This week’s Elder Scrolls mod interview is with Jimmy Maxwell, or as he’s known in the BGS forums, CorePC. Among other things, Jimmy is known for his help on Martigen’s Monster Mod and FCOM, as well as his Tamriel Travellers Travelling Merchants mod. Hailing from “the middle of Texas” in Abilene, Jimmy is currently works in computers (self-employed), and mods Oblivion when he’s bored.
What are your favorite games of all-time?
Morrowind, Oblivion, Far Cry, Deus Ex: Invisible War, all of the Need for Speed Series, WarCraft 3 & 2 & 1 (no WoW for me), Diablo 1 & 2, Unreal, Quake, Wolfenstein. I also like old-school stuff from the Atari 2600 and the original Paperback D&D.
What got you into modding Elder Scrolls games?
I would say for the pure fun of it. The first ES game I modded was Oblivion when it came out. I played the game for about two months before I started learning how to use the CS editor and build AI, creatures, levels, worldspaces, and so on. I do not mess with scripting or quests that often.
Do you mod any other games?
Only Oblivion at the moment. If there was something else out there that I enjoyed as much, I would mod it — if they had tools for it, that is.
If you could add any tools to the TES CS, what would they be?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Having more Radiant AI Condition Data that could use all of the script functions available themselves, that would be nice. I love Radiant AI and making it do things.
- A better HeightMap Editor that could handle underwater land over distance and objects. One that could generate textures of different sizes (512, 1024, 2048, 4096), and one that could produce large worldspaces without crashing or having to limit size to esp or esm.
- OBSE added directly into the CS editor.
- Ability to change animations within CS Editor or the ability to assign new animations to objects.
- Dummy Guides to Scripting & Making Quests.
Of your personal mod projects, which ones are you most proud of?
Of all the projects I do, I enjoy working on Tamriel Travellers Travelling Merchants (my first mod) the most. I wanted to bring travelling merchants into the game, which would sell items while traveling to and from cities, farms, different road locations, shrines, etc. — every day of the week. My idea was/is to implement and expand economy in the game. I have just recently added new belts to them. They now look like they are carrying the items they are selling. I’ve added merchants on horseback and pack guars for the same reason. Oblivion’s first pack guars are a creation from Mr. Siika using the Lore Creature Model. Some of the travellers have personal pets that follow them around. My travellers have also been known to rescue the player at various times and help guards out, too.
The whole design behind this was quite complicated due to over 400+ AI packages that I use to make 80+ new NPCs and creatures move around — all are Radiant AI driven. Due to the game not having support for this barter system during a travel package, I had to get creative and think of how to overcome this. I was able to make it work by using a script that switches packages on the fly when dialogue is activated.
I do like keeping Martigen’s Monster Mod updated by adding new things as they are created by the community â€” continuing where Martigen left off. I also have other projects like Trollf’s Armamentarium, which I have started working on and, of course, Minstrels of Cyrodiil, NPCs With Jobs, Worldspace Development and AI.
How much time do you commit to modding vs. time you play games?
I am sure I spend more time committed to modding than playing the game itself. Of the time I spend, at least 3/4 of it is modding and helping community members on the ES forum with various modding problems. My system is not that great for gameplay but it works quite well for modding.
Do you have any super-secret projects in the work?
Well there could be a few, because I am always thinking of something. But when I think of these things, I usually put them into one of my mods or another one of the team mods that I work on. I also receive a lot of stuff to be included in mods.
From your experience modding, what advice would you give us about game development?
I think most people would want to see a much more dynamic world in the game. I’d like to see TESV around the size of Morrowind, featuring things from both Oblivion and Morrowind — a mix of both worlds. In terms of AI, I’d like to see NPCs acting and thinking for themselves, a world based around an economy, creatures that would seek food when they’re hungry, evil NPCs that would raid towns to get supplies, and guards defending cities as needed. Stuff like that.
I’d also like to see quests which are much more dynamic that do not hold your hand — make players work harder to complete them. I think that would make a great TES game.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in game development?
Yes, I would love to get into the game development as a career but I lack some of the skills that would make me a good candidate. However, I am full of ideas and willing to learn.
What do you do for fun outside of modding?
I love spending time with my longtime girlfriend (Sarah), visiting family & friends, going to parties, and travelling — generally stuff people my age would do. I do love a good concert every now and then to bring back memories of when I was a teen.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am a little bitty guy that weighs less than 120 pounds. So the wind could blow me away very easily. LOL! Some would say that I have an outgoing personality, I have long hair and some of my friends call me a hippie. I am a helpful person by nature and I always try to help people when I can. I am a good natured, honest kind of person with just a few flaws — bad teeth, smoker, kind of messy, and I hate to clean up.