This week’s mod interview is with Conan Scarface from the BGS forums. He’s actually a man of many names. His Chinese name is Yen-Jen Wang and his Japanese name is Heiji Hatsutoli (he goes by Hatsutoli on TES Nexus and Planet Elder Scrolls). Currently he lives in Tainan, a municipality of Taiwan.
The video above is a trailer for his Tiefling Races mod.
What do you do for a living?
I am still a college student. Web-design is my part-time job, and I am also a freelance Chinese/English translator. I prefer to translate English into Chinese rather than to translate Chinese into English.
How did you get started modding The Elder Scrolls games?
I first started modding because I wanted to make something that really fit my character concept. The CS really dampened my mood when I started at first, but I slowly learned everything I need by studying the Elder Scrolls CS wiki. My first Oblivion mod was Zariche – the demonic blade, which comes from the MMORPG , Lineage II. It’s located deep inside the sideways cave near the Imperial City, and be guarded by an ancient evil lord called Bremnon (also named from Lineage II). Although it isn’t necessarily a good mod because of the difficulty-balance and lack of meaning, it was my first stab at modding.
After that I started working on the Tiefling Races mod and had released several mods with the creative concept of providing new gameplay experiences, such as The Legendary Mannimarco, Force Classes, and so on. Some of them were deleted from web, and I had been decided not to release anymore because of several aggressive comments that really hurt my feelings. However, I think I should learn to control my temper in the future.
What were your main inspirations for Hatsutoli Tiefling Races?
I got most of my inspiration from the famous Japanese comic book series Bleach. “Passing the inner battle between good and evil to gain a new power” was the coolest thing I ever wanted for my dark, hero-type character in an RPG game. My inspiration for demonic transformation and summonable demonic weapons also comes from two of my favorite PC games: Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones and Onimusha 3: Demon Siege. I’m also a huge Marvel fan, so the ideas for a demonic stallion and biochemical armor came from Ghost Rider and Spawn. And the idea of Tiefling Infernal Eyes (not shown in video) was from Infernal Eyes — which is from the D&D Players Handbook.
For folks that haven’t read about the mod, can you summarize what it adds?
This mod presents six new races with similar properties to the half-demons from D&D. In D&D terminology, they are called tieflings (German for demon). Tieflings in Tamriel are treated unfriendly. Guards and NPCs repel you as a vampire if they recognize your race and their dispositions are too low; sometimes they will even attack you on sight and put a bounty on you without any reason — simply because you are a tiefling. You can solve these problems by drinking the Potion of Repression sold by a special quest NPC, or by earning enough fame so that everybody knows that you are a good guy.
All the tieflings have the power to transform into a demon for a short while once a day, and they can fly with wings in demon form. Moreover, your character will speak in a devil tone when he or she transforms into a demon. There are also some tieflings born with wings that can fly without the transformation. After the first transformation, you’ll receive a quest about how to control the demon transformation. You can find a tiefling NPC somewhere in Imperial City Market District and he’ll tell you some further information (there are some hints in the trailer). If you accept the trial given by him, he’ll teach you how to enter your inner world, and fight against your demonic soul. After that, you can get more lessons the same way and learn more about your demonic powers (some of which are shown in the trailer).
I plan on releasing more features in the future as well.
What do you think this project’s greatest strengths are?
At first sight, the most charming part of this project to most people is watching a human-like character transform into a demon. But in my opinion, this project’s most successful part is how NPCs react negatively to a tiefling character. Players can feel a new role-playing perception by being a tiefling and sharing his/her loneliness in the world of Tamriel. This kind of experience didn’t even exist when you play an Argonian, a Khajiit, or an Orc! And it may add some new philosophic thought and meaning to the game itself — such as “What makes a man become a real man?” and “What makes a monster become a real monster?”
What’s the first thing that comes to mind in terms of improvements to the project?
I am still finding a way to figure out how to let NPCs know and remember that a player is a demon when they see the player’s transformation between human and demon. What perplexes me most is that tieflings cannot be identified in demonic form even if they transform right in front of others. Guards will try to kill you when they see you in demonic appearance even when you transform back into human form. I will try to fix this before the release, because I want to present a real half-demon, not a Gray Fox!:D
For this project, are you working with anyone else?
I’m working alone on this project, but I wouldn’t say no one has helped me. Every mod creator in the credits of this trailer helped me by sharing their knowledge of modding with players and modders of Oblivion like me. Without them, this trailer would be awful or simply wouldn’t exist at all. I also want to give my most sincere thanks to those of you who have casually responded with thoughtful comments and encouraging words. Especially thanks to Bethesda who created the best RPG game I’ve ever played, and gave me this chance to introduce myself and my mod project! This is such a great honor! Thank you all!
Any particular technical aspects of modding you enjoy most? Least?
The most enjoyable aspect for me is doing game testing and dancing with joy when it works correctly. And my most disliked part of modding is debugging hundreds of times and still having no idea about what the problem is. No pain, no gain, I guess.
Why do you enjoy most about the community itself?
So many geniuses from all over the world get together to share and discuss their skills, successes and dreams for the same Tamriel!
Any other projects in the pipeline that you’d like to discuss?
One project I’m working on is to build a world of Sanctuary — inspired by the backstory of Blizzard’s Diablo II. It’ll have lots of new monsters that had never appeared in the history of Tamriel.
When you’re not playing/modding Oblivion, what other games do you play?
None. I am not joking, really. I just can’t find a game better than Oblivion for me to play. I had tried but I can’t. Hellgate: London is one of my most-anticipated games, but it still hasn’t been released in Taiwan. Fallout 3 also seems interesting, but I prefer gothic swords and lightsabers over guns and cannons. 🙂
What are some of your personal interests?
I love all kinds of fantastic things, such as Chinese Kung-Fu, D&D stuff (stories and games), and also action and superhero-type movies. I especially adore Jet Li — sometimes I wish to be his “adoring fan!” I also love historical movies, especially Braveheart! Every time I watch this movie, it shakes my heart.
Do you have an interest pursuing a career in game development?
Yes, of course! It’s always one of my dreams! But I still have much to learn before I can make this dream come true.