Mod Interview: Korana

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Yarrrr, for this week’s mod interview, we’re chatting with Korana of the BGS forums. Korana, whose real name is Cheryl, lives a pretty exciting life. She recently got engaged, sells booze for a living, and as a resident of Idaho has somehow never seen potatoes grow. Oh yeah, and she’s got a birthday coming up in a few weeks. Congrats on a quarter century of excellence!

As for modding, Korana had done a wide variety of stuff for the Elder Scrolls…just take a gander at her website.

On with the show…

How did you get started modding our games?
Morrowind was one of the very first games that I bought for my Xbox. I quickly discovered I couldn’t put the controller down, much to the dismay of my family who really would have preferred it if I hadn’t spent so much time curled up in front of my television! Now matter how much I played the game, I could never successfully complete the temple quests without being expelled from the temple faction. (That really shouldn’t come as a shock to too many people!) One day I decided to look up some spoilers, and came upon the official forum. Now, at this point in my life I had no idea what a mod was, so when I saw a mod section on the forums and saw all these different screenshots I was amazed…and insanely jealous that my poor computer could barely handle pictures on the internet!

I joined the forum and assisted other people with spoilers they needed, all the while keeping my eye on the modding forum. A dear friend bought me a copy of GOTY for the PC, and also upgraded my computer several months later. Needless to say, the first thing I did was download every mod I could! It didn’t take me too long to start thinking. “hey, I can do this,” and I began to open up every mod I had in the CS.

And it never stopped…

If you could only stick with one game to mod, would you take Morrowind or Oblivion?
At the current moment, I’d have to say Morrowind. After spending so many years with the Morrowind construction set, I know where everything is. With Morrowind, I know the easiest way to accomplish what I wish to accomplish. I love the ability to personalize my character, and I feel that Oblivion doesn’t offer me as many options in that aspect.

Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to modding for Oblivion….just as soon as I finish the game completely and fix my rather fatal construction error which refuses to let me save. I think I’ve made the same house mod for Oblivion ten times now.

Hmmm, not being able to save my work might make me a little partial….

Looking at your website, I see that your projects vary quite a bit. Is there something you enjoy doing more than another (housing, clothing, appearance, etc.)?
That’s a rather tough question for me to answer! I find different areas of enjoyment in each. I find creating houses (or any interior for that matter) is a way to express the aesthetic desires I wish I could afford in real life. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being an interior designer. I used to drive my poor parents insane with my constant changing of my room. There are still boxes of sunflower items in the house from when I had a two week fad of covering everything with sunflowers! It is truly enjoyable for me to change the look of a room by merely dragging an object across my computer screen, instead of rolling up the sleeves! I love to create ambience with different lighting effects, and to create completely different atmospheres. I share them in hopes that the atmosphere I have created will fit someone else’s desires for their character, or even just like the way it feels! I learned during my massive re-decorating phase that comfort is in the details, and there are just so many amazing resources available for housing mods that I can never not find an excuse to fill an empty corner! Clutter is comfort….or, as Princess once said: “Korana is in the details.”

I enjoy modding clothing and appearance (faces, hairs, etc.) once again for aesthetic value. Clothing modding can be incredibly frustrating at times, so it’s definitely not as enjoyable for me as house modding. Despite how frustrating lining up all those seems can be, I found that the enjoyment of creating my own personalized character with their very own faces and outfits is well worth it. It’s a fantasy game, and the more choice the better! The most rewarding part of clothing and appearance mods are seeing members of the community use them! I am honored that they have chosen to use faces and/or clothing that I have created to portray their characters!

Are there any types of mod projects you stay away from?
Absolutely! Projects heavy in scripting scare me! I can handle easy to mid-level scripting, but I really do not enjoy it. I’d much rather be doing something that involves texture work or level design!

You mentioned to me that your biggest project right now is Pelanor. Can you let folks know a little more about this?
Pelanor, like most of my projects, started out as a small idea and grew until it became out of a control. The concept of Pelanor began as a city I felt inspired to build one day, and quickly became a continent, with it’s very own history and architecture.

Sounds simple right? Oh, just a continent…it can’t be that complex, lots of people have done it! Oh, how I wish! Pelanor is built using interior cells only, much like Tribunal’s Mournhold. This means every inch of landscape has to be placed by hand, and often there simply are not meshes available for what I wish to create!

Pelanor has evolved from a mod that used modder made and personal resources to enrich it, but to a mod that mostly uses modder’s resources and new items made by myself…many of which haven’t had any public display (unless you count people walking by my computer while I work on them!)

Pelanor offers a step into another world, varying vastly from the original Morrowind world. New architecture, furniture, and ships are just a few of the aesthetics available.

Players can join a pirate faction and pillage the seas, travel over foot through rich forests and snowy mountains, or dwell in rich cities with a historical feel. Mages Guild, Fighters Guild, Imperial Legion, and miscellaneous quests will also be playable.

Pelanor aims to create a new world with new places, characters, items, and adventures to offer the player.

When you say “biggest” it’s no understatement. I expect I’ll be working on this project still when I’m 50! For more information on Pelanor, feel free to visit here.

Any other projects we should know about? I see you’ve done some mods specifically for holidays. Let me ask, why didn’t I get a Christmas card?
Silly, everyone got a Christmas card! Go download it…

I like to think about the holidays as a time for sharing, and while I can’t bake you some cookies and ship them your way, I figure I can make a mod and release it for everyone! I get a lot of questions such as “Why would you bother? It’s not like they will be used year round!” To me, it’s not about the usefulness of a mod…it’s the spirit behind it!

As for other projects, I’m really only working on small projects aside from Pelanor. “Small” of course is a relative word with my projects! I’m currently working a book/letter/scroll project which contains well over 60 items. There is more information located here if anyone is interested!

I’m also working on releasing some of the 1,000 plus meshes that I’ve created for Pelanor into separate resource packs.

How long do you see yourself modding Oblivion and Morrowind?
Until my family and friends get tired of me spending so much time on the computer? I’ve tried to give it up before, and I find myself truly missing the community and my creative outlet.

Outside of these games, what other games do you play?
Honestly, none on any regular basis anymore. I’ve got a collection of PC games that never get any play time, including Guild Wars and Lineage II. I’ve got a small collection of Xbox games that rarely even get touched!

Have there been times where limitations of the CS have made you scrap a mod project altogether?
I honestly thought about it with Pelanor a few times! Each time I would get close to scrapping it, I’d stop and think “Wait, there’s got to be a different way to do this!” So far, I’ve been successful in working around limitations!

What types of tools would you find useful in the CS that you don’t currently have?
I passionately covet the ability to have landscaping abilities in Morrowind’s interior cells. Also, I’d love the have the capability to change the music played in each cell via the cells and regions….instead of having to rely heavily on scripts.

What’s are your favorite games of all-time?
That would still be Morrowind! I was never too into games before Morrowind and I met that fateful day in Hastings. I love the free feeling of this game, such as walking for miles in any direction you wish. Oblivion being of course the second choice!

Are you looking to work professionally in game design?
I’d love too, however I’ve heard it can be a terribly competitive field. I’m actually currently looking into several careers; game design is definitively on the list!

Anything other cool or interesting you’d like to share about yourself?
Well, I’ve recently become engaged! I like driving, four-wheeling, camping, fishing, boating, singing off tune in the shower, spending time with my wonderful friends, making a royal mess with my life on a routine basis, dinking around in Photoshop, making funny faces when people aren’t looking, walking the dogs…..oh there’s lots more.
Wow, OK so I sound almost normal….if only the voices in my head agreed! Oh, and I refuse to wear matching socks…

 

Reader Comments

  1. Hurray! It’s an interview with Korana.

    … But working on Pelanor until you’re fifty… Korana, we can’t wait that long! ;-)

    Cheers,

    Swiveller

  2. What a great interview! :D

    I can’t even begin to describe how much respect and admiration I have for Korana’s mods. Really – I’d run out of superlatives by the end of the first sentence.

    “… Princess once said”? Honey, I say that every time I open the CS!

    If you have a copy of Morrowind on PC and by some weird chance you haven’t checked out Korana’s mods (shame on you!), go and download all of them right now.

  3. Congratulations on your engagement Korana. I thought you would have been married already with your talent and being a teacher and all.

    Still using many of your mods including one of my favorites your Sexy Black Collar Dress v.1a which fits my Vampirella type character perfectly :)

    Yea thank goodness for OBLIVION otherwise MORROWIND would be the only game I would be playing too. Just like you it seems the Elder Scrolls is the only real game in town. Even though lately I have seen some great ones like TWO WORLDS (patch 1.6 vers) and UNREAL TOURNAMENT 3.

    Thanks for all the inspiring work. The Forums would not be the same without you Korana.

  4. Whoo! Korana ^_^
    It was pretty cool reading an interview with Korana. She really is one of the most influential modders in the community; or, at least, /I/ think so.

    I still love the Ascadian Rose Cottage more than any other house mod, and Solstheim Castle probably comes in second.

    Someday, I intend to make a house mod, and I’m going to be taking a lot of pointers from looking at Korana’s works. They say imitation is the greatest compliment don’t they?

  5. Hi Korana.
    Great to see someone enjoy doing what you do for so long. I can’t think of anything you’ve done that wasn’t creative and artistic.

  6. Korana’s mods are some of my favorite for Morrowind.

    10 times out of 10 you’ll find my Morrowind characters living in one of the house mods found on her website.

    High Quality Modding.

    High Class Modder.

  7. Awesome interview! Great to see Korana still going strong!

    Definitely one of the most inspirational modders for me back when I was still playing Morrowind. True talent and class.

    Somebody needs to help her get the Oblivion Construction Set working!

  8. Korana,

    Good to see you get some more recognition. I’ve loved & used your mods for years, and I’m inspired to see you still pounding on Pelanor!!

    Rock on, K!

  9. Hi Korana,

    So glad to see this interview and to see you looking healthy and happy. I’ve truly enjoyed your mods and have posted many screenshots of them at PES for several years.

    In addition, have met my Valentine on a Morrowind forum. We used to meet regularly at the Ascadian Rose Cottage for mage muffins and stoneflower chai.
    ;)

    Congratulations on your engagement! May the longtime Morrowind sun shine upon you and your fiancé! ~m

  10. Nice interview with Korana! I really like your mods. The Solstheim Castle give me many new Morrowind game playing experience and everytime when I reinstall Morrowind, this is the first mod what I use! And of course the Wailing Wench!