside with those extremely warm comments under them, have been a real boost to my morale. :)

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:38 pm

Thanks for chiming in, guys. I wasn't mad about your silence, just been thinking that we've been to procrastinating this interview a bit too long already. I understand that you have time issues, so it's not a big deal, only a bit frustrating for darkelfguy, maybe.

berry, that is ok with me. Thanks for the heads up.

I'd be happy to do the interview on any of the weekend-days including friday, if you have time on any of them, Roerich. You have a good picture of everything, so I would appreciate your sacrifice of time.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Scamp » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:22 pm

Frankly, I don't think I'm the right guy for this set of questions. Some of them I've already answered in an interview. The others, specifically about Druadach, don't make me very comfortable. The claims I'm working on aren't very difficult, nor are they particularly related to what's previously been worked on. I'm sort of trying to get back into this, but you guys have probably noticed I'm having a hard time doing it. My interests and time schedules are constantly shifting right now.

I'd step in if it's absolutely asked for. But since worsas (+roerich, apparently?) has already confirmed he'd be up for solo-tackling this, I'd rather stay out of it.

On another note, I'd totally want to see this Markarth trailer. Not up to me to grant permission though.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by roerich » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:15 pm

I think sunday evening would be best for me, I don't have time friday or saturday. I have prepared answers for most of the questions.

A Markarth video would be lovely, but I want to do a bit more work on it still, before I send it out.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:51 am

Cool. Let's tackle it on sunday evening, if darkelfguy can.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:01 am

Aye, Sunday works for me, though I'll need to know everyone's timezones of course.

Anyway, here's the TeamSpeak server info for recording the interview:

IP Address: dats1.mpserv.net:9998
Password: resdayn (or "Resdayn")

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by roerich » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:56 pm

Worsas and me are both GMT +1.

How about 21.00 GMT+1?

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:37 am

That time fits for me.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:53 pm

Sounds good to me, I'll be on the server around that time, just let me know if you have any trouble connecting.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:54 am

Alright, after about 12 hours of just working on the transcript, it's finally finished! I wanted to give you guys the rough-draft transcript first so you can point out any errors or corrections that might need to be done. I tried to look up all unfamiliar terms and names and make sure they were spelled correctly, but I may have missed something. Ultimately, there's going to be two transcripts, one that matches the interview almost exactly, and one that's edited down to just the core points for easy mass-publication across multiple websites. Anyway, the video version of the interview should be out in the next 24 hours, I still have the captioning to do with the video and that'll take about four hours to do (manual captioning is a pain but more accurate than using automatic caption software), then there's about three hours for video processing, and finally 12~16 hours for video uploading (remember I'm on a slow connection).

I have the transcript down below if you guys want to take a look at it. but real quick, here's some fun statistics from the interview!

Total Transcript Word Count: 11,966
Total Interview Time: 1:44:50
Total Characters: 65,784
Total Unique Video Footage: Roughly 1:30:00
Total Times Worsas Said "Yeah": 987 :P
Total Times Worsas Talked About Container Plants: 10
Total Times the Word "Subdivison" was Used: 8

And here's the transcript, gosh I hope there's no character limits here...

DEG: Greetings and welcome to the 25th episode of Morrowind Modding Interviews, with me today are two members of the Skyrim - Home of the Nords team, Roerich and Worsas, and today we're going to be talking a bit about the development of Skyrim - Home of the Nords and the Druadach Highlands in particular. And so first things first, thanks for agreeing to do this interview.

Worsas: You're welcome

Roerich: Ah yes, it's nice to be here

DEG: Now I wanted to start off with a few basic questions, the first of which is when did you first start playing Morrowind and the Elder Scrolls in general?

Worsas: Well for me, it was in 2003 I think? And a friend of mine showed me the game on his Xbox. I played it and I got lost and it was, I dunno, very special, a very, very, very new experience so to say.

Roerich: Same for me, I started playing it, I think, a few months after its release. I had like a game subscription where I got a new game every month, and the game I got when I subscribed to it was Morrowind, and I got that game and I canceled my subscription because I was completely blown away by the, by the then amazing graphics and completely open-world. Later on I played Oblivion and Skyrim of course, but I kept coming back to Morrowind.

Worsas: Well I tried the other two games before and then later on. I played of course, Skyrim and Oblivion as well. But later I tried Arena, and I was surprised really because it was already very similar to the newer games., had many similar mechanics. The sleep mechanics were right, there was already ebony armor and that stuff. I also tried Daggerfall, but didn't get very far, probably should try it again.

DEG: Oh yeah, Morrowind was a pretty special experience I think, for a lot of us, and going into this next question, I'm kind of curious, have you made any mods outside of working on Project Tamriel with Skyrim - Home of the Nords.

Worsas: Well, I played a lot with the level editor of Warcraft III in the past... And I don't know, maybe Neverwinter Nights editor at some point, but didn't get very far with it. And, uh, well probably many people know my grass mod for Morrowind, that covers Sheogorad and Azura's Coast and also maybe one of Tamriel Rebuilt. And what I've done in the past for myself, were armor rebalancing mods, but just for personal use, because the armors in the original game aren't very fair. I've made them a bit closer to each other, somewhere around the Orc armor, so the weak armors would get a bit stronger and the stronger armors a bit weaker. And just recently I don't know if you know the game, Dominions 4, I've made two civilizations for it but I don't know if one knows it. It's a very special game, I love it, I've played it for about 200 hours probably.

Roerich: I actually started with the editor of Warcraft III as well, but I never really finished and released anything. And for Morrowind, I have loads of unfinished projects, I published one, Blightward Player Home, which you covered in one of your videos as well. I usually lose interest pretty quickly with some of my mods, so I have to have like piles of unfinished mods on my hard-drive. Some of them are almost finished and some of them are just ideas. One which is almost finished, uh... which I can't remember his name right now, but the Khajiit bookseller you meet during the main-quest in Vivec, I can't remember his name... But anyway I changed the interior to sort of have obscure authoritarian bookshelves, with you know webs all over the place and bookshelves towering over the player. I used the two-level walls for the interior, and I think almost every book in the game could be found in there now. And I added a lot of the obscure texts from the Imperial Library and People and Society and stuff like that. That was the main idea for the mod. I also started a Kogoruhn make-over, the last Sixth House, Great House home north of Red Mountain. But I really needed to make new assets for that, and I can't do that. It was supposed to be more of a unique location, not using the stronghold set. I tried to use the Old Mournhold set because it fit better, but it's a really limited set. And then of course I did some interiors for Tamriel Rebuilt before I got with Skyrim - Home of the Nords.

Worsas: Right, I was with Tamriel Rebuilt as well.

DEG: Well it sounds like you've both dabbled a lot in modding different games, and you know this kind of brings me to a sort of broad question, what draws you to modding video-games in the first place?

Worsas: For me it is that I like extending games, I like adding new, I don't know, just new stuff that adds on top of what's there. For example, for Warcraft III, I made an extension for myself, I called it very similar to Frozen Throne, and I added units to the four civilizations and balanced them and wanted to make them seamless with the rest. And I think that modding for Tamriel Rebuilt or for Project Tamriel here is very similar. It's about extending the original content, and that's what it's about and that's what I like.

Roerich: I think it's a really entertaining and creative outlet, especially as you can see yourself improve the quality of your work, and you end up with something that you're really proud of. And that, you think you have this idea of what you think Tamriel should be like, and try to achieve that, and sometimes it just feels right, like this is what this town is supposed to look like. Something like that.

DEG: Now going into some general Skyrim - Home of the Nords questions, Skyrim - Home of the Nords is a pretty massive undertaking, you know building the entire province of Skyrim in Morrowind. Can you tell us a bit about the history of the project and how it got started exactly?

Worsas: The project got started somewhere I think 2005 or 2006 maybe. it was founded by Lestat, I don't know how it's spelled exactly, it's French I think? And yeah, the first time I saw the mod was on the Officials when he posted his first screenshots of the Haafinheim Forest he was working on. And it was already very dense back then, but he was using Bloodmoon pines and assets at the time. And at the same time, I was following a different Skyrim project by Vality, which got abandoned. But I don't know, Lestat seemed a bit more open about his project... And at some point I thought, yeah let's try it, maybe I can add something that would make it great. One of the reasons why I joined the project was because I had previously, in school, made an exam about Germanic beliefs, you know Norse Germanic beliefs. And I knew some of the embellishments and aesthetics I had seen, and I thought, maybe I can add something to it. I actually never got around to modeling that kind of stuff, but it was the thing that made me think I could add something there. And the history of the project consists of several forums and endless reworks. And yeah, sometimes disagreements also. And well, in the early days the project used Bloodmoon assets, and at some point a decision was made that we wanted to use more custom assets. It went up to a point where Lestat only wanted custom assets and no more vanilla assets, not even a single piece. He had a very extreme stance at some point and we had some disagreements about it, but we made a lot of great assets together I think. We had some disagreements, but overall we got along fairly well. And yeah, later we had several forums, right? The first forum was something from Forum Motions. And afterwards, we had a forum hosted by SGMonkey, and then that went down because he couldn't pay upkeep anymore, and then we went to the SHOTN forum, and after the SHOTN forum we went to Project Tamriel. That would be the fourth forum. but it could even be the fifth one! There were really many forums. What we did a lot over this time was going back and changing things, improving things, that always took some time. Although, we also saw that we sometimes saw that what a timesink that was and wanted to keep it in limit, and we said to ourselves, "no let's focus on progress instead", and that's something we try to do time and again. When I do something like overhauling something that's already there, I usually try to balance it a bit by adding something new. Recently, I overhauled the clothes we have, and I added in an additional piece of clothing, and I overhauled the guard armor, and I added in an additional set of armor in the course. Well, I try to balance it a bit, because sometimes you just want to overhaul things, we want it to look better, you have an idea of how it should be like, and it isn't how it should be like. Well, I try to balance it somehow, and I think that's what we're doing all the time. I sometimes have the impression that people are a bit dubious about it, and say "yeah, they're constantly going back, like Tamriel Rebuilt". Tamriel Rebuilt has a reputation for that, for going back and changing things over again. And it's true, it happens with us as well. Yeah, this isn't the history in perfect order, but it's something that has happened time and again.

Roerich: I think you summarized it rather well, I came in later than you, so I'm not so familiar with the early history of the project. I can remember when I joined, 2011 or something maybe. But I agree with what you've been saying, that's been my understanding as well.

DEG: You know, since you bring it up, I actually kind of forgot about this, but Vality did have his own like Skyrim project going on for a while. Has there ever been an attempt to, I don't know, talk to him and maybe think about merging the two projects? Like I don't know if that would even be possible really, since they're kinda different visions, but I know he made a lot of impressive work on that project, and it seems a waste that it never got released.

Worsas: Well we had Vality around and he was in our IRC channel too, and we spoke to him, and he wanted to make us a height map with mountains. But I don't know, he didn't finished it and well he disappeared again. And well, he was interested in our project, but seemingly he didn't want to bring his own project in with it. I don't know.

DEG: Alright, and sort of moving on, how much of western Skyrim, that is to say like the Reach, would you say has been finished so far and when can we expect a new public release?

Roerich: I think we've finished a lot of exteriors, especially in the Reach, but also in Haafinheim, which is the area to the north and to the east of the Reach. For the Reach, I think we've finished something like perhaps 70% of our exteriors are completely finished, and for Haafinheim it's a lot as well. For the Reach, we need two cities, I don't know how many cells but it's not a lot. And the thing is, the Reach is a very detailed place, compared to when we go further east, it has taken a lot of time to figure out how everything should be setup. And we've spent a lot of time, the last year especially, redoing some content. So we felt it was just the way it should. I think the direction we have now, it's efficient, I don't think there'll be any future overhauls of these areas. And I really think we should be able to put something out during this year, and if not a fully playable release with quests, at least a preview of the new lands and all of the interiors.

Worsas: I also think it really paid off, it will pay off, well to me it already paid off, because after this recent overhaul, especially in the western area, it's so much better than before. I think it will be really enjoyable.

Roerich: Yes, I agree. It was an impressive area before, but this is really something else. I think the whole region just fits together perfectly. We've had some of the areas which has been worked on by different people, then we have mainly our user Berry, who's been doing a lot of overhauls and it makes, it gives some sort of resemblance between the different exteriors. Like they fit together now, just these little details just all over the place, kind of like the same character.

Worsas: Yes it feels like the regions are more consistent with each other now. There are more fluid transitions and the landscape features are more evenly distributed. There's more subdivision generally, and intricateness to the landscape. Also really many small hidden secret things thanks to Berry. He added really many exterior caves really well hidden ones in places. And for the Druadach, it's a really good fit, because with the Reachmen that live there, and they're, well how would you call it? They're a witchy character, they're a mysterious people, and it just fits with them very well.

DEG: Well, speaking of public releases and overhauls, you know the first major release for the project was Vorndgad Forest back in 2012, but since then that area has gotten a massive overhaul. And can you tell us a bit about what players can expect to find in the new version of Vorndgad Forest, particularly with what's different from the public release from back in, I think it was, 2011?

Worsas: Well what we added to Vorndgad Forest was Reachmen sights, we added some barrow structures, also many more hidden paths, much more paths. Also hidden secrets, and our landscape has been made a bit more, well it's no more this classic forest as much. It's still a forest, but it's much rockier, it's really a rock-scape, it's more similar to surrounding areas. Also we changed the scale of the trees, in order to promote a different sense of scale, while also adding more subdivision. It's generally something that, it's not, the forest is something we didn't do in order to make it more eyecandy. The forest was already eyecandy before. We did it to, well, to make it a bit more, to give it a feeling that it's more at home in the game. Like that you have more feeling of how large things are really. Previously, everything due to the scale of the trees, the trees were all scaled up to twice their size, and it looked good, but also it made everything feel much smaller than it really was. That's one thing, we changed the sense of scale. And well, that's about it. We've also hidden some, yeah there are hidden things, like ores, we have added Orichalcum Ore for example. Some more sights, more points of interest I think. We also changed the density of container plants to be less, because I don't know, it didn't feel really rewarding to find them. They were everywhere in mass. I don't know, maybe 60 container plants per cell, maybe more, sometimes more. And we reduced that in order to make the discovery of container plants, well as said, more rewarding. Because it's something I've personally have enjoyed in the original game, just walking around and ah! There's a plant finally, the one I want to find. That's another thing we've changed. And as said, paths, we've added a dirt path that leads through the forest with some branches, well a twisted little path that connects two roads to each other. That's about it I think, can't think of more at the moment.

Roerich: There's also the Karthgad overhaul, which is apart of Vorndgad, and which was the village that you could visit in the first release. And the new overhaul by Worsas is really genius I think, it's a huge improvement on our original layout, which was a bit, you know, a bit grid-like. And the new layout is usually one of my favorite SHOTN cities, if not cities in the game, it feels really organic and realistic in the way that the buildings are placed next to each other, and the assets used. It's like everything feels really realistic in what materials are used for everything, from furniture to the houses and the surrounding forests and the layout of the city itself. It feels really like a lived-in city, even without any NPCs.

DEG: Oh yeah, I've sort of been exploring the new version of the Vorndgad Forest and you know, I gotta say, it's really quite spectacular, it's so dense and easy to get lost in. And you do find a lot of cool things you know, just exploring the forest, I remember I found a sort of Nordic burial, whatever you call them exactly. You know, one of those things that are kinda like in Skyrim, and I found it kind of near the river that goes towards the Karthwasten docks, and you know, from the sky you can't even see it, it's like all of these trees are blocking the view, and you just have to find it by wandering through the tree lines, and it's kind of an interesting experience.

Worsas: Yeah, it's really good. I was at first a bit hesitant about all those barrows, because I don't know, we've got how many barrows in Vorndgad Forest now? One, two, three, four...five maybe even? And it isn't too much because there's too much subdivision and if you find a barrow it's not, what is that word, it's not abundant. Every time it's special. Though when looking at the original game again, I checked the CS at some point, the Construction Set, and Vvardenfell, there's sometimes, you know, you've got a Dunmer Fortress one cell next to a Daedric Shrine, they're fairly close often. But, due to the fog, and due to the subdivision, Vvardenfell has got a lot of those hill ranges. And yeah they really make everything close. And I think that's the main difference between what we have made in our new versions and what was there before.

DEG: Now what part of Skyrim is currently being worked on at the moment? I mean, is there a particular country or region that's being prioritized right now?

Worsas: We are about to, yeah, start a slight remake of the so-called Midkarth County, it's called like that at the moment. Maybe we'll keep naming it like that. It's the area north of Karthgad, north of the Vorndgad Forest, and contains some farmsteads, and it's well a grassy landscape. And well, we just want to do a few things up on the mesa. Some of the fields are very large, almost as large as real-world fields, and the performance is very bad. But it will be a relatively minor overhaul. We did a lot in Vorndgad Forest, changed a lot really, we changed a lot about the Druadach Highlands, or however you want to call it. And the other regions in the Reach will not be reworked that heavily anymore, because they are mainly good, they're already great, and it's only a few things. We try to, at least I try to, keep it limited, because I know these overhauls are time-eaters, and we want to get onwards with things, not only redo things all the time. And that's the reason we make a gander for it, what we want to change, we have a list of like... rescaling the trees, we were rescaling the trees in our regions to promote the different sense of scale I spoke about. We reduced the amount of container plants, we sometimes changed the container plants compositions to make the regions more distinctive from each other. For example, at some point, we made a list of what container plants should be where and what region there are plants like the, I don't know, the Honey Lily, the Wrothgarian Grape, the Vicar Herb, I don't know if we should keep that name but it's called like that right now. But yeah, and many more. Previously it was a little bit like each plant was in each sub-region of the Reach, and we thought it would be better to have them more distinctive from each other. Only have container plants in certain sub-regions and remove them from the others, so it makes sense to go to a different region just to get the container plant from there for example. It's really a gameplay consideration, but also something to make them more distinctive, for example we've moved the Wrothgarian Grape out of the forest, and it's only growing in the Druadach Highlands and the Midkarth County now. Well, because it's a, I don't know, you look at it, and it's a sun-loving plant with those round leafs, and you see it really lingers for sun and it makes no sense to have it in dense forests. Even though it was really eye-candy actually, with its yellowish leaves. It was eye-candy in the forest, but still we thought it just made no sense to have it there and we moved it to different other regions. And we moved from the other regions other plants that remain in the Vorndgad Forest, the Honey Lily only grows in the Vorndgad Forest and Midkarth County for example. Just more distinction. Yeah, and in-between Roerich has been doing some work on an area in Haafinheim...? I don't know, probably he should speak about it himself. And most importantly, the two largest cities, Dragonstar and Markarth, they are being completed as we speak. Well, I don't know, Dragonstar could still take a little bit still, but I don't know, it won't be in the too distant future, Berry has already worked much on it, and Roerich is really far along with Markarth, and it's very polished already, just needs some landscaping? Right? Roerich, what do you say?

Roerich: Yes, besides the overhaul, we are working on the three cities, as you said, Dragonstar and Markath, and then the one you were talking about, Dunbarrow in Haafinheim, which was a city that Lestat built, I think. But we wanted to change some things about it, it was too large and a bit plain grid-like in structure. It's been cut up, it's much smaller now. More organic and, yes I've changed the entire area, and added a barrow, and besides the exterior work, we can say that Yeti, or what do you call it, our Quest Implementator and NPCer is working on Karthwasten. He's hard at work there, I think he's almost finished with a lot of the dialogue and the quests - No, not the quests yet, but you know, NPCing. And then Scamp has started working on an overhaul of some of the NPCs as well. But most importantly I think, we're doing a lot of work in planning future areas. Worsas has created this great location map we're using as a base, so we've, besides working on actual exteriors and interiors and stuff like that, we've done a lot of conceptualizing of future areas, like Haafinheim and the Hjaalmarch also.

Worsas: Yeah, indeed, yeah we've done some planning recently on the Richlands? also, it's a new region that'll be east of the Reach, in essence towards the inside of the province, because yeah, we try to really make the Reach, it's going to be difficult, but we want to make it lower than the rest of the province, which will be fairly difficult, because those cliffs, those mesas, are already very tall. Yeah, we're really trying to really elevate the whole landscape inside of the province to be on a, well, elevated level already so you really, when you really approach the Reach, when you approach it from the east, you'll really see it as an abatement, as a landscape that is lower. That's at least something that I, I don't know, I've been wanting for a long time. I don't know, three weeks ago or something, I edited our landmass file to make some initial changes in that direction, and made some edits according to plans. So it could be worked on in the future, but right now we're still stuck in the Reach. But we're making some plans, like for the western half of Haafinheim that has not been worked on at all yet. But Roerich has some cool plans, and we already have a relatively good idea what goes there, what locations we'll have, fortresses... And generally, we already have a fairly good idea of how the rest of the province will actually look like, regarding mountain ranges also roughly, what will be where, regions, and it still needs some detailing, more detailed planning, should we get there at some point, but we have this overall picture by now, which is good, even if we never get around to making it, this overall picture is just good to be referenced, because it already effects what we're doing here in the Reach.

Roerich: Exactly, also I think it's a good way to prevent having to do a lot of overhauls in the future. I guess, we finish the Northshore area, and then we figure out if it doesn't fit into the plans. I think it's good to have a plan that everyone agrees with and that should last, instead of just taking one area and then another and then nothing makes sense. Or...you know.

Worsas: Yeah, indeed. And I think and I hope, we won't have additional overhauls in the future. I hope the ones we have, the ones we're having at the moment, will be the last ones really. Because I don't know, we've got...2016? And well, I think I'm pretty happy with everything we have at this point, everything that's finished, and Aldkarth Lowlands. it's an area around Karthwasten, everything that we've done there, I like it all, the forest is great, I love it. Well, that's not to put the previous work, the previous work was really good, qualitatively it was very good, there was nothing wrong with it and it was eye-candy as well. From an eye-candy point of view, we wouldn't have needed to change anything. We were mainly doing what we do to promote certain aspects about the world. Subdivision, more stories, we wanted a bit more story-inclusion, more points of interest, more paths, just that kind of thing, and a better sense of scale that feels a bit more consistent with the original game that you have, you can better relate things to each other. Something like that. Well, as far as I'm concerned, we've succeeded in that. And, well I hope that the other overhauls of the other areas will be relatively quick, I hope they won't take as long as the Druadach Highlands and the Vorndgad Forest have taken. Because they also don't need that much work. In particular, the Sundered Hills, that's how we call them now, it's the wasteland area, it's amazing, it's always been my favorite area actually, and we'll probably do very little there. Maybe add a little bit of life to it, because at the moment, it's just dead trees with yellow leafs, and I don't know why. They must have lived a short while ago, and one of the things that we're trying to do is to make things so they make sense also. I think that's also important, not to destroy people's immersion I think. Even if from an aesthetic and eye-candy point of view, there's no need for change at all. Generally, Lestat was really good, he was a really good exterior modder, and one who really focused on quality. Well, messing around with his work is almost a sin, but I think we do have some reasons and yeah, I think the eventual results justifies it I think.

DEG: Alright, so sort of going to a similar question. Skyrim - Home of the Nords is obviously taking a pretty different direction from the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in terms of, you know, your interpretation of the province, you know less Dwemer ruins and more cities that are larger than three houses. Can you tell us a bit about those differences?

Worsas: The top difference is Alduin, I think for me it is a top difference between us and the Elder Scrolls V because, in my opinion the Alduin in the Elder Scrolls V was a joke. And it just didn't in the slightest really portray what this time of god is about, and the world devourer, and I don't know, it just didn't make much sense to me, it was too mundane. And showing Alduin as an actual creature, as a being, is one thing, but it doesn't even, it doesn't show it's qualities really. As a world devourer I would have expected to see a creature with a giant mouth like a wyrm or something. A really foreboding side, a creature that almost just consists of a giant mouth, like a wyrm mouth maybe, I don't know. And giant, and being giant, I don't know. I don't need to exaggerate, but just a bit more impressive, and what we got was a dragon, a black dragon with spikes that could fly, and I don't know... Well, we don't reference the Alduin lore that was established in the Elder Scrolls V, for example our Alduin is not Akatosh, for us Alduin is still the time god. Just well, just a threatening aspect of it, something like Coronus in Greek mythology, the time god that eats his children. Something like that. Well, that's a top difference, and we don't include those references. Roerich, you want to say something?

Roerich: Yes, we have a lot of differences, and one of those is obviously our take on religion. The Skyrim that was shown in the Elder Scrolls V was a bit more like an Imperial province in culture and religion and everything. So we're going to show the Nords as being more culturally different from the other Human races you see in the game. For one, I hope we can achieve a more rugged and wild feel than the new game. Our Skyrim should be a bit more barbaric and dangerous, especially as you exit the Reach. But there's a lot of differences in lore, for one we have almost no Dwemer ruins, none yet, but we might add a few towards Hammerfall and towards the Velothi Mountains. Instead we have a lot of Clan Direnni fortifications around the Reach which is more grounded in lore. And the cities are indeed closer to Morrowind's scale, they're even a bit larger when you look at a town like Karthwasten, which was at its largest it was almost, what was it? 90 or a 100 interiors? Another difference is what was seen as holds in the Elder Scrolls V was more like, it was actually jarldoms, in our version of Skyrim they're still independent kingdoms or at least semi-independent. But they each have their own goals and sort of, what do you call it, freedom and independence. Their relationship between each of these kingdoms is an important point in our history, all of the politics and power-plays and relations between each other. In our Skyrim was seriously being described as these warring kingdoms that could war with each other, and we didn't really see a lot of that... Of course, we saw the civil war, but that seemed like something completely new and not a typical Skyrim situation. So there's that, and then also a lot of, it will be almost like different nations, these different kingdoms. And instead of having the High King be like the president of the United States of Skyrim, it will be like someone who's able to, what do you call it, segregate all of the kingdoms, it should be like a really strong character and not just a diplomatic figure. It should be someone wielding terrible power to be the High King of Skyrim.

Worsas: We generally reference the first Pocket Guide lore, and I don't know, in our version of Tamriel, at least the one in my head, the dwarves went through Cyrodiil's jungles and not over Skyrim. Though I don't know what Tamriel Rebuilt does, we're trying to synchronize our lore with them a bit. And yeah, it's our own completely own branch of lore that we're having at this point. It's something that Atrayonis at Tamriel Rebuilt has written about recently on the Tamriel Rebuilt forums. There's something like three mainstreams of lore that are currently present in the community, but Tamriel Rebuilt and what we're doing, it's a completely own thing, separate from all these three. We're having a different Tamriel altogether.

DEG: Well, on a similar note, you know I was kinda curious, would you say there's anything that Skyrim - Home of the Nords has borrowed from the Elder Scrolls V in terms of art or design or lore? And how much would you say you consider Skyrim, the Elder Scrolls V, and also the Elder Scrolls Arena since I think it included Skyrim as well?

Worsas: We are adding some more towns from Arena than what Skyrim had, which won't be ruins in our point of time. Like Snowhawk, which was a ruin in the Elder Scrolls V, is a town, it's going to be a town. We're also not calling it Snowhawk, we're calling it Falkirstad. Many names we've Nordified to have a different approach on the province, like Bethesda had on Morrowind in its time. And you can sometimes see remnants of that approach in books like, there's a book, Ice and Chitin, not sure how you spell it, and Dawnstar was called Dunstiorr. On another map they wanted to rename Dragonstar to Drungstiorr to Nordify these, but well they didn't get far with it. But we have generally used this approach, renamed towns. Amber Guard is Karthgad, and well, what have we...

Roerich: We have a lot of assets, furniture, and some exterior assets which we borrowed from the new Skyrim, almost directly some of them. Stuff like our chests, Nord sets, there's also some concepts, landscape concepts, like the Hjaalmarch which was never mentioned before the Elder Scrolls V. So a few bits comes to mind, and probably a lot of things that we aren't even thinking about but which just becomes a part of how we viewed Skyrim after we played the game, but which would be hard to point out directly.

Worsas: Totally went off track before, thanks for getting me back to the question. Well, we adopted some barrow designs already, not just from the game, but also I remodeled some things from their concept art, but much too little yet. I just never managed to get back to the barrows, I would like to make much more because they made some really good concept art for them. And well, the barrows are one of the highlights of the Elder Scrolls V, and it's one influence that we use and that could be extended. And we have adopted a few names, like the Karth river. Did you say that Roerich?

Roerich: No

Worsas: The Karth River and the Druadach, I don't know how to spell it, I'm not English, and to me they are these, in my head, these names are spelled in the pronunciation of my language. Well, the Druadach is also a name from the Elder Scrolls V that we have adopted, it's the mountain range that separates Skyrim from Hammerfall and High Rock, and in our case it's not quite a typical mountain range, it's a highland with a plateau, well a high plateau.

Roerich: We've continued with sort of Celtic influences on the Reachmen, but of course, among a lot of other inspirations like the Sami people of northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the Celtic peoples of Scotland and Ireland. And so, I would pronounce it as Dwa-dach or something like that. But, I think it sounds a bit, I don't know, perhaps Scottish? I like to see some Celtic influences in the place names of the Reach.

Worsas: You know what? You know the straw tent that the Reachmen have? I can't show them at the moment, but Roerich knows them, and I have modeled after an African thatch-hut.

Roerich: Interesting, so we have a lot of different inspirations, which is good.

Worsas: Yeah, indeed. And that Orc drum is also modeled after a African drum. Well, the Orcs have some African influences and the Reachmen as well. They have got this, with the sticks, and the Africans, in Western Africa at least, I think they carve wood a lot like the Nords also. We have included a little bit from that, not much, but you get a little bit of that flavor when you go into that Orc camp or into Reachmen villages, they have a little bit of that too. It's a witchy feeling to it, like I don't know, like in the hut of an African medicine man a little bit.

DEG: Well I have one more question in this set before we go into our more region-specific questions, and you know, I realize it's probably a bit early for this, but I was sort of curious, is there going to be a central main quest or storyline in Skyrim - Home of the Nords? Or is there going to be more like regional storytelling rather than an overarching main quest?

Roerich; We're not really at a stage where we can discuss this in-depth, I doubt we're going to finish the entire province if I'm going to be honest, at least if we stay true to our current level of quality and detail and number of members. But to answer your question, I think we'll definitely see more regional storytelling. But if we're going to have a main quest for the entire province, which wouldn't need to actually involve every exterior, but the overarching story would be of the rise of King Thian of Haafingar.

DEG: Well that sounds pretty interesting, and going into our regional questions here, the Druadach Highlands, and you know we have some video footage of this in the background, and the Druadach region is home to the city of Dragonstar and many other smaller settlements. Can you tell us a bit about the design and landscape decisions that were made to create this region?

Worsas: Originally this area that is now the Druadach Highlands it was an area of rolling hills, a grasslands area, according to the first Pocket Guide, because it says the western Reach is a hilly landscape with pleasant valleys. And Skyrim supposedly annexed some parts of High Rock (Hammerfall) thirty years ago in the War of Bend'r Mahk. Well, that's what we had before, but even though that was in some way lore-friendly, it didn't really work. The issue was, we still had those border plateaus in the background, and it didn't work with it, it was like it had almost no subdivision and well, very little in it. There was a little burned village and one ruin in the corner and that was it almost. It was really large without anything in it, to put it bluntly. It didn't look bad, but then we decided to add more continuity with the rest of the hold. We wanted to add cliffs to the area, small plateaus or mesas or how you want to call them. And yeah, more subdivision and landscape, more points of interest, more distinction from neighboring regions, as I mentioned before, like really confining it to certain container plants, to certain rock formations, to certain... So it's more distinct while at the same time also more consistent a bit. Previously it was also so that the Vorndgad Forest stopped abruptly towards the border with the Druadach Highlands. Yeah, and what also came to it, I think for me two factors that really played a big role, were both the Elder Scrolls V and Map 5 of Tamriel Rebuilt, you know the Velothi Mountains, and that very densely detailed landscape there from Aether, it's very densely detailed. And, I don't know, what we had here felt comparatively bland. It's hard to say, I mean it's not a good thing to compare, because actually treat everything you see individually, and as long as it's great in itself, there's no need to, I don't know, downgrade it or to make it better. But I don't know, I had such a Skyrim vibe from the Map 5, I thought we were totally lacking that same vibe, we had some cool things already like those destroyed villages that we had planned and executed on one hand. And also there were some things, there was some vibe about the Reach in the Elder Scrolls V, and I saw it and I thought it was a really, the Elder Scrolls V was a really wild and untamed landscape, and our Reach at that point, in many parts, looked like domestic landscape with railings everywhere, the forest stops abruptly like it was cut down by human hands. Farms and houses, and that rolling landscape, and overall that feeling... I don't know, I just wasn't happy. I thought what Bethesda had made was a bit better than what we had. And...yeah, that's probably one reason why we came back to this and reworked it. And it really turned out well I think.

DEG: Now can you tell us a bit about the lore behind this region? I mean obviously it's pretty close to Hammerfall, so can we expect to see a big mix of Redguard and Nordic cultures?

Worsas: Well, the towns of Dragonstar and Karthwasten, they've both got this Redguard architecture, but this architecture, it's really a merge, it's a merge between Redguard, Colovian and Nordic, and even Reachmen architecture. Really of everything. And those two cities are also the cities that should really represent the multi-cultural aspect of this hold the most. Like having much more, don't know, Redguards, Elves, Orcs, that you've got everything there.

Roerich: Yes, I think an important aspect is that these lands have shifted ownership so many times. They are not Skyrim proper, and they are not really Hammerfall or High Rock either. They have even seen Reachmen independence. But yes, a lot of culture mixing involved in, yes as you said, in population and architecture and so on. Also, I think it's important that, especially the cities of Dragonstar and Karthwasten, they act more like city states in the past with some independence. And when they've been occupied by High Rock or Hammerfall or Skyrim, they've always been at the very border of these lands mostly. So they're not really connected to these foreign nations. A really unique area in Tamriel, especially with the Reachmen, which could have been a nation of their own and almost a race of their own. They are described as being a... what the PGE says they're like a mongrel breed of humans and Bretons, so they're something different than Bretons.

Worsas: Also the Nords conquered Dragonstar thirty years ago, but it's been fought over since that time, somehow... I still don't know how that really works, because I don't know, have they been fighting in that one city all that time? I don't know. The way we've been doing it, there's this separating wall between the two city halves, as in Shadow Key, as in the game where Dragonstar is featured. But this wall is occupied by the Legion, it's under Imperial control, and the Empire really has her hands over this whole thing at the moment. The Empire wants to, the way I think about it, it's probably the Empire wants to keep the Nords, both the Nords and the Redguards loyal somehow. And by preventing a decision over the ownership of this city, they probably want to please both sides somehow. Something like that.

Roerich: Yes, they're like a peace-keeping force.

Worsas: Well then the Druadach Highlands are, of course, something like a core region of the Reachmen. Well it's a very wild subdivided landscape, and fits their culture. Well, the Reachmen, most people know pretty well about them, they have been in the Reach since the Mythic Era, have most of the time been govern by other nations, by Nords or Redguards, I don't know. And only for a short time has it really been an independent kingdom for themselves. But they really want it, and I think at the time of Tiber Septim they also rebelled, they were really fighting him, and Tiber Septim stepped in and defeated them back then. And well, in the Elder Scrolls V you see another uprising of the Reachmen.

DEG: Alright, you bring up an interesting point that Dragonstar was actually in a previous Elder Scrolls game, the Elder Scrolls Travels: Shadowkey, how much influence would you say has been taken from Shadowkey with regards to Dragonstar's design?

Worsas: Well, Yeti made a city plan for it at some point in the past, using that overview map of Dragonstar from Shadowkey, just using some parts that seemed appropriate to him, and that map continued undeveloped. And there are some things, I don't know too many details off the top of my head. Of course there's a separating wall, there is a fighter's guild there, but it's currently closed, and I'm not sure if there's going to be an Imperial guild side. And there is also a fountain on the western part of the town, and an arena on the, I think on the eastern part. I don't know right now, but there are a number of things surely. Yeah, we were already on about this mod since before the Elder Scrolls V of course, and before there was the Elder Scrolls V, we took everything we could from everywhere. So it came that we added a number of plants, a creature, two creatures, from Shadowkey. The wormmouth we've got, and also the spikeworm. The spikeworm, I don't know if the spikeworm from Shadowkey looks the same, probably very different, but I've made one regardless. And some plants, for example there was a black something mushroom that gave restore health, that was a healing mushroom, and we made a black-spore mushroom that also has the effect (healing). Let me think for a moment, what plants... Ice grape, right the ice grape was the reason why we made the Wrothgarian grape in the first place, because I don't know, we just took what we found, and thought we wanted to make the Reach a bit different from the rest of Skyrim by adding these weird container plants. Like this grape plant, or Vicar Herb. The Vicar Herb is a plant straightly taken from Shadowkey, and also has a healing effect to it. And, ah, let me think for a moment... A number of plants, and of course Dragonstar, and we are maybe going to add Azra Nightwielder somewhere, that's the wizard from Shadowkey, he was casted in ice somehow? We might add him somewhere as an undead lich. Well, we've had some ideas there, maybe even come back to some of that Shadowgate or the star-teeth stuff. Right, right, star teeth, we've been doing a little bit in that direction for the Direnni ruins. The Direnni ruins, they have an aperture for their glass domes atop, and that aperture they have, I've called it Magus Console, and it uses such star teeth, they're basically bended varla stones. Like those you know varla stones, the ones that the Ayleid had. And it's basically a manifested piece of sky magic something, sky magicka. And the Magus Console, it draws energy from the stars. The idea behind it at least, and it should do something magical. We have it already, but it doesn't do much at the moment, just supplies the fortress with magical energy to power lights and stuff. And that's another thing, we've used a number of things here and there from Shadowkey.

DEG: I'm actually kinda surprised that you guys took that much influence from Shadowkey, considering you know, it was released on a really obscure platform, the Nokia NGage, and I don't think a whole lot of people actually played it back when it was released.

Worsas: Yeah right, I thought it was... It's almost silly, but you know, when we were planning the region and adding stuff and the Elder Scrolls V wasn't there yet, we took what we found, and when you've found something in a previous Elder Scrolls game, no matter how obscure it is, you feel like you're official a bit. You can always point to the game and say "yeah, see over there, it's lore friendly". It's actually an approach that doesn't always make sense, and Tamriel Rebuilt has moved away from that approach for example, and Bethesda doesn't use that approach so much either. They say they always start from scratch and rethink everything from ground up instead of using something because it was in a previous game. But many of these things just fit into place, and it doesn't hurt. For the few people that have played Shadowkey, it will be a nice reference.

Roerich: Yes, there is one particular character that will be really interesting to come across if you played ShadowKey.

Worsas: I don't know, was Jona the Ansei-Slayer maybe also from ShadowKey?

Roerich: I don't think so, but I'm not sure actually.

Worsas: Yeah, I don't know either, would have to check. But it's the Count of this area. Well, in our political system, what's the Jarl in the Elder Scrolls V is a king, and the king has jarls below him, and Jona is one of these jarls. And jarls again have thanes I think on the next level, and all of these can have huscarl. It's just an additional layer, just one step further up.

Roerich: Yes, exactly. More precisely, Jarla Jona is the Jarl of Karthwasten and the Skyrim half of Dragonstar. She is currently situated in Dragonstar to sort of take control of the situation there. Obviously she wants the western half as well. She's a bit of a like warlike typical Nord. And in her absence she has three thanes governing Karthwasten.

Worsas: Alright, and the son of the King of the Reach is residing there.

Roerich: Yeah, he is receiving a tutelage from one of these thanes, trying to learn how to be a king, but it is not going so well. He's sort of like plump to the luxuries of Karthwasten.

Worsas: Yeah, it didn't become better with him. He went astray, or I don't know if that makes sense.

Roerich: No really, he's become more like a, I think Yeti described him like a thuggish character. Not very Nordic compared to the rulers and to his father and probably also to his younger brother who is serving in the Legion.
Last edited by Darkelfguy on Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:59 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:56 am

Alright, so there is a character limit. Continuing from the last post, here's the rest of the transcript:

DEG: Now this kinda leads me to my next question, are there any plans in place for you know quests in this region and what kind of factions or conflicts can we expect to find here?

Worsas: Well there is a Redguard Uprising movement, uh, what are they called? I've forgotten the name of them. Keep thinking about it...

Roerich: Their name is the Sogat Dur Gada I think.

Worsas: The Sogat Dur Gada, right...

Roerich: It means something like some way, something like that. It's like an insurgent faction, or actually a lot of insurgent factions warring together. The Redguard society is very fragmented like that. there's a lot of these knightly orders and different factions.

Worsas: Yeah, they are probably supported by the Crowns, the Crowns they want it back, they want Dragonstar back, what they lost. But the Sogat Dur Gada they work, they're not really organized together, everyone does on his own, and they are somehow supported, they are backed in a way, but working very uncoordinated. Well, the exact answer, what they are doing to change the situation, it's not really clear. We have hideouts for them already, below Karthwasten too. But yeah, I think for Karthwasten, they were wanting to influence the prince in some way.

Roerich: Yes, and they also, they've attempted to assassinate both the Jarla and the thanes. Also they exist in different places all over the Reach, in the countryside where they are raiding and they are causing general uprising and sort of being a nuisance to the Nords. And trying to undermine the Nord rule by creating an unstable situation and weaving in the Nord reign.

Worsas: I'm wondering what and how far they coordinate with the Reachmen maybe or the Orcs. Another thing, one aspect about this all, what makes it maybe a little bit interesting, is that the Redguard government of the western part of Dragonstar officially doesn't approve of those actions of course. "We have nothing to do with them" something like that of course, because they are, well those guerilla fighters are terrorists or whatever and they are a serious government you know.

Roerich: But I think it's important that there's similar, I don't know, groups or at least individuals among the Nords Especially in Dragonstar, it's like, there's peace on the surface level, but the PGE describes that there's acts of terror every-day, and you know, there's murders on each side in the alleyways and shadows of the city from both sides. So there's like an underground guerilla war going on inside the city and the surroundings.

Worsas: Yeah, they cannot act openly, they cannot start an attack on the other part of the town just like that, it would be against Imperial right, and yeah, they're not allowed to, it's cemented by I don't know, by regulations. On the surface it's as Roerich has said, it is peace and nobody wishes to have the other side of the town, well more or less. Jona is supposed to be an impulsive character I think.

Roerich: Yes

Worsas: She will be very old by now, it was thirty years ago they conquered, and now she's still around and not much has changed. I wonder if that wouldn't make the person a bit frustrated maybe? Thirty years, sitting on your hands? I don't know

Roerich: There was one situation back when, I think it was a response to an assassination attempt or something that had gone wrong with these insurgents, Redguard insurgents. They were very good at hiding so she couldn't find them. But I don't know if she had reports that they were hiding in the Druadach or Karthwasten, but there was this situation where she just went out with a warband and just raided every Redguard settlement she came across, and eventually ended up at the gates of Karthwasten wanting to almost commit genocide on all of the Redguards of the city. Whether they supported the insurgents, she just wanted to kill them all. So there was sort of like a battle between the Nords of Karthwasten, which she actually ruled, and her warband, and there was a fight that stopped, actually a siege that stopped when the King of the Reach, King Barda of Markarth, he intervened. Yeti has written a bit more about that, but there's not really a peaceful situation in the Reach, even if that's what it looks like on the surface.

Worsas: Yeah right, there's also those village ruins all across the place because, I don't know, the Nords or maybe one of the other Reachmen or whoever, attacked the village and burned it down. Maybe, I think with Jarla Jona it will be that she just extinguishes all uprisings within the boundary of the province, if there's the slightest noise somewhere, she goes and burns it down or something like that. And the Reachmen run away and have to build up their houses somewhere else. And yeah, it's very suppressing actually, but well that's also one thing that we're trying to portray a little bit about the Reach, even with the architecture of the Nords. The Nords are very suppressive and dominating in this area, and the houses are yeah, they are elevated on elevated stone basements. Yeah, they are the upper class, and the Nords in the Reach are upper-class people, there are no poor Nords really, a few but the Nords are the upper class. And the poor people are Reachmen, and I don't know, Khajiit? But they're probably lower class almost everywhere. And Redguards are probably not best treated either. I don't know, elves, Nords aren't too well about Nords, but in the Reach they are not given much attention I think. There are a number of High Elves, there are many different ethnicities around, and the Nords are a little bit at the top of them.

DEG: Well that certainly sounds rather exciting honestly, a lot of conflicts and obviously prejudices going on with the local population. And you know, is there anything else you'd like to add about the Druadach region here?

Worsas: I think the only thing I can think of I would like to add is that it really turned out beautifully after what Berry made there. Yeah, it's really nice, and it feels very, it feels very similar to the Elder Scrolls V in some parts, I like it even more I must say. Well, for me our Skyrim is the true Skyrim anyway. It really turned out well and I'm quite happy about it all.

DEG: Alright, going into some Project Tamriel and some recruitment questions... I was kind of wondering, Skyrim - Home of the Nords is a part of Project Tamriel, a collection of massive modding projects working on the various provinces of Tamriel, can you tell us a bit about the setup at Project Tamriel and what other projects are currently being worked on?

Roerich: I think the main projects hosted at Project Tamriel would be Province: Cyrodiil and Skyrim - Home of the Nords, there's SGMonkey's High Rock project and the Lyithdonea project and then there's an Elsweyr project, Project Outreach is that correct? I don't know how active the Elsweyr and High Rock project is, but the whole thing was organized by SGMonkey. I think it's great to have this collective forums where we can be inspired by each other and share input between the forums, mostly it's between Province: Cyrodiil and Skyrim - Home of the Nords. We get a lot of creative input from each other, we're getting inspired and sort of streamlining our, what do you call it, gameworlds or civilizations.

Worsas: Yeah, that's what I like about it really. We are on a common board, and of course we look at each other and can do a lot of coordination and synchronization. But when I look at it, both projects are still very much themselves, and most people that are at the project stick with their project. Roerich here is a Skyrim person, and others at Province: Cyrodiil stick with their project, and they really have their own base respectively, and their own well feeling, and even though we're on a common board. And I think that's exactly how it should be. Yeah, I was a bit unsure about the move to the common forum, we did it because, I wanted to make a, I was already switching back and forth between the project at that time and I wanted to make it a bit easier on myself, amongst other things. But also I wanted to have a little bit of Infragris around, I think, because I don't know, he's really got a good idea of what he writes. And since I was around Province: Cyrodiil and read his stuff, I really felt like I had a better idea of the overall picture. Previously, at Skyrim, I was at the most part just looking at Skyrim specific things and had little knowledge about, yeah little over and all no knowledge, and that changed a bit. And that's another thing for sure. We also move even closer in the not too distant future, because we want to have a common data files, and we originally wanted to do it as a thing only between Skyrim and Cyrodiil, but I opened a chat in the Tamriel Rebuilt forums, because I thought, let's do a bit of synchronization with them as well, and let's try and make a common current consistent version of Tamriel somehow, but just on a lore-base more or less, just coordination a bit. Let's try to use the same premises, and follow certain common rules and, yeah I can't word it very well. And then some of their people when I was speaking to them, they said "hey, let's just do common data files together", I didn't really think of it and they wanted to have data files with us. And that's what we're doing at the moment. And when those data files are ready, everyone will be able to view and use our assets when they download them, and I think that's good because our data, our assets, they have been in this internal form, they are not publically available, which is just so because in the past many people didn't want it to be open to outsiders. But there are so many assets that have collected over time, and they are, some of them are really criminally underused, so much effort has flown into it, and I think the only right thing now is to have these in someplace where people can see them and maybe use them for their own mods, and appreciate them somehow. Yeah, and when we are there, some new people, if someone wants to join us and make a showcase, they will also be able to work with our assets and won't need to use and make a Hlaalu house that they need to ditch afterwards, which is currently the case. And if you can make something a showcase which might be reused for the mod, it's just nice.

And Province: Cyrodiil, just to come to it, they are working on, they are doing quests and dialogue. Yeah, they are finishing Stirk with everything. Right, so it's completely finished. In the recent months, we have made a lot of, well I guess, tweaking work. I made some salt-water fish for the Abecean Sea, and I don't know, it wouldn't have been needed but well, I wanted to do it, and it's a full thing. Even if it's just a tiny island and it takes forever to do, if it's just one place that's finished which has got everything, which has speaking NPCs that can act and really feel alive, and animals there and species and it really feels like a part of Tamriel really. I think that will be really rewarding, and I hope it won't take too long anymore, because the island has been sitting there for a while. Interiors are finished, and most NPCs have been placed, and most dialogue has been written, and four or five quests have been made, but they have not been tested much. And actually, only a few tweaks are supposed to be made there, and yeah, I don't know, it can't take too long anymore and it will be really great.

Yeah, and at Skyrim we are, as said previously, well we are working on getting that bit north of Karthgad ready, and afterwards NPCs will start as well, NPCing, and proper questing. And a lot has been prepared, and most of the dialogue has actually been written up already but it's not been added to the CS, and also some of the dialogue from the previous release has been ditched for several reasons. But I think it will be fairly similar to before, only that Yeti wants to, yeah he wants to re-characterize Karthgad a little bit and make it a little bit more, I don't know how it's called, xenophobic, they are a bit less friendly to outsiders. The town has been changed and corrected, it's now elevated, and it's separated in itself by walls and it feels a bit colder. It has got the Bear Clan and the Thane Uolgo, or what called, and it's a bit split in itself and unfriendly to outsiders. The smith won't offer service to non-Nords I think, just to show a bit of what kind of town it is a little bit, yeah, to characterize it.

DEG: Well that sounds like a lot of progress is being made, and you know, for people looking to join up with Skyrim - Home of the Nords and Project Tamriel, is there anything in particular they need to do in order to, you know, to sign on with one of the province teams?

Roerich: We have a lot of guidelines on how to signup, so I'd just invite people to come and take a look at our forums. We have this showcase system, as Worsas spoke a little bit about, where you need to create an interior, like fulfill a number of requirements but we have more elaborate guidelines.

Worsas: I think what's important if you want to collaborate with us, is that you don't take criticism or feedback generally personally. It's never meant personally, we're just trying to do it well, and yeah, sometimes we have had a few situations where it didn't turn out very well. Yeah, it's difficult, and you just need to manage it, and don't take it too hard if someone says it's not so great. But it can also be really very rewarding working together, and it's something really great that we're working on, and yeah it's about enjoying it. And it's also not, we're trying not to be so authoritative. Like, I have a say and what I say is law. We're trying to be on a level. Well, I've been around for the longest, along with Yeti, Yeti had joined before me, and well the authority in that case just comes from that I know about certain things or I just manage a lot. Yeah, it's just a thing that grows by activity, but we're not adding an artificial line that says you can't decide how something turns out. But you should be prepared to listen to feedback and just find a solution together, and like to work in a group. You can just signup with us, if you want to make interiors or exteriors you should make a showcase, but you can just start to post something if you want if you have ideas or suggestions. Feedback is welcome!

DEG: Now what particular area does Skyrim - Home of the Nords need modders in the most? Like interior design, exterior design, questing or asset creation?

Worsas: I would say probably really interiors and quests. Because the thing to finish something that's been created in the exterior space and make content playable beyond having some eye-candy landscape to walk through. Though eye-candy is relative, sure, Morrowind isn't a new game, but I think it's still nevertheless eye-candy in itself, if you don't compare it, if you don't look at and say "the other new game from 2016 looks so much better", you're probably right, but if you don't compare it to something else but just look at it for its own sake, I think it's pretty nice. But we don't just want to have nice landscape, we want to have story, we want to have playable content, NPCs to talk to, just things that happen. I think that really gives a purpose, gives the player purpose, if you walk around and you have something you want to do in the game, like say you want to collect something for a quest giver, but you wander across the landscape, it's much better than just wandering around like that without purpose. But yeah, I think that's what we're trying to achieve at the moment, and yeah we want to get it finished finally because it's been so long since our previous release and yeah, we want to get it out soon.

DEG: Alright, well going into our final questions then, really I just have one more question for you guys, I know it's been a pretty long interview. Is there anyone in the community or on the Project Tamriel team that you'd like to give a shoutout to?

Roerich: Ah yes, I think that's a lot of people, first off there's Lestat for planning this project and for managing to finish an absolutely incredible amount of exterior cells by himself. Then there's Luxray who almost interiorized Karthwasten by himself, always been making a lot of creative interiors and also branched out and created some texts with a lot of good lore input. There's of course Scamp who's created sort of awe-inspiring exteriors for all of the major province projects, he's also the master of caves, so you can look for those in Skyrim, you'll be sure to recognize a Scamp cave. And there's Yeti for creating a lot of fantastic lore and dialogue we built our world upon. Then of course there's Worsas here with me, who's really doing amazing work in everything he does, in particular models and exteriors. And then there's one of our newer modders, Berry, who's creating some of the most creative exteriors I've ever seen, they're really good, and he's almost done this overhaul by himself. Also there's some of the modders who were mostly gone when I joined, like DNA and some others which I never really got to know, but they created a lot of fantastic lore and assets to build with, and many others, those are just the ones I remember. I think one of the strengths of Skyrim - Home of the Nords is while we're a small team, but all of our modders are very competent and maintain a high level of quality in their work. And I think we're enjoyable people to be around, and I encourage you to seek us out and give some input or make a showcase. Also I wanted to give a shoutout to, I don't know how to pronounce it, Infragris from Province: Cyrodiil and Tamriel Rebuilt, who should really have been on the Oblivion development team. Ah yes, I think that's it, I'm sorry if I forgot someone. Oh, there's also Lord Berandas and Spineinside who made a lot of terrific assets for Skyrim.

DEG: I guess that pretty much wraps up all of the questions I have for you guys, so thanks again for agreeing to do this interview.

Roerich: You're welcome, it was very enjoyable.

Worsas: Yeah, thank you for your time.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by worsas » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:40 pm

Thankyou for all your work, Darkelfguy. It is appreciated.

I'm sorry for my horrific grammar. I figured, I wouldn't be that good at spoken English with all the nervousness involved in a public interview.
I joined, like DNA
DNA should be Dirnae.
and Dawnstar was called Dunstiorr. On another map they wanted to rename Dragonstar to Drungstiorr
Danstrar instead of Dunstiorr. Drangstor instead of Drungstiorr.
yeah little over and all no knowledge
"little overall knowledge", I wanted to say. Though, I don't remember what actually came off my mouth.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Scamp » Sat Oct 01, 2016 4:01 pm

Darkelfguy wrote:[...]And then Scamp has started working on an overhaul of some of the NPCs as well.[...]
Not sure guys. I appreciate the acknowledgement, but I've never been the NPC kind of guy. Exteriors are my bread and butter. Perhaps you meant Yeti?

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by roerich » Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:48 pm

I think NPC's should be mesas.

Nice work on this DEG!! I have a few corrections as well, I'll post them tomorrow.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Scamp » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:42 pm

That makes more sense, roerich.

Obviously I forgot to say, but that's marvellous work indeed, DEG.

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Darkelfguy » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:33 pm

Bit of an update, the interview is uploading now, should be online in about 5~6 hours, I'll post it here once the whole thing is up. This honestly took a lot longer than I was expecting, the captioning portion took about 6 hours to do (and I still can't feel some of the muscles in my arm) and I ended up spending an extra hour working on some extra video footage to bump up the amount of unique areas shown in the interview video (specifically with Roerich's Markarth claim). In total, the video showcases 28 minutes of Vorndgad Forest, 29 minutes of the Druadach Highlands, 35 minutes of Karthwasten and Karthwasten interiors, and 9 minutes of Markarth for a total of nearly one hour and forty minutes of unique video footage and only five minutes of repeating video footage, making this probably the most thorough showcase of Skyrim - Home of the Nords to date.

In any event, I did want to suggest something Obviously these longer interviews take a lot of work to do post-interview, so I was thinking it might be a good idea to introduce shorter progress update videos on SHOTN along regular intervals. Like say every three months or so, just get someone to talk about the latest updates on the project with some new video footage in the background and what's all been going on behind-the-scenes. I think it would be a good way to keep the public interested, three months is a long enough time for some progress, but not so long that people forget about the project. If people can see the amount of progress being made, who knows, maybe more people will want to join up and contribute? Though I must admit I'm a little disappointed that the trailers haven't really helped recruitment at all, so no telling if progress update interviews will either.

And of course, I'm more than happy to do more traditional interviews with more developers, if you guys are up for it.
roerich wrote:I think NPC's should be mesas.

Nice work on this DEG!! I have a few corrections as well, I'll post them tomorrow.
Thanks, let me know any corrections you have, I'll be posting the edited interview in a few hours with the finished uploaded video. I've found a few typos and mistakes myself, so I'm trying to correct as much as possible.
Scamp wrote:That makes more sense, roerich.

Obviously I forgot to say, but that's marvellous work indeed, DEG.
Thanks, hopefully it pays off!

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by roerich » Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:24 pm

Exciting, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. As for corrections, here you go!


But anyway I changed the interior to sort of have obscure authoritarian bookshelves, with you know webs all over the place and bookshelves towering over the player.
authoritarian should be antiquarian
Worsas: Yeah, indeed, yeah we've done some planning recently on the Richlands?
Richlands should be Ridgelands
And instead of having the High King be like the president of the United States of Skyrim, it will be like someone who's able to, what do you call it, segregate all of the kingdoms, it should be like a really strong character and not just a diplomatic figure. It should be someone wielding terrible power to be the High King of Skyrim.
Not sure what I was going for here. It's possible I might've said 'segregate' and meant something else. I meant some sort of synonym for 'dominate', but I can't imagine what I should've said that sounds similar.
No really, he's become more like a, I think Yeti described him like a thuggish character. Not very Nordic compared to the rulers and to his father and probably also to his younger brother who is serving in the Legion.
thuggish should be 'foppish'

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Re: Modder Interviews and Developer Logs

Post by Luxray » Mon Oct 03, 2016 2:24 pm

Really excellent work on this Darkelfguy. Thanks again for all your hard work, I really enjoyed watching it!

I'm confident a release will be the thing to break the floodgates. I think most people will take us a lot more seriously then.
<roerich> woah it's hot in here
<Lord Berandas> it must be Summer.
<Infragris> #hell is meant as a spam and off topic channel. Doing a great job already

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