It’s been a while since our last modding interview (don’t worry, more are on the way), but we return this week with an interview with Joel Klausen — better known as throttlekitty in the BGS forums. For a living, he works as an airport skycap at the local airport. He enjoys art and tinkering, so it’s no surprise to see hm modding games. When he’s not modding you might find him at a local diner or coffee shop, or hiking in the Black Hills during summertime.
Hit the jump to read the full interview…
What originally brought you to our forums? Playing the Elder Scrolls or an interest in modding the games?
A little of both, I’d say.
How did you get started modding, and can you talk about your first project?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always had an interest in taking things apart, seeing how they work. Tinkering always led more or less to wondering how I could change things. My favorite toys were ones that encouraged me to build, like Lincoln Logs and Legos. Being the child of two nerds, I’ve had computers around me just about my whole life. I think my first modding project would have been for an old game called ZZT , making silly dungeon romps. I can’t really count how many games I’ve modded to some degree.
When you started modding, how intimidating did you find it? How has that changed?
While I’ve always been an artist, I was very intimidated to try making 3D models for Morrowind, so I stuck with doing retextures of existing stuff. It wasn’t until Oblivion came out that I decided to take that plunge; and went off the deep end. I went from knowing very little about the 3D world to being someone that people come to for help or advice. How has it changed? I guess I’ve replaced the word “intimdate” with “challenge,” and that makes a difference.
You mentioned to me that Head06 Replacer is the project you’re most proud of. Why?
I often measure my success by how I feel that I’ve done, or what I’ve learned, and I’ve learned a lot. That said, seeing my work in screenshots on the forums is a bit of a boost, too. I set out to create a high-poly head for Oblivion that does all the things a head does in the game; without using any official tools. I reintroduced using a hex editor for actual modding. For me, it was quite the challenging project, and for the most part, it turned out great!
You’ve made rapier swords for both Oblivion and Fallout 3. How did you fondness for this type of weapon come about?
They’re just gorgeous, with a great blend of form and function. I’d take one over a broadsword any day, it’s all about the elegance. They were a lot of fun to do; I’m half-tempted to make more. Bringing one into Fallout 3 was simply me rushing myself to see how quickly I could get a new model into the game, and spark things up in the community at the time.
There’s a stark contrast between the worlds of Fallout and Oblivion, do you think the change in setting plays up to your interests?
Most certainly, I love both settings! I know of a few people who were unsure if they would get into the wasteland setting, and were pleasantly surprised. I think a rich world filled with stories can be enjoyable, writers always say that setting isn’t important.
If you could only mod Oblivion or Fallout 3, which would it be?
I’d make a mod for Fallout 3 that lets me make virtual mods for Oblivion.
For members that are just getting into modding, what would be your #1 tip for getting started?
Set some time aside to help others out on the forums; even if it’s not something you’re into. Researching the issues others have experienced is a great way to bolster your own knowledge, and you’re very likely to learn a few tricks on the side.
Any secret projects you can share info on here?
Secret? Nah. I’ve been learning programming and more math so I can help out more at NifTools. Recently, I finished my Eyelashes for Fallout 3 project, and I’m currently working on Hairstyles for Fallout 3. I’ve a mind to do a steampunk in a post-apocalyptic wild west setting if I can find the time.
Can you name a few of the mods you’ve currently got installed?
I want to do another playthrough of Fallout 3 before I really hit up the mods, so I’m mostly clean there. For Oblivion, I’m addicted to the whole FCOM thing, Reneer’s Guard Overhaul, Better Cities, and many others.
What other games are you currently playing/modding?
A little bit of Phantasy Star Universe and Left 4 Dead. I’m undecided if I want to make a campaign for L4D, but I think it would be fun!
If you had the chance to pitch something for a Bethesda game (a quest, a weapon, etc.) what would it be?
“throttlekitty Makes Twenty Million Dollars” would be a pretty sweet quest, ask anyone! I’d play that a few times through. Or it might be neat to have an in-game blacksmith where players could design their own weapons, something a bit like Spore.