This week’s mod interview is with Micky Lundell, better known as Buddah within the BSG forums. Buddah lives in the small town of Weber, Minnesota. There he works for Qwest Communications, where his job responsibilities relate to POTS (plain old telephone service) and PANS (pretty amazing new stuff).
Buddah is a long-standing fan of The Elder Scrolls series, who has taken it upon himself to maintain an extensive collection of Elder Scrolls mods. After learning this, I imagined his computer as the storage area where the Ark of the Covenant goes at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Of course, that would mean he’d never be able to find any of the stuff that he stores, so I guess my analogy fails…
Anyways, on with the interview…
How did you get introduced to the Elder Scrolls?
I played Arena and Daggerfall when they first came out. I really enjoyed them and I’ve played the whole series. With the release of Morrowind I was hooked, and that was reinforced with the release of the expansions. After I discovered the vast assortment of user-made content, the rest, shall we say, is history.
Do you prefer Morrowind or Oblivion?
That is like arguing oranges and apples — each has its good and not-so-good aspects. I love the gameplay of Morrowind, but I think that Oblivion has the better overall end product with its graphics and a better game engine.
What modding projects have you helped with in the community?
Helped is not a word I would use, I have offered a few suggestions to modders who have asked for community input. Some get used, others do not. I will test pre-releases for a few, but I don’t have a critical eye. For me, if it plays as it is intended that “minor clipping issue if you stand at point X and view on an axis of 175 degrees issue” won’t be an issue with me. I also will help a modder track down resources for a project if asked. I keep a little list with just a few mods listed. Last time I compiled, I had about 20,000 mods and utilities available for Oblivion.
One that I actually did something on was for Chaosblitzkreig’s Dungeons and Realms mod, where he lost his original files on a hard disc failure, and I was able to upload all his files so the project could continue. A minor thing really, but something that had an impact on the community.
How active would you say you are with modding?
As a user quite active, my modding skills are quite limited bordering on being almost non-existent. But I do my limited part to give back to the community. Like I said, I keep a list of all mods that I come across (that are available for public download) while searching the internet, and I also download almost everything that I come across — so my archives are quite large by now and encompass 210gigs of data for Morrowind and Oblivion. These files are open to all that need them. Mods and mod sites come and go, and if I have a copy, I will gladly share with anyone that asks. Some may remember when TESSource died, I spent a little time keeping some mods available to those that needed them while the site was down. Then I spent some time restoring files that got lost in the shuffle.
If there was one area you’d like to improve upon with creating mods, what would it be?
For me this would have no bearing, but a fully functional NIF exporter/editor is something I would really like to see.
If you could only use three mods made by the community, what would they be?
That calls for an opinion, these I seldom share. I will make an exception in case someone is interested:
That’s So Nico by Nicoroshi, Ancient Towers by WillieSea, and Personal Pack Guar by CorePC.
These are quite special for me and the authors know why. Thanks my friends!
What’s your favorite aspect of the modding community?
Its multinational diversity as we have members from around the world, working independently and collectively to make Oblivion the best game out there — which they have done in more ways than I have time to spend writing about. The key word is “Community” — we have varying opinions and often disagree and argue as we are just humans after all. But let one of our members get besmirched, attacked, or ridiculed and the community in general will rise to their defense. This is what keeps me here, and I feel in some small way that I belong to something greater than myself.
If there was one game on the market that you wish you could mod, what would it be?
One older one that I quite enjoyed, Pool of Radiance.
If you could add anything to Oblivion (without limitation), what would it be?
For me, this is an easy one — have all of the Elder Scrolls series’ content — including quests and landmasses within the Oblivion engine…..HEAVEN! The community would provide the rest.
Have you considered a career in game development?
No, I am a realist….I know you need skills. I am really too old to learn a new career path.
If you were making your dream game, what would be the premise?
This is again an easy one. It would be a non-linear RPG. Along the line of choices made in game would be: sex, class, race, alignment, etc. These actions/choices within the game would change the possible scenarios and game endings, (e.g. saving the world, destroying the world, maintaining the status quo — the possibilities are endless). It would be something that I could play repeatedly and never have the same game twice.