This week’s mod interview is with the tag team duo of Kat and Tommy. According to Kat, she spends her free time in Orwell, England distributing stale bread crusts to deserving peasantry and helping out at the local home for Retired Eel Teasers. She also received high praise and acclaim for her performance as a tree in â€˜A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’
Meanwhile, Tommy lives in the Netherlands where he does IT work on IBM mainframes. He graciously accepts Kat’s stale bread.
On to the interview…
How did you guys get to know each other?
Kat: Via Canadian Ice’s old forum. I posted a topic entitled â€˜What is your favourite tavern in Morrowind?’ and Tommy replied. I mentioned that I had written some dialogue for a new mod called Glory Road and he asked to read it. We ended up collaborating on the mod and the rest is history.
When you’re not modding, how much do you guys talk?
Kat: Every day usually. But Tommy is really into Guild Wars and I’m busy playing Oblivion at the moment. Not that I bother much with those silly Oblivion gates. I much prefer just wandering around looking at the marvelous scenery, buying houses and mansions, and dressing up my female companions. I’m probably using every companion mod out there.
Tommy: Every day usually. Actually Kat made me use MSN. We had a click from day one. She is a wonderful, cute, adorable and pouting lass with a wacky sense of humour and I simply love her to bits. (Err… cute, adorable and pouting bit added by Kat).
After all these years, what makes modding Morrowind so enjoyable for you guys?
Kat: Well for me it’s the kick I still get from seeing my dialogue and ideas transposed into a quest mod. Plus, seeing a flat 2D dress texture come to life in 3D. Primarily, modding is fun and very enjoyable. I can’t see it ever being otherwise. Most of the credit for our mods has to go to Tommy. I’m ideas, dialogue and couture. He’s the powerhouse behind everything else. Over the years I’ve given him many a scripting headache but he’s always come through with flying colors. He’s also a great guy and I value his friendship immensely.
Tommy: Seeing all the ideas coming together into a playable mod. That and reading reviews by players.
What other games have you worked on modding – together and separately?
Tommy: We’ve never actually worked on any other games
Of the projects you’ve worked on together, which one are each of you most proud of?
Kat: Well for me quests are the lifeblood of Morrowind. So I have to say Glory Road. This was our first major quest mod collaboration and I still play through it regularly. I’m also quite proud of our latest WIP Timisoara Experience, which is extremely atmospheric and scary.
Tommy: Hard to tell really. Glory Road was our first-born and will always remain special to me. But I’m also quite happy with Kat’s Kastle. And our new soon to be released Timisoara Experience promises to be quite enjoyable too.
Any particular technical aspects of modding you enjoy most? Least?
Kat: Well for me, the most enjoyable aspect is starting with a blank screen in Paint Shop Pro, and producing a new dress texture. After creating over 3000 female clothing items, I still get a buzz with each new one. Least enjoyable aspect? Play testing. I am probably the world’s worst playtester. Fortunately, we can call on the services of our stalwart band of eagle-eyed play testers.
Tommy: I like to do all sorts of things really, from tangling with 3D objects in Max, via image processing with PS to scripting. However dealing with the limitations of the MW engine can be very frustrating, I enjoy that part of modding least of all.
Why do you enjoy most about the community itself?
In unison: The fact that so many talented people share the fruits of their labours freely and without obligation.
Moving away from your projects, what are your favorite projects from other folks within the community?
Kat: There are many wonderful mods and modders out there and it’s hard to highlight just a few. However, Emma’s Lokken has to be placed at the top of the tree, along with Grumpy’s wonderful companion scripts that made Morrowind a less lonely place. Oblivion-wise, I really love Unique Landscapes, Midas Magic, Brendan’s Skye Village plus Dibella Temple, Woodland Village by Shezrie, Divine Avenger’s Companions, plus the sailing ships and boats by CLShade, Reneer, Jason and others.
What future projects do you have in mind?
Kat: Ah that would be telling but here goes. I’ve recently read a number of books by Mark Chadbourn and Terry Brooks. We may do a large quest mod loosely based on an amalgamation of their fiction called Glastonbury Experience. Recreate Glastonbury, England as a 1960’s town that at certain times reverts to the ancient Isle of Avalon. Druids, Goddesses, ley lines, a dark chalice, Glastonbury Tor, hippies, New Age shops etc.
Tommy: I plan to have a long long break from modding, ask me again next week.
What other games do you play?
Kat: Well I have a bookshelf filled with new games but I expect to remain in Oblivion for some time to come. I’ll try out Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines and Call of Cthulhu sometime in the future.
Tommy: As Kathryn has mentioned before, I’m very much into Guild Wars. I’m a member of a guild that has many MW modders and players. To name a few: Emma, TextureFreak, Badkarma, Lady Rae, Qarl, Princess Stomper, Kateri and Santa Cruz. Playing with friends adds so much fun to gaming.
If you were working on an Elder Scrolls game, what would you want to make sure made its way into the game?
Kat: Three things primarily. Firstly more navigable seas, lakes, and rivers with canals, tunnels, working locks, lock keepers, and ships chandlers.
Secondly, much more companion development. Sulteric Drums has made admirable progress in this department with Saerilith and Viconia De Vir. Truly independent companions with almost infinite conversation, intelligence, and minds of their own would really float my boat.
Thirdly, more diverse ways to make a living. For example, ship or barge owners could transport goods to city merchant docks or charter their vessels to fee-paying customers. Ferry owners could regularly take paying passengers across large rivers.
Tommy: It has to be multiplayer, or I would not be interested at all.